According to the topic Developing reading skills” Reading is an integral part of the language teaching syllabus. Learners can access meaning easier with reading exercises that have been properly prepared. Reading exercises are vital in allowing the student to develop meta cognitive strategies ( like using a dictionary),building knowledge of the language ( vocabulary development) schematic knowledge (socio cultural understanding) and allowing the learner to transfer reading strategies to listening(guessing meaning form context) (Edurne Scott:2008)
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In my opinion reading is a process. A series of actions that are relate to each other. The first things that most readers do is to predict. Guess what the subject will be . You read the title , look at the table of contents and perhaps read a few sentence before we decide whether to go on reading or to see what parts of the text interest you. You use these prediction to anticipate the information. For example , If you want to go to Chiang mai . you might go to the library to find a geography book you might go to book shop to buy a map of Chiang mai . When you get what you want, Then you might sit down and start to read. abilities So there are many steps in the reading process. But in short. Reading is the active search of for answer of your questions. So developing reading skills is very important for students who speak English as a second language . If they can read well in their first language ,They’ll probably be able to read well in a second one and reading is a good way of improving vocabulary . When you improve your vocabulary , your academic and confidence and competence improve, too. Reading skill enable readers to turn writing into meaning and achieve the goals of independence, comprehension, and fluency.
Reading purposes and Strategies
According to the book called Teaching and learning in the language classroom by Tricia Hedge The topic ” What are the implication s for the teaching of reading?” I got many ideas from the developing reading skill .I think teachers must establish goals for the reading classroom and how successful readers interact with texts. The goals of general learning for the reading in English language course. Students can able to as follow first, They can able to read a rage of texts in English Second , They can adapt reading style according to range of purposes and apply different strategies such skimming, scanning, as appropriate. Third, students can build a knowledge of language such as vocabulary, structural which will facilitate development of greater reading ability. Then They can build schematic knowledge in order o interpret texts meaningfully. After that they can develop awareness of the structure of written texts in English and to be able to make use of such as rhetorical structure, discourse features, and cohesive devices in comprehending texts. Finally they can take a critical stance to the content of texts.
Moreover, most of Thai students read the sentence or text .They can not translate the sentence or the text automatically They seem to think reading means starting at the beginning and going word by word, stopping to lookup every unknown vocabulary item, until they reach the end. When they do this, students are relying exclusively on their linguistic knowledge, a bottom up strategy. One of the most important functions of the language instructor, then, is to help students move past this idea and use top-down strategies as they do in their native language. Effective language instructors show students how they can adjust their reading behavior to deal with a variety of situations, types of input, and reading purposes. They help students develop a set reading strategies and match appropriate strategies to each reading situation.
Strategies that can help students read more quickly and effectively include
First, previewing : reviewing titles, section headings, and photo captions to get a sense of the structure and content of a reading selection Second, prediction; using knowledge of the subject matter to make predictions about content and vocabulary and check comprehension: using knowledge of the text type and purpose to make predictions about writing styles , vocabulary , and content
Pugh (1978) and Lunzer and Gardner (1979) describe various styles of reading, and their terminology for these has been taken into ELT methodology:
– Receptive reading is undertaken, for example, when a reader wants enjoy a story, follow a line of argument in a newspaper editorial, or understand the main stages in a textbook description of a manufacturing process.
– Reflective reading involves episodes of reading the text and then pausing to reflect and backtrack, for example, when a reader wants to check whether a new line of argument in a political text is consistent with opinions expressed earlier in the same article.
– Skim reading is used to get a global impression of the content of a text. An example would be previewing a long magazine article by reading rapidly, skipping large chunks of information, and focusing on headings and first lines of paragraphs.
– Scanning involves searching rapidly through a text to find a specific point of information, for example, the relevant times on a timetable, items in a directory, or key points in a academic text.
– Intensive reading involves looking carefully at a text, as a student of literature would look at a poem to appreciate the choice of words, or as a solicitor would study the precise wording of a legal document.
According to Pugh (1978) and Lunzer and Gardner (1979) I applied their reading strategies and I will show you some content that I taught in the classroom for the second year student in Udon Thani Vocational college. The example below are the content and activity in the class. The topic is Learning to read. The purpose of this unit is students should be able to explain the different reading strategies and choose strategies from the list of reading materials
Learning to read (Content)
Do you realize that when you are reading at different rates you are using different reading strategies? Some people say they are techniques not strategies
Four Common Reading Strategies
Type of Material
You use it to master content including details, evaluate materials, summarize, analyze, solve problems. Criticize writer’s ,opinion ,etc
legal documents/ contracts
Argumentative writing e.g. opinion page of a newspaper
You read though the text because you are interested in it. You read the entire text but you do not really need to understand every word
review materials for final exam
information for oral presentation
You read through quickly the material looking for specific information for a specific answer . You make your eye move very quickly
table of contents
You do this when you are searching for something particular in the text. Your purpose for skimming is to get enough information to decide if you want to continue reading further or to get general main idea
materials for history exam(for dates, names, evens)
Pair work . Look at the list of reading materials below. Discuss with your partner which technique you use for each material. What strategy you are going to apply : intensive reading , receptive reading , scanning or skimming.
Furthermore, There are many kinds of tasks help to develop reading ability . It is now standard practice in the design of reading tasks to use a three-phase procedure involving pre-, while, and post-reading stages ( William 1984)
For me, I will share my experience . Now I am a teacher at Udonthani Vocational College. I teach many English courses such as English for communication 2 , English Conversation , Business English .In each course I teach 4 language skills such as listening skill, writing skill, speaking skill and reading skill. Students must learn every language skills because English is very important nowadays. If you want to communicate English very well you must practice 4 language skills. I will insert 4 skills into every unit in each course . Reading skill is the one that I teach in my course. I will applied from (William 1984) and show you some example when I teach reading skill, I use a three-phase procedure
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First, pre reading activity , I will be encouraged the students to a number of things . For a talking about picture accompanying the text, prediction for the title , answering a set of questions, quiz or agreeing or disagree with a set of proposal about the topic etc. These tasks are intended to construct background knowledge. The teacher becomes a bridge builder between what students already know about concept and what they need to know in order to understand a particular text that is, the interaction between those schemata and the input coming from the text. Pre – reading tasks are intended to prepare the students for a reading selection, or to give them the first steps in order to develop skills in anticipation and prediction for the reading, activating background knowledge so they could later interact with the text. With these tasks, teachers give students meaningful pieces of information that they would encounter in the reading
After that, While reading activity I will use a range of exercise types , for example I will ask students to tick a list of expectations or find answers to their own question sometime I will give them assignments to suggest they tick and cross in the margin in reaction to the writer’s opinion or give them questions to stop and think about the text or provide a chart for them to fill in with points of information. The aims of this stage are to help students to understand the specific content and to perceive the rhetorical structure of the text (Celce- Murcia1991), with these tasks teachers take te students through the reading and they interact in the text.
Finally, post-reading activity used in order to ensure that students receive useful training . Student will check and discuss activities done while reading and make use of what they have to read in a meaningful way for example by discussing their response to the writer’s opinion or by using notes for a writing activity. Post- reading tasks are intended to verify and expand the knowledge acquired in the reading. These last tasks also lead the students to discuss and analyze issues presented in the reading . Post – activity are tasks in which students, after interacting with the reading , reflect, argue and give their points of view.
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