К содержанию номера журнала: Вестник КАСУ №2 - 2012
Автор: Ежитская С. М.
One of the basic
versatile skills that students need in their professional sphere is reading and
rendering of scientific literature. According to many scientists who
investigate this question such as B. Brodcrick, J. Langan, L.C. Smith., good
strategy chosen for teaching reading helps to develops students’ reading
comprehension, speech acquisition, and sharpens their ability to figure out
vital elements from the text. The methods of receiving and transferring the
processing information improve students’ creativity, and independent work with
scientific literature. The purpose of this article is to present the ways and
study techniques for improving students’ reading comprehension.
The aim of reading
is to integrate the ideas received from the text with those, which you already
know. Reading comprehension requires motivation, concentration, mental
frameworks for keeping ideas in mind, and good study techniques.
the text or article to read, the teacher should assure himself of the relevance
of the issue or problem raised by the author in the text. The teacher should
take into consideration learners’ interests, needs, attitudes, students’
background, expectations and other objective and subjective needs. Moreover,
the society demands, institutional guidelines, and standardization cannot be
ignored. The combination of scientific and entertaining texts will cause
students’ motivation in reading, and, therefore, it will improve reading
specializing in teaching reading or readers themselves may follow the steps
which are quite effective for improving students’ reading comprehension skills:
1. Before you
begin reading, look at the pictures and try to predict what the text will be
2. Look at the
title of what you are reading. Usually it contains the topic or general idea of
3. Try to
recollect something you know about the topic (use your background knowledge)
4. Connect your
new readings to what you already know
5. Pay attention
to the structure of the text. Remember: building blocks of reading consist of
words, sentences, and paragraphs.
6. Before you
begin reading, you need to find the beginning, middle, and end of paragraphs.
You need to examine how a paragraph is put together. Remember: a paragraph is a
group of sentences. Paragraphs tell you a complete set of thoughts. Further, we
present some steps of working with the paragraphs.
Here is some
Is watching violence
on television harmful? In fact, we now know that TV violence does affect people
in negative ways. One study showed that frequent TV watchers are more fearful
and suspicious of others. They try to protect themselves from the outside world
with extra locks on the doors, alarm systems, guard dogs, and guns. That same
study also showed that heavy TV watchers are less upset about real-life
violence than non-TV watchers. It seems that the constant violence they see on
TV makes them less sensitive to the real thing. Another study, of a group of
children, found that TV violence increases aggressive behavior. Children who
watched violent shows were more willing to hurt another child in games where
they were given a choice between helping or hurting. They were also more likely
to select toy weapons over other kinds of playthings. Therefore, we can see
that all these factors make a bad impact on people’s life.
• Find the first
• Find the last
• How many
sentences are in the middle?
• How many sentences
are in the whole paragraph?
You can notice
that a paragraph has a beginning, middle, and end. Understanding more about
paragraphs will improve your reading comprehension.
Below we make some
suggestions how to work with all parts of the paragraph.
• Having read the
beginning of the paragraph, choose the most important sentence in this
paragraph. Usually there is just one main sentence. The most important sentence
in a paragraph is called the topic sentence. It tells you what the rest of the
paragraph is about. The topic sentence is often found at the beginning of the
• Look at rest of
the paragraph and find a detail or details. A detail is a small thing that
tells you something more about the topic. Details are likely to be located in
the middle of the paragraph. They are called supporting details as they support
the topic sentence which can also show the main idea.
• Choose the
concluding sentence of the paragraph. It is often located at the end of the
paragraph. The concluding sentence is what the topic and details build up to.
The concluding sentence often sums up the paragraph. Sometimes the concluding
sentence will give you an idea about what the next paragraph will be about
While reading the
text you may use the following strategies which also improve reading
1) Read several
Read at least for
3-4 times: 1- observe the structure of the text, writing style, 2- get the main
idea, 3- search for necessary details (for example, main characters,
statistics, events, etc), 4- Reviewing reading helps you decide whether
something in the reading has confused you. It helps you see if you’ve missed
2) Work with the
If you meet an
unknown word, go on to the next word. Or, it’s better to use the context
(surrounding words) to identify the meaning. Context may provide definitions,
synonyms or antonyms to this word, examples, etc.
3) Read for
reading each paragraph, ask yourself, “What is this paragraph about?” and
figure out the main idea. Answer the questions after the text, if there are
any. Talk back what you’ve read. Talking back will not only help you get
involved with the reading, it also makes the reading more meaningful for you.
• Talking back
will help you pick out parts of the reading that are important.
• It will help you
• It will help you
remember what you’ve read.
• It will also
help you decide on the purpose (what the writer wants you to think about) of
You can talk back
by writing down ideas that the reading makes you think about.
4) Picture what
As you read,
picture what the reading is saying. Bear the image of events, words, characters’
feelings in mind. It’s important to picture events that you’ve read about.
Picturing events will help you understand the reading. You can picture events
by showing the sequence and order in which they happen.
There are some
ways of representation of the reading graphically:
• Make an
‘umbrella statement’. (This way is suitable for the paragraph given above)
Single out the
main idea of the paragraph you’ve read, and write it on the upper surface of an
umbrella. Find the ideas which support the main idea (supporting details), and
present them ‘on the stick of the umbrella’. The example of mapping is presented
• Make a timeline.
Take out a sheet
of paper, or a notebook. Draw a long line. Under the line write: BEGINNING,
On top of the
line, list what happened in the reading in a logical way. It will help you to
remember the sequence of events.
• Make a Sun Map.
It’s another way
to picture the reading. Make a map showing what’s important. You can do this
by mapping the topic, the main idea, and supporting details (major and minor).
Take a sheet of
paper. Draw a big circle with lines coming from it. The big circle is the sun.
The lines coming from it are the sun’s rays.
The main idea is a
way of saying in only a few words what the whole reading is about. The main
idea may work as a title for the reading. Small parts of the reading are called
details. They support the main idea.
Making a sun map
helps you learn how to find the main idea and details. Understanding the main
idea and details will improve your reading comprehension.
So, we come to a
conclusion that there are various ways which are quite effective for developing
reading comprehension. Here are some implements that can be used both by
teachers and students:
- Develop your
background knowledge by reading books, newspapers, and magazines. Become
interested in world events.
- Pay attention
to the structure of paragraphs.
construct paragraphs that have a beginning, middle and end. Often, the first or
second sentences (topic sentences) will give an overview that helps provide a
framework for adding details. Look for transitional words, phrases, and
paragraphs that reveal or change the topic.
- Look for the
method of organization.
The material can
be organized chronologically, serially, logically, functionally, spatially or
- Anticipate and
readers try to anticipate the author and predict future ideas and questions.
If you're right,
this reinforces your understanding. If you're wrong, you make adjustments
motivation and interest.
ask questions, discuss ideas with your classmates. The stronger your interest
is, the greater your comprehension becomes.
- Identify the
type of reasoning. Use your critical thinking skills.
Does the author
use cause and effect reasoning, hypothesis, model building, induction or
deduction, systems thinking? Which means does he use to grasp readers’ attention
and raise their interest in the discussed issues?
account all these suggestions and study techniques, learners will sufficiently
develop their reading comprehension, increase their general knowledge, and
simplify the process of study.
B. Brodcrick. Groundwork for college reading. Townsend press, 2000.
John Langan. Ten steps to improving college reading. Townsend press, 1997.
John Langan. Ten steps to advancing reading skills.-Townsend Press. Marlton, NJ, 1999.
Lorraine C. Smith. Exploring content. Reading for academic success. Longman,
К содержанию номера журнала: Вестник КАСУ №2 - 2012