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Reading in a Second Language

作者:TESOL in China来源:TESOL网址:http://www.tesolinchina.com


Reading is oftremendous importance in our life and education. In addition to the cognitivelycomplex activity ofreading itself, English learners have to take on the requirements ofachieving comprehension andnegotiating meaning in a language that is nottheir mother tongue. For them, the natural enjoymentand fulfillment ofautomatic reading and reading for pleasure must come second to the practicaldemandsof interpreting the different possibilities of grammar, syntax, structure, andgenre.


There arediffering models of the reading process, which tend to emphasize differentvariables. They are grapheme recognition, phonologicalrepresentation, syntactic structure, background knowledge, processingstrategies, text structure understanding, vocabulary, context of thereading act( Hudson,2007,p.25)


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Barretttaxonomy   of cognitive is particularlyuseful for EFL reading teachers.

1. Literal Comprehension (Recognition, recall- Recognitionof details, recall of details, recognition of main ideas)

2. Reorganization (Classifying, Summarizing, Outlining, Synthesizing)

3. Inferential Comprehension (Inferringsupporting details, cause and effect, main ideas, character traits,sequence, figurative language)

4. evaluation (Judgment of realityor fantasy, Judgments of appropriateness, Judgments of fact or opinion,Judgments of worth, desirability and Judgments of adequacy and validity)

5. Appreciation (Emotional responseto the content, reactions to the author's use oflanguage,Identification with characters orincidents, Imagery)

I also learned eight comprehension skills from TESOL . Recalling word meanings, drawing inferences about a meaning of a word fromcontext, finding answers to questions answered explicitly or merely inparaphrase, weaving together ideas from content, drawing inferences fromcontent, recognizing a writer's purpose, attitude, tone, and mood, identifyinga writer's technique, following the structure of a passage.

     This overviewof the reading process is not in any way controversial, but it shows us thatthere isa great deal involved in the reading act. As teachers of secondlanguage readers, therefore, our taskis a considerable one. Not only do we need tostimulate reading in English (technique) and the loveof reading inEnglish (intrinsic motivation), but we also need to help students acquire thesort ofcomprehension skills that will make reading in English an effectiveactivity.


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I’ve also learnedsome useful learning strategies from TESOL. They areRassia Method whichemphasizing making students feel comfortable and confident and natural withlanguage in a short period of time.   thesecond one is direct method, which is also called the natural method. In otherwords, language is acquired by their own reasoning. The third one is called projectmethod, also known as cooperation method. It provides students with theopportunity to collaborate with others and see different points of view.Project method is especially effective because students will inspire each otherand they can make use of their partners’ knowledge. The fourth one is called TPRmethod, also known as total physical response. It is a very useful approach toteach a second language based on listening linked to physical activities whichare designed to reinforce comprehension. The last one is called graphic method, which is a simple and effectivetool to help students brainstorm and organize their thoughts in the visualizedpresentation. Whenwe choose appropriate strategies for students, we also need to think abouttheir different learning styles.

     

I will apply the knowledge in my futureteaching. I’ve also learned the importance of reading. Reading is an exercisefor the mind. It helps kids calm down and relax, opening doors of new knowledgeto enlighten their minds. Kids who read grow up to have better cognitiveskills. Reading is good for everyone, not only children or young adults. Hereare some reasons. First, reading improves vocabulary. Even as adults, when weread, we come across many new words we never really heard of. And we learn fromthis. As you read, you come across new words, phrases and writing styles. Thisis even more so for young people. Children sometimes stumble over their words,do not know how to pronounce them or what they mean. By reading, young peopleencounter new words more frequently and sometimes repetitively and thereforecan see them better in their context. If you then pay attention to thepronunciation as a parent, these children will be better prepared for school. Second,better comprehension. Kids who are encouraged to read at an early age havebetter comprehension of things around them. They develop smart thinkingabilities and are more receptive to creativity and ideas that other kids theirage lack. As a result, they grow up to be a good deal more intelligent andaware of their surroundings than kids who don’t read.
The more you read, the more imaginative you become. Whenever you read a fictionbook, it takes you another world. In the new world, your imagination works atits best as you try to see things in your own mind. Third, reading also developscritical thinking skills. One of the primary benefits of reading books is itsability to develop critical thinking skills. For example, reading a mysterynovel sharpens your mind. What elements are there in a story to make this orthat conclusion. Or if a book is nonfiction you will sometimes ask yourself ifthe author is right.

Critical thinking skills are crucial when it comes tomaking important day to day decisions. Reading requires an individual to thinkand process information in a way that watching television can’t. The more youread, the deeper your understanding becomes about what you’re reading and itsapplication. Fourth, reading improves memory. Every time you read a book, youhave to remember the setting of the book, the characters, their backgrounds,their history, their personalities, the subplots and so much more. As yourbrain learns to remember all this, your memory becomes better. What’s more,with every new memory you create, you create new pathways and this strengthensthe existing ones.

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