Friday, July 27, 2012

Article 4:Reading matters: What is reading?

Reading matters: What is reading?

I enjoyed reading this article. It went over what the importance of reading is and how we teach reading depending on the material we are referring to. The article also gives excellent scenarios or examples of text and how we should teach them.

For L2 learners, it is important to teach them strategies for reading as they do tend to read every word and try to translate word for word and miss the meaning of the sentence. I try to teach them that it is not necessary to read word for word to get the overall meaning. In fact, key words can help us create the gist of the sentence.

I remember being introduced to Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll when I was doing my B.Ed and it was quite interesting to see how it is possible to understand a text without really knowing what it is talking about. I need to remember to try this next time I get a French class for the fun of it!

More importantly, I liked what Adrian Tennant said about how reading impacts our teaching and that we should make our reading materials meaningful and relevant for them in real life:

So, planning our reading lessons is essential, and we need to make sure that our aims are clear and that the text and tasks are appropriate. In many cases we can relate our questions to what we do in real life with the type of text we choose. In other words, what do we read in real-life situations? Why do we read these texts? What is the purpose of the writer and of the reader (us in this case)? How do we read the text in order to get what we need from it?

For me, I think I would have appreciated more instruction on how to read labels, order food, read tables and instructions in French when I was in high school. It was difficult to order food in a French speaking environment because I didn't know what to order or how to order. Certain foods did not make sense to me because I didn't know what they were. Situations like that, I wished I learned it in school so that I could do it in real life. I could read Molière and I could discuss themes and philosophies but I could not chat online in French about every day things. It's not to say that I didn't appreciate learning about Molière, it's just that it would have been nice to know some simple things, too. From that thought, I do agree that it would be important to plan reading lessons well so that we are not only teaching them to read but to also read in real life situations.

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