Methods of Teaching Reading to Learners

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This qualification paper is dedicated to the problem of teaching reading at the 6th form stylistics, especially to the types of methods of teaching foreign language.
The subject of the qualification work is to develop the usage of methods of teaching reading in our educational system.
The object of the qualification paper is to study main methods of teaching reading and also the useful sides of these methods for the young pupils.
The actuality of the qualification paper is determined teaching reading with the help of exercises at the 6 form.


1.1. Approaches to teaching reading skills ……………………………..
1.2. Main methods of teaching foreign language………………………..
2.1 The content of teaching reading. …………………..……………….. 27
2.2. Some difficulties pupils have in learning to read in the English language. ………………………………..……………………………………..34
2.3. How to teach reading…...……………………………………………..38
3.1. Methods of Teaching Reading to Learners
3.2. Approaches to Correcting Mistakes………………………………….41
3.2. Practical works for the 6th form at school……..50

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       The work must be carried out in a way which will be of interest to pupils and develop not only their reading ability but their aural comprehension and speaking abilities as well.

      If the text is difficult, i. e., if it contains unfamiliar words and grammar items, and pupils must consult a dictionary or a reference book to understand it the techniques the teacher uses should be different, as the pupils read the text not only to get information but to improve their knowledge of the language and intensive work is needed on their part. The intensive work may be connected with:

  1. lexical work which helps pupils to deepen and enrich their vocabulary knowledge;
  2. grammar work which helps pupils to review and systematize their grammar knowledge and enrich it through grammar analysis;
  3. stylistic work which helps pupils to become acquainted with stylistic use of words and grammar forms ( inversion, tense – usage ,etc. )
  4. content analysis which helps to learn new concepts quite strange to Russian – speaking pupils. For instance, the Houses of Parliament, public schools, etc.

       The exercises are mostly connected with recognition on the part of the learners, namely, find…and read; fin…and analyse…; find…and translate; read those sentences which you think contain the main information; answer the questions, etc.

      Unfortunately, some teachers have a tendency to test instead of teach during classroom work and they often confine themselves to reading and translating the text. This is a bad practice. Pupils are tested and not taught. Moreover, the procedure becomes monotonous, and the work is ineffective. A pupil who has been called on to read and received a mark will not usually listen to his classmates.

        The methods and techniques suggested above will help the teacher to teach pupils reading as the syllabus requires.

        To correct these mistakes a teacher must be attentive to every pupil in the class, their speed at knowledge, and their interest to the subject of the lesson.

         The problem how to teach a foreign language to pre – school children of a primary school has not been solved either in this country or abroad, though some methodologists and teachers have shown an interest in it and there are some books, papers and theses dealing with this problem.

         It is necessary to distinguish between teaching pre – school children in the kindergarten and teaching children in primary grades in the elementary school, as there are some psychological age characteristics which should be taken into account. Here are some of them.

      A child of 5 or 6 easily learns words and sentences of a foreign language and associates them directly with the things, actions, etc. He learns a sentence as a sense unit without any strain as easily as he learns isolated words. He encounters the same difficulty in learning the sentences My name is Mike. I like this black cat. Give me a bear, please and words a cat, a bear. Moreover, it is easier for a child to learn a sentence than  isolated words.

     The children of primary classes are more careful in their speech. They use either  English or Uzbek sentences. Their Uzbek speech habits are much stable. They do not learn a sentence only as a sense unit, but as a model, a stereotype to be used for building up other sentences by analogy.



    3.1. Practical works for the 6th form at school

Reading as a skill. Reading is a visual and cognitive process to extract meaning from writing by understanding the written text, processing information, and relating it to existing experience. Reading can be text driven (the text is interesting), task driven (the text is read because of the academic task that the learner faces) and purpose driven (the text is a step towards a purpose, which is outside reading).

The teacher should begin his lesson from warming up discussion. Here we gave some examples.

Task 1. Make up a list of items that you read in you everyday life and indicate why you do each kind of reading

What do you read?

What do you read it for?





Task2. Match the following headlines with the likely types of a language pupil’s reading


Types of reading

  1. “Dead languages”
  2. “AIDS cure has been found?”
  3. “You can teach old dogs Karate kicks”
  4. “Test-tube babies”
  5. “Will they clone a human?”
  6. “My super-saving recipe”
  7. “Guidelines for the University applicants”
  8. “How to keep your garden green”
  9. “Short life of a film-star”

10. “How to prepare for the exam”

Text driven




The process of reading is characterised with reading dynamics i.e. the progress of reading in time. It depends much on the achieved level of language competence and the reading skills. The type of the text is also a factor in the dynamics of reading. Major types of reading dynamics are shown by the graphs (After Davies, F. 1995. Introducing Reading. Penguin)





             Smooth  reading                 Item reading                              Search reading                   









                                                                                                                                                                                                  Think reading                                    Slow reading                    Speed reading

Task3. Match the following types of texts and the expected “reading dynamics”. Draw graphs of your reading dynamics. What is your dominant type?


Dynamics of reading

  1. Proverbs
  2. Anecdotes
  3. Research accounts
  4. Foreign language texts
  5. Data source
  6. Menu
  1. Smooth reading
  2. Item reading
  3. Search reading
  4. Think reading
  5. Slow reading
  6. Speed reading


The process of reading can be viewed in terms of purpose, strategy and outcome. Purpose of reading is what makes the process necessary for the reader. Related to the purpose, a strategy of reading is chosen. The following strategies of reading are named to describe the process: skimming, scanning and critique. Skimming is reading for the gist. Scanning is reading for details. Critique is reading for critical analysis and putting to verification the truth of what is written in the text. As a result of applying the strategies, a predictable outcome of reading is achieved such as general ideas, detailed information or personal opinions (Forrester, M. 1996. Psychology of Language. SAGE Publications. P. 161.)


Indicate which purpose, strategy and outcome would match the following short excerpts for reading





  1. “Learners often make errors in good faith that their spelling is correct. The teachers act in good faith that the learners lack knowledge”
  2. “A growing social group are parents that behave like teenagers. They wear nose-rings, tongue-studs and squeeze into clothes for children”
  3. “The study showed that perceptions of the waiting time in queues were 30 percent longer than the real waiting time in banks”
  1. Pleasure




  1. Studies




  1. Job

A/ Skimming




B/ Scanning




C/ Critique

  1. Ideas




  1. Knowledge




  1. Opinions


Choice of texts for reading usually meets the following criteria








Text criteria







A text chosen for reading is expected to be authentic-made or authentic-like, not too difficult for the learners, suitable for the teaching goal and usable in the series of activities, lending itself as a resource of information and ideas.

The process of reading can be text-oriented and/or readier-oriented. Text-oriented theory views texts as the sources of information that are “tapped” by the reader. Reader-oriented theory views texts as devices that trigger off thought processes in the reader (Forrester, M. 1996. Psychology of Language. SAGE Publications. P.162-164). A reader is considered an equal resource of information interacting with the text and pertaining to the outcome of reading. Reader as an information resource is studied by the “schema theory”. Schema theory is important in teaching to read. A schema (plural “schemata”) is prior knowledge in the learner’s mind. It is not only storage of data but also a frame for organizing knowledge which can be structured as a series of slots plus fillers (T.Harley. The Psychology of Language.Psychology Press. 1995 P.193). This means that a schema is an active phenomenon in the reader's mind, containing both the scope of questions a reader can ask, and the answers that the reader can give. Schemata can include information in the following forms: concepts, i.e. notions familiar to the reader, facts, i.e. events known to the reader, images, i.e. mental pictures in the reader's mind, language, i.e. vocabulary and grammar available to the reader, assumptions i.e. formulas of opinions, frames, i.e. stereotypes to describe things, people and situations, scripts, i.e. repeated sequences of behavior that the reader knows, emotions a reader is likely to recognize while reading due to one's emotional past (T.Harley. The Psychology of Language. The Psychology Press. 1995. D.Nunan. Language Teaching Methodology. Phoenix. 1991. M.Beaumont. The Teaching of Reading Skills in a Second Language. The University of Manchester. 1996 and in many other sources)


Try to restore this gapped text. Indicate with awhat components of your own schemata help you in bridging the gaps in the text.

Gapped text

Schemata components

Hundreds of years before the … of Christ, the Celts held a festival at the beginning of winter. It was the festival for the … of dead people that come back in the forms of animals. This was the beginning of the holiday called …People believed in magic and used to go to old women called … to learn about their future. The belief was that the … flew on broomsticks. The traditions of this holiday were brought to America. Americans now celebrate … The children prepare a … and put it in the garden with a lit … inside. They come up to people and shout “…!”

  • Concepts
  • Facts
  • Images
  • Language
  • Assumptions
  • Frames
  • Scripts
  • Emotions


Reading is an interactive process. There are several types of interaction in the process of reading: between textual form and content, skimming and scanning reading strategies, top-down and bottom-up processing strategies, reader’s anticipatory guesses and confirmation from the text, reader’s schemata and information from the text, text and reality, textual and reader’s reality, text propositions and critical thinking, communicative message and reader’s response. 

Textual form and content interact in the process of reading. The readers are likely to find that certain types of texts have certain typical textual features. Text contents and text format appear to stick together. Textual features depend on what the text is about and experienced readers expect certain contents from certain types of texts.

Skimming and scanning reading strategies interact as the readers search for the gist and the details. The problem is that in this interaction the readers often do not “see the wood for the trees”, i.e. their attention is drawn from essentials to non-essentials.

Task6. Read the following text and write its summary in the space provided. Decide on what details are “gist-related”. Underline the words and phrases that carry the essential meaning in them. Use the underlined language as the “beam-structure” for your summary. Write your summary and share the results with the peers.


When I was a child, we lived in Somalia. There were nine children in our family. In the desert there was no calendar so my guess is that I am twenty-seven but I am not sure. Our animals needed water. We had to move from place to place in search of wells. When I was a teenager an old man wanted to marry me and offered my father a dowry of five camels. Camels were very expensive and my father agreed. I did not want to become this old man’s nurse and refused. I had to run away from home. 


Summary (25 words only!)



There are three major ways to process the information while reading. Bottom-up approach or "phonics". It consists in decoding a text into a meaning. Top-down or approach emphasises making assumptions about meaning rather than decoding it from the text. The reader forms hypotheses about the text and brings into the process prior knowledge, presumptions made prior to reading, subject knowledge, motivation, selective interests and attitudes (schemata). Interactive approach means that the top-down and bottom-up models interact in the process of reading (Nunan, D. Language Teaching Methodology. Phoenix. E:T. 1991. P. 63-67.) Processing strategies are shown by the graph below.

Bottom-up processing


Every grapheme discriminated

Phonemes and graphemes matched

Blending of graphemes into a word

Pronunciation of the word

Meaning integration




Top-down processing


Selective attention to  printed text

Meaning integration

Meaning verification

Prior knowledge





Interactive processing

Grapheme discrimination

Graphemes blending

Meaning integration

Meaning verification

Integration of meaning

Selective attention to printed text

Schemata activation


task 7.

Read the text and underline parts of it when you clearly start to read word for word in order to get the meaning.

The thrust of the argument here is that adults differ from children in that, for example, they might be more inhibited or that their identity as a speaker of a certain L1 might be more firmly established. As such, they my resist the socialisation that is the end product of child language acquisition. With regards to the latter, it has been suggested that an adult learner may prefer to speak accented L2 which identifies him as a speaker of a particular L1 (Larsen-Freeman, D. and M. Long. 1991. An Introduction to Second language Acquisition Research. Longman. P.163)

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