Teaching Reading In The Global English Classroom

3477 words - 14 pages

1. Introduction"I've traveled the world twice over, Met the famous; saints and sinners,Poets and artists, kings and queens,Old stars and hopeful beginners,I've been where no-one's been before,Learned secrets from writers and cooksAll with reading."~ Anonymous ~Reading is a skill that does not attract exceptional attention in day-to-day life, since it is one that goes without saying.However, it is this particular skill that we owe our current scientific knowledge and our gracious living to, for the human kind has been able to pass knowledge from one generation to the next. It is hard to image, how the human kind would live nowadays and what the world would look like, if we had never been able to read. A life in a civilized world permanently sets moments, where it is necessary and often vital to read any given information. But is not only the language that is spoken in the country we live in, that requires our reading skills on a daily basis. Due to a globalizing world, the human kind has moved closer together and new skills have been set on the focus.It is the English language that is increasingly important in everyone`s life. Be it in professional life, in literature, in the supermarket or at the train station, one is constantly exposed to English, both orally and in writing.Especially good reading skills in the English language are often required when it comes to gathering information in the internet, reading international academic papers or communicating with colleagues in foreign countries.Based on this increasing need for good reading skills, it is essential for teachers of English as a foreign language (in the following EFL) to understand the process of reading in general and to know where differences are between reading in one`s first language and reading English as a foreign language. For a broader understanding of the reading process I am first going to illustrate different purposes for reading there are and outline the main models of how reading occurs. Taken this as a basis, the differences in reading one`s first language and reading English as a foreign language will be outlined to then present some teaching advices, that should be considered when there is the aim to effectively teach reading skills and prepare English learners for a future in which highly developed readings skills in the English language are vital for one`s success.2. Purposes for readingAs I have mentioned earlier there are uncountable moments in daily life where our reading skills are required.Sometimes we thoroughly read large texts or whole books.In other moments we just read a short message or just a word that is written somewhere on a product. All these situations comprise different purposes for reading. In the following I am going to state and illustrate different purposes for reading that are commonly acknowledged among reading researchers.2.1. Reading as a search for simple informationThis is a very prominent purpose for reading and very dominant in our daily...

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