Many textbooks which state the aim of improving learners’ reading ability claim that they develop certain strategies through the activities they offer. Here are some of them:
- Find a specific item of information quickly.
- Make use of accompanying information, e.g. headings, pictures, to predict the content of the text.
- Distinguish between fact and opinion.
- Guess the meanings of unfamiliar words by using contextual clues.
- Read at different speeds for different purposes.
- Recognize larger rhetorical patters such as classification, cause-effect, problem-solution, etc.
- Recognize coherence relations such as main idea, supporting details, examples.
- Use prior knowledge to work out meanings within the text.
- Predict the connections between parts of the text form the use of connectives.
- Use the dictionary well and understand its limitations.
- Realize that a writer does not express everything explicitly and in detail and make appropriate inferences.
- Respond appropriately to the text.
Would you add anything to the list that you feel is important? Choose a reading textbook and survey it to see if any or all of these strategies are trained.
I have surveyed English File 2 by Clive Oxenden, Paul Seligson and Christina Latham-Koenig (OUP; 1997) and I found that all of the items mentioned above are fostered in the book.
I would like to add some other activities to the list:
- Read and find mistakes
- Read and highlight specific words, e.g. adverbs of frequency
- Read and connect it to your feelings, e.g. by asking questions like ‘Did you enjoy it?
- Read and guess, e.g. read and guess her job
- Read and complete the text with some words
- Read and use the information to complete a map, chart, drawing, etc.
Let’s see what you think. Eager to know.
HEDGE, Tricia (2000), Teaching and Learning in the Language Classroom, UK, OUP; Chapter 6 (Discussion Topics and Projects # 6- p. 223)
OXENDEN, Clive (1997), English File 2 Student's Book, OUP