Lecture 8 Reading Materials

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Lecture 8 Reading Materials

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

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