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Reading comprehension Essay

|Types of Reading | |Maija MacLeod | |[pic] | |In this Page: | |Overview | |Intensive Reading | |Extensive Reading | |Intensive and Extensive Reading Together | |Scanning | |Skimming | |Scanning and Skimming Together | |References | |[pic] | |Overview: | |Several types of reading may occur in a language classroom. One way in which these may be categorized ,| |as suggested by Brown (1989) can be outlined as follows: | | A. Oral | | B. Silent | | I.

Intensive | | a. linguistic | | b. content | | II. Extensive | | a. skimming | | b. scanning | | c. global | |The first distinction that can be made is whether the reading is oral or silent. This web page will not| |deal with oral reading, only silent reading. | |Within the category of silent reading, one encounters intensive and extensive reading.

Intensive | |reading is used to teach or practice specific reading strategies or skills. The text is treated as an | |end in itself. Extensive reading on the other hand, involves reading of large quantities of material,| |directly and fluently. It is treated as a means to an end. It may include reading reading simply for | |pleasure or reading technical, scientific or professional material. This later type of text, more | |academic, may involve two specific types of reading, scanning for key details or skimming for the | |essential meaning.

A relatively quick and efficient read, either on its own or after scanning or | |skimming, will give a global or general meaning. | |This web page then will first examine intensive reading. The second part will deal with extensive | |reading, with a focus on how it results in a general or global meaning. The fourth part gives a short | |comment on how intensive and extensive reading may operate in the same class. The fourth part examines | |scanning and the fifth, scanning. A final sixth part comments on how scanning and skimming may be used | |in the same reading.

| | | |[pic] | |Intensive Reading | |In this section: | |What it is | |How it looks | |-Characteristics | |-Materials | |-Skills developed | |-Activities | |-Assessment | |When it is used | |Role of the teacher | |Advantages | |Disadvantages | |Questions sometimes asked | | | |What it is | |Brown (1989) explains that intensive reading “calls attention to grammatical forms, discourse markers, | |and other surface structure details for the purpose of understanding literal meaning, implications, | |rhetorical relationships, and the like.

” He draws an analogy to intensive reading as a “zoom lens” | |strategy . | |Long and Richards (1987) say it is a “detailed in-class” analysis, led by the teacher, of vocabulary | |and grammar points, in a short passage. ” | |Intensive Reading, sometimes called “Narrow Reading”, may involve students reading selections by the| |same author or several texts about the same topic. When this occurs, content and grammatical structures| |repeat themselves and students get many opportunities to understand the meanings of the text.

The | |success of “Narrow Reading” on improving reading comprehension is based on the premise that the more | |familiar the reader is with the text, either due to the subject matter or having read other works by | |the same author, the more comprehension is promoted. | |How it looks | |

Characteristics: | |usually classroom based | |reader is intensely involved in looking inside the text | |students focus on linguistic or semantic details of a reading | |students focus on surface structure details such as grammar and discourse markers | |students identify key vocabulary | |students may draw pictures to aid them (such as in problem solving) | |texts are read carefully and thoroughly, again and again | |aim is to build more language knowledge rather than simply practice the skill of reading | |seen more commonly than extensive reading in classrooms | |

Materials: | |usually very short texts – not more than 500 words in length | |chosen for level of difficulty and usually, by the teacher | |chosen to provide the types of reading and skills that the teacher wants to cover in the course | |

Skills developed: | |rapid reading practice | |interpreting text by using: | | -word attack skills | | | | -text attack skills | | -non-text information | |Activities: | |Intensive reading exercises may include: | |looking at main ideas versus details | |understanding what is implied versus stated | |making inferences | |looking at the order of information and how it effects the message | |identifying words that connect one idea to another | |identifying words that indicate change from one section to another | | | |

Munby (1979) suggests four categories of questions that may be used in intensive reading. These | |include: | |Plain Sense – to understand the factual, exact surface meanings in the text | |Implications – to make inferences and become sensitive to emotional tone and figurative language | |Relationships of thought – between sentences or paragraphs | |.

Projective – requiring the integration of information from the text to one’s own background information| |Note that questions may fall into more than one category. | |. | |Assessment: | |Assessment of intensive reading will take the form of reading tests and quizzes. | |The most common systems of questioning are multiple-choice and free-response.

| |Mackay (1968) , in his book Reading in a Second Language, reminds teachers that the most important | |objective in the reading class should NOT be the testing of the student to see if they have | |understood. Teachers should, instead, be spending most of the time training the student to understand | |what they read. | |When it is used | |when the objective of reading is to achieve full understanding of: | | – logical argument | | – rhetorical pattern of text | | – emotional, symbolic or social attitudes and purposes of the author | | – linguistic means to an end | | for study of content material that are difficult |.

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