LCE001 –General English 1Study Skills : Reading TSIM Kam Wan
Study Skills - Reading • Extensive reading - Reading for pleasure with emphasis on general understanding • Intensive reading - Reading carefully for an exact understanding of text. Necessary for contracts, legal documentation, application forms, etc. • Fast Reading - Scanning and Skimming • Skimming: quickly looking through text to get an idea of what the text concerns. Used when reading magazines, newspaper articles etc. • Scanning: locating specific information in a text. Usually used in timetables, charts, etc • Dealing with Vocabulary – • Building word awareness - Context clues
Skimming Skimming is a very rapid reading technique. It is defined as the ability to identify main ideas while reading very rapidly and selectively skipping passages. • Big Picture – Skimming and scanning • Core Idea – Getting the gist/central theme
Technique for skimming articles • RRead the title – Brainstorm and guess the theme by asking yourself 5W questions (What, Who, Why, When, Where, How) • SScan the opening paragraph to find the answers for the 5W questions • SScan the concluding paragraph to find the answers for the 5W questions • RRead the first sentence of each paragraph looking for ideas related to the main ideas. • FFind the major idea by its heading, subheading
Dealing with VocabularyBuilding Word Awareness • Context Clues • Definition • Synonyms • Restatement • Contrast • Explanation • Examples • Inference
Context CluesWhat is Context? “Phobias, such as fear of heights, water, or confined spaces are difficult to eliminate.” How could you determine that phobiameant “fear of specific objects or situations” if you couldn’t use a dictionary or ask someone the definition? You would use the words surrounding the unknown word to help determine the unknown word’s meaning.
Context Clues 1: Definition The unknown word is defined immediately following its use by using a brief definition, synonym, or restatement using punctuation--commas, parentheses or dashes. Notice with a straight definition the use of a “be” verb to show that the two ideas are the same. • A chemical bond is a strong force that holds two or more atoms together. • A dialect is a form of speech from a specific region.
Context Clues 2 –Synonyms A writer using a difficult word will often choose a more familiar word or words with the same meaning to make the difficult word understandable. • Ballet students appear so lithe; they are so limber and flexible. • The cataract was spectacular; the steep waterfall dropped abruptly eighty feet.
Context Clues 3 - Restatement Close to a synonym, a restatement differs in that a difficult word is usually restated in a simpler form—usually set of by commas. • The poetry was sublime, lofty and moving, and brought tears to my eyes. • The village was depopulated, most of the residents dead or moved, but the livestock remained untouched.
Context Clues 4: Contrast Sometimes writers use a contrast to clarify a word’s meaning, and an antonym, a word of opposite meaning (notice the restatement?) Often, contrast clue words such as but, however, or in contrast to are used. These are contrast signal words. • The gentleman was portly, but his wife was thin. • The mayoral candidate praised the town council,but the mayor deprecated it.
Context Clues 5: Explanation An explanation is close to a definition. As an aid to the reader, the difficult word is explained, usually in simpler words, to make the meaning clearer. The explanation is generally longer than a definition and is usually found in one of more different sentences. • The chrome is beginning to corrode. It shows signs of pitting and of being eaten away gradually. • It was a martial parade: signs of the military were everywhere. Everyone was in uniform; guns, cannon and tanks were on display, and jets flew overhead. • The puppy was a complete bother and an annoyance to all the neighbors. It was a continual nuisance.
Context Clues 6: Example Writers may include examples that the reader may know to help explain a new and unfamiliar concept or term. A major section or the entire passage may be used. Pay attention to signal words—such as, for example, for instance, to illustrate, specifically • Legumes, such as peas and beans, produce pods. • Forest floors are frequently covered with fungi-molds, mushrooms, and mildews
Context Clues 7: Inference Some writers help you figure out unfamiliar words by having you use reasoning and prior knowledge. Your experiences provide common-sense clues to the meaning of a word. This context clue is often a little harder to spot. • Since Reginald was nervous, he brought his rabbit foot talisman with him to the exam. • His alibi was upheld when John’s friends offered personal testimony, letters of documentation, and three videotapes showing that he was present at the party.
Limitations of Context Clues • Context clues only give the immediate definition for that particular context. • Context clues seldom lead to a precise, complete definition. • Sometimes the passage will not contain clues to the meaning of the unfamiliar word.
Task 1 Reading Comprehension (Page 1) • Did the singer graduate from college? • No, she left college after she joined the band. • Who wrote songs for the singer? • The singer and her mate wrote songs themselves. • What did the singer do to promote her songs to record companies? • She record her own songs and sent the cassettes to record companies • When the singer was still Little Miss Nobody, who supported her? • A record company. / Her mother supported her emotionally • What made the London record company interested in interviewing the singer? • The company was interested in the singer’s voice. • In which of the following countries were her songs successful? • (d) England (e) The US • Which is the most appropriate title for this text? • (c )My Superb Road
Key Reading SkillsFill in the blank - (Page 2) • Scanning is when you look through the text for specific details. • Skimming is when you look through the text for the main idea. • Inferring is when you use information in the text to understand the point indirectly. • In order to understand a point, you often have to look for examples/evidence/support, which usually comesafterthe point.
Dealing with unknown vocabularyFill in the blank - (Page 4) • The most important way is to look at otherwords in the sentence, or perhaps the paragraph. This means that you are using the context to help you guess. • You can also use the grammarof the sentence to help you understand the meaning. For example, you can look at tenses, prepositions, and parts of speech. • Sometimes the shape of the word can help you. For example, dis-, un- and il- are all prefixes with negative/specific meanings. If you know this, it can help you understand. • It’s important not to look at words just by themselves. You should think about the meaning of the whole text/context, as this can help you understand the details.
Dealing with unknown vocabulary (Page 4) • Find and underline the words or phrases which help understanding the meaning of the difficult underlined vocabulary of A-F • Guess the meaning the underlined word • Differentiate different context clues of A-F Example: • His popularity had experienced a decline.In other words, he wasn’t so popular any more. (Restatement)
Dealing with unknown vocabulary (Page 4) • His popularity had experienced a decline.In other words, he wasn’t so popular any more. (Restatement) • His worries may have appeared trivial, but in fact they were very important, and many people took them seriously. (Contrast) • There were several items of apparel, such as skirts, dresses and trousers, on display. (Examples) • Tranquillisersare drugs that calm your down. (Definition) • Tranquillisers, drugs like Valium that clam you down, are being used at an increasing rate. (Definition) • When you arrive in the country, you go through immigration first, and then customs. (Inference)
Dealing with wordFill in the blank – Page 5 • In A you used an explanation given in another sentence. This was shown by the words “In other words”. • You could find the meaning of “trivial” because the rest of the sentence explained the opposite meaning. • This sentence gave some examples of the word ‘apparel”, beginning with the expression such as. • D gave a definition of the word tranquillisers. • In E you could see an explanation of the word ‘tranquailisers’ that came after the word, with commas around it. • In F you could have used your knowledge of thebackground / real world(airports, in this case), to understand “customs”.
Dealing with unknown vocabulary (Task 7 -Page 5) • Find and underline the words or phrases which help understanding the meaning of the difficult underlined vocabulary of A-F • Guess the meaning the underlined word • Differentiate different context clues of A-F Example: • We were driving through the country when we saw a flockof sheep in a field. There were about 50 of them altogether.(Restatement)
Dealing with Vocabulary - Task 7 - Page 5 • We were driving through the country when we saw a flockof sheep in a field. There were about 50 of them altogether.(Restatement) • After the accident my car was a total right off. I had to get a new one. (Inference) • The number of muggings,when people are robbed on the street at gun- or knifepoint, has increased in the past year. (Definition) • There are still several types of aristocratin UK, such as lords, princes, earls, dukes and other people of a so-called high rank in life. (Examples) • Typhoons, earthquakes, droughts and famine are all examples of natural disasters.(Examples)
Dealing with Vocabulary - Task 7 - Page 5 • He appeared rather indifferent to her problem, but in fact he was extremely interested and really wanted to help. (Contrast) • Eggs are so versatile! You can fry them, boil them, scramble them – there are lots of different uses! (Examples) • Last year she had an accident in which her leg was damaged. Now she walks with a limp. (Inference) • The Earth is a sphere shape. Other items that are round are balls and balloons. (Synonyms) • In the early years there were many U-Turns in government policy. For example they changed their minds on housing policy in 1999. (Example)
Scanning and Skimming • How tall of the Peak Tower? • It has 112000 feet • When do we visit Happy Valley? • Day 3 • What kind of endangered species we can see in Ocean Park? • Whale, dolphins, Panda, • What we can use to pray to ask for luck in Po Lin Monastery? • Bamboo cylinder • In Mai Po Nature Reserve, what kinds of animals/wild life can we find? • Butterflies, leopard cats, otters, other mammals and 430 species of bird. • Which places are suggested for shopping? • Park Lane Shopper’s Boulevard
Scanning and Skimming • Which restaurant do we lunch at on Day 2? • We will take the lunch at Golden Dragon Restaurant. • When do we visit Lam Tsuen Wishing Tree? • We will visit it in the morning of Day 6 • Where is Water Front Park located at? • It is located at the Tai Po of New Terroritories. • Where is Believe it of Not and Madame Tussuad’s HK located? • It is located at the Peak of Hong Kong Island.