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DEVELOPING READING SKILLS

Generally speaking, we read for two main reasons: pleasure and the need for information. We read because we want to get something from the text a message facts, enjoyment, ideas, or feelings. For our pupils, reading in nglish is also a means of impro!ing language itself. "ome of the language read will stick in their mind as part of the process of language ac#uisition. $eading also pro!ides models for writing, opportunities to practise and de!elop the reading skill, and to gain cultural insights and understanding. $eading is also essential in the teaching of literature. %n discussing reading, we will consider the text, one&s reasons for reading, reading styles, and what the reader brings to the process of reading. 'he aim of this unit is to help you build awareness and understanding of current theories of reading and an ability to translate these theories into practical applications for the classroom. (y the end of the lecture, you will be able to: use recent information about reading that relates to classroom instruction set up a !ariety of classroom reading tasks integrate reading acti!ities with the de!elopment of one or more other skills identify the !arious sub)skills in!ol!ed in the reading process select and apply appropriate classroom acti!ities to de!elop the reading sub)skills apply in your classroom ideas, suggestions, examples of reading techni#ues that are consistent with theoretical principles assess reading techni#ues, comparing and contrasting them with other acti!ities that ha!e been found to be successful, practical and rele!ant.

The Text
'here is a !ariety of text types. 'hese can be grouped into categories, known as genres, such as: functional or immediate reference information texts enjoyment and correspondence literary texts journalistic literature and topical information texts leisurely and incidental information texts professional, specialised or technical texts miscellaneous, etc.

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*ould you group the following texts according to the genres mentioned abo!e+ ,se the table pro!ided below. personal letter, literary studies, magazine articles, reports, editorials, recipes, car repair manual, operating instructions, brochures, cartoons in newspaper, picture captions, textbooks, novels, tales, essays, diaries, biographies, rhymes, postcards, notes, telegrammes, stop press, advertisements, headlines, television listings, comic strips, cartoons, guidebooks; dictionaries, catalogues, telephone directories, directions, puzzles, timetables, maps, legends (of maps, pictures), posters, signs -e.g. road signs), business letters. Genre Functional or immediate reference information texts .iterary texts /rofessional, specialised or technical texts njoyment and correspondence .eisurely or incidental information texts 0ournalistic literature and topical information texts 1iscellaneous 'ext 'ypes

2lthough you should encourage your pupils to read and get familiar with as many different types of texts as possible, not all of them can be used in any classroom. 3our decisions about what texts to use will depend on who your pupils are and what they need reading for. 2 balance has to be struck between the types of reading texts and the pupils& capabilities and interests.

Authenticity of Text and Task


'here has been a lot of discussion about the texts that are suitable in the classroom. 'he greatest contro!ersy has centred on the authenticity of texts. uthentic texts are written by and for fluent nati!e speakers, while inauthentic texts are specially designed for learners. %n a really authentic text, nothing of the original is changed, either in terms of structure and !ocabulary or presentation and layout. $ecent textbook materials try to preser!e as many of the initial features of an authentic text as possible so that the pupils can anticipate meaning by using non)linguistic clues. "ome teachers belie!e authentic texts cannot be used with beginner pupils. 2ctually, there is some authentic material that e!en beginners can understand to some degree, such as menus, timetables, signs, and simple instructions. Getting your pupils accustomed to reading authentic texts from the beginning does not necessarily mean a more difficult task for them. 4owe!er, the use of authentic texts with beginner pupils may be frustrating and that is why more accessible, simplified texts are often used instead. "implifying a text may mean either replacing difficult words or structures by those
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already familiar to the pupils, rewriting it in order to make its organisation more explicit, or gi!ing a simplified !ersion of the contents. 'he difficulty of a reading acti!ity depends as much on the text itself as on the task set for the pupils. 'hat is why, your selection of the acti!ity is as important as the selection of the text. 'he reading tasks must be realistic in terms of both language use and pupils& abilities. 'hey should also be flexible and !aried. "ome may consist in #uestions of !arious types. 5ther texts may lend themsel!es to non)linguistic acti!ities -e.g. tracing a route on a map, or matching drawings and paragraphs6. 2nyway, you should encourage your pupils to use different reading strategies -e.g. 7 !ow skim this text "uickly and get the main idea &8 7#ou$ll have to study this text carefully to look for% &6. 4owe!er, it is also important to remember that many texts are to be read for pleasure and that some acti!ities might spoil this pleasure. 4ere is a short paragraph made up of well)formed, temporally accurate and meaningful sentences. 9o you think this text is authentic+ Why -not6+ & don$t know what to do for my holiday. &t will start at the beginning of 'ctober. & saved enough money for a really nice trip. (ast year & went to the )lack *ea coast. &t will be too late to go to the mountains. & worked hard all year. & really need a break.

Text Structure
2 text is not a random collection of sentences. 2 text that communicates successfully has unity: the sentences and paragraphs that make it up are related in a meaningful way to each other. %n order to comprehend the message of the text, the pupils ha!e to be aware of these relationships and of certain features of text structure. ohesion *ohesion refers to the way a text holds together by particular linguistic means. 'hese include pro)forms -e.g. pronouns, a few !erbs like have, will, do6 connectors, reference, substitution, ellipsis and !ocabulary. %t is essential for the pupils to understand how a text is made up, the web of relationships that is built among the ideas. %f the pupils fail to understand this, they may also fail to understand the structure, the communicati!e !alue of the text, and its function. %n the classroom, #uestions in!ol!ing cohesion can ser!e as a comprehension) checking de!ice, for they enable you to see if the correct interpretation has been made. *ould you identify some of the cohesion markers in the following extract from (ill (ryson&s +alk in the +oods+ ,-onsider this. /alf of all the offices and malls standing in merica today have been built since 0123. /alf of them. 4ighty percent of all the housing stock in the country dates from 0156. 'f all the motel rooms in merica, 783,333 have been built in the last fifeen years. 9ust up the road from :atlinburg is the town of ;igeon <orge, which twenty years ago was a sleepy hamlet nay, which aspired to be a sleepy hamlet famous only as the hometown of =olly ;arton. >hen the estimable ?s. ;arton built an amusement park called =ollywood. !ow ;igeon <orge has 733 outlet shops stretched along three miles of highway. &t is bigger and uglier than :atlinburg and has better parking, and so of course gets more visitors.@
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*onnectors: $eference: llipsis: :ocabulary:

oherence *oherence refers to the way in which sentences and groups of sentences in a text make sense in relationship to each other. "ometimes the writer indicates the relationship between sentences by the use of connectors, such as: but, moreover, and yet, in contrast, etc. "ome other times the pupils will ha!e to infer the writer&s purpose and the relationship between the sentences. "ome texts achie!e coherence through other means, too. %n telling a story, for example, or gi!ing a report, the writer usually proceeds by telling what happened next. %n descripti!e passages, coherence may be achie!ed by the writer describing different aspects of the same object, person or scene. 'he sentences below are both cohesi!e, but one has a problem of coherence. Which is incoherent+ 4ow can you explain the problem+ a. #esterday & got up late and had to leave in a hurry. b. #esterday & got up late and it will have to fly away. Se!uences 'he se#uence of sentences and paragraphs indicates relationships between ideas and information. For instance, ; >hey were watching television when we got home@ suggests that 7we got home$ is more important than Athey were watching television$. ,+hen we got home they were watching television@ suggests that Athey were watching television is more important$. Gra""ar Grammar also has a text function. %f someone says ; & was driving very fast. & had overslept, you see@, we probably understand that 7 & had overslept$ is an explanation for 7 & was driving very fast$. 'his is partly because of the se#uence, partly because of 7 you see$, but also because we expect the past perfect to be used to pro!ide explanations.

Readin# Sty$es
2 crucial factor in reading is purpose. 'his determines the way we read. %n real life we may want to glance #uickly through a sports article to see who won, or to go #uickly through a telephone directory to find someone&s telephone number. 5n the other hand, a legal document re#uires much closer attention, perhaps se!eral readings, because we need to grasp the information in detail. We read different texts with different purposes and at different speeds. %n some cases we read silently while in others aloud.
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Readin# a$oud and si$ent readin# $eading is normally a silent acti!ity and it should be encouraged as such in the classroom. 3ou can sometimes read aloud fragments, especially for beginners, but the pupils should be asked to read aloud as rarely as possible. $eading aloud may ha!e some !alue as a means of testing pronunciation, but it does not help comprehension. 2lso, excessi!e practice in reading aloud tends to pre!ent the pupils from de!eloping efficient silent reading strategies. 1oreo!er, reading aloud is a highly specialised skill and !ery few pupils will need this. 5ther kinds of reading found in the classroom include silent reading and following the text in the book while the teacher or indi!idual pupils read aloud. "ilent reading should be encouraged in most cases, though you may sometimes need to read parts of a text aloud. Intensi%e readin# %ntensi!e reading is reading -relati!ely6 short texts to extract specific information. For instance, we read poetry or legal documents intensi!ely, focusing on the words used. %n the classroom, intensi!e reading is usually an accuracy acti!ity. %t is a way of focusing the pupils& attention on language rather than content . 'his kind of reading can contribute immensely to impro!e the pupils& language competence. 4owe!er, intensi!e reading does not always contribute to the de!elopment of reading skills. Extensi%e readin# xtensi!e reading consists of reading -longer6 texts, usually for one&s own pleasure. 'he emphasis is on the information content of the text. xtensi!e reading is a fluency acti!ity in!ol!ing global understanding, in which the pupils do not check e!ery unknown word or structure. 'here is one major condition for the success of an extensi!e reading acti!ity: the text must be enBoyable. 'he main criteria for choosing extensi!e reading materials are length, appeal, !ariety and easiness. 'he length of the text must not be intimidating. (eginners, especially, need short texts that they can finish #uickly, to a!oid boredom or discouragement. 'he texts must be appealing: they must look attracti!e, be well)printed -bigger print for elementary pupils6 and ha!e -coloured6 illustrations. 'here must be a !ariety of texts to suit the pupils& needs in terms of content, language and intellectual de!elopment. 'he le!el of the extensi!e reading material must be easier than that of the textbook used in the classroom. 5therwise, the pupils will not read for pleasure or fluently. Which kinds of texts are suitable for intensi!e reading, which for extensi!e reading and which for either strategy+

'he only way to become a good reader is by reading. %f the a!erage educated nati!e speaker can recognise about <=,=== words of the mother tongue in print, this is not an objecti!e that the foreign nglish student can reach without a great deal of reading. 2n extensi!e reading programme can be the most effecti!e way of impro!ing both !ocabulary and reading skills in general. 'he more reading your pupils will do, the more skilful they become at reading. Ski""in# and scannin# "kimming and scanning are necessary for fast and efficient reading.
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*kimming in!ol!es reading for an o!erall understanding of the text. 'he reader is #uickly running one&s eyes through a text to get its essence, its general idea or gist. $eading a few sentences, recognising a few words and expressions, a few main point-s6 and the function-s6 may be enough. 4owe!er, skimming in!ol!es some interpretation. For instance, a reader may skim the re!iew of a book to see if the re!iewer thinks it is good or bad. /ractice in skimming will show your pupils how much they can find out simply by looking at the prominent elements of a text, by catching a few words or by reading fragments. 'o train your pupils in skimming, you can remo!e a few sentences from a text, or e!en whole paragraphs making sure those parts contain only supporting details and ask our pupils to supply the missing parts. *canning is #uickly going through a text to find particular information. $eaders look #uickly through the text to find words that answer their specific #uestions. For example, we may scan the ': times in search of a certain film, to see on what channel it is on and when it is scheduled. "canning is a !isual skill more than an interpreti!e one. When you practice scanning in the classroom, make sure that you gi!e your pupils clear instructions as to what they need to find out. For example, if you ask them to scan ad!ertisements for ideas on where to spend a holiday, they would need to find out about accommodation, prices, meals, contact names and addresses, etc. /upils will need practice in both skimming and scanning, as it is usual to make use of both when reading a text. ach of the following descriptions refers to one kind of reading. Write down the name of the kind of reading in the space pro!ided: a6 3ou read a poem and enjoy paying close attention to the poet&s use of language. 3ou do >>>>>>>> reading. b6 3ou need bibliography for a research assignment and you look #uickly through the books and articles that you find in the library to see whether they contain information you need. 3ou do >>>>>>>> reading. c6 3ou are on holiday and you read an ad!enture story. 'here is no pressure on you to finish the book #uickly. 3ou do >>>>>>>> reading. d6 While waiting for an appointment with your dentist, you pick up a maga?ine and disco!er an article that interests you. 3ou do not ha!e time to read the article in detail but you try to extract as much information from it as you can. 3ou do >>>>>>... reading.
-after 1. /arrott6

%ntensi!e, extensi!e, scan and skim reading do not exclude one another. We often skim through a text to see what it is about before deciding whether it is worth scanning for specific information. %n real life, our reading purposes constantly !ary and we need !arious approaches to cope with our needs. 'hat is why your pupils need practice in different ways of reading. 'heir choice of reading style will depend on the nature of the text and the purpose they ha!e in reading it. %t is important to gi!e your pupils practice in different reading styles. 'his is achie!ed not by telling them to skim, scan or read intensi!ely but by setting tasks that encourage these styles. %t is the task which pro!ides the pupils with a purpose and enables them to practice and de!elop a style. *lassroom acti!ities should ensure practice in all reading styles so that your pupils do not use the same strategy for all texts.
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The Ai"s of a Readin# Pro#ra""e


9o pupils read in the classroom for the same reasons as people do in the real world+ 2way from the classroom, we may read topic to obtain instructions on how to perform some task for our work or daily life to keep in touch with our friends by correspondence to know where and when something will take place or what is a!ailable to know what is happening or has happened -as reported in newspapers, maga?ines, reports6 for enjoyment or excitement. (efore you continue reading, try to answer these #uestions: 9o any of the reasons abo!e match your classroom reading aims+ 9o your pupils need to do all these things in nglish+ to obtain information for some purpose or because we are curious about some

%n some reading classes, the only function the pupils can see seems to be ; nglish has to be learnt@ or reading techni#ues ha!e to be learnt. %n such cases, the pupils& moti!ation is low. %f your pupils see no other purpose in reading other than that you make them do it, then reading lessons will be unsuccessful. "ome classes can focus primarily on the de!elopment of reading skills, while others can include reading skills as part of integrati!e practice. *lassroom reading acti!ities are suggested by: The needs& interests and a'i$ities of the (u(i$s . 3ou will need to emphasise the kind of acti!ities your pupils will encounter in nglish. 3ou must ask your pupils and yoursel!es what kinds of texts they read in $omanian and if the strategies and skills that they already possess in $omanian can be transferred to nglish reading tasks. The ai"s of the (articu$ar $esson) 'he reading acti!ities should be harmonised with the aims and the other work that is practised during the lesson. The (ur(ose for readin# a certain text . *lass acti!ities should help your pupils to become acti!e decision makers and risk takers. 'hey should become independent readers who set their own goals and strategies for reading. The s(ecific characteristics of the readin# text . 3ou often ha!e to determine what kind of reading the text in!ites and de!elop acti!ities and contexts that parallel the most realistic and appropriate approaches to a gi!en text. Indi%idua$ (u(i$ needs. %ndi!idual pupils may re#uire explicit instruction in different aspects of reading: skimming, scanning, understanding organisational clues, accessing prior knowledge, making hypotheses, etc. (efore reading on, make a list of the reading objecti!es you ha!e set for your pupils so far. 'hen compare them with the objecti!es discussed below and think which of these you could use in the future.

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First you must decide what your pupils need to get out of their reading, select moti!ating texts and set clear tasks. "ome times the pupils ha!e no particular interest in reading a text because the text is not moti!ating. 1oreo!er, if the task is not !ery clear, it may distract the pupils& attention from the text or spoil their enjoyment. 3our purpose in teaching reading is to train your pupils to read fluently, without help, and for their own enjoyment. 3our role is to facilitate this process by selecting texts suited to your pupils& goals and interests and practising appropriate techni#ues. 3our aims for the reading classes should include the promotion of the sub)skills of: A.reading texts with comprehension B.using !arious reading styles C.learning -both content and language6 through reading D.reading critically 3our aims will !ary with the pupils& age, interests, skills and knowledge, and the time allotted to reading in your syllabus. 3our pupils should be able to identify the purpose and the function of a text, its main topic and the way the topic is de!eloped through different paragraphs. %n spite of the language problems that may arise from time to time, they should also be able to interpret indi!idual sentences, using techni#ues for dealing with unfamiliar !ocabulary. $emember, howe!er, that not all texts need to be read for full comprehension. 3our pupils should be able to skim, scan, and read intensi!ely and extensi!ely, according to their purpose. %n order to de!elop flexible indi!idual reading styles, you should pro!ide practice in a !ariety of text types. 1any recent textbooks offer such a !ariety of text types and further !ariety can be pro!ided by using supplementary materials. 2 common reason for reading in the classroom is to learn nglish. 2 reading text is often used as a !ehicle for presenting and practising grammatical structures and lexical items. 'his is perfectly acceptable as long as both you and the pupils are aware that it is not a reading lesson. 'exts for this type of acti!ity tend to be selected because they pro!ide lots of examples of a particular structure. 'he problem is that texts are often artificially created round a structure, resulting in unnatural language. While reading, your pupils will meet a great deal of new language and new content. 'he pupils should be able to pick out the rele!ant information, e!aluate arguments and e!idence, and distinguish between main points and details. .essons should address specifically the problems your pupils ha!e. 'he following could reasonably be lesson aims for reading lessons: to increase pupils& awareness of how a clear purpose can make reading more effecti!e to present strategies for dealing with indi!idual unfamiliar words to increase pupils& awareness of different reading styles to pro!ide practice in intensi!e reading or in scan reading to present !arious aspects of (ritish culture enabling them to make useful predictions. 'he areas of language knowledge which ha!e an effect on pupils& ability to read effecti!ely are usually addressed in separate lessons. 'he following could well be such lesson aims: to introduce and pro!ide practice in collocations -e.g. nice and easy, out and about, peace and "uiet6. to pro!ide practice in 7mixed conditionals& focusing attention on the meaning of each clause. to present contrast conjunctions -e.g. though, however, although)
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to present a way of dealing with unfamiliar words by breaking them down into parts to pro!ide practice in recognising foregrounded information by looking at clause orders in sentences %f you prefer you can state your aims in a more learner)centred way: to help the pupils increase their understanding of how they can make correct inferences using background knowledge to help pupils use their extensi!e background knowledge to make correct inferences, etc. to enable them to consolidate their understanding of the function of conjunctions -e.g. however, although, though6 and of their place in the sentence.

Reader and Text* an Interacti%e Re$ation


'raditionally, reading was seen as a 7passi!e& skill and the reader as the 7recipient& of information8 the text was seen as an object. 'his !iewpoint has been replaced by a 7text as process& one, by acknowledging the close interaction between the reader and the text. $eading is now seen as a complex information)processing skill. $ecent approaches to reading emphasise the interactive relation of reader and text in which meaning is created. %n pedagogic terms, reading means reading and understanding. $eading is seen as an acti!e, purposeful process, related to problem sol!ing. %t constantly in!ol!es the reader in guessing, hypothesising, predicting, checking and asking oneself #uestions. 'he reader is an acti!e participant in the reading process, co)ordinating a number of sub)skills and strategies to facilitate comprehension.

+),)- Su'.Ski$$s In%o$%ed in Readin#


9ue to its complexity, reading is often analysed into a set of component sub)skills -both lower and higher le!el6, and knowledge areas: $ecognition Enowledge of the language Enowledge of formal text structure *ontent and background knowledge *ogniti!e processing 1etacogniti!e knowledge and skills monitoring

'he lower sub)skills in!ol!e rapid, precise and unconscious processing, such as allowing readers to recognise words and grammatical forms rapidly and automatically. 'he higher skills enable them to comprehend, synthesise, interpret, and e!aluate the text. Reco#nition su'.ski$$s 'hese consist of the abilities of recognising the sounds and the script of a language, deducing the meaning and use of unfamiliar words, understanding information both explicitly stated and implicit. 3our pupils must be able to recognise the nglish script, the combinations of letters in the spelling of words, and able to recognise words. 'hey should not waste time working out each word or group of words, e!en if they may not know all of the words in the text they are reading.
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Kno/$ed#e of the $an#ua#e 'his means understanding conceptual meaning, the relations within the sentence, the communicati!e function of sentences, the relations between the parts of a text, and cohesion de!ices. 3our pupils will need strategies for dealing with unknown words. $eaching for the dictionary is not always a good idea. xplain to your pupils they will meet three kinds of unknown words: key words, words which can be ignored and words that can be guessed. 'he words that are not significant for a general understanding of the text can be ignored. Eey words, howe!er, need to be understood8 you either pre)teach them, or recommend the use of a dictionary. %n the third category there are words whose meanings can be inferred from the context, and your pupils should be gi!en practice in doing this. 'hey can be con!inced of the !alue of guessing from context if you pro!ide simple texts in which nonsense words are used. *onsider the following sentences: a. b. c. +hen their car broke down, the whole family had to strack home a distance of two hundred metres in the rain. fter their walk the children were so zlopped that they needed a hot bath and then they went straight to plenk. >he following gart they woke up feeling all right. *an you guess what words replaced+ nglish words the abo!e nonsensical

%t is #uite easy to guess the meanings of the nonsense words in these sentences, and for general understanding it does not really matter whether gart is ;morning@ or ;day@. 9isco!ering the meaning of unfamiliar items making use of contextual clues -syntactic, logical and cultural6 is called inferring. When you use a new text, you do not always need to explain the difficult words and structures beforehand. 3ou can encourage your pupils to guess the meaning of unknown items, based on word)formation or context. fficient readers generally read in groups of words, without looking at e!erything in a gi!en piece of writing, and going for the o!erall meaning of a text. Kno/$ed#e of text structure 'his in!ol!es knowledge of how a text is organised, of the rhetorical structures and con!entions, of specific logical patterns. 3our pupils must know the language of the text they are reading: the content words and what they mean, though perhaps not all of them. 2lso, they must know the syntax and the effect of structural words, of word form, and of word order. 2 competent reader of nglish is aware that a sentence like ,*he shouldn$t have been there at that time@ cannot stand alone and must refer to a situation already mentioned in an earlier part of the text. 'he identity of 7she$ must already be known and the place and time signalled by 7there$ and Aat that time$ must ha!e been specified already. xercises in which pupils are asked to search for and underline or circle cohesi!e pairs in a text are recommended. %t is also important to train your pupils to look first at the basic sentence pattern -subject F !erb6 and then at the other elements and their contribution to sentence meaning. 'o practise this, you can ask them to di!ide passages into sense groups and analyse the important elements. 2nother important ability is that of recognising and interpreting discourse markers, such as then, next, after this, which show the se#uence in which e!ents occur. 5ther markers, such as for example, all in all, as already noted, indicate that the writer is exemplifying, summing up or referring to a point made pre!iously. /owever and moreover,
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signal that the writer is making an adjustment to a pre!ious statement or adding further e!idence. 3ou need to teach your pupils to recognise the !arious de!ices used to link sentences and ideas. 3ou may offer them exercises in recognising the function of connectors, finding e#ui!alents, completing texts with the missing link)words, transforming disconnected sentences into text by joining sentences and adding connectors. ,nderstanding the meaning of indi!idual sentences is important, but insufficient. 3our pupils should be able to recognise the purpose of the text as a whole, to see how it is organised, and to understand the relationship between sentences. 'hey should be able to follow the writer and see how the sentences and the paragraphs are related to each other, and make sense of the text. ontent and 'ack#round kno/$ed#e 'his in!ol!es prior knowledge of content, background or culture. 2ll readers bring their 7knowledge of the world& to a text: life experience, familiarity with a particular topic and with different text types, but also knowledge of a particular culture or way of life. Whether knowledge of the world will help your pupils to understand the text will depend on the nature of the text and their knowledge. 'he cultural background of your pupils, if different from that of the writer, may cause additional difficulties in understanding a text. %f you want your pupils to be able to read a text effecti!ely, you ha!e to pro!ide such knowledge or enable them to access it in some way before the reading. 4owe!er, you do not need to prepare your pupils for everything that they will encounter in the text. :ery often reading also means learning. .ook at this short newspaper note from >he 'bserver, B< 1arch, B==A. )lair reBects ?arbles plea >ony )lair yesterday reBected longCstanding demands by :reece for the return of the sculptures removed from the ;arthenon 733 years ago. &n an interview with the thens daily A>o Dima$ he said the 4lgin ?arbles Abelong to the )ritish ?useum % which does not intend to return any part of the collection to its country of origin$. :reece had hoped to have the pieces returned by 7335, when it will host the 'lympics. What kind of knowledge is necessary to understand this+ 3ou also need to encourage higher le!el interpretation sub)skills, as reading in!ol!es the formulation of constant guesses or predictions that are either rejected or confirmed later. 'he reading acti!ities should culti!ate the pupils& ability to recognise the purpose of the text as a whole, text organisation, and to think ahead, hypothesise and predict text de!elopment. o#niti%e (rocessin# su'.ski$$s 'his in!ol!es hypothesising, the drawing of inferences, and the resolution of ambiguities and uncertainties8 prediction, e!aluation of information, and synthesis. /redicting is guessing based on grammatical, structural, logical and cultural clues. /redictions are crucial in anticipation and skimming. 3ou can train your pupils in predicting by gi!ing them unfinished passages to complete or by stopping after each sentence and asking them to say what is likely to come next -e.g. A+hat do you think will happen nextE &, A+hat do you think the next words will beE$ or A+hat do you think the next sentence will be aboutE$6 'o help them, you can gi!e three possible continuations and ask them to choose the one they think is most likely to follow. 2nother idea is to remo!e all punctuation from a text and ask the pupils to put it back.
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'ry your hand at de!ising prediction #uestions related to a paragraph in a textbook material. 2sk one #uestion after the title and then one #uestion per clause, if possible. 2sk as many #uestions as you can. 4ere is a short text: >he *tatue of (iberty &n the water around !ew #ork -ity is a very small island called (iberty &sland. 'n (iberty &sland there is a very special statue called the *tatue of (iberty. &t is one of the most famous sights in the world.
-fragment from Folse, Eeith, AGGC, &ntermediate Feading ;ractices, 2nn 2rbor, p. AHD6

2nticipating is inherent in the process of reading, which is a permanent 7dialogue& between the reader and the text. 'he readers usually start reading a text prepared to find answers to their expectations. 'hese expectations are as important as what they actually draw from the text. 'o gi!e your pupils an incenti!e for reading, before starting reading a text, you can ask them to look for answers to specific #uestions. 3ou can also make them ask #uestions themsel!es. 3ou can use key words, the title, and the accompanying pictures to talk about !arious ways in which the text may de!elop, e.g. 7 (ook at the pictures and guess what the text is about$. 0etaco#niti%e kno/$ed#e and ski$$s "onitorin# 'his is knowledge about cognition and language, recognising text structure and organisation, using a dictionary, taking notes, and so on. "kills monitoring in!ol!es pre!iewing, recognising problems with information presented in the text, adjusting strategies. /re!iewing in!ol!es the use of the table of contents, the appendix, the preface, and the headings in order to find the information needed. %t is used in skimming, scanning and as a study skill. /upils need to be made aware that there is not just one way of reading as they do not always recognise this. 'heir instincts are to read e!ery reading text thoroughly and try to understand e!ery word. 'his will not impro!e their reading ability, because this is not the way people read in real life. 3our first task is to persuade your pupils that there are different ways of reading for different purposes and that they need to practise different reading techni#ues. What type of processing, lower or higher le!el, is in!ol!ed in the following reading tasks: A. *hoose the most suitable heading from the list 2 ) % for each part A ) I of the text. B. What does it in line AB refer to+ C. "e!en sentences ha!e been remo!ed from the article. *hoose from the sentences -2 ) 46 the one which fits each gap. D. $ead the text and take down notes under the following headings>. <. *hoose from the list -2 ) 46 the sentence that best summarises each part -A ) H6 of the article. H. *hoose the answer -2, (, * or 96 which you think fits best according to the text: +hat was the dance likeE 2 formal * informal ) boring 9 confusing
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A. B. C.

D. <. H.

0ode$s of Readin#* To(.Do/n and 1otto".2( Processes


'he top)down model recommends that readers should start with the global understanding and mo!e towards details rather than the other way round. 'his means that you need to offer your pupils relati!ely little practice in intensi!e reading and a lot of practice in anticipating the content of texts, guessing, increasing reading speed, and practice in skimming. 'hus, when constructing or using comprehension exercises on a gi!en text, it is preferable to start with the o!erall meaning of a text, its function-s6 and aim rather than working on specific details or !ocabulary. 'he acti!ities that help the pupils in gaining or accessing background knowledge also facilitate top)down processing. 2mong these there are pre)reading discussions, reading within a topic area, extensi!e reading, and sustained silent reading. 2ll these in!ol!e the pupils in reading large amounts of text for general comprehension. Procedures for de%e$o(in# to( do/n readin# ski$$s %f you want to apply a top)down reading approach, you can choose from among se!eral procedures: present typical text patterns -e.g. a typical essay paragraph pattern is ;'opic ) $estriction %llustration@8 a typical ad!ertisement pattern is ;/roblem "olution !aluation@6 while pupils read topic sentence or introduction, help them to predict what might come next ask pupils to use white correction fluid to cancel unfamiliar words ) this may help them to work out the approximate meaning from context. help pupils to predict next utterance, word or phrase by referring them to discourse markers: not only... helps predict but also.., and another thing helps predict additional information, opinions, etc. or referring them to grammar markers: e.g. A+hen & got home & discovered...$ helps predict the past perfect. 4owe!er, the importance of lower)le!el processes should not be underestimated, as fluency of reading is especially important. .ess proficient readers often ha!e difficulty in recognising the nglish words rapidly and accurately and spend their time attending to the graphic form. Enowledge of syntax and !ocabulary is also critical. %t seems that below a certain language proficiency threshold in nglish, it is unrealistic to expect your pupils to be able to transfer and use effecti!ely the reading comprehension processes they use in $omanian. .anguage plays a critical role in reading abilities, and reading is fundamentally a balanced language and thinking process. Procedures for de%e$o(in# 'otto".u( readin# ski$$s 'hese procedures fall into two main categories: a6 helping pupils to cope with unfamiliar !ocabulary and b6 helping them de!elop text analysis skills. a) developing vocabulary decoding skills teach suffixes and prefixes and ask your pupils to work out the meanings of unfamiliar words with such suffixes and prefixes help your pupils recognise words 7families& by getting them to complete word grids:
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noun description

adjective descriptive suggestive

verb describe persuade

present compound words and ways of guessing their meanings from components -e.g. bus ride, hairband, lipstick, etc.6 b) developing recognition of text features present grammatical 7reference& words and show how they refer backwards and forwards to other words and phrases in the text -e.g. personal pronouns, demonstrati!es6 do the same with typical lexical reference words. for example, you can put a circle around a lexical reference word and show, with an arrow, what it refers to present linking words -e.g. if, so, because, though, etc.6 ask your pupils to put together a text whose paragraphs ha!e been scrambled, discussing why they ha!e made their decisions. 3ou should engage your pupils in acti!ities that combine top)down and bottom)up strategies in reading. %n practice this means discussing the topic of a text before asking your pupils to read it, arousing expectations, and eliciting connections between references in the text and situations known to the pupils. Fluency in reading re#uires skill in both top)down and bottom)up processing. Fluent readers employ lower and higher le!el reading subskills simultaneously. 'hey possess a large recepti!e !ocabulary and knowledge of syntactic and rhetorical structure. 'hey interact with the text to create meaning. 'hey approach it with prior knowledge -of what the text is, of what they expect it to mean, of how it is to be read6 and cogniti!e skills, combined in de!eloping predictions about its content and de!elopment. While reading, fluent readers may re)read fragments of the text rapidly to confirm or reject these predictions. %f the predictions are confirmed, they continue reading with an increasing store of information on the topic. %f the predictions are not confirmed, the readers return and re) read more carefully.

Reader Res(onse
'o make your pupils acti!e in the reading process, you will ha!e to ask for a response from them. 'heir response can be either linguistic or non)linguistic Lin#uistic res(onses .inguistic responses can come in the form of answers to comprehension #uestions. 'hese can take a !ariety of forms: yesGno, true or false, multiple choice, grids or charts to be completed, and open)ended #uestions. 2nswering comprehension #uestions orally round the class is a !ery common techni#ue used for de!eloping reading comprehension. 2 !ariety of different #uestion forms will enable your pupils to use their different skills in appropriate ways. 2n alternati!e way of using #uestions is to ask the pupils to think up and ask the #uestions themsel!es. 'heir #uestions will show their current understanding of the text, their current perception of what is difficult and important in it. 'his understanding will change and de!elop as they continue reading. 2sking #uestions may be not always a !ery successful acti!ity for large classes. 2s -usually6 only one pupil answers a #uestion, the rest of the class does not need to pay attention. 'hus, it may be difficult for you to see whether your pupils ha!e really understood a text. 'o maximise the pupils& participation, you can de!ide the class into
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groups and gi!e each group a different fragment to read. %n their groups the pupils discuss their interpretations and then compose the #uestions they want another group to answer. 'he #uestions do not need to ha!e only one answer. When they ha!e completed their discussion and agreed on the #uestions, the pupils pass the fragment and their #uestions to another group to answer. 'hus they try out possible solutions to the problems they identify in the text. 'hey can call you in when they need you. "uch an acti!ity re#uires repeated readings of the text and stresses the process of understanding. 2lso, listening, speaking, and writing are naturally integrated in such class interaction. Non.$in#uistic res(onses 1any acti!ities that do not in!ol!e !erbal responses can also pro!e your pupils& understanding of the text: comparing text and image by matching passages of the text and diagrams8 rendering the information into the form of a diagram8 performing an action, finding a solution, making a decision using the information from the text. What other things can your pupils do with the information from a text to pro!e their understanding of it+ Procedures for encoura#in# res(onse to a readin# text A. Gi!e your pupils a set of comments - +hat rubbishH >hatIs interesting, & didn$t know that, etc.6. 'he pupils ha!e to write the comments in the margin while they are reading. B. Gi!e them a set of headings which they must apply to appropriate paragraphs. C. Gi!e them a set of sentences which they must fit into the text at appropriate places. D. 2sk them to in!ent their own paragraph headings and their own sentences for insertion. <. Get them to role)play author and reader: gi!e the 7reader& a set of #uestions8 the 7author& has to re)read the text and try to reply. -e.g. +hen you wrote... ..., did you mean% or% E)

Readin# in En#$ish vs) Readin# in Ro"anian


'here are both similarities and differences between reading in a foreign language and reading in the mother tongue. 'he differences concern the ac#uisition of the respecti!e foreign language, the training background, language processing and social context. For instance, most foreign pupils who study nglish, begin reading in nglish with different knowledge from nati!e readers. (efore they begin reading in school, nglish children already ha!e a large !ocabulary store -<,=== to I,=== words6 and a good intuiti!e sense of the grammar. 'he typical $omanian children who learn to read in nglish ha!e not yet learnt a lot of !ocabulary, nor ha!e they ac#uired a complete sense of the grammar of nglish. 'his explains why your pupils encounter many difficulties caused by language processing differences. 'ransfer effects, as in the case of 7false friends& -e.g. library, terrible, sensible, etc6 can influence !ocabulary recognition. 5rthographic differences, unfamiliar syntactic structures, word order, and other structural differences between
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nglish and $omanian mislead your pupils, particularly beginners. 3our pupils& incomplete knowledge of the language may cause serious difficulty with some texts. %n fact, a fundamental difference between the nati!e readers and the foreign readers is that the former use the language to help them read, whereas the latter use reading to learn the language. What are, in your opinion, the ad!antages of your pupils o!er the nati!e readers of nglish as far as learning reading is concerned+

The Three.Phase A((roach to Readin# Acti%ities


$. White suggests three stages and a general procedure for a reading lesson: he recommends the use of pre), while) and post)reading acti!ities. 'he procedure relies on the pupils& knowledge of language and knowledge of the world and uses this as a basis for in!ol!ement, moti!ation, and progress. %t also leads to the integration of language skills. /re)reading acti!ities are meant to introduce and arouse interest in the topic, to moti!ate the pupils by gi!ing them a reason for reading and to pro!ide some language preparation for the text. %n real life, we usually ha!e a purpose in reading: something we want to find out, to check or clarify. We also ha!e a purpose in reading when we read stories for pleasure: we want to find out how the story de!elops, 7what happens next&. 1oreo!er, we always ha!e some idea of what we are going to read about and as we read we address the writer #uestions in our mind. (ased on these, we may be able to make a number of predictions or guesses. 4eadlines, chapter headings or book titles often make us think about the text before we begin to read. %n the classroom, it is important to gi!e the pupils some reason for reading or problems they want to find the answer to. 'hese may consist in #uestions for them to think about as they read. -'he answers will be discussed afterwards.6 'hese #uestions are called guiding G signpost "uestions: e.g. ,+hat would you like to know about%E +rite down at least five "uestions, which you hope the text will answer @ or ,#ou are going to read a text about%. /ere are some words and phrases from the text. -an you guess how they are used in the textE@ 2nother type of pre)reading acti!ity may be true G false "uestions: the pupils are gi!en sentences that refer to the text, and they guess whether they are true or false. 2lternati!ely, they are gi!en a summary of the text with gaps8 their task is to guess what words should go in the gaps. 'hey may also be gi!en the topic of the text and may be asked to write a list of things they know and things they do not know about the topic. %f the text puts forward an opinion, the pupils discuss the topic beforehand and gi!e their own point of !iew. 2lthough you are not supposed to teach e!ery word or structure in the text that you think your pupils are not familiar with, you should ensure that your pupils would be able to do the text tasks without being hindered by language difficulties. 5n the other hand, language preparation can be carried out by the pupils themsel!es. 'he use of !isuals, such as photographs, maps, diagrams, the drawing up of lists, and the setting or answering of #uestions -oral or written6 may all be part of pre)reading. While)reading acti!ities usually start from a general understanding of the text, and then mo!e to smaller units: paragraphs, sentences and words. 'he larger units pro!ide a context for the smaller ones. 'he acti!ities aim at helping the pupils understand the writer&s purpose, text structure and content.
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'he traditional comprehension #uestions, placed either at the end, at the beginning or inserted at !arious points within the text, are a typical example of a while) reading acti!ity. *ompleting diagrams or maps, making lists, taking notes are other types of while)reading work. /ost)reading acti!ities enable the pupils to consolidate and reflect upon their reading and to relate it to their own knowledge, interests, or !iews. /ost)reading acti!ities may deal with reactions to the text and to the while)reading work. 'he pupils may be asked to say whether they liked the text and the acti!ities or not, or whether they found them useful or not. 5ther post)reading acti!ities are: writing an outline of a paragraph or longer text8 drawing a list of main ideas from the text and then working indi!idually or in pairs to locate supporting details8 matching, in pair or group work, a column with main ideas from a passage with a column of details8 underlining generalisations and supporting details or creating topic sentences for portions of the text8 determining the function of each sentence in a paragraph or longer text -stating a generalisation, supporting it, catching and holding the reader&s attention, etc.68 choosing a main idea -or best title6 for a passage from among se!eral choices, or creating one on their own8 doing a jigsaw reading in which the pupils are gi!en different parts of a text, and working together to create a logical se#uence. ach pupil is gi!en a sentence or a passage from a text and they ha!e to look for significant details that will gi!e them clues to the de!elopment of the whole text. ,sing these text indicators -referring either back to something mentioned before or announcing something to come6, each pupil has to interact with the others until they find out where their passage belongs in the text.

xploring the relationship of ideas in a text can be carried out at almost any proficiency le!el. (eginners can de!elop semantic maps that are entirely schematic, containing basic words or no writing, with pictures. 4ere is an example of such a semantic map, drawn around the concept of house:
paper work desk !egetable eat bed table chair flower grass garden tree play

3O2SE
wall roof door chimney
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kitchen room bedroom sitting)room bathroom

'asks addressed to more ad!anced pupils are more sophisticated. 'hey are usually based on complex thinking and engage the pupils with the language in different ways. (oth texts and tasks approximate more closely to the kind of texts and tasks that the pupils tackle in $omanian. 'he tasks in!ol!e longer, multi)stage, integrati!e acti!ities, entailing extended speaking, listening and writing. "ome pieces of writing demand a personal response such as interpretation, application to other contexts, criticism or e!aluation. %n which of the three phases, preCreading, whileCreading or postCreading, would you use the following acti!ities: 0. =oCitCyourself "uestions: the pupils compose and answer their own #uestions. >>>>>>>>>>>> 7. Fesponding. the text is a letter or a pro!ocati!e article8 the pupils discuss how they would respond, or write an answer. >>>>>>>>>>>> 8. *ignpost "uestions. a general #uestion is gi!en before reading, asking the pupils to find out information central to the understanding of the text. >>>>>>>>>>>> 5. -ontinue. if the text is a story8 the pupils are asked to suggest what might happen next. >>>>>>>>>>>> 6. ;rovide a title. the pupils suggest a title or an alternati!e title. >>>>>>>>>>>> J. *ummarise: the pupils summarise the content in a sentence or two -in nglish or $omanian6. >>>>>>>>>>>>>. K. ;reface: if the text is a story8 the pupils are asked to suggest what might ha!e happened before. %%%%%%%%%%%% 2. ?istakes in the text. the text has, towards the end, occasional mistakes -such as wrong words or omissions6. 'he pupils are told in ad!ance how many mistakes to look for. >>>>>>>>>>>> 1. -omparison. there are two texts on a similar topic8 the pupils note points of similarity or difference of content. >>>>>>>>>>>> 03. :apped text: towards the end of the text, D)< gaps are left that can only be filled in if the text has been understood. >>>>>>>>>>>> AA. FeCpresentation of content: the text gi!es information or tells a story8 the pupils re)present its content through a drawing that illustrates the text, colouring, marking a map, lists of e!ents or items described in the text, a diagram grid or flowchart indicating relationships between items, characters or e!ents. >>>>>>>>>>>>
-after /enny ,r, AGGH, -ourse in (anguage >eaching, ;ractice and >heory, *,/6

'he three)phase approach should not be carried out mechanically on e!ery occasion. "ometimes you may wish to get your pupils to work on the text directly. 2t other times post)reading acti!ities may not be suitable.
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Su""ary
2s a foreign language skill, reading is !ery important8 in fact, one may argue that it is the most important, especially for those pupils who may ne!er actually ha!e to speak nglish. 4owe!er, in the regular classroom reading should not be separated from the other skills, since in real life there are few cases when reading is not linked to these. 'he unit offers a classification of reading texts and refers to the importance of some text characteristics for efficient reading. 2 number of reading styles are described, while the idea that the purpose of reading determines the reading style chosen is underlined. Formulations of aims for reading acti!ities and types of reading acti!ities that culti!ate !arious reading sub)skills are also suggested.

Key once(ts
text authenticity cohesion coherence intensi!e reading extensi!e reading skim reading scan reading top)down processes bottom)up processes reader response

4urther Readin#
A. Grellet, FranJoise, AGKA, =eveloping Feading *kills, *,/ B. Luttall, *hristine, AGKB, >eaching Feading *kills in <oreign (anguage, 4einemann C. "ilberstein, "andra, AGGC, >echni"ues and Fesources in >eaching Feading , 5,/

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