Center for Development and Empowerment of Teachers and Education Personnel (CDELTEP) or Pusat Pengembangan dan Pemberdayaan Pendidik dan Tenaga Kependidikan (PPPPTK) Bahasa is in charge of promoting the quality of language teachers and school principal, school supervisor, and so forth. Hence, the Center takes part in the project of Better Education Through Reformed Management and Universal Teacher Upgrading (BERMUTU) in order to multiply their competencies and professionalism.
As a government institution that is professionally managed, PPPPTK Bahasa provides quality education services aligned with education reform and globalisation demand projected by Education for All (EFA). Likewise the institution develops Teacher Competency Standards inclusive teaching materials as a means of achieving the required competencies.
In the framework of the Minister National of Education Decree Number 14 year 2005 on Teacher and Lecturer, the Center, in an effort to generate competent and proffesional teachers, organizes various training activities to fulfill specific competency standards and certification programs. Therefore, the development of these learning materials are expected to be a useful resource for teachers.
Finally, constructive criticisms for further materials improvement are welcome and can be sent to PPPPTK Bahasa, Jalan Gardu, Srengseng Sawah, Jagakarsa, Jakarta 12640; Telephone (021) 7271034, Facsimile (021) 7271032, and email: email@example.com
Jakarta, September 2009
Muhammad Hatta, Ph.D.
NIP 19550720 198303 1 003
TABLE OF CONTENT
TABLE OF CONTENT ii
CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION 1
CHAPTER II TEACHING WRITING 3
Teaching Procedures 3
Reading in the Genre-Based Instruction 17
Reading Techniques 23
Reading Comprehension 39
Extensive Reading 42
CHAPTER III CLOSING REMARK 47
SUGGESTION FOR FURTHER READING 49
The ultimate goals of BERMUTU (Better Education through Reformed Management and Universal Teacher Upgrading) project seems coincidence with Reuters’ news release about the research finding of the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) which oblige us to improve our teaching practices especially related to reading skills. Based on the research, Indonesian students rank among the lowest in basic reading skills compared to their peers in other countries. Indonesia is in 51st position among 57 countries on five continents.1
PISA is an internationally standardized assessment that was jointly developed by participating countries and administered to15-year-olds in schools. PISA administers tests and background questionnaires to between 4,500 and 10,000 students in each participating country to assess three forms of literacy: reading, mathematical and scientific. The assessments focus on how well students apply knowledge and skills to tasks that are relevant to their future life, rather than on the memorization of subject matter knowledge.2
In reading, well over 50 percent of students surveyed in Indonesia performed at level 1 - the lowest out of five - or below. Level 1 represents those students who have serious difficulties in using reading as a tool to advance and extend their knowledge and skills in other areas. Level 5 indicates those students who are able to manage information that is presented in unfamiliar texts, show detailed understanding of complex texts and infer which information is relevant to the task, and critically evaluate and build hypotheses with the capacity to draw on specialized knowledge and concepts that may be contrary to expectations. The lowest results were scored in Albania, Indonesia and Peru.
PISA 2000 and PISA 2003 also consistently stated that Indonesian students surveyed had serious difficulty in using reading as a tool to advance and extend their knowledge and skills in other areas, such as daily problem solving. They couldn't comprehend information when it was presented in an unfamiliar format and showed a difficulty in understanding texts at the highest level of literacy.
Are Indonesian students really weak in all the basic skills of reading? Another survey on reading ability of primary students conducted by International Educational Achievement (IEA) in 2000 placed Indonesia in 38th position out of 39 countries, the lowest position among ASEAN countries.
These positions lead us to the question: “what’s wrong with our reading classroom?” Many factors influence this situation ranging from ineffective governmental regulation on educational system at macro level and low engagement of student in the classroom due to dull learning process at micro level. The supplementary material has an effort to take part in resolving the problem through increasing seeing teachers’ awareness on teaching reading comprehensively.
Actually, new and exciting reading materials keep appearing on the market almost daily. Many universities and teacher training institutions have developed courses to deal with the teaching of reading comprehension. Yet, when it comes down to it, the classroom teacher is left with the enormous task of adapting all these materials and ideas to his/her particular class. This supplement is also intended to help the teacher in the daily decision-making process within the reading comprehension lesson and across national standard.
This supplementary material is developed to provide underlying resources for English teachers in improving their teaching competence and language proficiency in the framework of continuous professional development. This material specifically is intended to provide clear information of all aspects in reading and how to bring it in the classroom as well. Those aspects cover the levels of comprehension, text types and text situation. By having prompt perspective, the English teacher will be able to implement better teaching practices, reflect it continually, and recording in the form of classroom action research. Ultimately this experience can be dedicated to have continuous professional development.
The key success indicators in comprehending this supplementary material are as follows:
Recognizing the teaching reading procedures in the classroom
Understanding how to integrate any text types with your classroom instruction
Knowing some reading techniques required to be effective and efficient reader
Realizing the levels of comprehension and how to expose them with your students
Practicing extensive reading to improve students’ reading interest and habit.
In teaching practices, we should have clear cut dividing line between good readers against the poor ones. This is very essential to have realization that actually the ultimate goal of our teaching process is to move students forward into better condition of their reading ability baseline. There are a number of differences between strategic readers and poor readers during all phases of the reading process.
1. Before Reading, Strategic Readers...
2. During Reading, Strategic Readers...
3. After Reading, Strategic Readers...
After realizing the good reader characteristics, then we focus on what are the steps we should follow in providing strategic reading instruction. In general, you can implement some techniques for teaching before-reading strategies.
PREVIEW the text by looking at the title, the pictures, and the print in order to evoke relevant thoughts and memories
BUILD BACKGROUND by activating appropriate prior knowledge through self-questioning about what they already know about the topic (or story), the vocabulary, and the form in which the topic (or story) is presented
SET PURPOSES for reading by asking questions about what they want to learn during the reading process.
Two techniques prove valuable for teaching before-reading strategies are:
A think-aloud is a procedure in which students or teachers simply think out loud as they work through a procedure. Think-aloud may be used before, during, or after reading by teachers to model new strategies. After demonstrating new strategies through the think-aloud, teachers should structure activities where students may practice, likewise using the think-aloud technique with new text and working with a partner. Think-aloud are useful also after reading as an assessment device in a reading conference: Students read a text aloud and say what they think as they read, making audible the comprehension strategies they employ.
When using a think-aloud to teach before-reading strategies, the teacher verbalizes the thought processes used by effective readers in order to set a purpose for reading, to preview the text, to recall prior knowledge, and to make predictions. For example, the teacher might model a think-aloud in the following way to demonstrate how to set a purpose for reading the autobiography of Anne Frank:
Hold up the autobiography Anne Frank .
Read the cover and internal blurbs to the children, interjecting such comments as, "I've always wanted to learn more about the Holocaust, but I know it will be sad," or "Can you believe that a sixteen year old could keep a diary about these experiences? It makes my diary look silly."
Read the copyright page and dedication, making comments aloud such as, "This book was first published in 1947. I wasn't even born yet."
After previewing the book, predict aloud what might happen in the book or give a reason for wanting to read the book: "I'm going to read this to find out if she lives through it."
Direct the students to work in pairs to practice the same procedure with novels of their own choice.
Previewing is a strategy to motivate students to read. The teacher might consider the following suggestions:
Recall and consider prior personal experiences that are relevant to the text.
Build the necessary background knowledge for the text.
Review textual elements that aid in later composition (cover blurbs, dedication, and copyright information).
Read about or contact the author.
Establish an organizational framework (chapter construction and length, prologue and epilogue, explanation of terms, etc.).
Predict the novel events.
Reflect on personal purposes for reading text.
When previewing December Stillness by Mary Downing Hahn, for example, the teacher might share a map of Vietnam and briefly explain the conflict and controversy of Vietnam. The teacher might read The Wall (a large picture book with reminiscences of the war and visits to the wall) by Sally Lopes to the students. The students might share their experiences with Vietnam veterans and then examine the textual elements of December Stillness in order to predict novel events. After reading the front and back covers, copyright page, and dedication, the students use a visual organizer to predict novel events. The teacher might then save the organizer for later review and give a copy to each student, asking each to record a personal purpose for reading the novel on the prediction sheet.
What are some techniques for teaching during-reading strategies?
During reading, strategic readers:
of the text by paraphrasing the author's words.
b. MONITOR COMPREHENSION and USE FIX-UP STRATEGIES: use the cueing systems to figure out unknown words and imaging, imagining, inferencing, and predicting.
c. INTEGRATE new concepts with existing knowledge; continually revise purposes for reading.
Self-monitoring is the active awareness strategic readers have of their own understanding and control over that understanding while reading. It enables readers to measure their comprehension and take steps to enhance it. When students become conscious of their thinking and comprehension, they can deliberately apply different fix-up strategies when comprehension breaks down. A major goal of reading instruction is to expose students to equip them with productive self-monitoring strategies. Several of the following techniques are useful to this end.
Self-Questioning is technique in which students generate story-specific questions about the important elements of a text as they read in order to better integrate prior knowledge with the text and the reading context. Story elements whose meanings are extended by self-questioning might include the main character, goals, obstacles, outcomes, and themes of the story. Students move from a general question to a story-specific question. The generated questions may be used for group response and discussion. They may also be used with explanatory materials.
Teachers may implement the self-questioning technique in the classroom using the following steps:
The teacher models general questioning techniques for the students.
The teacher models how to generate text-specific questions based on the general questions while reading a text.
The teacher and students generate questions about a text together.
After all story elements have been covered, the students generate their own story-specific questions.
following general-questions (GQ) and story-specific questions (SQ)
by S. E. Hinton, show how this process may be applied in the
is the leading character?
Think-aloud, as defined earlier, remove the cloak of mystery surrounding the comprehension process as teachers and students verbalize their own thoughts while reading orally. A think-aloud may include the following steps:
The teacher selects a passage to read aloud that poses comprehension problems for readers, for example, complex or difficult concepts, contradictions, ambiguities, or unknown words. The teacher is careful the passage includes specific section where comprehension breaks down in order to model with students ways to deal with each.
The teacher reads the passage aloud and thinks out loud about the problems encountered, reflecting how he or she monitors understanding of the text and makes decisions to remedy comprehension problems. The students observe the teacher's modeling silently, noting the monitoring of comprehension. The teacher should include the following considerations during think-aloud:
Make predictions (develop hypotheses): for example, "From the title, I predict that this section will tell how fishermen used to catch whales . . . . In this next part, I think we'll find out why the man flew into the hurricane . . . . I think this is a description of a computer game."
Describe the pictures imagined from the information given: for example, "As I read, I see this scene in my mind: The car is on a dark, probably narrow road; there are no other cars around . . . .”
Make analogies (linking prior knowledge to new information in the text): for example, "This is like a time we had a flat tire while driving to Boston. We were worried and had to walk three miles for help . . . . "
Verbalize confusing points (monitoring ongoing comprehension): for example, "This just doesn't make sense . . . . This is different from what I had expected."
Demonstrate "fix-up" strategies (correcting lagging comprehension): for example, "That is not clear; I'd better reread . . . . Maybe I'll read ahead to see if it gets clearer . . . . I'd better change my picture of the story . . . . This is a new word to me, and it seems crucial to the meaning of the essay; I'd better try to figure it out what it means here . . . . "
The teacher leads a debriefing discussion in which students summarize what the teacher did and why. They focus on the choices made by the teacher and the reasons and outcomes of those choices.
The teacher helps the students generate a list of steps or strategies readers may use to monitor comprehension and repair it. The class adds to this list throughout the year as new strategies emerge.
The teacher structures a small-group or paired activity in which students take turns practicing think-aloud with difficult reading materials.
The teacher uses the think-aloud technique frequently with various materials to reinforce during -reading strategies, encouraging students to use it when reading independently to enhance their own comprehension.
The teacher uses the think-aloud technique as an informal and formal assessment tool in student conferences: with familiar texts to help students apply monitoring and fix-up strategies when their comprehension has failed and with unfamiliar texts to help students assess their own growth in during-reading strategies.
Graphic organizers provide the means for students to collect and see interrelationships in various elements of a text. Graphic organizers of various forms are available and can be adapted to many reading purposes. Their uses include story maps, plot or character flowcharts, timelines, pyramid designs, outlines, feature analysis charts, and semantic or chapter mapping charts. Such visual organizers support before, during, and after reading strategies, but, when used during the reading process, they provide exceptional methods for students to monitor their own understanding.
Visualizing is the process of forming appropriate mental pictures based on a text to assist understanding. For example, in reading the Arthur Conan Doyle story, "The Adventure of the Red -Headed League," readers must imagine accurately the layout of buildings as described by the narrator, Dr. Watson, in order to solve the mystery before Sherlock Holmes or even appreciate the solution when it is provided at the end of the story. As student readers grow, so will their abilities to imagine the scenes, characters, and actions of stories.
They need concrete activities to help them develop this skill. The following techniques may help students' skills grow in this area:
1. When reading material where comprehension requires visualization, select a brief excerpt and use it to model a new strategy. Begin with simple descriptions and proceed to more complex ones as student capabilities improve.
2. Read the selected description aloud, stopping as details are added to have students describe, draw, or diagram (depending on the nature of the description) what they imagine from the description.
3. Have students evaluate their imagined or drawn descriptions by comparing them with each other and with the text.
4. Discuss strategies students may use while reading to improve their own visualization. Have them consider which strategies are most useful for various kinds of descriptions. For example, students may choose to sketch maps of the scene of the crime in the Sherlock Holmes story to help them follow the plot; they may draw a floor plan to help them imagine the location of clues at the scene of a crime; and they may sketch a stick figure or "gingerbread man" to help them record and pay attention to important details of a person's appearance as described by the detective.
5. Use imagistic poems especially short ones, such as haikuto have students picture and appreciate visual descriptions. Ask students to describe what a poet is observing when describing a scene or object.
Good readers use fix-up strategies when the meaning is lost in a reading. When necessary, they integrate semantic, syntactic, and graphophonic cues to construct meanings for unknown words. Often, however, self-monitoring uncovers comprehension break-downs beyond the word level. To teach fix-up strategies for comprehension at this level, teachers must help students generate and post for future reference a list of strategies to use when comprehension breaks down for any reason. As students discover new fix-up strategies, they should discuss and add them to the list. Oral reading by the teacher or students provides an opportunity to monitor reading and apply fix-up strategies:
A class list may include, but not be limited to, the following fix-up strategies:
Skip a difficult word and read on.
Use sentence and paragraph context to explain new terms.
Reread a difficult section of text.
Read further on in the text.
Ask a friend for help in understanding a term or section.
Use a reference book to define or explain difficult terms.
Look at the word parts if the problem involves only one word.
Locate and read less difficult material dealing with the same concept.
Look for hands-on material that will clarify the concepts.
Consult an expert.
Finally, you can raise the wrap up question: what are some techniques for teaching after-reading strategies?
After reading, strategic readers:
SUMMARIZE what they have read by retelling the plot of the story or the main idea of the text.
INTERPRET and EVALUATE the ideas contained in the text.
MAKE APPLICATIONS of the ideas in the text to unique situations, extending the ideas to broader perspectives.
USE STUDY STRATEGIES for notetaking, locating, and remembering to improve content -area learning.
Teachers may use several techniques to present, model, and help students apply after-reading strategies:
Summarizing fosters understanding and remembering as well as develops interpretations of texts. Proficiency in summarizing involves steps that grow in complexity and that require varying degrees of practice. The following summarizing procedures include suggestions from the basic to complex:
Delete trivial information.
Delete redundant information.
Generate general terms to encompass groups of less important ideas (for example, food for cereal, pizza, hot dogs, etc.).
Locate topic sentences and other key statements and use them in the summary when appropriate.
Compose statements of main ideas when none appear in the text.
Introduce the strategy with small passages and increase the amount as students increase their skills. Allow students to practice orally, as well as in writing. An excerpt from Hatchet by Gary Paulsen lends itself well to the summarization strategy.
There was a sleeping bag which he hung to dry over his shelter roof on the outside and foam sleeping pad. An aluminium cook set with four little pots and two frying pans; it actually even had fork and knife and spoon. A waterproof container with matches and two small butane lighters. A sheath knife with a compass in the handle. As if a compass would help him, he thought, smiling. A first-aid kit with bandages and tubes of antiseptic paste and small scissors. A cap that said CESSNA across the front in large letters. Why a cap? he wondered. It was adjustable and he put it on immediately. A fishing kit with four coils of line, a dozen small lures, and hooks and sinkers.
Refer to the procedural steps as they are applied to the passage.
The names of the individual items included do not need to be cited.
There is no redundant material in the passage.
Blanket term: sleeping bag, foam sleeping pad, aluminium cook set, waterproof container, butane lighter, sheath knife with a compass, first-aid kit, fishing kit, are all survival tools.
Since most of the passage is a listed description, it includes no topic sentence.
Created summary sentence: Brian describes and reacts to the survival kit.
Retelling differs from summarization. While the latter requires a telescoping of information to produce a condensed representation, the former demands an elaboration in which the teller recalls and even recreates a story and its effect. Teachers use retelling as a tool to diagnose and to increase student comprehension and to help students recognize textual organization and retain information from texts. Used by students, it increases the development of interpretive understanding. There are four general forms of this procedure, asking students to retell selections in their own words.
Oral-To-Oral Retelling: The student listens to a selection and retells it orally. This approach may be most appropriate with fables or folktales.
Oral-To-Written Retelling: The student listens to a selection but retells it in writing. A difficult chapter of a "whole class" novel might be read aloud and then retold individually.
Reading-To-Oral Retelling: The student reads a selection silently and retells it orally. This is a diagnostic component of many published informal reading inventories.
Reading-To-Written Retelling: The student reads a selection silently and retells it in writing. This method is easily practiced in a Reading Workshop environment.
Response journals are places where students reflect on their readings independently, with the teacher, or with other students. Journals allow students to take control of their own learning. In journals students respond to what they have experienced and learned, how it relates to them person ally, how they learned it, how they used it, what still needs to be learned and clarified, as well as other things. Once students are aware of their own learning, they become able to select, implement, and evaluate strategies that are effective for them. Reading journals in particular enable students to see what sorts of responses they make (that is, to inspect the stances from which they respond), to reflect on their own reading and on literature, and to set goals for their own reading growth.
Teachers who include response journals in their reading classes should be careful to structure the experience to ensure that it is productive. They may require student to make entries before, during, or after reading. Generally, they should require brief entries at first, and then be sure to integrate the writings with other important class activities. At key points, students should share entries with the class, the teacher, or another student. Everyone must understand that response journals, unlike diaries, should include only thoughts that the student writer is willing to share with the teacher or class.
By sharing their entries, students have the opportunity to clarify and reinforce what they are learning about their thinking and about literature. Peers learn new strategies and when to use them. The teacher observes which strategies students are using and uses this information to plan daily instruction. Journal entries should never be corrected or graded for content. Teacher-student discussion about the entries, however, is crucial.
When introducing response journals, teachers should explain that they are places for students to record their thoughts in order to become better readers. Entries could include attempted reading strategies, reading problems, things students feel they do well as readers, questions they have about themselves as readers, when they may apply a strategy in the future, and what made them attempt a particular strategy. Students should also respond to what they read by reflecting, first on that which seems important to them, and then on such considerations as plot, literary technique, and author's purpose. Response journals will only be effective if the teacher continually demonstrates the many ways that the journals can be used.
The teacher may use prompts to help students get started or lead a brainstorming session that produces a list of possible questions or topics for response. Examples might include the following topics:
What do I notice about my reading?
Is this reading easy for me? Why?
Is this reading hard for me? Why?
Next time I read, I will try to . . . .
Something I do better now than before is . . . .
A reading strategy I used is . . . .
I used this reading strategy because . . . .
A reading problem I have is . . . .
What do I want to be able to do as a reader?
What do I notice about the plot?
Do I enjoy the author's style? Why?
Is this plot well constructed?
Does the language of my material add to my understanding? In what ways?
Teachers should encourage students to add other topics to the chart or delete some on an ongoing basis. After students are comfortable using response journals, they will start to make notations about their thinking on their own. Be sure that their response journals are readily available while they are reading and that there are opportunities to discuss their entries. More information about response journals and their use can be found in the Reading Workshop section of this guide.
Reciprocal Teaching is another technique that teaches the strategy of summarization. It provides stopping places for students as they read to construct, examine, and extend meaning. The student or teacher can break text into logical subsections, usually determined by the natural transitions in the text.
Reciprocal Teaching involves four stages in which students and teachers take turns being the teacher and eliciting responses from students. Teachers should follow these steps in introducing Reciprocal Teaching:
Summarize the section in a sentence or paragraph (if necessary for longer passages).
Ask a high-level question or two to get at what is important.
Identify a difficult part of the text and clarify it by explaining, giving examples, or drawing analogies.
Predict what the next paragraph or segment will discuss.
The teacher should begin a Reciprocal Teaching activity by modeling each of the stages and maintaining a dialogue with the students until they are comfortable with each step.
The most difficult part of this technique is the clarification of difficult text. Students must apply many fix-up strategies in order to explain to others text that was difficult for them. Teacher modeling is an important part of this phase of the technique.
The following example from The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare shows how the Reciprocal Teaching technique can be used in the classroom.
Assign a section to the students that deals with the historic aspects of the novel. Read the section aloud to the students, modeling the summarization strategy.
Say, "This section discusses the problems that the men of Connecticut were having with England's control of their lives and their desire for self-government."
Ask, "Why did the revolutionaries even agree to meet with the King's men?" or "What clues did the text provide for the events that unfolded in the smoke-filled room?"
Explain the difficulty of this section by comparing the Connecticut Charter's symbolism and importance with that of the Constitution.
Finally, have students predict the outcome of the meeting related to the progress toward colonial independence.
This book provides numerous opportunities for students to practice Reciprocal Teaching in collaborative groups and individually as the strategy becomes automatic.
Checklist for Excellence in Reading Instruction
The items below are based on the best practices of the teachers and researchers in Program 1. The checklist can be used to look at current practices in your school.
Vision of Learning
Meaningful learning experiences for students and school staff.
High enjoyment of reading, writing, and learning.
Restructuring to promote learning in the classroom.
High expectations for learning for all students.
A community of readers in the classroom and in the school.
Teachers and administrators committed to achieving the national goals.
Curriculum and Instruction
Curriculum that calls for a diversity of real literature and genre, a repertoire of learning strategies and organizational patterns for text passages.
Collaborative teaching and learning involving student-generated questioning and sustained dialogue among students and between students and teachers.
Teachers building new information on student strengths and past experiences.
Authentic tasks in the classroom such as writing letters, keeping journals, generating plays, author conferences, genre studies, research groups, sharing expertise, and so on.
Opportunities for students to engage in learning out of school with community members.
Real audiences (E.g., peers, community members, other students).
Homework that is challenging enough to be interesting but not so difficult as to cause failure.
Appreciation and respect for multiple cultures and perspectives.
Rich learning environment with places for children to read and think on their own.
Instruction that enables readers to think strategically.
Assessment and Grouping
Performance-based assessment such as portfolios that include drafts and projects.
Multiple opportunities to be involved in heterogeneous groupings, especially for students at risk.
Public displays of student work and rewards.
Opportunities for teachers to attend conferences and meetings for reading instruction.
Teachers as researchers, working on research projects.
Teacher or school partnerships/projects with colleges and universities.
Opportunities for teacher to observe and coach other teachers.
Opportunities for teachers to try new practices in a risk-free environment.
Involvement of the Community
Community members' and parents' participation in reading instruction as experts, aides, guides, and tutors.
Active involvement of community members on task forces for curriculum, staff development, assessment and other areas vital to learning.
Opportunities for teachers and other school staff to visit informally with community members to discuss the life of the school, resources, and greater involvement of the community.
Policies for Students at Risk
Students at risk integrated into the social and academic life of the school.
Policies/practices to display respect for multiple cultures and role models.
Assessment practices that are culturally unbiased.
General guidelines for developing reading activities (from Crandall, 1995)
In developing reading materials, it is helpful to consider the following general guidelines. The reading text should:
Encourage appropriate use of both top-down and bottom –up strategies.
Offer opportunities for developing speed/fluency as well as deliberateness/accuracy.
Include different text types, rhetorical genres, and topics.
Incorporate different types of reading task with different purposes (reading to learn, reading to do, reading to evaluate, reading for enjoyment).
Offer sufficient interaction with a topic or text to develop content and related vocabulary knowledge.
Encourage students to examine their own reading strategies and try out different strategies for dealing with different types of text or for reading for different purposes.
Introduce students to different types of direction encountered in texts and tests.
Assist in identifying and building culturally variable information needed for text interpretation, while treating positively the students’ primary language and culture.
Discussion questions and prewriting activities that help relate the reading to a students’ prior experiences, activating and expanding the student’s content and formal schemata, building vocabulary, and helping to identify cultural influences that may affect reading comprehension or interpretation. Brainstorming, semantic mapping, and free writing might all be used.
Prediction activities that draw attention to the organization of the text and to identification of potential themes and directions the author may take.
Skimming activities that provide students with a general idea of the text themes and the organization and development of ideas.
Questions and other activities that focus on graphic cues such as titles, chapter headings, indentations, and white space, as well as any visuals and other text displays that highlight the organization and relative importance of various themes in the text.
Scanning activities that highlight key (including technical) vocabulary, as well as names, dates, places, and other important facts.
Questions that can serve to focus student’s attention during reading as well as engage a student sufficiently to motivate doing the reading.
Activities for use during reading
Filling out a graphic while reading: completing a Venn diagram (for comparisons), a flow chart (for processes), a table (for classifications or definitions). Or other organizer that reflect the logical relations between ideas in the text and highlight for the student what is important enough to be noted and remembered (Crandall, 1993). A variety of forms can also be used in this manner.
Guided or controlled writing assignments or discussion questions that encourage students to react to and reflect upon what they are reading at key stages in the process and to note confusion or questions they hope to have answered before the end of the reading.
Underlining, highlighting, or note-taking activities that help students develop more effective study skills.
Vocabulary building activities that help students find clues for meaning within the text.
Periodic paraphrasing and summarizing activities, which encourage students to see how an idea is developed and a text is structured, to draw inferences, and to effectively tie new ideas to prior topics.
Timed activities that encourage rapid reading, perhaps combined with questions that require skimming for general answer or scanning for key information.
Vocabulary activities, helping students to expand their vocabulary by applying affixes and roots drawn from the key vocabulary in the reading, using charts and tables to illustrate the relationship between words.
Questions to encourage critical analysis and evaluation of the reading.
Activities that help students to summarize the text, beginning with partially completed summaries.
Cloze activities and sentence strip activities for developing vocabulary, grammar, and discourse knowledge.
Journal writing, either monologic or dialogic, to encourage students to reflect on, synthesize, or evaluate what they have read.
Application activities, which encourage students to apply what they have read to some task or activity.
Reading in the Genre-Based Instruction
The word genre comes from the French (and originally Latin) word for 'kind' or 'class'. The term is widely used in rhetoric, literary theory, media theory, and more recently linguistics, to refer to a distinctive type of 'text'. Genre study has been primarily nominological and typological in function. That is to say, it has taken as its principal task the division of the world of texts into types and the naming of those types.
Genre study aims to group texts according to type, and to identify and describe features which texts of a particular genre have in common. The definition of the term genre varies somewhat between different writers, but most follow Swales (1990) and Bahtia (1993) in relating the concept of genre to communicative events or acts. In such approaches, genres are defined not in terms of their language, but by features which could be described as external to the text itself. These include areas such as text purpose or social function, writer/reader relationships, and the medium of communication (e.g. newspaper article, letter, e-mail message). These external characteristics naturally have implications for what is called internal features of the text, including areas such as syntax, lexicogrammatical choice, organization, layout, etc. The result is that texts within a given genre are likely to share certain of these internal features, though it is also possible for texts within the same genre to differ very considerably in terms of their language and structure.
Why is it important to know what these different terms mean, and why should corpus texts be classified into genres in our classroom? The short answer is that you as language teachers and researchers need to know exactly what kind of language they are examining or describing. Furthermore, most of the time we want to deal with a specific genre or a manageable set of genres, so that we can define the scope of any generalizations we make.
Biber's work underlines the complexity of the task which writers and readers face in taking genre into account. For any genre, a range of text types may be appropriate, but the range is far from infinite, and an error in setting the parameters in the multiple dimensions along which a text type may vary can result in the creation and comprehension of an inappropriate text type. A further factor not taken into account in the foregoing, though important in Swales' description of genre, relates to convention. There have evolved a variety of linguistic conventions associated with certain genres. To take a simple example, there is a convention that a letter in English normally begins "Dear xxx"; such an opening can safely be used in any letter. However, beginning a letter "Darling xxx" would be appropriate in only very few situations, despite the fact that "dear" and "darling" would appear on the face of it to be similar expressions. Only convention dictates the use of "dear". Generic conventions can of course be deliberately flouted, and frequently are--or parodied, or varied--but they cannot simply be ignored.
Australian researchers such as Martin have recognized the empowering nature of mastery of genres, and have consequently urged the use of genre-based instruction in the Australian school system (see Gee, 1997 for a concise account of the research). The reverse side of the coin is equally valid: inadequate mastery of genre is a major problem in spoken and written communication. Failure to implement generic factors adequately may result in giving the impression to a reader that the writer is, perhaps, uneducated, weak, unenthusiastic, or deliberately insulting.
This is precisely because the concept of genre is involved with factors such as writer/reader relationships and text purpose. A text that sends the wrong generic signals may, for example, suggest that the writer is attempting to claim too close a relationship with the reader, or is being too distant. Generic errors result in misinterpretation not so much of core meaning as of attitudes. Comparisons of reading texts by foreign writers and native writers illustrate the ways in which their completion of writing tasks differs in terms of generic features as well as in terms of linguistic accuracy and range.
Sunny Hyon has conducted research toward the benefit and contribution of genre based instruction in reading. The research shows that the students who have genre sensitivity in reading will have:
better recognition of text.
greater attention to rhetorical features in texts.
understanding where to locate key information.
increasing reading speed.
greater confidence and enjoyment in reading.
good transfer of course knowledge to varied texts.
Junior high school students are required to understand well the following genres:
Each genres has different social function, generic structure and significant features. Look at the following table.
SIGNIFICANT LEXICOGRAMMATICAL FEATURES
To retell events for the purpose of informing or entertaining
To describe the way things are, with reference to a range of natural, man-made and social phenomena in our environment.
To describe a particular person, place or thing.
To amuse, entertain and to deal with actual or vicarious experience in different ways; Narratives deal with problematic events which lead to a crisis or turning point of some kind, which in turn finds a resolution.
To describe how something is accomplished through a sequence of actions or steps.
Many genre-based textbooks discuss a particular teaching and learning cycle that is often associated with systemic classroom application. This teaching and learning cycle is reproduced in figure 1. The teaching and learning cycle aims to provide support for learners as they move from building up the content of a text (building knowledge of field), through the presentation and discussion of a model of the target text (modeling of text), to a “joint construction” by the teacher and learners (joint construction of text) of a further model text (independent construction of text).
At each of the stages, learners’ attention is drawn to the cultural and social context of the text, the structure of the text, the content of the text, and characteristic linguistic features of the text. The teacher may enter at any phase of the cycle, depending on the learners’ stage of preparedness for the particular activity; that is, the cycle is intended to be used flexibly, with teachers encouraged to enter the cycle at whatever point best meets their students’ needs.
Figure 1: teaching and learning cycle (Hammond et al. 1992:17)
This teaching and learning cycle is based on the notion of scaffolding, which draws from Vygotsky’s view that higher thinking process, including language, arise as a consequence of human interaction. Scaffolding involves providing support for learners as they develop in their linguistic competence. Integral to this notion is the idea that learners are “in the position of solving a problem that is beyond their level of competence”. At the same time, the person that is helping them is in the position of “knowing” how to perform the task. Through the scaffolded interaction, learners come to the point where they are able to perform the task, fist with assistance, then independently.
Activity types that might be drawn on in a scaffolded teaching and learning cycle include:
Activities that focus on discourse awareness and skills
Activities that focus on language awareness and skills
Language practice activities
These activities can be used in any particular order, depending on student needs.
One of the most important points to keep in mind when teaching reading comprehension is that there is not one type of reading but several according to one’s reason for reading. Student will never read efficiently unless they can adapt their reading speed and technique to their aim when reading. By reading all texts in the same way, students would waste time and fail to remember points of importance to them because they would absorb too much non-essential information. The exercises suggested in this section should therefore make the students more confident and efficient readers.
Some essential techniques for reading comprehension are as follows:
You are trained to make predictions and guesses when reading texts. Reading is an activity involving constant guesses that are later rejected or confirmed. This means that one does not read all the sentences in the same way, but you rely on a number of words –- or ‘cues’— to get an idea of what kind of sentence is likely to follow. The aim of this exercise is to help you to acquire this crucial ability.
Before you read a text in detail, it is possible to predict what information you may find in it. You will probably have some knowledge of the subject already, and you can use this knowledge to help you anticipate what a reading text contains.
After looking at the title, for example, you can ask yourself what you know and do not know about the subject before you read the text. Or you can formulate questions that you would like to have answered by reading the text. These exercises will help you focus more effectively on the ideas in a text when you actually start reading. To help you predict, you may also use previewing and scanning techniques.
After reading the each of the sentences in column 1, look at column 2 and choose the sentences which you think is most likely to follow.
Business is a rational choice.
Making money is the first priority.
In other hand, the pact is a political decision that countries can't run away from.
Therefore, rethinking the potential gains which Indonesia can achieve in any arrangement involvement is an essential start.
Supply the missing punctuation of the text to predict where the sentences are likely to stop and look for signals of a new sentence or paragraph.
companies are generally satisfied with their outsourcing arrangements as transactional elements are most commonly outsourced such as payroll and pension the most cited business drivers for outsourcing are cost reduction service improvement and resource maximization but so far little research has been done on the "what' and "how" of HR outsourcing the decision-making process and actual implementation issue there seemed to be very little to guide the manager on how to actually go about making and implementing the HR outsourcing decision the traditional view is "we keep core competencies in-house and we outsource non-core activities" this idea does not make much sense it would be a patent over-simplification to divide activities of complex organizations between core and non core (like black and white) activities range on a continuum from core to non-core our research found that the outsourcing process should be different according to how close activities are to the core the closer the more resources should be dedicated to manage the outsourcing relation
For further exercises, the students can be given unfinished passages and asked to propose an ending. You also may take a written text, dividing it into utterances and asking the students to ask pertinent questions about what should follow at differing points in the passage. Thus they will see the various directions in which a text may naturally develop.
You are trained to use titles and tables of contents to get an idea of what passage is about. This exercise will show you how much you can guess about a passage by simply looking at its title and the table of contents. Being able to use an index is also essential when scanning to locate specific information. You are also exposed to use the text on the back cover a book, the preface and the table of contents to get an idea of what the book is about. It is often important to be able to get a quick idea of what a book is about (e.g. when buying a book or choosing one in the library). Besides, glancing through the book, the text on the back cover, in the preface and in the table of contents gives the best idea of what is be found in it.
You have a few minutes to skim through a book entitled The Rise of the Novel by Ian Watt and you first read the few lines written on the back cover of the book, the table of contents, the index of the book and the beginning of the preface. What can you tell about the book after reading them? Can you answer the following questions?
For what kind of public was the book written?
The book is about
literature in genera
What major writers are considered in this book?
The main theory of the author is that the form of the first English novels resulted from:
The position of women in society
The social changes at that time
The middle class
The different chapter are arranged
What kind of influence did the literature described in this book have?
Does the book have an index?
Does the book have a glossary?
You have just bought The Jakarta post in order to know the latest news. Here is the index of the passage.
On what pages would you expect to find an answer to the following question?
Have the USA decided anything about the Teheran hostages/
Is it true that Ali Sadikin has died?
Are there any Letters or Opinions about the article on libraries that appeared a few days ago?
What’s on TV tonight?
Is there a review of the film?
Is the new Education Bill to be passed?
Both skimming and scanning are specific reading techniques necessary for quick and efficient reading. When skimming, we go through the reading material quickly in order to get the gist of it, to know how it is organized, or to get an idea of the tone or the intention of the writer.
When scanning, we only try to locate specific information and often we do not even follow the linearity of the passage to do so. We simply let our eyes wander over the text until we find what we are looking for, whether it is a name, a date, or a less specific piece of information.
Skimming is therefore a more thorough activity which requires an overall view of the text and implies a definite reading competence. Scanning, on the contrary, is far more limited since it only means retrieving what information is relevant to our purpose. Yet it is usual to make use of these two activities together when reading a given text. For instance, we may well skim through an article first just to know whether it is worth reading, and then read it is of interest. It is also possible afterwards to scan the same article in order to note down a figure or a name which we particularly want to remember.
Perhaps the two most valuable reading techniques for learners are skimming and scanning. Features of the text that can help you to skim a text include the following (a text may not contain all of these features):
Details about the author
First, second and last sentences of following paragraphs
Skimming gives you the advantage of being able to predict the purpose of the passage, the main topic or message, and possibly some of the developing or supporting ideas. This gives a “head start” as they embark on more focused reading or reading in detail. You can learn to skim passages by read, say, 30 seconds to look through a few pages of material, have them close their books, and tell you what you have learned.
This is the technique we employ when we want to obtain a quick overview of a text. We may:
be looking for something quite specific
be wanting to get a general idea before putting effort into close reading
have already read the text thoroughly, and be wanting to recall the main points
If you have any of the above reasons for reading a text, you will find it helpful to employ the following skim reading techniques
Read the opening paragraph and the conclusion carefully
Read the first and last sentence of each remaining paragraph to gain some idea of the main points
Look for words and phrases that act as sign posts to the main ideas or messages in the text, or that are clues to anything specific you might be looking for
Use a marker pen to mark out any items that you want to re-read, or refer to later
The second in the ‘most valuable’ category is scanning, or quickly searching for some specific words, phrases and items of information as quickly as possible. In other words, scanning involves rapid reading for the specific rather than the general; for particular details rather than the overall idea.
When you read a text, for example, you may want to scan only a percentage figure or the dates of particular historical events instead of the main ideas. Scanning also will help you find the meaning of a certain word more efficiently when you look up dictionary.
This technique is usually employed in conjunction with skim reading. It is especially useful if you are looking for specific information which may be contained in a variety of books, journals or articles. The process is one of search and discovery. It requires you to skim read, locate, mark and then return to close reading. When doing this across a number of texts, you will need to reference the materials as you proceed.
Read following articles as quickly as you can and decide which title is best suited to each of them. This exercise is not entirely an exercise in skimming since some of the passages will have to be read carefully in order to choose an appropriate title. However, the students can be encouraged to do the exercise as quickly as possible to see how quickly they can understand the gist of each article. Also, it is one way of drawing the students’ attention to the importance of titles which are often sufficient to tell us whether or not the text is worth reading from our point of view.
Skim through it and underline the sentence or the words that best sum up the main idea of each paragraph (the key words or sentences). This exercise will train you to recognize the key sentences of a text is an essential preparation to skimming since it will show you that (a) one sentence usually sum up the main idea the gist of each paragraph and (b) this key sentence often appears at the beginning of each paragraph.
An alternative to studying abroad
Higher education has become a steppingstone to meeting the challenges of globalization. Many choose to further their studies abroad -- such as in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Singapore and Canada
-- upon completing high school.
Due to the variety of majors on offer, many students are able to tailor their course loads to their individual needs. In addition, international students enjoy the best facilities of cutting-edge technology while pursuing an education in such countries. However, the cost of such a privilege is considerably high.
National universities with international standards of curricula have become an alternative for those who seek an international-quality education without having to leave the country. Not only do these universities use English as the language of instruction but they also have programs accredited and recognized by renowned universities overseas.
Originally a computer school in the 1970s, Bina Nusantara (Binus) expanded its program by affiliating with Curtin University, Australia. This bilingual university now has a range of programs such as Languages, Social Science, Business and Information Technology, designed to help its graduates secure prized careers abroad. These bachelor programs (S-1) were established in cooperation with a number of renowned Australian universities. For example, its Accounting program cooperates with Curtin University of Technology and its Computer Sciences program with the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, and so on.
The Swiss German University (SGU), the first international university in Indonesia, was established by the Swiss German University - Asia Foundation in 2000. With the help of the German, Swiss, Austrian and Indonesian governments, the foundation was developed through the idea of Prof. Peter Pscheid, currently SGU rector, when he was a visiting scholar at the Polytechnic of Bandung Institute of Technology.
With English as the language of instruction, SGU has combined both theoretical and practical training into the curriculum. In addition to taking German language in their first year of study, students are expected to learn the difference perspectives of both occidental and oriental cultures. Moreover, the university offers two internship (practical training) programs, held in Indonesia in the third semester and abroad in the sixth semester for bachelor degree students. The country destinations include Germany, Switzerland and countries in Asia. ""This will help build qualified professionals as well as strengthen links between nations in both Asia and Europe"", said SGU's senior public relations officer Peggy Odang. Furthermore, not only bachelor degree students have succeeded in the curriculum but also master degree and PhD students.
Apart from Business Administration and Information Technology, SGU offers a distinctively unique major: Mechatronics Engineering. Designed for both Bachelor and Master programs, it is a study of the combination of Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Information Technology.
The booming of international standard curricula at colleges and universities in Indonesia is not only seen in Business Administration and Information Technology but also in other fields like fashion design. La Salle, a leading international design college, attracts those interested in fashion. First founded in Montreal, Canada in 1959, it now has branches in Australia, Canada, China, Colombia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Morocco, Singapore, Philippines, Tunisia, Turkey and Vietnam. La Salle College International Indonesia was established in 1997 and offers the following majors: Fashion Design, Fashion Business, Computer Graphic/Multimedia, 3D Animation, Digital Photography and Interior Design.
Despite the school's French name, all lectures at La Salle are in English. ""With closer to 300 students enrolled, our school emphasizes quality rather than quantity,"" stated Tri Turturi, La Salle's marketing communications manager.
Compared with campus facilities at many universities abroad, the facilities at these international universities are considered competent. Vast collections of books, periodicals, magazines and research libraries as well as computer laboratories have become a campus standard facility. In addition, schools are equipped with student lounges and student lockers. In terms of information science, Mechatronics Library and Laser Institute are value-added facilities at Swiss German University.
With the slogan ""Knowledge without technology is crippled, and technology without knowledge is blind"", Universitas Pelita Harapan has had latest model Toshiba Tablet PCs since 2005. As one of the first digital campuses in Indonesia, Universitas Pelita Harapan has implemented information technology with mobile connectivity all over the campus as a school commitment to providing excellent educational surroundings.
Having both Indonesian and expatriate students enrolled, students at international universities are given the opportunity to look into the melting pot of internationalization. The existence of cultural diversity at campus helps students build character to grow into open-minded adults. Furthermore, a number of international universities' graduates have secured jobs in foreign countries such as the United States, Singapore, Malaysia and Australia.
Adapted from: The Jakarta Post, Sun, 06/11/2006
It involves reading a text thoroughly in order to comprehend the ideas and arguments it contains. In-depth reading is consequently much slower than skim reading, and you may find that you need to read certain sections of a difficult text more than once. When reading in-depth it is useful to
Read the opening paragraphs and conclusion first. This will help you to digest the intention and conclusion of the writer prior to a closer reading of the text.
Go back to the beginning, and read through the whole text, marking out and noting: key words and phrases; ideas, facts, and data you think are important; and the structure of the argument.
Make sure you understand the writer’s main ideas and arguments, and the overall message of the text.
What is the main idea of first paragraph?
What is the main idea in the last paragraph?
Guess the idea of the whole text only by comprehending the first and the last paragraph!
Prove your guessing through reading the text in detail!
Looking for the `right' international education
"Which one is best?" "Which do you think is better?" "Which one do you think is the most suitable for my child?" These are the kinds of questions that float around and potentially fluster us as we contemplate international education and international schools. They are difficult questions to answer. The answers can only really come from investigation and so analyses of what is available and, likewise, what is desired.
The answers will be various and, quite likely, individual and so what works for one may not work for another; there may be agreement to disagree. But what would generally be agreed upon is that with the growth of globalization, there is a growth in the demand for and supply of international education.
However, a critical criterion that is often, (even has to be), applied to international education is what recognition accompanies the international qualification that is gained. That is to say, when a student has graduated from an international school and gained that international qualification what lies ahead, at least potentially.
The two primary international qualifications that can offer the kind of recognition that is sought are the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) and the A Level program that follows on from it as offered by the University of Cambridge - International Examinations of the United Kingdom and the International Baccalaureate which offers a diploma upon graduation.
The International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma program was first offered by the International School of Geneva in 1968 and since that first offering has grown massively in its spread of availability and in its reputation as an international qualification. The figures for IB are impressive - estimates suggest that there are close to 600,000 IB students at more than 2,000 schools worldwide.
That worldwide spread is further exemplified by the statement that these students and their schools are based in more than 120 countries. This in and of itself highlights a huge degree of international recognition. We may then wonder why this program has grown to have such large-scale international appeal.
Among the many objectives for education arising from the IB program there is the stated intention that students will become "active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can be right". To some such an intent may seem idealistic and even a bit vague and too much of a sweeping statement.
But such an intention and goal for education does rather expressly set a tone that fits with a sense of internationalism, i.e. working with, respecting and learning from others that may be "different". Also, although such a stated intent may seem vague and sweeping, the IB program is widely regarded as a quite challenging course of study.
It has three key and compulsory elements: a "Theory of Knowledge" section that leads students to study across "traditional" subject boundaries, an "Extended Essay" that requires the students to do research and write up a subsequent essay and a "CAS" or creativity, action and service component that sees students do 150 hours of effort in art, sport and community service work.
These core components accompany six other academic subjects, three of which are taken to a higher level while the remaining three are construed to stay at a standard level. This, then, means that students are exposed to a considerable breadth of subjects in their studies and that, to a degree, more strict and traditional delineations between subjects are broken down.
The breadth of studies that may be encountered on the IB program could be seen as one of the strengths of such a course of study but that breadth could also be held up as one of the concerns here. The IB can prove demanding and it is the breadth of studies that create this demanding aspect.
Within the IGCSE and A level route to international qualification a somewhat more specialized or focused approach might be discerned. The IGCSE level of qualification denotes a general level of education (or it might be stated as broad level). The "G" in the acronym IGCSE does after all stand for "General".
From that level of qualification the student then progresses to the A level - the "A" here connoting an advanced level. This means that the student is progressing to select subjects to continue to this advanced level. Hopefully such selection carefully responds to and corresponds with the student's talents and/or interests.
This approach, it has been argued, allows students to respond to their own particular aptitudes and so focus on subjects accordingly. For example, a student that exhibits an aptitude for languages would probably prefer to study more than one language further and perhaps may not be motivated or able to succeed in mathematics at a more advanced level.
There are, then, apparent differences in the approaches that may be taken to international education and qualification. But each approach has its benefits and will suit differing students. A key factor and question to answer here is determining the aptitudes and attitudes toward education of the student.
The IB program may be seen as working well in providing a broad-based syllabus and it seems to lead to greater integration of subjects in crossing subject boundaries and having students integrate ideas and learning from different disciplines. The Cambridge route perhaps works well in allowing students focus and getting specific to subjects that they may pursue at university.
Whichever route is taken, though, it is apparent that what lies ahead is challenging and can prove academically rigorous. These are after all international programs and they must conform to and meet with international standards. Thus, parents choosing such a route for their child's education should not make decisions lightly. It is possible to meet students that have literally been stressed out by the demands.
Again, investigation and analysis is what is required. When looking for the "right" international education approach a lot of knowledge and understanding is required. This obviously means gaining knowledge and understanding of the courses of study and the schools that can offer them.
But it also means awareness and appreciation of the student. Where are his or her talents and motives? What approach is going to bring out the best in him or her? The best international education is going to provide the chance of a better future.
Adapted from: The Jakarta Post. Sun, 05/11/2008
If you read too slowly you will easily get discouraged. You will also tend to stumble on unfamiliar words and fail to grasp the general meaning of the passage. One of the most common ways of increasing reading speed is to have passages to read and to time yourself. A conversion table , taking the length of the text and the reading time into account, will tell you what your reading speed is and this will make it easier for you to try and read a little faster every time. Reading should also be followed by comprehension questions or activities since reading speed should not be developed at the expense of comprehension. Below is an example of a conversion table for 500-word texts.
The following exercise should be done as quickly as possible and timed. In order to be efficient, each question should contain far more items.
Underline the word which is the same as the first one given.
ball bull caring cheering
Here is a series of two expressions. They are sometimes the same and sometimes different. Go to the list and when the expressions are different, underline the word that differs in the second expression.
rounded ball sounded ball
well done well done
already sold already sold
happy face happy race
Appreciation of the site developed slowly.
He reported his findings to the boss including various drawings.
Instead of building on a flat surface, Borobudur is built on a natural hill.
The great monument was never completely removed from the people's memory.
Although the discovery is only mentioned by a few sentences, He has been credited with the monument's recovery and bringing it to the world's attention
Appreciation of the side developed slowly.
He reported his research to the boss including various drawings.
Instead of building on a flat surface, Borobudur is built on a natural hill.
The great monument was never completely removed from the local people's memory.
Although the discovery is only mentioned by a few sentences, He has been credited with the monument's recovery and changing it to the world's attention
Decide whether the following words have similar or different meanings.
Find the word which means the same thing as the first word mentioned.
call chat fabulous notorious
Which of the following words should complete the sentence?
often refine distribution of ads and news through zoning and editioning.
Some of the following sentences contain a mistake. When this is the case, underline the word which should be changed.
People living in areas without dammed sea water would suffer during dry season.
The upcoming lunar eclipse will be total, as the half moon will pass through the earth’s shadow.
As long as the weather is clear, this natural phenomenon can’t be seen clearly.
The idea to establish the school of journalism came after public complaints about the quality of journalism in the country decreased.
Read the following timed 500 word text. After finishing the work, check your speed using the table.
"We want our children to benefit from a quality education," President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said in his Independence Day speech recently. To achieve that, the President said, education would get the largest budget allocation. We definitely share the President's wish. All of us want our children to get a quality education, the best available. But reality is often different.
For those of us who live in big cities and can afford good education, we have many choices available, from kindergarten to university. We have western-style kindergartens, complete with English as a medium of instruction, international and national plus schools, as well as international-standard universities. For us, quality is number one.
However, for those who live in small villages in the country and for those who cannot afford even basic education, good schools are beyond the imagination. Elementary schools in Papua, for example, often have one teacher per school—and who is also the headmaster. For these people, quality is not an issue. If they can send their children to school, that's good enough.
From here, we can see that quality will improve in line with rising demand. More and more national plus schools and international-standard universities will be built whenever the demand for such schools keeps rising. However, driving up demand is not an easy undertaking as it correlates directly with purchasing power, and creating purchasing power takes time. But people cannot wait. Here is the role of the government, to drive up quality from the supply side.
The government has done its part by giving the education sector the highest budget allocation. The president revealed that next year, the education sector would get Rp 61.4 trillion (US$6.7 billion), an increase from Rp 52.4 trillion this year, but he did not elaborate on how this money would translate into quality education.
He only promised to continue the government's school operational assistance program and scholarships for poor students, and continue extending special allocation funds to local governments to rehabilitate schools and purchase educational equipment.
Of course, we could not expect the President to go into the details of how to translate an increase in education spending into a rise in the quality of our education system. But the President should at least share his vision for what kind of quality education he wants to see at the end of next year or at the end of his term in 2009.
The budget is an effective tool to drive up education quality. Only through the budget can the government raise teachers' salaries, finance training for teachers and thus improve their quality, provide better textbooks for students and build more versatile school buildings -- all of which are important factors in improving quality.
From the budget side, our Constitution has already ensured that the government must allocate enough money for education. The constitution says that 20 percent of the budget must go to education, which is strengthened by our education law, which stipulates the 20 percent spending does not include teachers' salaries.
Adapted from Jakarta Post, August 22, 2007
Readers respond to a given text in a variety of ways as they seek to use and understand what they are reading. These include the reading situation and the structure of the text itself. All of these factors are regarded as important components of the reading process and were manipulated in the creation of the items used in the assessment.3
Reading comprehension processes are:4 firstly, focus on and retrieve explicitly stated information: These types of process required students to recognize information or ideas presented in the text in relation to answers sought. The specific information to be retrieved typically was located in a single sentence or phrase.
Secondly, make straightforward inferences: Based mostly on information contained in the texts, usually these types of questions required students to connect two ideas presented in adjacent sentences and fill in a “gap” in meaning. Skilled readers often make these kinds of inferences automatically, recognizing the relationship even though it is not stated in the text.
Thirdly, interpret and integrate ideas and information: For these questions, students needed to process the text beyond the phrase or sentence level.5 Sometimes they were asked to make connections that were not only implicit, but needed to draw on their own knowledge and experiences.
Fourthly, examine and evaluate content, language, and textual elements: These proceses required students to draw on their knowledge of text genre and structure, as well as their understanding of language conventions and devices.
Based on this understanding, students are expected to demonstrate their proficiency in all these aspects: (1) forming a broad general understanding, (2) retrieving information, (3) developing an interpretation, (4) reflecting on and evaluating the content of a text, and (5) reflecting on and evaluating the form of a text.
Retrieving information. In the course of daily life, readers often need a particular piece of information. They may need to look up a telephone number or check the departure time for a bus or train. They may want to find a particular fact to support or refute a claim someone has made. In situations such as these, readers are interested in retrieving isolated pieces of information. To do so, readers must scan, search for, locate and select relevant information. The processing involved in this aspect of reading is most frequently at the sentence level, though in some cases the information may be in two or more sentences or in different paragraphs.
Forming a broad general understanding. To form a broad general understanding of what has been read, a reader must consider the text as a whole or in a broad perspective. There are various assessment tasks in which readers are asked to form a broad general understanding. Examinees may demonstrate initial understanding by identifying the main topic or message or by identifying the general purpose or use of the text. Examples include tasks that require the reader to select or create a title or thesis for the text, to explain the order of simple instructions, or to identify the main dimensions of a graph or a table.
Developing an interpretation. Developing an interpretation requires readers to extend their initial impressions so that they develop a more specific or complete understanding of what they have read. Tasks in this category call for logical understanding; readers must process the organization of information in the text. To do so, readers must demonstrate their understanding of cohesion even if they cannot explicitly state what cohesion is. In some instances, developing an interpretation may require the reader to process a sequence of just two sentences relying on local cohesion, which might even be facilitated by the presence of cohesive markers, such as the use of “first” and “second” to indicate a sequence. In more difficult instances (e.g., to indicate relations of cause and effect), there might not be any explicit markings.
Reflecting on and evaluating the content of a text. Reflecting and evaluating on the content of a text requires the reader to connect information found in a text to knowledge from other sources. Readers must also assess the claims made in the text against their own knowledge of the world. Often readers are asked to articulate and defend their own points of view. To do so, readers must be able to develop an understanding of what is said and intended in a text and must test that mental representation against what they know and believe on the basis of either prior information, or information found in other texts. Readers must call on supporting evidence from within the text and contrast that with other sources of information, using both general and specific knowledge as well as the ability to reason abstractly.
Some tasks representative of this category of processing include providing evidence or arguments from outside the text, assessing the relevance of particular pieces of information or evidence, or drawing comparisons with moral or aesthetic rules (standards). The examinee might be asked to offer or identify alternative pieces of information that might strengthen an author’s argument, or to evaluate the sufficiency of the evidence or information provided in the text.
The outside knowledge to which textual information is to be connected may come from the examinee’s own knowledge, from other texts provided in the assessment, or from ideas explicitly provided in the question.
Reflecting on and evaluating the form of a text. Tasks in this category require readers to stand apart from the text, consider it objectively and evaluate its quality and appropriateness. Knowledge of such things as text structure, genre and register play an important role in these tasks.6 These features, which form the basis of an author’s craft, figure strongly in understanding standards inherent in tasks of this nature. Evaluating how successful an author is in portraying some characteristic or persuading a reader depends not only on substantive knowledge but also on the ability to detect nuances in language – for example, understanding when the choice of an adjective might color interpretation.7
In an attempt to capture this progression of complexity and difficulty, the reading literacy was divided into five levels:8
Proficiency at Level 5 Students proficient at Level 5 on the reading literacy scale are capable of completing sophisticated reading tasks, such as managing information that is difficult to find in unfamiliar texts; showing detailed understanding of such texts and inferring which information in the text is relevant to the task; and being able to evaluate critically and build hypotheses, draw on specialized knowledge, and accommodate concepts that may be contrary to expectations.
Proficiency at Level 4 Students proficient at Level 4 on the reading literacy scale are capable of difficult reading tasks, such as locating embedded information, dealing with ambiguities and critically evaluating a text.
Proficiency at Level 3 Students proficient at Level 3 on the reading literacy scale are capable of reading tasks of moderate complexity, such as locating multiple pieces of information, making links between different parts of a text and relating it to familiar everyday knowledge.
Proficiency at Level 2 Students proficient at Level 2 are capable of basic reading tasks, such as locating straightforward information, making low-level inferences of various types, working out what a well-defined part of a text means and using some outside knowledge to understand it.
Proficiency at Level 1 Reading literacy, as defined in PISA, focuses on the knowledge and skills required to apply reading for learning rather than on the technical skills acquired in learning to read.
Students performing below Level 1 – are not likely to demonstrate success on the most basic type of reading. This does not mean that they have no literacy skills. Nonetheless, their pattern of answers in the assessment is such that they would be expected to solve fewer than half of the tasks in a test made up of items drawn solely from Level 1, and therefore perform below Level 1. Such students have serious difficulties in using reading literacy as an effective tool to advance and extend their knowledge and skills in other areas. Students with literacy skills below Level 1 may therefore be at risk not only of difficulties in their initial transition from education to work, but also of failure to benefit from further education and learning opportunities throughout life.
What is extensive reading(ER)? 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 (Grellet:1981), 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 (Day:1993), 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.
students read a lot of text
students practice particular reading skills
students listen and read aloud
students translate from L2 to L1
ER can be defined as the independent reading of a large quantity of material for information or pleasure. The primary aim of ER programmes, according to Day and Bamford, is “to get students reading in the second language and liking it”. He lists the following as key characteristics of a successful ER program:
Students read large amounts of printed material;
Students read a variety of materials in terms of topic and genre;
The material students read is within their level of comprehension;
Students choose what they want to read;
Reading is its own reward;
Students read for pleasure, information and general understanding;
Students read their selection at a faster rate;
Reading is individual (students read on their own);
Teachers read with their students, thus serving as role models of good readers;
Teachers guide and keep track of student progress.
Point 1 above, in particular, is one of the key features that distinguishes ER from other reading programs. Reading extensively means reading lots and lots of print material. Although we don’t know how much reading is needed to produce the most learning gain, we do know that the more learners read, the more benefits they get. In a study that we just completed (Renandya, Rajan, and Jacobs, to appear), amount of extensive reading was the only variable that could be used to make a reliable prediction of adult ESL learners’ proficiency in English at the end of a two-month intensive course in English.
Finding the materials to support Points 1, 2, and 3 above can be difficult, especially where funding is insufficient. Day and Bamford acknowledge that setting up a library that houses a large collection of materials can be very costly. They suggest that one way to get around this problem is to get teachers and students to write stories for use in their ER program . Another excellent way is to collect material, as illustrated in the Philippines context by Lituañas (1997), involving fellow teachers, past and present students, and community groups in the ER material collection campaign. The internet can also be a good source of inexpensive ER materials (see Derewianka, 1997, for some Internet Websites where you can download ER materials).
Point 5 above is also worth commenting on. The authors seem to downplay the importance of follow-up activities (e.g., summary writing, answering questions). Although they offer a number of postreading activities, they maintain that “… no postreading work should be required, the act of reading being its own reward”. We agree that students should see reading as a rewarding experience in and of itself, but we feel that postreading activities have an important role in ER. Yu (1993) states that postreading tasks may not be needed for students who are already good readers, but for most of our students who have not developed good reading habits, short postreading activities can become a very useful tool for teachers and students to monitor progress. In addition, from a theoretical perspective, carefully planned postreading tasks, such as those suggested by Day and Bamford, can provide necessary language output to further enhance students’ language development. This is consistent with Swain’s (1985) output hypothesis which states that while comprehensible input supplies an essential basis for second language acquisition, it must be supplemented by the production of comprehensible output if learners are to reach a high level of proficiency in the target language. Several of the authors in Day’s (1986) edited book Talking to Learn: Conversation in Second Language Acquisition also propose a role for output in learners’ language development.
Classroom organization of extensive reading
In the real world, we exercise choice over the books that we read: we browse through different titles when we go into libraries and bookshops; we take time to choose something of personal interest to ourselves. The same is true when learners use a class library for extensive reading. Let us look at one example in detail.
Class library content
In this instance, for a class of 40+ students, the class library consists of 180 books or so. Most are graded readers written within certain controlled vocabulary limits and specifically produced for learners of English. Some are higher level readers especially targeted at native speaker teenagers, while others consist of readers written especially for native speaker children. For the most part, the books are about fifty pages long, and include illustrations and drawings. All of the titles involve narrative stories - from simplified versions of classics like A Tale of Two Cities, Sherlock Holmes and Alice in Wonderland to biographies of Martin Luther King and Mother Teresa; science fiction; adventure stories; love stories; thrillers, and so on. In short, the class library contains an interesting and wide variety of books written at easily accessible levels of English.
Level of reading materials
In terms of level, the books are divided into four bands: green, blue, red and yellow. Green is roughly equivalent to elementary level (upto the 1000 headword level); blue approximates to pre-intermediate (between 1000 and 1500 headwords), red to intermediate (1500 to 2000 headwords), and yellow to intermediate plus (2000 headwords plus). Each book is colour-coded as well as number coded for its level (100.0?? for green, for example, and 400.0?? for yellow), and has a book ticket within a pocket on the inside back cover.
Reading and note-taking requirements
In the first term, students are required to read 50 pages. They are also requested to buy an English-English learner's dictionary, Collins Cobuild Student Dictionary. When the students read books from the library, they are required to keep a reading journal. This is a notebook in which they are asked to record in English: double-entry key points/reflection notes; reading performance reviews; weekly reading goals; book reports; half-term and end-of-term self-assessments.
Using the library
Students can check out of the library up to two books at any one time at the start of the term; this is subsequently increased to three books later in the term after their reading speed has picked up. To check out a book, students write the title, code and date checked out on an individual A4 reading record sheet, as well as indicate the number of pages in the book. A maximum of six students can use the library at a go. While some students are use the library, the rest read, discuss in pairs what they have read, or make notes in their book journal.
Profile of a typical extensive reading lesson
The focus throughout the first term is on fluent reading. Since this is the overriding aim, most phases of the 75-minute lesson are organised to nurture this. Thus, the first part of the lesson - social English - involves the students standing up face-to-face in pairs and holding free conversations in English for a couple of minutes with one or two different people. This helps the students to switch into English for the lesson, and to create good group dynamics at the start of the lesson. Next, the students are asked to focus their attention on what they have achieved in their reading that week. This phase of the lesson involves the students in pairs first asking and answering, then writing questions such as:
What book(s) did you read this week?
What did you find particularly interesting?
How many pages did you read?
How much time did you spend reading?
What are your reading goals this week?
After this, the students turn their tables face-to-face in pairs, and using the notes they have made during the last week on what they have been reading, they report to their partner and discuss their books in more detail with each other. During this phase, the reading record sheets are given out, and students start using the library. While some students are browsing and choosing books, the rest of the class (a) continues its pair discussions, or (b) reads, or (c) make notes. If students have finished (a), (b) or (c), they are free to talk in English - with occasional encouragement - until they can go to the front of the class and use the library. Finally, the reading record sheets are collected in before the whole class is taken through a relaxation and visualization sequence.
Why aren’t we all doing ER?
Those of us who have been in the profession for some time know that ER is not new. However, although many of us would readily acknowledge the educational benefits of ER, how many of us are actually implementing ER in our second language program? As the authors put it, if ER is good for second language development, why is not everybody doing it? According to Day and Bamford, one of the most important reasons is that many teachers believe that intensive reading alone will produce good, fluent readers. In intensive reading, students spend lots of time analyzing and dissecting short, difficult texts under the close supervision of the teacher. The aim of intensive reading is to help students construct detailed meaning from the text, to develop reading skills, and enhance vocabulary and grammar knowledge. This approach by itself, Day and Bamford argue, will produce skilled readers but not skilled readers.
A related reason why ER is not done goes back to the whole paradigm issue of the role of the teacher: sage on the stage or guide on the side. Many teachers are perhaps still uncomfortable with the idea of playing a “less” central role in the classroom. In intensive reading, instruction is more teacher-centred in that teachers have full control over what is happening in the classroom. They decide what skills or strategies to teach, how these are taught, and what passages to use. In ER the role is not only to pass on knowledge, but, as Day and Bamford argue, to “guide students and participate with them as members of a reading community“.
The view that people learn to read by reading is shared by a growing number of applied linguists. Eskey (1986: 21), for example, says that “Reading … must be developed, and can only be developed, by means of extensive and continual practice. People learn to read, and to read better, by reading.” The benefits of ER, however, extend beyond the acquisition of reading fluency. After reviewing literally hundreds of research studies in both first and second language learning contexts, Krashen (1993: 23) has this to say:
Reading is good for you. The research supports a stronger conclusion, however. Reading is the only way, the only way we become good readers, develop a good writing style, an adequate vocabulary, advance grammar, and the only way we become good spellers.
In conclusion, we agree whole-heartedly with the Day, Bamford, and many others, that ER can have a very important role on our learners’ English language development. We also agree with the authors that, while research in ER should continue, the time to begin an ER programme in our school is NOW. This book can help us both begin and improve our ER programmes. Happy reading!
From the discussion, now we can bind together the loosely strands as follows:
As general teaching paths, teaching reading also follows the stages; prereading activities, during reading activities, and after reading activities.
The teaching and learning cycle aims to provide support for learners as they move from building up the content of a text (building knowledge of field), through the presentation and discussion of a model of the target text (modeling of text), to a “joint construction” by the teacher and learners (joint construction of text) of a further model text (independent construction of text).
To be effective and efficient reader, there are main strategies of reading: Skimming (quickly running one’s eyes over a text to get the gist of it), Scanning (quickly going through a text to find a particular piece of information), Extensive reading (reading longer texts, usually for one’s own pleasure. This is a fluency activity, mainly involving global understanding), Intensive reading (reading shorter texts, to extract specific information. This is more an accuracy activity involving reading for detail).
There are considerable points if you are dealing with the unknown vocabulary: Is there any glossary at the end of the reading passage? Does it start with capital letter (proper name of place or person) or is it in italics (technical words)? Is it explained for you? Can you find the word root? Can you work out a general meaning logically? Can you work out a general meaning by contrast? What is the word group? Sometimes it helps to know if you are looking for a verb, noun, adjective, or adverbs.
In having good comprehension, students are expected to demonstrate their proficiency in all these aspects: (1) forming a broad general understanding, (2) retrieving information, (3) developing an interpretation, (4) reflecting on and evaluating the content of a text, and (5) reflecting on and evaluating the form of a text.
Extensive reading can have a very important role on our learners’ English language development. ER can be defined as the independent reading of a large quantity of material for information or pleasure. The key characteristics of a successful ER program are: Students read large amounts of printed material; Students read a variety of materials in terms of topic and genre, The material students read is within their level of comprehension; Students choose what they want to read; Reading is its own reward; Students read for pleasure, information and general understanding; Students read their selection at a faster rate; Reading is individual (students read on their own); Teachers read with their students, thus serving as role models of good readers; and Teachers guide and keep track of student progress.
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SUGGESTION FOR FURTHER READING
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1 The Jakarta Post, 3 Desember 2007, p.2.
2 PISA 2006: Science Competencies for Tomorrow’s World Executive Summary (OECD, 2007), p. 29.
3 Ingvar Lundberg and Pirjo Linnakylä, Teaching Reading around the World: IEA Study of Reading Literacy (The International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement, 1993), p. 26.
4 Sherry R. Parris, Linda B. Gambrell, and Andreas Schleicher, “Beyond Borders: A Global Perspective on Reading Comprehension”, in Comprehension Instruction, Cathy Collin Block and Sheri R. Parris, eds., (PIRLS, 2008), p. 10.
5 Lorraine Dagostino and James Carifio, Evaluative Reading and Literacy: A Cognitive View, (Michigan: Allyn and Bacon, 1994), p. 98.
6 Paulo Freire and Donaldo Macedo, Literacy: Reading the Word & the World (NY: Routledge, 1987), p.113.
7 Irwin Kirsch et.al., op cit.,p.16.
8 Donna E. Alvermann and Stephen F. Phelps, Content Reading and Literacy: Succeeding in Today's Diverse Classrooms (Michigan: Allyn and Bacon, 1997), p. 240.