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Stages of intensive reading and activities connected with reading texts.

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


  • 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


  • 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


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:

1. Plain Sense - to understand the factual, exact surface meanings in the text

2. Implications - to make inferences and become sensitive to emotional tone and figurative language

3. Relationships of thought - between sentences or paragraphs

4. 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 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

Role of the teacher

  • The teacher chooses suitable text.
  • The teacher chooses tasks and activities to develop skills.
  • The teacher gives direction before, during and after reading.
  • The teacher prepares students to work on their own. Often the most difficult part is for the teacher to "get out of the way" .
  • The teacher encourages students through prompts, without giving answers.


  • It provides a base to study structure, vocabulary and idioms.
  • It provides a base for students to develop a greater control of language
  • It provides for a check on the degree of comprehension for individual students


  • There is little actual practice of reading because of the small amount of text.
  • In a class with multi-reading abilities, students may not be able to read at their own level because everyone in the class is reading the same material.
  • The text may or may not interest the reader because it was chosen by the teacher.
  • There is little chance to learn language patterns due to the small amount of text.
  • Because exercises and assessment usually follow intensive reading, students may come to associate reading with testing and not pleasure.

22.Teaching listening at school. Reasons for listening:

ü Learners want to be able to understand what people are saying to them;

ü Listening is good for SS’ pronunciation;


What kind of listening to teach?


Extensive listening - listening for pleasure or some other reason outside the classroom;

Intensive listening - listening specifically in the classroom or laboratories.


Listening sources:

1. recorded extracts

2. live listening

What listening skills should students acquire?

ü for more general understanding (the main idea of the story, message of the conversation);

ü for specific information (time, numbers, addresses).

Listening principles:

Principle1:Encourage students to listen as often and as much as possible;

Principle 2: Help students to prepare to listen;

Principle 3: Once may not be enough;

Principle 4:Encourage students to respond to the content of a listening and express their feelings about it, not just to the language;

Principle 5: Different listening stages demand different listening tasks;

Principle 6: Good teachers use listening texts to the full.


Stages in teaching listening:

There are 3 main stages in teaching reading:

I. Pre-listening stage

II. Listening stage:

1. First listening (for the gist or main idea);

2. Second listening (for details)

3. Third listening (to complete information they might have missed and check their answers).

III. After listening stage or Follow Up.


Pre-listening stage activities:


ü Write the title of the listening text on the board. Have the students make predictions about the text based upon the title.

ü Show a picture from the text. Have the students make predictions based upon the picture.

ü Present vocabulary and then have students make predictions about the content of the listening text based on the vocabulary .


Listening stage:

I. Main idea activities:

ü Listen to the text quickly to find out if their prediction was correct.

ü Show several photos. Have Ss listen to the text and decide which of these pictures is/are appropriate for the text.

ü Listen to the text and match photos/titles to appropriate paragraphs in the text.

ü Listen to the text and sequence pictures according to the sequence in the text.

ü Listen to answer one or two general questions, T/F statements etc. about the content of the text (not too specific at this point).

ü Listen in order to answer questions Ss formulated before knowing the exact content of the text.

II. Detailed listening activities – more intensive comprehensive understanding:

ü True/false questions

ü Multiple choice questions

ü Matching questions to answers

ü Filling in a chart

ü Putting items in order (words, phrases, sentences, pictures)

ü Filling in blanks

ü Gap filling

ü Answering questions (more detailed than in Main idea part, the so called Why-questions)

ü Categorizing (e.g. Advantages / Disadvantages)

ü Jigsaw listening.

After listening stage or Follow Up.

Follow Up Activities:

ü Role-play

ü Discussion on the theme of the text

ü Writing task (e.g. write a letter, )

ü Display the information in another form

ü Select a function from the text and practice it (e.g. suggestions, making plans using the language in the text)

ü Practice grammar points.


23.Teachers’ skills, attitude and knowledge that teachers need to acquire.

2. Teachers’ skills and attitude

Attitudes Skills

Adaptability Managing classes

Recognising students Matching tasks and groups

Listening to students Variety

Respecting students


3. The knowledge that teachers need to acquire.

1. Knowing the subject i.e. the language system

2. Material and resources

3. Managing with classroom equipment

4. Keeping up-to-date



Date: 2015-01-02; view: 4219

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