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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An integral part of the reading process are the reader’s anticipatory guesses and confirmations from the text.


 Task 8

Mask the text in the left column, opening it line by line and completing the sentences. Each time you should complete the sentence with only one word. Do not make any “back-channel” corrections. Compare your version with the answer key. Tick off the sentences, in which your anticipatory guesses were correct. Calculate the percent of correct guesses. Indicate in what percent of cases your anticipatory guesses help you comprehend the text while reading.



  1. A word processor is a computer that can produce a perfect …
  1. First you have to know the …
  1. As you type the words, you should look at the …
  1. If you do not like the text you can always do the …
  1. This work is much more difficult with an ordinary …
  1. To produce a perfect text you would probably need a lot of …
  1. If you are not sure of correct spelling, a word processor has a …
  1. A word processor can store the text on a …
  1. A word processor can also make a …


In the process of reading reader’s schemata and information from the text provide for interaction of the “new” and “old”, for “deceived expectancy” and for changing the view-points.  The “new” and “old” interact in the process of reading and as a result of this interaction the expectations that a reader builds about the text can be ruined or re-confirmed. If the expectations are ruined, we speak of the “deceived expectancy”. A common case is when a text simply adds new knowledge to what is already know to the reader about the subject. Interaction of the reader’s schemata and information from the text can carry on as “adding”, “correcting”, “refuting”, “ critical thinking” and “re-confirming”.

Exploratory task 9

Mark the following phrases about life in the UK as “true” T or “false” F. Say what information had been familiar and new to you.

Rules to be British

T  F

  1. In Britain you buy milk in the dairy shops
  1. You do not have to wear seatbelts in the back of the car
  1. Men have to do military service
  1. Children have to stay at school up until 18
  1. Medical care is free
  1. Pubs work overnight
  1. You pay for bus on exiting
  1. You should cross the road at traffic lights
  1. A driving licence is used as a passport or ID
  1. You have to be 18 to get married


Readers' and textual reality

Reader and writer's realities interact in the process of reading (Widdowson. H. Teaching Language as Communication. OUP.1978.). Writer’s reality can be made more or less explicit depending on the text genre. “Autobiography” will emphasise the life context of the author, while “essay” will focus on the author’s philosophy of life. A fictitious character can be the author’s spokesman. Imagined reality of a fictitious person also makes part of the textual reality. Textual reality can be perceived by the readers in the context of their own reality. This turns reading into a “silent communication” with the author.


Exploratory task 10

Read the text in the left column and project textual reality on your own life. What text featuring your own reality and views can you produce in the space provided?. Share the results in the group.

Textual reality

Reader’s reality

It was a school she wanted to change. The teachers here seemed to have no thoughts of anyone’s personalities apart from mathematics, Latin or science. They treated the pupils as symbols of algebra. The team spirit was enjoined on everybody. What for? Florence Nightingale knew nothing of the team spirit but she had a mission to save lives. Teacher’s romantic image would be ruined by their hoarse “Shut up!”. They failed to understand that the word problems about the trains hurrying towards each other would be useless to Anna Pavlova (Adapted from Spark, M. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.)



Text propositions and critical thinking interact in the process of reading and provide for the stance the reader is getting poised to take.


Exploratory task 1.10

Read the following text and mark the textual propositions as “true” T, “false” F or “debatable” D. Provide your comments




In order to be happy, observe the following rules:

  1. When someone asks you a question you don't want to answer, smile and ask, "Why do you want to know?"
  2. Say, "bless you" when you hear someone sneeze.
  3. When you realise you've made a mistake, take immediate steps  to correct it.
  4. Marry a person you love to talk to. As you get older, his/her conversational skills will be even more important.
  5. Spend some time alone.
  6. Open your arms to change, but don't let go of your values.
  7. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
  8. Read more books. Television is no substitute.
  9. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don't bring up the past.
  10. Don't just listen to what someone is saying. Listen to why they are saying it.
  11. Mind your own business.
  12. Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.

(From Nepalese Good Luck Tantra)



The process of reading is crowned with interaction between communicative message and reader’s response. Communicative message is the intended meaning, which the text is made to convey to the reader in pursuit of the author’s goal. Getting a communicative message is done through reading for not “what” is written but to “why” it is written. Reader’s response is a change in the reader’s mind whether made explicit or kept implicit that comes as a reaction to having read the text (discovery, support, critique, interpretation, rejection).


Exploratory task 1.11

Read the following text, get its communicative message and elicit your response.




Do not toil to gain wealth; Have the sense to desist. You see it, then it is gone; It grows wings and flies away, Like an eagle, heavenward (“Proverbs”, Old Testament)




SAQ 1.3

Match the types of interactive reading with the texts, in which these types of interaction are highly expected.

Interactive reading


  1. Textual form and content
  1. research data
  1. skimming and scanning
  1. private letter
  1. top-down and bottom-up
  1. prose fiction
  1. anticipation and confirmation
  1. preaching
  1. schemata and information
  1. fable
  1. text and  reality
  1. philosophical essay
  1. textual and reader’s reality
  1. science article
  1. propositions and critical thinking
  1. political news
  1. message and  response
  1. limericks


Input reading 2

Activities for teaching to read

Teaching to read starts with teaching “phonics”, i.e. associations of sounds and letters. Beginners' reading activities can be organised with the tasks such as “Draw links between the foreign and native language letters that sound the same”. “Draw links between the pictures and the letters that begin the words”. “Cross out letters, which you can't hear when you name an object”. “Read the words, which are names of the animals. Do not read other words”. “In the short story read only the words, which you can understand. What is the story about?”. “Read out only the sentences, which describe the picture”. ”Read out only the sentences, which belong to one story” (After P.Ur. 1996. A Course in Language Teaching. CUP. P. 156-157).


Exploratory task 2.1

Consider the following reading activity for young learners, “Stick the labels on the picture of the living room. Some labels will be left unnecessary”. List the difficulties that the activity can present to the young learners.


Picture of the living room

  • a cat
  • a plant
  • a radio
  • a picture
  • an apple
  • an orange
  • a flower
  • a chair
  • a table
  • a clock
  • a TV
  • an elephant

List of difficulties:




Teaching reading to advanced pupils can be organised with a single text (skimming and scanning reading), parallel texts (reading two or more texts on the same subject thus creating information gap between the readers), divided text (splitting the text into parts and handing them out for the learners to read and them put information together, thus organising a jig-saw reading). Advanced reading activities can take the form of cued reading (finding information in the text as relevant to the cue given), guided reading (seeking information in the text in answer to the questions given), jig-saw reading (pooling information together of the two or more texts distributed between the learners), shared reading (reading the same text in a group but with each learner having a different task with subsequent sharing information), critical reading (activating thought processes over the text).


Exploratory task 2.2

The following reading activity is based on psychological testing. Do the task and evaluate the activity according to the format given below. Task: Do the following stress test and estimate your stress level. Encode your answers as 1 “always”, 2 “almost always”, 3 “occasionally”, 4 “almost never”, 5 “never” . Total scoring over 24 indicates that your stress level is reaching a dangerous mark.

Stress test


  1. I eat at least one hot meal a day
  1. I get eight hours of sleep every night
  1. I regularly give and receive affection
  1. I have at least one relative living close on whom I can rely
  1. I have a normal body weight
  1. I have an income to meet my basic expenses
  1. I get strength from my religious belief
  1. I have friends
  1. I am in good health
  1. I can always speak openly about my feelings
  1. I do something just for fun
  1. I always take some quiet time for myself during a day

(O’Connell, S. 1999. Focus on Advanced English. Longman. P. 52)


Evaluation points

Comments and proofs

  • Authenticity of the text

  • Readability of the text

  • Suitability of the text

  • Resourcefulness of the text

  • Usability of the text

  • Task motivation force

  • Communicative goal



Reading activities are based on a number of techniques for teaching to read. Techniques for teaching to read include extracting (extracting information from the text in answer to questions or other elicitation tasks), cloze procedure (filling gaps in the text), sequencing text parts (restoring the logical order of the crippled text), matching (matching headlines and passages in the text), restoration of the text (restoring the text from bits and scraps), finding irrelevancies (finding and ticking off sentences, which are logically irrelevant in the text), fitting in sentences or passages (fitting in the  sentences or passages in the points of the text, where they are logically appropriate), digest (summarizing the most essential information points from a number of texts), comment (reader's response on the text).


Exploratory task 2.3

Do the following selection of reading activities and let your partner do “time-and-motion” study with a stop-watch (record how much time your partner has spent on each task). Compare the time you needed for each task. Explain the reason for the difference in the “time-on-task”. Write the time and the answers in the right column. Share the results in the group.

Reading task

Time and answer

Read the text and find the appropriate place in the text for the detached passage. Bleeding can usually be stopped by applying pressure to the cut for 2 or 3 minutes. If it has bled freely any germs will normally have been washed away by the blood. If the cut is deep consult a doctor. A tetanus injection may be needed. Detached passage. Apply a plaster dressing firmly, bringing the edges of the cut together, so that it knits quickly.


Read the text and complete the gaps. Bruises are very … in children. Parents sometimes worry that a … may be broken. Children’s bones … break but if in doubt consult a … Severe bruising can be … by rest for 214 to 48 hours. A cold compress may … a bad bruise if applied …

(Please mask the tip: common, bone, rarely, doctor, treated, ease, soon)


Underline the sentences that are logically irrelevant. Minor burns and scalds cause redness of the skin. Immediate treatment by pouring cold water over a burn is often helpful. Never use ice. If burns cause severe blistering consult a doctor. There is no need to worry. Sunburn should if possible be prevented by avoiding long exposure. Sun tan makes your skin resistible to burns.


Choose the best headline for the extract. The tallest person in the world was a man and he was 272 cm tall. The shortest person in the world was a woman. She was 51 cm tall. A Russian mother in reported to have had 69 children (twins, triplets and quadruplets) between 1725 and 1765. The oldest reported person in the world was from Japan, who was 118 years old. The worst sneezing woman was a British woman who sneezed for 978 days. A/Women set more records than men. B/Strange stories. C/Human records


Read the text and answer the question. Imagine three children. The first is top of the class in maths but has few friends. The second is artistic and imaginative but works in snatches. The third child puts twice as much work to get the results but has a sunny personality. The fourth child works brilliantly in group showing readiness to co-operate. The fifth child is everybody’s charm and has a unique gift for being always ready to give a hand. Question. Which child do you think has the best chance of succeeding in life?


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