Teach English in ShAhedian Zhen - Zhumadian Shi

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1.Principles of teaching reading • Reading is a purposeful enterprise Training students to develop their reading skills should be done to fulfill a range of purposes: - To search for specific information through skimming and scanning activities. - To learn and gain knowledge about different topics. - To be entertained. - To react to a text and have a say about its content. • Appropriateness to students’level Reading activities should be appropriate to students’level of language proficiency. Teachers should use simplified texts that are slightly above their level. • Integrative of skills Reading activities should integrate other skills.Smooth incorporation of speaking , listening and writing activities are highly advised. These activities should be assigned at the pre, while, or post-reading stages. • Reading skills The focus should be also on developing reading skills such as phonemic awareness, spelling practice, vocabulary learning, and grammar study. • Reading strategies A reading strategy is a conscious plan that good readers adopt to understand a text. By becoming aware of these purposeful strategies, learners may get full control of reading comprehension. Accordingly, teachers should train leaners to acquire reading strategies such as: - Previewing - Setting a purpose - Predicting  Previewing  Setting a purpose  Predicting  Asking questions  Connecting to background knowledge  Paying attention to text structure  Guessing words from context  Reflecting on the text and reacting to it. • Text type Gaining knowledge about text type is another area that leaners should be trained at. They should be able to differentiate between genres of texts: emails, reports, stories, newspaper articles, scientific texts… • Reading a lot Learners must be also encouraged to read a lot. Extensive reading helps them become fluent and develop speed at reading different texts, a competency much needed for cademic success and in students’ future careers. 2. How to teach reading skills How to teach reading skills depends on which objectives the teacher aims at developing in his/her students and on how lesson plans are structured. To this effect, teachers must take decisions about the objectives guide teachers in teaching reading skills: - Reading for gist? - Reading for specific information? - Reading for detailed comprehension? - Developing speed reading? - Training learners on specific reading strategies? - Inferring meaning from context? - A combination of the above goals? How to teach reading relies also on the way the lesson is structured. In fact, any reading lesson plan should include three stages: • Pre-reading stage • While reading stage • Post-reading stage Pre-reading stage Pre-reading activities are an essential part of the reading lesson because of the following: - They help students be more prepared for what they are about to read. - These activities help learners anticipate the topic of the reading. - Formulating expectations about the content of the next help leaners prepare themselves for the kind of language, vocabulary, and even grammar that might be used in the text. - These activities create the need for reading the text to know more about a topic. - By creating the need to learn more about the topic, these activities increase students’ motivation. Teachers must activate students’ knowledge about the topic of the text they are about to read using the following activities: Brainstorming This may be done following this process: - In groups,students brainstorm ideas relating to the topic of the text. - All members of the groups contribute to the generation of ideas about the topic. - All ideas are to be accepted. - The teacher sets a time for the brainstorming process. - After generating enough ideas, groups organize their ideas and form sentences. - Finally, they share their ideas with the whole class. - This procedure can also be done as a whole class activity. Discussions This may be done as follows: - The teacher prepares contrasting oponions about the topic of the text, or simply provides a quote related to the topic of the reading. - Students work in groups to discuss ans react to these opinions or quote. - They then write a short report to be read by the representative of each group. - Groups react to each other’s opinions. Pictures Here is how pictures can be used as a pre-reading activity: - The teacher provides pictures related to the topic of the text . - In groups, the students work together to make sense of the pictures and guess what the text will be about. - The representative of each group takes turns presenting their ideas. Another alternative would be to: - Provide a series of pictures representing a series of events in the text. - The students work in groups to put the events in the correct order. - They then try to write a short paragraph about what they think the text will be about. Pictionary To prepare students for the topic and vocabulary of the reading activity, the teacher may use the Pictionary activity: - The teacher creates a list of vovabulary terms or concepts relevant to the current topic or unit. - The teacher asks one student from each group to come to the board. - The student gets secretly the first word or concept from the teacher. - The student draws a picture representing the term or concept. - The teacher sets a short amount of time for the student’s group to guess the word or concept. - When their group correctly indentifies the word or concept within the time limit, they get a point. Predicting The teacher can prepare the leaners to predict what the text will be about using different elements of the text: - The teacher raises the learners’ attention to only the title, the subheadings, the pictures, and/or the illustrations accompanying the text. - They have a discussion in groups to predict the topic. - Groups report their predictions. KWL chart (Know,Want to know, Learned) KWL chart is an excellent reading strategy to guide learners through a text. KWL stands for Know, Want to Know, Learned.The aim is to elicit learners’ prior knowledge of the topic of the text and set a purpose for the reading activity. Here is how to proceed: - Students draw a chart like the one below. - They start by writing evrything they know everything they already know about a topic on the K(Know) column. - Students then list questions about what they want to know about the topic in the W ( Want to Know) column. - During or after reading, students answer the questions that are in the W( Want to Know) column and record them in the L( Learned) column. K (Know) W(Want to Know) L (Learned) ….. ….. …. ….. …… …. …… ….. …. Cloud of words This is an excellent activity to prepare students for the topic of the text and the vocabulary they are going to encounter. - The teacher provides the title of the text. - The learners work together in groups to make guesses about the topic. - Then, the teacher provides a cloud of scattered words (relevant and irrelevant words to the text) - They try to indentify which ones of these words the learners will find in the text (they may use their dictionary). Videos Videos are an excellent tool to creat a context for the reading activity and to bridge the gap between listening, writing, speaking and reading skills. - Choose a short video related to the topic of the reading. - Set a purpose for students while they are watching the video. For example, ask a focus question, or ask them to complete a chart while they are watching the video. - After watching the video, students work in groups to agree on their answers. - After correction, students may have a discussion about the video. While reading activities While-reading activities are activities that help students focus on text features and its comprehension. The following are a few examples of while reading activities: Skimming Skimming the text to check predictions is a while-reading activity that is an extension of some pre-reading activities. Skimming can be defined as reading a text quickly to get a general idea of the passage. Students do not have to read everything. Skimming involves among other things: - Reading the title, the headings and the subheadings. - Reading the introduction or the first paragraph. - Reading the topic sentence of each paragraph. - Looking at pictures, charts, or graphs. - Paying attention to italicized or boldface words or phrases. - Reading the concluding paragraph. Scanning Scanning refers to reading in order to find specific information such as a name, a date, or a number . This is a technique used when one is interested in finding specific information quickly. - As a teacher, you may want to ask your students to scan a text to find answers to (a) specific question(s). - With these questions in mind, your students read the text to attempt to find answers to only these questions. - They may ignore irrelevant information. - Students may use headings and any other clues that will help them indentify which part of the text might contain the needed information. In other words, they will have to read selectively and skip through irrelevant sections of the text. Comprehension questions Most textbooks include comprehension questions that students have to answer while they are reading. These comprehension questions have different forms: Pronominal question Pronominal questions or WH-questions begin with who, what, when, where, how, why,etc. Commands Instead of questions, students answer commands such as: - Indentify - Circle - Underline - Describe - Explain Yes/no questions Yes/no questions require short answers. These types of questions are easy to answer and do not require a high level of writing proficiency skills. Learners have a 50% chance of getting the correct answer. True/false statements Like yes/no questions, there is 50% chance of getting the correct answer in true/false exercise. Multiple-choice questions Four choices are provided. So the cleaner, has 25% chance of getting it right. This exercise is difficult to make, but it is easy to correct. Incorrect choices must be possible (partly correct) and not stupid. Sentence completion Asking leaners to complete sentences in an excellent way to assess comprehension. Vocabulary and grammar work Reading is a great opportunity for vocabulary and grammar practice, which contribute, to a better understanding of the text. Hrer are some examples of these activities. Vocabulary work Provide a list of vocabulary words from a reading passage and have students sort them into various categories: - Parts of speech - Semantic fields (e.g good, means of transport, banking, branches of government, ect.) Other vocabulary activities consist of: - Matching synonyms or opposites - Filling the gaps with the appropriate words from the text Grammar work Many grammar points are directly related to the meaning of the text. Students can be encouraged to notice the grammar structures used to convey meaning through activities such as: - Indentifying verb tense - Indentifying verb patterns(verb+infinitive or gerund) - Distinguishing passive from active structures Post reading activities Post-reading activities help learners summarize their learning, get a deeper understanding, and organize their thoughts and ideas. Here are examples of these activities. What I learned Some elements of the KWL chart mentioned above, namely the L (learn) column, have to be completed after reading the text. Discussion Groups react to the content of the passage. Each group reports to the other groups a summary of their findings followed by whole class discussion. Summarizing As a post reading activity, teachers may ask students to write a summary of the main points of the text. This involves the following steps: 1. Students read the passage and delete all the sentences that merely elaborate the main sentences. 2. They delete all unnecessary clauses and phrases from the main sentences 3. They delete all unneccessary words from what remains 4. They replace the remaining words with their own expressions 5. They write a final draft of the summary Retelling the story Retelling the story would help learners to talk about the content of the passage. It is an opportunity for the teacher to integrate the speaking skill within the reading activity. Think-Pair-Share This is an excellent activity to help learners summarize what they learned and discuss it with other peers. Here is how to proceed: - Students write down their thoughts on the topic of the passage. - Then, they discuss with a partner. - Finally, they share with the whole class. This activity also encourages interaction and leads to various perspectives and comprehension. Drawing The teacher encourages the learners to translate the content of the text into storyboards, cartoons, or pictures. For example, they have to convert the most important ideas, facts, or events into the form of pictures accompained with explainations in the form of captions. Search quest After reading the text, the teacher encourages the students to conduct a search quest to find out more about the topicof the text. Videos Students may use their cameras on their mobiles to make a video about the text. This can take the form of: - A role play - A report - Interview, ect. Presentations Students may be asked to prepare a presentation about the text. They may use the internet to find documents related to the topic. These documents can be in the form of pictures, movies, songs, poems,ect. Vocabulary To gain cognitive depth of the vocabulary learned, students have to be encouraged to work on the newly acquired lexical items: - Students identify the newly acquired words in the passage. They quiz each other on the parts of the speech and meaning of these worlds. - Students choose 10 words from the text, which they have to use to produce 10 sentences or to write a piece of writing that is related to the topic. Peer testing Students work in pairs or in groups. - They have to prepare questions about the text they have just read. - The members of each pair or each group will have to answer