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7 Questions With Answers To Consider Before Teaching Reading Comprehension

Reading comprehension is very important in your journey to teaching your students to read. After all, when a student struggles with comprehension, reading can be a difficult activity. So, wouldn’t it be useful if you could find answers to some questions related to teaching reading comprehension to help you succeed in this ability? Here are 7 questions with answers you should consider before teaching reading comprehension.

1. Why Does A Person Read?

A person may read in order to:

  • Gain general information.
  • Get specific information.
  • Verify existing knowledge.
  • Criticize the writer’s ideas or writing style.
  • Enjoy himself/herself

2. What Are The Goals Of Teaching Reading In EFL Courses?

Teaching reading in any English language course should include the following main learning goals:

  • Enabling students to read a wide range of texts in English
  • Developing awareness of the structures of the written English texts
  • Developing the ability to criticize the content of texts
  • Practicing different types of reading according to the purpose of reading
  • Exposing students to different types of texts to build a solid knowledge of the language and to facilitate reading in the future

3. What Are The Types Of Reading?

There are four main types of reading. They are as follows:

  1. Skimming: reading for the gist or the main idea of the text.
  2. Scanning: reading to find specific information.
  3. Extensive reading: reading for pleasure and general understanding.
  4. Intensive reading: reading for getting the details.

4. What Should A Good Reader Be Able To Do?

Research shows that a good reader should be able to:

  • Read extensively as well as intensively.
  • Integrate information in the text with existing knowledge.
  • Use the two models of reading in processing a text.
  • Skim or scan a text depending on what he reads and the purpose of reading.
  • Read for a purpose. His reading serves a function.

5. What Are The Models Of Reading?

There are three main models of reading. They are as follows

1. A bottom-up model:

It emphasizes part-to-whole processing of a text. According to this model the readers should:

  • Identify sounds.
  • Recognize letters.
  • Link sounds.
  • Combine letters to recognize spelling patterns.
  • Link spelling patterns to recognize words.
  • Then proceed to sentence, paragraph, and text-level processing.

2. A top-down model:

It suggests that processing of a text begins in the mind of the reader by driving the meaning. According to this model the readers should:

  • Comprehend the text even though they don’t recognize each word.
  • Read primarily for meaning rather than mastery of letters, letter/sound relationships or words.
  • Use the whole meaning and the grammatical cues to identify unrecognized words.
  • Use meaning activities rather than a series of word recognition skills.
  • Read sentences, paragraphs and whole texts.
  • Gain the most amount of information through reading.

3. An interactive model:

This model emphasizes the interaction of bottom-up and top-down process simultaneously through the reading process.

6. What Are The Stages Of Teaching Reading Comprehension?

There are three main stages for teaching reading comprehension. They are as follows

1- Stage One: Before reading ( pre-reading ):

In this stage a teacher should:

  • Establish a purpose for reading ( e.g. answer a pre-question )
  • Activate prior knowledge.
  • Present new concepts and key vocabulary.
  • Ask students what information they predict to be included in the text.
  • Preview the text.

2- Stage Two: During reading:

In this stage students should:

  • Read, comprehend, clarify,  visualize and build connections.
  • Integrate the knowledge and information they bring to the text with new information in the text.
  • Pay attention to the structure of the text.
  • Read to achieve the purpose for reading.
  • Think about answers for certain questions.
  • Determine the meaning of unfamiliar words and concepts.

3- Stage Three: After reading ( post reading ):

In this stage students should:

  • Expand prior knowledge, build connections and deepen understanding.
  • Show their understanding of what they have read by answering some comprehension questions.
  • Evaluate the value and quality of the text.
  • Respond to the text by discussing its main ideas.

7. What Are The Types Of Questions To Be Asked Before And After Reading?

Reading activities and questions should take into account the six-level hierarchy of skills that Bloom suggested in his taxonomy. They are as follows:

  • Knowledge: includes recall or recognition of information.
  • Comprehension: includes explain, describe or rephrase the text.
  • Application: apply the information learned in the text.
  • Analysis: make inferences or derive generalizations.
  • Synthesis: combine several ideas.
  • Evaluation: judge the value or importance of the text.

Thanks For Reading

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