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READING SUBSKILLS READING IN MEANINGFUL UNITS: One of the factors that determine reading speed and comprehension is the

e number of words the eyes can see at one glance. The more words students can see, the greater will be their reading speed and the better it will be their comprehension. Students should be able to read in meaningful units instead of isolated words. Also, it is now well-known that language is to a large extent formulaic, i.e. it consists of prefabricated chunks (multi-word units that are often repeated in communication. !dentifying these units helps to process language more easily and fluently. SCANNING: This is a useful skill to locate a specific item(s of information that we need, such as a date, a figure, or a name. !n scanning we focus our search only on the information we want, passing "uickly o#er all the irrele#ant material. The key to scanning is to decide exactly what kind of information we are looking for and where to find it. A useful way to teach this skill is to ha#e students search for some specific information such as a definition, or the name of a person or a place, asking them to start at the same time and see who is the first to find it. Then ask the student who finds the information first to explain how he has done it. SKIMMING: This is the techni"ue we generally use to determine whether a book or an article merits a more careful and thorough reading. Skimming may sometimes be the prere"uisite of reading for full understanding. The difference between scanning and skimming is that in skimming we are not locating specific, isolated and scattered items of information$ what we are trying to get is the general, o#erall idea(s of the whole text. Therefore the key to skimming is to know where to find the main ideas of different paragraphs, and to be able to synthesi%e them into an organic whole by way of generali%ation. PREDICTION: According to the psycholinguistic models of reading, efficient reading depends, to a large extent, on making correct predictions with minimal sampling. This ability will greatly reduce our reliance on the text itself, increase our reading speed, and enhance our comprehension. Therefore, it is a #ery useful sub-skill. Students can learn to make predictions based on the title, subtitles, their knowledge of the topic, the layout, the linguistic context, the non-linguistic content such as diagrams, graphs, tables, pictures, and maps, which ser#e the same purpose as gestures and facial expressions in con#ersation. GUESSING: &orking out the meaning of unfamiliar words from the context (contextual clues or from word-formation analysis. RECOGNISING DISCOURSE FUNCTIONS: The logical structure of a passage is often signalled by textual connectors, which are expressions connecting ideas. The most common discourse functions in textbooks, for example, are expressing cause-effect, defining, se"uencing e#ents (narrating , exemplifying, describing, comparing, contrasting and gi#ing e#idence, each of which has its characteristic textual connectors. 'i#en their importance for reading comprehension, learners should be trained in recognising these cohesi#e de#ices and their role in signalling the relationship between and among clauses. The best way to teach this is to ha#e students read different passages with different organi%ational patterns and identify their cohesi#e de#ices. RECOGNISING DIFFERENT TEXT TYPES/GENRES( There are different text types, each with its own con#entions both in terms of format (layout and content. The main text types are )reference texts* (timetables, maps, dictionaries, encyclopaedias, catalogues and brochures, content pages and indexes and #isual information like graphs, tables, etc. , )informati#e texts* (newspapers and maga%ines, textbooks, reports, re#iews, academic +ournals, pamphlets, biographical texts, manuals, ad#ertisements, etc. , )creati#e texts* (no#els, poems, plays, diaries, short stories, song lyrics, cartoon strips, etc. , )interaction texts* (letters, notes, messages, faxes, etc. . ,earners need to become familiar with the different formats and

con#entions of each genre as this will impro#e their reading comprehension considerably. DISTINGUISHING GENERAL STATEMENTS FROM SPECIFIC DETAILS: 'eneral statements usually contain main ideas, and specific details are usually explanations and examples that support the general statements. Therefore, general statements are more important to comprehension. -ery often they are introduced by signal words such as in general, above all, in conclusion, and it can be seen that. Students should learn to direct their attention to these signal words. They should also learn to identify expressions of probability, fre"uency, and "uantity that indicate different le#els of generality. INFERENCE: .omprehension in#ol#es understanding not only what is stated explicitly but also what is implied. That is to say, the reader has to make inferences based on what is stated. To do so re"uires the ability to analyse and synthesi%e. /or example, from the sentence Age affects hearing, we can infer that with age hearing either increases, decreases or changes. !n short, to infer, the reader has to read between the lines. EVALUATION: This is a high-le#el comprehension sub-skill. The reader not only has to thoroughly understand what he has read$ he also has to analy%e it so as to form his own opinion and +udgements. To e#aluate, the reader has to read critically. And the essence of critical reading is to consider what, why, and for whom the author has written. That is to say, the reader has to determine the author0s purpose, consider his intended audience, recogni%e his strengths and weaknesses, and distinguish his opinions from facts. 1#aluation is a useful sub-skill for reading political and academic essays. REFERENCE SKILLS( 2eference has to do with understanding pronouns, ad#erbs, which refer to lexical words mentioned in the text. There are two processes( anaphora and cataphora. The former in#ol#es going backwards, the latter implies the process of going forward to the texts to find referents not mentioned yet. RECOGNISING THE COMMUNICATIVE VALUE OF TEXTS: !t refers to the understanding of the communicati#e purpose of the texts. Texts might be( warnings, re"uests, in#itations, descriptions, informati#e, ad#ertisements, etc. /or example, )Smoking is forbidden* implies a prohibition for the reader. DICTIONARY LOOKUP: To look up words in dictionaries effecti#ely and "uickly. To this end, teachers should do some dictionary training so that students could profit from dictionaries in e#ery sense.