Kingdom of Bahrain March 2007
Ministry of Education Volume1•Number1
Hamad Town Intermediate Boys’ School
Department of English
T h e E F L T e a c h e r ’ s M a g a z i n e
How To Teach Reading?
Let’s do it the right way!
Really Worth It?
The internet and multimedia are the
teacher’s new tools
Also Read In This Issue:
Language Teaching and Real Life:
Teaching the language vs. teaching about the language
Using The Board Effectively:
How to maximise the benefits of using the board?
Helping students enjoy their listening sessions.
Facts about our school:
Hamad Town Intermediate Boys’ School is one of
The Kingdom’s newest schools. It has a modern and
illustrious style and is equipped with the latest facilities
and amenities. It comprises several state-of-the-art
laboratories and centres for both practical and theoretical
studies like the computer lab, the music room, art rooms,
the photography lab, a sports area and recently a new
multimedia classroom furnished with the latest PCs, an
active board and other modern equipment.
Some historical facts:
1987: Hamad Town Intermediate Boys’ School was
Administration: Mr. Abdullah Mohammed Mufiz as the
headmaster, assisted by Mr. Youssif Khalil BuNajm.
1997: Administration: Mr. Ali Mansoor Shihab as the
headmaster, assisted by Mr. Mohammed AbdulRahman
2000: Administration: Mr. Abdulltif AlMudawi as the
headmaster, assisted by Mr. Hassan Othman and Mr. Ahmad
2003: Administration: Mr. Issa Rashed Mohammed Fadhl
as the headmaster, assisted by Mr. AbdulAziz Yakoot.
Now, Mr. Ghanem Zayed Ghanem is the headmaster of
Hamad Town Intermediate Boys’ School. He is assisted by
Mr. Youssif Madan and Mr. Mirza Jumaa.
2007: A new department has been built to accommodate
the rising number of students.
Official Visits to the school:
Sheikh Zayed Ben Sultan paid a visit to Hamad Town
Intermediate Boys’ School in the year 1989. A big
ceremony was organised to welcome the Kingdom’s
In 2000, a group of delegates representing the Ministry
of Education in the U.A.E came to pay homage to the
Hassan Sheroogui, Kingdom’s schools innovative experience in teaching
Teacher of English sciences.
Kingdom of Bahrain
Choosing the school as a provincial Centre for correcting
tests, for many years now, came as a result of its
reputation as a thriving and successful school both locally
Q: Why did you opt for the educational field rather than other
A: Because the educational field is the most suitable way for
guiding and implanting good qualities in our students. Besides, it
is the best field to help forging good citizens.
Q: You had taken several posts before you became a headmast t
ter. In your opinion, what is the difference between teaching and
A: Teaching is a sacred job and it is very hard because the
teacher deals with juvenile and immature learners. It teaches you
to be more patient. Management, on the other hand, is the art of
taking the right decisions when you face problems and you have
to deal with hard tasks.
Q: When you were young, did you have it in mind that one day
you would be a teacher and then a school principal?
A: Well.. Yes, I have always wanted to be a teacher.
Q: Throughout your past experiences, what is the most approprit t
ate method for school management?
A: The democratic way, of course. By this, I mean we need, as an
administration, to take everybody’s opinion into account and to
handle situations with wisdom and patience.
Q: After two years of being the headmaster of Hamad Town Int t
termediate Boys’ School, how do you see the school today ?What
Our headmaster are your plans for the school in the future?
A: The school has a good reputation in the local society and the
ministry and among other schools because its outcome is getting
Name: Mr.Ghanem Zayed Ghanem
better every year. So, we are making every effort to make our
Date of birth: 1951 school perk up its reputation and meet the parents’ expectations.
Field of study: Geography
Q: How do you see Teach&share?
Qualifications: Bachelor of Geography
A: I’m pleased with this magazine and it is certainly a great init
Experience: 35 years tiative to help create a space where teachers can share tips, ideas
and their experiences in the field of TEFL.
Q: A last word for Teach&share:
A: I want to conclude by thanking all
those who contributed to make this nice magazine.
2 Our school in a few lines
3 This month’s interview
8 Technology matters
An article about integrating technology into the English Language classroom
by Sayed Mortadha Youssif
10 E-Learning: Thinking ahead of time
M. Alghawi talks about what e-learning is about and how the E-learing team in
our school works hard to get rid of any obstacles that may get in the way
of the advancement of applying e-learning in our school.
13 How to teach reading?
What are the right techniques and skills for teaching reading?
A question answered by Abdellatif Ben Akremi Saeedi
19 Language teaching and real life
Mohammed Barghash Al-Enazi reflects on the difference between teaching
the language and teaching about the language.
20 Using the board effectively
Mohamed Ebrahim Hassan writes about the importance of
using boards effectively.
23 Is Cooperative Learning really worth it?
How can CL be a gratifying experience rather than a frustrating one?
Tariq Ben Mohammed Brahmi tries to answer this question.
27 Strategies for teaching listening teachshare
T h e E F L T e a c h e r ’ s M a g a z i n e
Magazine designed and edited by :
Lotfi Samaali recommends some strategies for ensuring better Listening sessions! Tariq Ben Mohammed Brahmi
Hi. It is spring time! After the rainy days and the clouds
come the bright days and the nice breeze.
That is why Teachshare chooses to put on bright and
vivid colours to reflect the cheerful mood of the spring.
After months of continuous work, our magazine began to
take its current shape to finally rest between the palms of
your hands. Like anything else, it had started as an idea.
We began to feed it slowly but surely. Support for the idea
continued to grow and articles found their way naturally to
the pages like birds find their way to their nests.
To go back to the metaphor of the flower, my colleagues
took it as their responsibility to water the flower and waited
for the spring to come.
Their articles are the petals and the overall outcome is
eventually a magazine that smells good.
When we talked about this magazine, we all agreed that
it could be a great medium for us to contribute tips and
ideas and to share our experiences. So what is on ?
Mr. Mortadha will take you in a quick trip in order to ext t
plain the merits of implementing new tech. into our classt t
Mr. Abdellatif reminds us that reading should be taught
properly to make sure students enjoy reading and feel
comfortable while doing it.
Mr. Mohammed Ebrahim demonstrates that we can make
good use of our boards if we follow his simple but totthet
Mr. Mohammed Barghash reflects on teaching EFL and
how to relate language to our immediate environment
rather than talking about the language.
Mr. Lotfi Samaali stresses the fact that listening is the
“weak chain” amongst the other skills and that it needs
As far as I am concerned, I choose to write about cooperat t
tive learning and how careful planning and some knowlt t
edge of the dynamics of group work can alleviate much
of the pain and suffering that we may experience while
assigning tasks as group work.
We hope that you will love the content and find it useful!
Tariq Ben Mohammed, Editor
first a I would like to express my gratit t
o f the ent’s m year
t m i c tude to the people thanks to
sion epar dem to
occa age D he aca leasure ely whom this issue of the magat t
the u rt tp m
On h Lang are” fo a grea ent, na artt zine has come into being,
lis h m p
Eng ch s ives me Depart the de amt namely the editor, contributors,
the “Tea it g lish oussif, en Moh ers
ine 2007, he Eng Y h and those involved in the makt t
6t t ha riq
B teac to
200 ratulate Mortad Mr. Ta nd the rticles l ing of “Teach share”. My
g a a
con Sayed inator, editor, rtant a materi special great thanks go to Mr.
d o e
Mr. ’s coor gazine ir imp ith the I hop t Tariq, who has been thoroughly
t a e w . a
men the m uted th azine t shape and th f
, g n
med contrib this ma prese ntinue ariety o t and competently reviewing all
t s o v h
who lement have i will
de a roac the article submissions; without
sup eded to bution ys inclu est app ching. whom the magazine would not
i a t a
it ne is contr ill alw ss the la age Te f work have its present shape. I would
th ew cu gu o lt
that agazin and dis lish Lan is piece have a like to take this opportunity to
the riences of Eng ugh th hat we cadem
e ld ro t sa ncy thank all my colleagues for their
exp the fie that th goals f thi proficie et
es in hope eve the inning hers’ to b priceless contributions.
I al ill be g ea c in g in art of
the se the t rs to br k is p ich
e w set at i e r h Sayed Moratadha, Coordinator
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Integrating technology into the English
By Sayed Mortadha Youssif
n the last few years the number of teachers using Computer-Assisted Language Learning
I (CALL) has increased markedly.
It is obvious that a new information age in which the links between technology and TEFL
have already been established.
The development of the Internet brought about a revolution in the teachers’ perspective, as the
teaching tools offered through the net were gradually becoming more reliable.
Enhanced student achievement:
Why Use CALL?
Networktbased instruction can
The Internet has tremendous pot t
help pupils strengthen their lint t
tential as a tool for teaching EFL.
guistic skills by positively affectt
Sayers (199) mentioned that nett t
ing their attitude towards learnt t
worktbased technology can cont t
CALL is motivating ing and by helping them build
tribute significantly to:
because selftinstruction strategies and
computers are promote their selftconfidence.
The World Wide Web makes it post t
often associated Authentic materials for study:
sible for students to tackle a huge
with fun and amount of human experience. In
All students can use various ret t
games. sources of authentic reading mat t
such a way, they can learn by doing
Moreover, it terials either at school or from
facilitates things themselves. They become
their home. Those materials can
access to the creators not just the receivers
be accessed 2 hours a day at a
authentic of knowledge. Information is pret t
relatively low cost.
materials 24 hours sented in a nontlinear way and ust t
a day. Greater Interaction:
ers develop more flexible thinking
Random access to Web pages
skills and choose what to explore.
breaks the linear flow of instruct t
tion. By sending Etmail and joint t
Computers are most popular
ing newsgroups, EFL students can
among students as they are often
communicate with people they
associated with fun and games.
have never met. They can also int t
Student motivation is therefore int t
teract with their own classmates.
creased, especially whenever a varit t
Furthermore, some Internet act t
ety of activities are offered. This in
tivities give students positive and
negative feedback by automatit t
makes students feel more
cally correcting their ontline ext t
One of the most important tasks
for teachers is to assist their stut
Shy or inhibited students can be
dents so that they can discover
greatly benefited by individualt t
what they enjoy most according
ized, studenttcentered collaborat t
to their level of linguistic compett
tive learning. High fliers can also
tence. Teachers are also respont t
realize their full potential without
sible for the evaluation of all the
preventing their peers from workt t
web tools offered.
ing at their own pace.
In an Internettbased lesson,
Independence from a single source
rather than being a single omt t
niscient source of knowledge
Although students can still use benefits shy students
himself, a teacher is a facilitator and lead to more
their books, they are presented
helping students build their own conclusive student-
with opportunities to escape from
learning strategies. What learnt t centered learning.
ers acquire with the Internet
is less under the control of the
The teacher’s role includes
planning, analyzing organizing,
coordinating and problemtsolvt t
ing in a studenttcentered envit t
canned knowledge and discover
thousands of information sources.
As a result, their education fult t
fils the need for interdisciplinary
There is more
learning in a multicultural world. emphasis on the
Global Understanding: teacher’s role as
A foreign language is studied in a facilitator,
cultural context. In a world where coordinator, and
the use of the Internet becomes analyzer.
more and more widespread, an
English Language teacher’s duty
is to facilitate students’ access to
the web and make them feel like
citizens of a global classroom, pract
ticing communication on a global
A New Role For The Teacher
The Internet is one of the most
powerful tools for teachers to help
students collaborate, interact and
participate actively in the learning
However, the wealth of available Sayed Mortadha Youssif,
resources may cause confusion Coordinator,
among students and discourage Kingdom of Bahrain
them from participating, if they
are not given the necessary guidet t
When students are faced with thout t
sands of Internet sources they cantt
not effectively handle such large
amounts of information.
ing ahead of time
Education in The Kingdom :A
giant leap towards excellence!
By Mohammed Al-Ghawi
-learning or electronic learning refers to learning supported by digital electronic tools and
E media. The success that has been adjacent to the implementation of information technology
in many developed countries has led some countries aspiring to improve their educational
systems to think seriously about putting into practice e-learning.
The Kingdom of Bahrain, through of the advancement of applying et
“King Hamad’s Project of The learning in Hamad Town Intermet t
Schools of the Future”, is one of the diate Boys’ School since the very
pioneers of introducing etlearning beginning. One of the first steps we
in the Arab World. The Ministry undertook was to initiate a carefully
of Education in the Kingdom has designed information campaign
undertaken it as its obligation to to elicit the benefits and the dyt t
change the traditional schools namics of applying etlearning in
into modern electronic schools. It our school and to include new ideas
has already supplied all the Kingt t and thoughts on the ways in which
dom’s schools with statetoftthetart computers can increase the abilt t
The Ministry of equipment. Etlearning has recentt t ity of students to learn. Brochures
Education in the ly gained momentum because it were handed out to the administrat t
Kingdom has has provided evidence that it has tion, teachers, students and parents.
undertaken it many benefits. This modern form Workshops and lectures were also
as its obligation
to change the of education and pedagogy is act t planned on behalf of the teachers
traditional credited for its high consideration and students alike.
schools into of active, productive, and creative
modern electronic learning methods. It aims at posit t The electronic class-
schools. tively involving the students in the
learning process and perk up their
room and the active
achievement outcomes. board:
The active board and the electronic
classroom came as a substitute for
The E-Team paves the
the usual board and chalk and the
way for introducing E- traditional classroom. The active
learning: board is a modern device that is contt
Our determined “electronic team” nected to a computer. It differs from
has put it as its main assignment the conventional board in many ast t
to give details on what etlearning pects. It consists of an assortment
is all about and to get rid of any of handy utilities like a virtual keyt
obstacles that may get in the way board, a virtual pen, an
eraser, a wide range of illustrations, of these workshops and congratut t
sound effects, videos, etc. Besides, lated Mr. Alghawi for the success of
the content on the board can be these workshops.
displayed on every student’s comt t The teachers have also been given
puter. the opportunity to practice using
We arranged a number of workt t the board in their spare time.
shops entitled “The basics of using The Department of Eng- -
the active board” for all the school’s
departments to give details on how
lish and the Electronic
to use the active board in the elect t classroom:
The benefits of e-learn-
1-For the administration:
Introducing a modern scheme will
provide an inclusive structure that
will assist the administration in
evaluating and keeping track of the
personnel, the students, the teacht
ers, the parents, the subjects, the
timetables, etc. Mr. Sayed Mortadha Youssif, the E-learning is
Department of English coordinator, designed to
2-For the teacher and the stu-
- assist teachers
successfully presented two lessons
dent: in delivering
in the electronic classroom. The
Etlearning is designed to assist
headmaster, Mr. Ghanem Zayed
teachers in delivering motivating knowledge in
Ghanem, Mr. Youssif Madan, and forms valued by
knowledge in forms valued by stut t
Mr. Mirza Mohammed congratut t students.
dents and to help those latters in
lated Mr. Mortadha on the success
their endeavors to learn, by allowt
of these lessons and appreciated his
ing their own processing powers to
expertise and the remarkable int t
speed up study.
volvement of the students.
It will help students retrieve and
process data quickly, while allowtt
ing more time to be used for useful
insight into the lesson.
3-For the parents:
The system will facilitate the part t
ents’ communication with the
school and have access to their chilt t
dren’s results, their interests, etc.
The electronic team’s
activities in Hamad
Mr. Mohammed Alghawi, the et
learning specialist, accomplished
successfully a series of workshops
on behalf of the teachers. The headt
master, Mr. Ghanem Zayed Ghat t
nem, The head of the Electronic Mohammed Al-Ghawi,
team, Mr. Mirza Mohammed, and E-learning Specialist,
Mr. Youssif Madan attended some Kingdom of Bahrain
The overall purpose for teaching reading is to
develop in the reader the attitudes, the abilt
ity and skills needed for
information, fostering and
reacting to ideas, developing intert
est and finally,
pleasure by reading
through understanding or
How to teach
The right techniques and skills for
By Abdellatif Ben Akremi Saeedi
common view of teaching reading is that the text is full of meanings like a jug of water, and it
A can be poured straight into the reader’s mind. Passages are set and questions designed to inter-
rogate readers and little concern is shown for the readers themselves , and the knowledge they
bring to the text is largely ignored. All the work has to be done by the writer and the reader has only to
open his mind and let the meaning pour in. But with the changes that accompanied the appearance of
the new teaching approches, our understanding of the reading process has increased, particularly few
changes seem to have occured in the way comprehension has been taught.
I-Reading From The development of genuine
a Communicative reading habit in the language,
i.e., making the students compet
View: tent and independent readers in
real life situation.
Unlike the traditional approaches
of teaching reading, the commut t II-Why Do We Teach
nicative approach has shifted the Reading?
way towards achieving communit t The overall purpose for teacht t
cative goals including independent ing reading is to develop in the
readers and an encouraging atmot t reader the attitudes, the ability
The sphere. This change has concerned and skills needed for obtaining
commuincative the nature of reading itself, the view information, fostering and reactt
approach towards the reader and the view tot t ing to ideas, developing interest
emphasises the wards the reading environment. and finally, deriving pleasure by
need for teaching According to the communicative reading through understanding
reading approach, the aim of a reading class or “comprehension”.
for the sake must be reading t not reinforcet t We want to get the message the
of achieving ment of oral skills, not grammatical writer has expressed. This is the
communicative or discourse analysis, and not the authentic reason for reading; we
acquisition of new vocabulary. are concerned not with language
Improvement in any of these areas learning but with the uses to
can make reading easier but none which we put reading in our daily
of them is reading and none cont t lives outside the classroom.
tributes directly to the one legitit t
The problem, however, is that the Smith (19: 19) concludes “we
students do not read the foreign avoid the confusion and ambigut t
language for authentic reasons, ity and succeed in bringing the
but because they want to improve, gaps between the surface struct t
practise, and consolidate linguistic ture of the text and the writer’s
itemtvocabulary, structure, and so intention”.
on. This, of course, is not the speciftt Foreign language students have Through teaching
ic use of a text. So it is the teachers’ to be taught how to predict int t reading, teachers
concern to increase motivation in formation. Teaching reading at aim at developing
the authentic classroom by making an advanced level is not just a in the learners the
foreign t language reading interestt t matter of answering comprehent t skills
ing in itself. The materials to be read sion questions. It involves among of obtaining
must reflect the authentic purposes other things teaching students to information and
for which people do in fact read. So predict by trying to match their fostering and
we are not trying , as in a language presuppositions with what is imt t
reacting to ideas.
t development lesson, to put somet t plied or explicitly stated by the
thing into the learner’s head but writer. The reader is, therefore,
instead we are trying to get him to ready for the flow of informat t
grasp the knowledge himself, to get tion even though he may have
him to make use of the knowledge made wrong predictions.
he already has in order to undert t In fact, predicting includes techtt
stand new messages. niques for drawing inferences
about the context of a topic of
III-The Different Stages a text. Some elements used for
predicting are the title of the
of implementing a Les- - text, illustration, warmers, and
son: comprises 3
key words. important stages:
The activities usually implemented A-Title The pre-reading,
and practised in the classroom as Prediction begins from the mot t while-reading
teaching strategies may be divided, ment the reader reads the title and post-reading
on the basis of their sequence, into of a text and forms expectations stages.
three categories: of what the text is most likely to
(1) Pre-reading activities, be about. ln fact, these exercises
(2) whilst-reading activities, and (3) are useful in as far as they lead
post-reading activities. students to realize the relations
1-Pre-reading stage: holding between a text and its
It has been clearly established that title and promotes discussion
reading comprehension implies about the difference between the
much prediction, anticipation and writer’s purpose and the reader’s
hypothesis making. According to assumptions. Such a difference
Smith (19) comprehension is fat t can only be perceived when the
cilitated if the reader tries to anticit
t reader discovers what the writer
pate the flow of information that really means .
the brain is processing. Efficient In fact, before reading the text,
readers are involved in making the teacher and while discusst t
guesses in order to predict the flow ing the student’s predictions can
of information as they read . guide the learners and introduce
By making predictions, the reader them to the grammatical struct t
is less likely to be overwhelmed by ture. The teacher should try to
the load of new information carried sustain and further develop their
by the text under scrutiny. interest by offering followtup actt
B-Illustrations : topic of what he is reading, give
Having discussed the title , the or complete or choose a title for
teacher may present an illustration the passage .
that gives a view of the text. Such We can include a variety of ext t
an illustration can provide import t ercises intended to call the stutt
tant clues for predicting the content dents’ attention to the main idea
and topic of the text. Many texts of the text so that they may apt t
have fronttcover illustrations. If an ply the appropriate strategies to
illustrated text is not available , the read it effectively .
teacher may draw his / her own ilt t This activity doesn’t require the
lustration. learner to look for specific infort
C-Warmers: mation but just to skim the text
Pret reading activities can also be and have the general idea.
carried out with the help of one line B-Reading for specific informa- -
warmers picked out from the text tion :
and chosen from maxims , proverbs When we read for specific infort t
and quotations that are closely ret t mation it is important to locate
lated to some aspect of the content the information we want . Theret t
The title and and theme. Warmers facilitate open
illustrations fore , it is important to concent t
discussion and help elicit predict t trate on the relevant parts of the
can provide tions of what the text is going to be
important clues passage.
for predicting the about . They encourage a response Activity 1: This activity practises
content and topic to a theme and prompt a prior pert t reading a passage to find pieces
of the text. sonal involvement with the topic of specific information .
represented in the text. Activity 2 : Time lines / charts :
The teacher , choosing some closely This activity can be used in cont t
related warmers , jots them down nection with texts concerned
on the blackboard and ask them to with daily routines, stages on a
express the idea contained in them. journey giving times of arrival
D-Key words: and departure, a biography .......
Sometimes , the text provides clues etc . Pupils are to set out the
for predicting its theme or content events /activities in chronologit t
through the vocabulary used . It cal order.
is, therefore, rewarding to pay part t C-Structural study:
ticular attention to the structure , Here we deal with language
organization , selection and collot t items such as linking words, reft t
cation of lexis in a text . The words erence words, nominal groups,
and collocated units that appear sentence structure, affixes, verbs,
in the form of key words, together, aspects etc..... Knowing the lant t
through a semantic link , help readt t guage system is very important
ers predict what the atmosphere of in the reading process. It is nectt
the world inside the text is going to essary that the learner should
be like . know how it works. That is he
2-While-reading stage: should be familiar with the vot t
Generally speaking, at this stage , cabulary, grammar, coherence,
the activities/questions that the stutt reference etc...... to be able to
dents are asked to carry out / answer recognize the message the text
go from the general to the particut t contains. For this reason, the
lar . reader has to be made aware of
A-Reading for general informa- - the structure of sentences and of
tion : the text and why it is written in a
Students are asked to survey the particular way.Such objective is
text to find out the number of parat t carried out in our reading plan
graph, the type of the text ( narrat t by including activities that reintt
tive , descriptive.....), include the force the pupil’s awareness of
the importance of structure and Exercises should be devised then
grammatical study of the reading to make the students aware of
passage. the problem and how to tackle
D-Reference exercises: it. The following sentence is a
In passages, writers try not to report typical example of ellipsis activt t
words very often. They refer back to ity:
them. “Before making a loan, the bank
This relation is called reference. It is satisfies itself that the borrower,
the use of common words like “he”, whether it be a government,
“she”, “it”,” this”, “so”, etc... to refer to (.....) an autonomous agency” or
people, things or items of informat t (.....) “A private corporation” will
tion already mentioned in the text. be able to service the debt: stage includes
E-Discourse markers: tWrite the missing expressions reading for general
Readers may he given an exert t below. and specific
cise to recognize the connectives G-Topic sentences and main infornmation,
which are signal words that cont t ideas recognition: studying the
nect words, clauses, sentences, ideas The purpose of reading comt t structure, forms
and paragraphs in a logical way. In prehension is to discover the and grammar
any organization analysis, the logit t author’s ideas. What is needed, underlying a text,
cal connectors act like “signposts” therefore, is an approach that among other
that help the readers discover the helps the students read the past t
architecture of the material. They sage and enable them to cope
show them the logical relationship with the ideas expressed.
between ideas and paragraphs. Varit t Students should be made aware,
ous phrases or clauses can be linked above all, that one of the basic
together by using some linking features of discourse organizat t
devices such as “and, in addition, tion is the topic sentence or
besides, moreover”. For addition:” main idea principle. Students
first, then, after that, finally”. For must know that the writer alt t
contrast: “but, however, in contrast”. ways takes pains to tell the readt t
For sequence; “therefore, so, as a ret t erstwhether explicitly or implict t
sult, consequently”. itlyt about his main idea before
F-Substitution and ellipsis exer- - trying to develop it in the rest of
cises: the text.
Most writers do not usually give Various strategies need to be
the reader more information than taught to help the students grasp
he needs, but they also avoid needt t the main idea since many stut t
less repetition and prefer to omit dents seem to have much trouble
certain information or expressions in distinguishing the main idea
which the reader is assumed to supt t from the marginal or supportt t
ply for him. Such omission can be ing details in a text. Once the
in the form of substitution and elt t reader locates the topic sentence,
lipsis. In order for the second lant t which carries the main idea in a
guage learner to deal with substitut t passage, his comprehension pert t
tion or ellipsis, he must first realize formance will improve to a great
that the information is incomplete deal. As suggested by Hedge ,
and then must retrieve the required “ If the reader does decide to
information from context. drink deep the topic sentences
Before getting the students to deal will provide him with a clear
with any exercises, ellipsis and subt t framework on which to build
stitution samples must be presented the rest of the reading and will
to make sure they understand what remind him of where the writer
we really mean by such things as elt t is going and how he is getting
lipsis or substitution. there”
Exercise 1: supply a text with the A- Integrating reading and
topic sentence of each paragraph writing:
omitted and replaced by a gap. Teachers should be aware of the
Exercise 2 : importance of integrating writt t
a t If you had to pick one sentence ing in a reading comprehension
in the whole passage to sum up the lesson for many reasons. First,
main idea, which one would you incorporating writing activit t
choose ? ties in the reading class more
b tFind the topic sentence of each actively involves the students
paragraph if there is one . in the reading process. Second,
c t The following points are all including writing in the readt t
mentioned in the text next to each ing class shifts the emphasis in
of them, write down, “ M”, if you reading from product to process
think it represents a main idea and and from separate skills to intett
“S”, if you think it is only a supportt
t grated approach.
ing detail . Activity 1: Students may be
Exercise : In order to help the stutt asked to write a paragraph or
dents to recognize the main idea of a lettertrelated to the passage
the text by asking them to match theme.
articles and headlines . Finding Activity 2: An excellent intelt t
the proper headline for an article lectual and linguistic exercise
means the student has understood is the resume or summary: The
the main idea of the article. Various gathering together of the main
articles with a set of jumbled headt t ideas of the text in concise form.
lines are supplied and the students To do this well, students have to
are required then to match the art t understand the text fully and
ticles with their headlines . rethink it in concentrated terms
which they express in English.
3-Post-Reading stage: Activity : Students may be
Reading is not an isolated activity . asked to set down the main
It should always lead to something, ideas in a logical sequence in
need to be taught
to help the students and thus be integrated with the imt t simple declarative sentences.
grasp the main provement of all skills . This skeleton outline is then
idea since many In fact , with the learners’ increastt put away. Another day, the stut t
students seem to ing need for English in communit t dents take the outline and write
have much trouble cative situations it became necest t a text of their own from it. They
in distinguishing sary to integrate receptive as well as can compare their text with the
the main idea from productive skills in one course, for original to see what they can
the marginal or written and spoken language often learn linguistically from the
supporting details in bear a reciprocal relationship to comparison.
each other, to ignore that relationt t Activity : After reading job
ship is to ignore the richness of the advertisements, pupils may be
language. asked to complete an applicat t
We’ve seen in a previous section tion form or write a formal lett t
how pretreading stage can be a ter applying or requesting int t
kind of speaking or writing activity formation about the advertised
or even both and that the reason job.
behind such stage is mainly to act t As a conclusion, I want to stress
tivate the learner’s schemata . Post that this integrated reading
reading stage can also include activtt and writing approach is still at
ities that integrate other skills and a very tentative stage. Teachers
therefore allows teachers to maint t still put emphasis on one skill
tain integrated skills into their at the expense of others. Most
teaching which is the ultimate gaol of the time the writing skill is
of the communicative approach. given the smallest share of the
lesson plan or given as a homework This ability to read effectively
Including writing in
to be corrected next session or even should be cultivated in progressive the reading class
sometimes neglected. stages, through the use of differt t shifts the emphasis
B-lntegrating reading and speak- - ent strategies, techniques and skills in reading from
ing: that can be interrelated in a lesson product to process
Students should be provided with whose main focus is reading. It is and from separate
frequent opportunities to give in the teacher who should equip his skills to integrated
English the gist of what they have students with the relevant stratet t approach.
read. Some of the material read will gies that help them extract the
serve as a basis for oral presentation message the text contains.Students
or summary, role play or interview. with a good background in readt t
Some will provide ammunitions ing in their course would, finally,
for discussion and debates. be able to move into independent
Speaking, therefore, can be used as a reading.
pretreading and postt reading activt t They should feel confident enough
ity. Here we can speak of a reading to pick a book, magazine or newst t
course around which 2 or skills paper and read it for their amuset t
are carried out. We can as well not t ment and enlightenment, with
tice how skills are interrelated and only occasional resort to dictiont t Reading is like an
how a skill can lead to another. ary. They will not feel to do so , infectious disease:
At this level, I can say that an intett however, if they have not been
it is caught not
taught. And you
grated lesson shows for the pract t encouraged during their language can’t catch it from
tice of language in a way which is course to read on their own with someone who hasn’t
closer to the real word and assists in ever increasing confidence even got it ...
the development of a full language when they can’t get the full meant t
user. ing of a written piece. This cont t
tIntegrated lessons where one thing fidence is, in fact, “caught” from
leads to the other are more satisfyt t teachers . After all reading is “ an
ing, less bitty, for the learners. infectious disease”. It is caught not
tA lesson which integrates a numt t taught . And learners can’t “catch it
ber of skills has more variety. from someone who hasn’t got it”.
tIt gives an opportunity for a topic
to be fully explored and for vocabt t References:
ulary corrected to the topic to be 1) Carrel, L. Patricia . Devine Joanne
practised and recycled. and Eskey David E. Interactive App p
proaches Second Language Readp p
Conclusion ing. Cambridge Cambridge Apt t
“ Reading is like an infectious dist t plied Linguistics .
ease: it is caught not taught. And 2) Cairney, T. H . Teaching Reading
you can’t catch it from someone Comprehension .
who hasn’t got it ...” ) Hughes, John M. Reading and
Reading Failure . Abdellatif Ben Akremi Saeedi,
We can admit, at the end of this
) Hedge, Patricia. Using Readers Teacher of English,
work, that of all the skills taught
in language . Tunisia
at school, reading can be regarded
as a “ tool” skill , in the sense that ) Jack C. Richards. From Readers
a learner’s progress in communit t To Reading Reachers .
cative language learning depends ) English Teaching Forum: Volt t
considerably on his ability to read ume 0, Number , October 1992.
efficiently and effectively . ) English Teaching Forum: Volt t
To achieve this goal, students have ume 1. Number , October 199 .
to be familiar with the different ) English Teaching Forum: Volt t
reading strategies and the language ume . Number , October 199 .
system. 9 ) English Teaching Forum: Volt t
ume XXI, Number 1, January 19
Teaching the language vs. teaching about
By Mohammed Barghash Al-Enazi
The most common objectives of teaching any foreign lant t
1t Learners can use the target language in their real life, not
just inside the classroom.
2tLearners can think directly in the foreign language.
tLearners must understand the target language’s culture.
Putting in mind these objectives before planning and presentt t
ing a language lesson is a very important condition for this lest
son to be successful and unforgettable. Otherwise, the teacher
is not teaching the language but teaching about the language.
In fact, there are several teaching techniques that we can apply
to achieve the above mentioned goals of teaching and learnt t
ing a foreign language. Here, I will discuss a technique which
is “relating language to the real environment while teaching”.
Suppose that a teacher wants to teach his/her students about
how to describe people. Instead of using the examples and the
pictures in their textbooks, he can describe one of the students
as a model or any famous person from the community e.g.
an actor or a football player, etc... For instance, the teacher
can say: “Look at Ali. He is a tall boy with a round face.” Then
students describe each other in the same manner. Also if the
lesson is about writing, the teacher writes a sentence on the
board describing a welltknown person, let us say another
teacher in the school such as: Teacher X is a very nice/boring/
nervous person. Then, students write similar sentences about
Mohammed Barghesh Al-Enzi, three or four other persons. This kind of teaching technique
Teacher of English, relates language to the students’ real life and makes language
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia more authentic, not just artificial.
The importance of using boards effectively
By Mohamed Ebrahim Hassan
he r e i s no doubt that te a ching aid s ar e ve ry impor tant
T as they make teaching more effe ctive and help teachers
w i th the ir har d work . That i s the pr i n c ipl e I b e li eve i n
a s a t e a c h e r o f E n g l i s h . F r a n k l y, w h e n I w a s i n E g y p t , I f o u n d
i t d i f fi c ult t o u s e ma ny t e a chi n g a i d s a s cla s s e s we r e s o c r owd -
ed and only suitable for using c ertain teaching aids; boards
a r e th e m o s t p o p ula r. S o I u s e d b o a r d s m o r e tha n a ny o th e r
aid s and I find it i s c onve ni e nt to write about the m.
Our aim in using What is a board? be to make things clearer to the
a board should A board is a simple visual aid that class and to help focus their att
be to make is put before students’ eyes and tention.
things clearer to
the class and to
used for writing or drawing. It is What are the pur--
the easiest definition and most
help focus their
poses for which the
What are the boards’ types? board can be used ?
There are many types but I will The most important purposes
mention the most famous ones; for which the board can be used
1. Chalk board are:
2. Pen board 1.Presenting new words
. Pictures board 2.Showing spelling
. Pocket board .Giving a model for handwritt t
. Electronic board ing
However, I am going to write .Writing prompts for practice
about the chalk board and the pen
board as they are the most comt t How can a teacher
mon. use the board
What is the im-
portance of using 1.He should stand in a way
boards? that doesn’t hide the board. He
No doubt that the board is very imtt should stand sideways, half fact t
portant as it is easy to use and the ing the board and half facing the
teacher can find it all the time. class, with his arm fully extendt t
It is always available and can be ed. In this way, the students can
used for various purposes without see what he is writing, and he can
special preparation. Our aim in ustt see the students .
ing a board should
2. He should write clearly. The writing should be large enough to read
from the back of the class.
. He should talk as he writes to involve the class .
. He should be careful of organizing the layout of what he
writes. The board should be organized and not too crowded.
Here is a teacher’s board at the end of a lesson . How could the layout have
been organized more clearly?
and not too
A possible layout may be:
How can a teacher use the board for drawing? use the board
only for writing.
Many teachers use the board only for writing. But simple pictures drawn But simple
on the board can help to increase the interest of a lesson, and are often a pictures drawn
good way of showing meaning and conveying situations to the class. on the board can
help to increase
the interest of a
It is not necessary to be a good artist to draw successfully. Board drawings lesson.
should be as simple as possible, showing only the most details. It is also
important to draw quickly.
Simple board drawings :
How can a teacher use a board for presenting structures?
An important use of the board is to show clearly how structures are
An important use formed, and to show differences between structures.
of the board is to A good way of showing the different forms of a structure is by means of
show clearly how a table (sometimes called a “substitution table”).
formed, and to
show differences I am preparing breakfast
She is eating lunch
We are having dinner
We also can use the board for presenting prompts as a basis far practice
6 :30 Gets up , has a shower
7:30 Bus, work
Mohammed Ebrahim 12:00 lunch
Teacher of English,
In short, I’d like to say the board is one of the most useful of all visual
aids. We shouldn’t ignore its importance.
really worth it?
How CL can be a gratifying experience
rather than a frustrating one
By Tariq Ben Mohammed Brahmi
o o p e r a t ive L e a r n i n g ha s a lway s b e e n a c o n t r ove r s i a l i s s u e
C a n d l e d t o c o n f l i c t i n g v i ew s a m o n g t e a c h e r s. Whi l e s o m e
wo uld s we ar by the ir d e ar e s t o n e s that i t i s by far the
b e s t way t o i nvo l ve th e i r l e a r n e r s a n d t o m o t iva t e th e m , o th e r
te a che r s a s s e r t that it make s the m loo s e not only c ontrol of the
c l a s s b u t a l s o p r e c i o u s t i m e . U s u a l l y, t e a c h e r s g o f r o m t h e s e c -
o n d s t a n d p o i n t t o th e f i r s t b u t n o t th e o th e r way r o u n d . O n c e
you apply CL s uitably in your cla s s room, you will n eve r look
b a ck t o th e d ay s wh e n yo u we r e u n w i ll i n g t o ap p ly i t . I n thi s
a r t i c l e , I a m go i n g t o d e m o n s t r a t e how C L c a n b e r ewa r d i n g a n d
fun if it is done properly and how it can be a gratifying experi-
e n c e rathe r than a fr us trating on e.
The headmaster showed up and
experience with CL: started to hint to the state of chat
Like many of my colleagues, my os that my class was in. “No more
first lesson using CL was a complete group work” was my first react t
disaster. tion. That could have been the
I asked my students to sit in groups end of it. Well.. until a miracle My first lesson
of fours and fives. Sooner, I began happens, of course. using CL
to get nervous as the students fortt That same year, I was a member was almost
got about my presence and I failed in of a group of trainees paying a complete
to make them pay attention to my a visit to a veteran’s classroom. disaster.
instructions. To add to that misfort
t Observing experienced teachers’
tune, the lesson quickly ended in classrooms was part of my schedt t
the renowned scenario so hated by ule as a trainee. The marvel hapt t
teachers. pened in front of our eyes.
The teacher had his students sit What is the goal of this activity?
in groups. The lesson was going Is there a good a reason to assign
smoothly. The group members were it as a group work? Is it challengt
actively involved in achieving the ing enough to be assigned as a
tasks. The teacher was busy going CL activity? If the answer is No,
from group to group, explaining, perhaps it shouldn’t be.
helping, giving feedback, without Before delving into group work,
being too “present”. By the end of you have to make your students
the lesson, the groups took turns to aware of the benefits of workt t
A teacher has present their essays(It was a writing ing together and relate this to
to make his/her lesson). real life: start by telling a reltt
Was I impressed? Very much so! evant story or local proverbs. I
of the benefits of
working together The students left the classroom and usually talk about that old man
and relate this to we had about an hour to ask quest t who gathered his sons when he
real life. tions and to discuss the lesson. The felt he was going to die soon.
discussion was so valuable and it He took a stick and broke it .
opened our eyes to the dynamics Then, he took a bunch of sticks
underlying group work. This only and tried to break them, in vain.
opened my appetite for more so I He explained that as long as his
started reading all the materials that sons would be working together
were at my hands’ reach about CL. they would be more powerful.
The Internet was my best resource, A common proverb I use is a
as you would expect. I even opted Tunisian one. It states that even
for CL as the subject matter of my a heavy burden is light when it
research project the following year. is shared by a group of people.
Enough talk about my own experit t Just be creative and think about
ence. I know you are eager to find other examples.
out what made that teacher do well Moreover, don’t start with a very
where I failed. Wait no more: here challenging task. Choose a task
are the answers! and make it as simple and enjoyt t
able as possible: A towertbuildt t
The magician without ing activity or a simple puzzle
are commonly used as warmers
A tower- the magic wand: and teamtbuilding activities.
building activity Good teaching is like magic. When
or a simple Group work is a kind of social intt
you see a good lesson, your immeditt
puzzle are teraction. If your students don’t
ate reaction is an admiring “Wow”!.
commonly used know how to interact with each
as warmers and You are overwhelmed by it until
other, don’t expect them to suct t
team-building you start learning the tricks yourtt
ceed in dealing with the activity.
activities. self. Then, you will end up mumt t
Relevant questions that are going
bling jubilantly: “Aha!!..” The fun
to build the students’ interactive
will never end because you will be
the magician now and you will get
What do you think of…?
other people shine in admiration.
Do you think that…?
Trick Number One: Why is it important to ….?
Preparation, my friend! It is all in Do you agree that….?
the preparation. What is your opinion concern- -
Never come to your CL session unt t ing….?
prepared. Preparation means that Do you share his opinion?
you have to think about the activity These questions are only examt t
What students will need depends However, before going any furt t
on the task in question, their level, ther, it is important to remind
etc... ourselves that we shouldn’t ext t
One claim teachers typically have, pect our students to be totally
however, is that this is time consumtt quiet or use their body language
ing. The answer is that you are not when they are operating inside
going to do this in every lesson. You a group. The noise will be there
do it only in the beginning. It can inevitably. But it has to be cont t
take you a whole lesson to do that trolled and kept to a minimum.
but it will be rewarding by the end How? That is a good question:
of it. You can ask one of the members If our students
don’t know how
to be the noisetwatcher. The stut t
to interact with
Trick number Two: dent will keep eyetcontact with each other, we
Who is doing what? you and tell the group if they are shouldn’t expect
For our task to be successful, we exceeding the permitted limits. them to succeed
need to tell our students what we You do this and you hit two birds in dealing with
exactly expect from them. Make with the same stone(although I the activity.
sure that nobody is left out of the hate hitting birds): First, you keep
group and that everyone will have a a troubletmaking or lazy student
simple defined role: Many teachers busy. Second, you keep the noise
have come up with different names level low. Other teachers suggest
for those roles but they are the to keep a whistle to signal the
same, basically. Here are a few : Note level of noise is too high. Keept t
taker also called secretary. Presenter ing colored cards to draw attent t
also called Spokesman or Reportt t tion to the level of noise is also
er. Timekeeper, idea generator, noise another conceivable option. A
watcher, speech organizer are only a red card means the group is too
few more suggestions. Stick to these noisy, etc... Again, be creative and
or invent your own roles. invent your own solution.
But always make sure that the roles Trick number Four:
do more or less fit the members’ Less is more!
personality and level and that they While the groups work, try to
are not similar. Asking the shyt t keep your presence as impercept t
est person in the group to be the tible as possible. Interfere a lot
spokesman may not always the best and you will make the groups
bet. Besides, assigning the role of less concentrated on their task.
presenter, spokesman, and reporter Interfere less and they are more
inside the same group will only add productive. Does this mean you
to the students’ confusion. just sit down and “let the kids We need to
Trick number Three: play”? No, the teacher has to go make sure
I want more Noise! from group to group, listening that nobody is
I can see it in your eyes, that sustt , helping, giving feedback and left out of the
pecting look as you come across the making sure they are not loosing group and that
interest or ignoring the activity. everyone will
above line. More noise? Is he crazy?
You may want to be less present have a simple
Is he being serious? defined role.
The answer is Yes.. and No! because you want to make them
Noise is not always supposed to be take responsibility for their own
negative. I bet you have come across learning, interact using English,
the expression: “constructive noise”. and try to solve their problems
Having your own group assesst t
You may want to be there, however, ment form with the names of
in case they began to loose focus, the groups and the members
they need more clarification, or and assigning points as you go
have problems that they cannot ret
t from group to group will also
solve by themselves. help you get a more accurate
grading system. This, added to
Trick number Five: the product itself, will make a
The happy ending! good basis for a fair grade.
It is important to set a time limit.
Make sure the task is feasible within Putting the puzzle
Interfere a that time limit. pieces together:
lot and you Doing a group task that will never
will make the The morale of the story:
be presented to the class because the For a CL lesson to succeed, a
groups less bell rang is as detrimental as doing
concentrated teacher has to:
on their task. nothing at all. Let it be clear that •prepare the lesson beforehand.
Interfere the students have to finish in time. •talk about the benefits of working
less and they When they finish, the reporters will in groups.
are more “report” their work to the rest of the •teach the students how to interact
productive. class. After that, you can thank the with their peers in English.
groups for their efforts and make •assign clear roles to all the membb
them see the worth of their coopert t bers of the group.
ation. This will encourage them to •control noise and tolerate it if it
make more effort and enjoy it when doesn’t hamper the lesson.
you decide to do more CL later. •manage the groups, clarify the
tasks and give feedback while the
Trick number Six: groups work, without being too aub b
Give to Caesar… thoritative.
Group work Fair grading is a major concern for •grade both the product and the
should not only teachers especially when using CL. process.
be about the How can I decide whether all the Even then, don’t expect CL to
product. It must work perfectly from the first
also be about the members worked evenly during a
process. group activity? What should I really lesson. You will gain precious
grade, the students’ work as a whole insight into the dynamics of
or their individual contribution to group work while you are dot t
the group work? ing it. You will soon find what
Generally, group work should not works and what doesn’t work
only be about the product. It must with your classrooms. But unt t
also be about the process. Don’t less you try CL, you will never
only grade the product because it be good at teaching it.
may not reflect the members’ cont t
tributions to the group. Make sure
to include a kind of peer assessment References:
form using a simple point system. www.eric.ed.gov
Schreyer Institute for Teaching
The students are required to assess Excellence, “Commonly Asked
the involvement of their peers but Questions about Teaching Collab--
Tariq Ben Mohammed, they may also be asked to assess orative Activities”
Teacher of English, themselves. This will help you det t
Tunisia cide whether the grades are consistt