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ELTM Unit 3 Focus on Reading. Presented By: Jia Lin (Dana). Unit 3 Objectives. Think of reading as an active process focused on meaning. Learn about different approaches towards reading. Know how to teach reading strategies such as skimming, scanning and inferring.

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ELTM Unit 3 Focus on Reading

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ELTM Unit 3Focus on Reading

Presented By: Jia Lin (Dana)

Unit 3 Objectives

  • Think of reading as an active process focused on meaning.

  • Learn about different approaches towards reading.

  • Know how to teach reading strategies such as skimming, scanning and inferring.

  • Be able to design a lesson that teaches reading in three stages.



Unit 3 Overview



Warm-up Exercise



1Introducing Reading

A1 P101-105









...changing symbols into words

...build up meaning from words

...build meaning from topic down to word level

...both bottom-up and top-down

...background knowledge

...related to the topic

...a plan or tactic by which one accomplishes something

Key Terms

A1 P101-105


Reading involves...

  • Not only recognizing words, but making sense of them.

  • More than just “decoding” or knowing how words should be pronounced.

  • Actively guessing, predicting, checking and asking questions.

  • Getting the meaning out of a text and responding to it appropriately.

A1 T1 P101


What kind of reading do you do?

A1 T2 P102


Why we read.

  • To survive.

    • Buying products and using them properly (e.g. medicine bottles). The kind of reading you do at work. Studying to pass exams.

  • For information.

    • Reading with the purpose of broadening your general knowledge and learning more about the world (e.g. newspapers, magazines, web pages).

  • For pleasure.

    • Reading for leisure and entertainment (e.g. novels, movie subtitles).

A1 T2 P101-102


How would you read this?

HIV-Positive Muppet Gets UNICEF Role

Mon Nov 24, 4:27 PM ET

By NAOMI KOPPEL, Associated Press Writer

GENEVA - The U.N. Children's Fund has appointed an HIV-positive Muppet starring in the South African version of "Sesame Street" as a "global champion for children," officials said Monday.

Kami, a mustard-colored furry Muppet who appears regularly on "Takalani Sesame," represents a 5-year-old girl orphaned by AIDS. UNICEF said she "has brought levity and compassion to a topic that so often evokes the opposite."

Kami will appear in public service ads and as a representative for other joint projects between UNICEF and Sesame Workshop, a U.S.-based, nonprofit organization that makes "Sesame Street."

The Muppet debuts in her new role Wednesday at the presentation of a new UNICEF report, "Africa's Orphaned Generation," which details the impact of HIV/AIDS on children in Africa.

Would you read every word first before working out the overall meaning?

Or would you look at the title, picture and first sentence and first predict what it’s all about?

A1 T3 P102-103


Ways to read text.

  • Reading “bottom-up”...

    • In a bottom-up approach, the reader decodes words, then sentences, then paragraphs until he finally understands the whole text.

  • Reading “top-down”...

    • In a top-down approach, the reader scans the title and first sentence and thinks about the topic before understanding all the details.

  • Reading interactively...

    • The reader shifts between bottom-up and top-down ways of reading in an interactive approach. For example, she may predict the context and then look for words/phrases that confirm her understanding.

A1 T3 P102-103


Reading problems.

  • Sometimes a reader can recognize every word but still can’t grasp the overall meaning.

  • The problem may be that the reader doesn’t have enough background knowledge or has problems with the style of language i.e. problems with “schema”.

A1 T4 P103-104


Understanding the schema of things.

  • Readers may need to activate some relevant background knowledge (schema) in order to understand a text.

  • Using a schema, readers can relate what they read to their expectations, revising their understanding as they proceed.

  • Effective strategies can then be applied to working through the entire text.

A1 T4-5 P104-105


Key Concepts

A1 P105


2Identifying MajorReading Strategies

A2 P105-129






rhetorical structure


cohesive devices

...read noting main points

...read looking for details

...discover using reason and logic

...finding or extracting (info.)

...literary devices/phrases linking discourse into logical order

...logical order based on time

...referring to something already mentioned using a pronoun

Key Terms

A2 P101-105


Identify some reading strategies.

I always scan the flyers for good buys!

A1 T2 P102


Reading strategies and skills.

  • When you decide whether to skim or scan, you are applying strategies.

    • Skimming is a useful skill when you want to know what has been happening in the news (an example of looking for highlights).

    • Scanning is a good skill to apply when you are looking for a phone number in your address book (an example of retrieval).

  • Some reading materials require that you think carefully and deeply, noting details and drawing inferences.

    • Important legal contracts require you to consider various possible interpretations.

  • At times, you may also need to consider the text structure.

    • To make sense of a long document, you need to know the author’s order of presentation or the arrangement of details.

A2 T1 P105-106


Skimming to ‘get the gist’.

  • When skimming, a reader will go through the text quickly, just to get the main idea.

  • The goal is to find what is interesting but not spend too much time on what is not.

  • Taking notes in order to write a summary of the important points would require good skimming skills.

A2 T1 P106-109


Skim to find the main ideas.

Find the number of the paragraph (text pages 110-111 that answers these questions.

A1 T1 P110-111


Skim to find the main ideas.

A1 T1 P110-112


Scan to find details.

  • Use this reading skill to find specific information efficiently.

  • When scanning, keep focused on what you are looking for and ignore everything else.

    • For example, disregard all the other street names as you search for the street you want to find.

A1 T1 P113-114


Looking for your own name on a guest list.

Looking for your favorite dish on a menu.

Looking through a list of web pages returned by “Google” for one that contains the information you want.

Checking a dictionary for the definition of an unfamiliar word (p 115).

Checking for the place in the instruction manual that explains how to fix something.

Checking a reference book to make sure you quoted a fact correctly.

Examples of scanning.

A1 T1 P114-115


Scan the FAQ’s in the owner’s manual to answer these questions:

  • How do I check if I have any voice messages?

  • How do I make the ringing quieter or turn it off?

  • What do I do if when I press the keys of my cell phone, nothing happens?

A2 T2 P115


Feedback to scanning exercise.

  • How do I check if I have any voice messages?

    • Call your voice mailbox number and follow the directions.

  • How do I make the ringing quieter or turn it off?

    • Press Menu 3 1 2 3, press Select, scroll to the volume level desired, then press OK.

  • What do I do if when I press the keys of my cell phone, nothing happens?

    • This could be the result of either the keypad being locked OR a security code. Need to check pages 66-69 of the manual.

To answer #2 & #3, you also needed to INFER!

A2 T2 P115


Writers cannot possibly include all the background, cultural information, logic, opinions and attitudes that you as a reader might want to know about.

A skillful writer will give you just enough to let you “read between the lines” (infer).

For example, you can infer the meaning of words from the context (e.g. “2 RMB can be exchanged in Thailand for about 9 baht”).

You can also infer the author’s attitude and opinion based on the choice of words (e.g. “sensational and erroneous conclusion”).


A2 T3 P116-117


Try drawing some inferences.

  • Based on what you understand of the text, what is a “verbal tirade”? (Use the context.)

  • How would you describe the pop star’s attitude?

  • What opinion does the writer of the news clip most likely have towards the pop star?

A2 T3 P118-119


Rhetorical structures reveal the way text is organized.

Recognizing these structures will help you to read text quickly and accurately.

Some common types of structures are:

chronological order,

cause and effect,

comparison and contrast,


process, and


Using rhetorical structures.

A2 T3 P120-121


Identify the type of structure.

A2 T3 P120-128


Identify the type of structure.

A2 T3 P120-127


Rhetorical structures and teaching.

  • Once you recognize the structure of a passage, as a teacher you can design exercises suited to the style of text.

  • For example, a text developed in chronological order is well-suited to being reordered or to filling in tables (see example on pages 122-123 of the text).

A2 T3 P120-124


Match structures with exercises.

Discuss reasons for your choices in groups. There may be multiple correct answers.

A2 T3 P120-127


Cohesive devices.

“They said this and that as they talked with them about it...”

  • Rather than use the same long subject over and over, writers often use pronouns to refer back to them.

  • Training students to recognize and follow these links will avoid misunderstandings.

A2 T3 P128


Key Concepts

A1 P129


3The Three Stagesof Teaching Reading

A3 P129-147









...encourage activity

...testing skill or ability

...feelings of expectation

...come up with ideas

...mixed up


...combine so that they work together

Key Terms

A3 P129-152


Three stages?

  • To teach reading effectively, we need to stimulate students’ interest and motivation, challenge them and train them to be efficient readers.

  • Teaching reading in three stages promotes:

    • anticipation (and therefore motivation),

    • encourages language and information use, and

    • helps students to reflect on what they have read and thus process language more deeply.

A3 T1 P129-130


Easy as 1, 2, 3.

  • Pre-reading stage: arouse interest, motivate, prepare.

  • While-reading stage: explore text.

  • Post-reading stage: consolidate and reflect.

A3 T1 P130


Pre-reading stage.

  • Purpose is to motivate students and prepare them for reading the text. Try:

    • visual aids (diagrams, maps, photos, props),

    • questions (what they already know, or what they would like to know),

    • providing background information,

    • brainstorming (students can guess what the text will be about, perhaps by considering key words from the text in groups).

What should NOT be done at this stage?

A3 T2 P131-136


While-reading stage.

  • Focus on the content and structure of the text and consider the author’s purpose. Use:

    • exercises that train skimming, scanning or inferring,

    • tables, diagrams, forms in which students transfer specific points from the text,

    • other exercises such as reordering jumbled text, locating referents, identifying meanings of words and main points.

What should NOT be done at this stage?

A3 T2 P137-143


Post-reading stage.

  • Consolidate (reinforce) what has been learned and integrate it with other sorts of knowledge. Engage students in:

    • discussion or role-play exercises,

    • summary or retelling of the main points,

    • responding to the text through personal comments or what-happens-next,

    • learning supplementary information.

What should NOT be done at this stage?

A3 T3 P144-147


Selecting suitable exercises.

Read the text on page 146 and select some exercises to be used at each of the three stages in a reading lesson.

A3 T3 P146-153


Selecting suitable exercises.

Read the text on page 146 and select some exercises to be used at each of the three stages in a reading lesson.

A3 T3 P146-153


The Schoolmaster needs your help.

  • She always teaches reading by dictating new words, making students read the text aloud, and then testing student comprehension with questions.

  • Can you devise a reading plan in 3 stages that would make her class more interesting? Include a word or two about the purpose of each exercise.

A3 T4 P148-152


Design exercises for each stage.


In Britain, 70% of smokers say that they would like to stop smoking, and of these smokers, 83% have tried more than once to give it up. Why do smokers continue to smoke, even when they know the habit may kill them or at least cause a serious illness? The problem with tobacco is that it contains a drug called nicotine. Nicotine is a drug that gets one into the habit of smoking. That means that once you start taking the drug, it is hard to stop.

When smokers who are used to nicotine go without it for an hour or two, they begin to feel bad. The body is calling for a new supply of the drug nicotine. All they need is something to make them feel better at that moment. One thing that will stop them feeling bad is the drug nicotine, which is contained in cigarettes. And so their habit of smoking continues.

A3 T4 P148-152


Good work!

A3 T4 P148-152


Key Concepts

A3 P153-154


Unit 3 Evaluation Questions

  • What was the most useful thing you learned in this unit?

  • How has learning about a three-stage approach to teaching reading changed your ideas about ELT?

  • What points should you keep in mind when designing reading activities?

  • How can you apply what you learned in this unit in your teaching?



Additional Reading

  • Reading skills that students should acquire... How to Teach English (Jeremy Harmer) 68-69

  • Sequences for teaching reading... How to Teach English (Jeremy Harmer) 71-77



It’s time for YOUR questions.

  • Are there still any areas of difficulty?

  • Do you have questions about any points in the presentation?

  • Thank you for your participation.



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