Teaching reading effectively
Автор: Абдикаримова Жанна Ерлановна
Организация: НИШ ФМН
Населенный пункт: Республика Казахстан, г. Тараз
One of the receptive skills is reading, which can be considered as one of the most difficult section among others. But having taught for years we can work on the improvement of this skill.
Reading tasks involves a variety of question or task types such as multiple choice, identifying information, identifying writer’s view/claims and etc.
The two main strategies used while doing the tasks are:
Skimming – reading quickly for general understanding;
Scanning – reading quickly for details.
The updated curriculum introduced into the education system of Kazakhstan is based on the learning objectives presented for different grades. These objectives comprise different aspects and elements which can be useful for any international testing system. And it is necessary to emphasize the importance of students’ needs while teaching which can be met by organizing the stages of the classes.
One of the crucial elements in developing the reading skills is organizing the stages of reading. There are some examples of pre-reading tasks: setting the context, generating interest, activating current knowledge (what do you know about…), knowledge gap (quiz motivation), activating vocabulary/language (elicitation/meaning graphs), predicting content (non-content), pre-learning vocabulary (pre-teaching), checking/understanding of comprehension task mechanics (exam technique)
While reading students can underline the key words, make some notes on the important sentences, complete the graphic organizers, do tasks of choosing the correct answer, matching tasks, define if the statements are true or false and etc. Post reading can be followed by speaking and writing tasks, as well as the vocabulary consolidation. As an example I would like to present the procedure of a reading lesson for the article below. The lesson is based on the article below copied from https://gulfnews.com/uae/dh12m-gold-model-lamborghini-on-display-at-dubai-mall-1.1254752
A prototype of the gold model Lamborghini Aventador LP 4-700 is on display at the Dubai Mall.Image Credit: Abdel-Krim Kallouche/Gulf News
Dubai: Known for its dizzying speed, gorgeous looks and luxurious interiors, a Lamborghini is the dream of every car enthusiast, but wouldn’t it be even more appealing if it were studded with 2,000 diamonds and carved out of 25kg of gold?
This is exactly what a German designer has done, albeit with a model car. Priced at $7.4 million (Dh27.1 million), the 25-inch piece of art is the most expensive model car in the world.
A prototype of the gold model Lamborghini Aventador LP 4-700 is on display at the Dubai Mall, and could be yours for $350,000 (Dh1.2 million). The original model will be built on the same scale, but will be made of solid gold.
“The model on display is the gold-plated prototype which is worth $350,000 and it is available for sale. But our main idea is to sell the original model of the same scale that is built in solid gold. The model will be carved out of a 500kg gold block and will be made of 25kg of gold,” said Robert Gulpen, the German designer who built the car.
Apart from 25kg gold, the car will come studded with 2,000 diamonds and precious stones, with each seat having 700 diamonds.
“For me the Aventador LP 4-700 stands for the 700 diamonds we will be putting on each seat,” he added.
However, the model car can be further customised based on a buyer’s demand.
“If a buyer wants more diamonds in the car, we can do it, that’s why we are marketing with the prototype. Once we have the buyer we will build the original according to his wishes,” said Gulpen, who has built model of luxury cars for the past 12 years.
Interestingly, this will be the only such model car to be built that will make 3 entries into the Guinness World Records, including world’s most expensive model car, world’s most luxurious logo and world’s most secure showcase.
Built over 18 months, involving 10 specialist engineers from seven companies, the art work contains $1.5 million worth of gold and $1.5 million worth of diamonds besides other raw material like carbon, silver and platinum.
Gulpen is currently on a world tour to find a buyer for his exclusive product and if doesn’t find one, the model car will be auctioned off in the UAE.
A portion of the proceeds from the sale will go to charity.
The article is about an only model car (Lamborghini Aventador LP 4-700 ) to be built in gold, a prototype of which is displayed in Dubai Mall. The whole article is devoted to describe the characteristics of it.
The text is aimed at students of intermediate level. The text introduces an interesting topic for students to discuss and can be used to organize an exciting lesson. In terms of grammar the text is simple, though some vocabulary items can be difficult for students. Therefore all the materials to be used during the lesson were designed for students with different style of learning. Authentic learners will have chances to discuss their opinions in pairs/groups, for visual learners the picture is displayed on the board while the kinesthetic ones are given the chance to find the relevant information from the task.
Main aim: By the end of the lesson students will have developed better reading skills through practice skimming, scanning.
Sub - aims:
understand main point in the text
understand specific information in the text
deduce meaning from the context in extended text
The first stage is ‘Lead-in’. Students are asked the question about the most expensive car in the world in the lead-in stage. Firstly it sets the context and gets the learners interested in the topic. Moreover, it makes the connection between the topic and to some extent can activate their current knowledge. For instance, some students might know about the world’s most expensive car.
The second stage is ‘Prediction ‘ Students are shown the picture of Lamborghini Aventador LP 4-700 and are asked if they have ever heard about or seen it. In this case the learners will have been visually provided with the object. Further they read the headline of the article and discuss in pairs what they think the article is going to be about. The aim of it is to give them the purpose of reading in the following stage as it generates some ideas and can help to involve the learners more. ("Learning Teaching" by Jim Scrivener, p.187)
The third stage will be ‘Reading for gist’. Students skim the text for 3 minutes and discuss with partners if they could guess what the text is about. The aim of this stage is to orientate students to the overall content of the reading text. The importance of this process lies in helping students to brainstorm on ideas about the text, as well as, improving the skimming skills by giving time limit to read the text.
In the fourth stage students are given a handout with the list of words and expressions. They scan the text and highlight (underline) them. Then teacher models to find the meaning of the first word in the text and tells the students to use the context and define their meanings. Then they match them with the definitions in the next column. The aim of it is to guess the meanings of the unknown words. Deducing meanings from the context (sub-aim) can be crucial in organizing the students’ autonomy, confidence or making them effective readers.
Task II. Match the words/phrases 1-8 to their definitions a-h below :
Answers: 1.h, 2.f, 3.g, 4.c, 5e, 6.d, 7.a, 8b
‘Reading for Specific information’ is to be done in the fifth part of the teaching procedure. The sub-aim of the lesson is to practice students` abilities to read for specific information. Students will do the task of True/False. Students need to skim the text first to define the paragraph and are given some more time to mark the statements true or false. . It basically enhances students’ abilities in skimming and scanning.
Task III. Mark the statements true or false.
1. The model on display is covered with a thin layer of gold.
2. The original model will be shaped of 500 gold blocks.
3. It is going to be decorated by no more than 700 diamonds.
4. The clients can order more diamonds to be studded if they want.
5. It is going to break the Guinness record by two characteristics.
6. A French designer is travelling around the world to find a potential buyer.
Answers: 1.T, 2.T, 3.F, 4.T, 5.F, 6.F
In the ‘Follow-up activity’ stage students discuss if they would ever buy such a car by providing the reasons for their decisions. The aim of it is to apply to the content of the reading text for production (speaking) Each student in a group has 2 minutes (max) to speak as it can be good differentiation for stronger and weaker students (‘vicious’ and virtuous’ readers. This task helps the students to review what has been learned and draw a conclusion. The teacher monitors and observes the whole process and makes notes on ‘improvising’, ‘discarding’, ‘foreignising’ and paraphrasing processes. These notes will be referred back during the language feedback stage.
For the last step (Language feedback) of the lesson teacher writes on the board any incorrect sentences, phrases or collocations used in the speech and asks the students to provide the right ones. This activity is intended to elicit the correct structure, meaning or function of any language unit used in the speech.
At any stage of the lesson students are provided with feedback. And each stage of the lesson should be observed by the teacher.
The Practice of English Language Teaching" by Jeremy Harmer
"Learning Teaching" by Jim Scrivener