Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Teaching Reading

A Welsh Poppy - a Celtic language to learn
Teaching Reading

Traditionally, the purpose of learning to read in a language has been to have access
to the literature written in that language. In language instruction, reading materials have traditionally been chosen from literary texts that represent "higher" forms of culture.
This approach assumes that students learn to read a language by studying its vocabulary, grammar, and sentence structure, not by actually reading it. In this approach, lower level learners read only sentences and paragraphs generated by textbook writers and instructors.
The reading of authentic materials is limited to the works of great authors and reserved
for upper level students who have developed the language skills needed to read them.
The communicative approach to language teaching has given instructors
a different understanding of the role of reading in the language classroom
and the types of texts that can be used in instruction.
When the goal of instruction is communicative competence, everyday materials
such as train schedules, newspaper articles, and travel and tourism Web sites become appropriate classroom materials, because reading them is one way communicative competence is developed. Instruction in reading and reading practice thus become essential parts of language teaching
at every level.

Reading Purpose and Reading Comprehension
Reading is an activity with a purpose. A person may read in order to gain information
or verify existing knowledge, or in order to critique a writer's ideas or writing style.
A person may also read for enjoyment, or to enhance knowledge of the language being read.
The purpose(s) for reading guide the reader's selection of texts.
The purpose for reading also determines the appropriate approach to reading comprehension.
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-effect sequences
that are presented, and recognize ideas that are presented as hypotheses and givens.

Reading research shows that good readers
Read extensively
Integrate information in the text with existing knowledge
Have a flexible reading style, depending on what they are reading
Are motivated
Rely on different skills interacting: perceptual processing, phonemic processing, recall
Read for a purpose; reading serves a function
Reading as a Process
Reading is an interactive process that goes on between the reader and the text,
resulting in comprehension.
The text presents letters, words, sentences, and paragraphs that encode meaning.
The reader uses knowledge, skills, and strategies to determine what that meaning is.
Reader knowledge, skills, and strategies include
Linguistic competence: the ability to recognize the elements of the writing system;
knowledge of vocabulary; knowledge of how words are structured into sentences
Discourse competence: knowledge of discourse markers
and how they connect parts of the text to one another
Sociolinguistic competence: knowledge about different types of texts
and their usual structure and content
Strategic competence: the ability to use top-down strategies
(see Strategies for Developing Reading Skills for descriptions),
as well as knowledge of the language (a bottom-up strategy)
The purpose(s) for reading and the type of text determine the specific knowledge, skills,
and strategies that readers need to apply to achieve comprehension.
Reading comprehension is thus much more than decoding.
Reading comprehension results when the reader knows which skills and strategies
are appropriate for the type of text, and understands how to apply them
to accomplish the reading purpose.

 Material for this section was drawn from “Reading in the beginning and intermediate college foreign language class” by Heidi Byrnes, in 
Modules for the professional preparation of teaching assistants in foreign languages 
(Grace Stovall Burkart, ed.; Washington, DC: Center for Applied Linguistics, 1998)

Introduction to Turbo Charged Reading YouTube
A practical overview of Turbo Charged Reading YouTube 
How to choose a book. A Turbo Charged Reading YouTube
Emotions when Turbo Charged Reading YouTube
Advanced Reading Skills Perhaps you’d like to join my FaceBook group ?
Perhaps you’d like to check out my sister blogs:
www.innermindworking.blogspot.com         gives many ways for you to work with the stresses of life
www.ourinnerminds.blogspot.com               which takes advantage of the experience and expertise of others.
www.happyartaccidents.blogspot.com         just for fun.

To quote the Dr Seuss himself, “The more that you read, the more things you will know.
The more that you learn; the more places you'll go.”

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