Effective teaching reading techniques in form six

How to teach reading in English

Diploma Thesis, 2008

53 Pages, Grade: 8 (sehr gut)



Declaration of Academic Integrity2 Abstract


Chapter 1 Cognitive Features
1.1. Motivation and Reading

Chapter 2 Reading
2.1. Reading Methods
2.2. Pre-Reading
2.3. While- Reading
2.4. Post-Reading

Chapter 3 Classroom Research Experiment

Chapter 4 Conclusion

List of Literature



Reading is one of the most significant language skills which should be taught at first. One important difference between reading and other language skills is that the text reading is absolutely on the page and readers have time to reread things they do not understand immediately. Many unskilled readers do not read a text in a foreign language; instead of this they often carefully translate the text word by word. The main aim of learning reading skill is comprehension of a text. People often read in various ways for various purposes.

Consciously or unconsciously, people frequently read to get some specific information or to understand the general idea of what a text or an article is about. When people read whole texts, they may also read in different ways, at different speed, depending usually on whether they are reading an easy tale for pleasure or a complicated text for work or study. Pupils are being taught various reading techniques, but even at secondary school they usually have to work hard to comprehend a text.

The basic school program usually consists of scanning, skimming, reading for matching and reading for sequencing, but even these methods do not provide sufficient understanding of a text. Many coursebooks nowadays contain really entertaining texts, like the ones about computer games, travelling, and modern techniques; sometimes they include authentic materials from magazines, newspapers and books. Such coursebooks are invented by the leading educational specialists in order to make reading more realistic, entertaining and effective. A number of texts include cognates which certainly motivate young learners to read and make a text more recognizable. It is sometimes difficult to get learners to read some short stories when they are on summer holidays, it usually leads to the degradation in reading skill. Moreover, comparatively good tutorials, a great number of English lessons are in contradiction with pupils’ failure to read efficiently.

The diploma paper is divided into several logically related chapters in order to discover all possible factors which influence the process of mastering reading. The first part deals with the basic-school age pupils` psychological features. The second part discovers reading methods and the approaches which provide an effective teaching reading. The third part is about the author’s own experience of being a teacher and attempts to practise the methods above-mentioned in the sixth form. And the last part consists of the main conclusions drawn from the diploma paper. The author of the paper has used scientific reports, research articles and the books of the leading native and foreign psychologists, educational specialists referred to the process of reading.

The subject of the study is effective reading methods.

The objective of the research is to study effective teaching reading methods and their application s in form six.

The tasks of the research are as follows:

1. Study psychological and methodological literature related to the research topic.
2. Discover causes and effects of motivation.
3. Analyse different reading methods and their effectiveness.
4. Use reading methods practically.

The research methods are as follows:
1. A study and an analysis of the related literature and school documentation.
2. Manipulation of data


1. Variations of effective reading methods improve students` reading abilities.


At the age of 11 or 12 many pupils reach the so-called the stage of concrete operations (6-12 years). The psychologist James W. Kalat (16; 375) says that about at the age of seven children enter the stage of concrete operations and begin to understand the conversation about physical properties.

During these years cognitive development is very intensive. But James W. Kalat (16; 375) adds that at the stage of concrete operations, children can perform mental operations on concrete objects but still have trouble with abstract or hypothetical ideas. Children are usually very flexible at this age. The psychologist Lisa Oakley (18; 29) accentuates that the failure to complete complex tasks was due to the memory, failure-children were not able to remember what solutions they had tried. (see figure 1.1.)

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure 1.1 Information storage (36; 63)

James W. Kalat (22; 375) adds that the children do not reach the stage of formal operations more suddenly than they reach the concrete operations stage. Nevertheless some children show evidences of the formal operation stage in the form six. But professor Eysenck (22; 531) accentuates that initially Piaget argued that formal operation stage starts at the age of 11 or 12, but later he and other researches found out that most children of this age showed very little evidence of formal operations. The American psychologist Dennis M. McInerney (6; 137) concludes that recent studies indicate, however, that some of these ages need to be revised downwards. According to Piaget (16; 375) children reach the formal operations stage at about the age of 11. “But later researchers found that many people take longer to reach this stage and some never reach it”. This is what the psychologist James W. Kalat said about such an ambiguous border between the concrete and formal stages. (16; 375) Children usually spend time thinking about and sorting through their experiences from school and sometimes they may seem serious. Linda Goldman (9; 7) says that during the formal operation stage a child is very curious about the concepts of death, and he or she seeks new realistic information. Cognitive development occurs in individual’s cognitive structures, abilities and processes. Pupils are different at this age, but at the same time they have similarities. (see figure 1.2) Professor Pipere (24; 70) argues that age, aptitude, cognitive style, motivation, and personality are general factors, which are characteristic of all learners. Nevertheless some general factors are likely to change during the course of foreign language acquisition. Demands are high at basic school. Basic-school-age children’s cognitive features must be taken into consideration. Professor Thomas P. Rohlen (32; 174) says that it is impossible to redouble children’s attention if the lesson is repetitious and uninteresting, adding that teachers should present interesting problems; they pose numerous questions they probe and guide. According to this James W. Kalat (16; 375) says that children develop mental processes that deal with abstract, hypothetical situations and those processes demand logical, deductive reasoning and systematic planning.

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Figure 1.2 Brain’s development (35; 99)

Undoubtedly, that the Swiss biologist and psychologist Jean Piaget was the pioneer of cognitive development theory. The succeeding generations of educators built their theories upon the facts discovered by him. The great majority of western psychologists and educational specialists acknowledge Piaget`s authority. This important theory was created by him in the last century! And only recently some researches have doubted his theory but nevertheless Piaget's influence on education is deep and pervasive. He championed a way of thinking about children that provided the foundation for today's education psychology. The Piaget opponents` the only one demerit against his theory is the age when children reach a particular stage. But that’s no wonder because children have been developing especially rapidly for the past twenty years. The main difference between the concrete operator and the formal operator is the latter’s ability to think abstractly.


Motivation is very significant. Timothy V. Rasinski (33 ;1) saying about the importance of motivation to read adds that motivation to read must be an essential goal in reading instruction programs for the 21st century. There are various definitions of motivation but generally, they do not differ in meaning. The researcher Yasmin.B.Kafai (8; 443) defines motivation as the state of mind that initiates, directs, and sustains a certain activity. Usually the better motivated students have more chances to become skilled readers. Yasmin.B.Kafai (8; 443) adds that recent studies on literacy development show that reading motivation is a crucial factor for successful reading comprehension. But Skrinda (24; 72) holds the converse opinion stressing that it does not mean that better motivated learners will necessarily be more successful, but that on average they are more likely to be so. Very often motivation to read means whether the text topic is interesting for children or not. It is natural that a more interesting text is going to be more motivating to read. As factors which reduce motivation to read Michael Pressley (21; 372) mentions difficult words in text, too complicated stories. James Hoffman (11; 61) says that most young children approach books eagerly because the pictures are appealing and joint books reading is usually an enjoyable social interaction. The philologist Skrinda (24; 70) accentuates that motivation and needs have always had a central place in theories of foreign language acquisition. Motivating students to read the text is something teachers need to begin to do before reading. There are a lot of factors which form and develop motivation to read. It is not compulsory to use only course books. The researcher Paul Davies (23; 95) says that learners themselves can buy a different book each and build up a class library. It gives pupils the opportunity to choose reading material by themselves. That is why the reading expert Rona F. Filipo (28; 137) says that motivation for reading is promoted when teachers supported students’ choice of learning tasks and involvement in decision making about learning activities. Prior to a reading activity a teacher should choose an “observation point”. To get students interested Dr. Robert D. Postman (26; 332) recommends teachers to stand where he or she can, see the entire class, ask questions to the whole class and then call on individuals for a response and gain attention trough the eye contact or a gesture. During the course of reading a teacher is looking to the process. It’s very significant for teachers not to forget to laud pupils in case of their progress. An educational specialist Michael Pressley (21; 372) says that being recognized as a good reader can affect motivation to read, being a better reader than others can motivate reading and working at becoming an even better reader. During the lesson a teacher should use various approaches, tasks to keep pupils` interest. Naturally it is a hard work and a teacher must be well-prepared for it. Professor Rohlen (32; 174) says that teachers in Japan, knowing that children benefit from different teaching techniques, change their approach several times during every class period. Some teachers can not permanently motivate pupils. It is obvious that parents` involvement in home reading improves reading skills. “But reading is something they can do at home, and you should encourage this as much as possible”. This is what the researcher Paul Davies recommends teachers in order to involve pupils` parents in reading. (23; 95) “The analysis of different forms of cooperation showed that at schools where more parents` meetings and discussions about a child’s improvement were held together with the child, students` academic success was on average higher than in other schools”. This is how the educator of Tallinn Pedagogical University Lukk describes interaction between parents and their children. (5; 96) The associate professor of teacher development Timothy V. Rasinski (33; 1) recognizes the importance of home-school connections, especially for the development of engaged and enthusiastic readers. The additional reading at home stimulates motivation, but the home-reading should not be a punishment for a child. Timothy V. Rasinski (33; 1) concludes that when the home is involved, both reading achievement and children’s love for reading increase. Motivation is a very complex process depending on many factors which should be taken into account. James V. Hoffman (11; 62) believes that the motivation to read is the result of a complex interaction among child’s history and abilities, the features of the text, the purpose for reading, the social conditions and support surrounding the activity. Every teacher should remember what affects reading motivation. Yasmin. B. Kafai (8; 443) says that many factors influence student’s reading motivation including self-efficacy, outcome expectations, goals, value beliefs regarding to reading and interests in topics. Every teacher must realize the need for motivating students. The educational researcher Yasmin.B.Kafai (8; 443) says that in actual classroom settings, however, teachers` perception has also been used as a major source for accessing students’ motivation for reading. If a teacher was able to motivate students, they would certainly achieve high results in reading comprehension. An educational specialist Jane Braunger (12; 72) says that a motivated individual initiates and continues a particular activity, returning to a task with sustained engagement, even when it becomes difficult. Parents usually have much influence with their children and this factor must be used by teachers. The associate professor of teacher development Timothy V. Rasinski (33; 1) reminds that reading achievement is highly correlated with the amount of time spent out of school on reading. The author of the diploma paper thinks that motivation is one of the leading factors providing successful reading in English but not the only one. The motivated readers achieve high results in reading. Teachers cannot permanently motivate pupils. At the same time teachers must cooperate with learners` parents and encourage them to motivate their children. To encourage an interest in reading, one of the best things a teacher can do is share his or her own love of reading with students. A teacher should talk about books that he or she read in childhood. A teacher can also find out what books his or her students read for pleasure. It is important to send the message to students that a teacher values and enjoys reading. A teacher should encourage students to find answers to their own questions by reading texts. Sometimes it is important to use books which include stories, bright pictures, because at this age children like bright pictures and heroes on the pages.


Reading came to life later than speaking or writing. The psychologist Keith Rayner (17; 36) says that in contrast, writing is a relatively recent human activity and the ability to read and write was not produced by biological change but by cultural change. The educational consultant Dr. David Sousa (3; 205) says that it is not easy to master reading because there is no reason to consider reading to be a natural ability like speaking.

The researcher Paul Davies (23; 100) says that reading has much in common with listening but the text is permanent which may make it easier to understand. Various specialists give different descriptions of reading. For example, Widdowson (1; 192) says that reading is not a reaction to a text but an interaction between a writer and a reader mediated trough a text. Another professor of Education Christopher Brumfit (1; 192) considers reading as an ability to interact with a text by decoding the language and comprehending the concepts presented. And finally the psychologist Keith Rayner (17; 23) says that reading is the ability to extract visual information from the page and comprehend the meaning of the text. The essential idea presented by all these specialists is that reading is the interaction between a writer and a reader. Nevertheless, readers do not master the effective reading techniques at once.

As stated above, reading has much in common with listening but nevertheless reading is used together with other skills. A linguistic specialist Coreen Sears (2; 165) says that a variety of authentic literature is used in the teaching of reading, associated with extension activities that require students` responses in speech and writing, and the performance of meaningful tasks. While reading a text, it does not necessarily mean that the reader is focusing attention on a particular word or letter. Researches describe this process very exceptionally. The psychologist Keith Rayner (17; 181) states that the amount of information that could be possessed on a fixation is shown to be fixated word plus some additional information to the right of it. Keith Rayner (17; 181) adds that fluent reading is based on generating guesses or hypothesis about what the next word is. (see figure 2.1)

It is necessary to concentrate one’s attention only on reading process. The psychologist Keith Rayner (17; 195) says that if the reader’s speech tract is somehow concurrently engaged during reading, he or she will not be able to subvocalize the text material.

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Figure 2.1 The functioning of the fluent reading (23; 91)

Pupils can read aloud or silently, depending on the purpose of reading. Both the types have their advantages and disadvantages. “One advantage of having subjects read aloud is that one potentially has a record of what has been processed. This is one can see whether the reader is making mistakes and can also determine what mistakes are being made”. This is how the psychologist Keith Rayner sums up the advantages of reading aloud. (17; 180) The home education consultant Jessie Wise (13; 359) says that having a child read aloud increases his vocabulary, expands his general knowledge and forces him to figure out new words, and it also allows teachers to correct errors before they become habits. The psychologist Keith Rayner (17; 180) adds that another obvious method for studying reading “on-line” is to have people read aloud and record their vocal output, so that both its accuracy and the time course of the vocal output can be analysed. The inner speech should be activated because it provides comprehension of a text while reading silently. The psychologist Keith Rayner (17; 216) says that inner speech serves a useful function in reading comprehension. Keith Rayner (17; 181) also adds that reading aloud is only about half the speed of silent reading. “When we read silently, we often experience the feeling of hearing our voice saying the words our eyes are falling down. Some readers actually move their lips at times during silent reading and there is a considerable amount of muscle activity in the speech tract”. This is how the psychologist Keith Rayner describes silent reading. (17; 188). Nevertheless, Kleiman (17; 196) argues that the meaning of individual words can be obtained without reference to inner speech. No matter what reading methods are used, a frequent reading practice must take place, otherwise much will be forgotten. The educational consultant Dr. David Sousa (3; 60) mentions that reading practice increases familiarity with the patterns of letters that form printed word, thereby improving spelling, improves comprehension, grammatical functions and pronunciation.


Excerpt out of 53 pages


Effective teaching reading techniques in form six
How to teach reading in English
8 (sehr gut)
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Quote paper
Victor V. (Author), 2008, Effective teaching reading techniques in form six, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/266616


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