5 7 - Active Learning and Reading Course Resource Book
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5 7 - Active Learning and Reading Course Resource Book

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Comprising the 5th, 6th, and 7th areas of study this course in the PRIME Teacher Training Program examines the aspects of facilitating reading development in students who have achieved the basics of ...

Comprising the 5th, 6th, and 7th areas of study this course in the PRIME Teacher Training Program examines the aspects of facilitating reading development in students who have achieved the basics of phonemic awareness and the alphabetic principle. Comprehension, Vocabulary and the relationship between Listening and Reading are examined in separate courses.

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    5 7 - Active Learning and Reading Course Resource Book 5 7 - Active Learning and Reading Course Resource Book Document Transcript

    • Pragmatics Predictability Performance Perception Practical Resources Recognition Realia Resolve Relevant Imagination Investigation Inclusion Insight Integrated Multiple Mystery Motivation Media Intelligences Meaningful Energy Enthusiasm Extension Engagement Enriching C O M M U N I C AT I O N I N E N G L I S H A Modern Approach to Facilitating the Acquisition of English as a Foreign Language Active Learning and Reading Facilitating Development of Comprehension, Vocabulary and Listening Skills William Tweedie Parts 5-7 of the PRIME Teacher Training Program
    • Active Learning and Reading Facilitating Development of Comprehension, Vocabulary and Listening Skills A Three Part Course Course Resource Book William Tweedie © 2005 - 2010 Kenmac Educan International & William M Tweedie
    • TABLE OF CONTENTS PART 1 - FACILITATING COMPREHENSION..........................................................................................................................5 PART 2 - FACILITATING VOCABULARY DEVELOPMENT.............................................................................................................6 PART 3 - FACILITATING READING ↔ LISTENING.................................................................................................................6 ACTIVE LEARNING AND READING - PART 1....................................................................................................7 FACILITATING READING COMPREHENSION...........................................................................................................................7 INTRODUCTION.........................................................................................................................................................7 THE NATURE OF READING............................................................................................................................................7 APPLIED PHONICS...................................................................................................................................................12 WHAT DOES RESEARCH SAY ABOUT READING?...........................................................................................15 OLD AND NEW DEFINITIONS OF READING........................................................................................................................15 IMPORTANT FINDINGS FROM COGNITIVE SCIENCES...............................................................................................................16 IMPORTANT TRENDS IN READING INSTRUCTION...................................................................................................................17 MILESTONES IN READING RESEARCH..............................................................................................................................17 ISSUES OF EQUITY AND EXCELLENCE ..............................................................................................................................18 THE SOCIAL ORGANIZATION OF THE SCHOOL.....................................................................................................................18 ACTIVITIES FOR TEACHERS...........................................................................................................................................18 ACTIVITIES FOR SCHOOLS, PARENTS, AND COMMUNITY MEMBERS............................................................................................19 CHECKLIST FOR EXCELLENCE IN READING INSTRUCTION..........................................................................................................20 THE READING SKILLS PYRAMID ...................................................................................................................25 KEY READING SKILLS & THE STEPS IN ACQUIRING THEM.......................................................................................................25 WHAT IS READING COMPREHENSION?............................................................................................................................27 THE 7 PRIME READING SKILLS......................................................................................................................30 READING SKILL 1: IMAGINING: CONCENTRATING, RELAXING, FOCUSING, VISUALIZING................................31 LEARNING TO CONCENTRATE.......................................................................................................................................31 EXPERIENCING CONCENTRATION....................................................................................................................................31 FREEING UP ATTENTION FOR OTHER THINKING ACTIVITIES.....................................................................................................31 CONCENTRATION EXERCISES........................................................................................................................................33 RELAXATION..........................................................................................................................................................33 FOCUSING............................................................................................................................................................35 VISUALIZING..........................................................................................................................................................35 MEDITATION.........................................................................................................................................................37 READING SKILLS 2 & 3: SKIMMING AND SCANNING.....................................................................................37 SKIMMING AND SCANNING EXERCISE: PULP FRICTION...........................................................................................................38 TEACHING GRAMMAR IN READING.............................................................................................................44 REVIEW OF CAUSE AND EFFECT LINKING WORDS................................................................................................................44 READING SKILL 4: QUESTIONING.................................................................................................................47 PART A - TEACHER QUESTIONS...................................................................................................................................47 PART B - STUDENTS’ QUESTIONS.................................................................................................................................51 THE QUESTIONS OF PREDICTING AND GRAPHIC ORGANIZERS...................................................................................................52 READING SKILL 5: UNDERSTANDING LEXIS - MEANING FROM CONTEXT ......................................................59 KNOWLEDGE ACQUISITION..........................................................................................................................................59 CONTEXT CLUES.....................................................................................................................................................62 MEDIATORS..........................................................................................................................................................67 ANSWER SHEET......................................................................................................................................................70 READING SKILL 5: UNDERSTANDING LEXIS THROUGH INFERENCE...............................................................72 SIMILARITY ...........................................................................................................................................................72
    • CONTRAST ...........................................................................................................................................................72 PREDICATION.........................................................................................................................................................72 SUBORDINATION.....................................................................................................................................................73 COORDINATION.......................................................................................................................................................73 SUPERORDINATION ..................................................................................................................................................73 COMPLETION.........................................................................................................................................................73 PART-WHOLE........................................................................................................................................................73 WHOLE-PART........................................................................................................................................................73 EQUALITY.............................................................................................................................................................73 NEGATION............................................................................................................................................................73 WORD RELATIONS...................................................................................................................................................74 NONSEMANTIC RELATIONS..........................................................................................................................................74 READING SKILL 6: REMEMBERING...............................................................................................................74 ABOUT MEMORY....................................................................................................................................................74 READING SKILL 7: READING ALOUD ............................................................................................................79 1. THEORY...........................................................................................................................................................79 2. ILLUSTRATION.....................................................................................................................................................80 3. PRACTICE.........................................................................................................................................................80 ACTIVE LEARNING AND READING - PART 2 ..................................................................................................81 ACTIVE LEARNING AND VOCABULARY ........................................................................................................81 THE STUDY OF WORDS.............................................................................................................................................81 USING A DICTIONARY...............................................................................................................................................82 WORD ROOTS.......................................................................................................................................................82 PREFIXES AND SUFFIXES.............................................................................................................................................83 USE THE WORDS THAT YOU’VE LEARNED...........................................................................................................................86 LEXIS EXERCISES...................................................................................................................................................86 ACTIVE LEARNING AND READING PART 3....................................................................................................89 ACTIVE LEARNING AND DEVELOPING LISTENING SKILLS WHILE READING.....................................................89 THEORY...............................................................................................................................................................89 PRACTICE.............................................................................................................................................................91 12 COMPONENTS OF RESEARCH-BASED READING PROGRAMS ....................................................................92 1. CHILDREN HAVE OPPORTUNITIES TO EXPAND THEIR USE AND APPRECIATION OF ORAL LANGUAGE ........................................................92 2. CHILDREN HAVE OPPORTUNITIES TO EXPAND THEIR USE AND APPRECIATION OF PRINTED LANGUAGE .....................................................93 3. CHILDREN HAVE OPPORTUNITIES TO HEAR GOOD STORIES AND INFORMATIONAL BOOKS READ ALOUD DAILY .............................................93 4. CHILDREN HAVE OPPORTUNITIES TO UNDERSTAND AND MANIPULATE THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF SPOKEN LANGUAGE ....................................93 5. CHILDREN HAVE OPPORTUNITIES TO LEARN ABOUT AND MANIPULATE THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF WRITTEN LANGUAGE ..................................94 6. CHILDREN HAVE OPPORTUNITIES TO LEARN THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE SOUNDS OF SPOKEN LANGUAGE AND THE LETTERS OF WRITTEN LANGUAGE ...........................................................................................................................................................94 7. CHILDREN HAVE OPPORTUNITIES TO LEARN DECODING STRATEGIES ..........................................................................................94 8. CHILDREN HAVE OPPORTUNITIES TO WRITE AND RELATE THEIR WRITING TO SPELLING AND READING .....................................................95 9. CHILDREN HAVE OPPORTUNITIES TO PRACTICE ACCURATE AND FLUENT READING IN DECODABLE STORIES ................................................95 10. CHILDREN HAVE OPPORTUNITIES TO READ AND COMPREHEND A WIDE ASSORTMENT OF BOOKS AND OTHER TEXTS ...................................96 11. CHILDREN HAVE OPPORTUNITIES TO DEVELOP AND COMPREHEND NEW VOCABULARY THROUGH WIDE READING AND DIRECT VOCABULARY INSTRUCTION .........................................................................................................................................................96 12. CHILDREN HAVE OPPORTUNITIES TO LEARN AND APPLY COMPREHENSION STRATEGIES AS THEY REFLECT UPON AND THINK CRITICALLY ABOUT WHAT THEY READ ...........................................................................................................................................................96 SUMMARY............................................................................................................................................................97 REFERENCES..........................................................................................................................................................97 Articles are the property of the authors and copyright owners. Permission is granted for reproduction. Please cite the authors and source.
    • Active Learning and Reading Part 1 - Facilitating Comprehension Course Outline 1. Review of the Four Previous Courses a. Prime Task b. Introduction to the course and warm - up c. What is English? How does our definition affect how we facilitate its acquisition by our students? i. Means and Contexts d. What are the Multiple Intelligences identified to date by Howard Gardner? i. Characteristics which reflect MI development in each of us - Learning Styles e. What are the 7 levels of engagement to maximize student and teacher motivation? i. How is Classroom Management affected by the awareness of the 7 levels? f. What are the principles of PRIME Active Learning? i. Why has Project Based Learning proven to be so effective? g. Summary and preview of application of the theory of PRIME Active Learning to Reading Comprehension Instruction. i. Reading Activity : North American Indian Tales 2. Facilitating Reading Comprehension a. Background i. Why don’t the students “get it”? 1. Considerations for Primary and Secondary Students a. A Reading Skills Pyramid b. Skills vs. Strategies i. Basics of reading Activity - see handout ii. The 7 Essential Skills For Understanding Text iii. The 7 Categories of Reading and Learning Strategies 1. Strategy Activities for each Skill
    • Part 2 - Facilitating Vocabulary Development Course Outline 1. Lexis a. Words and Word Parts i. For Primary Teaching 1. Applied Phonetics ii. For Secondary Teaching 1. Roots, Pre/Suffixes and more b. Lexical Teaching Activities and Exercises i. It’s all about MEANING! 2. Fun with Words i. Activity Center Worksheets and Games 3. Wrap-up and Reminder: In-school Demonstration Classes Schedule Part 3 - Facilitating Reading ↔ Listening Course Outline 1. Take 2 on the Reading Skills and Strategies 2. Listening Activities a. Book and Tape i. Paying Attention ii. Listening/Reading with an Open Mind iii. Listening/Reading and Reasoning b. If there’s time we’ll play the Time Turbo Game and Others 3. Preparing for your Lesson Demonstrations a. In training b. In schools NOTE: 1. This is a continuation of the course begun in 2005 for the SAME WORKSHOP PARTICIPANTS. 2. Participants should bring a. their ‘textbooks’ from previous workshops b. the Reading Course book for the grade they are currently teaching
    • c. a Dictionary Active Learning and Reading - Part 1 Facilitating Reading Comprehension Introduction During the school years and beyond, reading becomes a primary source of new knowledge. As teachers, I’m sure you are aware that being a good reader is essential for academic success. As teachers, you should become aware of the processes that develop while becoming an expert reader. Become aware that, from the perspective of a reading disability, things can go wrong in the development of any one of these processes, causing those which follow to remain underdeveloped. As is most often the case in a reading disability, it is the failure to develop adequate phonemic awareness that is at the root of the disability. Phonemic awareness (PA) is the knowledge that letters represent sounds, and develops roughly between ages 4 and 7. Initially a metacognitive activity, mapping letters to sounds quickly becomes an automated procedure, and effort is no longer required. Catching the kids at risk during these young years can avert the cascading effect reduced PA has on future learning outcomes. The ultimate goal of reading is comprehension. There are numerous strategies available to increase comprehension for all styles of learners. These comprehension strategies are learned and developed after the other reading processes have been mastered. Initializing comprehension strategies remains a metacognitive activity well into adulthood, while the first four reading skills become automated in early childhood. Awareness of the processes of reading, or metacognitive activity, applies primarily at the stage of comprehension; you might ask yourself, “How am I going to apply the strategies I know to get the most out of what I am about to read?”. The Nature of Reading Reading can be summarized by explaining a number of processes: Perceptual processing Word recognition Syntactic processing Semantic processing Metalinguistic processing Comprehension These processes are best described in a developmental framework, describing how the processes emerge through a child’s development. The processes accumulate with age and some continue to develop well into adulthood. Perceptual Processes From infancy perceptual processes develop. These include the ability to transform sound and light waves into meaningful chunks of information. These abilities will be affected by the development of the visual and auditory systems. Being unable to see or hear will drastically affect the development of reading skills as any shortage in either of these areas will respectively reduce their development.
    • Perceptual processing begins at the rods and cones situated in the fovea of the eye (see figure 1). This is where light is transformed into electrochemical signals that can be processed by the brain. The fovea is situated near the center of the retina. Immediately surrounding the fovea is the par fovea and beyond that is the periphery. Both the fovea and par fovea are crucial to reading with the par fovea picking up surface information such as letter shape, word shape, spacing, and word length, while the fovea is where the words are identified through their letters. The par fovea primes the brain with surface information just before the meaning is processed. Often par foveal information is enough to recognize a word. When the context suggests that a certain word will follow and the par fovea has identified a word that is the same length and shape as the word predicted, the eyes will likely skip over the word, or words, and fixate on another word two or three to the right. Figure 1 Degrees from Center of the Fovea Figure 1 is a cross-section of an eye, indicating the position of the fovea, a 1 to 2 degree retinal area with the best acuity. Surrounding the fovea is the par fovea, which has lower acuity. As the accompanying graph depicts, visual acuity decreases very rapidly as a letter is projected further from the fovea, in the par fovea, or periphery. One degree of retinal area is about 4-5 letters in width. (From Just & Carpenter, 1987) Word Recognition Words are recognized at two levels: at the letter level and at the word level. At the letter level individual graphemes (letters) are identified and transformed into their phonemic equivalent (their sound). The early reader (4-5 yrs) uses only grapheme to phoneme correspondence at the letter level, having to sound out words in order to string the individual auditory signals into a meaningful word. Two skills precede this. First, knowing that those graphic representations are letters, and second, that strings of letters (words) correspond to spoken words. These skills are acquired through observation: or being read to. It is often observed in early readers, their mimicking the act of reading while not actually reading the words. Young readers (5-7 yrs), after learning that letters represent sounds (phonemic awareness), begin to associate letters with sounds, then learn to blend sounds together, or segment whole words into their individual sounds (see Table 1 for a list of the 40 English phonemes). These are the processes that are addressed in phonics reading programs, and are arguably
    • the way early instruction in reading should occur. It is believed that up to 90% of those with reading disabilities have a deficit in phonemic processing. In parallel to learning the sounds of words, a child also learns the shapes of words. This is observed when a child can tell you what a word is but can’t spell it or sound it out with its individual phonemes. This is the process addressed in whole word reading programs, and is arguably the way learning should precede once phonemic awareness has sufficiently developed. It has been suggested that about 10 % of those with a reading disability have a deficit in this area. Table 1 _________________________ ______________________ Consonants Vowels _________________________________ _______________________________ p pill t till k kill ee beet i bit b bill d dill g gill ai bait e bet m mill n nil ng ring oo boot oo foot f feel s seal h heal oa boat o bore v,f veal z zeal l leaf a bat pot/b th thigh ch chill r reef u but o/a ar th thy j, g jill y you i bite a sofa sh, ch shill wh which w witch oi boy aw bout z azure 40 English phonemes (from Fromkin & Rodman 1993) Intermediate readers (7 - 12), with a strong grasp of phonetics, continue to develop their whole word recognition skills through exposure to print. Words that are read many times become recognized by their shape. Their shape is associated with a group of sounds. By 12 a child is highly skilled in both phonetic and orthographic (whole word) encoding or words. Beyond 12, children learn of more advanced skills such as story grammars, writing for an audience, style, and other metalinguistic skills that go beyond word recognition. Syntactic Processing Syntactic processing involves the ability to identify clauses, noun phrases (NP), verb phrases (VP), prepositional phrases (PP), adjectives (Adj), articles (Art), nouns (N), and verbs (V), and assemble them in syntactically acceptable sentences (S). Syntactic development is measured by the “mean length of utterance” (MLU), which is based on the average length of a child’s sentences scored on transcripts of spontaneous speech. Each unit of meaning is recorded which include root words such as “want” and inflections such as “ed” (with the exception of compound words which are classified as one morpheme). Sometime during the second year after a child has about 50 words in his/her vocabulary multiple word utterances begin to appear. These utterances are telegraphic, usually without articles, prepositions, inflection, or any other grammatical modifications. Children also begin to distinguish between actors, objects, and verbs at this time.
    • The MLU is closely related to both cognitive and social development, depending on working memory capacity which increases during childhood, and the language used in a child’s surroundings. Adults, and particularly mothers, tend to talk to the child’s level of ability, also speaking in short telegraphic phrases to younger children and increasing the length of their utterances as a child becomes more able to process larger chunks of information, and more complex sentence and meaning structure. By the time children are ready to read they are quite adept with syntactic rules in spoken language and seem to have learned them without effort. They can easily string together words into a grammatically correct sentence. The structure of syntax is described in Figure 2. Sentences are broken down into noun and verb phrases, which are in turn broken down into their constituent parts. The example in Figure 2 is a simple one. Phrase structure trees of this sort can be very complex, though children have little difficulty creating the sentences they represent. Figure 2 Phrase structure tree (From Fromkin & Rodman, 1993) Semantic Processing Semantic processing is developing even before an infant begins to use words. Words initially begin with a single meaning then develop richer meaning as the child is exposed to a wide range of words and experiences. Meaning is assembled in semantic networks in which words are inserted into classes. A dog, for example, may first represent a class of animals with four legs; a child may initially refer to a cat as “dog”. Later these animals will be distinguished from each other and two classes will be form. See Episodic and Semantic memory in Reading Skill 6 Remembering for more about how these classes or schemata develop. These semantic networks, or schemata as they are often called, include more than just linguistic information. They also include images, personal experience, and declarative knowledge (e.g. knowing that a dog has a keen sense of smell because of being told so). These meaning networks may also contain tactual and kinaesthetic information, cognitive processing strategies, and metacognitive strategies. These make up skills, or networks of procedural knowledge. Semantic networks form relatively late, compared to the other aspects of language, and continue to develop throughout life as new things are learned, and
    • knowledge is broadened. The development of these networks can be identified through word association tasks, as associated words tend to differ with age. Meanings within a semantic network are activated by each other, referred to as, “spreading activation”. Spreading activation occurs when a particular word is encountered that is related to another. For example, when the word “fall” is encountered, semantically related words such as slip, trip, and autumn are activated to a certain extent, perhaps not to the extent that it enters working memory, but to the extent that if a child was asked “What can you do on an ice rink?”, they may say “slip” before the more common response “skate”. Similarly, if a child, or adult for that matter, is told to say the first word that comes to mind when they hear the word “doctor”, the most closely related word in their semantic network of meanings will be activated rather than some obscurely related or unrelated term. These words may differ depending on the age of the child and thus demonstrate the extent of the child’s knowledge of the word; a young child might say “sucker”, while an older child or adult might say “nurse”, or perhaps “hospital”. Spreading activation helps readers predict the words that will follow based on what has already been read. As described in the section on word recognition within the par fovea, if the predicted word based on spreading activation of a semantic network matches that of the word shape and length information coming in from the par fovea, the word is often skipped over. Figure 3 represents a small piece of the meaning associated with the concept “bird”, representing both typical/atypical instances of the class birds, and typical/atypical properties of those instances of bird. Study the semantic network below for a moment, and develop “feel” for the strengths of the relationships. Add to it. How would the words “cat”, “human”, and “automobile” affect the spreading activation of meaning you are experiencing right now for the word bird? Build on the semantic network below with meaning that has been activated by the three words. In retrospect, how might the spreading activation of meaning differed if I had just offered you only the words cat and human? Figure 3 A portion of the semantic network for the word “bird” - Two effects are demonstrated in the lines and positioning. First, those more typical of a class are joined to the class by shorter lines (red lines- A robin is a more typical bird than a chicken). Second, properties of those instances of the class birds that are most important in the hierarchy of characteristics are connected by shorter lines (black lines - A robin is less likely to be associated with “eggs” than a chicken is). Adapted from Ashcraft (1989)
    • Metalinguistic-processing Metalinguistic awareness makes it possible for children to think about language, understand what words are, and define them, or knowing of language as an object or tool that can be manipulated. Metalinguistic awareness begins to develop gradually at a young age, through the middle school years, and continues to develop well into adulthood. It involves the ability to use humour, metaphor, and irony, for example. It also makes possible the use of story grammars, genre, audience, and styles, as reflected in an individual’s writing, to help readers comprehend. These are skills, procedures, and strategies at a reader’s disposal. The ability to choose those that are appropriate, based on a given situation, is metacognitive behaviour. The effective use of skills, procedures, and strategies associated with language involves metalinguistic processing. Comprehension Comprehension involves the use of all of the above processes, especially semantic processing. The act of comprehension is essentially the linking of new knowledge to old knowledge, adding new links and modifying the strength of connections between semantic nodes in a network of meanings. In the early stages of learning to read, comprehension is hampered by limited: capacity of processing space, attention, prior knowledge, and automization of reading processes—all key parts of skilled reading. Applied Phonics There are two major philosophies about the best way to teach phonics in a self-contained classroom. One method, the most commonly used, is "phonics in isolation," for want of a better label. The other system is "applied phonics." Phonics is most often taught as a separate class in which materials such as workbooks, charts, and audio and video-cassettes are used to present the various phonics concepts in a planned sequence. Usually the entire class is taught at the same time. For some this means reviewing much that is already known completely. For others it is one more exposure to concepts that were not learned the first time and are more confusing, or hard to remember, now. Since the class is not involved in reading practice at the time phonics is taught, worksheets or workbooks are assigned to reinforce what the teacher has presented. This style of phonics instruction in isolation is usually difficult for some children to transfer to the actual act of reading, when it is separated from regular reading instruction when silent or oral reading occurs. It has the same effect as the much disliked "round robin" whole language; whole class approach of the 1940s, 1950s, and 1990s, when reading was taught from one book. The one book is usually too easy for many, too hard for several and just right for a few who are learning it for the first time. Applied phonics avoids these traps. Workbooks, worksheets, and tapes are used in centers, if at all. The objective of applied phonics is to develop in the child a habit of reference. Each child draws his or her own phonics need-chart on tag-board by copying elements from commercial charts displayed in the room. First grade teachers using this approach will have screened the entering students to assess their strengths and needs in phonics. The teacher will find that most children will have learned many of the sounds associated with the single consonant letters, for example. Children are required to copy key phonics charts in their own way, so that each has a small version of the rules.
    • More about Applied Phonics Each child will have drawn small pictures to illustrate phonics elements. There will be sketches of objects to show the short vowel sounds: possibly apple = /a/, bed = /e/ (or a dot of red, or a horse named ED); igloo = /i/ (or a Native American Indian), octopus = /o/, and an umbrella = /u/. These kinds of pictures have been used effectively for years to remind us of the sound-symbol relationships. Digraph pictures might have a wheel for /wh/, a shoe for /sh/, a church or chair for /ch/, and a thumb for one of the /th/ sounds. Pictures to accompany the ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ g and c would be beneficial- goat for the ‘hard’ g, giant for the ‘soft’ g, cat for the ‘hard’ c, and city for the ‘soft’ c. Pictures are needed for vowels affected by adding an ‘r’: /ar/ could be a star; /or/ could use a horn; /ur/ a turtle; /er/ might be a drawing of a letter and envelope; and the /ir/ could use a bird or a circle. The ou-ow sound could be shown by a house and a cow (surprisingly, the oa-ow sound--boat, scarecrow-is not often a problem and may not have to be included in the child's phonics need-chart). The sounds of /oo/ are needed: oo as in moon, and oo as in book. At the top of the child's chart should be a large drawing of the lower case b and the lower case d. Inside the circle part of the /b/, sketch in a ball to remind the child of the sound of /b/. Inside the circle part of the /d/, draw a dog or duck or doll to remind the child of the sound of /d/. There are other phonics elements that could be drawn in, but the items mentioned here appear again and again as those that need immediate reference while a child is reading. The goal of the chart in applied phonics is to eliminate the need for the chart during oral reading. The charts are to be used by the child as needed during oral reading without prompting from the teacher. This is the practical use of applied phonics. The child brings the small chart to the reading table. The teacher coaches and trains the child to automatically remember to turn to his or her chart when faced with a difficult word in oral reading--rather than guessing or miscalling, as is often the case. Oral reading should not be done until the same selection has been read silently by the child (after new vocabulary has been introduced by the teacher) either a few minutes earlier or during the previous session of reading. The child also may have a chart taped to his or her own desk for easy reference while doing work there. How to Use the Three Phonics Charts (Handouts - 8a, 8b, 8c, 8d) To record phonics chart practices, write a + (plus) next to each correct individual sound symbol, until (++++++++++) ten or more successful practice pluses are accumulated. Each week, the child will have more success if practice is done on at least two consecutive days. Then (after ten pluses) move the student to the next phonics chart. Continue until the child knows all phonics items on the second chart, and then on the third page, which does not show any illustrations. Use the plus system here as well. Identified M.R. students typically need more practice sessions than their peers with "average intelligence". VERY IMPORTANT AT ALL TIMES: Do not give a plus for voiced sounds meant for voiceless or whispered consonants (so that word-part sounds are not distorted). Some teachers have found that whispering all consonant sounds is helpful, as it avoids the voiced "uh" sound which has often been incorrectly added to such consonant sounds as b, c, d, f, g, h, j, k, 1, m, n, p, s, t, v, w, y, and z. (Voiceless consonants are always whispered in speech: c, f, h, k, p, q, s, t, as well as two-consonant symbols such as ch, sh, and wh [although wh is often voiced as /w/ by many teachers and others, and is considered acceptable in Webster’s Dictionary as an alternative]).
    • If needed, you may discuss making the sounds correctly by calling 360-665-3708. Remember, phonics is simply a tool to help the student sound out unknown words and it should be done in an easy and relaxed manner. Genuine praise is critical for all correct responses. If a student makes a mistake, say "Good try. We'll get it next time." Gently help the student to understand what the correct response should be. Here are some hints for use: Have student voice the sound. If acceptable, pencil in a plus (+) near the picture. Ten pluses for each sound will equal mastery and readiness for Phonics Chart 2. What is an acceptable sound? Be sure /sh/ and /ch/ are whispered, not voiced, for instance, and /ow/ has two sounds (oh & ou); and er, or, ar, ir, ur all sound like /er/ at times, but ar also says /ar/ and or says /or/. From http://www.ldrc.ca/contents/view_article/148/
    • What Does Research Say about Reading? R.A. Knuth and B.F. Jones NCREL, Oak Brook, 1991 In 1985, David Pearson referred to "the comprehension revolution." In essence, he was talking about the movement from traditional views of reading based on behaviorism to visions of reading and readers based on cognitive psychology. Major findings from cognitive psychology regarding: These findings were developed by NCREL in collaboration with a Content Partner, the Center for the Study of Reading, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and the participants in Program 1, "Children as Strategic Readers." The traditional view of the learner as an "empty" vessel to be filled with knowledge from external sources is exemplified by this statue at the University of Leuven (Belgium). Old and New Definitions of Reading Traditional Views New Definition of Reading Research Base Behaviorism Cognitive sciences Goals of Reading Mastery of isolated facts and skills Constructing meaning and self- regulated learning Reading as Mechanically decoding words; An interaction among the reader, the Process memorizing by rote text, and the context Learner Passive; vessel receiving Active; strategic reader, good strategy Role/Metaphor knowledge from external sources user, cognitive apprentice. Reprinted from the Guide to Curriculum Planning in Reading with permission from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction Comprehension results from an interaction among the reader, the strategies the reader employs, the material being read, and the context in which reading takes place.
    • Important Findings from Cognitive Sciences Most of the knowledge base on this topic comes from studies of good and poor readers. However, some of it is derived from research on expert teachers and from training studies. 1. Meaning is not in the words on the page. The reader constructs meaning by making inferences and interpretations. 2. Reading researchers believe that information is stored in long-term memory in organized "knowledge structures." The essence of learning is linking new information to prior knowledge about the topic, the text structure or genre, and strategies for learning. 3. How well a reader constructs meaning depends in part on metacognition, the reader's ability to think about and control the learning process (i.e., to plan, monitor comprehension, and revise the use of strategies and comprehension); and attribution, beliefs about the relationship among performance, effort, and responsibility. 4. Reading and writing are integrally related. That is, reading and writing have many characteristics in common. Also, readers increase their comprehension by writing, and reading about the topic improves writing performance. 5. Collaborative learning is a powerful approach for teaching and learning. The goal of collaborative learning is to establish a community of learners in which students are able to generate questions and discuss ideas freely with the teacher and each other. Students often engage in teaching roles to help other students learn and to take responsibility for learning. This approach involves new roles for teachers. Characteristics of Poor/Successful Readers Characteristics of Poor Readers Characteristics of Successful Readers Think understanding occurs form "getting Understand that they must take the words right," rereading. responsibility for construction meaning using their prior knowledge. Use strategies such as rote memorization, Develop a repertoire of reading strategies, rehearsal, simple categorization. organizational patterns, and genre. Are poor strategy users: Are good strategy users: • They do not think strategically about • They think strategically, plan, how to read something or solve a monitor their comprehension, and problem. revise their strategies. • They do not have an accurate sense • They have strategies for what to do of when they have good when they do not know what to do. comprehension readiness for assessment. Have relatively low self-esteem. Have self-confidence that they are effective learners; see themselves as agents able to actualize their potential.
    • See success and failure as the result of luck See success as the result of hard work and or teacher bias. efficient thinking. Important Trends in Reading Instruction 1. Linking new learning to the prior knowledge and experiences of students. (In contexts where there are students from diverse backgrounds, this means valuing diversity and building on the strengths of students.) 2. Movement from traditional skills instruction to cognitive strategy instruction, whole language approaches, and teaching strategies within the content areas. 3. More emphasis on integrating reading, writing, and critical thinking with content instruction, wherever possible. 4. More organization of reading instruction in phases with iterative cycles of strategies: Preparing for reading—activates prior knowledge by brainstorming or summarizing previous learning; surveys headings and graphics; predicts topics and organizational patterns; sets goals/purpose for reading; chooses appropriate strategies. Reading to learn—selects important information, monitors comprehension, modifies predictions, compares new ideas with prior knowledge, withholds judgement, questions self about the meaning, connects and organizes ideas, and summarizes text segments. Reflecting on the information—reviews/summarizes the main ideas from the text as a whole, considers/verifies how these ideas are related; changes prior knowledge according to new learning; assesses achievement or purpose for learning; identifies gaps in learning; generates questions and next steps. Milestones in Reading Research 1. Evidence that meaning is not in the words, but constructed by the reader. 2. Documentation that instruction in the vast majority of classrooms is text driven and that most teachers do not provide comprehension instruction. 3. Documentation that textbooks were very poorly written, making information in them difficult to learn; subsequent response of the textbook industry to include real literature, longer selections, more open-ended questions, less fragmented skills, and "more considerate" text. 4. Changes in reading research designs from narrowly conceived and well-controlled laboratory experiments with college students to (1) broadly conceived training studies using experimenters and real teachers in real classrooms and (2) studies involving teachers as researchers and colleagues in preservice and inservice contexts. 5. Publication of A Nation of Readers reaching out to parents, policymakers, and community members as legitimate audiences for direct dissemination of research information. 6. Involvement of state education agencies in textbook selection, promoting "the new definition of reading," and developing state-wide assessment programs that are research based; especially important are programs in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Illinois which have longer passages, more focus on comprehension, more than one right answer, strategy use, and assessment of prior knowledge.
    • 7. Increasing dissatisfaction with standardized methods of assessing reading. (Consequently, there has been a movement to develop alternative assessment strategies including miscue analysis, portfolios, and projects in the classroom.) Issues of Equity and Excellence 1. Although many students at risk come to school lacking in prior knowledge that is relevant to school achievement, teachers and schools do make a substantial difference. That is, providing students at risk with high quality instruction can drastically alter their academic performance. 2. Although pullout programs and tracking may be well intended, reading researchers increasingly argue that such programs may actually create or extend inequities by segregating students at risk in poor quality programs. Indeed, some researchers contend that the learned helplessness that may characterize students at risk is a functional response to the demands of a dysfunctional situation. 3. An increasing amount of research indicates that student access to functional adult role models is vital for the development of self-esteem and metacognitive abilities. This can come from adult tutors or opportunities for students to participate in the world of work through work/study, shadowing, and apprenticeship programs. The Social Organization of the School 1. Approaches that teach reading as thinking (strategic reading) need time to develop so that teachers can adopt new beliefs, experiment with research-based methods, and refine new practices. This suggests that schools need to provide (a) sustained staff development programs which provide mentoring and coaching, and (b) environments that support experimentation and risk-taking. 2. Reading performance is enhanced when schools have semipermeable boundaries. That is, when: o Parents and other community members are involved in the life of the school as tutors, local experts, role models, and aides in schools. o Students and teachers have opportunities for learning out of school. o Community members take part in the redesign process. Activities for Teachers The examples of excellence in this program clearly show that in world class schools teaching is a multidimensional activity. One of the most powerful of these dimensions is that of "teacher as researcher." Not only do teachers need to use research in their practice, they need to participate in "action" research in which they are always engaging in investigation and striving for improved learning. The key to action research is to pose a question or goal, and then design and implement actions and evaluate progress in a systematic, cyclical fashion as the means are carried out. Below are four major ways that you can become involved as an action researcher. 1. Use the checklist found at the end of this section to evaluate your school and teaching approaches. 2. Implement the models of excellence presented in this program. Ask yourself: o What outcomes do the teachers in this program accomplish that I want my students to achieve? o How can I find out more about the model classrooms? o Which ideas can I most easily implement in my classroom?
    • o What will I need from my school and community? o How can I evaluate progress? 3. Form a team and initiate a research project. A research project can be designed to generate working solutions to a problem. The issues for your research group to address are: o What is the problem or question you wish to solve? o What will be our approach? o How will we faithfully implement the approach? o How will we assess the effectiveness of our approach? o What is the time frame for working on this project? o What resources do we have available? o What outcomes do we expect to achieve? 4. Investigate community needs and integrate solutions within your class activities. Relevant questions include: o What needs does the community have in terms of reading and writing? o What can be done (for example, training) by my class to meet community needs? o What skills and resources does the community have that could benefit my students? o What kind of relationships can my class forge with the community? 5. Establish "Community of Learners" support groups consisting of school personnel and community members. The goals of these groups are to: o Share teaching and learning experiences both in and out of school. o Discuss research and theory related to learning. o Act as mentors and coaches for one another. o Connect goals of the community with goals of the school. Activities for Schools, Parents, and Community Members The following are activities that groups such as your PTA, church, and local Chamber of Commerce can do together with your schools. 1. Visit your school informally for discussions using the checklist below. 2. Consider the types of contributions community groups could offer: o Chamber of Commerce groups could sponsor field trips or opportunities for storytelling. o Businesses could buy collections of literature for schools in need. o Churches could sponsor reading groups to help motivate adults to read. o Local fraternal organizations could help tutor students and provide a place for them to read. 3. Consider ways that schools and community members can work together to provide: o Materials for a rich learning environment (e.g., real literature in print and audio form, computers).
    • o Opportunities for students and teachers to learn out of school. o Opportunities for students to access adults as role models, tutors, aides, and local experts. o Opportunities for students to provide community services such as surveys, newsletters, plays, and tutoring. o Opportunities for students to participate in community affairs. o Opportunities for administrators, teachers, or students to visit managers and company executives. 4. Promote school and community forums to debate the national goals: o Involve your local television and radio stations to host school and community forums. o Have "revolving school/community breakfasts" (community members visit schools for breakfast once or twice a month, changing the staff and community members each time). o Gather information on the national goals and their assessment. o Gather information on alternative models of schooling. o Gather information on best practices and research in the classroom. Some of the important questions and issues to discuss in your forums are: o Review the national goals documents to arrive at a common understanding of each goal. o What will students be like who learn in schools that achieve the goals? o What must schools be like to achieve the goals? Do we agree with the goals, and how high do we rate each? What is the reason for the pessimism about their achievement? How are our schools doing now in terms of achieving each? Why is it important for us to achieve the goals? What are the consequences for our community if we don't achieve them? 5. What assumptions are we making about the future in terms of Knowledge, Technology and Science, Humanities, Family, Change, Population, Minority Groups, Ecology, Jobs, Global Society, Social Responsibility? Discuss in terms of each of the goal areas. 6. Consider ways to use "Children as Strategic Readers" to promote understanding and commitment from school staff, parents, and community members for strategic reading. 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 and to jointly set new goals with parents and community groups. 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. Staff Development • 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. • Culturally unbiased assessment practices. Important Reading Resources Reading Recovery Program is a supplementary reading and writing program for first- graders who are at risk of reading failure. Reading Recovery was originally developed by New Zealand educator and psychologist Marie M. Clay. It was implemented in Ohio and is now employed in several other states. The short-term goal is to accelerate children's progress in learning to read. The long-term goal is to have children continue to progress through their regular classroom instruction and independent reading, commensurate with their average peers, after the intervention is discontinued. Success is contingent upon the intensive, individual instruction provided by a specially trained teacher for 30 minutes daily. Illinois Reading Recovery Project, Center for the Study of Reading, 51 Gerty Drive, Champaign, IL 61820 (217/333-7213). Teaching Reading: Strategies from Successful Classrooms is a set of six videotapes and accompanying viewer's guides developed by the Center for the Study of Reading. Each tape presents in-depth analyses of successful classrooms. The programs focus on exemplary teachers and students in order to provide viewers with real access to knowledge about effective reading practices. The aim of the program is to provide simulated field experiences for use in college-level education courses for preservice teachers and inservice workshops for practicing teachers. The classrooms featured are: • Emerging Literacy, Ann Hemmeler (Kindergarten), Neal Elementary, San Antonio, TX. • The Reading/Writing Connection, Dawn Harris Martine (second), Mahalia Jackson Elementary, Harlem, NY. • Teaching Word Identification, Marjorie Downer (second/third), Benchmark Elementary, Media, PA. • Literacy in Content Area Instruction, Laura Pardo (third), Allen Street Elementary, Lansing, MI. • Fostering a Literate Culture, Kathy Johnson (third), East Park Elementary, Danville, IL. • Teaching Reading Comprehension: Experience and Text, Joyce Ahuna-Ka'ai'ai (third), Kamehameha Elementary, Honolulu, HI. • Center for the Study of Reading, 51 Gerty Drive, Champaign, IL 61820 (217/333-2552). Rural Wisconsin Reading Project (RWRP) was a three-year project developed by NCREL, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, and the Wisconsin Educational Communications Board that provided technology-supported staff development on strategic reading and teaching for 17 rural districts in central and west-central Wisconsin. The project's approach to develop strategic reading instruction was to treat human and organizational change as a long-term, evolutionary process rather than as a process of implementing an innovation. Two programs have arisen out of RWRP: (1) The Rural Schools Reading Project which applies what was learned from RWRP to address the access, time, and cost challenges of sustained, effective staff development for a network of rural schools
    • (this project is on the list of programs that work from the National Diffusion Network of the U.S. Department of Education), and (2) The Strategic Reading Project which is a single school application of the RWRP principles. NCREL, 1120 Diehl Road, Naperville, IL 60563 (630/649-6500). Reciprocal Teaching is an instructional strategy for teaching strategic reading developed by Annemarie Sullivan Palincsar that takes place in the form of a dialogue between teachers and students. In this dialogue the teacher and students take turns assuming the role of teacher in leading the dialogue about a passage of text. Four strategies are used by the group members in the dialogue: summarizing, question generating, clarifying, and predicting. At the start the adult teacher is principally responsible for initiating and sustaining the dialogue through modelling and thinking out loud. As students acquire more practice with the dialogue, the teacher consciously imparts responsibility for the dialogue to the students, while becoming a coach to provide evaluative information and to prompt for more and higher levels of participation. Annemarie Palincsar, 1360 FEB, University of Michigan, 610 East University Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 GLOSSARY Coaching - Providing support in studying new skills, polishing old ones, and encouraging change. Collaborative Groups - A temporary grouping structure used primarily for developing attitude outcomes. Students of varying abilities work together to solve a problem or to complete a project. Comprehension Monitoring - Good comprehenders self-evaluate how well they understand while they read. If comprehension is not proceeding well, they have strategies for going back and improving their comprehension. Constructing Meaning from Text - A process in which the reader integrates what is read with his or her prior knowledge. Cooperative Learning - Students working together in small heterogeneous groups to achieve a common goal. Heterogeneous Groups - Groups composed of students who vary in several ways (for example, different reading levels). Homogeneous Groups - Groups composed of students who are alike in one or more ways. Interactive Phase - Sometimes called "guided practice" in this phase, the teacher attempts gradually to move students to a point where they can independently use strategies. It is a major part of a lesson. Metacognition - The process of thinking about and regulating one's own learning. Examples of metacognitive activities include assessing what one already knows about a given topic before reading, assessing the nature of the learning task, planning specific reading/thinking strategies, determining what needs to be learned, assessing what is comprehended or not comprehended during reading, thinking about what is important and unimportant, evaluating the effectiveness of the reading/thinking strategy, revising what is known, and revising the strategy. Modeling - Showing a student how to do a task with the expectation that the student will then emulate the model. In reading, modeling often involves talking about how one thinks through a task. Predicting - Anticipating the outcome of a situation.
    • Prior Knowledge - The sum total of what the individual knows at any given point. Prior knowledge includes knowledge of content as well as knowledge of specific strategies and metacognitive knowledge. Scaffolding Instruction - Providing teacher support to students by modeling the thought processes in a learning episode and gradually shifting the responsibility for formulating questions and thinking aloud to the students. Strategic Learner - A learner who analyzes the reading task, establishes a purpose for reading, and then selects strategies for this purpose. Strategies - Any mental operations that the individual uses, either consciously or unconsciously, to help him- or herself learn. Strategies are goal oriented; that is, the individual initiates them to learn something, to solve a problem, or to comprehend something. Strategies include, but are not limited to, what have traditionally been referred to as study skills such as underlining, note taking, and summarizing, as well as predicting, reviewing prior knowledge, and generating questions. Text - Any segment of organized information. Text could be a few sentences or an entire section of a chapter. Typically, text refers to a few paragraphs. References Allington, R.L. (1991). How policy and regulation influence instruction for at-risk learners: Why poor readers rarely comprehend well and probably never will. In L. Idol, & B.F. Jones (Eds.), Educational Values and Cognitive Instruction: Implications for Reform (pp. 273-296). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum. Anderson, R.C., Osborn, J., & Tierney, R.J. (Eds.). (1984). Learning to read in American schools: Basal readers and content texts. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum. Anderson, R.C., Spiro, R.J., & Montague, W.E. (Eds.). (1977). Schooling and the acquisition of knowledge. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum. Anderson, R.C., Hiebert, E.H., Scott, J.A., & Wilkinson, I.A.G. (1985). Becoming a nation of readers: The report of the Commission on Reading. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois. Banathy, B.H. (1990). Systems design of education: A journey to create the future. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Educational Technology Publications. Borkowski, J.G., Carr, M., Rellinger, E., & Pressley, M. (1990). Self-regulated cognition: Interdependence of metacognition, attributions, and self-esteem. In B.F. Jones (Ed.), Dimensions of thinking: Review of research (pp.53-92). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum. Brown, A.L., Palincsar, A.S., & Purcell, L. (1986). Poor readers: Teach, don't label. In U. Neisser (Ed.), The academic performance of minority children: New perspectives (pp. 105-143). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum. Collins, A., Brown, J.S., & Newman, S. (1989). Cognitive apprenticeship: Teaching students the craft of reading, writing, and mathematics. In L.B. Resnick (Ed.), Knowing, learning, and instruction: Essays in honor of Robert Glaser. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum. Durkin, D. (1984). Do basal manuals teach reading comprehension? In R.C. Anderson, J. Osborn, & J. Tierney (Eds.), Learning to read in American schools: Basal readers and content texts (pp. 39-38). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum. Durkin, D. (1978-79). What classroom observations reveal about reading comprehension instruction. Reading Research Quarterly,15, 481-533. Herber, H.L. (1985). Developing reading and thinking skills in content areas. In J.W. Segal, S.F. Chipman, & R. Glaser (Eds.), Thinking and learning skills: Vol. I. Relating instruction to research (pp. 297-316). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
    • Jones, B.F., Palincsar, A.S., Ogle, D.S., & Carr, E.G. (1987). Strategic teaching and learning: Cognitive instruction in the content areas. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Jones, B.F. & Pierce, J. (in press). Students at risk vs. the Board of Education. In A. Costa & J. Bell (Eds.), Mind Matters: Vol. I. Educating for the 21st century. Palatine, IL: Skylight Publishing. Palincsar, A. (1987, April). Collaborating for collaborative learning of text comprehension. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Washington, DC. Paris, S.G., & Winograd, P. (1990). How metacognition can promote academic learning and instruction. In B.F. Jones, & L. Idol (Eds.), Dimensions of thinking and cognitive instruction (pp. 15-52). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum. Pearson, P.D. (1985). Changing the face of reading comprehension instruction. The Reading Teacher, 39, 724-737. Pressley, M., Borkowski, J.G., & Schneider, W. (1987). Good strategy users coordinate metacognition, strategy use and knowledge. In R. Basta & G. Whitehurst (Eds.), Annals of Child Development, 4, 89-129. Resnick, L.B. (1987). Learning in school and out. Educational Researcher, 16(9), 13-20. Strickland, D.S. (1987). Using computers in the teaching of reading. New York: Teachers College Press. Tierney, R.J., & Cunningham, J.W. (1984). Research on teaching reading comprehension. In P.D. Pearson (Ed.), Handbook of reading research (pp. 609-656). New York: Longman. Weinstein, C.E., Goetz, E., & Alexander, P. (1988). Learning and study strategies: Issues in assessment, instruction, and evaluation. New York: Academic Press. Wiggins, G. (1989). A true test: Toward more authentic and equitable assessment. Phi Delta Kappa, 70, 703-714. info@ncrel.org Copyright © North Central Regional Educational Laboratory. All rights reserved. The Reading Skills Pyramid Key Reading Skills & the Steps in Acquiring Them Learning to read is an exciting time for children and their families. While thrilled by their children's emerging literacy and reading skills, many parents are surprised to learn that reading is not automatic and that, regardless of family background, children require support in learning to read and developing strong reading skills. Most adults forget that acquiring reading skills required skilled instruction. A language-rich environment forms a solid foundation on which reading skills including decoding, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension are based. Mastery of decoding comprises understanding print concepts, phonemic awareness and phonics and is usually attained by the end of second grade. Some skills, such as vocabulary development, will grow as long as children are challenged by involvement in a rich language environment and by tackling increasingly complicated texts. Research shows that children who develop phonemic awareness and letter-sound knowledge early on are more likely to be strong, successful readers. Children build these skills by reading aloud, practicing nursery rhymes, and playing letter and word games. Tutoring or structured computer programs can also effectively reinforce these skills. Based
    • on an understanding of phonemic (or phonological) awareness and basic print concepts, children are ready to learn phonics and to start decoding words. The Reading Skills Pyramid visually depicts the patterns of concept acquisition that children follow in becoming successful readers up through third grade. We recommend a high level of parent involvement in this process by providing high quality educational materials, establishing a pattern of daily reading, creating a rich language environment, and discussing your child's progress with teachers and following up on their recommendations. While most children follow the same sequence of acquiring literacy skills, they do so at their own pace. All children are different: if you have questions or concerns about your child's progress in reading, contact his or her teacher. The five key areas in learning to read are phonemic awareness, phonics, comprehension, vocabulary, and fluency. Phonemic Awareness is an important pre-reading skill. Phonemic awareness deals with the structure of sounds and words. Phonemic awareness is the understanding that words are made up of sounds which can be assembled in different ways to make different words. Once a child has phonemic awareness, they are aware that sounds are like building blocks that can be used to build all the different words. Phonemic Awareness overlaps and is often confused with phonological awareness. Phonological Awareness is the ability to distinguish distinct sounds. Children without phonological understanding might not have learned to hear the difference between three or free, lice or rice, meat or neat. Phonological is another important prereading skill which also must be learned and practiced. Children build phonemic awareness and other pre-reading skills by practicing nursery rhymes and playing sound and word games. Common exercises to develop phonemic awareness include games with rhymed words, games based on recognizing initial consonance. Tutoring, workbooks, games, or structured computer programs can help teach or reinforce these skills. Parents help in this process by providing high-quality educational materials, establishing a pattern of daily reading, and creating a rich language environment. As phonemic awareness is developed, children should become interested in how words are portrayed in print. Daily reading sessions with the children following along should help develop their understanding of print concept and feed this curiosity. This interest in decoding the words is the fuel for children learning the alphabet and phonics decoding skills. Phonics is the understanding of how letters combine to make sounds and words. Phonics curriculum usually starts with teaching letters, slowly creating a working knowledge of the alphabet. Children learn the sounds of each letter by associating it with the word that starts with that sound. Phonics skills grow through reading activities, and students learn to distinguish between vowels and consonants and understand letter combinations such as blends and digraphs. While a phonics curriculum is a critical step in learning to read, many parents and educators forget that before you can succeed with a phonics curriculum, you must teach phonemic and phonological awareness. Phonemic awareness involves the understanding of the relationship between sounds and words. Phonemic awareness is the understanding that words are made of sounds that can be used, like reusable building blocks, to construct words (h + at = hat, f + at = fat, etc). Phonological awareness is another pre-phonics skill that trains a child's ear to discriminate between similar sounding sounds (with phonemic awareness, children will distinguish between "three" from words like "free" or "tree"). Contrary to popular belief, phonemic awareness does not appear when young children are learning to talk, because this pre-phonics skill not necessary for speaking and understanding
    • spoken language. However, phonemic awareness is critical for a successful phonics curriculum. What is Reading Comprehension? Reading comprehension skills separates the "passive" unskilled reader from the "active" readers. Skilled readers don't just read, they interact with the text. To help a beginning reader understand this concept, you might make them privy to the dialogue readers have with themselves while reading. Skilled readers, for instance: 1. Predict what will happen next in a story using clues presented in text 2. Create questions about the main idea, message, or plot of the text 3. Monitor understanding of the sequence, context, or characters 4. Clarify parts of the text which have confused them 5. Connect the events in the text to prior knowledge or experience Reading comprehension skills increase the pleasure and effectiveness of reading. Strong reading comprehension skills help in all the other subjects and in the personal and professional lives. The high stake tests that control advancement through elementary, middle, and high school and which determine entrance to college are in large parts, a measure of reading comprehension skills. And while there are test preparation courses which will provide a few short-cuts to improve test-taking strategies, these standardized tests tend to be very effective in measuring a readers reading comprehension skills. In short, building reading comprehension skills requires a long term strategy in which all the reading skills areas (phonics, fluency, and vocabulary) will contribute to success. "My student reads but she doesn't seem to really "get it". By "reads", the teacher means that the child is successfully decoding words but decoding without reading comprehension will not get you far. Building vocabulary words is key to reading, to writing, to verbal expression, and in many ways, vocabulary is key to building analytical and critical thinking. A person's vocabulary skills can be measured in terms of building receptive vocabulary (ie understanding) words and their expressive vocabulary words. People can build their expressive vocabulary in two ways that can get measured: the written vocabulary words or their spoken vocabulary words. Building vocabulary skills improves reading comprehension and reading fluency. Without building a large vocabulary, students cannot read successfully. Building vocabulary is far more than memorizing words. Ideally, children should be brought up in a rich language environment which is language- and word- conscious. Children take up attitudes and learn from their parents so building vocabulary starts as a family affair. Children are greatly influenced generally by the amount of conversation, by the nature of the conversation (and the vocabulary used), and the "word awareness" of the family. There are a great number of families where vocabulary word games are played with the children as an ongoing game to build vocabulary and "word awareness" skills including phonemic awareness. These games can build vocabulary and phonemic awareness. Vocabulary Games - The Fun way to Learn Words Starting Early Two games to mention: The alphabet game. The first level starts as early as age 3 with just reciting the alphabet going back and forth between parent and child (this often is done while driving). Once this "level" of the word game gets too easy, its time to play the game with words and go back forth with: "Apple, Baker, Cat etc". You might play the game twice in succession and in the second round, you must use new words which makes it a tougher vocabulary game. At the next level, we restrict the word to just one type such as foods: "Apple, Banana, Cheese, etc". The next level of this word game might require two syllable
    • animal words. (BTW - we usually do not keep score and stop at V). Another vocabulary / word skill game: Hig Pig (a favorite word game), a question is asked with a definition: the answer has to be two words that rhyme. For instance: "What do you call a canine that has badly over-eaten?" Answer. a "Hog Dog". And a feline? Answer: a "Fat Cat". From there, you can move to Higgy Piggies where the answers are two syllables long. Ex, "What do you call a crab-like creature involved in organized crime?” Techniques for Building Vocabulary Words - Reading & Other Media The best method for building vocabulary is to be an active reader. But, there are differences between skilled active readers and less skilled passive ones. Students should learn to decode vocabulary words thru a vocabulary building techniques such as context clues and word roots. Word roots means that students should learn to define words by learning the meanings of root words, prefixes and suffixes. Knowing the basics of the Latin and Greek word roots in English is useful and helps students get insight into how the English language vocabulary words derived and are structured. The use of media greatly affects the building of vocabulary. Some television programs use a large and rich vocabulary, others are mostly explosions. Whereas many contemporary and classical films (especially the musicals) had great conversations and rich vocabulary, many others are noticeable for their poor quality of conversation (the Power Ranger might stand out as having the most limited vocabulary. Whole episodes consist of a dialogue such as "Let’s do it" and "Watch out!” - Not exactly a sound-track to build vocabulary. Fluency is the ability to read text accurately and quickly. Fluency bridges word decoding and comprehension. Comprehension is the understanding of what has been read. Fluency is a set of skills that allows readers to rapidly decode text while maintaining high comprehension. A first benchmark for fluency is being able to "sight read" some words. The idea is that children will recognize at sight the most common words in written English and that instant reading of these words will allow them to read and understand text more quickly. Also, since there are many common English words that are so irregular according to the rules of phonics, its best to get children to just memorize them from the start. For example, try sounding out these words: "one", "was", "if", "even", or "the". Many experts quickly warn us that an over-emphasis on sight reading early on can be counterproductive by having children focus on word memorization while avoiding learning the all important techniques of sounding out words. The bottom line is that as children master the rules of phonics, they should also master by sight a limited number of commonly encountered and often irregular words. The best discussion of this topic and a great list of sight words can be found on the SEDL website. They are among the most useful in providing useful insights into the process of learning to read. Parents assist with fluency when they read aloud to children. Once children are reading at first to second grade level, exercises with timed reading also help children improve their reading speed. This type of exercise is demanding of parents or instructors since it requires active involvement.
    • The 7 PRIME Reading Skills By William M. Tweedie 1. Imagining - visualizing & focusing 2. Skimming - surface processing 3. Scanning - locating 4. Questioning - engagement 5. Understanding - lexical & ideational 6. Remembering - memory techniques 7. Reading Aloud - rhythm and rate The following is a partial list of some of the skills you will find in a variety of reading development textbooks: Sequencing, Judging, Previewing, Summarizing, Classifying, Synthesizing, Generalizing, Translating, Paraphrasing, Evaluating, Comparing, Contrasting, Investigating, Contextualizing, Interpreting, Determining Relevance, Distinguishing Fact From Fiction/Opinion, Interpreting Specialized Texts, Understanding Relationships, Reading Critically, Analyzing, Assessing, Reviewing, Reporting, Identification & Interpretation Word Recognition & Comprehension, Thinking, Sensing, Imagining / Observing, Remembering, Training In Analysis & Reflection Lexical And Ideational Understanding: Literal, Figurative Meaning, Multiple Meaning, Roots, Pre/Suffixes, Words, Phrases, Paragraphs, Texts - Key Words, Main Ideas, Meaning From Context, Recognizing, Concluding, Confirming, Literary/Rhetorical Mechanisms - Simile, Metaphor, Personification, Hyperbole, Onomatopoeia, Imagery, etc. It can all be quite confusing and overwhelming for you and your students. Through my years of research into reading skill theory, development and practice I have determined that all these “skills” use one of the prime skills listed above or combinations thereof. There are typically three phases of teaching reading once students have acquired the fundamental skills of phonetics and phonological awareness and built a basic vocabulary foundation as we will soon discuss. 1. Pre-reading – activating the students interest / imaginations / prior knowledge 2. Reading – working with the text. Focusing the students’ attention and effort on the development of particular skills. 3. Post-reading – assessing the skills If you concentrate on these basic skills in developing your lesson plans and your in-class practices, your students will develop the ability to read efficiently and effectively. Now, on with the show!
    • Reading Skill 1: Imagining: Concentrating, Relaxing, Focusing, Visualizing Learning to Concentrate The first task in Learning to Learn is training your mind to concentrate, one of the more challenging skills you will be learning in this course. It is surprisingly tough to keep your mind focused on a single thought. For the first few seconds the mind will attend, but for most, that concentration will quickly become a chain of wandering chatter. Lose of concentration can be easily identified. We have all experienced it while reading, having read through a paragraph to realize that only your eyes were reading, while your mind was focused somewhere else. This is commonly called daydreaming. There are times when this “tuned out” state may be pleasurable, as you will learn, though generally it is undesired. Experiencing Concentration Most of us have experienced putting down some object, perhaps your keys, or a pencil, to find only a few minutes later you’ve forgotten where you set them down. This is often the result of failing to make a conscious record of the action at the moment you put the object down. These incidents can be avoided by focusing your attention and making a quick mental note, perhaps turning away and visualizing your keys on top of the fridge, or saying to yourself “Keys --- Fridge,” or both. Freeing up Attention for Other Thinking Activities Concentration helps reduce “chatter”, and opens up limited processing space in working memory for the task at hand. Connections are made between information brought into working memory and information stored in long term memory. The strength of that new memory, and the ease with which it is retrieved from long term memory, is a function of the concentration, or attention present while learning. When as a child you were first faced with the task of tying your shoes your mind had to focus on the task, verbalizing the steps and consciously controlling and watching finger movements. After years of tying your shoes you no longer think about it. The task has become so automatic that it requires little or no conscious effort. You no longer need to verbalize the steps (though you probably could), and movements flow without thinking. Nowadays you could probably read the morning newspaper, carry out a conversation, or watch the television, while tying your shoes, each without any affect on your shoe tying skill. The vast majority of skills you learn throughout your lifetime become automated to some degree, freeing up processing space to learn more skills. Through childhood we often acquire new skills following the automation of earlier acquired skills. There are many ways to free up the limited attention-processing space you have available to you in working memory. Some of the exercises in this section can be used to maximize the space you have available. Relaxation is particularly effective in clearing mental resources being used by your mind and body.
    • Try thinking of your working memory as an egg carton with 12 individual compartments for processing different kinds of information. For simplicity sake let’s imagine three different types of information: verbal information, visual information, and kinaesthetic/tactile (movement and feeling) information. Each takes up approximately one third of the egg carton, or four compartments. Now imagine emptying the verbal and kinaesthetic compartments through relaxation, turning off your body and clearing your mind of verbal chatter. With this increase in space, the visual portion of your working memory has more space available to process information. By clearing your mind of these thoughts it is possible to enter a dream like state while being wide awake, with an enhanced flow of vivid visual imagery. Similarly, emptying your mind of visual and verbal information can provide more available space for kinaesthetic or tactile processing. Athletes can relax and focus on body movement, increasing efficiency by running through movements repetitively in their minds, and feeling themselves in motion both before and during an athletic activity. All this said; under most conditions the three processing types described above operate together (and with a number of other processing types). In fact most of your knowledge is comprised of bits of information of several types. For example, consider the types of information that are processed while reading a book. The print transmitted to you through the pages, after being visually perceived, is then processed as verbal input, speaking silently to yourself. Images are often formed from the incoming verbal information, and then that information is often associated with personal experience, and past knowledge, each of which may be made up of bits of various types of information. Interestingly it is much easier to process two streams of information which differ in the form they are delivered. For some, reading with background music is not a problem, but when speech is added to the music, for example, the radio announcer comes on, reading becomes more difficult. In this instance the capacity to process verbal information is taxed by a second stream of verbal input. The music is processed by a different processor thus does not interfere with verbal processing. Musical processing space likely makes up one of those egg carton compartments. For others, any type of competing auditory information will disrupt reading, needing quiet in order to read effectively. The above examples of types of processing are quite simplified. Each of the processing “compartments” may vary in size, or capacity. Between individuals, this may be reflected in some who seem to be skilled verbal processors, while reflected others who seem to be highly skilled visually. The processing space one has for a particular type of information (e.g. verbal, visual, musical, tactile...) may be large, while for another type of information it may be small. Reading, which is primarily a verbal activity, starts out as a very process intensive activity. Beginning readers must concentrate on the letters, the associated sounds, the meaning, and the arrangement of words. Tying shoes and reading at the same time would be out of the question for novice readers. By adulthood both of these processes are highly automated to the point where several tasks could be undertaken at the same time. Most of us older learners would have little difficulty reading the newspaper headlines while tying our shoes. But, notice that if some interesting piece of information catches our attention while reading, we are likely to stop tying our shoes in mid-stream. Extra attention space gets reallocated to process the information you are reading. If you are very anxious, or conversely very depressed about something, your mental processing space may be overwhelmed. For example, if you are nervous about giving a speech you are likely going to have difficulty adapting to your audience’s questioning, or perhaps even have difficulty remembering your speech once you arrive at the podium. A moderate amount of arousal (i.e. excitement or enthusiasm) is good for learning however. If
    • you are excited about learning something new, your arousal is heightened, and you learn the new information easily. Being worked-up or fearful about learning something new will likely interfere with processing capacity and learning ability. But, strong emotions, negative or positive, can also have an “imprinting” effect on learning, creating knowledge “you never forget”. Weddings, births, graduations, like a car accident, being robbed, or being bitten by a snake, can each leave a person with a vivid memory that lasts a lifetime. The nature of working memory, automaticity, transferring of knowledge between working and long term memory, and other aspects of individuals’ knowledge building capacity is very complicated, and far from being totally understood. After all we are talking about the human mind, the most complex information processor on this planet. Many researchers have different theories about learning and its components. Many have studied the nature of human thought and a wide variety of terms have been used to describe a large array behaviours and abilities. What is important, for our purpose here, does not so much understanding what the scientists think (though the content is based on what they think) it is on know about behaviours and abilities through experience. This experience develops out of the readings and activities throughout the course, as you becoming aware of your thinking, the demands particular tasks or situations make on you, and your development of an awareness of the differences that exist between individuals. Concentration Exercises Concentration, like most mental processes, can be automated: the more experience or repetition, the less processing space is needed to perform it. Some exercises here are intended to help clear the mind of unwanted thought and focus your attention, giving you a “feeling” for the activity that goes on in your mind. Other exercises are used to demonstrate “levels” of thought, or consciousness. These exercises can produce dreamlike experiences while being wide awake. While attempting the exercises, be sure to think about your thinking. Be aware of what your mind is doing. Try to imagine separating a part of your mind from yourself, and watching unobtrusively from a nearby vantage point as your thinking occurs. When you finish an activity, review your thoughts. Relaxation Relaxation helps free up processing space. Tension uses up those mental resources. The “Grand Tour” is an excellent exercise for relaxing the body. Get comfortable, then begin reading. While reading, you should pause momentarily between each stanza. After several uses, the words can be eliminated and the “mind’s eye” can follow the outline of your body, relaxing each part as it is visualized in thought.
    • THE GRAND TOUR Close your eyes, settle into a comfortable posture, and spend a few minutes relaxing your body. Begin by letting your body become loose and limp. Allow your weight to sink and your muscles to relax. Spend a while just paying attention to how your body feels Focus on your physical sensations, in your arms, shoulders, back, head, stomach, and legs, as well as inside your chest, abdomen, and hips. Then slowly shift your attention to your breath. Focus on the sensation of air passing through your nostrils. As you inhale and exhale, allow your breathing to become calmer and more even. Don’t try to force your breath. Just allow it to be natural and fluid. Each time a distracting thought passes through your mind, use it as a reminder to return your attention to your body. Gently lead the focus of your mind back to your sensations. Allow yourself to let go completely and to sink deeply into the warm feeling of relaxation. Recirculate your sensations back into your sensations. Become so quiet inside that you can feel your heart beat throughout your body. As your attention becomes clearer with each breath, turn it to relax specific parts of your body. Begin by mentally picturing your face. Visualize your eyes, mouth, cheeks, and jaw. Form a vivid metal image of each part becoming more relaxed as you gaze on it. As you turn your attention to these parts of your face, you many discover the presence of subtle tensions. Simply allow the tensions to dissipate through the visualization. When your face is thoroughly relaxed, move on to your ears, neck, shoulders, arms, and fingers. Visualize each part becoming looser and more relaxed. The clearer your picture, the more deeply you relax. Continue visualizing the rest of your body: your chest, back, stomach, legs, knees, and toes. Remember, there is no need to rush, just let yourself enjoy the experience of touring your body. Once you finish picturing your toes, visualize your entire body as a relaxed, sentient statue. Immerse yourself in the sensations of full relaxation. Just let go.
    • Two Minute Mind Get yourself a clock or a watch with a second hand or wait for the clock applet to run below. Place yourself in a comfortable position and relax your body and calm your thoughts. Start when you are ready. Try focusing on the second hand; follow it around the face of the watch. Concentrate on the second hand, empty your mind of all other thoughts. Try this for two minutes. Most people will find their mind drifting, thinking of other things. If you do---start over. Relax, calm your thoughts, and focus on the second hand again. With practice, usually in a short time, your attention will focus better, and concentrating on the second hand will become easier. Try counting off the numbers silently to yourself as the second hand passes by them. If you succeed with two minutes, try five, and then ten minutes. If you can concentrate on the second hand for ten minutes, without losing your stream of (no) thought, you are way ahead of everyone else. If you have difficulty focusing on the second hand, don’t worry, everyone does at first. Concentration takes practice. Don’t give up. It will come. Spend time training your concentration. A little effort at this stage will make learning the techniques and strategies found throughout the course more beneficial. If you loose your train of thought, do not force yourself back to concentration, this tends to be a distraction. Let your mind wander for a few seconds then slowly return to concentration. Try to be aware of what is happening as your thoughts drift. Focusing Whenever you have some spare time, use it to your advantage: practice concentrating. For example, on the bus, find something you can focus on. An advertisement works well, as does a magazine; others won’t realize what you are doing. Or, try to concentrate on a spot on the ceiling before you get out of bed in the morning or before you go to bed at night. During a commercial, while watching the television, focus on the centre of the screen and see if you can concentrate without distraction from the television. Practice a little every day and you will find that after a short while focusing your attention will become easier, and monitoring the activity in your mind will become a regular part of your thinking. Visualizing Since many of the exercises in this course use mental pictures, you should practice visualization. The simplest way to become better at visualizing is to look at an object you are familiar with, something pleasurable preferably, with your eyes open. Relax and concentrate for a moment then close your eyes and picture the object. If it fades, open your eyes and look at the object again. Do this several times to help produce a clear image, then forget about it; go onto another task and come back to the picture sometime later, perhaps in an hour or the next day. Try to focus on the object without having just seen it when you resume. Try variations of this exercise. Use different objects and visualize with your eyes open, as if daydreaming. Imagine faces and places; loved ones and sunny beaches work well for this purpose.
    • If you have ever caught someone daydreaming, the most noticeable feature about them is the eyes gazing into space. They are not seeing what their eyes are registering; they are seeing a fabrication of the same process that produces the images of dreaming, scenes of concentration, the pictures of visual memory, and comprehension of concrete words: visualization. Visualization Exercises Visualize the following items. If the images don’t appear as bright as you want, don’t try to force them. Focus on the idea of seeing an image. Focus on the shape the colour, and the size. Take time and allow the image to form. a familiar face a childhood friend a running dog your bedroom a sunset a flying eagle a babbling brook a drop of dew cirrocumulus clouds a massive oak tree a typewriter keyboard a snow-capped peak a toothbrush your favourite pair of shoes Now imagine things that aren’t real: a unicorn a chocolate river a demigod with six arms a hobbit a talking giraffe a thirty foot ant a choir of angels a four-dimensional sphere Focus on a single point and with your peripheral vision. Observe everything around the point. Don’t move your eyes, hold for a moment, then close your eyes and remember what was in your peripheral vision. Start with the upper right. Try to visualize all in that sector of your vision. Move down to the bottom right side of your vision. What can you recall? Try to focus on a picture. Five mental pictures: Visualize 5 things that are red.(blue, green, yellow, purple) Visualize 5 things that begin with A.(b c d e f...) Visualize 5 things smaller than your finger. Visualize 5 things that are larger than a bus. Visualize 5 things found underground. Visualize 5 things that make you happy. Picture People Visualize all the people you spoke with today. What did they look like? What colour were their hair and eyes? How old and how tall were they? What were they wearing? Can you picture their mannerisms? Visualize people you saw yesterday, last week, or at some special occasion. Picture Geometric Shapes
    • Visualize each of the following three dimensional shapes thoroughly, inside, outside, and rotate to the other side. sphere cube prism tetrahedron pyramid dodecahedron Meditation The meditations of Eastern cultures use many means to focus the mind. But, they all have in common, focused concentration. Some use the breath, relaxing, focusing on the air as it passes through the nostrils, following a procedure like the following: Feel the nostrils open and close very slightly. Start by inhaling for the count of five and holding for the count of five, then exhale for five and hold for five. Repeat the process for the count of four, the count of three and the count of two. Breathe continuously at the two count and focus on inhaling for two, hold for two, exhale for two, and hold for two. Continue for ten minutes. As you get more efficient, increase the length of time you focus on your breathing. Another form of meditation focuses on a point in the centre of the head or forehead, focusing with the mind, not the eyes. As you concentrated on the movement of air, concentrate on the single point, or a blank screen; your thoughts should be still. Another form of meditation focuses on a sound, often the hum of a single note either hummed aloud or mentally produced. These sounds are called “Mantras”. Other types of meditation focus on patterns, or complicated designs which are memorized, and mentally visualized to develop focused concentration. Try closing your eye lids and raising your eyes just slightly to the right (or left if you prefer). Focus your eyes a few feet in front of you but keep your eyelids shut. Be sure not to raise your eyes beyond what is comfortable. Any more will throw off your concentration. You may want to try relaxing and letting your mind go. Think about anything that comes to mind. Try priming yourself before you do this by thinking about something you are working on that you are having difficulty with. While relaxing and concentrating your mind is most creative. Great discoveries are made while relaxing. Reading Skills 2 & 3: Skimming and Scanning
    • There are different styles of reading for different situations. The technique you choose will depend on the purpose for reading. For example, you might be reading for enjoyment, information, or to complete a task. If you are exploring or reviewing, you might skim a document. If you're searching for information, you might scan for a particular word. To get detailed information, you might use a technique such as SQ4R. You need to adjust your reading speed and technique depending on your purpose. Many people consider skimming and scanning search techniques rather than reading strategies. However when reading large volumes of information, they may be more practical than reading. For example, you might be searching for specific information, looking for clues, or reviewing information. Web pages, novels, textbooks, manuals, magazines, newspapers, and mail are just a few of the things that people read every day. Effective and efficient readers learn to use many styles of reading for different purposes. Skimming, scanning, and critical reading (using the remaining before and during reading skills) are different styles of reading and information processing. Skimming is used to quickly identify the main ideas of a text. When you read the newspaper, you're probably not reading it word-by-word; instead you're skimming the text. Skimming is done at a speed three to four times faster than normal reading. People often skim when they have lots of material to read in a limited amount of time. Use skimming when you want to see if an article may be of interest in your research. There are many strategies that can be used when skimming. Some people read the first and last paragraphs using headings, summarizes and other organizers as they move down the page or screen. You might read the title, subtitles, subheading, and illustrations. Consider reading the first sentence of each paragraph. This technique is useful when you're seeking specific information rather than reading for comprehension. Skimming works well to find dates, names, and places. It might be used to review graphs, tables, and charts. Scanning is a technique you often use when looking up a word in the telephone book or dictionary. You search for key words or ideas. In most cases, you know what you're looking for, so you're concentrating on finding a particular answer. Scanning involves moving your eyes quickly down the page seeking specific words and phrases. Scanning is also used when you first find a resource to determine whether it will answer your questions. Once you've scanned the document, you might go back and skim it or vice versa. When scanning, look for the author's use of organizers such as numbers, letters, steps, or the words, first, second, or next. Look for words that are bold faced, italics, or in a different font size, style, or color. Sometimes the author will put key ideas in the margin. Skimming and Scanning Exercise: Pulp Friction You have 2 minutes to read the following passage.
    • Every second, 1 hectare of the world's rainforest is destroyed. That's equivalent to two football fields. An area the size of New York City is lost every day. In a year, that adds up to 31 million hectares -- more than the land area of Poland. This alarming rate of destruction has serious consequences for the environment; scientists estimate, for example, that 137 species of plant, insect or animal become extinct every day due to logging. In British Columbia, where, since 1990, thirteen rainforest valleys have been clear-cut, 142 species of salmon have already become extinct, and the habitats of grizzly bears, wolves and many other creatures are threatened. Logging, however, provides jobs, profits, taxes for the government and cheap products of all kinds for consumers, so the government is reluctant to restrict or control it. Much of Canada's forestry production goes towards making pulp and paper. According to the Canadian Pulp and Paper Association, Canada supplies 34% of the world's wood pulp and 49% of its newsprint paper. If these paper products could be produced in some other way, Canadian forests could be preserved. Recently, a possible alternative way of producing paper has been suggested by agriculturalists and environmentalists: a plant called hemp. Hemp has been cultivated by many cultures for thousands of years. It produces fibre which can be made into paper, fuel, oils, textiles, food, and rope. For centuries, it was essential to the economies of many countries because it was used to make the ropes and cables used on sailing ships; colonial expansion and the establishment of a world-wide trading network would not have been feasible without hemp. Nowadays, ships' cables are usually made from wire or synthetic fibres, but scientists are now suggesting that the cultivation of hemp should be revived for the production of paper and pulp. According to its proponents, four times as much paper can be produced from land using hemp rather than trees, and many environmentalists believe that the large-scale cultivation of hemp could reduce the pressure on Canada's forests. However, there is a problem: hemp is illegal in many countries of the world. This plant, so useful for fibre, rope, oil, fuel and textiles, is a species of cannabis, related to the plant from which marijuana is produced. In the late 1930s, a movement to ban the drug marijuana began to gather force, resulting in the eventual banning of the cultivation not only of the plant used to produce the drug, but also of the commercial fibre-producing hemp plant. Although both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew hemp in large quantities on their own land, any American growing the plant today would soon find himself in prison -- despite the fact that marijuana cannot be produced from the hemp plant, since it contains almost no THC (the active ingredient in the drug). In recent years, two major movements for legalization have been gathering strength. One group of activists believes that ALL cannabis should be legal -- both the hemp plant and the marijuana plant -- and that the use of the drug marijuana should not be an offense. They argue that marijuana is not dangerous or addictive, and that it is used by large numbers of people who are not criminals but productive members of society. They also point out that marijuana is less toxic than alcohol or tobacco. The other legalization movement is concerned only with the hemp plant used to produce fibre; this group wants to make it legal to cultivate the plant and sell the fibre for paper and pulp production. This second group has had a major triumph recently: in 1997, Canada legalized the farming of hemp for fibre. For the first time since 1938, hundreds of farmers are planting this crop, and soon we can expect to see pulp and paper produced from this new source. Now answer the following questions without referring to the text: Skimming Questions Select the answer you think is correct.
    • The main idea of paragraph one is: Scientists are worried about New York City Logging is destroying the rainforests Governments make money from logging Salmon are an endangered species The main idea of paragraph two is: Canadian forests are especially under threat Hemp is a kind of plant Canada is a major supplier of paper and pulp Canada produces a lot of hemp The main idea of paragraph three is: Paper could be made from hemp instead of trees Hemp is useful for fuel Hemp has been cultivated throughout history Hemp is essential for building large ships The main idea of paragraph four is: Hemp is used to produce drugs Many famous people used to grow hemp It is illegal to grow hemp Hemp is useful for producing many things The main idea of paragraph five is: Hemp should be illegal because it is dangerous Recently, many people have been working to legalize hemp Hemp was made illegal in 1938 Marijuana is not a dangerous drug Now re-read the passage knowing you will be asked for specific information from the text. Scanning Questions Select the answer you think is correct. 1. How many species of salmon have become extinct in BC? 27 31 137 142
    • 2. How much of the world's newsprint paper is supplied by Canada? 31% 49% 34% 19% 3. What equipment on a ship was made from hemp? ropes waterproof cloth engine fuel life rafts 4. What drug can be obtained from a relative of hemp? cocaine heroin amphetamine marijuana 5. Where was hemp farming recently legalized? the USA Canada Singapore the Netherlands Now answer the multiple choice questions that follow. Multiple-Choice Questions 1. How long does it take for 100 hectares of rainforest to be destroyed? a) less than two minutes b) about an hour c) two hours d) a day 2. Why is pulp and paper production important to Canada? a) Canada needs to find a way to use all its spare wood. b) Canada publishes a lot of newspapers and books. c) Pulp and paper export is a major source of income for Canada. 3. Who is suggesting that pulp and paper could be produced without cutting down trees? a) the logging industry b) the government c) the environmental lobby 4. Why was the plant hemp essential to world-wide trade in the past?
    • a) Ships' ropes were made from it. b) Hemp was a very profitable export. c) Hemp was used as fuel for ships. d) Hemp was used as food for sailors. 5. Why do agriculturalists think that hemp would be better for paper production than trees? a) It is cheaper to grow hemp than to cut down trees. b) More paper can be produced from the same area of land. c) Hemp produces higher quality paper. 6. When was hemp production banned in Canada? a) 1930 b) 1960 c) 1996 d) 1938 7. Why was hemp banned? a) It is related to the marijuana plant. b) It can be used to produce marijuana. c) It was no longer a useful crop. d) It was destructive to the land. 8. What chemical ingredient of cannabis plants is a powerful drug? a) Fibre b) Marijuana c) THC 9. True or false: Some activists believe that both marijuana and hemp should be legal. a) True b) False 10. True or false: Canada has just legalized marijuana. a) True b) False
    • Multiple-Choice Questions - Vocabulary 1. "Every second, 1 hectare of the world's rainforest is destroyed. That's equivalent to two football fields." What does "equivalent to" mean? a) more than b) less than c) the same as 2. "In British Columbia, where, since 1990, thirteen rainforest valleys have been clearcut, 142 species of salmon have already become extinct." What does "clearcut" mean? a) a few trees have been cut down b) many trees have been cut down c) all the trees have been cut down 3. "Logging, however, provides jobs, profits, taxes for the government and cheap products of all kinds for consumers, so the government is reluctant to restrict or control it." What does "reluctant" mean? a) doesn't want to b) is not allowed to c) would like to 4. "According to its proponents, four times as much paper can be produced from land using
    • hemp rather than trees." What does "proponents" mean? a) people who are against something b) people who support something c) people in charge of something 5. "In the late 1930s, a movement to ban the drug marijuana began to gather force." What does "gather force" mean? a) appear b) get stronger c) get weaker 6. "One group of activists believes that ALL cannabis should be legal." What does "activists" mean? a) people trying to change something b) people against the government c) people who smoke marijuana Teaching Grammar in Reading Review of Cause and Effect Linking Words An example of incorporating or extending your reading lessons to include reinforcing a grammar point(s) using the reading above follows. Read through this brief review of linking words and phrases for cause and effect. There are three main types of linking words: conjunctions, transitions, and prepositions: Conjunctions The most important conjunctions are because, as, since, and so. Because, as, and since introduce a cause; so introduces an effect. These are used to join two complete sentences (or independent clauses) together. They are often used like this: First sentence, conjunction, second sentence I stayed at home, because it was raining. It was raining, so I stayed at home. You can also reverse the order of the sentences with because, as, and since: Because it was raining, I stayed at home. Note that this is not possible with so. Transitions The most important conjunctions are therefore, consequently, and as a result. All of these introduce an effect. These are used to join two complete sentences (or independent clauses) together. They are often used like this: First sentence; transition, second sentence First sentence. Transition, second sentence
    • It was raining; therefore, I stayed at home. It was raining. Consequently, I stayed at home. Prepositions The most important prepositions are due to, and because of. Both of these introduce a cause in the form of a noun phrase. They are often used like this: Sentence, due to noun phrase. Because of noun phrase, sentence. I stayed at home, due to the rain. Because of the rain, I stayed at home. Multiple-Choice Questions 1. Many species of wildlife are becoming extinct, __________ the rainforests are being destroyed. a) therefore b) since c) so d) consequently 2. __________ logging provides jobs and profits, the government is reluctant to control it. a) So b) Consequently c) Due to d) Since 3. Hemp can be used to make paper, __________ it could reduce the need for logging. a) therefore b) so c) due to d) because 4. Hemp was grown throughout history __________ its versatility; it can be used to make many different things. a) due to b) because c) since d) as a result 5. Hemp is related to the marijuana plant; __________, it is illegal in many countries.
    • a) so b) because c) due to d) as a result 6. Hemp cannot be used to produce marijuana, __________ its low THC content. a) because b) as c) because of d) consequently 7. Marijuana is less toxic than alcohol or tobacco. __________, some people believe it should be legalized. a) So b) Therefore c) Due to d) Because 8. __________ Canada has legalized hemp farming, we can expect to see pulp and paper produced from hemp very soon. a) Therefore b) Due to c) So d) As Example Grammar Extension Exercise: 1. Link the following two sentences using "because": Hemp is related to the marijuana plant. It is illegal. ________________________________________________________________ 2. Link the following sentences using "as a result": In the last ten years, many BC valleys have been clear-cut. 142 species of salmon have become extinct. ________________________________________________________________ 3. Link the following sentences using "since": Forestry is important to Canada. It generates a lot of export income. ________________________________________________________________ 4. Link the following sentences using "therefore": Some people believe marijuana should be legal. Marijuana is less toxic than alcohol or tobacco. ________________________________________________________________
    • 5. Link the following sentences using "due to" (you will have to change one of the sentences into a noun phrase): Many species in BC are threatened. Logging is taking place. ________________________________________________________________ Reading Skill 4: Questioning Part A - Teacher Questions Effective questioning is one way to instruct students in comprehension strategies; questioning sets students' thinking in motion, motivates students to read closely, and focuses their thoughts on the important aspects of text. In these ways, good questioning can lead to more effective learning. The most effective types of questions for training students to read text fluently are: • Specific and explicit questions about the essential points of text as well as some questions about lexical detail; specific questions give students the structure for responding. • Questions about the inferences students can draw from the text, such as causes and consequences; though explicit understanding of text is important, students also need to examine the given information and think beyond what the author has actually written. • Questions about how students' own experience relates to what they've read; this strategy helps children learn to integrate new information with prior knowledge. • Questions that ask students to make predictions of text content; in this way, students draw on prior knowledge and known schemas (general structures) and learn new ones. Asking questions about a passage a student has just read makes demands on that student's memory that are comparable to the working memory demands made during the reading task itself. Thus a group of well-formed questions not only measures the student's comprehension, but also directs his or her attention toward the aspects of text that are important for comprehension. Question Strategies Here are some general strategies for asking questions and responding to student questions in ways that will capture students' attention, foster student involvement, and facilitate a positive, active learning environment. Using Questions Effectively… • Start asking questions early in the course term and set the tone for an active learning environment. Make it clear on the first day that you will be posing lots of questions and that you want the students to interact with you during a lecture. Let them know that you
    • are interested in their ideas and that you encourage questions and comments throughout class. • Prepare your key questions and strategies for asking questions in advance. Think about different questions that you can ask your students as well as different ways to ask them. The types of questions you ask should capture students' attention, arouse their curiosity, reinforce important material, and foster an active learning environment. • Wait for the answer. Research shows that teachers wait on average about one to three seconds for a student response before answering the question themselves. Not only does this teach students that they don't need to respond, it also does not provide them with sufficient time to think about the question and formulate an answer. Although the silence seems awkward and uncomfortable, smile, wait patiently, scan the room, and endure at least a five to ten second wait between your question and student responses. • Ask only one question at a time and be sure it is clearly stated. Instructors often attempt to clarify a question by rephrasing it, and in the process, ask a different question. This practice leads to a lot of confusion amongst students as well as a decreased chance that they will respond. • Avoid leading questions. Questions such as "Don't you all think that …?" will not encourage students to offer their opinions and views on the subject. Students know what you think they should think. • Be cautious of asking, "Are there any questions?" Many education experts believe such questions to be somewhat "wasteful." Such inquiries are often viewed by students as a "ritualistic" exercise on the instructor's part and are usually met with silence. When asking the above, be sure that your question is genuine and has a clear purpose. If the question is met with no response, be prepared to use follow-up probing questions: "That means that if I were to ask you on an exam whether…, you would know how to answer?" This usually elicits questions and concerns from students. • Avoid yes/no questions and questions that require only a one-word response. (Can / Do / Is) You cannot get a discussion going or foster an active learning environment by asking students questions that only require a one-word response. Ask a variety of questions that will require different thinking processes and deeper thought. • Be an active listener. Avoid interrupting a student's answer, even if you think the student is heading toward an incorrect answer. Also, be sure to maintain eye contact and use non- verbal gestures such as smiling and head nodding to indicate your attention and interest in the student's response. • Acknowledge all student contributions. Thank or praise the student for having asked a question or expressed a view with comments such as "Good question" and "Thank you for sharing that with us." Such comments reinforce the behaviour of asking questions and volunteering information during class. Be sure, however, that you vary your reactions to students to avoid overusing the same comments. You can vary your responses in the following ways: restate what the speaker has said to reinforce the point invite the student to elaborate: "Tell us more about that." ask for clarification: "What do you mean by that?" expand the student's contribution: "That's right, and to follow up on that point…" acknowledge the originality of the response: "That's a good point. I hadn't thought of that."
    • • Repeat questions/comments and respond to the whole class. Repeat student questions or comments when necessary so that the whole class can hear the information. You may need to paraphrase a long or complex question/comment. Also, be sure to look around the room to include all students in your comments. A general rule of thumb is to respond by focusing 25 percent of your eye contact on the questioner and 75 percent on the rest of the class - this is the 25/75 rule. • Encourage student-to-student interaction. Try to structure your comments to encourage students to interact with one another, "Mark, that's a good point. Could you relate that to what Sally said earlier?" Be prepared to facilitate recall of Sally's comment. When students are required to respond to one another, they become more attentive. • Admit when you don't know the answer. You'll lose more credibility by trying to fake an answer than by stating that you don't know. If you don't know the answer to a student's question, say so, "That's a good question. I'm not sure about that." Then follow up in one of the following ways: _ ask the class if anyone knows the answer (be sure to verify any responses) _ suggest resources that would enable the student to find the answer _ volunteer to find the answer yourself and report back at the next class Effective Questions for Developing Engaged Readers Before reading, ask… • What can you predict about the story from the front and back cover of the book? • What does the title tell you about the story? • Who or what do you predict this story will be about? Why do you think so? • Where and when do you think the story will take place? • What other stories have you read that are like this one? In what ways? • Have you read anything else by this author? Do you see any similarities between this story and the author's other stories? • What questions do you have about this story? After reading the first chapter or part, ask… • Were you right about your prediction? How do you know? • What has the author told you about the main character? What does the character look like? Act like? Say? Think? Feel? • What do you think the problem or conflict will be in the story? • How do the illustrations contribute to the story? • What questions do you now have about this story? • What do you think is going to happen next in the story? Why? During reading, ask… • How is the setting important to the story? • Who are the minor characters in the story? How do they contribute to the plot? • What can we learn about the characters from what they say and do?
    • • What is the relationship between the minor character(s) and the main character? • What problem(s) does the character have to solve? • What is the most important event in each chapter or section of the story? • Does the author make you want to keep reading? If so, how? • Did you make a picture in your mind while reading? Describe the picture and tell the words that helped to give you this picture. • Can you relate any part of this story to an event in your life? • How do you think the story will end? • What questions do you have about an event or character in the story? • What do you think will happen next in the story? Why? What other questions would you add to this list? After reading, ask… • How accurate were your predictions? What clues did you miss when you made your predictions? • How did the story end? How was the problem or conflict resolved? • Did you like the ending of the story? Did you expect the story to end in that way? Would you have ended the story differently? How? • What clues did the author use to create the ending of the story? • How did the minor characters contribute to the ending of the story? • What could be an alternative ending for this story? • What was the most exciting/interesting part of the story? • Was there a part of the story that you didn't like or found disinteresting? How would you change it? • How did the main character change during the story? • In what ways can you relate to the characters? • What words would you use to describe the characters in the story? How and when did the characters show these traits? • How did the problems/conflicts contribute to the pace/humour/drama of the story? • Why do you think the author chose this genre to tell the story? • In what ways did the story fit the genre? • How did the author’s writing style contribute to the telling of the story? • How did the author use imagery to tell the story? • How did the author use dialogue to tell the story? • Why do you think the author chose this title for the story? • Would you use a different title if you were the author? • What did the author make you think about as you read the story? • What questions do you have for the author?
    • • How is this story like/unlike other stories you have read? • What are some questions you would ask someone else who has read this story? • Would you recommend this story to your friends and/or family members to read? Why or why not? What other questions would you add to this list? Part B - Students’ Questions Critical reading involves students’ questioning themselves and the text. Analytical reading requires students to divide the whole into parts and think about the relationships among those items. •Here are questions you want your students to be asking themselves all the time they are reading: •Where am I--what’s going on in this reading now? •Where have I been--how did we get to this point in the exposition or argument? •Where am I going--what do I expect is coming next in the text? •What does this word mean? (Go to your dictionary as needed!) •Why is the writer even talking about this? Do I follow the big picture here? This kind of reading involves having an ongoing conversation between the student and the writer. Doing it well requires practice. It gets easier with practice. The important questions your students consciously or otherwise have in their minds that you must answer: Why are we reading this? To make us miserable” is NOT a helpful answer. In order to decide what’s important in a reading, the students need to know how it fits into the context of your course and how it will help them achieve their goals. Is it an example of something? Does it represent an important area or aspect that I need to be successful in improving my reading and overall ability in English? What am I supposed to concentrate on? Suggest the Following Model for Reading and Studying to Your Students Follow one small change with another over time. (This is a model—not a one-size-fits-all approach.) Adapt the suggestions to your work habits. •Preview the reading o Simply page through the assignment--turn every page and look at it. If it’s a textbook chapter, look at chapter headings and subheadings. o Ask yourself why you are reading this. How does it relate the overall course content and to the topics currently under consideration? o Look at diagrams and graphs. Ignore pictures unless they are the subject matter of the reading. o Read any summary or conclusion. •Before class, read the text--just read it. o Don’t try to understand yet. . .you don’t have the context.
    • o Don’t skim, don’t underline, don’t go back, just read it. o You are getting something out of it, even if you feel like you’re not. •After class, study the material--read it again, and underline or make notes. o Read thoughtfully--be an active processor of the information. o If you have questions about the material, note them now and get them answered soon. o Know what terms mean and how they relate to each other. o If you underline more than about 10% of the page, you’ve done too much. •If the book/reading includes questions in the margins, or at the end of the chapter, make sure that you can answer these questions. These questions present the writer’s view of what’s most important. o Write your own questions. Test yourself on the reading. •This method of reading twice does take extra time--it’s worth it. The Questions of Predicting and Graphic Organizers Predicting is guessing the content of a text based on your knowledge of the subject, the author's area of expertise and opinions, and the context. You can do this by asking yourself 'journalistic questions' about the topic before reading. Journalistic Questioning is a way of thinking of ideas. You need to ask these questions: Who - is doing this? - is going to do this? - did this? Why - are they doing it? - are they going to do it? - did they do it? What - is it for? - will it be for? - was it for? Where - is it happening? - is it going to happen? - did it happen? To whom - is it happening? - is it going to happen? - did it happen? When - is it happening? - is it going to happen? - did it happen? How - are they doing it? - are they going to do it? - did they do it? You can use this system of generating ideas while brainstorming or to help you develop graphic organizers which are very useful tools during and after reading. Five main types of graphic organizers Graphic organizers are valuable instructional tools. Unlike many tools that just have one purpose, graphic organizers are flexible and endless in application. One common trait found among graphic organizers is that they show the order and completeness of a student's thought process - strengths and weaknesses of understanding become clearly evident. Many graphic organizers show different aspects of an issue/problem - in close and also the big picture. Since many graphic organizers use short words or phrases, they are ideal for many types of learners. There are generally five main types of organizers • Star/web: Use to show definitions, attributes, examples, and brainstorming • Chart/Matrix: Use to show attributes, comparing and contrasting, and evaluating. • Tree/Map: Use to show classifications, pedigrees, analysis, structures, attributes, examples, and brainstorming. • Chain: Use to show processes, sequences, causes and effects, and chronology.
    • • Sketch: Use to show physical structures, descriptions of places, spatial relationships, concrete objects, and visual images. Prior Knowledge Topic Survey Anticipation/Reaction Guide Instruction: Respond to each statement twice: once before the lesson and again after reading it. • Write A if you agree with the statement • Write B if you disagree with the statement Response Before Response After TOPIC: Dinosaurs Lesson Lesson Dinosaurs are the most successful group of land animals ever to roam the Earth. Paleontology is the study of fossils. Human beings belong to the Zenozoic Era. Most dinosaurs have Greek names. Some dinosaurs are named for places in which their fossilized remains were found. Dinosaurs ruled our planet for over 150 million years.
    • Dinosaurs had small brains Other organizers include: Spider Map Used to describe a central idea: a thing (a geographic region), process (meiosis), concept (altruism), or proposition with support (experimental drugs should be available to AIDS victims). Key frame questions: What is the central idea? What are its attributes? What are its functions? Series of Events Chain
    • Used to describe the stages of something (the life cycle of a primate); the steps in a linear procedure (how to neutralize an acid); a sequence of events (how feudalism led to the formation of nation states); or the goals, actions, and outcomes of a historical figure or character in a novel (the rise and fall of Napoleon). Key frame questions: What is the object, procedure, or initiating event? What are the stages or steps? How do they lead to one another? What is the final outcome? Continuum Scale Used for time lines showing historical events or ages (grade levels in school), degrees of something (weight), shades of meaning (Likert scales), or ratings scales (achievement in school). Key frame questions: What is being scaled? What are the end points? Compare/Contrast Matrix Name 1 Name 2 Attribute 1 Attribute 2
    • Attribute 3 Used to show similarities and differences between two things (people, places, events, ideas...) Key frame question: What things are being compared? How are they similar? How are they different? Problem/Solution Outline Used to represent a problem, attempted solutions, and results (the national debt) Key frame questions: What was the problem? Who had the problem? Why was it a problem? What attempts were made to solve the problem? Did those attempts succeed? Network Tree
    • Used to show causal information (causes of poverty), a hierarchy (types of insects), or branching procedures (the circulatory system). Key frame questions: What is the superordinate category? What are the subordinate categories? How are they related? How many levels are there? Human Interaction Outline Used to show the nature of an interaction between persons or groups (Europeans settlers and American Indians) Key frame questions: Who are the persons or groups? What were their goals? Did they conflict or cooperate? What was the outcome for each person or group?
    • Fishbone Map Used to show the causal interaction of a complex event (an election, a nuclear explosion) or complex phenomenon (juvenile delinquency, learning disabilities) Key frame questions: What factors cause X? How do they interrelate? Are factors causing X the same as those that cause X to persist? Cycle Used to show how a series of events interact to produce a set of results again and again (weather phenomena, cycles of achievement and failure, the life cycle). Key frame questions: What are the critical events in the cycle? How are they related? In what ways are they self-reinforcing? Activity: Predicting and Retelling Read-Alouds
    • Level: all Materials Required: Read Aloud book, chart paper, marker, and post-its Procedure: I go through a read aloud book at home and mark with post-its the places that lend themselves to stopping and predicting what will happen next. In class I show the cover and read the title and record on chart paper what the students predict about the story. The chart paper is divided into three columns: One wide one for recording predictions and two narrow ones headed: Yes and No. I read aloud up to my first post-it. Then we discuss if any of the predictions were fulfilled or definitely rejected and check the appropriate column. Some may still be in question so we leave those blank. Then we add any new predictions based on what we have read or seen in the pictures. We go through the story in this way to the end. The result is very valuable for a retelling of the story. The information gathered during this process can be organized graphically depending on the kind of text and other purposes of the students’ reading. Reading Skill 5: Understanding Lexis - Meaning from Context Adapted from the “Learning to Learn” project by Greg Gay: http://snow.utoronto.ca Reading requires intentional teaching. Unlike learning a language, learning to read is an effortful task requiring explicit instruction. Like learning a language it requires regular practise and the more you and your students practise the more proficient you become at using the skills. A large number of words are learned while reading. They are learned by deriving meaning from the context of a sentence or paragraph; based on the meaning contained in surrounding words new words can be “figured out”. Awareness of the skills underlying knowledge acquisition will improve the ability to absorb what is read, and help in “figuring out” new meanings as they come along. Many of the exercises here have been adapted from Robert Sternberg’s work, and they focus on raising a learner’s awareness of some of the processes underlying language learning. See his book “Intelligence Applied” (Sternberg, 1986) Knowledge Acquisition To learn meanings of new words from context, or surrounding words, there are three distinct operations: Selecting the relevant information that will define the new word (selective encoding) Combining this information to make a meaningful whole (selective combination) Interrelating this information to what is already know (selective comparison) Selective Encoding The first step in determining the meaning of a new word is to pick out the information around it that is relevant. Most of us already do this automatically, but most of us don’t know why.
    • Knowing why we can find meaning from context allows us to use context information more effectively to understand text and build vocabulary. From Robert Sternberg’s examples below, think about the types of clues that you use to find the meaning of the word “macropodida” in exercise 1 and “sommelier” in exercise 2. Note all the information you think is relevant to each word, then try to determine its meaning. Selective Combination After the clues have been selectively encoded, they need to be combined to form an accurate definition for the target word. This can happen when the second clue is encoded. Clues to a word’s meaning are combined to modify the assumptions or inferences being made. Read exercise 1and exercise 2 and think about how the clues are combined to reach the meaning of macropodida, and sommelier. Then try your selective encoding (finding the clues), and selective combination (combining the clues) skills to define “oont” in exercise 3: Selective Comparison Selective comparison involves retrieving information from long term memory (prior knowledge or schema) and comparing it to the information being encoded. It is easiest to describe the skill as “reducing possibilities”. As clues are encoded and combined they are compared with what you already have stored in long term memory (possibly a schema). As the number of clues increases the number of possibilities decreases. New information is related to old information by using similes, metaphors, analogies, and models. The goal in each of these strategies is to connect new information to old. Reconsider the first exercise. As the clues bring meaning to the word macropodida, actively think about how each additional clue limits the number of possibilities. Note the various possibilities after each clue. In this next exercise be aware of the selective processes as you read the paragraph and define the words: oam and ceilidh in exercise 4. Try two more examples, defining the words: bolide and spaneria in exercise 5. Be aware of the encoding, combination, and comparison that are occurring in your mind as you discover their meaning. Share the description of your thinking to others in your group. Exercise 1 Macropodida He first saw a macropodida during a trip to Australia. He had just arrived from a business trip to India, and he was exhausted. Looking out at the plain, he saw a macropodida hop across it. It was a typical marsupial. While he watched, the animal pranced to and fro, intermittently stopping to chew on the surrounding plants. Squinting because of the bright sunlight, he noticed a young macropodida securely fastened in an opening in front of the mother. Hidden Answer: macropodida = Exercise 2 Sommelier Once upon a time there was a kingdom famous for the wines produced from its vineyards. The wines were as sweet and delicious as any to be found in the world. Naturally, the wines were highly popular with the citizens of the kingdom, and the wine critics liked them, too. In a feast held every two years, the entire kingdom met to celebrate past successes and to ask the gods for their continued blessings. The honour of being elected the sommelier was coveted by all. Invariably, an expert wine taster was chosen from among the ranks of the
    • growers, producers, and merchants. Product knowledge, exquisite manners, and a touch of savoir faire were the desired characteristics. The tradition had existed for generations and had survived unchanged through countless kings, until King Klingo arrived on the scene. Klingo displayed haughtiness and a brusqueness that offended everyone in the genial land. As the day of the celebration drew near, people wondered if Klingo would arbitrarily use his power to disrupt the wine feast. The people were not mistaken. Just as the elders were about to announce the newly elected sommelier, Klingo shouted, “The position of sommelier will be mine; as long as Klingo rules, Klingo will pour the wine.” Hidden Answer sommelier = Exercise 3 oont There is no question that the oont is the king of the Asian and African deserts. Despite its strong, unpleasant odour, its loud braying, and its obnoxious habit of viciously biting, spitting when irritated, and quitting on the job, the foul-tempered oont is widely used as a beast of burden by desert travellers. The brown-shaggy animal seems similar to a cow in its cud- chewing, and its long neck may remind one of a giraffe. Its large, cushioned feet could be of the canine family, and its humped back vaguely resembles that of some breeds of buffalo. But although its appearance is a hodgepodge of other animals’ traits, the oont is a remarkable creature. Perfectly suited to the desert conditions, it can store vast quantities of water in its body tissues. Hidden Answer: oont = Exercise 4 oam, ceilidh Two ill-dressed people, the one a haggard woman of middle years and the other a young man, sat around the fire where a common meal was almost ready. The mother, Tanith, peered at her son through the oam of the bubbling stew. It had been a long time since his last ceilidh, and Tobar had changed greatly. Where once he had seemed all legs and clumsy joints, he was now well formed and in control of his subtle young body. As they ate, Tobar told of his past year, recreating for Tanith how he had wandered long and far in his quest to gain the skills he would need to be permitted to rejoin the tribe. Then, all too soon, their brief ceilidh ended, Tobar walked over to touch his mothers arm and quickly left. Hidden Answers oam = ceilidh= Exercise 5 bolide, spaneria According to legend, on the night of Francesco Louis-Philippe’s birth, there streaked across the midnight sky a bolide more blindingly magnificent than any seen before. Indeed, under his rule, the kingdom of Montaldo flared to sudden, brilliant prominence, only to be extinguished when it was over run by the barbarous Guntherians. The constant state of warfare was a fact of life in the reign of King Louis-Philippe, and although the spaneria was a high price to pay, the nation overflowed with riches and national pride. Religious and political leaders took measures to ease the effects of the spaneria by relaxing the strict marriage laws requiring monogamy. All in all, the period was marked by a meteoric rise and decline: the many deaths, the many victories, and ensuing collapse. The Montaldans ruled the regions until the armies of Guntheria destroyed them. Most people find bolide easier to figure out. Most have difficulty with spaneria. Hidden Answer: bolide = spanaria = Exercise 6 eremophobia In our mobile society, where families are often spread across the states and neighbours are strangers, eremophobia is a constant compliant. Mental-health professionals treat the condition primarily through extended counselling sessions, but when anxiety and
    • nervousness are pronounced, tranquillizers may be necessary. Often, not only the immediate suffers but also those close to them may require counselling. Sufferers of eremophobia may exhibit intense dependency behaviour, adversely affecting those close to them. For instance: an older couple, who lost all their children but one in a car accident, placed unreasonable demands for emotional support on the remaining child. He complained that his parents over focused on him to the point where the quality of his life had declined drastically. Hidden Answer: eremophobia = Context Clues While learning the three processes of knowledge acquisition (selective encoding, selective combination, and selective comparison), many context clues within the surrounding text assist in deriving new meaning. These clues tend to occur systematically, and often over and over. Quite often we use these clues without knowing it. Having a list of the types of clues available to you makes them easier to remember. You should practice being aware of context clues as you are using them to discover new meaning. Keep in mind that most skilled readers already use context clues automatically. Knowledge of context clues allows readers to use them more effectively. Sternberg identifies eight types of context clues: 1. Setting clues 2. Value/affect clues 3. Stative property clues 4. Active property clues 5. Causal/functional clues 6. Class membership clues 7. Antonymic clues 8. Equivalence clues (Create a mnemonic to remember the eight different types.) In each of the above exercises context clues are demonstrated with short prose like those used to identify processes of selective encoding, selective combination, and selective comparison. Setting Clues Setting clues contain information about the time, place, and situation in the text where a new word is found. These would include such words or phrases as yesterday, later, now, after dinner, or this afternoon. All tell of the time or temporal setting. Words and phrases like here, across the street, the third planet from the sun, all tell where the new word is, its position in space or the spatial setting. Words and phrases like fishing, eating, at the party, and after the ball game, all describe a situation, or settings. Temporal, spatial, and situational settings can help derive a new word’s meaning.
    • Revisit Exercise 4 with the new words oam and ceilidh. When considering the meaning of oam, the final clause in the first sentence contain three setting clues. “Around the fire”, describes where (the spatial setting). The “common meal” describes the circumstance (situational setting). “Almost ready” describes when (the temporal setting). Also revisit Exercise 5 with the new words bolide and spinaria. Mark a T, P, or S to represent the time, place, or situation clues. Value/Affect Clues Value/affect clues reveal any emotions, feelings, or values associated with the new word; there is a connotation of positive or negative qualities associated with many words. For example, fit, thin, skinny, and bone rack, all describe a person’s build. Fit has a positive connotation while bone rack has a negative connotation. If “fit” were used as a value/affect clue along with a target new word, you could assume the new word has a positive value. If bone rack is used as a value/affect clue, you can assume the target word has a negative value. Exercise 2 has several value /affect clues. The value/affect clues are not as effective as the setting clues in defining macropodida in exercise 1 however. Two value/affect clues are: Coveted by all, and King Klingo’s desire for the position. These connote that a sommelier is a respected position. Read Exercise 6 and apply selective encoding, selective combination, and selective comparison, while marking any value/affect clues you find with a V. Then define the target word: eremophobia Stative Property Clues ‘Stative property’ clues help describe the state associated with the new word. These clues are often detected by the five senses, and are most often in the form of an adjective. Reconsider the word “oont” from Exercise 3. The stative property clue tell us it has a foul odour, a humped back, brown shaggy hair, a long neck, and padded feet. These all describe the physical properties of the oont. For the following passage, note any stative property clues. Also look for setting clues and value/affect clues in Exercise 7 to define the word: flitwite Exercise 7 flitwite The flitwite was only one of the judicial remedies available to the justices of the Court of the King’s Bench in the 11th century, but it was perhaps the most important. Its frequent use added enormously to the treasury’s coffers, and new royal expenditures were often financed by the issuance of an increased number of flitwites. Even the most impartial justices handed them down in multitudes, for the flitwite was as much a part of 11th century society as the civil tort is of our own. Medieval men and women related in direct and personal ways; therefore, conflict was likely to take the form of actual fighting. In our litigious culture, the law must deal with more subtle forms of conflict. Hidden Answer: flitwite = Active Property Clues Active property clues describe action. They describe what can be done to a person or thing, what a person or thing can do to itself, or what or whom the thing can be done to. Exercise 8 and Exercise 9 contain active property clues. Identify them and define the target words.
    • Determine the meaning of the word “thremmatologist” from the context in which it appears, in Exercise 8. Then determine the meaning of the word “rackarocks” in Exercise 9. Keep in mind what actions are providing you with clues to the word’s meaning. Exercise 8 thremmatologist The ultimate goal of those seriously involved in raising livestock is to produce animals with a high percentage of high quality meat and a low percentage of waste. Recently, livestock breeders have successfully developed a new breed of turkey whose market potential lies in its high proportion of white meat to dark. The most efficient way to improve stock, practised by an increasing number of ranches, is to hire a thremmatologist to advise in the purchase and mating of different breeds. The thremmatologist carefully researches the characteristics of each breed involved and then examines the bloodlines of the specific animals under consideration. The encouraging results of scientific monitoring are now giving rise to predictions that the age of made-to-order livestock is just around the bend. Hidden Answer: thremmatologist = Exercise 9 rackarocks The student filed into the testing room, chattering nervously. When all were seated, the proctor began administering the Scholastic Aptitude Test. At exactly 9:00, the exam began. Not a whisper was heard as the students laboured through the exam, deeply engaged in thought. Suddenly, a series of rackarocks shattered the silence, jolting everyone in the room. The proctor jumped to his feet and ran outside. He returned momentarily with two young pranksters, each subdued by the scruff of the neck. “Your parents are going to hear about this,” he hollered above the laughter that now filled the air. Hidden Answer: rackarocks = Causal/Functional Clues Causal/functional clues are similar to active property clues in that they relate action to the target word. Causal/functional clues are a stronger form as they focus more on the goal result of the unknown word. These clues describe the cause, effects, function, and purpose of the new word - what can cause a thing, what the thing can cause, and what the thing is used for and so on. This clue focuses on the result of an action rather than the action itself. Read Exercise 10 and Exercise 11 and identify the causal/function clues and define the words solecism, lambative, and oscitancy. Exercise 10 solecism Vocabulary skills are a critical foundation of eloquent speech and concise prose. A good vocabulary is a powerful tool indeed, and the larger the fund of words people command, the richer will be their mode of expression. We must realize, however, that learning a new word does not entail simply the acquisition of the term’s formal meaning. Moreover, dictionary definitions frequently are not sufficiently detailed to ensure proper usage. The goal must be to incorporate each new word into our active vocabularies. Words that lie gathering dust in the recesses of the mind serve no useful purpose, and a collection of half-learned words is bound to lead to solecism. Hidden Answer: solecism = Exercise 11 lambative, oscitancy
    • The drug C-37 was first discovered at Henish Laboratories by Dr. Alex Whichard in the early 1970’s. When the lozenge form of the drug was first approved for the public use as a cough remedy, some claimed that a new age of medicine had arrived. Since then, however, serious side effects of the lambative have been noted, resulting in a call for the restriction of its use. The chief drawback is the oscitancy that it induces. Whereas some oscitancy is expected with any drug that functions as a relaxant, the side effects of C-37 may be sudden and profound. Doctors have suggested that patients use the lambative in the confines of their homes and completely avoid the use of alcohol, which exacerbates any oscitancy the patient may be feeling. Hidden Answer: lambative = oscitancy = Class Membership Clues Class membership clues deal with the relationships between the unknown word and various kinds of classes. The word can be a member of a class of things, as mosquitoes are a member of the class of insects, or it can be a class in itself, as is the class of mammals include warm blooded, live child bearing creatures, itself a member of the class of animals. Consider Exercise 12 and Exercise 13. Identify the class membership clues, and then determine the meaning of the words acapnotic, harmartiology. Exercise 12 acapnotic, harmartiology The time immediately following the Holy Revolution was one of strict government control of personal and public affairs. Records available from this period contain no overt criticism of the regime, but it is unclear whether this was because of censorship or overwhelming public support. On the surface, the country appeared to be converting moral principles into law with little effort. Each Berhitian was required by statute to be acapnotic, and the tobacco industry was banned. The government also outlawed the use and production of alcohol, caffeine, marijuana, and dozens of other drugs. In addition, the new regime created a national department of hamartiology to advise on the legislation concerning the prevailing morality. So successful was the new emphasis on righteous conduct that teenage delinquency virtually disappeared. Hidden Answer: acapnotic = hamartiology = Exercise 13 animadversion, catachreses, diaskeuasis Having confidently entered the conference room expecting praise for a job well done, the boy winced under the unexpected blasting animadversion of his teacher. Had the paper been full of misused words, or had it wandered off the main point, such a harsh response would have been more understandable, for the boy had learned well the importance of avoiding sentence fragments, run-ons, catachreses, and other breaches of grammatical and semantic etiquette. And his skill at diaskeuasis was not in such a state of disuse that he would allow egregious technical mistakes to occur. He was especially proud of his semantic prowess: Diction errors and catachreses rarely disgraced his papers. Unfortunately, the teacher was not attacking the written language, but rather the expressed idea itself and the boy had trouble accepting that his work could be so utterly rejected. He slowly collected his books and left the room, knowing the class would never be as enjoyable for him again. Hidden Answer: animadversion = catachreses= diaskeuasis = Antonymic Clues
    • Antonymic clues are opposites of the target word. In Exercise 14 there are four unknown words, the first two can be defined using antonymic clues. The second two can be defined by using other context clues. Identify the antonymic clues and define the first and second words, then identify other clues to help define the third and fourth words. For another example try Exercise 15. Exercise 14 pococurante, phalacrosis, eructation, podobromhidrosis Although the others were having a marvellous time at the party, the couple on the blind date was not enjoying the merrymaking in the least. A pococurante, he was dismayed by her earnestness. Meanwhile, she, who delighted in men with full heads of hair, eyed his substantial phalacrosis with disdain. When he failed to suppress an eructation, her disdain turned to disgust. He, in turn, was equally appalled by her noticeable podobromhidrosis. Although they both loved to dance, the disco beat of the music did not lessen either of their ennui or their mutual discomfort. Both silently vowed that they would never again accept a blind date. Hidden Answer: pococurante = phalacrosis= eructation = podobromhidrosis = Exercise 15 syrt The swampland is no place for the unprepared. The dangers are all too real. The insect-free life of the city is replaced by swarming clouds of poisonous mosquitoes; the warmth and dryness of the typical suburban dwelling is replaced by a perpetual musty dampness; and the firm, fertile land of the meadows and pastures is replaced by wet, spongy soil and treacherous patches of syrt. It is as easy to sink in the stuff, as it is to float in the sea. Of course, the reward for facing these dangers is the opportunity to learn about life conditions in the early years of the earth’s existence. Hidden Answer: syrt = Equivalence Clues Equivalence clues occur when a new word is explicitly defined in the context by the use of synonyms, restatements, appositives, or direct definition. Exercise 16 has the target word in two positions. The first paragraph contains the word but the definition can only be vaguely assumed. It is accompanied by several types of clues, however, none clearly defines the meaning. In the second paragraph the equivalence clue is present. The second sentence repeats as the equivalent to the first. Try another example of equivalency clues in Exercise 17. Exercise 16 cecity A stroll through the private gallery of Luis Roberto will soon convince anyone with taste for art that the 80-year-old master is a man to be watched. For fifty years, Don Luis painted only as a hobby, but at age 70, even in the face of impending cecity, Don Luis left his business world for a full-time career in art. His paintings glow with colours and forms that are alive, reaching off the canvas to pull the viewer into their play. Healthy in every other respect, Don Luis is falling prey to cecity, an affliction he justifiably considers a demonic scourge. The onset of blindness marks the beginning of the end for a giant talent. Don Luis compensates for his darkened world by painting as boldly with texture as he does with colour and form. Bodies are literally piled onto one another, forcing themselves into one’s vision and begging one to reach out a hand to touch them. Hidden Answer: cecity =
    • Exercise 17 ecchymosis A 4-year old boy was found wandering around Center Park five days ago. Police reported that he seemed in good health despite being dazed, frightened, and hungry. An ecchymosis on his forehead suggested that he had fallen at some point. Fortunately, the rest of his body was free from other bruises or black and blue marks. The boy has brown hair, green eyes, and freckles. Any information leading to identification of his parents would be greatly appreciated by the Park Police. Hidden Answer: ecchymosis = Summary This set of context clues is helpful for learning new words based on meaning in surrounding text. There are almost always clues in the surrounding words that can be used to derive new meaning. Often there are many clues but only one or two will be relevant. Take some advanced reading material and read until you come to a word you are not familiar with. Look at the surrounding words and sentences and identify the clues. There will likely be something in the surrounding text to help you. In some instances however, it may be difficult to discover the meaning of some words. This can be a result of a number of factors. These factors, which determine the ease with which words are defined from context, are referred to as mediators. Mediators In addition to knowledge acquisition processes and context clues, Robert Sternberg goes on to identify seven mediators which will determine the difficulty of defining words from context. They are: 1. Number of Occurrences of the Unknown Word There are several reasons why the number of occurrences of an unknown word can determine the difficulty of determining its meaning. First, multiple occurrences indicate the word is important to the meaning of the context. Second, each occurrence provides more information as to the meaning of the word. Reconsider exercise 7 with the word flitwite. It is unlikely the meaning can be derived from each occurrence on its own. Selectively encoding the information provided with each, then selectively combining each of the clues into a whole, then selectively comparing what you have learned from the three contexts with what you already know, reveals that flitwite is a fine for fighting. 2. Context Variability Variability refers to the types of subject matter and the writing style as clues to the meaning. Other clues can be derived from the overall purpose of the context and even the purpose of the piece of writing as a whole. Some types of writing are designed in a pattern. Clues are given through the structure of the piece. For example, the writer may make specific use of a certain type of clue throughout the writing to define certain words. Knowing the writer’s structure can lead to the answer by looking for that type of clue. Reconsider the word cecity in exercise 16. The word appears in two different contexts. The first context contains a value/affect clue: impending. This provides us with the clue that cecity is undesirable. It could mean “senility” or “death”. The context does not provide any
    • certain clues as to the meaning. The second occurrence provides us with an equivalency clue, telling us the meaning outright. This meaning fits the first context, thus reinforcing the meaning derived from the second. Return to the word ceilidh in exercise 4 and consider how the variability in the context of each occurrence helps reinforce the meaning of the word. 3. Relevance of Unknown Words If a passage cannot be understood because of the unknown word, the reader is more likely to make an effort to learn its meaning. If the passage is clearly understood without knowing the meaning, then the reader is likely to skip over the word. If there is no need to know the meaning, why bother stopping to figure it out. Consider exercise 9 with the word rackarocks. The meaning of the paragraph can be understood without knowing the exact definition of the word; students are writing a test and a couple of pranksters have caused a disruption; the meaning of the passage is fairly clear. To know the exact nature of the disturbance, the definition of rackarocks would need to be known. In this case the importance of the target word is only slightly significant to the meaning of the passage; not knowing the meaning would have little effect on knowing the meaning of the passage. Now consider the word solecism in exercise 10 to the understanding of the paragraph containing it. 4. Helpfulness of the Surrounding Context If the context contains many clues, the definition is usually easy to figure out. If there are no clues it can be impossible. If the clues appear immediately next to the word it can provide instant answers, however the clues often come long before the target word or even after the target word. For this reason it is important to read on when confronted with an unknown word; the definition often appears later on in the paragraph. Notice, for example, that the word “oont” in exercise 3 has many helpful clues both before and after each occurrence. Now consider the clues which help define ”ecchymosis” in exercise 17. Which ones appear before and which ones appear after? How far from the word do they appear? 5. The Density of the Unknown Words in the Passage Often if there are too many unknown words in a passage, the reader will give up trying to figure out their meanings. Even if clues can be identified, it is difficult to determine which clues define which words. In such a case, figuring out one of the words will often help define the others. Don’t stop reading at the first unknown word, read on, the words following often help define the unknown word. If the last word is figured out, go back and see if it can be used as a context for the others. In the passage with “animadversion” in exercise 13 there are three unknown words. The first is relatively easy to define. It provides clues to the meaning of the other unknown words. Now consider exercise 14 with “pococurante”. It is more difficult to figure out because there are four unknown words. Consider how selective encoding, selective combination, and selective comparison of the context clues help to define the words. 6. Concreteness of the Unknown Word
    • Concreteness refers to the ability to grasp meaning using the five senses; the more concrete the term the easier it is to perceive. If the unknown word is a concept that is not easily pictured it is often difficult to define. Examples might be “freedom”, “creativity”, and “religion”. On the other hand, words that are easily pictured are easier to define because of the ability to recreate them in your mind. These include words like “chair”, “dog”, or “book”. Also important in this respect is the concreteness of the other words in the passage. If they are abstract words, the meaning of the target word is usually more difficult to determine. For example, the word thremmatologist in exercise 8 is contained in a paragraph with a concrete context and the word itself is a concrete term. When considering the word spaneria in exercise 5 however, the context is more abstract as is the word itself. 7. Usefulness of Previous Knowledge When learning, people generally connect new information to old by selective comparison. They are comparing the new to what they already know. In exercise 15 with the word “syrt”, several clues are given that provide physical properties of the word. In effect a model is being built with these characteristics. Looking through past experience leads to a picture of swamp, a bog, or quick sand. There is past information in mind that is similar to that given in the passage, thus the word is relatively easy to define. If, however, you have never seen or learned what a bog is, it may be difficult to determine the meaning of syrt. Summary When learning words from context, be aware of the processes used to establish meaning. They are selective encoding, selective combination, and selective comparison (see how these processes affect your problem solving skill). Also be aware of the eight context clues you use to determine meaning based on surrounding words. They are helpful for building vocabulary. Learning with context clues is already skill you possess, whether you know it or not. Knowing about context clues increases the likelihood you’ll use them when the need arises. Much of what we learn comes from written language, and learning to identify the clues in this information can make learning much easier. Good authors make use of clues to enhance the effectiveness of their writing. Good readers know where to find the clues.
    • Answer Sheet Meaning from Context: The Processes of Selective Encoding, Combination and Comparison Exercises 1 - 6 Meaning from Setting: Temporal, Spatial, Situational Cues (T, P, S) Value/Affective Cues (V) Macropodida = kangaroo The first sentence tells us we can see a macropodida and it is seen in Australia. The second sentence has no relevant information. The third tells us it hops across a plain. The fourth tells us it is a marsupial. The fifth tells us what it eats, and the sixth tells us of the pouch for a baby in front. It may only take one or two of these cues to give you the meaning. They are each cues that are selectively encoded. Sommelier = official wine taster / royal wine taster Oont = camel This is an easy passage to practice on. There are many clues and they combine easily to define a camel. Oam = steam Ceilidh = visit/private conversation The first word is easier to figure out because in its context “peered at her son through the oam of the bubbling stew” it must mean steam, heat, or aroma. The second word ceilidh is more difficult to figure out. It may take a larger context to determine its meaning. “A long time
    • since the last ceilidh”, indicates that it takes place. With the presence of the stew it could mean “meal”. The next clause raise doubts; people don’t usually change much between meals. Further into the paragraph Tobar tells of his past year, this tells you that his last ceilidh was about a year ago. It couldn’t be a meal but it could mean something that happens once a year like birthdays or a holiday feasts. A feast is ruled out because there is only a small meal here, and a feast usually lasts for hours. Birthday is ruled out in the last sentence with” ...all too soon, their brief ceilidh ended ... and quickly left”. Bolide = shooting star Spaneria = scarcity of men Eremophobia = fear of loneliness Exercise 7 Physical State/Property Cues (PP) Flitwite =a fine for fighting Exercises 8 & 9 Active Property Cues (AP) Thremmatologist = a specialist in animal breeding Rackarocks = firecrackers Exercises 10 & 11 Causal/Functional Cues (CF) Solecism = incorrect word usage Lambative = lozenge Oscitancy = drowsiness Exercises 12 & 13 Class Membership Cues (CM) Acapnotic = non-smoker Hamartiology = study of sin Animadversion = adverse criticism Catachreses = incorrect use of a word or phrase Diaskeuasis = editorial revision Exercises 14 & 15 Antonymic Cues (AN) Pococurante = nonchalant, indifferent man Phalacrosis = baldness Eructation = belch/burp Podobromhidrosis = smelly feet Syrt = bog/swamp Exercises 16 & 17 Equivalency cues Cecity = blindness Ecchymosis = bruise
    • Mediators 1. The number of occurrences of the unknown word 2. The variability of the context in which multiple occurrence of the unknown word appear 3. The importance of the unknown word to understanding the context in which it is embedded 4. The helpfulness of the surrounding context to the understanding the meaning of the word 5. The density of the unknown words in the passage 6. The concreteness of the unknown word and of the surrounding context 7. The usefulness of previously known information in understanding the meaning of the unknown word Reading Skill 5: Understanding Lexis through Inference The ability to recognize relationships is a critical part of questioning, problem solving and learning. Inference is the process by which we recognizing the relationship between two terms, concepts, or ideas. For example, GREY and ELEPHANT requires the inference “elephants are grey”, or in other words, grey is a characteristic of elephants. Review the relationships below by creating your own examples for each. Similarity Relationships are between synonyms or words that have nearly the same meaning. An example is HAPPY: -GLAD. These two words are synonyms. Think of two or three other pairs of words that have a similar relation between them. Contrast Relationships are between antonyms or words that are nearly opposite in meaning. An example of a contrast relation is WET: DRY. These two words are antonyms. Think of two or three other contrasts. Predication Terms are related by a verb or verbal relationship. One term describes something about the other term. Some of the possibilities are: A is caused by B; A makes B; A rides on B; A eats B; A is a source of B; A induces B; A studies B; A is made of B; A uses B. An example of a predication relation is AUTOMOBILE: ROAD. An automobile rides on a road. Another
    • example of predication with a rather different kind of relation is DOG: BARKS. A dog performs the action of barking. Think of two or three other examples of predication relations. Subordination Relations are those in which an object A is a type of B. An example of a subordination relation is TROUT: FISH. Think of two or three other subordination relations. Coordination The two terms are a single type of thing, that is, they are members of the same category. An example of a coordination relation is LETTUCE: CABBAGE. In this case both terms are vegetables. Think of two or three other coordination relations. Superordination Relations are those in which A is a category in which B falls. An example of a superordination relation is BIRD: ROBIN. Think of two or three other superordination relations. Completion In this case, each term is a part of a complete expression. An example of a completion relation is SAN: JOSE. In this case, the two words form a single unit, giving the names of either a saint or of a city, depending on point of view and context. Think of two or three other completions. Part-Whole In these relations, A is a part of B. An example of a part-whole is DAY: WEEK. In this case a day is a part (one seventh) of a week. Think of two or three other part-whole relations. Whole-Part In these relations, B is a part of A. An example of a whole-part relation is PIE: SLICE. A pie is a whole of which a slice is a part. Think of two or three other whole-part relations. Equality These relations involve mathematical or logical equivalence. An example is TWO-FIFTHS: FORTY PERCENT. To fifths and forty percent are equivalent amounts. Think of two or three other equality relations. Negation
    • Negation relations involve logical or mathematical negations. An example is EQUAL: UNEQUAL. In this case, all relationships between numbers can be covered by these two terms, which are mathematical negations of each other. Another example is TRUE: FALSE. Think of two or three other negation relations. Word Relations These inferences involve grammatical relations between words. An example is EAT: ATE. In this case, ate is the past tense of eat. Think of two or three other word relation inferences. Nonsemantic Relations In these relations, words are related to each in a way that involves properties other than the semantic properties of the words. An example of such a relation is EAT: MEET. In this case, the words happen to rhyme. Another kind of nonsemantic relation involves the letters of the word, for example, PAT: TAP. In this case tap is pat spelled backwards. Reading Skill 6: Remembering About Memory The term memory refers to a number of different things. In the most general sense, memory refers to the retention, storage, and retrieval of information. For simplicity the term information is used here to refer to any type of incoming stimuli from the senses, such as sounds, images, feeling, or any other type of input that might exist (e.g. Braille). Knowledge on the other hand is used to refer to information that has been successfully retained in storage and later remembered. The Standard Theory The Standard Theory of human memory was introduced in the late 1960s by Atkinson and Shiffrin, and with only slight variations it is still widely accepted today. The Standard Theory describes three general memory components: sensory memory, short term memory, and long term memory. In a computer analogy these components might be represented by the keyboard or mouse, the central processing unit (CPU), and the hard drive (i.e. input, processing, and storage). A mouse click (sensory memory) sends a signal to the CPU (short term memory) that processes the command, and either returns some form of feedback (performs a behaviour), makes changes to existing information on the hard drive (alters long term memory), and/or adds new information to the hard drive (appends to long term memory). Sensory Memory
    • Sensory memories are very brief, and often go unnoticed. They involve the intake of information through the senses and the transfer of that information into short term memory for processing. You can experience sensory memory by staring at a light bulb for a moment then looking away. How long does the glow of the light bulb appear in your sight? Run your fingernail across the back of your hand. How long does the sensation linger? Bang a pot with a large steel spoon. How long do your ears ring? Short Term Memory Short Term Memory, more descriptively labelled Working Memory, is where most of your thinking takes place. In working memory the incoming external stimuli passed to it by the sensory organs are interpreted and connected to existing knowledge in long term memory, altering or appending to that existing knowledge to form new memories. Cognitive and metacognitive processes operate within the confines of working memory, as the mental tools for retaining information and retrieving knowledge. Working memory is limited in space, and the duration with which it can hold information before either losing it or committing it to long term memory. It is generally accepted that an adult human has a capacity for 7 (+/-2) “chunks” of information in working memory at one time. The size and nature of these chunks can vary significantly. For example, memory for a picture (a big chunk) can include large amounts of information, while memory for a single number (a small chunk) can include very little information. Think for a moment about why phone numbers are chunked into groups of numbers. (E.g. 213-555-2423) Overall working memory capacity is greater when different types of information are being processed, suggesting that different types of information, for example visual and verbal information, rely on different or parallel processing systems. Capacity for one type of information may be greater or smaller than that for another type of information, and those capacities can vary between individuals. Some people just have more capacity for verbal information, while others have more capacity for visual information. Capacities increase during childhood, level off during adulthood, and often decrease during old age. They can be affected by one’s emotional state. For example, a state of anxiety reduces a person’s capacity to process information effectively and a state of enthusiasm increases those capacities. The second limitation of working memory is the duration or life span of information in it. The duration of information held in working memory is roughly 20 to 30 seconds. This can be observed by giving a person something to remember, say a 7 digit number, or 7 letters, and with various distractions preventing that person from committing the information to long term memory. In most cases the person will remember the information after 10 seconds, and many will remember after 20 seconds. The number remembering the information drops off drastically at 30 seconds. Children can be particularly susceptible to distractions that prevent learning from occurring (i.e. where the transfer of information from STM to LTM is lost due to decay) because the duration of their short term memories is shorter than adults. If you have a four to seven year old at your disposal try a simple experiment. In a short statement give that child a task to do, or a fact to remember. Immediately following the statement keep the child’s mind occupied with a quick continuous flow of additional off topic statements. The intent should be to prevent the child from having time to process the original task or fact before it decays from
    • working memory. Chances are the original task or fact will be forgotten when the talking stops. Adults can also be susceptible to this distraction effect. You might notice that knowledgeable speakers will often up the tempo of their speech following an error or stumble, in an attempt to get the audience to forget it happened. Or, speakers will slow down to emphasize important information, giving their listeners plenty of time to process or think about the information, and subsequently transfer it to long term memory. Getting information from working memory into long term memory can be accomplished in a number of ways. New information can be “Rehearsed,” or repeated over and over again until it “sinks in.” Rehearsal creates an auditory trace of the information, in which the sounds of the information are later, retrieved, rather than the meaning. This strategy is quite limited but there are occasions when it comes in handy, like repeating a phone number while you find something to write it down on. A more effective means of committing information to long term memory is through “elaboration.” As an example, the auditory trace you might created by rehearsing a phone number, could be retrieve later and re-associated with a more meaningful retention strategy than rehearsal, such as associating the numbers with mnemonic peg words. Elaboration can take on many forms, but all have in common, to varying degrees, some processing of the incoming information that generates meaning, and the association of that meaning to something that is already known. Mnemonics such as peg words are a good example of an “artificial” elaboration tool. You commit the concrete peg words to memory, and then use them as hooks for remembering new information. Visualization is another effective means of elaboration, drawing a connection between new and old information by imagining them interacting in some way, as takes place in the link method mnemonics. Elaboration may also take on a verbal or auditory form, such as creating a rhyme to remember something (Thirty days hath September ...), or using a combination of both verbal and visual strategies as in the alphabet pegs. Attention is often confused with working memory capacity. Attention is still poorly understood, though it is relatively clear that like working memory it also has limited capacity, though it differs qualitatively from working memory. Attention can be thought of as the wiring between sensory, short term, and long term memory, controlled by some “executive” processor using metacognitive knowledge and behaviour to regulate the amount of attention space expended to competing thought processes Long Term Memory Unlike the limited capacity and duration of sensory and short term memory, long term memory is relatively infinite and permanent (though certainly fallible). Research has never suggested that the capacity of long term memory is anything but limitless. Though the number of brain cells we possess is finite, it appears that one’s long term memory can never be filled to capacity. To understand long term memory, it is helpful to make a distinction between two distinctive types: Episodic and Semantic memory. Though a distinction can be made, episodic and semantic memories are highly integrated so that aspects of both are present in virtually all activities you might find yourself involved in. Episodic Memory
    • Episodic memory is autobiographical in nature. It is a record or your personal experiences. Remembering where you set down your keys, recalling a childhood camping trip, or recalling the scene of a crime, are all instances where episodic memories are retrieved. Episodic memories differ from semantic memories in that they are experienced, while semantic memories are those things you know about the world but have not necessarily experienced. Episodic memory can become “semantic like” with repeated exposure, forming a generalized script. Take the restaurant script mentioned previously. Your initial experience at a restaurant represents a single episode in which you learned about the various behaviours associated with eating at a restaurant. At the time you could have probably remembered in some detail the events of your first visit. Years later after having eaten at restaurants many times, a general “script” comes to exist in semantic memory that represent the common procedures associated with eating at a restaurant. No one specific visit to a restaurant guides you when you visit one again, but rather a general knowledge of restaurant behaviour guides you through the various steps, usually without you realizing it. Other automated behaviours such as tying your shoes or driving a car start as episodic memories but become routinized scripts that operate automatically below the level of consciousness, requiring little, if any, attention or working memory capacity. The added capacity gained by automating processes occurs repeatedly throughout development well into adulthood, if not indefinitely, freeing up processing space for more advanced forms of thought. Semantic Memory Semantic memory, in the words of Endel Tulving who officially acknowledge the episodic/semantic distinction in 1972, refers to “...your general world knowledge, including your knowledge of vocabulary and rules of language, and a general knowledge that relates concepts and ideas to one another.” Semantic memory consists of linked or related factual or conceptual knowledge often characterized as having a hierarchical or webbed structure. When a particular memory is triggered, other related memories in the web or hierarchy are activated, or made more accessible to working memory. These activated networks do not necessarily reach conscious thought, but are “primed” so that if their knowledge is eventually needed, it is more quickly retrieved than would be the case if it had not been primed. For example if you are given the word “hospital”, you would likely answer the question “Do nurses wear uniforms?” faster than you would answer the question “Do policemen wear uniforms?” This is because the knowledge that nurses wear uniforms is partially activated when the network of meaning triggered by the word hospital is activated. The activated meaning networks can either be used to make sense of an experience or an event, as in the case of retrieving your restaurant script when you go out for dinner, or as hooks to which new information can be elaborated upon and connected to existing knowledge. For example, with your first experience at a Chinese restaurant where the food is cooked at your table, you will retrieve your restaurant script but use it to modify or broaden your understanding of restaurant behaviour and to create a reference from which that particular eating experience can be recalled. Its uniqueness or variation from the standard restaurant script will make it memorable. If after that experience you find you like this change in restaurant behaviour (or more likely the food at this restaurant) and you visit this restaurant repeatedly, like the original restaurant script, your experiences will become a general set of routines for eating at restaurants where your food is cooked at the table. Your first experience will likely be forgotten, as its uniqueness is lost.
    • Like scripts come to represent generalized behaviour, schemata come to represent generalized knowledge that helps us make sense of meaning, particularly meaning transmitted through language. If you were asked, “How many hands did Aristotle have?” your knowledge of human physiology would be activated (humans have two hands). At the same time however, you might say to yourself “Hold on. Why would he ask such an obvious question? Did Aristotle perhaps have only one hand? No! I would have remembered that.” Your mind quickly sifts through various activated meaning networks or schemata, and based on no significant activation, you reach the conclusion “No!” Because the uniqueness of having a memory of a one handed philosopher would have likely activated a memory of that fact, and that activation didn’t occur, you come to the reasonably confident answer that Aristotle had two hands. Even the simplest experiences require large amounts of background or prior knowledge to comprehend. This background knowledge is often referred to as tacit knowledge, or things you know about the world and apply in everyday life, but often without realizing it. Part of the problem in getting computers to think like humans is providing them with a sufficiently large knowledge base from which they can make the types of inferences about meaning that humans do. As an example of the effect of tacit knowledge on the processing of information, consider the following sentence “The policeman held up his hand and the cars stopped.” In your understanding of this statement you have retrieved, among others, the knowledge that cars have drivers and that the drivers actually stopped the cars. No where however is there any mention of drivers in the statement. If prior to the statement you were told “The earthquake began to shake the ground, and the two cars started to roll down the hill.” followed by “The policeman held up his hand and the cars stopped” that same knowledge would be used to understand that that policeman must have some kind of superhuman power. Of course that would contradict your understanding of the real world and might result in confusion, or perhaps questioning of the accuracy or validity of the original statement as you attempt to adapt or explain the apparent inconsistency in your knowledge. Depending on the context in which you learned that the policeman put up his hand to stop the cars, you might dismiss it as nonsense if someone on the street were to say it, but as making perfect sense if you were reading a science fiction novel. Scripts for particular types or genres of literature also exist to help use make sense of them. Science fiction, mystery, adventure, and love stories generally follow a well defined “Story Grammar or “a set of rules that specify the structure of a well-formed, acceptable story. “ Your story grammar for science fiction probably includes aliens with special powers, though your story grammar for love stories probably doesn’t (unless of course you read science fiction love stories). Knowledge in long term memory can also take on concrete or abstract characteristics. Take your knowledge of the word apple for example. An apple is a concrete “thing.” You know what an apple looks like. You know that apples grow on trees, that you can eat them, that they are somewhat hard, that they have a peal and seeds, all because you have experienced apples, so to speak. Knowledge of apples takes on an episodic quality, but develops into a general conceptual understanding of what apples are, much like your visits to a restaurant results in a general script for restaurant behaviour. Abstract knowledge differs from concrete knowledge in that it usually does not have that quality of being experienced. Take the abstract notion of “freedom” for example. You can not hold freedom. You can not see it. It has no physical characteristics. You likely know what freedom means based on what you have been told it is. As such, knowledge about the abstract concept of freedom takes on a semantic quality, rather that an episodic or
    • experiential quality. That’s not to say you could not experience freedom, but that freedom is not a “thing,” but rather a “concept” based on abstract meaning. Conclusion There are volumes of text devoted to explaining the intricacies of memory. It is, or rather they are, some of the more studied of the cognitive processes. In the relatively short description given here, only a small portion of these complexities of memory have been discussed. You should have gathered by experience through the various examples, an understanding of some of the main components of memory, and the relationships they have to knowledge building or learning. We’ll look at specific Methods and techniques in the Vocabulary section of this course. Reading Skill 7: Reading Aloud 1. Theory Most important, reading together is fun. Sharing pleasant and interesting experiences makes your relationship stronger. Having a reservoir of positive feelings helps you and your students cope with disagreements and other tensions that are an inevitable part of growing up. Reading aloud keeps interest high. Between first grade and third or fourth grade, students are still developing their basic reading skills. During that time, most of the books that are simple enough for them to read are too simple for them to find interesting. Reading can begin to seem like a dull chore. But by reading aloud together, you can help your students enjoy more difficult books that are likely to keep them engaged until their reading ability catches up with interests. Reading aloud is especially important if your students are having difficulty learning to read. Some students find reading easy. Others, equally bright, find it quite challenging at first, often because their brains are taking longer to reach the level of maturation needed for reading. In time--most often by the end of third grade--they catch up and do just fine. But
    • until that happens, reading is likely to be difficult, and many students decide that it is simply not for them. If they have parents who read to them, however, they're much more likely to stay open to the pleasures that books can bring to their lives. They'll stick with it, work hard, and eventually gain the skills they need for independent reading. Reading aloud builds listening skills. It's a good idea to stop from time to time and talk about the story with your students. First of all, you want to make sure that she really understands what is going on. If not, you can help explain the plot, a character's motivations, a hard word, or whatever else is puzzling her. Also, when you ask open-ended questions, you strengthen your student’s ability to think about what she hears and make sense of it. Ask why a particular character did what he did, or ask your students what she thinks is going to happen next. Reading aloud builds vocabulary. There are words in books that you almost never hear in everyday speech. One of the best student’s books of all time, Charlotte's Web by E.B. White, is written mostly in plain English. But even here, you find interesting words like "injustice," "terrific," and "humble." Don't be surprised if you hear your students using some of these "book words" when she speaks. Many students love to play with new words; and in the process they are building skills that will help them throughout their school careers. Stories are the building blocks of imagination. Students take bits and pieces of the stories they hear and use them in their own make- believe. So, if you want your students to have rich imaginations, let them hear lots of good stories. The same thing happens when students watch television. They build the TV stories into their play. But because TV images are so much more vivid than the word images in books, students don't need to use their imagination as much. Consequently, during playtime, they often simply copy what they saw on TV, rather than creating their own stories. Books help teach character. Many educators and psychologists believe that books are one of the best ways students learn about right and wrong. As they see how a character reacts in a given situation-how they treat their friends, for example, or what they do when they want something that isn't theirs-they get a clearer picture of what's admirable behavior and what's not. The messages in the books can be a compelling and enjoyable way to reinforce the values you're trying to teach your students at home. Adapted from Reading Aloud with School-Age Students by Robert Needlman, M.D., F.A.A.P. 2. Illustration A Reading from African American Read Aloud Stories 3. Practice Reading from Joyful Noises - Poems for two voices
    • Active Learning and Reading - Part 2 Active Learning and Vocabulary A strong vocabulary is an indicator of intelligence for most. People who use a broad range of language and use it correctly are almost always judged to be more intelligent than those using less diverse or inaccurate language. In school and in the work place, a strong vocabulary, or one’s grasp of language, is one of the most important steps to advancement. In this section you’ll begin learning about the evolution of language. With a dictionary you’ll learn about the origins of words and affixes, and begin using this knowledge to help your students better understand new language as they encounter it. The Study of Words Words are one of the tools of thinking. With a larger vocabulary, thought can become richer and more diverse. How do sounds come to represent things? The study of words can be both fascinating and challenging. The study of how words affect thinking can be even more fascinating. Words are not just arbitrary noises people have invented to communicate, they are a collection of carefully thought out patterns used by human beings as a means of building complex forms of thought which range from the most simple, like deciding what to do next, to the most complex, like a theory of quantum physics. The sounds of language originate in thoughts. The need for humans to communicate their thoughts and feelings has resulted in our using our ability to produce sounds as a tool for producing language.
    • A circular learning pattern forms as language comes to affect thought and thus affects the production of new language, which in turn affects thought, and so on. Etymology is the study of the origins of words. The word etymology originates from two Greek words---etymon, meaning “true sense” and logy, meaning “the study of”. Think of how words come to be words. Think of how names originate. Many of the words we use in English (or any other language) originally came from some other language, being modified over the centuries to become the words we are familiar with today. Knowing of the origins of words helps increase vocabulary by making you aware what words really represent. Knowledge of word origins also helps improve spelling skills by raising awareness of the smaller parts of words (root words and suffixes), and a small set or rule for putting them together. Here are four practices that can help increase word power. These are: 1. Use a Dictionary 2. Learn the Roots from which words originate 3. Learn Prefixes and Suffixes 4. Use the Words you have learned Using a Dictionary The word “dictionary” comes from the Latin word dictio, meaning to speak, or to point out in words. A dictionary speaks to us about words. It tells us: 1. the origins of words 2. how to pronounce words 3. what parts of speech they consist of 4. how to spell them 5. what they mean 6. similar words(synonyms) 7. opposite words(antonyms) Help your students become familiar with the information a dictionary offers them. Find an advanced dictionary, like a collegiate dictionary, and read the opening section for an explanation of the tools it contains. Look up the following words and see the many uses for each. They are all words common to every English speaker’s vocabulary. Sound, go, fix, round, see, in, hard, fly, time Note how much information a dictionary gives you about each of these words. Some dictionaries will give much more than others. A good practice is to leave a dictionary open in an obvious place: next to the phone, or your desk, or on the living room table. If you and your students can carry dictionaries around with you, you’ll find uses for them often. With technology today a complete collegiate dictionary can fit in the palm of your hand, so carrying one around with you is not so unrealistic. Also, modern word processors have built- in spell checkers and grammar checkers, and some will provide word definitions, so a dictionary can be at your finger tips while you work on your computer. Word Roots
    • Usually at the end of the definition, in a more advanced dictionary, there is a set of brackets which contain the origins of the word. It may appear as, [OE fifta], which, in this case, means the word “fifth” originates from the word fifta used in Old English. Look to the front of your dictionary and you will see Old English comes before the year 1050 AD. Other origins include OF; Old French, LL; Late Latin, or Gk; Greek. There are many more. See how many of the words you looked up in the dictionary are from other languages, and how they have changed over time. Often words come from more than one origin, having been used by several different societies. Latin and Greek provide the English language with most of its root words. Go over the following Latin verbs and see how many words you can name which contain these roots. These ten verbs make up more than two thousand English words. Notice that the root “tent” comes from either of two Latin verbs. This root can alter the meaning of a word significantly. For example, which root does “retention” come form, and which root does “contention” come from? Latin meaning English root capio take cap-(cip) capt(cept) seize duco lead duct-duc- facio do fac- (fic) make fact- fect- fero carry fer- bear lat- mitto send mit- mitt- miss- plico fold -plica- plicat- (plect-) (plex-) pono place pon- put posit- tendo stretch tend- tent- teneo have tene- hold tent- specio observe spec- see (spic-) speci- spect- Prefixes and Suffixes Prefixes are added to the beginning of a root word and suffixes are added to the end of a root word, and both can make a significant difference in the meaning of a word. Learn the following Prefixes.
    • To test your knowledge of roots and prefixes, create some words using the prefixes and the roots you have learned. For example, complicate, emit, or reception and then check your dictionary. Prefix Meaning Examples a, ab from avert away abstain a, an without atheist not anarchist ad, af to adhere at, ag affix attain aggressive ambi both ambidextrous amphi around amphitheater ant against antonym anti antipathy ante before antedate cata down cataract catacomb con with convene cor together correlate com compare contra against contradict de from descend down debase di apart divert divorce dia through diameter diagonal dis not disagree disappear e out of evaluate ex over exponent em out emanate em in embark en in enclose hyper above hypercritical over hypo under hypodermic il not illegal illegible
    • im in import not impossible in not inactive ir not irresponsible per through permeate peri around perimeter post after postpone posterity pre before predict precede pro for pronoun forth procession re back recall again revive down retreat sub under subordinate sup suppose super over supervise above trans across transport transmit Learn the following suffixes. Suffixes work differently than prefixes. They tell us how the word is to be used while prefixes tell us about the meaning. Suffixes tell us whether the word is a noun, an adjective, or a verb, or the comparative degree of an adjective: smaller, smallest. Two suffixes may be added to a root to create a word, as in aggressively. This is a list of some of the suffixes. Use your knowledge of roots, prefixes, and suffixes, to make words. Check with your dictionary for the meanings of the words you have created. Some examples might be: missive, permissive, permission, remission, conduct, and conductor. Suffix Use Meaning able adjective capable of ible ac adjective pertaining to al acy noun pertaining to ance noun state of being ence ant noun one who does ent
    • er noun one who does or ion noun act of ive adjective or noun state of being ish adjective the quality of ity noun the quality of less adjective without ly adjective or adverb like ness noun state of ry noun state of Look up words that are familiar to you but you are not sure of the exact meanings. See how meanings change when one word is used with several different words. Get into the habit of pulling words apart. Break them down into their root, prefix and suffix. Use the words that you’ve learned In order for new words to become a part of vocabulary they must be used. Try using them in conversation and in written assignments. Students should keep a new word list with the following headings: Associations, Synonyms, Antonyms, Definitions, and Multiple Definitions These will help the definition of the word stick in mind. Have students keep a list in the back of each of their note books, so words from each subject can be remembered. Let’s now go on to look at the additional books prepared for you which give examples of how Antonyms, Synonyms, Definitions, Multiple Definitions and other word exercises help reinforce comprehension and remembering new vocabulary. The Yellow covered “Word Book” targets Primary students. The other book targets Secondary students. Then we’ll play some board games as additional fun means of practicing and retaining what we learn. All good models for your classroom practices! LEXIS Exercises Words, Phrases, Expressions, Whole Sentences Let’s look at some exercises in seeing language as chunks of words. Some words always go together and must be remembered as such. Much of English lexis cannot be understood by looking at associated individual words alone. For more on this very important concept, please refer to your handouts: Chapter 6 -Exercises in the Lexical Approach - from Implementing the Lexical Approach by Michael Lewis. (LTP 1997) Other Word Exercises
    • Templates See how many meaningful phrases you can make up in which the first letters of each word put together spell idea. For example, Individual Demands Endanger Arbitration. Choose a subject, such as history of the church, and create your sentences around it. Here are some other template words: YES BIG STINK SOLO TIP MOVE THINK FEEL INSPIRE Spontaneous Speechmaking As soon as you read or hear each of the following words, make four statements aloud about the word. This exercise is done best with other people. silly bats sugar liquid binder key camera grid record program money sex sink tiger travel reality Can you say it another way? Human beings, who have the gift of seeking, have at their disposal a rich and varied vocabulary, as well as the knowledge of where and when to use words. They can find the word that expresses the exact shade of meaning they wish to convey. How many words or phrases can you come up with that mean the same or almost the same as the following words? dumb, idiot, dimwitted, short timid, anxious, lily-livered, Foolish: Fearful: sighted... yellow... Important: weighty, eventful, major, significant... Humorous: funny, a riot, witty... Sad: sombre, down, blue, melancholic... Attractive: alluring, fascinating, appealing... Friend: comrade, chum, mate, companion... Self-assured: cool, confident, brassy, certain... Full Spectrum Test your ability to come up with words by compiling a list of twenty six related words in alphabetical order. Occupation: architect, baker, chemist... Cities: Albuquerque, Brussels, Cairo... Musical Instruments: accordion, banjo, cello... Animals: aardvark, buzzard, crane... Foods: artichoke, bread, cranberries... Compile similar lists from your own special field of interest, such as names of plants, insects, pop songs, or streets. Naming Things Look around the room you’re now in and choose five objects. Give them alternative nonsense names. For example, a pair of glasses might be called “bitshifters” or”prangees” or ”calmerts”. Try to come up with sounds that suit the shape of the object. Is that what it means? English contains many unusual words that are rich in meaning.
    • comate--- hairy or shaggy pysosis--- the formation of pus seely--- arousing contemptuous pity because of weakness talion--- retaliation in the sense of “an eye for an eye” glossa--- the tongue of an insect clepe--- an archaic term meaning to summon by name layboy--- a machine that stacks paper into even piles Invent Meanings for the Following Nonsense Words crustophenpalious rampithicrate illuspronatural carceptinous phraralpleupeian harmplot tinbucker presstumb bleesh emousheemoushe shebarrah kagnst Descriptions How would you describe the following things to someone who is entirely unfamiliar with them? Snow peanut butter how to put on a jacket the satisfaction of raking a lawn free from leaves what your school looks like mud pies baseball telephone Make Up a Limerick Using the Following first lines: A travelling salesman rang twice... A student who weighed much too much... There was a smart lad from Rompin... What’s in a name? There seems to be the right name for just about everything. Test your ability to create innovative names that grab people’s attention. Make up five names for: a perfume a fashion line an introduction service a wheelbarrow a pop song a jazz band a pet dog a computer company Story Creation At random, choose one word from each of the four columns, and use them as trigger concepts to construct a story. Either in your mind, or on paper, or develop a scenario. fizzle ocean travel sandwich
    • wallet watermelon dream motorcycle sideline criminal statue toenail pavement topcoat veneer charisma army nose Frisbee spiral finish button soufflé box stick steal fruit cowboy Tongue Twisters Recite the following tongue twisters as fast as you can. What noise annoys a noisy oyster? A noisy noise annoys a noisy oyster. Red leather, yellow leather A proper cup of coffee from a proper coffee pot The sixth sheik’s sixth sheep’s sick. From Wujec (1988) Active Learning and Reading Part 3 Active Learning and Developing Listening Skills while Reading Theory When you read, you hear the words in your head. You read them on the page as you have heard them out loud. Reading and listening are therefore inextricably linked cognitive processes. The language we learned first, the spoken language, remains our base throughout life. We use the model of spoken communication as the basis for much of our inferences when we read. As readers, we imagine the written language to be a transcription of speech. We draw on this model when we imagine ourselves talking to someone as we write, or when we talk about what an author “has to say” in an article. When we run into
    • trouble reading, we sound out words and read sentences aloud. When discussing the spoken word, we refer to a speaker's tone of voice. Is he or she angry? Ironic? Or perhaps serious? If the language is jarring, we say the tone is harsh. In doing so, we infer emotions on the part of the author. Ultimately, the underlying reason for relying on speech as a model for writing may actually lie in the nature of human understanding. The core of psychological understanding revolves around the notion of motive— desire, want, wish, reason. We understand an action when we know what motivated it. The motives for action are usually clear, since action itself usually indicates the motive that prompts it. Why am I paying money to the cashier in a supermarket? So that I can buy food and eventually eat it. We generally act in order to fulfill our manifest wishes. Sometimes the motives for action can be obscure, as when you see me searching frantically in a drawer and don't know that I left a lot of money in there and now can't find it. Motives are internal mental states that cause action and that make sense of actions; action is seen as rational in the light of motives that lead to it. We apply this reasoning to both the motivation for the ideas of a text as well as to the author's motive for writing that text. Colin McGinn, “Freud Under Analysis,” The New York Review, November 4, 1999, p. 20. Readers, just as listeners, infer intent, motive, purpose, tone, mood, and point of view as a way of making sense of a text. We claim to understand a text when we can identify a clear purpose and intent. We think beyond the words of the text to what might make sense in terms of a communication between specific people in a specific situation. Dan Kurland's www.criticalreading.com However, teachers of English as a Second or Foreign language often impart too much importance to the pronunciation and, to a lesser degree, to the intonation of the language as it is spoken by the particular group of English speakers of the culture from which they originate. There are two important points to keep in mind when considering the aspects of relationships between language as it is spoken and read. First, there are thousands of dialects, and sub-dialects of spoken English throughout the world. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_dialects_of_the_English_language) In the USA alone there are approximately one hundred and eighteen major dialectical regions, each with dozens of sub-dialects. (Dictionary of American Regional English - Hall, J. H. Chief Editor) “Depending on where you live, your conversation may include such beguiling terms as si-fog (Arkansas), pirok (Alaska), or pestle-tail (North Carolina); if you're invited to a potluck dinner, in Indiana you're likely to call it a pitch-in, while in northern Illinois it's a scramble; if you have a scrap or small piece of something, it's a scrid in New England, but in the South and South Midland it's a scrimption; if your youngsters play hopscotch, they may call it potsy in Manhattan, but sky blue in Chicago.” (http://polyglot.lss.wisc.edu/dare) To complicate matters, we do not have the benefit of the non - verbal aspects of communication in reading. We also, naturally, relate our own social and cultural values to the context of what we read which can alter the intended meaning of the author. Second, there are more non-native speakers of English in the world today than there are native speakers. “Today, the number of non-native speakers of English around the world is higher than the number of native speakers. For the first time in history, a language is
    • increasingly becoming a shared code to communicate, giving rise to a large community of speakers whose features are an interesting area of investigation” (Enrico Grazzi, TESOL- Italy President - Call for papers National Convention 2003) One of the (many) reasons English has become the language of International affairs is its historical richness derived from its many roots and its ability to assimilate (and modify) lexis from other languages and cultures. The implications of these facts for how we teach English are two-fold. They reinforce the importance of focusing on communicating meaning, not form, as the intended end of learning the language and they highlight the need to train our students in the ability and skills to negotiate meaning in communication which begins with feeling comfortable in expressing: “I’m sorry, I don’t understand.” Practice Keeping the above in mind, let’s explore some ways of incorporating the development of listening skills as they relate to improving reading comprehension. The skills needed for effective reading are needed for effective listening as well. When we listen: 1. We must engage our imaginations and learn to focus 2. We must learn when to listen for main ideas and concepts 3. We must know when to listen for specific information 4. We must ask ourselves and others questions 5. We must understand what we hear 6. We must remember what is important 7. We must use listening for pleasure and motivation Through the listening activities that follow, you will learn how listening can indeed help develop the skills and be incorporated into the strategies we use to read and learn more effectively. As with all the strategies, activities and techniques we have encountered together so far, pay conscious attention to how you can adapt them to your particular teaching situation. A. The Listening Book activities B. The Listening Tape Activities a. Paying Attention b. Listening and Reading with an Open Mind c. Listening, Reading and Reasoning C. The Time Turbo Game Please refer to your handouts and have fun!! From The Listening Kit - A Program to Build Listening Skills LinguiSystems 1992
    • 12 Components of Research-Based Reading Programs By: Texas Education Agency (1996) Research-based reading instruction allows children opportunities to both understand the building blocks and expand their use of language, oral and written. These opportunities are illustrated by classroom activities in these twelve components of reading instruction for grades one through three. As children learn to read, they learn how spoken and written language relates to each other. For this to happen, the components of the reading program, including the instructional materials selected for classroom use, must relate to one another and be orchestrated into sequences of instruction that engage all children and meet their needs. The following are twelve of the essential components of research-based programs. 1. Children have opportunities to expand their use and appreciation of oral language Children's comprehension of written language depends in large part upon their effective use and understanding of oral language. Language experiences are a central component of
    • good reading instruction. Children learn a great deal about the world, about themselves, and about each other from spoken language. Kindergarten and first-grade language instruction that focuses on listening, speaking, and understanding includes the following: o Discussions that focus on a variety of topics, including problem solving o Activities that help children understand the world, in and out of the classroom o Songs, chants, and poems that are fun to sing and say o Concept development and vocabulary-building lessons o Games and other activities that involve talking, listening and, in particular, following directions 2. Children have opportunities to expand their use and appreciation of printed language Children's appreciation and understanding of the purposes and functions of written language are essential to their motivation for learning to read. Children must become aware that printed language is all around them on signs, billboards, and labels, and in books, magazines, and newspapers and that print serves many different purposes. Reading and writing instruction that focuses on the use and appreciation of written language includes the following: o Activities that help children to understand that print represents spoken language o Activities that highlight the meanings, uses, and production of print found in classroom signs, labels, notes, posters, calendars, and directions o Activities that teach print conventions, such as directionality o Activities in which children practice how to handle a book-how to turn pages, how to find the tops and bottoms of pages, and how to tell the front and back covers o Lessons in word awareness that help children become conscious of individual words, for example, their boundaries, their appearance and their length o Activities in which children practice with predictable and patterned language stories 3. Children have opportunities to hear good stories and informational books read aloud daily Listening to and talking about books on a regular basis provides children with demonstrations of the benefits and pleasures of reading. Story reading introduces children to new words, new sentences, new places, and new ideas. They also hear the kinds of vocabulary, sentences, and text structures they will find in their school books and be expected to read and understand. Reading aloud to children every day, and talking about books and stories, supports and extends oral language development and helps students connect oral to written language. 4. Children have opportunities to understand and manipulate the building blocks of spoken language Children's ability to think about individual words as a sequence of sounds (phonemes) is important to their learning how to read an alphabetic language. Toward that understanding, children learn that sentences are made up of groups of separate words, and that words are made up of separate sounds. Indeed, research has shown conclusively that children's phonemic awareness, their understanding that spoken words can be divided into separate
    • sounds, is one of the best predictors of their success in learning to read. Instruction that promotes children's understanding and use of the building blocks of spoken language includes the following: o Language games that teach children to identify rhyming words and to create rhymes on their own o Activities that help children understand that spoken sentences are made up of groups of separate words, that words are made up of syllables, and that words can be broken down into separate sounds o Auditory activities in which children manipulate the sounds of words, separate or segment the sounds of words, blend sounds, delete sounds, or substitute new sounds for those deleted 5. Children have opportunities to learn about and manipulate the building blocks of written language Children must also become expert users of the building blocks of written language. Knowledge of letters (graphonemes) leads to success with learning to read. This includes the use, purpose, and function of letters. Instruction that helps children learn about the essential building blocks of written language includes the following: o Alphabetic knowledge activities in which children learn the names of letters and learn to identify them rapidly and accurately o A variety of writing activities in which children learn to print the letters that they are learning to identify o Writing activities in which children have the opportunity to experiment with and manipulate letters to make words and messages 6. Children have opportunities to learn the relationship between the sounds of spoken language and the letters of written language Increasing children's awareness of the sounds of spoken language and their familiarity with the letters of written language prepares them to understand the alphabetic principle-that written words are composed of patterns of letters that represent the sounds of spoken words. Effective instruction provides children with explicit and systematic teaching of sound-letter relationships in a sequence that permits the children to assimilate and apply what they are learning. Instruction that helps children understand the alphabetic principle and learn the most common relationships between sounds and letters includes the following: o Alphabetic awareness activities in which children learn that printed words are made up of patterns of letters o Lessons in sound-letter relationships that are organized systematically and that provide as much practice and review as is needed o Activities in which children combine and manipulate letters to change words and spelling patterns 7. Children have opportunities to learn decoding strategies Efficient decoding strategies permit readers to quickly and automatically translate the letters or spelling patterns of written words into speech sounds so that they can identify words and gain rapid access to their meanings. Children must learn to identify words quickly and effortlessly, so that they can focus on the meaning of what they are reading. Research indicates that good readers rely primarily on print rather than on pictures or context to help them identify familiar words, and also to figure out words they have not seen before. For this reason, it is important that children learn effective sounding-out strategies that will allow them to decode words they have never seen in print.
    • Some strategies of decoding instruction focus primarily on the relationships between sounds and letters; others combine letter-sound practice with word families, with word parts (for example, onsets and rimes), and with blending activities. More advanced decoding strategies focus on structural analysis, the identification of root words, and prefixes and suffixes. Instruction should introduce "irregular" words in a reasonable sequence and use these words in the program's reading materials. It is important to realize, however, that essentially all words must become "sight words" - words children identify quickly, accurately, and effortlessly. Effective decoding instruction is explicit and systematic and can include the following: o Practice in decoding and identifying words that contain the letter-sound relationships children are learning to read and need for reading and writing o Practice activities that involve word families and rhyming patterns o Practice activities that involve blending together the components of sounded- out words o "Word play" activities in which children change beginning, middle, or ending letters of related words, thus changing the words they decode and spell o Introduction of phonetically "irregular" words in practice activities and stories 8. Children have opportunities to write and relate their writing to spelling and reading As children learn to read and write words, they become aware of how these words are spelled. Increasing children's awareness of spelling patterns hastens their progress in both reading and writing. In the early grades, spelling instruction must be coordinated with the program of reading instruction. As children progress, wee organized, systematic lessons in spelling will be beneficial. Activities for effective spelling instruction should include the following: o Activities that are related to the words that children are reading and writing o Proofreading activities o An emphasis on pride in correct spelling o Lessons that help children attend to spelling conventions in a systematic way o Activities that surround children in words and make reading and writing purpose-filled 9. Children have opportunities to practice accurate and fluent reading in decodable stories The words in decodable stories do emphasize the sound-letter relationships the children are learning. While many predictable and patterned books provide children with engaging language and print experiences, these books may not be based on the sound-letter relationships the children are learning. Decodable stories provide children with the opportunity to practice what they are learning about letters and sounds. As children learn to read words, sentences, and stories fluently, accurately, and automatically, they no longer have to struggle to identify words and are free to pay closer attention to the meaning. Research asserts that most children benefit from direct instruction in decoding, complemented by practice with simply written decodable stories. Further, for some children this sort of systematic approach is critical. Stories should "fit" the child's reading level. Beginning readers should be able to read easily 90 percent or more of the words in a story, and after practice should be able to do so quickly, accurately, and effortlessly.
    • 10. Children have opportunities to read and comprehend a wide assortment of books and other texts As children develop effective decoding strategies and become fluent readers, they must read books and other texts that are less controlled in their vocabulary and sentence structure. They learn to use word order (syntax) and context to interpret words and understand their meanings. Soon, they become enthusiastic, independent readers of all kinds of written material including books, magazines, newspapers, computer screens, and more! Providing children with a great many books, both narrative and informational, is of primary importance. Classroom and campus libraries must offer children a variety of reading materials, some that are easy to read and others that are more challenging and of increasing difficulty and complexity. Children need access to many books that travel home for reading with family members. Classrooms that ensure wide reading provide the following: o Daily time for self-selected reading o Access to books children want to read in their classrooms and school libraries o Access to books that can be taken home to be read independently or to family members 11. Children have opportunities to develop and comprehend new vocabulary through wide reading and direct vocabulary instruction Written language places greater demands on children's vocabulary knowledge than does their everyday spoken language. In fact, many of the new words children learn in a year are learned from concrete and meaningful experiences from being read to and as they read on their own. It is obvious that the number of new words children learn from reading depends upon how much they read and that the amount children read varies enormously. Therefore, it is important that teachers read aloud to children and encourage them to do a great deal of voluntary and independent reading. In addition, during reading instruction, children should be encouraged to attend to the meanings of new words. Activities that promote the acquisition of vocabulary include the following: o Wide reading of a variety of genres, both narrative and informational o Instruction that provides explicit information both about the meanings of words and about how they are used in the stories the children are reading o Activities that involve children in analyzing context to figure out the meaning of unfamiliar words in a reading passage o Discussions of new words that occur during the course of the day, for example in books that have been read aloud by the teacher, in content area studies and in textbooks o Activities that encourage children both to use words they are learning in their own writing, and to keep records of interesting and related words 12. Children have opportunities to learn and apply comprehension strategies as they reflect upon and think critically about what they read Written language is not just speech written down. Instead, written language offers new vocabulary, new language patterns, new thoughts, and new ways of thinking. Comprehension depends on the ability to identify familiar works quickly and automatically, which includes fluent reading, as well as the ability to figure out new words. But this is not enough. Comprehension also depends upon the understanding of word meanings, on the development of meaningful ideas from groups of words (phrases, clauses, and sentences) and the drawing of inferences. It also depends upon the demands of the text (its concepts,
    • its density), and the knowledge the reader brings to the text. The discussion of good books with their friends and classmates is one avenue for making these connections. Such discussions will help children to appreciate and reflect on new aspects of written language and on the wide, wonderful world of print. For children to receive the greatest benefit and enjoyment from their reading, they must receive comprehension strategy instruction that builds on their knowledge of the world and of language. Comprehension strategy instruction can include the following: o Activities that help children learn to preview selections, anticipate content, and make connections between what they will read and what they already know o Instruction that provides options when understanding breaks down (for example, rereading, asking for expert help, and looking up words) o Guidance in helping children compare characters, events, and themes of different stories o Activities that encourage discussion about what is being read and how ideas can be linked (for example, to draw conclusions and make predictions) o Activities that help children extend their reading experiences though the reading of more difficult texts with the teacher Summary As these components are translated into classroom experiences, children will have opportunities to talk, read, and write in the many ways they use language both inside and out of the classroom. Because the language arts (reading, writing, listening and speaking) are so interrelated, children must be given the opportunity to practice the strands of language arts in connected and purposeful ways. Classroom experiences that offer children opportunities to write for real life reasons include having children write letters of invitation to parents and other community members to visit their classrooms, or writing letters of thanks to individuals and organizations that have contributed to their school. Children write to record newly acquired information, to reflect on what they are learning and to organize their ideas. They also work in groups to write reports on special topics. Classroom experiences that offer children opportunities to read, listen and speak for real life purposes include the reading of "everyday" notes, news, messages, lists, labels, and the reading of compositions and reports written in the classroom. In such classrooms, reading, writing, listening, and speaking become important and meaningful to every child. References Adams, M. J. (1990). Beginning to Read: Thinking and Learning About Print. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Anderson, R. C., Hiebert, E. H., Scott, J. A., & Wilkinson, I. A. G. (1985). Becoming a Nation of Readers: The Report of the Commission on Reading. Champaign, IL: Center for the Study of Reading. Washington, DC: National Institute of Education. Baker, S. K., Kame'enui, E. J., Simmons, D. C., Stahl, S. (1994). Beginning reading: Educational tools for diverse learners. School Psychology Review, 23, pp. 372-391. Bear, D. R., Invernizzi, M., Templeton, S., & Johnston, F. (1996). Words their way: Word study for phonics, vocabulary, and spelling. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Beck, I. L., & Juel C. (1992). The role of decoding in learning to read. In S. J. Samuels & A. E. Farstrup (Eds.), What research has to say about reading instruction (2nd ed., pp. 101-123). Newark, DE: International Reading Association Beck, I. L., & McKeown, M. G. (1991). Conditions of vocabulary acquisition. In R. Barr, M. L. Kamil, P. Mosenthal, & P. D. Pearson (eds.), Handbook of reading research (Vol. 2, pp. 789-814). New York: Longman.
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