Teaching reading at an advanced level


Reading is the foundation on which academic skills of an individual are built. The importance of teaching reading. Developing reading skills and strategies. Stages of conducting reading and reading activities. Rules of training of the advanced readers.

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Theme: Teaching Reading at an Advanced Level



1. The importance of teaching reading

2. Developing reading skills and strategies

3. Stages of conducting reading and reading activities

3.1 Pre-reading

3.2 While-reading

3.3 After-reading

4. Testing reading





Reading is about understanding written texts. It is a complex activity that involves both perception and thought. Reading consists of two related processes: word recognition and comprehension. Word recognition refers to the process of perceiving how written symbols correspond to one's spoken language. Comprehension is the process of making sense of words, sentences and connected text. Readers typically make use of background knowledge, vocabulary, grammatical knowledge, experience with text and other strategies to help them understand written text.

Reading texts can be used for advanced learners for several different purposes:

- developing reading skills and strategies;

- presenting or recycling grammar items;

- extending vocabulary;

- providing modals for writing;

- giving some interesting and useful information for students;

- stimulating oral work.

Also reading can be linked to other skill work, for example writing, speaking or listening. In the process of reading, students will be concerned with the subject-content of what they read and the language in which it is expressed. Both aspects involve comprehension, though of different kinds. Depending on the reading purpose, different strategies and skills will be involved.

As students move on up the developmental ladder, getting closer and closer to their goals, developing fluency along with a greater degree of accuracy, able to handle virtually any situation in which target language is demanded, they become `advanced' students. As competence in language continues to build, students can realise the full spectrum of processing, assigning larger and larger chunks to automatic modes and gaining the confidence to put the formal structures of language on the periphery so that focal attention may be given to the interpretation and negotiation of meaning and to the conveying of thoughts and feelings in interactive communication. Some aspects of language, of course, need focal attention for minor corrections, refinement. So the task of the teacher at this level is to assist in that attempt to automatized language and in that delicate interplay between focal and peripheral attention to selected aspects of language. Reading and writing skills similarly progress closer and closer to native speaker competence as students learn more about such things as critical reading, the role of schemata in interpreting written texts, writing a documents. Everything from academic prose to literature and idiomatic conversation becomes a legitimate resource for the classroom. Virtually no authentic language material ought to be summarily disqualified at this stage. Certain restrictions may come to bear, depending on how advanced the class is. At this level most if not all of students are `fluent' in that they have passed beyond that `breakthrough' stage where they are not more long thinking about every word or structure they are producing or comprehending.

The topicality of this course paper is that reading is one of the most important and effective means of receiving information. It is closely connected with the other skills - listening, writing and speaking. We should stimulate the developing of these skills.

The object of the course paper is the process of teaching reading to advanced learners, the discussion of some strategies, examples, and resources aimed at promoting students to take a deep approach to reading.

The subject of the course paper is teaching reading considering the proper stages of reading and the activities which must be done in order to make the learners comprehend the information in the most productive way. Much attention should be paid to the testing reading that will help us to measure their progress in reading.

The aim of the course paper involves the elaborating of the methods of teaching reading to advaned learners and presenting different techniques and activities in order to help them to comprehend the reading better.

The tasks of the course paper are the following:

- to elaborate different strategies of reading according to the purpose of reading a text;

- to enlighten the stages of reading and show the exercises which can be used at each stage;

- to work out the tests which will measure reading skill of the learners;

- to encourage learners desire to read more.

1. The importance of teaching reading

reading teaching advanced

Reading is the basic foundation on which academic skills of an individual are built. Many believe that reading is an apt measure of a persons success in academics. Most of the subjects taught to us are based on a simple concept - read, synthesize, analyse, and process information. Although a priceless activity, the importance of reading has been deteriorating rapidly.

Learning to read is an important educational goal. For both children and adults, the ability to read opens up new worlds and opportunities. It enables us to gain new knowledge, enjoy literature, and do everyday things that are part and parcel of modern life, such as, reading the newspapers, job listings, instruction manuals, maps and so on.

A reader reads a text to understand its meaning, as well as to put that understanding to use; to find out some information, to be entertained. The purpose for reading is closely connected to a person's motivation for reading. It will also affect the way a book is read. We read a dictionary in a different way from the way we read a novel. The teachers need to be aware of their students' learning needs, including their motivation for reading and the purpose that reading has in their lives.

It is often difficult to convince students of Eglish as a foreign language that texts in English can be understood even though there are vocabulary items and structures that the students have never seen before. Skills such as extracting specific information can be satisfactorily performed even though the students do not understand the whole text; the same is true for students who want to `get the general idea' of a text [10, p.191]. It is consider vitally important to train students in these skills since they ma y well have to comprehend reading in just such a situation in real life.

The underlying purpose of reading is to develop your thoughts, to weave new ideas and information into the understanding you already have and to give new angles to your thinking. If you try to pass this thinking process, you are not really learning as you read. Learning is to do with changing your ideas, combining them together in new ways and extending them to cover new ground. Reading a text is one way in which you trigger off these changes. The purpose of reading is not to have a lot of words pass in front of your eyes, nor to add a few new items to a long `list' of information in your mind. It is to engage your ideas and make you rethink them, make the proper conclusions [18,p.34].

Researches have shown that reading is only incidentally visual. More information is contributed by the reader than by the print on the page. That is, “readers understand what they read because they are able to take the stimulus beyond its graphic representation and assign its membership to appropriate group of concepts already stored in their memories” (Malderez 1999:134). Skills in reading depend on the efficient interaction between linguistic knowledge and knowledge of the world.

Reading texts also provides opportunities to study language: vocabulary, grammar, punctuation, models for English writing.

2. Developing reading skills and strategies

Advanced students who are literate in their own language sometimes are “left to their own devices” when it comes to teaching them reading skills. They will simply learn good reading by absorption. In reality, there is much to be gained by focusing on reading skills. It is generally recognized that the efficient reader versed in ways of interacting with various types of texts, is flexible, and chooses appropriate reading strategies depending on a particular text in question. The reader has to match reading skill to reading purpose.

We can differ between reading aloud and silent reading. Reading aloud is not appropriate for advanced students. We can use it when we have control reading. At the advanced level the most suitable is silent reading. Sustained silent reading allows students to develop a sense of fluency. Also silent reading can help the students to increase the speed of their reading. Reading speed is usually not much of an issue for all but the most advanced students.

It is now generally accepted that reading is not the careful recognation and comprehension of each word on the page in sequence. A...