Methods of teaching reading in English lessons
Characteristics of reading as one of the main skills that a pupil should acquire in the process of learning a foreign language in school. The use of images with tooltips - the most frequently used teaching methods that help children learn new words.
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What is reading? Reading is one of the main skills that a pupil must acquire in the process of mastering a foreign language in school. Reading is about understanding written texts. It is a complex activity that involves both perception and thought. Reading consists of two related processes: word recognition and comprehension. Word recognition refers to the process of perceiving how written symbols correspond to one's spoken language. Comprehension is the process of making sense of words, sentences and connected text. Readers typically make use of background knowledge, vocabulary, grammatical knowledge, experience with text and other strategies to help them understand written text. Through reading in a foreign language the pupil enriches his knowledge, of the world around him. He gets acquainted with the countries where the target language is spoken.
Reading develops pupils' intelligence. It helps to develop their memory, will, imagination. Pupils become accustomed to working with books, which in its turn facilitates unaided practice in further reading.
Teaching reading is very important, because it helps to develop others skills: speaking and writing. This theme is very relevant, because sometimes in school teachers don't develop this skill right way, and spare a little time for it. Therefore I chose this theme for research.
The aim of this work: To know about reading skills and teaching reading.
- To know about content of teaching reading,
- To know about kind of reading,
- To know about pupils' difficulties have in learning reading,
- To know how to teach reading,
- To know about pupils' mistakes in reading and how correct them.
Topicality of the research paper: the present time there is a necessity for both learners and teachers of English teaching departments to learn non-traditional ways of reading. In the light of pedagogical concerns, I should like now to discuss options in reading through alternative and non-traditional forms classroom-based reading.
The practical value of the work can be the application of the information conveyed herein as a teaching reading material in English course. Inclusion of the topic in the teaching program could serve as a starting point to learning and teaching English in a detailed way, particularly which has its indispensable role in teaching English as a foreign language.
Theoretical value of the work is reflected in the provision of comparative and descriptive information on the nature of reading as well as its development.
Materials and methods: The materials of European and Asian linguists have served a good source for the depiction of reading as a context of the paper. Method of analysis and comparative analysis method are used during research.
The term paper includes: Introduction, three chapters, Conclusion, Bibliography and Appendix.
In first chapter considers reading skills and content of teaching reading. In second chapter considers ways how to teach reading, pupils' mistakes have in learning reading and how correct them. The third chapter is a practical one. It contains practical research and implementation of the designed strategy.
1. The content of teaching reading
1.1 Reading skills
Reading is one of the main skills that a pupil must acquire in the process of mastering a foreign language in school. The syllabus for foreign languages lists reading as one of the leading language activities to be developed. It runs: "To read, without a dictionary, texts containing familiar grammar material and no more than 4--6 unfamiliar words per 100 words of the text the meaning of which, as a rule, should be clear from the context or familiar word-building elements (in the eight-year school). Pupils are to read, with the help of a dictionary, easy texts containing familiar grammar material and 6--8 unfamiliar words per 100 words of the text (in the ten year school)." Therefore reading is one of the practical aims of teaching a foreign language in schools.
Reading is of great educational importance, as reading is a means "of communication, people get information they need from books, journals, magazines, newspapers, etc. Through reading in a foreign language the pupil enriches his knowledge, of the world around him. He gets acquainted with the countries where the target language is spoken.
Reading develops pupils' intelligence. It helps to develop their memory, will, imagination. Pupils become accustomed to working with books, which in its turn facilitates unaided practice in further reading. The content of texts, their ideological and political spirit influence pupils. We must develop in pupils such qualities as honesty, devotion to and love for our people and the working people of other countries, the texts our pupils are to read must meet these requirements. Reading ability is, therefore, not only of great practical, but educational, and social importance, too.
Reading is not only an aim in itself; it is also a means of learning a foreign language. When reading a text the pupil reviews sounds and letters, vocabulary and grammar, memorizes the spelling of words, the meaning of words and word combinations, he also reviews grammar and, in this way, he perfects his command of the target language. The more the pupil reads, the better his retention of the linguistic material is. If the teacher instructs his pupils in good reading and they can read with sufficient fluency and complete comprehension he helps them to acquire speaking and writing skills as well. Reading is, therefore, both an end to be attained and a means to achieve that end.
1.2 The content of teaching reading
Reading is a complex process of language activity. As it is closely connected with the comprehension of what is read, reading is a complicated intellectual work. It requires the ability on the part of the reader to carry out a number of mental operations: analysis, synthesis, induction, deduction, comparison.
Reading as a process is connected with the work of visual, kinesthetic, aural analyzers, and thinking. The visual analyzer is at work when the reader sees a text. While seeing the text he "sounds" it silently, therefore the kinesthetic analyzer is involved. When he sounds the text he hears what he pronounces in his inner speech so it shows that the aural analyzer is not passive, it also works and, finally, due to the work of all the analyzers the reader can understand thoughts. In learning to read one of the aims is to minimize the activities of kinesthetic and aural analyzers so that the reader can associate what he sees with the thought expressed in reading material, since inner speech hinders the process of reading making it very slow. Thus the speed of reading depends on the reader's ability to establish a direct connection between what he sees and what it means.
There are two ways of reading: aloud or orally, and silently. People usually start learning to read orally. In teaching a foreign language in school both ways should be developed. Pupils assimilate the graphic system of the target language as a means which is used for conveying information in print. They develop-this skill through oral reading and silent reading.
When one says that one can read, it means that one can focus one's attention on the meaning and not on the form; the pupil treats the text as a familiar form of discourse and not as a task of deciphering. "The aim of the teacher is to get his pupils as quickly as possible over the period in which each printed symbol is looked at for its shape, and to arrive at the stage when the pupil looks at words and phrases, for their meaning, almost without noticing the shapes of the separate letters”. A good reader does not look at letters, nor even at words, one by one, however quickly; he takes in the meaning of two, three, or four words at a time, in a single moment. The eyes of a very good reader move quickly, taking long "jumps" and making very short "halts". We can call this ideal reading "reading per se". Reading per se is the end to be attained. It is possible provided:
1. the reader can associate the graphic system of the language with the phonic system of that language;
2. the reader can find the logical subject and the logical predicate of the sentences:
The man there is my neighbor.
There were many people in the hall.
It was difficult for me to come in time.
3. the reader can get information from the text (as a whole).
These are the three constituent parts of reading as a process.
As a means of teaching reading a system of exercises is widely used in school, which includes:
1. graphemic-phonemic exercises which help pupils to assimilate grapheme-phonemic correspondence in the English language;
2. structural-information exercises which help pupils to carry out lexical and grammar analysis to find the logical subject and predicate in the sentences following the structural signals;
3. semantic-communicative exercises which help pupils to get information from the text.
The actions which pupils perform while doing these exercises constitute the content of teaching and learning reading in a foreign language.
1.3 Stages of reading in the classroom
Reading in the classroom has the following stages:
Pre-reading to activate their knowledge;
While-reading to develop their strategies such as deducing meaning, locating specific information, understanding relations between sentences;
Post-reading to check comprehension.
Reading activities that are meant to increase communicative competence should be success oriented and build up students' confidence in their reading ability. A fully-developed reading activity supports students as readers through pre-reading, while-reading, and post-reading activities.
Pre-reading is an essential process from which schema is activated by students before having their expectations confirmed by the text. With a non-exam class using a pre-reading stage to generate discussion about the topic, particularly with lower levels. It is necessary to activate students' background knowledge to aid them in understanding the text. Activating schema is rewarding in the classroom, many minutes can go by as students discuss the merits of a form of transport or being famous. By employing the pre-reading stage in an exam class educators rob the students of the ability to effectively interpret the text against the questions to be answered. It gives them pre-perceived opinions as to what they will find rather than allowing them to find the evidence or interpret the inference by the writer effectively. Pre-reading activities get students ready to read a text. Taking time to prepare students before they read can have a considerable effect on their understanding of what they read and their enjoyment of the reading activity.
Why pre-reading activities? Language learners need a reason to read. Activating prior knowledge is extremely important therefore for the ESL (English as a Second Language) or EFL (English as the First Language) learner who does not feel completely confident of his/her ability to read in the target language. This is where pre-reading activities come in. Pre-reading also has practical implications for lesson design and planning. The logic behind activating prior knowledge is to build upon what students already know about a topic as a lead-in to the main reading task. The more teachers activate students' prior knowledge, the easier it will be for the students to retain new information from the main reading task.
The following are some of the many uses of pre-reading activities:
Motivating and setting purposes for reading;
Activating and building background knowledge;
Relating the reading to students' lives;
Pre-teaching vocabulary and concepts;
Pre-questioning, predicting, and direction setting.
Sample pre-reading activities:
Brainstorm (When? Where? Who? What? Why?)
Discuss the type of text (if it is a newspaper article, spend considerable time discussing facts and opinions)
Predict based on the title, later confirming their guesses during the while stages of reading
Read the first line of each paragraph and try to predict a title or theme for each one
Ask students to relate the phenomenon to their personal lives, to provide examples activating personal knowledge
Activating prior knowledge on news consumption habits in the form of a class discussion or group work. Sample beginning questions: How do you get the news - from radio, TV, newspaper, Internet?
Predicting what the text is about according to the external text features: the picture, the title in the bold, the subtitle, the type of the text.
Using the title, subtitles, and divisions within the text to predict content and organization or sequence of information
Looking at pictures, maps, diagrams, or graphs and their captions
Talking about the author's background and usual topics
Skimming to find the theme or main idea and eliciting related prior knowledge
Reviewing vocabulary or grammatical structure
Reading over the comprehension questions to focus attention on finding that information while reading
A KWL graphic organizer the pupils fill in the column of what they “KNOW” either about addition or cyberjournalism and they then ask about :”What they “WANT” to know. They fill in what they learned after they have read the text. The strategy to develop active reading of expository texts is based on the constructivist understanding that learners make new, or refined, meanings in relation to what they already know or want to know. The “K” stands for what they know; the W for what I want to know; and the L for what I have learnt. The K and W sections of this strategy are pre-reading activities and L section is an evaluate post-reading activity. In relation to literary texts, KWL is a useful strategy to use with texts which develop concepts, or which are information rich, or for when exploring a style of genre.
Pre-reading activities are most important at lower levels of language proficiency and at earlier stages of reading instructions. As students become more proficient at using reading strategies, you will be able to reduce the amount of guided pre-reading and allow students to do those activities themselves.
In while-reading activities, students check their comprehension as they read. The purpose for reading determines the appropriate type and level of comprehension. While-reading activities are important whether done by students in the classroom or at home. I believe the reading skill itself is difficult to asses in a student - too often is judged on the answers to poor comprehension questions rather that their ability to read effectively.
When reading for specific information, students need to ask themselves, have I obtained the information I was looking for?
When reading for pleasure, students need to ask themselves, do I understand the story line/sequence of ideas well enough to enjoy reading this?
When reading for thorough understanding (intensive reading), students need to ask themselves. Do I understand each main idea and how the author supports it? Does what I'm reading agree with my predictions, and, if not, how does it differ? To check comprehension in this situation, students may.
Stop at the end of each section to review and check their predictions, restate the main idea and summarize the section.
Use the comprehension questions as guides to the text, stopping to answer them as they read.
The problem with textbook reading selections is that they have been adapted to a predetermined reading level through adjustment of vocabulary, grammar, and sentence length. This makes them more immediately approachable, but it also means that they are less authentic and do not encourage students to apply the reading strategies they will need to use outside of class. When this is the case, use the textbook reading selections as a starting point to introduce a writer or topic, and then give students choices of more challenging authentic texts to read a follow up.
The third main part of reading is post-reading. In post-reading usually the comprehension is checked in different ways. The most spread one is just asking questions about the text. I think, part of the reading problems with advanced students is that during the “intermediate” years course-books over used simplified texts, a set pattern of questions such as open, true or false which forced students to justify their answers by scanning the text, also the lack of follow up activities which integrated the reading effort with another skill, thus developing defective readers. PMI - this perennial strategy, developed by Edward de Bono, asks students to consider the PLUS or positive, the MINUS or negative and the INTERESTING responses the students have an idea or concept. GB? - the similarity of PMI, but it is mostly used to analyze the text. G stands for good, B for bad and ? means I don't know.
1.4 Difficulties which pupils have in reading in the English language
Reading in the English language is one of the most difficult things because there are 26 letters and 146 graphemes which represent 46 phonemes. Indeed the English alphabet presents many difficulties to Russian-speaking pupils because the Russian alphabet differs greatly from that of the English language. A comparison of the two languages shows that of the 26 pairs of printed letters (52 -- if we consider capital and small letters as different symbols) only 4 are more or less similar to those of the Russian alphabet, both in print and in meaning These are K, k, M, T. 31 letters are completely new to pupils. These are b, D, d, F, f, G, g, h, L, 1, I, i, J, j, N, n, Q, q, R, r, S, s, t, U, u, V, v, W, w, Z, z. The letters A, a, B, C, c, E, e, H, O, o, P, p, Y, y, X, x occur in both languages, bit they are read differently. They are, therefore, the most difficult letters for the pupil to retain. Obviously in teaching a pupil to read English words, much more attention should be given to those letters which occur in both languages but symbolize entirely different sounds. For example, H, p ... (Pupils often read How as [nau]. Therefore, in presenting a new letter to pupils the teacher should stress its peculiarity not only from the standpoint of the English language (what sound or sounds it symbolizes) but from the point of view of the Russian language as well.
It is not sufficient to know English letters. It is necessary that pupils should know graphemes, how this or that vowel, vowel combination, consonant, or consonant combination is read in different positions in the words (window, down).
The teacher cannot teach pupils all the existing rules and exceptions for reading English words. Nor is it necessary to do so. When learning English pupils are expected to assimilate the following rules of reading: how to read stressed vowels in open and closed syllables and before r; how to read ay, oo, on, ow; the consonants c, s, k, g; ch, sh, th, ng, ck and tion, tsion, ous. The rules are not numerous, but they are important to the development of reading.
Pupils should learn the reading of some monosyllabic words which are homophones. For example: son -- sun; tail -- tale; too -- two; write -- right; eye -- I, etc.
At the very beginning, the pupil is compelled to look at each printed letter separately in order to be sure of its shape. He often sees words and not sense units. For instance, he reads: The book is on the desk and not (The book is) (on the desk).
The most difficult thing in learning to read is to get information from a sentence or a paragraph on the basis of the knowledge of structural signals and not only the meaning of words. Pupils often ignore grammar and try to understand what they read relying on their knowledge of autonomous words. And, of course, they often fail, e. g., the sentence He was asked to help the old woman is understood as Он попросил помочь старушке, in which the word he becomes the subject and is not the object of the action. Pupils sometimes find it difficult to pick out topical sentences in the text which express the main ideas.
To make the process of reading easier new words, phrases and sentence patterns should be learnt orally before pupils are asked to read them. So when pupils start reading they know how to pronounce the words, the phrases, and the sentences, and are familiar with their meaning.
Consequently, in order to find the most effective ways of teaching the teacher should know the difficulties pupils may have.
2. Ways in teaching reading
2.1 Some ways how to teach reading
The teacher can use the whole system of exercises for developing pupils' ability to read which may be done in two forms -- loud and silent.
Reading aloud. In teaching reading aloud the following methods are observed: the phonic, the word, and the sentence methods. When the p h o n i c method is used, the child learns the sounds and associates them with graphic symbols -- letters. In the word method a complete word is first presented to the child. When several words have been learnt they are used in simple sentences. The sentence method deals with the sentences as units of approach in teaching reading. The teacher can develop pupils' ability to read sentences with correct intonation. Later the sentence is split up into words. The combination of the three methods can ensure good reading.
Pupils are taught to associate the graphic symbols of words with their meaning already learned orally. All the analyzers are at work: visual, auditory, kinesthetic. The leading role belongs to the visual analyzer, It is necessary that the graphic symbols (images) of words should be fixed in the pupils' memory. In teaching English in schools, however, little attention is given to this. Pupils are taught how, "to sound" words rather than how "to read" them. They often repeat words, combination of words without looking at, what they read. They look at the teacher. The teacher does not realize how much he hinders the formation of graphic images (symbols) in the pupils' memory by teaching to read in this way.
Reading in chorus, reading in groups in imitation of the teacher which is practiced in schools forms rather kinesthetic images than graphic ones. The result is that pupils can sound the text but they cannot read. The teacher should observe the rule "Never read words, phrases, and sentences by yourself. Give your pupils a chance to read them." For instance, in presenting the words and among them those which are read according to the rule the teacher should make his pupils read these words first. This rule is often violated in school. It is the teacher who first reads a word, a column of words, a sentence, a text and pupils just repeat after the teacher.
Teaching begins with presenting a letter to pupils, or a combination of letters, a word as a grapheme. The use of flash cards and the blackboard is indispensable.
Flash cards when the teacher uses them allow him:
(a) to present a new letter (letters);
(b) to make pupils compose a word (several flash cards are distributed among the pupils, for example, p, n, e; they compose pen);
(c) to check pupils' knowledge of letters or graphemes;
(d) to make pupils recollect the words beginning with he letter shown (p -pen, pencil, pupil, etc.);
(e) to make pupils show the letter (letters) which stand for the s6und [ou], [a:], [?], etc.
When teaching reading the teacher needs a set of flash cards at hand. If the teacher uses the blackboard instead he can write printed letters on it and pupils can recollect the words they have learnt orally which have this or that letter, compose a word, etc.
The same devices are applied for teaching pupils to read words, the task being different, however:
(a) pupils choose words which are not read according to the rule, for example: lake, plane, have, Mike, give, nine;
(b) pupils are invited to read the words which they usually misread:
yet -- let cold -- could,
form -- from called -- cold,
come -- some wood -- Would,
does -- goes walk -- work.
(c) pupils are invited to look at the words and name the letter (letters) which makes the words different:
though -- thought since -- science,
through-- though with -- which,
hear -- near content -- context,
hear -- hare country -- county.
(d) pupils in turn read a column of words following the key word.
(e) pupils are invited to pick out the words with the graphemes oo, ow ea, th.
In teaching to read transcription is also utilized. It helps the reader to read a word in the cases where the same grapheme stands for different sounds: build, suit, or words which are not read according to the rule: aunt, colonel.
In modern textbooks for the 5th form transcription is not used. It is given in the textbooks for the 6th and the 7th forms. Beginning with the 6th and the 7th forms pupils learn the phonic symbols so that they are able to read unfamiliar words which they look up in the word-list or a dictionary.
All the exercises mentioned above are designed to develop pupils' ability to associate the graphic symbols with the phonic ones.
The structural-information exercises .are done both in reading aloud and in silent reading. Pupils are taught how to read sentences, paragraphs, texts correctly. Special attention is given to intonation since it is of great importance to the actual division of sentences, to stressing the logical predicate in them. Marking the text occasionally may be helpful.
At an early stage of teaching reading the teacher should read a sentence or a passage to the class himself. When he is sure the pupils understand the passage, he can set individuals and the class to repeat the sentences after him, reading again himself if the pupils' reading is poor. The pupils look into the textbook. In symbols it can be expressed like this: T -- C -- T -- P1 -- T -- P2-- T -- Pn -- T -- C (T -- teacher; C -- class; P -- pupil).
This kind of elementary reading practice should be carried on for a limited number of lessons only. When a class has advanced far enough to be ready for more independent reading, reading in chorus might be decreased, but not eliminated: T -- C -- PiP2Pn.
When the pupils have learned to associate written symbols with the sounds they stand for they should read a sentence or a passage by themselves. In this way they get a chance to make use of their knowledge of the rules of reading. It gives the teacher an opportunity to see whether each of his pupils cart read. Symbolically it looks 1ike this: PiP2Pra T (S) C (S -- speaker, if a tape recorder is used).
Reading aloud as a method of teaching and learning the language should take place in all the forms. This is done with the aim of improving pupils' reading skills.
The teacher determines what texts (or paragraphs) and exercises pupils are to read aloud.
In reading aloud, therefore, the teacher uses:
(a) diagnostic reading (pupils read and he can see their weak points in reading);
(b) instructive reading (pupils follow the pattern read by the teacher or the speaker);
(c) control reading or test reading (pupils read the text trying to keep as close to the pattern as possible).
2.2 Pupil's mistakes and ways how to correct them
In teaching pupils to read the teacher must do his best to prevent mistakes. We may, however, be certain that in spite of much work done by the teacher, pupils will make mistakes in reading. The question is who corrects their mistakes, how they should be corrected, when they must be corrected.
Our opinion is that the pupil who has made a mistake must try to correct it himself. If he cannot do it, his classmates correct his mistake. If they cannot do so the teacher corrects the mistake. The following techniques may be suggested:
l. The teacher writes a word (e. g., black) on the blackboard. He underlines ck in it and asks the pupil to say what sound these two letters convey. If the pupil cannot answer the question, the teacher asks some of his classmates. They help the pupil to correct his mistake and he reads the word.
2. One of the pupils asks: What is the English for “черный”? If the pupil repeats the mistake, the "corrector" pronounces the word properly and explains the rule the pupil has forgotten. The pupil now reads the word correctly.
3. The teacher or one of the pupils says: Find the word ”черный” and read it. The pupil finds the word and reads it either without any mistake if his first mistake was due to his carelessness, or he repeats the mistake. The teacher then tells him to recollect the rule and read the word correctly.
4. The teacher corrects the mistake himself. The pupil reads the word correctly. The teacher asks the pupil to explain to the class how to read ck.
5. The teacher tells the pupil to write the word black and underline ck. Then he says how the word is read.
There are some other ways of correcting pupils' mistakes. The teacher should use them reasonably and choose the one most suitable for the case.
Another question arises: whether we should correct a mistake in the process of reading a passage or after finishing it. Both ways are possible. The mistake should be corrected at once while the pupil reads the text if he has made it in a word which will occur two or more times in the text. If the word does not appear again, it is better to let the pupil read the paragraph to the end. Then the mistake is corrected.
A teacher should always be on the alert for the pupils' mistakes, follow their reading and mark their mistakes in pencil.
Silent reading. In learning to read pupils widen their eyespan. They can see more than a word, a phrase, a sentence. The eye can move faster than the reader is able to pronounce what he sees. Thus reading aloud becomes an obstacle for perception. It hinders the pupil's comprehension of the text. It is necessary that the pupil should read silently. Special exercises may be suggested to develop pupils' skills in silent reading. For instance, "Look and say, read and look up." (M. West) To perform this type of exercises pupils should read a sentence silently, grasp it, and reproduce it without looking into the text. At first they perform such exercises slowly. Gradually the teacher limits the- time for the pupils' doing the exercises. It makes them read faster and faster. All this lead to widening their eyespan.
Teaching silent-reading is closely connected with two problems:
1. instructing pupils in finding in sentences what is new in the information following some structural signals, the latter is possible provided pupils have a certain knowledge of grammar and vocabulary and they can perform lexical and grammar analysis;
2. developing pupils' ability in guessing.
Pupils should be taught how to find the logical predicate in a sentence. The teacher may ask his pupils to read a text silently and find the words conveying the new information in the text according to their position. There are some signals which may be helpful in this respect. These are -- the Passive Voice (The doctor was sent for); the indefinite article (A man came up to me); the construction "It is/was" (It was not difficult for him to finish his work in time), etc. Grammar and lexical analyses help pupils to assimilate structural words, to determine the meaning of a word proceeding from its position in the sentence, to find the meanings of unfamiliar words, and those which seem to be familiar but do not correspond to the structure of the sentence (e. g., I saw him book a ticket). Pupils' poor comprehension often results from their poor knowledge of grammar (syntax in particular). The teacher should instruct pupils how to work with a dictionary and a reference book so that they can overcome some difficulties independently. Although in school the teacher often applies grammar and lexical analyses, however, he often" does it lot with the aim of the "actual division" or parsing of the sentence and better comprehension of the sentence or of the text, but with the aim of checking or revision of his pupils' knowledge of grammar and vocabulary. This does not mean that the teacher should avoid grammar and vocabulary analyses for revision. However much more attention should be given to teaching pupils 'how to carry out the actual division of sentences to get information from the text. Here are a few examples of structural-information exercises:
- Read the following sentences and guess the meaning of the words you don't know.
- Read the sentence an idea struck me and explain the use of the indefinite article.
- Find the logical predicates in the sentences with the words alone, even, so.
- Read the text. Stress the words conveying new in formation in each sentence.
E. g., I have a bag. The bag is black.
It is a new bag. I like my new bag.
- These sentences are too complicated. Break them into shorter sentences.
- Find the sentence which summarizes the paragraph.
- By what words is the reader carried from sentence to sentence in this paragraph?
- What is the significance of the tense difference?
What is the effect of the series of repetitions in the paragraph?
To read a text the pupil must possess the ability to grasp the contents of the text. The pupil is to be taught to compare, to contrast, to guess, and to forsee events.
One of the most frequently used methods by which children attack new words is through the use of picture clues.
The use of context clues is another word-getting technique. The pupil discovers what a new word is when that particular word is needed to complete the meaning of the sentence.
In teaching pupils to read much attention should be given to the development of their ability to guess. One of the best ways to develop this skill is to give the pupil the text for acquaintance either during the lesson or as his homework. He can read it again and again. "Before questions" may be helpful. They direct the pupil's thought when he reads the text. If the work is done during the lesson, the teacher can direct his pupils in guessing new words.
The teacher instructs pupils how to get information from the text. Semantic-communicative exercises are recommended. They are all connected with silent reading. These may be:
- Read and say why Jack does not take the apple.
- Read. Find answers to the following questions.
- Read the text. Find the words which describe the room.
- Read the text. Say what made the Prime Minister leave the country (Newspaper).
- There are two causes of the strike. Find them in the text (Newspaper).
- There are three main features of the substance mentioned in the text below. Find them (Popular Science).
-The author describes his hero with great sympathy.
- Find in what words he expresses his attitude (Fiction).
- Read the text and prove that ... is a kind woman.
- Read the text and find arguments to prove that ...
The three types of exercises are distributed differently depending on the stage of teaching. In the 5--6th forms graphemic-phonemic and structural-information exercises should prevail. In the 7--10th forms structural-information and semantic-communicative must be mostly used; the latter should prevail.
Pupils perform graphemic-phonemic exercises reading them aloud. The teacher uses individual, group, and full class reading. He checks the pupil's reading by making him read aloud.
Pupils perform structural-information exercises by reading them aloud and silently. The teacher uses individual, group, and full class reading when pupils read sentences, paragraphs of the text aloud, and when the aim is to teach pupils correct intonation in connection with the actual division of sentences. He checks the pupil's reading asking him to read aloud.
The teacher uses mass reading when pupils read sentences, paragraphs of the text silently; the objective may be different: either to widen their eyespan or to find new information. The teacher checks the pupil's silent reading by asking him to reproduce a sentence or a paragraph; through partial reading of a sentence or a clause; through the pupil's interpreting the text; by utilizing true-and-false statements, questions and answers, and, finally, translation.
Pupils perform semantic-communicative exercises reading the text silently.If the work is done during the lesson the teacher uses mass reading. He checks his pupils' comprehension by asking the pupils individually. The techniques the teacher uses to check pupils' ability to get information from the text may be different. The choice depends on the stage of teaching, on the material used; on pupils' progress.
In the junior stage the following techniques may be suggested:
- Read and draw.
- Here are the questions. Find the answers in the text. (Before-questions are given.)
- Find the following sentences in the text. (The teacher gives Russian equivalents.)
- Correct the following statements which are not true to fact.
- Translate the sentences (the paragraph) beginning with the words (The teacher reads the words).
- Recite the text.
- Read the sentences you find most important in the text.
Some of the assignments may be done in writing. In the intermediate and senior stages the following techniques may be recommended.
- Answer the questions. (All types of questions may be used. However, why-questions are desirable.)
- Tell your classmates what (who, when, where, why)...
- Read the words (the sentence or the paragraph) to prove or to illustrate what you say.
- Find the words (sentences) from which you have got some new information for yourself.
- Read the paragraph (paragraphs) you like best, and say why you like it.
- Translate the paragraph when (where, why, etc.).
- Translate the text. (This may be done both orally and in written form).
Write a short annotation of the text. (This may be done either in English or in Russian or Kyrgyz).
The choice depends on the material used.
If the text is easy, i. e., if it does not contain unfamiliar words and grammar items (as is the case in the junior form) the teacher uses those techniques which are connected with speaking, with the active use of vocabulary and sentence patterns. Similar techniques may be used in intermediate and senior stages if the text is not difficult for the class. The teacher asks his pupils a few questions to test their understanding. The interrogation should be carried out briskly. The teacher passes from pupil to pupil without waiting if a particular pupil has not got his answer ready. For the most profitable results of this work speed is essential. It ensures that all get a chance to answer. With books open one of the pupils asks a question or a number of questions and another answer. The teacher asks the pupils to retell the text. One pupil begins retelling the text, another continues. Each pupil says a few sentences. The teacher asks the first group of pupils to be ready to say everything they know about X, the second group -- everything they know about J, the third group -- about Y, and so on. The teacher arranges a discussion on the text read by pupils in class or at home.
The work must be carried out in a way which will be of interest to pupils and develop not only their reading ability but their aural comprehension and speaking abilities as well.
If the text is difficult, i. e., if it contains unfamiliar words and grammar items, and pupils must consult a dictionary or a reference book to understand it the techniques the teacher uses should be different, as the pupils read the text not only to get information but to improve their knowledge of the language and intensive work is needed on their part. The intensive work may be connected with:
(a) lexical work which helps pupils to deepen and enrich their vocabulary knowledge;
(b) grammar work which helps pupils to review and systematize their grammar knowledge and enrich it through grammar analysis;
(c) stylistic work which helps pupils to become acquaint ed with stylistic use of words and grammar forms (inversion, tense-usage, etc.);
(d) content analysis which helps pupils to learn new concepts quite strange to Russian-speaking pupils. For instance, the Houses of Parliament, public schools, etc.
The exercises are mostly connected with recognition on the part of the learners, namely, find ... and read; find ... and analyze ... ; find ... and translate; read those sentences which you think contain the main information; answer the questions, etc. The choice also depends on pupils' progress. If pupils are orally skilful, the techniques the teacher uses are to be those connected with conversation, If pupils are poor in speaking the techniques the teacher uses should be those of recognition, translation, retelling in the mother tongue, etc.
Unfortunately, some teachers have a tendency to test instead of teach during classroom work and they often confine themselves to reading and translating the text. This is a bad practice. Pupils are tested and not taught. Moreover, the procedure becomes monotonous, and the work is ineffective. A pupil who has been called on to read and received a mark will not usually listen to his classmates.
The methods and techniques suggested above will help the teacher to teach pupils reading as the syllabus requires.
3. Choosing and using texts for teaching reading
Developing reading activities involves more than identifying a text that is “at the right level”, writing a set of comprehension questions for students to answer after reading, handing out the assignment and sending students away to do it. We can use the guidelines for developing reading activities given here as starting points for evaluating and adapting textbook reading activities. We can use existing or add our own new reading activities. We shouldn't make students do exercise simply because they are in the book, this destroys motivation. As we design reading task, we should always keep in mind that complete recall of all the information in a text is an unrealistic expectation even for native speakers.
Strategies to use to introduce texts:
Research undertakes text-based research to access and report on information about unfamiliar topics and concepts to be encountered in the text and sample particular groups (parents, friends, shopkeepers, peers) using questionnaires to research attitudes, values and opinions related to issues in the text.
Parallel Narrative uses a decontextualized skeleton plot (boy and girl go on an errand across difficult terrain - an accident happens - medical attention is given - the culprit is punished = Jack and Jill) to help students create their own stories and role plays which fill in the plot outlines. Or selects a concept value which represents an important theme in the text and have students explore the issue in discussion before creating their own texts in which the concept of value is an important theme.
1. If there are particular words which might be unfamiliar to students, spend some time introducing the words to students.
2. Students could prepare a noticeboard or “big-book” glossary of terms with clear explanations from the list provided by the teacher.
3. Students could use “Who am I?” riddle structure to explain the vocabulary to their peers.
Displays display and explore visual texts (posters, paintings, video clips) which represent perspectives on themes or issues relevant to the text. Students could use scavenger hunt quiz sheet to locate and describe details that appear in the story.
Mindmapping - individually, using colored texts and a large sheet of paper, have students construct visual/verbal mindmaps (mostly images with some words) of their understanding of issues, genres or concepts with which the text they will be reading will be concerned.
Choosing and using texts for reading.
All learning areas use texts, but English focuses on three particular kinds:
Literature Texts (Classic, Contemporary, Popular)
Mass Media Texts
New types of texts, especially electronic-based texts such as hypertext, hyperfiction and e-mail, are making different demands on students as readers and viewers.
A challenging, rich and balanced English program gives access to:
- texts beyond those which students may encounter in their daily lives
- texts for personal enjoyment, aesthetic appreciation and critical analysis
- texts for conducting the business of everyday life (at home, at school, in the workplace).
The texts for reading acquisition should:
provide a framework that gradually introduces strategies required for skilled reading
deal with themes and issues relating to the everyday lives of the readers
provide opportunities to revisit some subjects, themes and characters
use a simple language structure, so that students don't have to review many oral language forms to access meaning
provide opportunities for the acquisition of alphabet letters, letter clusters and common sight words in natural contexts
presents many of the conventions of written language including spelling, punctuation and capitalization
encourage problem solving on text by having to make analogies, predictions, checking and self-corrections
have illustrations that give maximum support for the emergent reader, gradually extending experience as reading is more confident
use appropriate book structure, text size, spacing and layout to match text type, text difficulty and reader skill.
Criteria for selecting texts in the DoE's Library and Information Centre newsletter is suggested by Jenni Connor.
Checking the level of difficulty of the text.
A person who needs to know whether she can afford to eat at a particular restaurant needs to comprehend the pricing information provided on the menu, but does not need to recognize the name of every appetizer listed. A person reading poetry for enjoyment needs to recognize the words the poet uses and the ways they are put together, but does not need to identify main idea and supporting details. However, a person using a scientific article to support an opinion needs to know the vocabulary that is used, understand the facts and cause-effects sequences that are presented, and recognize ideas that are presented as hypotheses and givens. The factors listed below can help educators judge the relative ease or difficulty of a reading text for a particular purpose and a particular group of students.
How is the information organized? Does the story line, narrative, or instruction conform to familiar expectations? Texts in which the events are presented in natural chronological order, which have an informative title, and which present the information following an obvious organization are easier to follow.
How familiar are the students with the topic? Misapplication of background knowledge due to cultural differences can create major comprehension difficulties.
Does the text contain redundancy? At the lower levels of proficiency, listeners may find short, simple messages easier to process, but students with higher proficiency benefit from the natural redundancy of authentic language.
Does the text offer visual support to aid in reading comprehension? Visual aids help students preview the content of the text, guess the meaning of unknown words, and check comprehension.
We should remember that the level of difficulty of a text is not the same as the level of difficulty of a reading task. Students who lack the vocabulary to identify all of the items on a menu can still determine whether the restraint serves steak and whether they can afford to order one.
reading foreign pupil teaching
Having made our work we come to conclusion? That reading skills is very important in learning foreign language, because it helps to develop other skills. And so it's necessary to teach reading right way and spare much attention. The teacher can use the different ways for developing pupil's ability to read. We viewed some of them in this work. Of course it's necessary to teach pupils read letter, word, word-combination, also it's important to teach them comprehension text in whole. Usually pupils taught how “to sound” word rather than how “to read” them. They repeat words, combination of words without looking at them. Therefore it's important to use flash card and visual aids.
In teaching pupils to read much attention should be given to the development of their ability to guess. In this work were presented some of ways how to do it. The work must be carried out in a way which will be interest to pupils and develop not only their reading ability but their aural comprehension and speaking abilities as well. Teacher should use definite ways in teaching reading, because of it's ways different for different pupils and class.
Unfortunately, some teachers have a tendency to test instead of teach during classroom work and they often confine themselves to reading and translating the text. This is a bad practice. Consequently the process of teaching becomes monotonous and the work ineffective.
1. French F.G. The Teaching of English Abroad. Oxford University Press, London, 1961, p. 58.
2. Rogova G.V. Methods of teaching English / 1975, c 177-191.
3. Rogova G.V. Technique in teaching of English language. / Education, 1988.
4. Starkov A.P., Dixon R.R. The Fifth Form English / 1980, p. 56.
5. Talizina N.F. Pedagogics/ 1998.
6. Zimnyaya I.A. Pedagogics / 1997.
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