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Aye Gr Geden LSA3: Reading Sub-skills: Activating Background Knowledge, Predicting, Scanning and Checking Page 1

LSA 3: Reading Skill

Part 2: Lesson Plan

Teaching How to Employ Sub-skills: Activating Background Knowledge,
Predicting, Scanning and Checking
At Low Levels

Candidate Name: Aye Gr Geden
Center Number: TR054
Word Count: 4033
Submission Date: 19 July 2011

Aye Gr Geden LSA3: Reading Sub-skills: Activating Background Knowledge, Predicting, Scanning and Checking Page 2


LSA1: Reading Skills: Teaching How to Employ Sub-skills: Activating Background Knowledge,
Predicting, Scanning and Checking At Low Levels ......1
Part 2..3
Background .................................................................................................................... 3
The Learners ................................................................................................................... 3
Aims ....................................................................................................... 6
Language Analysis ......................................................................................................... 6
Timetable Fit... 8
Assumed Knowledge and Strengths of the Group .8
Anticipated Problems and Solutions ..9

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This is an elementary English course, as a part of DELTA Module2. The course takes place in Istanbul, and in ITI Institutes building, on top
floor and in a small room. Leaners are required to attend a large percentage of classes in order to get a certificate at the end of six weeks. The
course starts at 6.30 p.m. and ends at 9.30 p.m. There are five teachers assigned for this level, so students are exposed to different teaching styles
and accents. Each one of them teach 50 minutes, while the others as well as the tutor observe in the back row. The content of the course is not
based on a coursebook, rather teachers choose their topics according to the students needs and their LSAs. This lesson will be my second one
with a skills focus.
2. Learners
2.1. Student Profiles
Name Personal Information Classroom Behavior, Personality, Learning Style
Can Graphic Designer, 23 Years old Studying English for business purposes, wants to improve
speaking: fluency and accuracy, a bit reserved, but
cooperative with others
Hande Art Manager, 24 Years Old Studying English for travel and business purposes, wants
to improve her listening, grammar and speaking;
introverted and needs to be encouraged
Ilknur Hairdresser, in her 40s Studying English for socializing and travel purposes.
Wants to improve her speaking skills and vocabulary. Shy
and reserved, easily switches to L1, needs peer help
during activities.
Nuri Accountant, 31 Years old Studying English for business purposes. Wants to improve
his speaking and reading skills. Generally silent, and
needs support.
Duygu - Studying English for business purposes, and wants to
improve four skills and vocabulary. A good participant in
class activities.
Taner Technician, 34 Years Old Studying English for socializing and business purposes.
Very extroverted, talkative, likes discussions, helping his
peers, good at vocabulary and speaking, wants to improve
Aye Gr Geden LSA3: Reading Sub-skills: Activating Background Knowledge, Predicting, Scanning and Checking Page 4

reading and speaking fluency. One of the strongest ones in
Murat Turkish Teacher, 34 Years Old Studying for travel purposes, wants to improve speaking
and pronounciation. Generally quiet, likes listening.
Confident but needs encouragement to speak up. Needs to
improve speaking skills and vocabulary.
Didem Turkish Teacher, 32 Years old Studying for personal development and travel purposes,
likes listening and speaking, though she is generally a bit
reserved, but likes discussions and subjects of her interest
(e.g. politics), wants to improve vocabulary, speaking and
Sercan Student Studying for academic purposes, starting college this year,
wants to improve grammar and vocabulary, generally
quiet but likes discussions and tasks.
Aziz Company owner, L1: German, 43 Years Old Studying for business and travel purposes. Likes
discussions and debates about any subject, he has lots to
say all the time and wants to improve his reading and
listening skills.

2.2. Motivation

When learners are asked about their reasons for learning English in a questionnaire at the beginning of the course, their replies reflected that most
of them want to improve their English because of business opportunities. They are aware that English provides chance for better positions,
working conditions and hence higher salaries. Also, a good English can take them abroad and enable them get jobs in international companies.
Some of them want to improve their English because they dont want to have any communication difficulties during their journeys. Also a few of
them want to know more foreign people using English and create a social network worldwide. Tos um up, generally these students are
extrinsically motivated, but dont feel compelled to study English, rather they like the process, activities, realizing how they improve step by

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2.3. Interests
The results of the questionnaire shows that students are mostly interested in travel(10), languages (10), history (9) and sports (9). And all of them
want to study speaking, while 8 wants to improve their listening skills, and 7 students want to learn more about writing.

2.4. Learning Styles and Group Dynamics
From my observations, I conclude that they like challanging activities, and discussions. They are willing to express their opinions and do pair or
groupwork. They like visuals and kinaesthetic activities. They also like topics such as politics, sociology, social events and world news.
As for the group dynamics, seemingly there is no certain groupings and learners like changing pairs from time to time, and though some of them
are shy to speak before class, in group work they are quite responsive and talkative. It is a quite cooperative class.
2.5. The Lesson and the Learners
As previously mentioned, the learners are interested in various subjects related to the world, such as human rights, wars, international policies
etc. So, I decided to draw their attention to a humanistic subject: massacres. The reading text is based upon, as it is called by some people,
breadline massacre that took place in Bosnia Herzegovina during wartime. As the students are following news, they probably heard of Bosnia
in this month, because the famous Srebrenitsa massacre refers to July 1995, anniversary of which is on TVs in Turkey. As their memory about
this massacre is stil fresh, I wanted to build my reading skills lesson on their schemata. In that sense, this lesson will be employing top-down
approach. As Hudson defines it, in this approach the reader makes guesses about the meaning of the text (which is one of my aims in that class)
and samples the print to confirm or disconfirm the guess. So, reading is an active process in which the reader brings to bear not only the
knowledge of the language, but also internal concepts of how language is processed (2007:37). The learners will be asked to elicit the meanings
of target vocabulary using their existing knowledge about that subject, also they will reconstruct the text in the same way. As they finish the
reading, they will scan and then answer the question, and later on do a detailed reading and check comprehension questions. I believe they will
enjoy reading more than ever, regarding that most of them dont aim improving reading skills because they find reading very boring. Lastly I
should point out that I will make use of the piece of music mentioned in the text as a soothing and reality tool to reflect the atmosphere of the

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3. Aims
3.1. Main Aim: Skill: Reading: Improving Sub-skills
By the end of this lesson, students will be able to successfully employ brainstorming, mindmapping, predicting the content of the text, checking
and scanning skills. As the topic will be interesting and an affective one, probably these sub-skills will not be compelling, dealing with a text of
different features (biography, narrative, real, referring to different senses, focusing on a sensitive subject etc.)
3.2. Subsidiary Aims: Skills: Speaking and Writing
By the end of this lesson, students will be able to complete a story, predicting what will come next from the first and the last paragraphs. They
will use their background knowledge/schemata (based on news) and imagination.
Also, learners will discuss a common ongoing problem all around the world: War. They will discuss different aspects and the reasons, results and
impacts of wars referring to past and the present, making predictions about the future.
4. Language Analysis
4.1. Reading
The learners face different types of texts and documents in various situations. While some of them need reading skills and sub-skills for academic
purposes (reading literary texts, essays, reports etc), the others need to improve these skills for the sake of business (business letters, accounts,
pamphlets etc) and travel (instructions, posters, signs etc) issues. The common problem with the reading is that most of the learners find reading
difficult and boring, too few of them read for pleasure, as they lack the necessary skills and techniques to deconstruct the text and construct a
meaningful message out of it. As reading entails extracting the required information only, the readers should be aware of using their time
efficiently, employing certain strategies. Grellet argues that a competent trader quickly rejects the irrelevant information and finds what s/he is
looking for (1981:3). From this perspective, this lesson will cover some basic exercises about sub-skills to help learners enhance their skills and
increase enjoyment during reading process.

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4.2. Activating Background Knowledge
Discussing the topic of the reading text before learners actually read helps them activate their background knowledge and schemata. Two useful
techniques for this are brainstorming and mindmapping. Brainstorming means thinking quickly about anything related to a topic, and
mindmapping involves putting ideas into some sort of order, for example, into seperate categories (Hadfield 2008:93). From this stage on, the
reader can step into predicting the target vocabulary and the content of the text.
4.3. Predicting and Checking
Predicting what the author will say keeps the reader active and makes reading more enjoyable. In order to employ that skill efficiently, the learner
should look for grammatical, logical, and cultural clues. This technique is claimed to be the core of skimming and anticipation, therefore
practiced oftentimes in these strategies (Grellet:1981:17). After completing the prediction phase, the reader checks the predictions from the text
employing a detailed reading or scanning.
4.4. Scanning
Scanning refers to locating specific information. In order to achieve this, the reader does not have to follow the linear pattern of the text, but just
look for the answer phrase, whether it is a name, date or a number. So, scanning basically aims to retrieve the information that is relevant to our
purpose (17).
4.5. Sub-Skill: Speaking and Writing
4.5.1. Speaking: Discussion
Given a topic and target language, the readers discuss the themes of the text in pairs or small groups. The groups can report back to class what
they think about the themes or the discussion questions. The learners can be provided with cue cards or topic cards to choose a subject relevant to
the text. Through discussions, the reading text becomes more memorable and its meaning extends as more people share ideas about the subject

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4.5.2. Writing: Predicting and Completing the Text
As the learners schemata is activated, they can be given just a little part of the target text, and asked to predict and complete the story. In that
way, learners interest in the text is raised and they realize how they can employ their imagination to creatively produce a text. Then, as they are
given the original text, they can compare and contrast the differences and perspectives. This also provides an opportunity to use the target
language elicited and presented at the beginning of the class.
5. Timetable Fit
In the previous sessions, the class had many reading lessons covering mostly skimming and scanning. Students learned how to infer meaning of
new lexis using contextual clues. They also learned how to employ top-down processing. As I will cover sub-skills, they are expected to be more
efficient readers, and in the upcoming lessons they are going to cover reading for specific information. So, I suppose these sub-skills will be of
much help.
6. Assumed Knowledge and Strengths of the Group
The reading lesson will make use of some basic skills that learners studied with my peers previously, such as scanning and skimming. So, I
suppose they will have little or no problem at all in that sense, though I will recover scanning. The target text is based on past simple tense, which
they know quite well, and as it is a narrative and a biography at the same time, I assume they will be acquainted with these genres as well.
Because these subjects are covered in writing lessons. So, in structural and strategic terms, this class is expected to be quite strong and not much
problematic, though some questions will stil arise during application of the text.
As for the overall attitude of the class, their supportive manner will help me a lot as I aim to trigger discussions and debates both in pre-reading
and post-reading activities. The fact that they like speaking about the world and sharing ideas about controversial issues, this lesson will probably
be a very fruitful one, in terms of my main aim and sub-aims.

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7. Anticipated Problems and Solutions
a. Varying Learner Levels
Some learners in class are not real elementary students (e.g. Aziz), and they make complex sentences and use high-level vocabulary, which might
cause problems regarding the elementary students knowledge. Such students might dominate in group discussions and might not let the others
speak. In order to overcome that problem, I will change the pairs and apply a different grouping: students will line up and change pairs
periodically, and they will have talked to each person in the class. (This problem applies to all of my lessons with that class)
b. Prejudices about Reading Lessons
Most of the students in that class are either listeners or speakers. It is very rare to find a well-balanced one who speaks when necessary and
listens if required. For example, Aziz and Taner always want to speak, and they are easily bored with receptive activities, while some Ilknur and
Sinem generally keep silent and focus on the text or listening material. A common attitude towards reading texts is not appreciating the content
but firstly approaching the target text with a prejudice. They believe reading is boring and theres not much to enjoy. In order to break this, I will
give them a subject of their interest, and before handing in the text, I will do lots of eliciting, brainstorming, mindmapping, predicting, and lastly
checking activities which will involve different skills.
c. Reconstructing the text: Sequence of Events
Reconstructing the text might be hard for the students, as they are not familiar with the linkers and transition words. But, I will show them
pictures at the beginning of the lesson which will create a certain sequence of events taking place in the text. They will use the pictures to
reconstruct the text.
d. Long discussions and debates
As learners like to speak about controversial issues and politics, they will probably like to discuss them longer. So, I will put a time limit and
change partners and subjects periodically. Also, I will assign them to report back to class what they discussed and concluded.

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8. Commentary
I have chosen a reading focus because:
- though only some of the learners want to improve their reading skills, they all need to acquire better strategies and techniques to deal with the
texts they will encounter
-learners have certain prejudices about reading, which I believe are transferred from L1, and I want to show that the activity of reading is
enjoyable and easy, if the right strategies are employed efficiently
-learners need to cope with different texts and reading materials in different contexts and situations. As they tend to ignore this fact due to their
prejudices, and try to focus more on speaking, I will show them how reading is made easy.
-learners need more reading in order to construct better speaking and writing skills.
-learners need to practice their vocabulary through texts
-learners will encounter different types of vocabulary in different texts.
As Turkish students are forced to focus on only grammar and reading in a quite formal and dull manner, they have a tendency not to read a lot.
They think that reading will be of little help in practical terms, and they assume that speaking can be developed only by speaking, rather than
receiving data from different sources. So, in that class, I want to point out how the skills integrate and depend on each other.
Another reason why I am doing a reading lesson is to improve my background knowledge in that field, because I have been assigned to teach
reading in the schools I worked, but had to stick to a certain syllabus and a coursebook which probably made the classes duller. Thanks to my
reading and research, and tips and advices from my peers and tutors, Ive realized the mistakes Ive made with my previous reading classes, and I
had the chance to analyze the strategies and techniques, as well as approaches in depth. I have now a wide range of ideas and activities, tasks in
my file thats created in that research process.
So, shortly, my lesson with this group will rerflect my fresh data and perspectives, as well as the adaptation of different activities. I will use a
different skills (reading, speaking and writing) in just one hour, and experiment how they all fit together and make the lesson more fruitful and
enjoyable. As I prepared materials on my own, (adapting a story from internet, and relating it to a real war, as well as emotions) I felt more
Aye Gr Geden LSA3: Reading Sub-skills: Activating Background Knowledge, Predicting, Scanning and Checking Page 11

confident in terms of creating new supplies for lessons. I will use music to reflect the overall atmosphere of the text, which will be again
experimental and interesting, both for me and the students. I am also curious about their reactions, comments, criticisms. I am looking forward to
hearing their discussions about Bosnian war, and I hope they will read more about that subject, as it relates to an event that they all witnessed on
Tv and in the media. So, this might trigger a love for reading in my learners, as they hopefully realize how reading becomes more enjoyable and
informative when the subject is right. And as discussions and debates take place, I will probably feel that the distance between the me-the
teacher and the learners melt down into almost a peer-to-peer conversation.

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9. Procedure
Time Stage/Stage Aims Procedure Interaction Materials

10-15 mins


1. Context Set-up
-to set up the context
-activating background
knowledge and
-to elicit the meaning of
Cello Cellist,War,Bullet,
Sniper, Mortar Shell,
Queue, Graveyard,
-to create an interest to
the reading material
1. Greet students
2. Show the first picture (Appendix A) on the
board, using OHP.
Ask: What do you see in the picture?
3. Model brainstorming and mind-mapping
4.Elicit the target vocabulary from students.
5.Let students explain briefly what context this
word entail
6. Ask Ss brainstorm and mind-map in pairs on
their notebooks for each picture shown on the
7.Turn off the OHP
8. For each picture, ask some students come to
the board and write brainstorming list, or draw
their mind-map
9. Elicit the content of the reading material.


Ss (pairwork)




5-7 mins


2. Sub-aim: Writing

Predicting the content
from the beginning and
the end of the text
Reporting back to the
1. Say: We will read a text about the pictures
youve seen. But before reading the whole text,
I want you to predict the story using the
beginning and the end of the text.
2. Divide the class into 3 groups.
3.Give the handouts for each group with the first
and the last paragraphs of the text (App. B)
4. Ss predict and write the body part of the
text(5 sentences).
5. Each group nominates someone to report
back to the class
6. Ss discuss about their stories

Ss (group work)



3. Awareness Raising 1. Ask students to put the jumbled paragraphs T-Ss HO
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2-4 mins


about Sequence of

Reordering the

into correct order with their peers
2. Reorder groups, change pairs
3. Students combine the paragraphs
4. Report back to class
5. Feedback about the correct order

Ss-Ss (Group work)


3-5 Mins


4. Scanning

Scanning the text to find
answers to the questions
1.Give the reading text
2. Explain what scanning is
3. Give questions and ask them to reply
4. Check the answers


Ss (ind.)


10-15 mins


5. Reading for Details

1. Say: Now youll listen to a piece of music:
Albinoni's Adagio in G Minor. That was the
answer for your first question in scanning part.
2. Say:As you listen, read the text carefully, and
answer the questions.
3. Give comprehension questions.
4. Students read and answer.
5. Say: Now check with your pairs
6. Pairs report back, and teacher gives feedback


Ss (ind)

Ss (pairwork)
6-8 mins
6. Transfer: Speaking
Discuss the subjects in
the reading text
1.Grouping: take an object from 5 students, as
the other 5 closes their eyes, they pick up the
objects of their pairs
2. Give discussion questions, pairs discuss for 3
3. Report back to class and open class

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Grellet, F. 1981. Developing Reading Skills. Cambridge: CUP.
Hadfield J.&Hadfield,C. 2008. Introduction to teaching English. Oxford: OUP.
Hudson,T. 2007. Teaching Second Language Reading. Oxford: OUp.
Materials are prepared by the teacher.

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Cellist of Sarajevo
vedran mallovl (born November 11, 1956), known as the "Cellist of Sarajevo", is a musician from Bosnia and Herzegovina. He played in the
Sarajevo Opera. After the start of the war in Bosnia, vedran ma[lovl, [usL llke hundreds of thousands of other people in Sarajevo, survived the
cold, food and water shortages, the bombings and sniper fire in the street.
He was very successful, but his dreams were destroyed by the war in Bosnia in 1992. Smailovic felt angry for what was happening around him
and powerless to do anything about it. He was not a politician or a soldier, just a musician. How could he do anything about the war? Would he
just stand by and watch people die, fearing for his own life?
One day, Smailovic heard the sad news on the radio:
While 22 people waiting in queue for bread at 10.00 a.m., they were killed by a bomb. So, every evening after that, at 4 p.m., Smailovic would
walk to the middle of the street, where the massacre happened. He dressed formally, as for a performance. There he would sit, on a chair
placed in the crater made by the shell, his cello in his hand, playing music: Albinoni's Adagio in G Minor, All around him, mortar shells and
bullets flew, but he continued to play. For 22 days, one each for the people killed, Smailovic played in the same place.
He played for free at different funerals, and enemies attacked these funerals. He played to destroyed homes, fires, scared people hiding in
basements. He played for human dignity. Finally, he played for life, for peace, and for the possibility of hope. When a journalist asked him
wheLher he was crazy, mallovlc replled: ?ou ask me am l crazy for playing the cello, why do you not ask if they are not crazy for bombing

Smailovic continued to play his music of hope until December 1993, in graveyards and bombsites. He declded Lo dally glve a muslcal prayer
for peace", he sald. As hls sLory was publlshed ln Lhe newspapers and magazlnes, he became a symbol for peace in Bosnia. An English
composer, uavld Wllde, was so sad afLer he heard Lhe sLory LhaL he wroLe a composlLlon for Lhe cello: '1he CelllsL of ara[evo', he expressed hls
own feelings of anger, love, and brotherhood with Vedran Smailovic. Smailovic now lives in Ireland, and composes music.

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Adapted from: Life Positive:
Wikipedia Encyclopedia:

Scan Reading Questions
1. What piece of music did Smailovic play?
2. When did the war begin?
3. WhaL was mallovlc's [ob before Lhe war?

Comprehension Questions
1. Why was Smailovic angry?
2. How was the life in Bosnia during the war?
3. Why did he play music, instead of fighting?
4. Why did he play for 22 days?
5. Why did David Wilde write a composition?

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Discussion Questions
1. Have you ever experienced a war?
2. Who is most affected during the wars: children, women, men, old people? Please explain why.
3. Why do you think people make war?