Table of contents part 1 reading strategies page



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READING TECHNIQUES




  1. Understanding the unknown word/ phrase:




  1. From its context (from the sentence or paragraph in which it is written)

  2. Identifying the part of speech of the unknown word (to determine its function/job in the sentence)

  3. Identifying prefixes and/or suffixes in the word


  1. Understanding the sentence:

a) Determining the main sentence if you have more than one part (clause) in the sentence

b) Determining the subject and main verb of the main sentence

c) Understanding the relationship between two parts of one sentence or the relationship between two sentences

e.g. contradiction, agreement, addition, cause and effect, example...


  1. Identifying the Connecting Word and its Role:

(However, therefore, since, because, despite....)




  1. Identifying basic information:


Title_______________, Author_______________, Date_____________, Source________



  1. Skimming the article using the technique of Global Reading:

Read TADS, Subtitles, All of the INTRODUCTION, the FIRST sentence of every paragraph, All of the CONCLUSION




  1. Identifying Reference Words

Common Reference words:


this, that, these, those, it, he, she, they, them, its, his, her, their

such, one, ones, there, then

which, who, whom. whose

7) Recognizing the Author’s Purpose:

Why is the author presenting the given material?

His intention may be:

to warn, to allay fears, to inform, to entertain, to persuade, or to advise about his subject.
ACTIVITY: What is the writer’s purpose in each of the following cases?
Choose from the previous list (to warn, to allay fears, to inform, to entertain, to persuade, to advise)

1. Buy fruit and vegetables only from authorized dealers. Wash each item with detergent before use. Unwashed fruit and vegetables are a danger to your health. _______________

2. Keep this substance out of the reach of children. _______________

3. The situation is under control and there is no need for anyone to panic. _______________

4. I am going to tell you a funny story. _______________

5. The study showed that young people spend 22 hours per week watching


television. _______________
6. I believe that examination of the facts shows that this is definitely
the best course to follow. _______________

7. During the American Revolution some colonists remained loyal to the


British. _______________

8. The worst recorded epidemic of all time was the bubonic plague, which swept Europe, Asia and Africa from 1346 to 1353. _______________

9. Placing airbags in all new cars would save thousands of lives every year. Auto manufacturers should be required to install this safety feature. _______________

10. We must reform our penal system. The percentage of those released from prison who are later rearrested shows how inadequate the system is. _______________



Recognizing the Structure of an Article

What is the “structure”?




  1. Does the introduction present the main idea?




  1. How is the main idea supported? Is there a predominant style in the article? Is one of the following styles used?

    1. examples

    2. question and answer

    3. comparison and contrast

    4. cause and effect

    5. facts / personal experiences




  1. What is the relationship between paragraphs?

    1. Does each paragraph present a new idea?

    2. Does one paragraph refer to a previous paragraph?

    3. Are subtitles provided?




  1. How can paragraphs be grouped according to ideas presented?

5. What is the relationship between the first sentence of a paragraph and the rest of the paragraph?



  1. Is the first sentence of each paragraph the main idea of that paragraph?

  2. How is the rest of the paragraph constructed?
    Examples/ question and answer/ comparison and contrast / cause and effect/ facts / personal experiences

  3. Does the last sentence of the paragraph express/sum up the main idea?




  1. Does the conclusion repeat, reinforce, or enlarge upon the main idea?

7. Does the author offer opinions, make suggestions or predictions in the conclusion?



Think about these questions as you read the following short text.

Computers, Networks and Education

From Scientific American, September 1991

by Alan O. Key
1 The physicist. Murray Gall Mann has remarked that education in the 20th century is like being taken to the world's greatest restaurant and being fed the menu. He meant that representations of ideas (the menu) have replaced the ideas themselves (the food). In other words, students are taught superficially about great discoveries instead of being helped to learn deeply for themselves.
2 In the near future, all the representations that human beings have invented will be instantly accessible anywhere in the world on intimate, notebook-size computers. But will we be able to get from the menu to the food? Or will we no longer understand the difference between the two? Worse, will we lose even the ability to read the menu and be satisfied just to recognize that it is one?
3 There has always been confusion between carriers and contents, for example, between the piano and musical feelings. Pianists know that music is not in the piano. It begins inside human beings as special urges to communicate feelings. But many children are forced to "take piano" before their musical impulses develop; then they turn away from music for life. The piano at its best can only be an amplifier of existing feelings.
4 The computer is the greatest "piano" ever invented, for it is the master carrier of representations of every kind. Now there is a rush to have people, especially schoolchildren, "take computer”. Computers can amplify yearnings in ways even more profound than can musical instruments. But if teachers do not nourish the romance of learning and expressing, any external mandate for a new "literacy" becomes as much a crushing burden as being forced to perform Beethoven's sonatas while having no sense of their beauty. Instant access to the world’s information will probably have an effect opposite to what is hoped: students will become numb instead of enlightened.

5 In addition to the notion that the mere presence of computers will improve learning, several other misconceptions about learning often hinder modern education. Stronger ideas need to replace them before any teaching aid, be it a computer or pencil and paper, will be of most service.


6 One of these stronger ideas is that we are capable of constructing new ways of thinking which expand our understanding. Although understanding or creating such constructions is difficult, the need for struggle should not be grounds for avoidance. An educational system that tries to make everything easy and pleasurable will prevent most important learning from happening.
7 One of the pitfalls of existing media is that media try to fight complexity. In addition, the form of the carrier of information is not neutral; it both dictates the kind of information conveyed and affects thinking processes. This property applies to all media, not just the new high-tech ones. Socrates complained about writing. He felt it forced one to follow an argument rather than participate in it, and he disliked both its alienation and its persistence. He was unsettled by the idea that a manuscript traveled without the author, with whom no argument was possible. Worse, the author could die and never be talked away from the position taken in the writing.
8 Users of media need to be aware, too, that technology often forces us to choose between quality and convenience. Compare the emotions evoked by great paintings and illuminated manuscripts with those evoked by excellent photographs of the originals. The feelings are quite different. For the majority of people who cannot make such comparisons directly, there is an understandable tendency to accept the substitution as though nothing were lost. Consequently, little protest has been made over replacing high-resolution photographs of great art (which themselves do not capture the real thing) with lower-resolution videodisc images (which distort both light and space even further). The result is that recognition, not reverie, is the main goal in life and also in school, where recognition is the higher act to which most students are asked to aspire.



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