Developing reading skills

Effective reading is essential for success in acquiring a second language. Approaches to Teaching Reading Skills. The characteristic of methods of Teaching Reading to Learners. The Peculiarities of Reading Comprehension. Approaches to Correcting Mistakes.

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Язык английский
Дата добавления 28.03.2012

Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine

Lviv Ivan Franko National University

The English Department

Developing reading skills

Course paper presented by

Halyna Mizernyk

a 4th year student

of the English Department

supervised by

N.M. Vlokh

associate professor

of the English Department

Lviv 2011


  • Introduction
  • Chapter I. Approaches to Teaching Reading Skills
  • Chapter II. Methods of Teaching Reading to Learners
  • 2.1.1 The Alphabetic Method
  • 2.1.2 The Phonic Method
  • 2.1.3 The Word Method
  • 2.1.4 The Phrase Method
  • 2.1.5 The Sentence Method
  • 2.1.6 The Story Method. The Peculiarities of Reading Comprehension
  • 2.1.7 Approaches to Correcting Mistakes
  • Conclusion
  • List of Literature
  • Appendix I.
  • Appendix II.


Effective reading is essential for success in acquiring a second language. After all, reading is the basis of instruction in all aspects of language learning: using textbooks for language courses, writing, revising, developing vocabulary, acquiring grammar, editing, and using computer-assisted language learning programs. Reading instruction, therefore, is an essential component of every second-language curriculum [4; 1]. Moreover, according to Dr. West, reading should be given more priority in the teaching process. He emphasizes that reading indicates knowledge of a language, enhances experiences, facilitates the intellectual development of the learner [22; 2].

The challenge of teaching reading to beginning-level adults can be daunting, however, teaching at the beginning level it is also the most rewarding. It is extremely moving to witness an adult who, after years of struggling with the sounds of individual letters, is able to read a letter from a family member or a note that his or her child brings home from school [8; 4]. Learners learn differently, in different ways, and at different rates. Thus, in learning to read, some children need a little more of one thing while others need a bit more of another thing. Trying to push all learners through the same reading program will result in the slowed growth of some and the frustration of others [12; 17].

At the early stages it is important to make the task of learning to read as easy and interesting as possible. Students need a lot of practice before they are able to recognize words and phrases quickly, and even the most interesting reading book or textbook, gets boring if they have to read the same thing more than once [24; 151]. Learners of a foreign language, especially at elementary and intermediate levels, are rarely efficient readers in the foreign language. This has to do not only with deficiencies in linguistic knowledge, but also with the strategies employed in reading [18; 1].

The topicality of the research work consists in:

- the researching approaches towards teaching reading at all levels;

- establishing a new critical view at the methods of teaching reading;

- discussing reading skills from the perspective of elementary level;

- figuring out ways of proper error correction strategies;

The subject of this research paper is shaped around the approaches towards teaching speaking to learners. Developing reading skills and methods of teaching reading form the object of the present work.

The purpose of the work is to conduct the overview of the main teaching methods of developing reading skills with second language learners. The following objectives have been settled so that to achieve this purpose:

- to define principles of developing reading skills;

- to study the approaches to teaching reading skills at any level;

- to find out the skills required for an elementary learner to became a proficient reader;

- to suggest conditions for effective teaching reading;

- to enumerate the principles behind the teaching reading;

- to analyze the methods of teaching reading at the elementary level;

- to reveal the peculiarities of reading comprehension;

- to identify ways of introducing new vocabulary to learners;

- to explore approaches to correcting mistakes.

The theoretical value of this course paper lies in the analysis of teaching reading methods at the elementary level as a methodological problem and in the conducting overview of the reading process nature.

The material of the present research paper may be applicable at the general courses on Methodology of English Teaching. Moreover, it may be highly useful for elaboration of programs and classes on teaching reading at all levels. In addition, it may serve as a basis for further research what illustrates the practical value of the course paper.

The structure of the research is the following: introduction, two chapters, conclusion, the list of references, two appendices.

reading method тeaching language

Introduction states the topicality of the issue, the purpose and objectives of the research, defines the object and the subject of the course paper, enumerates methods applied in the process of research, expounds its practical and theoretical value and lays out the structure of the work.

Chapter I outlines approaches towards teaching reading skills.

Chapter II analyzes peculiarities of teaching reading at the elementary level and suggests several approaches towards correcting mistakes.

Conclusion generalizes the results of the research and summarizes all the information provided in the course paper.

List of references comprises bibliography of literature used during the research.

Appendix I enumerates possible reading skills that students may master in the course of learning.

Appendix II suggests games for teaching alphabet to young elementary language learners.

Chapter I. Approaches to Teaching Reading Skills

Reading skills are the cognitive processes that a reader uses in making sense of a text. For fluent readers, most of the reading skills are employed unconsciously and automatically. When confronted with a challenging text, fluent readers apply these skills consciously and strategically in order to comprehend [4; 4].

There are numerous reading skills that students need to master to become proficient readers: extracting main ideas, reading for specific information, understanding text organization, predicting, checking comprehension, inferring, dealing with unfamiliar words, linking ideas, understanding complex sentences, understanding writer's style and writing summaries (see Addendum 1for the complete list) [22; 2]. But if adult learners are psychologically prepared for reading and the matter is only in acquiring basic reading skills, enriching vocabulary stock and mastering at least few grammar rules, then the situation with young elementary readers is quite different.

Learners read effectively only when they are ready. The reader's preparedness to read is called `reading readiness'. According to Thorndike's law of learning, the first requisite for beginning reading is an interest in reading. Reading stories, allowing children to draw and read charts, displaying readable messages, providing picture books and labeling the objects will stimulate their interests [22; 5].

At any level, the following skills are necessary for a student to become a proficient reader:

– automatic, rapid letter recognition

– automatic, rapid word recognition

– the ability to use context as an aid to comprehension

– the ability to use context when necessary as a conscious aid to word recognition [11; 2-3].

A good readiness program develops proficiency in the following area:

speaking and listing skill;

visual discrimination;

knowing the alphabet;

thinking skills;

word meaning skills;

auditory discrimination;

moving left to right;

sight vocabulary;

identification skill

For visual discrimination a teacher may use exercises of identification of the same picture in a row, for visual and auditory discrimination one may find useful exercises of identification of same letters in a row, finding the odd one, picking out word pairs (yes-yes, tit-tit), circling the odd word pair in a group. To train word identification and word recognition tasks like `complete the letters or words with the help of pictures in a sentence' may be appropriate [22; 5-6].

While teaching reading the following approaches should not be neglected:

1. Focus on one skill at a time. Explain the purpose of working on this skill, and convince the students of its importance in reading effectively.3. Work on an example of using the skill with the whole class. Explain your thinking aloud as you do the exercise.4. Assign students to work in pairs on an exercise where they practice using the same skill. Require them to explain their thinking to each other as they work.5. Discuss students' answers with the whole class. Ask them to explain how they got their answers. Encourage polite disagreement, and require explanations of any differences in their answers.6. In the same class, and also in the next few classes, assign individuals to work on more exercises that focus on the same skill with increasing complexity. Instruct students to work in pairs whenever feasible.7. Ask individual students to complete an exercise using the skill to check their own ability and confidence in using it.8. In future lessons, lead the students to apply the skill, as well as previously mastered skills, to a variety of texts [4; 4].

Reading becomes effective when teacher starts with words that are familiar to students, uses simple structures, blackboard and flashcards, and gives emphasis to recognizing and understanding the meaning of a word simultaneously. As far as young elementary learners are concerned teaching reading should be started when a child can learn his/her own mother-tongue [22; 9]. Also, it is suggested to use some kind of reading repetition or practice and progress monitoring [13; 151]. Moreover, teachers should always keep in mind the various problems of reading a foreign language [22; 9].

It is useful to know if a student can read nonsense words such as `flep, tridding and pertollic' as the ability to read nonsense words depends on rapid and accurate association of sounds with symbols. Good readers do this easily so they can decipher new words and attend to the meaning of the passage. Poor readers usually are slower and make more mistakes in sounding out words. Their comprehension suffers as a consequence. Poor readers improve if they are taught in an organized, systematic manner how to decipher the spelling code and sound words out [20; 19].

There are also several principles behind the teaching of reading:

Principle 1: Reading is not a passive skill. Reading is an incredibly active occupation. To do it successfully, we have to understand what the words mean, see the pictures the words are painting, understand the arguments, and work out if we agree with them. If we do not do these things - and if students do not do these things - then we only just scratch the surface of the text and we quickly forget it.

Principle 2: Students need to be engaged with what they are reading. As with everything else in lessons, students who are not engaged with the reading text - not actively interested in what they are doing - are less likely to benefit from it. When they are really fired up by the topic or the task, they get much more from what is in front of them.

Principle 3: Students should be encouraged to respond to the content of a reading text not just to the language. Of course, it is important to study reading texts for the way they use language, the number of paragraphs they contain and how many times they use relative clauses. But the meaning, the message of the text, is just as important and we must give students a chance to respond to that message in some way. It is especially important that they should be allowed to express their feelings about the topic - thus provoking personal engagement with it and the language.

Principle 4: Prediction is a major factor in reading.

When we read texts in our own language, we frequently have a good idea of the content before we actually read. Book covers give us a hint of what's in the book, photographs and headlines hint at what articles are about and reports look like reports before we read a single word. The moment we get this hint - the book cover, the headline, the word-processed page - our brain starts predicting what we are going to read. Expectations are set up and the active process of reading is ready to begin. Teachers should give students 'hints' so that they can predict what's coming too. It will make them better and more engaged readers.

Principle 5: Match the task to the topic. We could give students Hamlet's famous soliloquy 'To be or not to be' and ask them to say how many times the infinitive is used. We could give them a restaurant menu and ask them to list the ingredients alphabetically. There might be reasons for both tasks, but, on the face of it, they look a bit silly. We will probably be more interested in what Hamlet means and what the menu foods actually are. Once a decision has been taken about what reading text the students are going to read, we need to choose good reading tasks - the right kind of questions, engaging and useful puzzles etc. The most interesting text can be undermined by asking boring and inappropriate questions; the most commonplace passage can be made really exciting with imaginative and challenging tasks.

Principle 6: Good teachers exploit reading texts to the full. Any reading text is full of sentences, words, ideas, descriptions etc. It doesn't make sense just to get students to read it and then drop it to move on to something else. Good teachers integrate the reading text into interesting class sequences, using the topic for discussion and further tasks, using the language for Study and later Activation [9; 70].

All things considered, reading is far from being a passive skill. Students need to be engaged with what they are reading. Teachers should match tasks to the topic, choose activities up to the students' abilities and develop teaching programs in such a way so that to develop all the reading skills.

Chapter II. Methods of Teaching Reading to Learners

At an early stage of teaching reading the teacher should read a sentence or a passage to the class himself/herself. When s/he is sure the students understand the passage, s/he can set individuals and the class to repeat the sentences after him/her, reading again himself/herself if the pupils' reading is poor. The pupils look into the textbook. In symbols it can be expressed like this: T - C - T - P1 - T - P2 - T - P3 - T - C (T - teacher; C - class; P - pupil).

This kind of elementary reading practice should be carried on for a limited number of lessons only. When a class has advanced far enough to be ready for more independent reading, reading in chorus might be decreased, but not eliminated: T - C - P1 P2 P3.

When the pupils have learned to associate written symbols with the sounds they stand for they should read a sentence or a passage by themselves. In this way they get a chance to make use of their knowledge of the rules of reading. It gives the teacher an opportunity to see whether each of his pupils can read. Symbolically it looks like this: P1 P2 Pn T (S) C (S - speaker, if a tape recorder is used) [17; 184].

All in all, there are six important methods of teaching reading. They are as follows:

Ш The alphabetic method or ABC method or spelling method.

Ш The phonic method.

Ш The word method.

Ш The phrase method.

Ш The sentence method.

Ш The story method [22; 6].

Let us consider them in details:

2.1.1 The Alphabetic Method

The teacher teaches the students the names of letters in their alphabetic order. S/he also may combine two or more letters to form a word: e. g. i_n=in, o_n=on, o_n_e=one. From `words' it moves to `phrases' and finally `sentences'. Thus, the procedure begins from letters and ends in sentences [22; 6].

There are many ways to teach the alphabet and all teachers develop their own style over time. One of the common instructions to introduce a new letter is the following one:

1. Hold up an alphabet letter flashcard so all students can see it.2. Chorus the letter 3 to 5 times. Then ask each student individually to say the letter.3. Teach the sound of the letter (e. g. "A is for 'ah'. ah - ah - ah"). Chorus again and check individually.4. Provide an example of an object that begins with the letter. Double-sided flashcards with the letter on one side and a picture on the other are great for this. (e. g. "What's this?" (elicit "A"). "And A is for.?" (elicit "ah"). "And 'ah' is for. (turning the card over)"apple!". Chorus the word and check individually.5. Do a final check (T: "What's this?", Ss: "A", T: "And 'A' is for.?", Ss: "ah", T: "And 'ah' is for.?" Ss: "Apple!"). These steps can be followed by 'magic finger', 'pass it', 'find it', 'slow motion' or any other alphabet game (see Addendum 2). Also, the ABC song is a nice way to start and finish the alphabet segment of your lesson [21].

The pros of alphabetic method are that it gives the students sufficient opportunity to see words and helps them to build up the essential visual image. However, as it is a dull and monotonous process it appears to be a difficult and lengthy method that does not expand the eye-span [22; 6].

The letters that occur in both languages, but they are read differently, are the most difficult letters for students to retain. Obviously in teaching a student to read English words, much more attention should be given to those letters which occur in both languages but symbolize entirely different sounds. For example, H, p. (Pupils often read How as [nau]. Therefore, in presenting a new letter to students a teacher should stress its peculiarity not only from the standpoint of the English language (what sound or sounds it symbolizes) but from the point of view of the native language as well [17; 180]

Since the 1960s, solid research has shown that the ability to recognize and name the letters of the alphabet upon entry to school is the best single predictor of reading achievement at the end of the first year of literacy instruction. However, it also shows that simply teaching children the alphabet does not guarantee that they will rapidly develop literacy skills. [11; 3]

2.1.2 The Phonic Method

Beginning students do not understand that letters represent the sounds in words, although they do know that print represents spoken messages [20; 19].

Phonological awareness is the strongest predictor of future reading success for children. No research exists that describes the affects of phonological awareness on reading for adults. However, it is believed that teaching phonological awareness to beginning-reading adults improves their reading accuracy and spelling, especially for reading and spelling words with blends [8; 2]. The skill of matching sounds and letter symbols is called phonics [13; 65].

Phonics, involves learning that the graphic letter symbols in our alphabet correspond to speech sounds, and that these symbols and sounds can be blended together to form real words. Word analysis strategies enable students to "sound out" words they are unable to recognize by sight. Explicit, direct instruction in phonics has been proven to support beginning reading and spelling growth better than opportunistic attention to phonics while reading, especially for students with suspected reading disabilities. Beginning readers should be encouraged to decode unfamiliar words as opposed to reading them by sight, because it requires attention to every letter in sequence from left to right. This helps to fix the letter patterns in the word in a reader's memory. Eventually, these patterns are recognized instantaneously and words appear to be recognized holistically [8; 2]

After first operating at an alphabetic stage, during which elementary learners recognize words using letters or letter groups but not sound-symbol connections, students develop their ability to connect the sounds in part of a word with the letter or letters which go with that sound. They become able to use this knowledge in a new context by analogy. Analogical reasoning is very important in this process. It works initially with two phonological units:

the first phoneme in a word (often referred to as the `onset');

the remainder of the word, the part that rhymes (often referred to as the `rime'). [11; 6].

The phonic method is based on teaching the sounds that match letters and groups of letters of the English alphabet. What is important here is that the sounds NOT the names of the letters that are taught. As the sounds that match alphabet letters, the letters are written and illustrated with “key” words to represent the sound [23]. The word is broken into speech sounds. The alphabet may be introduced afterwards. The teacher teaches English through phonetic script, e. g.: Cup-/k/ /^/ /p/ [22; 7].

This phonic method gives the good knowledge of sounds to the learners. It is also linked with speech training and helps to avoid spelling defects. The drawback of the method lies in the facts that meaning is not given priority in this method, words with similar sounds but different spelling confuse the learners. In addition may delay the development of reading words as a whole [22; 7].

2.1.3 The Word Method

The word method is otherwise known as “Look and say" Method [22; 7]. The look and say teaching method, also known as the whole word method, was invented in the 1830s and soon became a popular method for teaching reading. By the 1930s and 1940s there was a very strong focus on teaching children to read by this method. In the 1950s, however, it was fiercely criticized in favor of phonics-based teaching. The debate still continues today [7].

The look and say method teaches children to read words as whole units, rather than breaking the word down into individual letters or groups of letters. Elementary learners are repeatedly told the word name while being shown the printed word, perhaps accompanied by a picture or within a meaningful context [7]. By pointing at each word as a teacher reads sentences, children will start to learn each word [16].

The teaching principles of the discussed method are as follows:

§ New words are systematically introduced to a student by letting him/her see the word, hear the word and see a picture or a sentence referring to the word.

§ Flashcards are often used with individual words written on them, sometimes with an accompanying picture. They are shown repetitively to a child until he memorizes the pattern of the word.

§ Progressive texts are used with strictly controlled vocabularies containing just those words which have been learned.

§ Initially an elementary learner may concentrate on learning a few hundred words. Once these are mastered new words are systematically added to the repertoire. Typically a child would learn to recognize 1,500 to 3,000 words in his first three or four years of school [7].

Students should also learn the reading of some monosyllabic words which are homophones. For example: son - sun; tail - tale; too - two; write - right; eye-I, etc. It is advised to use flashcards to encourage young elementary learners to read, such techniques may be suggested:

(1) students choose words which are not read according to the rule, for example: lake, plane, have, Mike, give, nine;

(2) students are invited to read the words which they usually misread:

yet _ let

cold - could

form - from

come - some

called - cold

wood - would

does - goes

walk - work

(3) students are invited to look at the words and name the letter (letters) which makes the words different:

though - thought through - though

since - science

with - which

hear - near

content - context

hear - hare

country - county

(4) students in turn read a column of words following the key word (see: A. P. Starkov, R. R. Dixon, Fifth Form Eng lish, Pupil's Book);

(5) students are invited to pick out the words with the graph emes oo, ow, ea, th,.

At the very beginning, a student is compelled to look at each printed letter separately in order to be sure of its shape. S/He often sees words and not sense units. For instance, s/he reads: The book is on the desk and not (The book is) (on the desk) [17; 181].

Of particular interest here is the question `how do fluent readers recognize words? ' It is now known that fluent readers do not process words as `wholes'. In normal reading, they process individual letters during each fixation. They make use of knowledge of spelling patterns, word patterns and the constraints of syntax and semantics to produce a phonetic version of the text (though this is usually produced after, rather than before, words have been recognized) [11; 3]. Some scholars also suggest six word recognition strategies:

Context clues. Figuring out what the word is by looking at what makes sense in the sentence.

PSR/morphemic analysis. Figuring out what the word is by looking at the prefix, suffix, or root word.

Word analysis/word families. Figuring out what the word is by looking at word families or parts of the word you recognize.

Ask a friend. Turn to a friend and say, “What's this word? ”

Skip the word. If you are still creating meaning, why stop the process to figure out a word?

Phonics. Using minimal letter cues in combination with context clues to figure out what the word is [12; 18].

It is an easy and natural direct method that facilitates oral work. The disadvantage of this method is that it encourages the learner the habit of reading one word at a time. All words cannot be taught by using pictures. There are abstract words, full meaning of which cannot be understood through single, separate words. Moreover, it ignores spelling [22; 7].

2.1.4 The Phrase Method

The phrase method lies midway between the word method and the sentence method. It helps in extending the eye span. Phrases can be presented with more interesting material aids. The teacher prepares a list of phrases and writes one phrase on the blackboard. He asks the students to look at the phrase attentively. The teacher reads the phrase and pupils repeat it several times. New phrases are compared with the phrases already taught. It has all the limitations of the word method. It places emphasis on meaning rather than reading [22; 7].

2.1.5 The Sentence Method

The most difficult thing in learning to read is to get information from a sentence or a paragraph on the basis of the knowledge of structural signals and not only the meaning of words. Pupils often ignore grammar and try to understand what they read relying on their knowledge of autonomous words. And, of course, they often fail, e. g., the sentence "He was asked to help the old woman" is understood as "Він попросив допомогти старшій жінці", in which the word he becomes the subject and is not the object of the action. [17; 181].

In this method the whole sentence is the minimum meaningful unit. It is also a “look and say method”. This method is used in situational teaching. Students learn words and letters of the alphabet afterwards. Flash cards are used. The flash card contains the whole sentence. The method is useful for continuous reading. Words and sentences should be familiar to the children. The sentence method can be used effectively only when the children are already able to speak the language. The procedure of this method is sentence - >phrase->words->letters [22; 7]. The sentence method deals with the sentences as units of approach in teaching reading. The teacher can develop students' ability to read sentences with correct intonation. Later the sentence is split up into words. It facilitates speaking and is natural as well as psychological. It develops the eye span and helps in self learning. It makes use of visual aids. However, readers find it difficult to read a sentence without the knowledge of words and letters. Thus, it is rather a time consuming method [22; 7].

2.1.6 The Story Method. The Peculiarities of Reading Comprehension

The story method is an advanced method over the sentence method. It creates interest among the children. It gives the complete unit of thought. The teacher tells the story in four or five sentences illustrated through pictures. The children first memorize the story and then read it. The limitations of this method consist in failing to develop the habit of reading accurately and putting a heavy load on the memory of the student [22; 8]. Special attention is given to intonation since it is of great importance to the actual division of sentences, to stressing the logical predicate in them. (Marking the text occasionally may be helpful. [17; 184].

Teachers should not forget to perform before-reading-practices:

· Teach the pronunciation of difficult to read words [3; 3].

If students can read the words in a passage accurately and fluently, their reading comprehension will be enhanced [3; 5]. Word recognition and decoding skills are necessary, though not sufficient for reading comprehension. According to the National Reading Panel, systematic and explicit decoding instruction improves students' word recognition, spelling, and reading comprehension. Fluent reading in the primary grades is related to reading comprehension [3; 6].

Selection of words for decoding instruction:

1. Use the list of difficult to read words provided in your program.

2. If list of words is not provided or inadequate for your students, preview the passage selecting the difficult to read words.

3. Divide the difficult to pronounce words into two categories for instructional purposes:

ь Tell Words (irregular words, words containing untaught elements, and foreign words)

ь Strategy Words (words that can be decoded when minimal assistance is provided) [3; 9] (See Addendum 3).

· Teach the meaning of critical, unknown vocabulary words.

Vocabulary is related to reading comprehension. If students understand the meaning of critical vocabulary in the passage, their comprehension will be enhanced [3; 13-14]. Gap in word knowledge persists though the elementary years. Moreover, the vocabulary gap between struggling readers and proficient readers grows each year [3; 17].

Zimmermann and Hutchins identify seven reading comprehension strategies:

1. activating or building background knowledge;

2. using sensory images;

3. questioning 4. making predictions and inferences;

5. determining main ideas 6. using fix-up options;

7. synthesizing [14; 11].

Reading in chorus, reading in groups in imitation of the teacher which is practiced in schools forms. The result is that pupils can sound the text but they cannot read. The teacher should observe the rule "Never read words, phrases, sentences by yourself. Give your pupils a chance to read them." For instance, in presenting the words and among them those which are read according to the rule the teacher should make once students read these words first. This rule is often violated in school. It is the teacher who first reads a word, a column of words, a sentence, a text and students just repeat after the teacher [17; 182].

2.1.7 Approaches to Correcting Mistakes

In teaching students to read the teacher must do once best to prevent mistakes. Teachers may however, be certain that in spite of much work done by them, students will make mistakes in reading. The question is who corrects their mistakes, how they should be corrected, when they must be corrected.

The opinion is that the student who has made a mistake must try to correct it himself/herself. If s/he cannot do it, his/her classmates correct his/her mistake. If they cannot do so the teacher corrects the mistake. The following techniques may be suggested:

1. The teacher writes a word (e. g., black) on the black board. S/He underlines ck in it and asks the pupil to say what sound these two letters convey. If the student cannot answer the question, the teacher asks some of his/her classmates. They help the student to correct his/her mistake and s/he reads the word.

2. One of the students asks: What is the English for „чорний"? If the student repeats the mistake, the "corrector" pronounces the word properly and explains the rule the student has forgotten. The student now reads the word correctly.

3. The teacher or one of the students says: Find the word „чорний" and read it. The student finds the word and reads it either without any mistake if his/her first mistake was due to his/her carelessness, or s/he repeats the mistake. The teacher then tells him/her to recollect the rule and read the word correctly.

4. The teacher corrects the mistake himself/herself. The student reads the word correctly. The teacher asks the student to explain to the class how to read ck. The teacher tells the student to write the word black and underline ck. Then s/he says how the word is read.

There are some other ways of correcting students' mistakes. The teacher should use them reasonably and choose the one most suitable for the case.

Another question arises: whether teachers should correct a mistake in the process of reading a passage or after finishing it. Both ways are possible. The mistake should be corrected at once while the student reads the text if s/he has made it in a word which will occur two or more times in the text. If the word does not appear again, it is better to let the student read the paragraph to the end. Then the mistake is corrected. A teacher should always be on the alert for the students' mistakes, allow their reading and mark their mistakes in pencil [17; 185-186].


In the present course paper there has been made an attempt to analyze peculiarities of teaching reading methods in the light of foreign language acquisition and English teaching methodology.

On the basis of the material collected the following conclusions may be inferred:

v Reading is one of the key language skills that students should acquire in the process of learning a foreign language. Moreover, it is not only the goal of education but also a means of learning a foreign language as while reading students review sounds and letters, vocabulary and grammar, memorize the spelling of words, the meaning of words and word combinations i. e. they polish their foreign language knowledge.

v Reading skills are the cognitive processes that a reader uses in making sense of a text. To become a proficient reader language learners should master automatic letter and word recognition and the ability to use context as an aid to comprehension.

v To make teaching reading effective it is advisable to focus on one skill at a time, explain the purpose of given tasks, establish connection with the previously acquired knowledge and skills, make usage of visual and audio aids, discuss problematic issues etc. Teachers should also keep in mind that reading is not a passive skill, make students engaged with what they are reading, encouraged them to respond to the content of a reading text not just to the language, to make sure that tasks correspond to the topic and level of the students etc.

v All in all, there are six important methods of teaching reading and they are as follows:

v 1. the alphabetic method / ABC method / spelling method,

v 2. the phonic method,

v 3. the word method,

v 4. the phrase method,

v 5. the sentence method, 6 the story method.

o The pros of alphabetic method are that it gives the students sufficient opportunity to see words and helps them to build up the essential visual image. However, as it is a dull and monotonous process it appears to be a difficult and lengthy method that does not expand the eye-span.

o The phonic method is based on teaching the sounds that match letters and groups of letters of the English alphabet. It is linked with speech training and helps to avoid spelling defects. Nevertheless, the drawback of the method lies in the facts that meaning is not given priority in this method, additionally, it may delay the development of reading words as a whole.

o The word method, otherwise known as “Look and say" method, teaches to read words as whole units, rather than breaking the word down into individual letters or groups of letters. It is an easy and natural direct method that facilitates oral work but at the same time it encourages the learner the habit of reading one word at a time.

o The phrase method lies midway between the word method and the sentence method. It helps in extending the eye span. This method has the same limitations as the word method has. It places emphasis on meaning rather than reading.

o The sentence method or “look and say method” in other words is often used in situational teaching. It perceives the whole sentence as the minimum meaningful unit. The procedure goes as follows: sentence - > phrase-> words-> letters. Readers find it difficult to read a sentence without the knowledge of words and letters. Thus, it is rather a time consuming method.

o The story method is the most advanced one. The teacher tells the story in four or five sentences illustrated through pictures. The children first memorize the story and then read it. Before-teaching-practices should not be neglected with this method.

v Scholars recognize six word recognition strategies, namely, context clues, morphemic analysis, word analysis, ask a friend, skip the word, phonics. Activating or building background knowledge, using sensory images, questioning, making predictions and inferences, determining main ideas, using fix-up options, synthesizing are the seven reading comprehension strategies.

v The procedure of introducing new vocabulary to students may take the following route: step 1: word introduction > step 2: student-friendly explanation > step 3: illustrative examples > step 4: checking understanding.

v Teachers should be very reasonable and careful with error correction and choose the most suitable for the case as it may psychologically influence learners. The correction may be made by the teacher or another student during or after reading.

All the things considered, reading is a language activity and ought not to be divorced from other language activities. To read effectively in English second-language students need to learn to think in English. The methods of any teaching reading lesson should be chosen according to the learner's level of skill development. Teaching reading is a job for an expert who has to create conditions whereby learners can learn and develop their reading skills.

The research is only a modest contribution to the issue of teaching reading methodology and thus further investigation into the sphere is highly recommended.

List of Literature

1. Комарницька Т.М. Методика викладання німецької мови: конспект лекцій / Т.М. Комарницька. - Львів: ЛДУ, 1991. - 48 с.

2. Alyousef H. S. Teaching Reading Comprehension to ESL/EFL Learners / H. S. Alyousef // The Reading Matrix. - 2005. - №2. - P.143-154.

3. Archer A. L. Before Reading Practices / A. L. Archer. - Curriculum Associates, Skills for School Success. - 56 p.

4. Beatrice S. Teaching reading in a second Language / S. Beatrice, E. D. Mikulecky. - London: Pearson Education, 2008.

5. Brindley S. Teaching English / S. Brindley. - London, NY: Routlge, 1994. - 268p.

6. Calhoun E. F. Teaching Beginning Reading and Writing with the picture word inductive model / E. F. Calhoun. - Alexandria, Virginia: Assotiation for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 1999. - 125 p.

7. Donan Glenn. Children's Books and Reading [Look and Say teaching Method]. - Режим доступу: - Заголовок з екрану.

8. Hager A. Techniques for Teaching Beginning-Level Reading to Adults / A. Hager // Focus on Basics. - 2001. - №5. P 1-5.

9. Harmer J. How to teach English / J. Harmer. - London: Longman, 2001. - 199 p.

10. Harmer J. The practice of English language teaching: third edition / J. Harmer. - NY: Longman, 2001. - 386 p.

11. Harrison C. Methods of Teaching Reading: Key Issues in Research and Implications for Practice / C. Harrison // Interchange. - 1996. - №39. - P.1-16.

12. Johnson A. P. Teaching Reading and Writing / A. P. Johnson. - Lahman, NY, Toronto, Plymouth: Rowman and Littlefield Education, 2008. - 260 p.

13. Lems K. Teaching Reading to English Language Lerners / K. Lems, L. D.miller, M. T. Soro. - NY, London: The Guilford press, 2010. - 256 p.

14. Moreillon J. Collaborative Strategies for Teaching Reading Comprehension / J. Moreillon. - Chicago: American Library Association, 2007. - 172 p.

15. Power T. [Reading in the Second language Class] / T. power // English: Language Learning and Teaching. - Режим доступу: power/esl1104.html. - Заголовок з екрану.

16. Reading Method [Look and Say teaching Method]. - Режим доступу: - Заголовок з екрану.

17. Rogova G. V. Methods of teaching English / G. V. Rogova. - Ленинград: Просвешение, 1975. - 312 р.

18. Sweeney S. The importance of reading in foreign language teaching / S. Sweeney // Authentically English. - 1993. - №2.

19. Nutley S. Teaching children to read: eighth report of session 2004-2005. - London: House of Commons Education and Skills Committee, 2005. - 47 p.

20. Sylva K. Teaching Reading is Rocket Science / American Federation of Teachers. - New Jersey: AFT, 2004. - 38 p.

21. Teaching the Alphabet [Games and Activities]. - Режим доступу: htm. - Заголовок з екрану.

22. Teaching-reading-in-english. - 2010, №10. - Режим доступу: http://nsambatcoumar. files. pdf

23. The Phonic Method. - Режим доступу: http://itac. htm

24. Willis J. Teaching English through English / J. Willis. - London: Longman, 1981. - 192 p.

Appendix I.

Reading Skills:

1. Automatic decoding. Being able to recognize a word at a glance.

2. Previewing and predicting. Giving the text a quick once-over to be able to guess what is to come.

3. Specifying purpose. Knowing why a text is being read.

4. Identifying genre. Knowing the nature of the text in order to predict the form and content.

5. Questioning. Asking questions in an inner dialog with the author.6. Scanning. Looking through a text very rapidly for specific information.

7. Recognizing topics. Finding out what the text is about.

8. Classification of ideas into main topics and details. Categorizing words and ideas on the basis of their relationships; distinguishing general and specific.

9. Locating topic sentences. Identifying the general statement in a paragraph.

10. Stating the main idea (or thesis) of a sentence, paragraph or passage. Knowing what the author's point is about the topic.

11. Recognizing patterns of relationships. Identifying the relationships between ideas; the overall structure of the text.

12. Identifying and using words that signal the patterns of relationships between ideas. Being able to see connections between ideas by the use of words such as first, then, later.

13. Inferring the main idea, using patterns and other clues.

14. Recognizing and using pronouns, referents, and other lexical equivalents as clues to cohesion.

15. Guessing the meaning of unknown words from the context. Using such clues as knowledge of word parts, syntax, and relationship patterns.

16. Skimming. Quickly getting the gist or overview of a passage or book.

17. Paraphrasing. Re-stating texts in the reader's own words in order to monitor one's own comprehension.

18. Summarizing. Shortening material by retaining and re-stating main ideas and leaving out details.

19. Drawing conclusions. Putting together information from parts of the text and inducing new or additional ideas.

20. Drawing inferences and using evidence. Using evidence in the text to know things that are unstated.

21. Visualizing. Picturing, or actually drawing a picture or diagram, of what is described in the text.

22. Reading critically. Judging the accuracy of a passage with respect to what the reader already knows; distinguishing fact from opinion.

23. Reading faster. Reading fast enough to allow the brain to process the input as ideas rather than single words.

24. Adjusting reading rate according to materials and purpose. Being able to choose the speed and strategies needed for the level of comprehension desired by the reader [4; 4].

Appendix II.

Alphabet Games:

Alphabet Sentences: One S says a letter (for example 'A') and his/her teammate says a word that starts with that letter (like 'Ant'). Then you go on to a sentence that uses the letter A word ('or example 'A nice person would not smush an ant'). This way the children will learn their letters and words that start with the letter.

Alphabet Soup: Place plastic letters in a bowl. Divide flashcards by their beginning letters. Each student draws a letter from the bowl and then finds the flashcards associated with that letter.

Alphabet Wave: Divide the a-z flashcards among all your students. Put Ss in a line and play the ABC song. As it plays each student must hold up their corresponding alphabet flashcard.

Alphabet whispers: The children split up into groups of three, one is at the blackboard, one is sitting down and one is running between the two. The student sitting down has a sheet with the alphabet printed out in a disordered manner - s/he whispers the first letter to their team mate who in their turn runs to the board and whispers the letter to their other team member. If the letter is understood s/he writes it on the board. The first team to write it correctly gets a point. This can also be adapted to spelling words. The teams can change positions and get maximum benefit from this game.

Balloon Alphabet: This is a great game that everyone loves. You need a balloon, this is your timing device evoking the alphabet from the Ss unpredictably. This game can get a bit out of hand if the T isn't careful in his/her method of control. T starts and is A, next S is B, then C and so on. Each S touches the balloon and says their letter - this goes round and round until Z. This can be random or in a circle or line, but the balloon goes anywhere, control is essential so the littlies don't trample each other. This can also be used for subject review such as colors, or animals. I usually touch it a few times to gain control e. g. "B B B B" and then pass it on to C.

Make an Alphabet Book: For this you need: Ring binder folder, white paper & old magazines. Each week we choose a new letter to work on. Write the upper and lower case letter on a piece of white paper, then go through old magazines with your Ss to find pictures that begin with that letter. Let them cut them out and glue them on the paper, which helps them improve their cutting skills too! Use a hole punch and put it into a folder to make a book. The Ss love to look at it over and over.

Musical Chair Alphabet: Place chairs in the form of musical chairs with alphabet flashcards placed on them. Start the music when the music stops the students pick up their flashcards and have to read the sound on the flashcard. The child who is unable to read is out of the game [21].

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