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1PART 1: INTRODUCTION1. Rationale of the study.Nowadays, English is the most popular language in the world. As an effectivemeans of international communication, it is used as the official language in many fields oflife such as economics, politics, science, technology, sports and many others. This leads toan increasing demand of learning English. There are more and more people who learnEnglish and consider it as an inevitable factor in their work and life.In Vietnam, English has been brought into the school curriculum as a compulsorysubject, and the teaching and learning of that international language has been recently paidgreat attention to. When teaching English, the teacher teaches his students not only theEnglish language but also its usage. And under the right guidance, right help of the teacher,the students have to try their best to master 4 language skills: reading, writing, listeningand speaking in order to communicate in English successfully. Among these four skills,reading plays an important role in enriching the students’ general knowledge and inhelping them with their further study later.Owing to the importance of reading itself, the growing interest in learning Englishin Vietnam creates a wide learning environment. It can be seen that the teaching of readingof reading comprehension has been paid in increasing attention to its different aspects. Astime goes by, many experts and methodologists have come to understand that readingcomprehension is important not only at schools but also afterwards. That is reading helpsstudents as readers develop their language ability in general and comprehension skills inparticular at schools as well as gives them other benefits to avoid cultural and languagebias, etc. in daily communication. Recognizing the importance of reading, I decide onchoosing “Using While- Reading Techniques to Improve Reading Comprehension forthe 11th Form Students at Phan Dang Luu High School ” 2. Aims of the studyThe specific aims of the study are as follows:- Clarifying the nature of reading comprehension in accordance with someimportant points in teaching this skill.- Investigating the present situation of teaching and learning readingcomprehension of the 11th form students to find out advantages as well as problems facingboth teachers and students in reading lessons.- Suggesting useful techniques to develop the reading comprehension skillsin the while- reading stage for the 11th form in Phan Dang Luu high school.3. Scope of the studyDue to the limitation, all the techniques suggested are used in the while- readingstage. And the object of this study is the 11th form students at Phan Dang Luu high school.4. Methods of the studyTo implement this study, the following methods are used:- Consulting related materials: For the sake of getting knowledge anduseful ideas, I read many books and other materials in addition to earlier researches aboutreading and teaching reading comprehension.- Delivering survey questionnaire and observing reading lessons: Tofulfill this thesis, two survey questionnaires, one for students and another for teachers andsome reading class observations were carried out to find out the teachers’ and students’attitudes toward teaching and learning reading as well as their working methods.5. Significance of the study.The findings of the study are believed to be useful for reading teachers to be awareof the essential role of while- reading stage in a reading lesson. Furthermore, thesuggestions for while- reading techniques hopefully can help the students to improve theirreading skills as well as the teachers.6. Design of the study.The thesis is divided into three parts. The first part is the Introduction whichincludes rationale aims, scope, methods, significance and design of the study. The second-Development is the main part which consists of three chapters. Chapter I is about review ofliterature relating to reading comprehension. Chapter II investigates the present situation oflearning and teaching reading to the 11th form students at Phan Dang Luu high school.Chapter III gives some suggested techniques used in the while- reading stage to developthe reading skill for the 11th form students. Part III is the Conclusion of the study.2PART 2: DEVELOPMENTCHAPTER 1: LITERATURE REVIEWIn this chapter, I attempt to deal with definitions of reading in general and readingcomprehension in particular, types of reading and teaching reading comprehension.1.1. Theoretical background of reading comprehension1.1.1 Definitions of reading.The term “Reading” is widely used in practice. However, reading is differentlydefined due to the areas of defining in term of activities or goals at any one level on grade.That is why, no definition of reading can possibly include all points of views and features.Moreover, each one’s definition only reflects what reading means to that person.However, a careful considered definition of reading is very necessary for thereading teacher. Because reading is the most critical aspect of any teaching programme andfor the teachers to decide what they will teach in the classroom. Herein, I would like tomention some definitions of reading extracted from different sources on the theme.Elias and Ingram (1977:55) states:“Reading was defined as the abstraction of meaning from a visual configuration,and was shown to involve desirably not a painstaking grapheme- by- grapheme decodingbut the postulation of alternatives of meaning which one reduced by the parsimoniousinteraction of the component process with the visual configuration.”Besides, Goodman (1982) points out reading as psycholinguistic guessing game.Because it deals with how language and thought are interactive, but it operates within asociolinguistic context. According to the Gould, Diyanni, Smith and Standford (1990),reading is related to interpretation, making sense of all events taking place around us for aprocess of making potential meanings for readers. Especially, Buzan (1997) finds that allcommon reading definitions only relate to a part of the process and an accurate definitionof reading must contain the full range of reading skills, or reading as a multi- level processwhich comprise the following steps:• Recognition: You are concerned with understanding of alphabeticalsymbols. This step occurs instantly before physical reading begins.• Assimilation: This step starts with word then to the eye and via the opticnerve to the brain.3• Intra- Integration: This step refers to the link of all parts of theinformation being read with all other appropriate parts.• Extra- Integration: This step requires learners to bring all of theirprevious knowledge to what they read, making appropriate connections, analyzing,criticizing, appreciating, selecting and rejecting.• Retention: This step requires the basic storage of information of thereaders.• Recall: This process shows the ability of the readers to get back thestorage when it is needed.• Communication: This process includes written and spoken in whichinformation is used immediately or eventually. It also contains very crucial andoften neglected human function: Thinking- “thinking is your ongoing extraintegration” (Buzan, 1997:34)Although those reading definitions are of different attitudes to reading, they seemto have some features in common. It is because they all concentrate on the nature ofreading. To make this point clear, Abbot, Wingard, Greenwood and McKeating (1981: 81)shows that“Here are two broad aspects or levels. First there is basically visual task, that ofdeciphering the marks on the page, the brain receiving signals, from the eyes. Secondly,there is cognitive task, that of interpreting the visual information, so the one is not simply“barking at print””Deriving from those opinions, reading is considered a process in which a readerlooks at and understand what has been written out.1.1.2 Definitions of reading comprehension In teaching reading, it is necessary to understand the nature of readingcomprehension. What the teacher understands about it will have a great influence on what heor she teaches in the class. He would know what to teacher and how to make his readinglesson effectively. In fact, methodologists have been providing different definitions ofreading comprehension.According to Grellet (1981: 3): “Reading comprehension or understanding awritten text means extracting the required information from it as efficiently as possible.”4The author means that reading comprehension is an activity which aims at decoding themeaning of word combination in the text in the most efficient way.Also concerning the reading comprehension, Richard and Good (1978:9) provide aclearer point of view: “Reading comprehension is best described as an understanding between the authorand the reader. The emphasis is on the reader understanding of the printed page based onthe individual reader’s unique background of experience. Reading is much than justpronouncing words correctly or simply what the author intends. It is the process wherebythe printed pages stimulate ideas, experiences and responses that are unique to anindividual”According to the above authors, reading comprehension is not only simplyunderstanding what is written, but also is what stimulates students to remember from theirexperiences. That knowledge is then used to get meaning out of printed page, but in themind of the readers which included not only facts or details but also emotion, belief andcritical evaluation.From these opinions, it can be concluded that reading comprehension is a processof understanding what is conveyed in the text. It does not mean that the reader needs tounderstand every single word in the text but actively work on the text and extract therequired information efficiently.1.1.3 The importance of readingDeriving from some of reading definitions above, we find that reading is a veryimportant factor in language acquisition. It is important because it is considered anessential skill both at school and afterwards. Reading takes its place alongside thedevelopment of oral ability in the school programme. Reading also gives us as readers a lotof opportunities to contact with different contexts in our daily life. Byrne (1988:46)provides three reasons for the importance of reading as follows:“* It offers language learners another areas of success. We should accept that notall students will be good speakers and at least give them credit if they become good readers*It gives the students a skill which they can use on their own (i.e. it is a key to self-access work)5* It is likely to be one of the skills that most students will need in the long term.Certainly, it is one that they will always be able to put to use. That is, they can read even ifthey do not get any opportunities to speak. ”Generally, no one can deny that reading brings readers an ocean of knowledge ofdifferent areas. They can learn more experience of life. Then they have necessary benefitsto avoid difficulties in mutual understanding in communication such as: culture shock,language shock due to different cultures, habits, and languages. Moreover, reading is alsoan important way of expanding students’ receptive knowledge of language and stimulatingstudents to talk and write.However, all reasons mentioned earlier show that in terms of classroom activities itis good for students to read but we can not assume that all students are efficient readers.Much depends on how well they have been taught to read in their mother tongue.1.1.4 Types of reading.We read different texts in different ways. According to the way of reading, we havealoud reading and silent reading. Depending on the purpose of reading, we can classifyreading into skimming, scanning, intensive reading and extensive reading. According to the ways of reading. Aloud readingAloud reading is an unnatural activity because most people do not read aloud inreal life, and it is difficult for the speaker to pay attention to the meaning of the text whenreading aloud. According to Doff (1988:67), “aloud reading involves looking at a text,understanding it and also saying it. Its purpose is not just to understand a text but to conveythe implication to someone else.”This kind of activity seems to be more popular in the language classroom. Itfocuses on the pronunciation of words in the text rather than understanding. In reading atext, students come across many new words and phrases that they do not know how topronounce. The teacher, in this case may help his students pronounce words by reading thetext orally and loudly.Aloud reading is often applied for beginners and limited in upper classes because ofsome reasons. Firstly, it takes up a long time as students often read slowly when they focuson pronunciation. They consequently have not enough time to deduce the meaning of thetext or complete comprehension exercises. Secondly, because students are concerned with6pronunciation, it is hardly for them to understand the meaning of the text as Lewis and Hill(1995:110) mention: “Asking a student to read aloud also means that he may concentrateinadequately on their meaning. He may read correctly but afterward will not be able to tellwhat he has read”That is the reason why, only for the early stages of foreign language learning, aloudreading should become an established part of a lesson to help the beginners read words,phrases with correct stress and intonation in a sentence. Silent reading Silent reading is the nearest approach to the essence of reading. Because only byreading silently, can the readers best comprehend the written materials in the shortestpossible time.According to Broughton, Brumfit and other linguistics (1980:92), the nature ofsilent reading skills is far from uniform. It is changeable according to the use to which it isbeing put. Some of them are mentioned as follows:• To survey material which is to be studies, to look through indexes,chapter heading and outlines.• To skim- particularly when one item of information is being sought in amass of other printed information.• To gain superficial comprehension, as when reading for pleasure orpreparing to read aloud.• To study the content of what is read in some detail.• To study the language in which the material is written.Through these ways of using reading, the readers’ depth and detail ofunderstanding, of comprehension will be improved effectively. According to the purposes of reading. SkimmingSkimming is commonly used in reading comprehension. It is one of specificreading techniques necessary for quick and efficient reading. There have been manydefinitions of skimming.Greenwood (1981:92) writes: “the reader goes through particular passage such asnewspaper article merely to get the gist”7In this term, Douglas Brown has the same opinion but it is clearer than that ofabove author. He wrote:“Skimming consists of quickly running eyes across the whole text for its gist.Skimming gives readers the advantage of being able to predict the purpose of the passage,the main topic, or massage, or possibly some of the developing or supporting ideas.”Considering the two opinions, it can be concluded that skimming is a skill thatenables readers to get the main point of the text without being concerned with details. Theyonly go through the text very fast to get general sense or the gist of it. In brief, skimming is a very useful study technique to help the learner organize histhoughts and specify what information he can get from a book, so that his reading is moreefficient. Hence, skimming should be applied in teaching reading to help students have anoverview of what they read. ScanningSimilar to skimming, scanning is a necessary technique in reading efficiently.Douglas (2001:308) defines scanning as follows: “Scanning was quickly searching forsome particular piece or pieces of information in a text”Sharing the same opinion with Douglas Brown, Williams (2001:100) emphasizes:“Scanning occurs when a reader goes through a text very quickly in order to find a particularpoint of information.” It reveals the key to scanning is to decide exactly what kind ofinformation we are looking for and where to find it.In addition, Grellet (1981:19) gives a more detailed definition of scanning: “Whenscanning, we only try to locate information and often we do not even follow the linearity ofpassage to do so, and scanning is far more limited since it only means retrieving whatinformation is relevant to our purpose.”These authors have the same point that while scanning reader does not need to readform cover to cover, they only look for the information they want by running their eyesrapidly along the lines. It can be practised with the great range of texts such as dictionaries,map, advertisements, labels, etc. This kind of reading is very useful in reading selectively.In general, both skimming and scanning are effective techniques for quick andefficient reading. It is advisable to make use of them to improve reading comprehensionskills for students in reading classes. Intensive readingIntensive reading is also widely used in a reading class. Its is an effective way toexplore the text, to go deeply into the meaning and the organization of the text.According to Grellet (1981:4) “Intensive reading means reading short text to extractspecific information. This is an accuracy activity involving reading for details.”In addition, Nuttal (1989:23) writes: “Intensive reading involves approaching thetexts under the close guidance of the teacher…, or under the guidance of a task whichforces the students to pay great attention to the ext. the aim of intensive reading is to arriveat a profound and detail understanding of the text: not only of what is means but also ofhow the meaning is produced. ”From the mentioned opinions intensive reading’s aim is to achieve fullunderstanding of the logical arguments, attitude, and purposes of the writer as well as hislinguistic means to achieve these purposes.Sharing the same opinion with Nuttal, Douglas (2001:312) defines: “Intensive reading is usually a classroom oriented activity in which studentsfocuses on linguistic or semantic details of a passage. Reading calls students’ attention togrammatical forms, discourse markers and other surface structure details for the purpose ofunderstanding literal meaning, implication, rhetorical relationships and the like””In short, intensive reading is a basic classroom activity. It is really effective if theteacher and his students know how to fully exploit this activity in class with the help ofreading exercises. Extensive readingExtensive reading is also called “reading for fluency”. The students read long textsto have general understanding, to develop fluency in reading or to relax. This is an activityinvolving global understanding just as Grellet (1981:4) confirms: “Extensive readingmeans reading longer text, usually or one’s own pleasure. This is a fluency activity mainlyinvolving general understanding.”In Brown’s opinion, besides practising fluency, extensive reading helps studentsenrich their language elements because it is one of the keys to achieve reading ability,linguistic competence, vocabulary, spelling and writing (2001:301)9And to Nuttal (1989:168), this kind of reading is also a very useful skill for studentsto widen their knowledge as he wrote: “The best way to improve one’s knowledge offoreign language is to go and live among its speakers. The next best way is to readextensively in it.”To summarize, extensive reading is one of good ways to improve one’s knowledgeof a foreign language because its aim is to cover the content of text in the shortest possibleperiod of time. In the language classroom, the teacher must introduce some suitablereading materials to students, as it is useful for them to form a good habit of reading.1.2 Teaching reading comprehension1.2.1 Relationship between reading and other skills.In the process of teaching and learning English, it is very crucial for learners to realizethe integration of language. That is the possibilities of other aspects of foreign programme.Therefore, reading skill is closely related to writing, listening and speaking skills. Understandingrelations will help learners succeed.According to Rivers and Temperly (1978), reading skill is not a single skill but anintegrated- language skill. Firstly, reading is related to writing. That is when students areasked to summarize or continue the reading material such as resume, end of a story, shortdescriptions of the characters, etc. secondly, reading is concerned with listeningcomprehension. Students may listen to a story, a play… than read it or read first and “listento a worthwhile reading or dramatic presentation of what they have read. The aural elementadds vividness and life to the reading unit” (Rivers and Temperly, 1978:259). They furthernote that“Practice in direct reading of a text which is readily accessible to the students at theirpresent level of knowledge, while they are simultaneously listening to a taped model readingit in meaningful and expressive segments, can help students develop useful habits ofanticipation and syntactic identification in both of these skills.”Thirdly, that is integration of reading and speaking. Reading materials serve as afundamental source for oral presentations as they can base on these ideas they have read todiscuss or debate for their own purposes. This is the best way for them to share what theyhave been reading with others.10[...]... Students’ ’ choice(%) choice(% ) Sometimes Teachers Students’ ’ choice(% choice(% ) ) Never Students’ Teachers’ choice(%) choice(%) 28 Questions and answers T/F exercises Multiple choice exercises Finding the topic sentences Finding synonyms and antonyms Blank filling Reordering exercises Completing exercises Matching exercises Finding equivalents 82 85 18 15 0 0 72 80 25 20 3 0 85 85 11 15 4 0 7 15... methods of study 2.1.1 Objects of the study The main objects of this study are: - One hundred 11th form secondary students at Phan §¨ng Lu high school, most of them have been learning English for nearly six years - Ten teachers of English at Phan §¨ng Lu high school, especially those who are teaching English to the 11th form students 19 2.1.2 Objectives of the study There are three main objectives of this... used: - Using survey questionnaire: To find out the present situation of learning and teaching reading to the 11th form students at Phan Dang Luu high school, two survey questionnaires, one for teachers and another for students are conducted among students and 10 teachers at Phan Dang Luu high school - Observing classes: Class observation is also a useful method It gives a chance to observe the teaching... facing the reading teachers a well as the pupils In order to fulfill this thesis, two survey questionnaires were conducted to the 11 th form pupils and eight teachers of English, especially those who are teaching English to the 11th form students at Phan Dang Luu high school to get more details of the reality of teaching and learning reading comprehension at while- reading stage This section deals... basing on some linguistics scholars have been presented Second, teaching reading comprehension consisting of relationship between reading and other skills, the role of the teacher as well as the students in the three stages of a reading lesson have been reviewed 18 CHAPTER 2: THE PRESENT SITUATION OF LEARNING TEACHING READING TO THE 11TH FORM STUDENTS AT PHAN DANG LUU HIGH SCHOOL 2.1 Introduction Nowadays,... may make students to try more and accordingly help to build up their reading skills Chart 11: Classroom organization in the while- reading stage A Yes B No Chart 11 Teachers and students gave quite different answers when being asked about the way of organizing while- reading activities It is evident from Chart 11 that only 20% of 30 students gave their answer that their teachers asked them to work in... text For instance, in the text “Friendship” (English 11: 13, the students may be asked to answer the question: Which of the choices A, B, C or D most adequately sums up the ideas of the whole passage? A A friend in need is a friend indeed B Conditions of true friendship C Features of a good friend D Friends and acquaintances When doing the multiple choices exercises, the students need to understand the... English 11 textbook A Interesting B Boring C Suitable to student’ level D Not suitable to students’ level Chart 4 Basing on the collected data from Chart 1, 2 and 3, it is obvious that a majority of students and teachers had positive attitudes towards learning and teaching reading comprehension Most of students were interested in reading in English (chart 1) They gave 22 various reasons for their choice... result of a reading lesson 2.2.2 Class observations From the factual class observation (observation sheet 1 and 2) there still exist both strong and weak points in the process of teaching reading comprehension texts, especially in the while- reading stage In terms of strong points, the condition of learning and teaching is quite good with enough facilities such as cassettes and tapes In the while- reading... teaching and learning reading comprehension The next chapter will suggest some while- reading techniques for teaching comprehension for the 11th form students 32 CHAPTER 3 SOME SUGGESTED TECHNIQUES USED IN THE WHILE- READING STAGE TO DEVELOP THE READING SKILLS FOR THE 11TH FORM STUDENTS As mentioned above, the while- reading stage is regarded as the main part of a reading lesson This stage often occupies . I decide onchoosing “Using While- Reading Techniques to Improve Reading Comprehension forthe 11 th Form Students at Phan Dang Luu High School ” 2 to the 11 thform pupils and eight teachers of English, especially those who are teaching English to the11th form students at Phan Dang Luu high school
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