Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Reading activities

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:

  1. Find a specific item of information quickly.
  2. Make use of accompanying information, e.g. headings, pictures, to predict the content of the text.
  3. Distinguish between fact and opinion.
  4. Guess the meanings of unfamiliar words by using contextual clues.
  5. Read at different speeds for different purposes.
  6. Recognize larger rhetorical patters such as classification, cause-effect, problem-solution, etc.
  7. Recognize coherence relations such as main idea, supporting details, examples.
  8. Use prior knowledge to work out meanings within the text.
  9. Predict the connections between parts of the text form the use of connectives.
  10. Use the dictionary well and understand its limitations.
  11. Realize that a writer does not express everything explicitly and in detail and make appropriate inferences.
  12. 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

1 comment:

Gladys Baya said...

Sounds like the book you've inspected does a good job at teaching reading, Lore! Is that so (in your teaching experience)?

As I know you're interested in The Lexical Approach, my "souvenir" for you today is an collection of Lexical-Approach-Based Activities by Carlos Islam and Ivor Timmis. New ways to approach the teaching of reading? Enjoy!