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  1. #1
    Noego is offline Senior Member
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    Default Teaching reading comprehension

    I've googled this topic a couple of time but nothing really practical came up.

    Does anyone has any suggestions as far as teaching a text goes (reading comprehension).

    I like to help my students to:
    1. Identify the main ideas of each paragraphs
    2. Translate the new words
    3. Draw them on the board
    4. Explain the new words by using synomyms or giving simple definitions.

    I also try to explain new grammatical content, idioms or verbal phrases.

    I feel like it's kind of getting repetitive however. I am really open to suggestions as far as reading comprehension is concerned. I'm following my instinct but I don't really have much formation (apart for a TEFL) and we didn't cover that during my training.

  2. #2
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    rancher247 is offline Member
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    Default Re: Teaching reading comprehension

    You said you searched google-which search terms did you use?
    I googled teaching reading comprehension main ideas and found a few results which looked interesting.
    ReadingQuest | Reading Strategies for Social Studies
    Reading Comprehension Skills

    You may also want to search Amazon for books which may have ideas for teaching reading comprehension.

    Could you possibly be more specific as to what you want to be included in the reading comprehension?

  3. #3
    Noego is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Teaching reading comprehension

    Hello,

    Thanks for the links.

    I have to teach texts to the students.

    So far, I've taught them new words and grammatical elements. I've also summarized the text.

    Some of the students still don't understand the story however. I'm trying to find a way for them to really get the idea, what is being said.

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Teaching reading comprehension

    Have you see this site? The reading comprehension exercises used show a wide variety of activities that can be done to exploit a text. Have you used word clouds? Run a text through here and it will generate a word cloud, which emphasises repeated words (except common grammatical ones) by increasing their size. It can be used as a very quick way of highlighting the keywords, which I have used with students and it does generate a pretty good snapshot of a text.

    BTW what level are they?

  5. #5
    Noego is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Teaching reading comprehension

    Sorry for the late reply.

    Here, I've uploaded a Power Point I've made about what I'm supposed to teach.

    What do you think? Feel free to rip it apart. Everyone is nice to me here but I'm not getting any good criticism.

    TurboUpload- One-Click Webhosting - File ID 1740867

    Their level varies a lot. I would say from Beginner to Advanced.

    Right now I'm mostly explaining the new words and giving them examples of phrasal verbs and idioms that are found in the text. I also paraphrase the content of the paragraphs I've done this for too long though. I can feel the students are getting bored of this so it's time for a change.

    To be honest, it's really hard for me to evaluate what I should teach in the texts I'm provided.

    I will read carefully any feedback and will seriously consider it.

    EDIT: I can't access "breaking news English". I don't know why, maybe it's because I'm in China.

  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Teaching reading comprehension

    It's broken down into too many small chunks IMO. That way students lose the cohesion. It also concentrates heavily on vocab items and doesn't look at larger chunks of meaning much, which would be advantageous for the beinner students. To be honest, if you have that wide a difference in the same room, you might be better off offering different texts at the different levels; taking a middle course may leave niether satisfied.

  7. #7
    Noego is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Teaching reading comprehension

    Thanks.

    I agree with you, I'm spending too much energy on details rather than the whole. That is what you mean, right?

    You're right, the students do lose cohesion.

    Problem is, I have no power over what I teach. I must teach the book.

    Could you provide any hints as to how I could improve my presentation? I do have a Chinese assistant but I'm not too sure as to what he should do.

    Thanks so much for the criticism. I really need that.

  8. #8
    Noego is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Teaching reading comprehension

    Hi again.

    After reading your advice and experiencing the poor response of the students to my teaching I decided I would change and work as hard as necessary to turn things around.

    I worked 6 hours yesterday on my PowerPoint and made some changes.

    I added the Chinese version under the English excerpt. I thought it might give them a better idea as to what the text is about in their own language. Logically, once they have a better idea of what the text is about, it should be easier to explain the concepts to them.

    I also greatly reduced definitions of the actual words. I opted for a Chinese translation instead. I will still provide them with examples so they can use the words in English context.

    Here's a screen shot to give you a better idea. I would be eternally grateful if you (or anyone) could offer some more pointers to improve. I never want to stop improving.



    I've also added some grammatical explanations.

    Here. (I didn't put the image here as I didn't want punish dial-ups!)

  9. #9
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Teaching reading comprehension

    The text is, I take it from the book, what exercises go with it in the book? For example, what practice is done with the words learnt? With this snippet, you got both the noun and the adjective from 'enthuse'- do they get practice in different word forms? If not, that's something you could do.

    How much do you use PowerPoint? I use it very sparingly (not a huge fan) as I feel it can be a barrier if it becomes the focal point too often and reduces the opportunites for ineraction in the class.

  10. #10
    Noego is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Teaching reading comprehension

    I've stopped using PowerPoint. I'm willing to try anything to improve my teaching.

    Tdol:

    This website: Breaking News English Lessons: Free ESL Lesson Plans | Listening won't load for me. Maybe it's because I'm in China, I don't know. I've already tried it several times in the past weeks and it just never works.

    I've also tried this:http://www.usingenglish.com/resource...statistics.php
    Unfortunately it doesn't really do anything for me. I've noticed that many words which are repeated are not actually important in the text, so the usefulness of this tool is limited (as far as I'm concerned).

    Rancher:

    I've checked out this site:

    ReadingQuest | Reading Strategies for Social Studies

    It does have some neat strategies but I'm dumbfounded as to the validity of those. I suppose I could randomly try several of those but considering time is limited, it just isn't an option.

    As for this one:

    Reading Comprehension Skills

    It's the same problem, only exercises. Not explanation or description of a teaching method. This is getting really frustrating.

    As for buying a book, I'd prefer not to. Considering that I'm in China, I would really prefer to find something off the internet rather than spend a whole week's salary on a book when I could get it for free on the net.

    I've also found this website, but it only gives reading exercises (practice). It doesn't explain any methods...

    English Works! Reading Exercises

    What about vocalizing words when the students are reading?

    They all seem pretty keen on that. Some sources say that we should vocalize and others than we shouldn't.

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