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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Oct 9th, 2006, 05:00 pm
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Default what are your goals with readings

When you give or decide to give your students a reading, what is your general goal? vocabulary? grammar? the information? something else?

How do you support that purpose? I mean, what activities do you do before, during or after the reading?

Sorry, this is a little survey.
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Unread Oct 9th, 2006, 10:41 pm
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Default Re: what are your goals with readings

A reading?
Are the students reading to you? or...
Are you reading to the students and getting them to extract information?

Sorry, I've never come across "a reading" before....
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Unread Oct 9th, 2006, 10:57 pm
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Default Re: what are your goals with readings

You could approach it in different ways. Generally, though, vocabulary should always be involved. Reading is the number one activity for increasing a student's range of vocabulary (although, yes, some people do learn better by listening).

It is important for students to gain the following skills:

1 distinguish main ideas from details
2 skimming and scanning skills
3 understand vocab from context
4 analyse structures used in natural English

Those are the main ones, anyway.

I also like to get students to read aloud in order to practice pronunciation. I do it this way:

1 I read a sentence
2 student A reads next sentence
3 I read next sentence
4 student B reads next sentence

and so on...

With this method, they learn to follow the speed and rhythm of a native speaker (me). (Not to say that non-native speakers can't use this method)
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Unread Oct 9th, 2006, 11:47 pm
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Default Re: what are your goals with readings

Quote:
Quote simplyesl
A reading?
Are the students reading to you? or...
Are you reading to the students and getting them to extract information?
Both or either, when you read to the students and/or when you ask the students to read something on their own.

Quote:
Quote simplyesl
Are you reading to the students and getting them to extract information?
Well, that's sort of half of my question. That's the latter half, the how, but my question is also why are you having them do that. Why do you use readings in class and what do you do to support your objective?

I'm reviewing 4 research articles into reading and it just got me thinking about the 'why's and 'how's. I thought I would see what everyone else does.
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Unread Oct 10th, 2006, 12:10 am
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Default Re: what are your goals with readings

I use reading exercises for concept checking purposes. It also helps to challenge sts to use language in new ways. I sometimes have the sts read a short story (maybe 20-30 lines/ sentences). I will then cut up the story (line by line) and get the students to put the story back together. I do this in small teams.
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Unread Oct 11th, 2006, 02:17 am
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Default Re: what are your goals with readings

I also use "rub out and remember" activities.

Basically, you have a conversation (with two or more characters), which is written on the board. Get students to read through the conversation. Each time they read through the entire conversation remove the top two parts of the conversation. Keep going like this until one student can't remember the conversation.
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Unread Oct 11th, 2006, 06:08 am
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Default Re: what are your goals with readings

Yeah, why do we do it? I've seen classes where the teacher gives a reading comprehension exercise out of the blue with no explanation and then scratches his head when the response is pretty flat.

Like with anything in our field, I'd say that a lead in is vital. Create an interest in what they are about to read. This can be eliciting what they know on the subject, getting them to predict what they are going to read from some key words etc etc. Without this stage there is no focus.

Then I'd get them to read, with the aim of answering some general questions.
I'd ask them to underline any new words at this stage rather than go into it then.
Then I'd get them to check their predictions \ the info I'd elicited.
Next we'd read again with the aim of answering more detailed questions.

Any new vocab can be dealt with at this stage. Students can pool all the words they'd underlined and create a new list to learn.

Finally I'd try to generate some discussion on what they'd read, either through questions and answers, a role play activity, a survey etc.

The answer to 'why' is to improve their reading ability, meet new vocab etc. If we can give them confidence to read and identify important information then hopefully they will get the reading 'bug'. If they can be taking home a Graded Readers every couple of weeks then this is a real positive.
I prefer reading to listening when the group is of mixed ability because each can read at their own speed and you can ask the stronger students to do other exercises while waiting for the others, such as identifying verb structures, negative adjectives, changing verbs from positive to negative etc.
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Unread Oct 11th, 2006, 06:29 am
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Default Re: what are your goals with readings

[


why are you having them do that. Why do you use readings in class and what do you do to support your objective?


Well, I personally use readings to improve vocabulary. When my students have written down the new words and undertood the text ,we talk about it. Anyway, I don't use long readings. Some students can remember all the words we have learned and use them but some can't... ( Nobody's perfect! )

Michèle
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Unread Oct 11th, 2006, 08:11 pm
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Default Re: what are your goals with readings

I did reading last term in my elementary school classes. It was really an experiment which failed with the fourth graders and worked with the 5th and 6th graders. I think the reason that it failed with the 4th graders was because they only had me every Friday and the material was a little too difficult for them. In Korea they are meant to be just speaking then, not reading much and certainly no writing but when they get to 5th grade then they do it all so I wanted to give them a head start. However time was the biggest factor, once a week is not enough.

For the 5th and 6th graders I had them twice a week so it was fine. In the beginning I used to check the reading with the entire class together and then pick a student or two and then quickly explain a word or two and then read the next page and then assign that page as homework. They had to read it twice and get their parents to sign it. However it was always the same students who wanted to read so then I started picking their student class numbers (1~40 one number per student) and that made it very interesting

A friend of mine used to read it to the students one word at a time which I disagreed with. I let my students try it first following my pointer on the projector and then I have them follow me. My friend never let them try it for themselves which isn't a good idea I think. Then again he never let the kids do anything!
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Unread Oct 11th, 2006, 08:14 pm
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Default Re: what are your goals with readings

Oh sorry, my goals for reading are some vocab (not everything has to be understood), reading pace or speed and of course pronunication.
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Unread Oct 12th, 2006, 01:53 am
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Default Re: what are your goals with readings

Thanks everybody for the feedback.

I really appreciate it. If anybody else has anything to add I'm all ears.

Eric and I did a podcast on reading with a little bit on some of the research I did. If you have the time... http://www.eslteachertalk.com/2006/10/reading-in-class/
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