1. Activity 02: Discussion of participants’ input
GROUP A: READING & READING INSTRUCTION
1. Are teachers teaching skills or comprehension (meaning)?
Skills the more direct goals for both teachers & learners, listed & targeted in
syllabuses. Comprehension is the natural outcome of learning, depending on
interaction between readers & texts & tasks. As a matter of fact, explicit teaching
of meaning is not a good idea since that’s imposing the teacher’s version of
“meaning” on a group of learners who may come up with different, or somewhat
different understandings of the same text, and rightly so.
2. What is the difference between reading skills and reading strategies?
Strategies emphasize the cognitive processes that make up understanding. A
strategy is a deliberate, planned, and conscious activity.
Skills are procedures that readers need to over-learn through repetition, often
through drill and practice, which occurs in isolation of the task of understanding.
All too often skills are taught so that they become automatic responses and fixed
behaviors and that can lead to rigid application with little transfer to new
situations. A skill is a level of competence.
Skills are automatic. Strategies are conscious and deliberate attempts to solve
problems in reading.
3. Does extensive reading mean implicit learning?
Everything we do any time involves some kind of learning, with or without our
being conscious of it. So it’s quite reasonable to say so. But since it’s implicit as
you say, while reading extensively we are explicitly doing something else, such
as entertaining ourselves. It all depends on how you want to define the terms
4. How should teachers deal with students of higher level in a reading class?
How should teachers deal with students of higher level in a writing, or speaking
class, for example? And by “students of higher level” what do you mean, better
at linguistic competence, having richer background knowledge, or better at
5. What are common difficulties in teaching an ESL/EFL reading class?
YOU tell me!
6. In what way can extensive reading be applied in Vietnam while the sources are not up
2. Activity 02: Discussion of participants’ input
GROUP B: READING MATERIALS
1. Should teachers use authentic or non-authentic text?
Yes and no. Think of a teaching context you know (yours, for example) & write
down a list of pros & cons. Discuss the list with your peers/colleagues & take
some decisions about it.
2. If simplified, are there any tools to check the difficulty level of a particular selected
What is meant by “if simplified”, and what is meant by “tools”? What do you think
determines the difficulty level of a text in general?
GROUP C: THE READING SYLLABUS
1. Does critical reading need teaching in a reading course that has more focus on test
Who, and what doesn’t need critical thinking & critical skills? ESPECIALLY for test
2. What is the role of needs analysis in setting up a reading course?
To identify strengths & weaknesses, to set goals, to balance between needs &
resources, to develop methodology etc. The last thing to do is teaching without
getting to know what your learners, individually as well as a whole, really need to
3. How to realize the relationship between course design and text selection/task design?
A course is well-designed when it satisfies pedagogic specifications at all levels:
approach, design & procedure (R&R, 1986). Tasks, texts, materials & the like belong
to the level of design. The relationship is obviously interdependent.
NB. The words underlined invite clarification from the person
who asked the question.