EN 1111 Reading Skills & Vocabulary Development

Nature and purposes of reading (10 / 05 hrs)

What is Reading: Give two or three definitions

  • What the brain does in ‘reading’ is to make sense of a particular piece of written language in the light of prior knowledge and current intentions and expectations of the reader” (Frank Smith 1982. Understanding Reading)
  • Interactive process in which the reader constructs meaning from a particular piece of writing.
  • What do good readers do when they read?

Get actively involved with the text to understand words, syntax, content (intended message)

  • What is necessary for good reading?

To understand that:

  • Reading efficiently means tackling everyday tasks with a clear purpose.
  • Need to adjust reading strategy to suit the purpose
  • Different reading tasks require different degrees of attention and understanding
  • There is a close relationship between reading and other skills and therefore reading should be integrated with writing, speaking and listening.
  • Get students to list the purposes of reading and the type of texts
  • To learn,
  • function in society
  • satisfy personal interests

Reading skills: scanning and skimming: develop speed reading ( 10/05 hrs)

  • Scanning- read rapidly to locate specific information.
  • Text types: reading an index, telephone directory, a dictionary to find a word, a name, a number. reading notes, messages, letters, news items etc. to find some specific information, provide opportunities to scan different text types
  • Skimming: reading to obtain the general, overall idea/gist of the whole text
    • make students aware of the parts of the text which contain the most important information and that they should read only those
    • read the introductory and concluding paragraphs, the first and the last sentences of the paragraphs in between. Pick up the key words such as dates, names, while moving their eyes down the page
    • Imposing time limits and comparing the time required by various students will be a rapid reading technique.

Literal comprehension: understanding directly stated information ( 15/ 07hrs)

  • Techniques: fact questions based directly on the text
    • True/false statements
    • Completion
    • Multiple choice questions
  • Text types: brochures, information manuals, letters, news reports, etc.

Word attack skills

  • Deducing meaning of unfamiliar words using context clues
    • Using other words such as synonyms and antonyms in the same sentence or paragraph
    • Using the meaning of the sentence as a whole e.g. The Indians cut their canoes out of tree trunks by using an adze. The meaning of adze can be deduced from the meaning of the whole sentence.
  • Using structural and morphological information
  • Guessing the word class
  • Understanding the way how suffixes and prefixes are used to build words

Text attack skills: interpreting grammatical cohesive devices-reference, substitution, elliptical expressions

  • What is Cohesion? What are cohesive devices?

Cohesion helps a text to hang together. (Combine well). It expresses the continuity that exists between a part of a text and another part. Cohesive devices help in achieving cohesion. They are of two main types –grammatical and lexical.

  • Grammatical cohesive devices:
    • Reference: identifying the meaning of proforms such as it, he, our, these, those, which are used to avoid repetition
    • Substitution: e.g. I have a red pen, but Nimal has a blue

Show the difference between substitution and reference.

  • Ellipsis: leaving out a word/words from a sentence which the reader can understand from the surrounding text: e.g. They came although they were asked not to.(not to come)

Word formation in English (10 / 05 hrs)

  • Adding prefixes and suffixes
  • Suffixes: can change the word class and the meaning of the word
  • Noun suffixes: -er. writer, -ee, employee, -tion. Pollution, -ism. Buddhism, -ist. typist, -ness. Goodness
  • Adjectives: -able. Readable
  • Verbs: -ize. Modernize
  • Other suffixes: excitement, flexibility, childhood, membership, active, useless, forgetful, delicious
  • Activity: Form nouns /adjectives/ verbs/ using the given suffixes, as in the examples. Use the dictionary to find the meanings.
  • Prefixes: often used to give adjectives a negative or an opposite meaning; uncomfortable, inconvenient, dissimilar
  • Activity: List words with other prefixes, e.g. anti-, auto-, bi-, ex-

Identifing wordfamilies (15 / 08 hrs)

  • Focus: How word families are developed from a single root

e.g. part, particle, partition, partly, partner, participant, particular

  • Note the stress in each word. Practice saying the words with correct stress.

e.g. photograph, photography, photographic

Words with more then one meaning (10 / 05 hrs)

  • Focus: find the right word in context
  • Types of tasks: discuss different meanings of these words. Make two sentences which give two different meanings.
    • e.g. book: I bought a story book.
    • Book a ticket in advance in the intercity train.