Interactive Theories – Methodology of FLT

Квітень 1st, 201112:05 pm

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Interactive Theories – Methodology of FLT

Interactive Theories

 

An interactive theoretical model of the reading process depicts reading as a combination of two types of processing – top-down (reader based) and bottom-up (text based) – in continuous interaction. In top-down processing, the act of reading begins with the reader generating hypotheses or predictions about the material, using visual cues (cf. 88, p.24). For instance, the reader of a folktale that begins with the words “Once upon a time there was a man who had three sons…” forms hypotheses about what will happen next, predicting that there will be a task to perform or a beautiful princess to win over and that the oldest two sons will fail but the youngest will attain his goal. Because of these expectations, the reader may read the material fairly quickly, giving attention primarily to words that confirm the expectations. Close reading occurs only if the hypothesis formed is not confirmed and an atypical plot unfolds. Otherwise, the reader can skip many words while skimming for key words that move the story along.

In bottom-up processing, reading is initiated by examining the printed symbols and requires little input from the reader. The identification begins with print, i.e. letter or word, and proceeds to progressively larger linguistic units, phrases, sentences, etc. ending in meaning. A reader using bottom-up processing might first sound out a word letter by letter and then pronounce it, consider its meaning in relationship to the phrase in which it is found, and so on. A reading teacher embracing this approach would expect a child to reproduce orally the exact words printed on the page.

When the reader possesses a store of knowledge about the print, about language, and about the world a top-down approach can be used. The reader uses this knowledge first to predict what the printed page contains and then to confirm or refute the predictions. According to Goodman (1985) reading the exact words on the page is less important than understanding the message (cf. 88, p.24).

In Samuels’s (1984) automaticity model, decoding is seen as a bottom-up process, whereas comprehension allows for top-down processing. Samuels believes that beginning readers must be taught to decode automatically, without consciously giving attention to graphic decoding. His modified model contains elements of both top-down and bottom-up processing. The two perspectives qualified as interactive vary on the degree of emphasis on one position over another.

An interactive model assumes parallel processing of information from print and information from background knowledge. Recognition and comprehension of printed words and ideas are the result of using both types of processing. For example, the reader who is unable to use context clues may fail to grasp the meaning of an unfamiliar word that is central to understanding the passage; similarly, a reader who has no background knowledge about the topic may be unable to reconstruct the ideas that the author is trying to convey [88, p.25].

Most methodologists differentiate between two ways of reading: 1. aloud or orally; 2. silently.

Reading Aloud. The Importance of Reading Aloud

Many skills and techniques are expected nowadays of the language teacher. Here we consider one that seems to be in serious neglect. A competent language teacher should be able to read aloud in public, to a class or other gathering with a considerable degree of accuracy, fluency, and effect any language material suitable for the purpose.

It is short-sighted to see reading aloud as no more than the unenterprising resort of incompetent teachers. It is a valuable skill that has a place not only in the presentation and appreciation of literature but in the delivery of many kinds of everyday material – expository, informative, polemical; discussive – which a language teacher who is also an educator may wish to put before the students.           What is the value of reading aloud around the class? Reading aloud gets through, say, during a certain period of time with the minimum amount of effort on the part of the teacher; but what good does it do the students? If there is a class of 15 students and if the teacher does not speak at all, each student will spend 33 minutes listening to his fellow students reading with bad pronunciation, bad stress, bad rhythm and bad intonation. This cannot, of course, improve his own pronunciation, stress, rhythm and intonation. In addition, he himself will have two minute’s practice reading aloud. What will he learn from that? He will practise his usual mistakes with occasional, desultory, correcting from the teacher, which will not make a sufficiently strong impact on his unconsciousness to eradicate his wrong habits.

There are several ways to eradicate this error. We can do ear and speech training work, which can largely be done chorally, so that all students are practising simultaneously.

The only exception to reading aloud is in the case of poetry. The essence of poetry is sound – rhythm, assonance and the rest. The students must hear the teacher read the poem aloud at least twice, with as much rhythm and effect, as he can manage. Then they should read it aloud themselves in chorus, with the teacher guiding (but not correcting) them when they begin to go astray; and, finally, individuals may be asked to read parts or the whole of the poem alone. These readings should not be done until the teacher has presented the new vocabulary and grammatical patterns contained in the poem, so that when the students hear him reading it aloud the first time, they can understand most of it.

Thus, the aim of reading is to teach the pupils to read books rapidly and understand them. Means to achieve this aim are:

1. Training in recognition of the shapes of words and phrases and short sentences known orally.

2. Comprehension tests, written within the vocabulary and structures known to the students through oral work or the use of a dictionary.

Another thing that we could well train our pupils to do as they become more advanced is to use a dictionary properly: we cannot go on grading and controlling vocabulary forever: after the word level, this is no longer profitable. The gap between this vocabulary and a vocabulary of 30.000 words, which is what one needs for reading the average (unsimplified) English work, is so enormous that it is quite impossible to cover it in class. What we can do, however, is to teach the pupils how to look up words which they do not know and which they come across in their reading after they have left adapted, simplified texts. One of the best dictionaries to use for this purpose is the Advanced Learner’s Dictionary of Current English by Hornby, Gatenly & Wakefield.

The teacher determines what texts, excerpts or paragraphs pupils are to read aloud. The following techniques can be recommended:

1. Diagnostic reading (the pupils read and the teacher can see their weak points);

2. Instructive reading (pupils follow the pattern read by the teacher, or the speaker/tape-recorder);

3. Control reading or test reading (pupils read the text trying to keep as close to the pattern as possible).

Reading Silently: Skimming and Scanning

 

Skimming and scanning are two very useful techniques that help students become better readers.

When we are skimming we go through a passage quickly jumping over parts of it, in order to get a general idea of what it is about. When we are scanning, we look through a text quickly in order to find a specific piece of information.

When we are given a text, we may use both these techniques. First, we may skim through the text to get a general idea, or perhaps, to see if it is of interest to us. Then, we may scan that text to take note of a particular name or a piece of information we need or want to remember.

When you are skimming move your eyes quickly over the text or passage and ask yourself “What is this passage about?” Look at the important parts of the passage: the beginning, the end, the title, and the first sentence in each paragraph (if there is more than one), which usually contains the main idea.

When you are scanning move your eyes quickly over the passage until you find the specific piece of information, a date, a figure, a name that you need, etc. It is not necessary to read the whole passage carefully.

 

Anticipation and Prediction

 

Anticipation and prediction are two basic reading skills that we use to guess or predict how a passage will develop.

 

Before we read a passage we expect to find certain things in it. These may be answers to certain questions in our minds about the subject or ideas that interest us. Our anticipation of what is in the passage is therefore related to our own personal background knowledge on the subject. A passage becomes much easier to read when we already have some ideas on the subject to look forward to reading it. But when we are faced with the passage that we have no idea about, then even understanding the main points becomes difficult. Reading widely and increasing our knowledge would be the obvious solution to improving this important skill of anticipation.

When we are reading we are continuously making predictions or guesses about what will come next in a passage and as we continue to read it we find that these guesses are either right or wrong. After a passage begins, we find “clues” that help us predict what is going to come next. These clues may be in the meaning or in the grammatical structure of a sentence, or its vocabulary. The skill of prediction, like anticipation, makes it easier to understand the sentences that follow and is therefore an essential skill in dealing with the Reading Comprehension section of the test. We can practise this skill by looking at sentences and trying to predict what will come next.

Reading Proficiency

Reading proficiency involves:

1. Grammatical competence, i.e. the use of grammar rule to help understand what is being read; knowledge of vocabulary; mastery of mechanics, such as alphabet and the punctuation of the language.

2. Socio-linguistic competence, i.e. rules and principles that the reader can use to understand what is read, based on the author’s choice of genre, topic, and so on.

3. Discourse competence, i.e. looking for markers of cohesion and coherence in the written text. Readers need to understand how and why such cohesive devices such as references, ellipses and conjunctions are used. They also must recognise markers indicating coherence in the development, balance, continuity, and completeness of a piece of writing.

4. Strategic competence, i.e. possessing a set of useful strategies for compensating for missing knowledge. They amount to the process of guessing using available clues. The clues come from the linguistic context of the sentence or the text, from the reader’s background knowledge, from the content, expression, etc.

Considerable first language reading findings provide the foundation for foreign language reading instruction. This research has demonstrated that good readers:

1. Read extensively.

2. Skilfully integrate information in the text with what they already know. Information from the text and the knowledge possessed act together to produce meaning.

3. Are flexible. How they read depends on the complexity of the text, their familiarity with the topic, and their purpose.

4. Are motivated. Motivation is central to learning to read.

5. Rely on different skills interacting simultaneously: perceptual processing, phonemic processing, and internal recall of many grammatical, lexical, and discoursal items.

1.    Read in situations where written language serves real functions – such as entertainment, information, and education.

The Objectives of an EFL Reading Session

The session is designed to cover the following:

1. Motivating learners and making reading an enjoyable experience for all students.

2. Providing students with the culturally relevant information needed to understand texts.

3. Providing an interest in different types of reading texts.

4. Enlarging the students’ vocabulary and providing them with strategies for developing necessary habits and skills that increase their reading comprehension.

2.    Developing the students’ strategies for reading diverse genres of English for different purposes.

Motivation in Teaching Reading

Learning to read depends on motivation, practice, and reinforcement. Teachers must show children that being able to read is rewarding in many ways – that it increases success in school, helps in coping with everyday situations outside of school, bestows status, and provides recreation. Reinforcement to continue reading encourages pupils to make associations between printed words and the things to which they refer and to practice the skills they need for reading. After children have developed some facility in reading, it becomes a means through which they learn other subjects.

Reading lessons must be stimulating, informative, and relevant. Students are encouraged to read to learn about the world that surrounds them which will exercise a lasting influence on the development of their character. The reading material must excite the learners and enable them to extend their knowledge. Discussions before reading and discussions or question-and-answer sessions after reading stimulate high-level thinking.

Teachers must build their students’ confidence. Confidence leads to motivation. Allow students to prepare for reading exercises, avoid error correction that embarrasses students, let students read texts silently before reading them in front of others. Failure is not fun!

Choosing Reading Materials

To facilitate foreign language development, readings should be selected carefully. Teachers need to consider whether reading materials are authentic, attuned to the learners’ proficiency levels, culturally relevant, and sensitive to their needs and interests.

The vast majority of EFL students are not learning English to read J.Steinbeck, to enjoy a play, or to tell stories; but to become better managers, engineers, or computer specialists. They need skills to develop the language of business or science.

Even beginning students need exposure to authentic language that is used in conversation, newspapers, magazines, traffic signs, menus, schedules, notices, etc. Authentic language is considered an unedited, unabridged text that is written for native English speakers.

Beginning EFL students can enjoy fables, folk stories, detective and suspense stories, mini-dramas, science fiction novels, letters, commercial texts, etc. Authentic texts can also be edited and supplied with learning aids.

Improving Reading Comprehension

Pre-reading activities:

1) ask students to focus on the title and any illustrations that may accompany the text;

2) ask students to skim the entire passage for the main idea;

3) ask students to scan the passage for specific details considered crucial for overall comprehension;

4) fill students in on what they need to know to comprehend the text, introduce loaded presuppositions or concepts that students can be confused with.

In-depth (Intensive, Narrow) Reading

When students read a single author or topic, they have an easy time comprehending the texts, because grammatical and discoursal structures repeat themselves. The following techniques can be recommended here:

1. Mapping (word-webbing or clustering): e.g. identifying characters and their perspective and actions.

2. Writing key elements in the text.

3. Summarising paragraphs in the margin.

4. Analysing the organisation of the text (outlining).

5. Retelling.

6. Acting out a story.

7. Book reviews/Letter writing.

Jigsaw reading: matching of various elements and putting them all in the right order (matching headlines with stories from which they came, matching cartoons with captions, putting split-up texts in the correct sequence).

Processes and Skills Involved in Reading Comprehension

Reading purposes are: reading for information and reading for pleasure.

Types of reading (according to the purpose) are: intensive and extensive.

Intensive reading is often for information. Students must be able to understand: (1) the factual, exact surface meaning in the text, (2) implications (making inferences, being sensitive to emotional tone and figurative language), (3) the relationship of ideas in the passage (intersentential relationships and linkage between paragraphs), and (4) to be able to relate the reading material to one’s knowledge and experience.

Extensive reading is often for pleasure. Students need not comprehend all the details of the text. They must be able to get the gist of the text, understand in a general way the author’s intent, and the main ideas.

To sum it up there are six main ways that one can read a text:

(1) bottom-up, (2) top-down, (3) skimming, (4) scanning, (5) extensive reading, (6) intensive reading. They are not mutually exclusive, but may be used in succession.

Anticipation and Prediction

 

Anticipation and prediction are two basic reading skills that we use to guess or predict how a passage will develop.

 

Before we read a passage we expect to find certain things in it. These may be answers to certain questions in our minds about the subject or ideas that interest us. Our anticipation of what is in the passage is therefore related to our own personal background knowledge on the subject. A passage becomes much easier to read when we already have some ideas on the subject to look forward to reading it. But when we are faced with the passage that we have no idea about, then even understanding the main points becomes difficult. Reading widely and increasing our knowledge would be the obvious solution to improving this important skill of anticipation.

When we are reading we are continuously making predictions or guesses about what will come next in a passage and as we continue to read it we find that these guesses are either right or wrong. After a passage begins, we find “clues” that help us predict what is going to come next. These clues may be in the meaning or in the grammatical structure of a sentence, or its vocabulary. The skill of prediction, like anticipation, makes it easier to understand the sentences that follow and is therefore an essential skill in dealing with the Reading Comprehension section of the test. We can practise this skill by looking at sentences and trying to predict what will come next.

Reading Proficiency

Reading proficiency involves:

1. Grammatical competence, i.e. the use of grammar rule to help understand what is being read; knowledge of vocabulary; mastery of mechanics, such as alphabet and the punctuation of the language.

2. Socio-linguistic competence, i.e. rules and principles that the reader can use to understand what is read, based on the author’s choice of genre, topic, and so on.

3. Discourse competence, i.e. looking for markers of cohesion and coherence in the written text. Readers need to understand how and why such cohesive devices such as references, ellipses and conjunctions are used. They also must recognise markers indicating coherence in the development, balance, continuity, and completeness of a piece of writing.

4. Strategic competence, i.e. possessing a set of useful strategies for compensating for missing knowledge. They amount to the process of guessing using available clues. The clues come from the linguistic context of the sentence or the text, from the reader’s background knowledge, from the content, expression, etc.

Considerable first language reading findings provide the foundation for foreign language reading instruction. This research has demonstrated that good readers:

1. Read extensively.

2. Skilfully integrate information in the text with what they already know. Information from the text and the knowledge possessed act together to produce meaning.

3. Are flexible. How they read depends on the complexity of the text, their familiarity with the topic, and their purpose.

4. Are motivated. Motivation is central to learning to read.

5. Rely on different skills interacting simultaneously: perceptual processing, phonemic processing, and internal recall of many grammatical, lexical, and discoursal items.

1.    Read in situations where written language serves real functions – such as entertainment, information, and education.

The Objectives of an EFL Reading Session

The session is designed to cover the following:

1. Motivating learners and making reading an enjoyable experience for all students.

2. Providing students with the culturally relevant information needed to understand texts.

3. Providing an interest in different types of reading texts.

4. Enlarging the students’ vocabulary and providing them with strategies for developing necessary habits and skills that increase their reading comprehension.

2.    Developing the students’ strategies for reading diverse genres of English for different purposes.

Motivation in Teaching Reading

Learning to read depends on motivation, practice, and reinforcement. Teachers must show children that being able to read is rewarding in many ways – that it increases success in school, helps in coping with everyday situations outside of school, bestows status, and provides recreation. Reinforcement to continue reading encourages pupils to make associations between printed words and the things to which they refer and to practice the skills they need for reading. After children have developed some facility in reading, it becomes a means through which they learn other subjects.

Reading lessons must be stimulating, informative, and relevant. Students are encouraged to read to learn about the world that surrounds them which will exercise a lasting influence on the development of their character. The reading material must excite the learners and enable them to extend their knowledge. Discussions before reading and discussions or question-and-answer sessions after reading stimulate high-level thinking.

Teachers must build their students’ confidence. Confidence leads to motivation. Allow students to prepare for reading exercises, avoid error correction that embarrasses students, let students read texts silently before reading them in front of others. Failure is not fun!

Choosing Reading Materials

To facilitate foreign language development, readings should be selected carefully. Teachers need to consider whether reading materials are authentic, attuned to the learners’ proficiency levels, culturally relevant, and sensitive to their needs and interests.

The vast majority of EFL students are not learning English to read J.Steinbeck, to enjoy a play, or to tell stories; but to become better managers, engineers, or computer specialists. They need skills to develop the language of business or science.

Even beginning students need exposure to authentic language that is used in conversation, newspapers, magazines, traffic signs, menus, schedules, notices, etc. Authentic language is considered an unedited, unabridged text that is written for native English speakers.

Beginning EFL students can enjoy fables, folk stories, detective and suspense stories, mini-dramas, science fiction novels, letters, commercial texts, etc. Authentic texts can also be edited and supplied with learning aids.

Improving Reading Comprehension

Pre-reading activities:

1) ask students to focus on the title and any illustrations that may accompany the text;

2) ask students to skim the entire passage for the main idea;

3) ask students to scan the passage for specific details considered crucial for overall comprehension;

4) fill students in on what they need to know to comprehend the text, introduce loaded presuppositions or concepts that students can be confused with.

In-depth (Intensive, Narrow) Reading

When students read a single author or topic, they have an easy time comprehending the texts, because grammatical and discoursal structures repeat themselves. The following techniques can be recommended here:

1. Mapping (word-webbing or clustering): e.g. identifying characters and their perspective and actions.

2. Writing key elements in the text.

3. Summarising paragraphs in the margin.

4. Analysing the organisation of the text (outlining).

5. Retelling.

6. Acting out a story.

7. Book reviews/Letter writing.

Jigsaw reading: matching of various elements and putting them all in the right order (matching headlines with stories from which they came, matching cartoons with captions, putting split-up texts in the correct sequence).

Processes and Skills Involved in Reading Comprehension

Reading purposes are: reading for information and reading for pleasure.

Types of reading (according to the purpose) are: intensive and extensive.

Intensive reading is often for information. Students must be able to understand: (1) the factual, exact surface meaning in the text, (2) implications (making inferences, being sensitive to emotional tone and figurative language), (3) the relationship of ideas in the passage (intersentential relationships and linkage between paragraphs), and (4) to be able to relate the reading material to one’s knowledge and experience.

Extensive reading is often for pleasure. Students need not comprehend all the details of the text. They must be able to get the gist of the text, understand in a general way the author’s intent, and the main ideas.

To sum it up there are six main ways that one can read a text:

(1) bottom-up, (2) top-down, (3) skimming, (4) scanning, (5) extensive reading, (6) intensive reading. They are not mutually exclusive, but may be used in succession.

Джерела:
Близнюк М.І. Курс лекцій з методики викладання англійської мови. – Чернівці: ЧДУ, 1999 – с.

Все о татуировках www.samarasatori.ru/kosmetologiya-v-samare/tatuirovki-v-samare/.