Anca Cehan 1
Catedra de Limba şi Literatura engleză EFL Methodology year II English majors
DEVELOPING READING SKILLS In many foreign language teaching situations, reading receives a special focus.
There are several reasons for this. First, many foreign language students often have reading as one of their most important goals. They want to be able to read for information and pleasure, for their career, and for study purposes. Second, written texts serve various pedagogical purposes. Extensive exposure to comprehensible written texts can enhance the process of language acquisition. Good writing texts also provide good models for writing, and provide opportunities to introduce new topics, to stimulate discussion, and to study language.
Generally speaking, we read for two main reasons: pleasure and the need for information. We read because we want to get something from the text - a message - facts, enjoyment, ideas, or feelings. For our pupils, reading in English is also a means of improving language itself. Some of the language read will stick in their mind as part of the process of language acquisition. Reading also provides models for writing, opportunities to practise and develop the reading skill, and to gain cultural insights and understanding. Reading is also essential in the teaching of literature.
In discussing reading, we will consider the text, one's reasons for reading, reading styles, and what the reader brings to the process of reading.
The aim of this unit is to help you build awareness and understanding of current theories of reading and an ability to translate these theories into practical applications for the classroom.
By the end of the lecture, you will be able to:
• use recent information about reading that relates to classroom instruction • set up a variety of classroom reading tasks • integrate reading activities with the development of one or more other skills • identify the various sub-skills involved in the reading process • select and apply appropriate classroom activities to develop the reading
sub-skills • apply in your classroom ideas, suggestions, examples of reading techniques
that are consistent with theoretical principles • assess reading techniques, comparing and contrasting them with other
activities that have been found to be successful, practical and relevant. Key Concepts: text authenticity, cohesion, coherence, intensive reading,
extensive reading, skim reading, scan reading, top-down processes, bottom-up processes, reader response.
1. Difficulties Related to Reading in a Foreign Language Here are a few dilemmas concerning the development of the reading ability
formulated by Grabe (278 - 283): 1. How can any reading approach be relevant to all different contexts? Foreign
language contexts are more complex than L1 ones: they include all the contexts for L1 instruction and add the foreign language dimension.
2. Learning theories, whether sociohistorical or cognitive...