Lecture 8 Reading Materials
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  • 1. Reading Materials Week 8
  • 2.
    • Contents:
    • Four stages in reading
    • Areas of concern in the selection of texts
    • Role of texts in the L2 classroom
    • Simplified vs. authentic texts
    • Channel conversion
    • Implications for L2 teachers
  • 3. Reading Materials – Stages in Reading In general, there are 4 stages in reading: Source: Chitravelu et al., 2005 Learning to read Reading to learn
  • 4.
    • Major areas of concern in the selection of texts:
    • Balance,
    • Suitability of language,
    • Concepts in the text,
    • Level of reasoning required,
    • Content, and
    • Pedagogic suitability.
    Source: Chitravelu et al., 2005 Reading Materials – Selection of Texts
  • 5.
    • Teacher need to skillfully exploit texts to help students acquire new reading skills or become fluent in using the skills:
    • Learning to read stage
    • Outcome of reading is to acquire the skills required when reading to learn;
    • Texts should contain pedagogic as well as real reading purposes.
    Reading Materials - Selection of Texts Source: Chitravelu et al., 2005
  • 6.
    • Reading to learn stage
    • Students tend to read slowly in order to understand & remember what they have read;
    • Texts should be information-rich;
    • Students read text to learn from the content;
    • Outcome of reading is to gain knowledge.
    Source: Chitravelu et al., 2005 Reading Materials - Selection of Texts
  • 7.
    • Role of text in the L2 classroom:
    • Text as a vehicle for teaching language structure & vocabulary;
    • Texts which teach language through reading;
    • Texts which offer high-interest content.
    Reading Materials – Role of Texts Source: Wallace, 2003
  • 8.
    • Text as a vehicle for teaching language structure & vocabulary
    • Language-focused texts;
    • Reading solely to learn a language – not for information or interest (Williams, 1984);
    • “ Usage” rather than “use” (Widdowson, 1978);
    • Lack of communicative function as texts aim at reinforcing sentence patterns;
    • Text-focused activities – focus on sentence patterns text & to highlight cohesive features;
    Reading Materials – Role of Texts Source: Wallace, 2003
  • 9.
    • 2. Texts which teach language through reading
    • Select texts to promote reading - learners develop language awareness through reading;
    • Select texts that can develop reading strategies;
    • Wide access to meaningful written language is effective in reinforcing English structures as well as learning new ones (Elley,1984);
    • To motivate L2 learners to read widely in the L2, the overall content of the selected text is more important than the linguistic features contained in the text.
    Reading Materials – Role of Texts Source: Wallace, 2003
  • 10.
    • 3. Texts which offer high-interest content
    • Text must be interesting for the learner to read;
    • However, difficult to address the issue of interest (individual differences and preferences);
    • Therefore, select texts that are inherently motivating – something about the content that makes learners interested to read;
    • E.g. in narratives that can stimulate readers’ schema;
    Reading Materials – Role of Texts Source: Wallace, 2003
  • 11. Activity Which opening lines might be of the greatest general interest to secondary level students? ………………………………………………………………… . Joanne works for the Lincoln Company. There are two shifts in the Lincoln Company, a day shift and a night shift. Joanne works the day shift. Her schedule is Tuesday through Saturday from 8 o’clock to 5 pm. Her lunch time is 12.00 noon to1.00 pm. ………………………………………………………………… . Many, many years ago there was a very rich landlord who owned a lot of land and houses. ………………………………………………………………… . Reading Materials – Role of Texts Source: Wallace, 2003
  • 12.
    • Activity - Discussion
    • Both texts are linguistically simple;
    • However, something about the content in T2 make students more interested in reading;
    • Why? T2 begins with a recognizable kind of narrative and students engage with the text by activating a relevant schema;
    • T1 is not what we perceive as a “story”, events are unexceptional.
    Reading Materials – Role of Texts Source: Wallace, 2003
  • 13. Texts are simplified for L2 learners for easy comprehension and to help prepare them for more advanced, authentic text (Young 1999); Advantages of simplified texts : - excludes unnecessary & distracting, idiosyncratic styles without suffering a loss of valuable communication features & concepts (Allen & Widdowson 1979), and - contains increased redundancy & amplified explanation (Kuo 1993). Reading Materials - Simplified Texts Source: Crossley & McNamara, 2008
  • 14.
    • However, simplified texts contain simplified &
    • frequent forms;
    • Widely criticized for removing authentic language,
    • Thus, denying learners the opportunity to learn
    • natural forms of language (Long & Ross 1993).
    Reading Materials - Simplified Texts Source: Crossley & McNamara, 2008
  • 15.
    • Definitions of Authenticity:
    • “ genuine communicative acts ” - written or spoken language between native speakers (Meinhof, 1987);
    • Authenticity is not a characteristic of the text in itself - the text can only be truly authentic in the context for which it was originally written (Hutchinson & Waters, 1987);
    • Authenticity does not lie in the materials but is created by the reader’s response – congruence between the writer’s intention & reader’s
    • interpretation (Widdowson,1979).
    Reading Materials - Authentic Texts
  • 16.
    • Authentic text
    • written to fulfill a social purpose for native
    • speakers within a language community (Lee, 1995)
    • Advantages:
    • introduces students to natural & contextualized language
    • Use of authentic linguistic features (e.g. cohesive devices) – development of reading comprehension skills & information processing skills,
    • contain natural lexical redundancy – aids in reconstructing text & understanding unfamiliar lexicon.
    Reading Materials - Authentic Texts Source: Crossley & McNamara, 2008
  • 17.
    • Simplified Vs. Authentic text?
    • Authentic text is assumed to provide more natural language and more naturally occurring cohesion than simplified text;
    • Simplified text is criticized as creating discourse that is unnatural and serves to reduce helpful redundancy, thus increasing text readability;
    • Simplified text , however, is thought to benefit L2 learners because it is lexically, syntactically, and rhetorically less difficult than authentic text.
    Reading Materials - Simplified vs. Authentic Source: Crossley & McNamara, 2008
  • 18.
      • Readers from a different sociocultural background may find the meaning of a simple text difficult to comprehend. This is due to the lack of familiarity with culture-specific features of the discourses in the text (Wallace, 2003).
      • Explore critically the discourse in minimal texts such as the following advertisement. In what way are the discourses in it culture-specific?
    Activity – Authentic Texts
  • 19. TITLE: "Sucky Vacations" BRAND: San Diego AGENCY: NYCA
  • 20.
      • Message written to young parents who are considering where to take their children for a holiday;
      • Message makes assumptions that are culture specific, e.g.:
      • Parents are expected to take their children on family vacations;
      • The vacations are normally related to having fun at the beach;
      • Refer to a particular sociocultural practice – parents are sent to retirement homes when they get older.
    Discussion – Authentic Texts
  • 21.
    • Channel Conversion
    • Information transfer;
    • Information expressed in one medium, is converted into another medium;
    • E.g. from words to graphics, materials, actions, etc.
    Reading Materials – Channel Conversion Source: Chitravelu et al., 2005
  • 22.
    • Channel Conversion (Cont’d)
    • Why it is important?
      • Whenever the receptive skill is higher than the productive skill, we might use non-verbal responses;
      • Some information is better presented using tables, graphs, etc.;
      • Sometimes, information in graphs, diagrams, etc. is easier to remember;
    Source: Chitravelu et al., 2005 Reading Materials – Channel Conversion
  • 23.
    • Channel Conversion (Cont’d)
    • Why it is important?
      • Since many texts/textbooks include charts, graphs, etc. , it is important to teach students how to interpret them:
      • - students learn how to make sense of the forms & the special way of presenting information;
      • - students learn how to relate these forms to the verbal texts they accompany.
    Source: Chitravelu et al., 2005 Reading Materials – Channel Conversion
  • 24.
    • Channel Conversion (Cont’d)
    • Commonly-used graphics in channel conversion
    • Maps
    • – see relationships involving physical location
    Source: Chitravelu et al., 2005 Reading Materials – Channel Conversion
  • 25.
    • Channel Conversion (Cont’d)
    • Floor plans
    • - see relationships involving physical location
    Source: Chitravelu et al., 2005 Reading Materials – Channel Conversion
  • 26.
    • Channel Conversion (Cont’d)
    • Bus/train schedule
    • – gather information from schedules & how best to use them
    Source: Chitravelu et al., 2005 Reading Materials – Channel Conversion
  • 27.
    • Channel Conversion (Cont’d)
    • Pictures/diagrams
    • – form mental picture using information from the text
    Source: Chitravelu et al., 2005 Reading Materials – Channel Conversion
  • 28.
    • Channel Conversion (Cont’d)
    • Graphs/pie-charts/etc.
    • – present trends, relationship of parts to whole, information that is too complex to understand without the relationship being shown in written forms & hierarchical information.
    Source: Chitravelu et al., 2005 Reading Materials – Channel Conversion
  • 29.
    • Channel Conversion (Cont’d)
    • Time-lines & flow-charts
    • – follow sequence of events
    Reading Materials Source: Chitravelu et al., 2005 Reading Materials – Channel Conversion
  • 30. Implications for L2 teachers: Reading Materials - Conclusion
    • Need to be aware of criteria involving the preparation & selection of material for teaching reading;
    • Need to expose learners to authentic materials at earlier stage;
    • Need to make reading lessons more enjoyable by introducing texts that are of interest to the learners;
    • Authentic reading is interactive – teachers need to facilitate interactions between readers and texts in the classroom.
  • 31.  
  • 32.