Unit 11 Teaching Reading Aims of the unit: • How do people read? • What do people read? • What are the skills involved in reading? • What is the role of vocabulary in reading? • Principles and models for teaching reading • Procedures and common types of activities in teaching reading
11.1 Reflecting on your own reading experiences • Try to finish Task 1 on pp.174-175 and reflect on your own reading experiences
11.2 How do we read? Some assumptionsabout reading: See the table on pp. 175-176
What do effective readers do? Effective readers: have a clear purpose in reading; • read silently; • read phrase by phrase, rather than word by word; • concentrate on the important bits, skim the rest, and skip the insignificant parts; • use different speeds and strategies for different reading tasks; • perceive the information in the target language rather than mentally translate; • guess the meaning of new words from the context, or ignore them; • have and use background information to help understand the text.
11.3 What do we read? • We believe ESL/EFL reading textbooks should have a great variety of authentic materials, as much as the coverage allows. Of course, textbooks should always be supplemented by extra materials. • A list of things we read in daily life (p. 180):
It is important for ESL/EFL teachers to bear in mind what we read in real life, so that when we select reading materials for our ESL/EFL classroom, we not only have a greater variety but also meet the needs of different students.
Besides authentic texts, ESL/EFL textbooks also employ a lot of non-authentic texts, i.e. simulated text. Simulated texts are aimed for beginner students who are probably not able to handle genuine authentic text. It is believed that the reading of such texts will help students to acquire the necessary receptive skills they will need when they eventually come to tackle authentic materials (Harmer, 1983).
11.4 Strategies involved in reading comprehension Two broad levels in reading: • Visual signal from the eyes • A cognitive task of interpreting the visual information, relating the received information with the reader’s own general knowledge, and reconstructing the meaning that the writer had meant to convey.
Visual signal Writer’s meaning Visual information Reader’s knowledge Reader’s reconstruction
Reading strategies • Specifying a purpose for reading. • Planning what to do • Preview the text • Predicting the contents of the text • Checking prediction For more reading strategies, please refer to p.181 (Adapted from Grabe and Stroller, 2002:83)
Strategic skills needed in reading • Distinguishing the main idea from supporting details; • Skimming: reading for the gist or main idea; • Scanning: reading to look for specific information; • Predicting: guessing what is coming next;
11.5 The role of vocabulary in reading(pp.182-193) • Sight vocabulary • 近来国外L2教学领域的许多研究都指出在指导学生通过上下文推断词义的同时，有必要使用明确的词汇教学法（explicit vocabulary teaching），有必要建立大量的即识词汇（sight vocabulary）Sight vocabulary类似生词表，使学生在阅读时能立即知道词义。即，对生词短语或容易引起歧义的词加注，以扫除阅读中的障碍。
Sight vocabulary 的建立可以是Priming glosses,在读课文前先提供生词短语的注释，也可以是Prompt Glosses,在课文中生词短语出现的地方即时加注。不过，Widdowson 早在1978就指出 Priming Glosses和Prompt Glosses这两种注释法各有弊端：由于尚未接触课文，Priming Glosses可能会使学生以为词汇表中的解释即是该词的唯一意思，当某一词语出现在不同的语境中，可能会引起误解；而Prompt Glosses的弊端是剥夺了学生根据上下文推断词义的机会。因此，教师要注意在课堂教学中引导学生避免这两类sight vocabulary可能导致的负面影响。
如果认知词汇（recognition vocabulary，也叫sight vocabulary）——看见就认识、但未必会使用的词汇——低于六级水平（基本词汇为5，500，不涉及派生词），阅读水平就会受限；如果低于四级水平（基本词汇为4，500，不涉及派生词），受限程度更高。
11.6 Principles and models for teaching reading Principles for teaching reading: • The texts and tasks should be accessible to the students. • Tasks should be clearly given in advance. • Tasks should be designed to encourage reading for the main meaning rather than test the students’ understanding of trivial details. • Tasks should help develop students’ reading skills and strategies rather than test their reading comprehension. • Teachers should help the students to read on their own, so that they eventually become independent readers.
Models for teaching reading • The Bottom-up Model • The Top-down Model • The Interactive Model
The Bottom-up Model • This model of teaching reading is based on the theory in which reading (and listening, too) is regarded as a process of “decoding”, which moves from the bottom to the top of the system of language.
The Bottom-up Model DiscoursesSentences/PhrasesWordsMorphemes语素,词素Phonemes音素;音位 Linguistic knowledge is used.
In the Bottom-up Model, the teacher teaches reading by introducing vocabulary and new words first and then going over the text sentence by sentence. This is followed by some questions and answers and reading aloud practice.
The Top-down Model • This model of teaching reading is based on the theory in which reading is regarded as a prediction-check process (一个假设—检验的过程), “a psycholinguistic guessing game” (Goodman, 1970). • In the Top-down Model, not only linguistic knowledge but also background knowledge is involved in reading.
The Top-down Model DiscoursesSentences/PhrasesWordsMorphemesPhonemes Linguistic Knowledge & Background Knowledge
The Top-down Model • Therefore, it is believed that in teaching reading, the teacher should teach the background knowledge first, so that students equipped with such knowledge will be able to guess meaning from the printed page.
The Interactive Model • This model of teaching reading is based on the theory in which reading is viewed as an interactive process.
According to the Interactive Model of reading(also called as “the Schema Theory Model”), when one is reading, the brain receives visual information, and at the same time, interprets or reconstructs the meaning that the writer had in mind when he wrote the text. This process does not only involve the printed page but also the reader’s knowledge of the language in general, of the world, and of the text types.
The Interactive Model DiscoursesSentences/PhrasesWordsMorphemesPhonemes Schemata to be activated the schema of language; the schema of content; the schema of forms
The Interactive Model • Based on such understanding, teaching reading in the classroom divides reading activities into basically three stages, in which bottom-up and top-down techniques are integrated to help students in their reading comprehension and in increasing their language efficiency in general.
The three stages are pre-reading, while-reading, and post-reading.
11.7 Pre-reading activities The purpose of pre-reading (also called Lead-in)is to facilitate while-reading activities. • predicting, • setting the scene, • skimming, • scanning
Predicting Predicting will get the reader’s mind closer to the theme of the text. Ways of predicting: • predicting based on the title, • predicting based on vocabulary, • predicting based on the T/F questions.
Predicting based on the title A Nation of Pet-Lovers Save the Jungle: Save the World Police Hunt for Child
If the students are not good at predicting, the teacher can help them by asking certain questions. Text 1: What is a pet? What are pets for? Why do people love pets? Are there any problems with pets? Text 2: What is a jungle? Where can you find jungles? What do you think has happened to the jungle? Text 3: What happened to the child? How do you think the parents would feel? What could the police do?
Predicting based on vocabulary • Having made predictions based on the title, students can be asked to predict some lexical items that they think are likely to occur in the text. Then the students read the text to confirm their predictions. • A variation of this prediction activity is that the teacher provides students with a list of words, and asks the students to predict which of the words are used in the text, and to read the text and confirm their predictions.
Predicting based on the T/F questions e.g. Reading “How to behave at a job interview”
Setting the scene • Setting the scene means getting the students familiarised with the cultural and social background knowledge relevant to the reading text. • The culture-bound aspect of the text can start at the beginning with the title. e.g.:
Green Bananas All Greek to me
The culture-bound aspects of a text are often of great interest to students, and they can be used to provoke an interesting discussion not only about the “other” culture, but also about the “home” culture. (e.g. Eskimos, p.189)
ESKIMOS Eskimos love in the polar areas between latitude 66 N and the North Pole. There are Eskimos in Northern Canada, Greenland and Siberia. This means that they are the only people who have their origins both in the Old World (Europe an Asia) and in the new world (America). It is difficult to make an accurate estimate but there are probably about 50,000 Eskimos. Eskimos are not usually tall but they have powerful legs and shoulders they have a yellowish skin and straight black are. Eskimos have a common language and can understand members of another group although they may come from many thousands of miles away. The most important unit in Eskimo society is the family. Marriage is by mutual consent: the Eskimos do not have a special marriage ceremony.
In the Eskimo community, the m0st important people are the older man. They control the affairs of the group. The economic system of the Eskimo communities works like a commune: they share almost everything. Eskimos live by hunting, fishing and trapping. When they go to hunt seals, they sail in Kayaks (light boats made from skins) and when they hunt animals, they travel across the ice in sleds pulled by teams of dogs. The Eskimo snow house is very well known, but, in fact, Eskimos usually live in houses made of wood and turf. When they are not hunting and working, Eskimos like to carve: they use ivory and wood and they often make very beautiful objects.
Skimming Skimming means reading quickly to get the gist, i.e. the main idea of the text. Some suggestions: • Ask general questions. e.g. “Why did the writer write the article?” • Ask the students to choose a statement from 3-4 statements. • Ask the students to put subtitles for different parts of the text into the right order. e.g.:
Headings: Where can we put it? • Confirming Action • Greetings • Interrupting without insult • Closing the call • Getting to the point
Text :Top tips for telephone English If you're looking for a challenging situation to practice your English, just pick up the telephone. Not being able to see the person you're talking to and the body language they're using can make chatting on the phone one of the most difficult forms of communication. Never fear, though! We've compiled some tips to guide you through an average telephone conversation in English.
(Which heading should be here?) Every phone call should begin with a polite greeting such as, Hi, how've you been? or Nice to hear from you. Even if you're calling a business contact for a specific purpose, it'd be rude to jump right into business without a little small talk at the beginning.
(Which heading should be here?) There always comes the point, however, where you want to move on from friendly banter and get down to business. For this situation, use the phrase I'm just calling to ... to transition to the topic at hand. For example, I'm just calling to see if you'd like to set up a meeting. If the situation is reversed, however, and you are waiting to find out why someone called you, you can guide the conversation by saying, So what can I do for you?
(Which heading should be here?) If you happen to be speaking with a very talkative person, it may be difficult to get a word in edgewise or contribute to the conversation. If someone is going on and on, and you'd like to interrupt, be sure to do it politely. For example, begin with I would like to say something here, if I may or Allow me to make a point. Or, you could just ask: May I interrupt you for a second? If you're making plans on the phone, be sure to confirm the details toward the end of the call. Begin with phrases like Please let me confirm... and So, let me make sure I've got things straight... and follow up with the details as youunderstand them.