К содержанию номера журнала: Вестник КАСУ №2 - 2012
Автор: Амиргазина Айнур
Reading has traditionally been divided into two
types: intensive and extensive. In broad terms, intensive reading may be described
as the practice of particular reading skills and the close linguistic study of
text. Extensive reading, on the other hand, can be defined as reading a large
quantity of text, where reading confidence and reading fluency are prioritized.
Although this twin categorization of reading into two basic types can be found
in many teacher resource books for the teaching of English as a foreign
language, it is not the whole story, as the student's learning history clearly
pointed out. We need to extend the categorization. We can do this by adding,
first, oral reading, or reading aloud in class, where considerable focus is put
on correct pronunciation of the text - and, second, text translation, where
correct translation of the foreign language text into the learners' mother
tongue is emphasized in tandem with the study of an array of grammatical,
lexical and phonological points. This creates a four-way methodological
categorization of reading in a foreign language, summarized in the following
table [1; p.34].
Reading Technique is reading for a high degree of comprehension and retention
over a long period of time. It is a study technique for organizing readings
that will have to be understood and remembered. One may have good comprehension
while reading line-by-line, but REMEMBERING is what counts. Intensive reading
is not a careful, single reading, but is a method based on a variety of
techniques like scanning, the surveying technique of planning your purpose, and
questions, reading, summarize, test, and understanding are the seven procedures
that cover the method, for very effective reading for detailed comprehension
and long retention.
Some of the main
strategies, skills and sub-skills utilized in extensive reading are as follows:
(reading quickly for the main idea or gist);
(reading quickly for a specific piece of information).
a) factual and
b) important and
less important items;
c) relevant and
d) explicit and
e) ideas and
examples and opinions:
inferences and conclusions;
text organization and linguistic/semantic aspects, e.g.;
between and within sentences (e.g. cohesion)
discourse / semantic markers and their function.
Students need to be
able to do a number of things with a reading text. They need to be able to scan
the text tor particular bits of information they are searching for. This skill
means that they do not have to read every word and line; on the contrary, such
an approach would stop them scanning successfully.
Students need to
be able to skim a text - as if they were casting their eyes over its surface -
to get a general idea of what it is about. Just as with scanning, if they try
to gather all the details at this stage, they will get bogged down and may not
be able to get the general idea because they are concentrating too hard on
scan or skim depends on what kind of text they are reading and what they want
to get out of it. They may scan a computer manual to find the one piece of information
they need to use their machine, and they may skim a newspaper article to get a
general idea of what has been happening. But we would expect them to be less
utilitarian with a literary work where reading for pleasure will be a slower,
closer kind of activity.
Reading for detailed comprehension, whether
looking for detailed information or language, must be seen by students as something
very different from the reading skills mentioned above. When looking for
details, we expect students to concentrate on the minutiae of what they are
One of the
teacher's main functions when training students to rend is not only to persuade
them of the advantages of skimming and scanning, but also to make them see that
the way they read is vitally important.
Teachers are often
discouraged by the inefficient reading methods of otherwise fluent students.
Many foreign-language students in secondary and tertiary institutions cannot
keep up with their assignments and blame their slow reading speed. Despite our
best efforts, we find students struggling word-for-word through a text, plowing
on from beginning to end and stumbling at every unfamiliar item. Unfortunately,
such slow and wasteful procedures are commonly due to a lack of reading
confidence created by the very manner of their learning in EFL classes [2; p. 13].
The types of tasks
set in reading classes frequently reflect wholly artificial objectives,
demanding the kind of grammatical attention or total comprehension rarely required
in everyday life. Such close textual scrutiny seems to increase the anxiety
that inhabits the reading flexibility of many students. They come to believe
that there is only one correct way to read, and this seriously hampers their
The problem stems
from the fact that reading classes are often used to teach language rather than
reading. Texts are either milked of every drop of meaning by intensive study or
employed as vehicles for presenting linguistic patterns.
Teachers must use
reading lessons to develop students’ reading proficiency rather than improving
The purpose of
reading a particular text is the most important determinant of reading
strategy. We do not always require the same level of comprehension, detail, or
recall from our reading, and we have to convince our students that it is
efficient and profitable to vary their technique and speed according to their
purpose in reading.
students to different reading purposes it is useful to get them to keep a log
of everything they read in their L1 in 24 hours. This should include everything
from cereal packaging to timetables or chemistry texts. We than need to elicit
what the students hoped to get from their reading on each occasion, extracting
from the many and various reasons for reading the actual type of information
sought. This will create an awareness of these high-level purposes.
The next step is
to show students that different tasks require different degrees of understanding
and attention. While extremely useful in many study situations, the skills developed
through intensive analysis of short texts are not always appropriate, and
students may be surprised to learn that they do not have to read everything or
give equal weight to each word.
This can be demonstrated
by getting students to reconstruct closed texts or read passages with all
“grammar” words removed. It is rare that a text will contain less than 20% of
articles, connectives, prepositions, modals and so on, which are usually
automatically skimmed in the L1, and by efficient native English speakers.
however, students need to realize that texts contain information of varying
importance to the purpose in reading. To make students aware of the relationship
between purpose and strategy, give them a series of different reading tasks
based on some of the main purposes derived from the sample situations. For
example, the following kinds of exercises might be used:
1) Read a
technical/scholarly text carefully to prepare for detailed exam questions on
2) Read a similar
text to find the answer to a particular question without looking back in the
3) Find one book
containing the relevant material for a particular topic area from a 10-item
4) Read several
movie reviews to decide which one to see this weekend. Students should notice
the actors’ names, general plot information, and the reviewer’s overall opinion.
can be timed and assessed for accuracy. If students’ scores for speed and
comprehension in them are similar, then they are approaching all these tasks in
the same way. They have developed the habit of reading every text from
beginning to end and need to be taught the advantages of explicitly identifying
their purpose before starting to read.
means approaching every reading task with a clear purpose and with the
flexibility to adjust reading strategy to the purpose at hand [3; p.88].
The burden is
therefore on the teacher to provide reading tasks that exploit different
techniques. Table 2 summarizes the relationship between high-level purposes and
seems to be some confusion about the main extensive reading skills-often
because they are merged together and their features obscured – a briefly review
on them can be done below and some classroom approaches can be suggested.
Surveying is a
strategy for quickly and efficiently previewing text content and organization
using referencing and non-text material. Although specific strategies depend on
the type of text, surveying involves making a quick check of the relevant
1. Reference Data
– e.g., title, author, copyright date, blurb, table of contents, chapter or
article summaries, subheadings, etc.
2. Graphical Data
– diagrams, illustrations, tables, maps.
Data – all features that help information stand out, including typefaces,
spacing, enumeration, underlining, indentation, etc.
surveying can utilize skimming techniques such as reading topic sentences and
final paragraphs. The goal is to discover how the text is organized and what it
Like most of
approaches to extensive strategies, the actual reading exercises should involve
time limits. In addition, students should at first work on text below their
ability level to give them the confidence to skip large chunks of text or
develop the skills to pick out main points.
content from titles (often tricky) and tables of contents.
2. Matching texts
with the correct summaries or diagrams.
which chapters contain answers to given questions, based on chapter titles.
4. Deciding which
article can best answer a given question based on a choice of article
5. Deciding which
books on a reading list would be most relevant for a particular researched
unreflectively skim most of what they read to some extent. Skimming is a more
text-oriented form of surveying and refers to the method of glancing through a
text to extract the gist or main points. Generally speaking, about 75% of the
text is disregarded. This is a valuable technique for reviewing material or
determining whether it is relevant for more detailed investigation.
knowing which parts of a text contain the most important information and
reading only those. More than most kinds of reading, therefore, it requires
knowledge of text structure. In particular, students should be able to learn
something of the text topic from the title and any subheadings; they should
know that the first and last paragraphs often contain valuable background,
summarizing or concluding information; they should be aware of the importance
of topic sentences and where to find them. Eventually, students can be
introduced to the different functions of paragraphs (such as narrative,
descriptive, defining, explanatory, etc.) in order to more effectively sense
the pattern of the text and to recognize the relationship between main ideas
and other information from lexical and grammatical indicators.
1. Ask students to
find the misplaced sentences in a paragraph. This develops awareness of topic
sentences and paragraph coherence.
practice can entail the reconstruction of paragraphs from component sentences.
3. Provide several
newspaper or magazine articles on the same subject, and ask students which ones
deal with a particular aspect of the topic.
4. Have students
match a short text with a headline or picture.
5. Ask students to
give titles to short texts.
6. Have students
fit topic sentences with particular paragraphs.
7. Provide texts
with an increasing number of words removed to give confidence in selective
Scanning is a
rapid search for specific information rather than general impression. Scanning
demands that the reader ignore all but the key item being searched for. It is a
useful skill for data gathering, review, using reference books, or judging
whether a text contains material deserving further study.
Although an easier
strategy to master than skimming, many students do not scan efficiently,
randomly searching and allowing their attention to be caught by incidental material.
The reader must therefore, more than in other types of reading, fix the reading
purpose clearly, perhaps formulating specific questions before systematically
dealing with the text. Having a clearly defined purpose means that the reader
can anticipate where to find the information and what form it will take,
allowing rapid eye movements down the page searching for particular sections or
clues, such as digits, common names, discourse markers, and various signal
words and phrases that assist pattern recognition and anticipation.
are familiar to all teachers and are easy to produce. As the essence of
scanning is fast retrieval of specific information, exercises can be timed and
1. The student
races to locate a single item such as a word, date, or name in the text (e.g.,
indexes, dictionaries, or pages from telephone directories). Columnar material
is easier to start with, as readers can be taught to sweep down the middle of
columns in one eye movement.
2. The student
races to locate specific phrases or facts in a text.
3. The student
uses key words in questions to search for indirect answers.
4. The student
matches adjoining sentences, using supplied markers expressing relationships
and logical patterns.
5. The student
fills in missing link words from a text or reconstructs paragraphs from
sentences to help rhetorical pattern recognition.
While not strictly
an extensive-reading strategy, phrase reading utilizes what are essentially
advanced scanning skills and is a valuable reading strategy.
The two keys to
proficient scanning and phrase reading are concentration and eye-span ability.
Actual reading is done during the brief moment when the eyes fixate, or pause,
as they travel across the page. The efficient reader is therefore one who makes
few eye movements, comprehending several words at once by grouping a text into
sense units. With regular practice the mind can be conditioned to both accept
more material at each fixation and react more quickly to the meaning it conveys.
are, however, automatically governed by the reader’s comprehension, and the
foreign-language learner is handicapped by a relative lack of proficiency in
phrase recognition. More than physical eye movements, therefore, a certain
amount of linguistic expertise is required, and students should be taught to
recognize sense units before building their peripheral vision control. This
involves helping students see that ideas are expressed in groups rather than
single words and that some words are commonly associated. Students should
therefore practice dividing paragraphs into meaningful groups of two or three
words in order to develop their recognition of sense groups. Later they can be
presented with texts in columns of phrases to increase their eye span.
Eventually, students come to see that phrase reading not only increases reading
speed over reading a word at a time, but also actually aids comprehension.
students to cover previous lines to reduce regression, i.e., rereading by
backward eye movements.
2. Get students to
read down the middle of a column of figures, slowly increasing the number of
digits in each line to six.
3. Do the same
with letters, then words, building up to phrases. The point is for them to read
by moving their eyes straight down the column, taking in each phrase in a
4. Ask students to
make and use a mask that reveals only two or three words in a line, gradually
increasing eye span.
5. Provide a
‘pyramid’ text of gradually increasing width. This should be used with a card
containing a centrally placed arrow pointing to the edge as a means of focusing
the eyes on a fixed point while reading [4; p.61].
students to identify phrases in a paragraph using slash marks, then to concentrate
on these groups when reading the text.
7. In addition, recent interest in describing
the rhetorical structure of different text types or genres is directly relevant
to improving extensive reading strategies. Effective comprehension depends on
the reader’s ability to relate what is being read to a familiar pattern or
schema. By enabling the reader to correctly identify and organize information
into a conventional frame, knowledge of genres provides a kind of structural
map that assists the rapid appraisal of a text and thereby increases skimming,
scanning, and phrase-reading ability [5; p. 12].
Students can start
with examining the types of texts they deal with, recognizing the ways that
material is commonly shaped and organized in those texts. With this knowledge
of how content in particular text types are arranged in familiar stages, the
student is able to anticipate and predict more accurately. This allows faster
and more selective reading for a general overview or to find specific information.
Alderson, J.C. Testing reading comprehension skills. Paper presented at TESOL
'88 Convention, Chicago, 1989.
Fry T. Embracing Contraries: Explorations in Learning and Teaching. New York: Ox ford University Press, 1963. – p. 12-19.
Harmer Jeremy. How to Teach English. Addison Wesley: Longman, 1998. – p. 73-90.
Jordan R.R. English for Academic Purposes. A guide and resource book for teachers.
Cambridge University Press,
1997. – p. 58-86.
Г.Ж., Токтабаева Г.Р. Чтение как один из видов речевой деятельности. ИЯШ. 2007.
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К содержанию номера журнала: Вестник КАСУ №2 - 2012