Reading is a complicated process in language teaching. It is closely connected with the comprehension of what is being read, and requires a complicated intellectual work, thus for instance: analysis, synthesis, induction, deduction, comparison.
The process of reading involves the work of visual, kinesthetic, aural analyzers, and thinking. The visual analyzer works when the reader sees a piece of text, while seeing it he silently “sounds” it, thus the kinesthetic analyzer works. Aural analyzer works when the reader pronounces his speech. Thus, due to the work of all the analyzers the reader understands the content of the text.
One of the aims in learning of reading is to reduce the activities of kinesthetic an aural analyzers, so that the reader can associate what he sees in the thought expressed in reading material, since inner speech hinders the process of reading making it very slow. The speed of reading depends on the reader’s ability to establish a direct connection between what he sees and what he means.
It is common knowledge that there are two ways of reading: aloud (orally) and silently. Usually, people start learning to read orally. While teaching a foreign language at school, both ways are developed. This development provides the learner with skills of both oral and silent reading. The complete ability of reading means that one can focus one’s attention on the meaning and not on the form (pupils treats the text not as a task).
The aim of the teacher is to bring his pupils to the stage where they treat printed symbols as words and phrases without noticing the shapes of separate letters. A good reader does not look at letters, not even words, one by one, he takes the meaning of three or four words at a time, in a single moment. His eyes move quickly and he never makes “halts”.
The teaching of reading at school includes:
· graphic-phonemic exercises which help pupils to assimilate graphic-phonemic correspondence in English
· structural-information exercises which help pupils to carry out lexical or grammar analysis to find logical subject and predicate in the sentences
· semantic-communicative exercises which help pupils to consider the text as a source of information
The performance of all these exercises constitutes the content of teaching and learning reading in a foreign language.
Textbooks are good teaching materials. They serve as a guide for both teacher and students. Textbook is the so called ‘nucleus’ of the school teaching program and without it there would be no schools.
Each textbook has its manual which contains special information about how to begin, conduct and end each lesson. It explains the purpose of this or that activity and objectives of each lesson.
The textbook that is being analyzed in this investigation is the textbook of the 7th grade. The author is Lilit Grigoryan (English 7, Yerevan, 2014).
The textbook comprises 10 units with subunits, which promote the students’ knowledge prepared for 7th grade. Every unit includes reading, speaking, writing, listening and grammar activities. The content of each unit includes: vocabulary notes, grammar spot, a text, listening and pronunciation assignments.
The aim of each unit is reaching a new level of knowledge, being able to talk about certain topics freely using proper vocabulary, express ideas and thoughts and if it is necessary to present them to foreigners.
Each of the activities increases the awareness of the learner about various topics in foreign language. There are many pre-reading tasks which are useful for thinking; words and word-combinations presented before the text are especially instructive. It prepares the pupils for the text.
Small grammar revisions are also very effective: they remind the students about little rules of grammar and writing, which can be easily forgotten in the course of time.
Several years ago little attention was paid to pronunciation. This point is an important and at the same time amusing contribution. The little poems intend to increase the students’ proficiency of pronunciation, they widen the flexibility of language skills, giving opportunity for a good communicative competence.
Needless to mention that just like every other textbook this one also except advantages, has its disadvantages.
Thus, among the disadvantages listening pointes should be mentioned, in fact they are too difficult for many students of 7th grade. They may seem incomprehensible and uninteresting or they can cause misunderstanding referring to pronunciation of words.
Teachers spend much time using textbooks in class, and it is of a great importance to choose the right textbook. Textbook is a collection of the knowledge, concepts and principles of a selected course.
However, the affectivity of each textbook depends on the professionalism of the teacher. Sometimes, teachers trust the textbooks too much and reject other learning aids or materials or some teachers reject a textbook considering it to be outdated and not proper for further teaching.
The attempt that is made to analyze this textbook is an enriching and irreplaceable experience for a would-be teacher.
It is essential to be able to realize the advantages and drawbacks of each textbook and reconcile the useful and necessary knowledge.
The proceeding investigation has been aimed at surveying upon the aims and content of foreign language teaching at school. The aims and content are discussed in details and with their subdivisions. Every division and every part comes to prove its place in teaching process. This investigation shows the different aims that a teacher should have in his/her mind as a pedagogue.
All of these aims should be parted into little objectives which can be reached at the end of each lesson, week, month, etc.
The content - ‘what to teach’ reveals the materials and other aids that teaching process may need. And the teacher is the one who should provide the class with those materials.
The second part of the term paper contains an analysis of a textbook. It should be mentioned that during the whole course of this study, the textbook analysis is especially interesting and instructive. It augments the capability to single out the aims and content. In a word it helps to understand and apply what is really necessary for students.
The work on this paper was an enriching experience. Not only did it raise my knowledge about the aims and content of language teaching but also it contributed my experience of analyzing a textbook, singling out the drawbacks and advantages of it.
· Rogova G.V. (1983). Methods of Teaching English, Prosveshcheniye
· Grigoryan L. (2014). English 7, Yerevan, Zangak
· Karapetyan L., Markaryan A. (2015) Methods of Teaching English as a Foreign Language: Theory and Practice, Yerevan, Zangak