Activity 02 Discussion Questions With Answers


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Activity 02 Discussion Questions With Answers

  1. 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 “implicit learning”. 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 strategies? 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 to it?
  2. 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 text? 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 results? Who, and what doesn’t need critical thinking & critical skills? ESPECIALLY for test purposes. 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 learn. 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.