Subject Pedagogy - Reading


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Subject Pedagogy - Reading

  1. 1. What is Pedagogy? Pedagogy is the art (and science) of teaching. It is important to understand how learning occurs. A teacher cannot just stand at the front of a classroom relaying their knowledge expecting pupils to listen, understand and leave the lesson filled with knowledge. Pupils need to construct their own understanding with teachers using various teaching methods to engage pupils to enable pupils to access the very best learning in order to shape their own intellectual journey. A number of linguistic researchers see children as developing and learning in different ways and teachers need to vary their teaching models to ensure an inclusive learning environment. There is no ‘one size fits all’ in teaching and by varying teaching approaches all students will have improved understanding and learning outcomes. Teachers needs to bear in mind the community the pupils come from, how they learn – is it cognitive or kinaesthetic? What works for one child, may not work for another. What works in one school, may be the wrong approach in another.
  2. 2. Pedagogy in English The book entitled ‘Teaching Reading in Secondary Schools’ by Geoff Dean looks at current practices of teaching reading but also the problems associated with them. Just asking a pupil to read a text and then carry out a few exercises relating to that text, does not qualify as teaching reading. After the first edition of this book, Dean looked again at comments made by professionals and revisited certain elements of his study. One thing he did not look at was teaching children to read for enjoyment, something Ronald Carter felt was lacking in our schools. What Dean discovered that children did not enjoy ‘reading’ lessons in school, but they were enjoying reading outside of school, especially books they could choose in order to read for pleasure. Dean also discovered that very few secondary schools these days actually taught pupils ‘how to read.’ Pupils need to decode the letters in order to read a text, understand the text, look at the language nuances and how they may change the flow of a story, be able to make inferences about the text and explain what the author wants the reader to feel.
  3. 3. Skimming Skimming is one of the tools you can use to read more in less time. Skimming refers to looking only for the general or main ideas, and works best with non-fiction (or factual) material. With skimming, your overall understanding is reduced because you don’t read everything. You read only what is important to your purpose. Skimming takes place while reading and allows you to look for details in addition to the main ideas. How to skim? Pupils need to be taught how to skim effectively. However, for pupils to skim effectively, they have to know the structure of how you don’t read everything. They need to be taught that what they read is more important than what they leave out. So they need to be taught what material to read and what material to leave out?
  4. 4. Scanning Scanning is another useful tool for speeding up your reading. Unlike skimming, when scanning, you look only for a specific fact or piece of information without reading everything. You scan when you look for your favourite show listed in the TV guide, for your friend’s phone number in a telephone book, and for the football results in the newspaper. For pupils to scan successfully they need to understand how the material is structured as well as understand what they read so they can locate the specific information they need. Scanning also allows pupils to find details and other information in a hurry. How to scan. Because pupils already scan many different types of material in their daily life, learning more details about scanning will be easy. Teachers need to establishing the purpose, show pupils how to locate appropriate material, and then teach them to understand how the information is structured before they can start scanning. When asking pupils to summarize a piece of text, these two methods need to be taught first before pupils can go on to successfully complete the task.
  5. 5. Substitution There are hundreds of thousands of words in the English language, and learning to group them together in ways that are logical and meaningful is key to effective communication. As teachers, we need tp be able to teach pupils how to substitute words rather than using the same words or phrases too much. For this reason, a teacher needs to pay attention to substitution. All pupils use this technique without even realizing it, but learning how it is done in reading and writing can make your understanding and communication tighter, clearer, and more effective.
  6. 6. What is Substitution? In general, substitution is the process of swapping one thing out for another. In relation to the English language, the definition of substitution is a bit more specific, as it refers to the process of specifically swapping a word or phrase with a different word or phrase. It is a method of cohesion, meaning it is a way to guide readers or listeners and show how the parts of your sentence relate to each other using different transitional expressions (cohesion cues). As an example, you might say, "I broke the mirror, so now I have to buy another one" instead of "I broke the mirror, so now I have to buy another mirror." In this example, the word "one" is the substitution. In a text, this can cause confusion for pupils who sometimes cannot see the subject and the verb in one sentence because they are too far away from one another. Substitution in simple sentences is much easier to recognise and understand, however in complex or compound sentences, pupils find it hard to locate the subject and the verb and therefore lose the gist of the text.
  7. 7. What is the Purpose of Substitution? The main reason to use this technique in English is to eliminate repetitions. Most people find that when words or phrases are quickly repeated, it is distracting. They focus on the fact they have just seen the word or phrase, and for a moment, they are pulled away from the flow and meaning of the text or speech. This disruption of attention is undesirable, because writers and speakers generally want to immerse their readers and listeners in a memorable experience with an effective message. Substitution also provides variety in your work, demonstrating your ability to say things in more than one way. For pupils we want them to move away from repetition. By teaching pupils how to read and recognise substitution, they will not only understand the text and keep focussed, but they will then start seeing the benefit in using it in their writing. Source:
  8. 8. Reading: Dean, Geoff (2000) Teaching Reading in Secondary Schools, David Fulton Harrison, Colin, (2004) Understanding Reading Development, Sage Publications Johnston, Rhona and Watson, Jayne (2007) Teaching Synthetic Phonics, Learning Matters Lunzer, Eric and Gardner, Keith, ( 1981) The Effective Use of Reading, Heinemann Montgomery, A., Durant, A., Fabb, N., Furniss, T. and Mills, S. (2000) Ways of Reading: 2nd Edition, Routledge Moore, Maggie and Wade, Barrie, (1995), Supporting Readers, David Fulton Reading [Link to E-journal] (Journal of the United Kingdom Reading Association: UKRA) Crystal, D., (1998), The English Language, Penguin