Home Forums GT TEFL Certification Course Topic – Teaching Reading Pitfalls

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    • #278604
      Janice C.
      Keymaster

      To help you avoid common mistakes newly qualified teachers often make when planning and teaching reading skills, you first need to understand what these mistakes are.

      Look at the ten tips below and decide what common teaching mistake each tip is highlighting.

      For example, Tip 1 ‘Choose a text your students will be interested in’ is indicating that trainee teachers often do not take their students’ needs and interests into consideration when choosing a reading text for teaching purposes.

      1. Choose a text your students will be interested in.
      2. Design tasks that reflect the way we would read the text in real life.
      3. Check that coursebook readings have all the stages.
      4. Grade the task rather than the text.
      5. Always remember to give students a clear, manageable task before they read! Do not forget to set time limits!
      6. Encourage students to deduce meaning from context.
      7. Use pair checks after EACH task you ask students to do.
      8. Do not race along at the speed of your best students during feedback.
      9. Pre-teach lexis will help students’ comprehension, but do not go overboard.
      10. Never ask your students to read out loud in class!

      Post your ideas about three tips you find most useful. Clarify what mistake is highlighted in each tip you choose.

    • #278762
      Elisabetta
      Participant

      These are my ideas about these useful tips:

      Tip 1 “Choose a text your students will be interested in” highlights if the text doesn’t match the students’ interests, it decreases the chance of a successful and satisfying reading experience.

      Tip 5 “Always remember to give students a clear, manageable task before they read! Do not forget to set time limits!” means that poor instructions or too difficult tasks cause the activity to become chaotic and fails because the students don’t understand what they are supposed to do. If the time limits are not set, the focus might decrease with the consequence of not completing the task.

      Tip 6 “Encourage students to deduce meaning from context” it suggests the trainee teachers must encourage students to use context to deduce meaning, rather than translating or relying on dictionaries.

      Tip 7 “Use pair checks after EACH task you ask students to do”, the trainee teachers may check each task individually, probably with the intention to assess each student’s performance, and not considering the embarrassment and frustration for some of them. Instead, pair checks after each task allow students to correct, change, complete their own answers before a whole-class check. This puts students in a position to reflect upon their own and each other’s answers with a greater degree of learner autonomy.

      Tip 9 “Pre-teach lexis will help students” comprehension, but do not go overboard” it is indicating that trainee teachers may ignore the fact the is essential to provide the key vocabulary to help to generate interest, build confidence and facilitate comprehension. If too much lexis is given, the activity might
      become too easy and not challenging.

    • #300845
      Gabi Kotlubaj
      Moderator

      Thank you for this Elizabetta!
      Tip 9- this is true- pre-teaching too many words before the text will not encourage students to deduce meaning from the context; therefore, we are not helping them to develop reading skills. Not going overboard with the number of lexical items for pre-teaching, will also help you manage time better. The pre-teach stage is an auxiliary stage in a reading lesson and not the main aim, so shouldn’t take more than 5-10 minutes.

    • #308439
      irynaroubel
      Participant

      I consider the following tips to be the most useful:
      Tip 2. Design tasks that reflect the way we would read the text in real life. Students need English for real-life communication. Reading texts which are not connected with reality can’t help them to communicate and solve problems in the future. Moreover, students may even become bored which may lead to the lack of motivation.
      Tip 5. Always remember to give students a clear, manageable task before they read! Do not forget to set time limits! Students are not able to be successful if they do not know what they are supposed to do. Clear instructions and manageable tasks help the students to progress. Setting time limits contributes to developing self-control as well as rsponsibility for their own learning.
      Tip 6. Encourage students to deduce meaning from context. Sometimes students try to learn the meaning of every word in the text instead of deducing meaning from the context. It is up to the teacher to explain that it is not necessary to understand everything in order to solve the task and get the idea of the text.

    • #310268
      noemi.ch
      Participant

      Personally, the tips I found most useful are:

      2) “Design tasks that reflect the way we would read the text in real life.” It is important to make students realise that the skills they need to learn a foreign language are not different from the skills they need to do different things in their mother tongue. In the EFL class, they often become too anxious about the knowledge they lack that they overlook the knowledge and skills they already have and how they can benefit from them.

      5) “Always remember to give students a clear, manageable task before they read! Do not forget to set time limits!” As clear as instructions may be, setting a time limit is also helpful for students because it forces them to stay focused on the task they are working on at the moment. Besides, it can also help them to become more aware and fluent in different types of readings, so that they advance through texts more quickly.

      7) “Use pair checks after EACH task you ask students to do.” This might look unnecessary, but being able to check their answers with someone else before the whole class’s feedback grants them the opportunity to skim the text again, looking for specific information and considering different interpretations of a paragraph. This process makes them more confident, since have had time to discuss their answers with another person and reassures them of their choices.

      A tip with which I don’t entirely agree is:

      10) “Never ask your students to read out loud in class!” From my experience I have seen that on some occasions students want (prefer, even) to read aloud in order to check the pronunciation and intonation. It is my view that, as long as students feel comfortable in the group, the fact of asking them of read aloud isn’t necessarily a negative way to proceed.

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