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Trainers Notes: Reading

MAJLIS PEPERIKSAAN MALAYSIA


(MALAYSIAN EXAMINATIONS COUNCIL)

CONTENT
SO WHATS NEW?

PAGE
2

GOT IT RIGHT? GET IT RIGHT!

35

ITS NOT A GAME OF CHANCE. SO, DONT GAMBLE

67

KNOWING WHAT YOU TEACH

BRIDGING THE GAP

9 12

NO TEXT IS TOO SHORT!

13 14

MOTHERS CHOICE

15 16

THE POINT IS
OF FORGOTTEN TREASURES

17
18 20

A OR C?

21

IN OTHER WORDS

22

READING COMES ALIVE

23

PACKING IT ALL

24

REFLECTION GRID

25 26

SUPPLEMENTARY TEXTS

27 31

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PAGE 1

Trainers Notes: Reading

MAJLIS PEPERIKSAAN MALAYSIA


(MALAYSIAN EXAMINATIONS COUNCIL)

SO WHATS NEW?
TASK: 1
TIME: 5 minutes
AIMS:
To introduce and familiarise CPs to the changes in the Reading Component 800/3.
To prepare CPs for the task ahead namely to teach reading.
ORGANISATION: Pair work
PROCEDURE
Ask CPs to identify the changes in the Reading Component 800/3
TASK SHEET: 1
Identify the changes in the Reading Component 800/3
No.

Description

Item

Old

New

1.

Weighting

45%

40%

2.

Duration

120 minutes

90 minutes

3.

Number of texts

6 (at least one text with


graphics)

4.

Basic criteria for text


selection

Length (600-700 words),


level of complexity
(content and language), text
type

Length (200-700 words),


level of complexity (content
and language), text type

5.

Genres

Articles from journals,


newspapers and magazines,
academic texts, electronic
texts

Articles from journals,


newspapers and magazines,
academic texts, electronic
texts

6.

Rhetorical style

Analytical, descriptive,
persuasive, argumentative,
narrative

Analytical, descriptive,
persuasive, argumentative,
narrative

7.

Number of questions

50

45

Question types

(i) Cloze passage


(ii) Information transfer
(iii) 4-option multiplechoice questions

(i) 3-option multiplechoice questions


(ii) 4-option multiplechoice questions

8.

ANSWER KEY
Weighting, Duration, No of texts, Length of texts, No of questions, and Types of questions.
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PAGE 2

Trainers Notes: Reading

MAJLIS PEPERIKSAAN MALAYSIA


(MALAYSIAN EXAMINATIONS COUNCIL)

GOT IT RIGHT? GET IT RIGHT!


TASK: 2
TIME: 20 minutes
AIMS:
To allow CPs to look at each question objectively.
To sensitise CPs to the function of each question i.e. what it requires them to demonstrate
and what is there in the text that helps them to do so.
ORGANISATION: Pair work
PROCEDURE:
Ask CPs to read TEXT 1, 2 and 3.
Inform CPs to refer to Teachers Guide to MUET.
Allow them to go through the texts.
Ask CPs to share their answers.
Ask CPs to explain how they arrive at the answer.
TASK SHEET: 2
Read the following text and answer the question that follows.
TEXT 1
Wetlands are areas where water covers the soil. It may be wet all year or seasonally wet.
Wetlands fall into four categories marshes, swamps, bogs and fens. Marshes are
dominated by soft-stemmed vegetation adapted to saturated soil. There are many kinds of
marshes such as those ranging from coastal to inland, freshwater to saltwater. Marshes
recharge groundwater supplies and moderate stream flow by providing water to streams.
They also help to reduce damage caused by floods by slowing and storing flood water.
MUET October 2005 p3

From the text, we know that marshes are important because they
A store flood water
B recharge groundwater supplies
C provide water to streams

Points to ponder
What skill is tested?
Distinguishing the relevant from the irrelevant
How did you arrive at the answer?
Options A and C do not deal with the importance of the actions of storing flood water and
providing water to streams. Option B through the use of recharge emphasises the
importance of marshes.
.

Read the following text and answer the question that follows.
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Trainers Notes: Reading

MAJLIS PEPERIKSAAN MALAYSIA


(MALAYSIAN EXAMINATIONS COUNCIL)

TEXT 2
I am someone who has always loved language. I spend a great deal of time thinking about
the way it can evoke an emotion, a visual image, a complex idea or a simple truth.
Language is the tool of my trade. And I use them all all the Englishes I grew up with.
MUET October 2003

1. In the text, what do the following words refer to?


a) it refers to language.
b) them refers to Englishes.
Points to ponder
Look at the questions again.

What does this question expect you to do?


Demonstrate understanding the relationships between/ within sentences
In the first instance, does the* referent come before or after the word it?
Before this is known as anaphoric reference
In the second instance, does the referent come before or after the word them?
After this is known as cataphoric reference

(* Referent the particular word that is referred to by the pronoun)


2. The person who penned this is probably a writer. (Accept other suitable answers)

Points to ponder
What reading skill is tested by this question?
*making inference

Read the following text and answer the question that follows.

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What information in the text enabled you to answer the question?


The writer had spent a lot of time with the language;
She refers to it as her tool of her trade meaning that she writes for a living.

PAGE 4

Trainers Notes: Reading

MAJLIS PEPERIKSAAN MALAYSIA


(MALAYSIAN EXAMINATIONS COUNCIL)

Read the following text and answer the question that follows.
TEXT 3
Most Americans do not intentionally make insects a part of their diet. But in the future they might.
As more strain is put on natural resources, some experts say, insects will be raised as an alternative
form of protein. David George Gorgon, a biologist and the author of The Eat-a-Bug Cookbook, says
entomophagy is a more environmentally friendly practice. If more people did their part to eat bugs
and broaden their diets and not just go out and eat chicken, beef and pork the planet would be
better off, he said. It takes an incredible amount of food, water and land to raise cattle, he says,
compared to raising the equivalent amount of protein in grasshoppers.
Today, US children are not as squeamish about bugs as their parents, thanks to nature centres,
museums and zoos throughout the country that frequently teach school programmes about insects as
food sources. Older students are learning about entomophagy too. About 12 insect festivals are held
each year, like the Bug Bowl at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. The popular festival
started in 1990 and attracts more than 10000 people. Besides munching on chocolate-covered
crickets, visitors can go to an insect petting zoo, cockroach race or cricket-spitting contest. There is
even a publication packed with information and recipes on crawling invertebrates. The Food Insect
Newsletter has about a thousand subscribers ranging from students and professors and Peace
Corps volunteers.
MUET April 2006

In this article, the writer suggests that


A. insects are becoming more acceptable as food.
B. Americans are no longer squeamish about bugs.
C. insect festivals are gaining popularity
Points to ponder
What skill is tested?
Recognising and interpreting writers views, attitudes or intentions
How did you get the answer?
(i)
The writer is positive about insects as food. This is shown in
- paragraph1.
- The phrase thanks to nature centre, as food sources

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PAGE 5

Trainers Notes: Reading

MAJLIS PEPERIKSAAN MALAYSIA


(MALAYSIAN EXAMINATIONS COUNCIL)

ITS NOT A GAME OF CHANCE. SO, DONT GAMBLE!


TASK: 3
TIME:

20 minutes

AIM:

To allow CPs to examine each question critically.

ORGANISATION: Group work


PROCEDURE:

Ask CPs to read TEXT 4 and answer the questions that follow.
Ask CPs to note down the clues and strategies which they have used to arrive at the
answer.

TASK SHEET: 4
Read the following extract and answer the questions that follow.
For millennia, grey whales had wintered in Laguna San Ignacio, one of many isolated lagoons
along the Mexican coast. They were not bothered by the presence of natural enemies around
them. Then, in 1845, two whalers sailed into this lagoon and discovered that it was a breeding
sanctuary.
The grey whales, however, were not easy prey. Protective females were demonic defenders of
their newborns. They charged whaling boats and injured or killed crew members. Whalers had
dangerous encounters with other types of whales, but the greys were the only ones they called
Devil Fish.
In the end, the greys were no match for their hunters. The whalers blocked the lagoon and
turned it into a giant trap. What followed was a methodical slaughter that made the once-quiet
lagoon run red with blood of dying whales. Their carcasses were floated to the beach, and the
blubber was boiled on the spot for oil. Whalebone and baleen were taken to be sold for corset
stays, brushes and umbrella spokes. As petroleum replaced whale oil as fuel, the greys were
killed primarily for pet food.
Extracted from The Mystery of the Friendly Whales
By Paula McDonald,
Readers Digest, October 1995

1. What supports the idea that the grey whales were no match for the hunters?
The whalers found a way to trap the whales.
2. What is paragraph 2 all about?
The grey whales were not easy prey.

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Trainers Notes: Reading

MAJLIS PEPERIKSAAN MALAYSIA


(MALAYSIAN EXAMINATIONS COUNCIL)

3. Did the whalers find the grey whales the most challenging to hunt? Why?
Yes, they did. The grey whales injured and killed crew members.
4. What does the phrase they in paragraph 2 refer to?
This word refers to the female whales.
5. What does the phrase methodical slaughter in paragraph 3 refer to?
The phrase refers to the step by step method in which the whales are killed.
6. What do you think will happen to the whales in ten years time?
(Possible response) They might become extinct.

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Trainers Notes: Reading

MAJLIS PEPERIKSAAN MALAYSIA


(MALAYSIAN EXAMINATIONS COUNCIL)

KNOWING WHAT YOU TEACH


TASK: 4
TIME: 20 minutes
AIMS:
To consolidate CPs understanding of the functions of questions.
To allow CPs to be more aware of classroom practices.
To allow CPs to gauge their students ability more objectively.
ORGANISATION: Group work
PROCEDURE:
Ask CPs to look at the questions, answer, clues and strategies in the previous task.
Ask CPs to look at the Test Specifications (page 19)
Ask CPs to identify the skills.
Ask CPs how this information is going to affect their classroom practices.
TASK SHEET: 4

Identify the skill of each question. Refer to the Test Specification.


1. What supports the idea that the grey whales were no match for the hunters?
Extracting specific information
2. What is paragraph 2 all about?
Identifying main idea
3. Did the whalers find the grey whales the most challenging to hunt? Why?
Making inferences
4. What does the word they in paragraph 2 refer to?
Understanding relationships between sentences anaphoric reference.
5. What does the phrase methodical slaughter in paragraph 3 refer to?
Deriving meaning from the context
6. What do you think will happen to the whales in ten years time?
Predicting outcomes

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PAGE 8

Trainers Notes: Reading

MAJLIS PEPERIKSAAN MALAYSIA


(MALAYSIAN EXAMINATIONS COUNCIL)

BRIDGING THE GAP


TASK: 5
TIME: 20 minutes
AIMS:
To allow CPs to explore different types of texts.
To allow the CPs to experience the changes in the Reading Component.
ORGANISATION: Group work
PROCEDURE:
Ask CPs to read the linear and non linear text and answer the questions that follow.
Ask CPs to note down the clues and strategies which they have used to arrive at the
answer.
TASK SHEET: 5
PRE-READING
List the names of the richest people in the world that you know. How did they make their
fortunes?

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PAGE 9

Trainers Notes: Reading

MAJLIS PEPERIKSAAN MALAYSIA


(MALAYSIAN EXAMINATIONS COUNCIL)

10

WHILE READING
Study the chart on Chinas billionaire club and read the text on Chinas rich getting younger.
Then answer the questions that follow.

Chinas billionaire club


Forbes list of 10 richest people in China (net worth)
Huang Guangyu

home appliance, retail (US$2.3bil)

Xu Rongmao

real estate (US$2.1bil)

Larry Rong Zhijian


Zhu Mengyi
Zhang Yin
Zhang Li
Shi Zhengrong
Liu Yongxing
Guo Guangchang
Lu Guangqiu

diversified (US$2.0bil)
real estate (US$1.9bil)
paper making, recycling (US$1.5bil)
real estate (US$1.45bil)
solar energy (US$1.43bil)
animal feed (US$1.16bil)
real estate, steel (US$1.15bil)
auto parts (US$1.14bil)
Extracted from The Star, November 3, 2006

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Trainers Notes: Reading

11

MAJLIS PEPERIKSAAN MALAYSIA


(MALAYSIAN EXAMINATIONS COUNCIL)

Chinas rich getting younger


37-year-old tops Forbes list of business people
BEIJING: A 37-year-old appliance merchant topped a list of Chinas richest business
people released by the business magazine Forbes, leading a group of young entrepreneurs
who have profited from the countrys economic boom.
Wong Kwong-yu, founder of Gome Appliances, saw his wealth expand to US$2.3bil
(RM8.4bil), driven by a jump in home-buying by Chins newly prosperous middle class,
according to Forbes.
One quarter of those on this years 400 person Forbes China Rich List are under age
40.
It reflects the fact that most of Chinas fortunes have been made in the past decade as
retail, Internet and real estate companies sprang up to serve a booming consumer market.
Chinas richest are a lot younger than Americas richest, said Russell Flannery,
Forbes Shanghai bureau chief, at a news conference yesterday.
Chinese business magazine Caijing reported this week that Wong is under investigation
for illegal loans.
Trading of Gome shares in Hong Kong was suspended on Tuesday following the report
but later resumed. The company said it had received no notice of such an investigation.
Wongs name is also spelled Huang Guangyu.
No. 2 on the list was property developer Xu Rongnao, with a fortune of US$2.1bil
(RM7.7bil).
He is followed by Larry Yung, chairman of conglomerate Citic Pacific, with US$2bil
(RM7.3bil). Yung, also known as Rong Zhijian, was No. 1 last year.
The richest woman was No. 5 Zhang Yin, who built a paper-recycling business into
Nine Dragons Paper Co, Chinas biggest maker of paperboard for packaging, at US$1.5bil
(RM5.5bil).
Forbes noted that the average age of business people on its China list was 46.5,
compared with 65.7 for the comparable US list.
Their fortunes were also smaller, averaging US$950mil (RM3.4bil) for Chinas 400,
versus US$13.2bil (RM48.2bil) for the US list. AP

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PAGE 11

Trainers Notes: Reading

MAJLIS PEPERIKSAAN MALAYSIA


(MALAYSIAN EXAMINATIONS COUNCIL)

12

ANSWER KEY
1. Chinas consumer market is increasing rapidly.
A True
B False
C Not Stated
2.

The real estate business seems to contribute towards making billionaires in China.
A True
B False
C Not Stated

3. According to the passage, the business magazine Forbes is an American publication.


A True
B False
C Not Stated

4. The founder of Gome Appliances is Huang Guangyu.


A True
B False
C Not Stated
POST-READING

If you were a billionaire, how would you spend your fortune? Why?

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PAGE 12

Trainers Notes: Reading

13

MAJLIS PEPERIKSAAN MALAYSIA


(MALAYSIAN EXAMINATIONS COUNCIL)

NO TEXT IS TOO SHORT


TASK: 6
TIME: 20 minutes
AIMS: To demonstrate that even a short text can be used to teach higher order reading skills.
ORGANISATION: Group work
PROCEDURE
Get CPs to work in pairs.
Ask CPs to look at the box and underline the words that describe emotion.
Elicit responses from CPs.
TASK SHEET: 6
PRE-READING ACTIVITY
Look at the box and underline words that describe emotions.
Cruel

horrors

Joyful

excited

stress
anxiety

glad

unhappy

afraid

success

failed
proud

WHILE READING ACTIVITY


Read the text below and answer the questions in the text box.
A HAPPY ENDING AT LAST
Anita Desai knows from cruel experience
about the horrors of competing for big literary
awards. Three times the renowned Indian novelist
has been a finalist for the MAN Booker Prize for
fiction, and three times she fails to win it. But last
week , says Desai the stress was worse than ever
because this time the finalist was her daughter,
Kiran. Roused by her sister-in-law at 5 a.m. October
11, Anita turned on the television to see that Kiran at
age 35, had become the youngest woman ever to win
the Booker. I want it so much for her, says Anita,
speaking from the family residence from New Delhi.
its far more intense to have my daughter listed and
win than to be shortlisted for it myself. I would have
been more unhappy than her had she not won.
Accepting the prize for her second novel the
Inheritance of Loss, Kiran thanked her mother,
whose committed support during the eight years it
took to write the book even lead Kiran to describe
Anita as its `co-author although her mother, like
any proud parent, demurs. I dont know why she
keeps talking about me, says Anita.

Comprehension Check
1. What do you think Anita
Desai does for a living?
2. Which word describes
Anitas reputation as a
famous novelist?
3. Who woke her up on Oct 11?
Why?
4. Rewrite the sentence which
means. Anita is under even
greater pressure now that her
daughter is a nominee.

Extracted from Time, October 23, 2006


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Trainers Notes: Reading

14

MAJLIS PEPERIKSAAN MALAYSIA


(MALAYSIAN EXAMINATIONS COUNCIL)

WHILE READING ACTIVITY


Look at the questions in the text box and identify the skill each question tests.

Question [Answer]

Skill

1. Why does Kiran describe her mother as her


co-author?
[It was because of her mothers committed support
over the eight years it took fot her to write the book.]

extracting specific information

2. What do you think is the writers view of Anita Desai?


[The writer thinks highly of Anita.]

recognising and interpreting the


writers intention

3. Why would Anita have been more unhappy than her


[daughter] had she not won?
[It was because she does not want her daughter to
experience the same disappointment that she had
experienced.]

making inferences

4. Do you think A Happy Ending at Last is an


appropriate title? Why?
[Yes,because it was a happy ending for Anita who
wanted her daughter to win the award.]

making inferences

POST-READING ACTIVITY
Compose a poem to express your appreciation for your mother. You plan to include this poem in
a Mothers Day greeting card. Your poem should not be longer than 3 stanzas.

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PAGE 14

Trainers Notes: Reading

MAJLIS PEPERIKSAAN MALAYSIA


(MALAYSIAN EXAMINATIONS COUNCIL)

15

PRE-READING ACTIVITY

MOTHERS CHOICE
TASK: 7
TIME: 7 minutes
AIM: To prepare CPs to engage with a reading text on the properties of medicinal plants.
ORGANISATION: Groups of 4
PROCEDURE:

Get CPs to work in groups of 4.

Ask CPs to list as many local herbs or plants and their uses. Trainer may cite an example.

Get CPs to share their ideas/responses with the other groups.

POSSIBLE RESPONSES:
There are many local herbs and plants which have medicinal properties. Think of some of them
and complete the table below.
Local herbs/ plants
Misai Kucing
Pegaga leaves
Pandan Laut
Henna Leaves

Uses
To reduce high blood pressure
To maintain youth
To prevent kidney stones
To dye hair

WHILE READING ACTIVITIES


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PAGE 15

Trainers Notes: Reading

MAJLIS PEPERIKSAAN MALAYSIA


(MALAYSIAN EXAMINATIONS COUNCIL)

16

INTRODUCTION
Reading skills involve the ability to recognise and make use of linguistic, discourse and stylistic
clues to interact with and process the text, besides the ability to summarise its contents. A reader
will employ both top-down and bottom-up processing strategies to engage with the text. This part
consists of four tasks.

The first task requires you to demonstrate your ability to get at the gist or main idea of
the text that you process.

The second task requires you to process a substantial piece of writing and answer the
questions that are sign-posted throughout the text.

The third task requires you to detect the writers views, attitudes or intentions. You will
do this by processing given phrases and clauses extracted from the text.

The last task in this part necessitates processing at word level and focuses specifically on
vocabulary.

THE POINT IS
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PAGE 16

Trainers Notes: Reading

17

MAJLIS PEPERIKSAAN MALAYSIA


(MALAYSIAN EXAMINATIONS COUNCIL)

TASK: 8
TIME: 40 minutes
AIM: To get CPs to demonstrate their ability to get at the gist or main idea of the text that they
process.
ORGANISATION: Pair work
PROCEDURE:
Distribute handout to CPs.
Tell CPs to attempt the exercise in pairs.
Invite responses and ask CPs how they arrived at the answer.
Read the paragraph carefully and then choose the statement that best summarises the main idea of
the paragraph. Indicate your choice by ticking the appropriate box.
Paragraph 1
Malaysian rainforests support about 1200 species of plants with medicinal properties,
of which 60 are commonly used in traditional remedies. For example, kacip fatimah
(Labisia pumila) is widely used in postnatal care, as a womens tonic, and for
gynaecological problems. And a powder made from the root of mata ayam (Ardisia
crenata) can alleviate fever and diarrhoea. Until recently, the use of indigenous rainforest
plants for medicinal remedies was confined largely to rural folks and the traditional
medicine men. However, change is underway. From the mid-1990s, the government has
encouraged investigation and development of herbal medicines.

Source: Adapted from Going Places, March 1999.

ANSWER KEY

A. Not all species of plants with medicinal properties are used as


herbal remedies.
B. Out of the many species of plants with medicinal properties, some
are used as a womens tonic and to alleviate illnesses.
C. In recent years, the investigation and development of herbal
medicine have been encouraged and are no longer confined to the
rural areas.

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PAGE 17

Trainers Notes: Reading

MAJLIS PEPERIKSAAN MALAYSIA


(MALAYSIAN EXAMINATIONS COUNCIL)

18

OF FORGOTTEN TREASURES
TASK SHEET: 9
TIME: 30 minutes
AIM: To get CPs to process a substantial piece of writing and answer the questions that are
sign-posted throughout the text.
ORGANISATION: Pair work
PROCEDURE:
A. CPs as learners

Get CPs to work in groups of 4.

Distribute the text to CPs.

Tell CPs to attempt the task.

Get CPs to share their responses. At this point, there may be diverse answers and a
discussion may ensue.

Facilitate the discussion.

B. CPs as teachers/material developers

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Draw CPs attention to the text again.

Tell CPs that the text without the inserted questions is actually an examination text.

Tell CPs to look at the text again and identify the relevant reading skills.

Tell CPs overtly how the text used for testing has been adapted into a teaching text.

PAGE 18

Trainers Notes: Reading

MAJLIS PEPERIKSAAN MALAYSIA


(MALAYSIAN EXAMINATIONS COUNCIL)

19

TASK SHEET: 9
INSTRUCTION: Read the text, answer the sign-posted questions.
1

What two
plants
mentioned
have
medicinal
properties?

Why do you
think the
IMR was
directed to
conduct the
research?

800/3

Money doesnt grow on trees, so goes the saying. But Malaysian


researchers are busy proving otherwise. Numerous rainforest trees and plants
long known for their medicinal values are now proving to have monetary value
as well.
Malaysian rainforests support about 1200 species of plants with medicinal
properties, of which 60 are commonly used in traditional remedies. For
example, kacip fatimah (Labisia pumila) is widely used in postnatal care, as a
womens tonic, and for gynaecological problems. And a powder made from the
root of mata ayam (Ardisia crenata) can alleviate fever and diarrhoea. Until
recently, the use of indigenous rainforest plants for medicinal remedies was
confined largely to rural folks and the traditional medicine men. However,
change is underway. From the mid-1990 the government has encouraged
investigation and development of herbal medicines.
The Institute for Medical Research (IMR) has been directed by the Health
Ministry to gear its research towards establishing the effectiveness of natural
products. Through the IMR, the ministry has also set up a Task Force on Herbal
Medicine to investigate the development of pharmaceuticals from medicinal
plants.
Several studies have also been conducted by universities and other
government agencies. Universiti Sains Malaysia has been researching plants
used in traditional medicine since 1980. Recently, with the co-operation of
other Malaysian universities and institutes, it found that tongkat ali
traditionally valued as an aphrodisiac could also be used to treat malaria.
Another important finding by Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia is a compound
derived from the wood of an indigenous tree, which successfully shrinks cancer
tumours in rats.
But there is little point in discovering valuable rainforest remedies if the
ingredients become extinct within a few years due to deforestation or overcollection. In view of this, the Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) is
testing herb cultivation on trial plots in the forests and on disused land, and by
inter-cropping in plantations.
The Malaysian Agriculture Research
Development Institute (MARDI) also does research on growing medicinal herbs
at its various stations throughout Malaysia. At its Hilir Perak station researchers
are presently cultivating over 200 species of medicinal plants and have collected
a large body of knowledge about potential uses for these herbs.

What is the
main idea
here?

10

15

20

Locate 3
statements
which
indicate that
the
government
wishes to
exploit the
medicinal
value of
plants.

Name some
of the
illnesses
that can be
cured with
traditional
herbs.

25

30

According to
the passage,
what would
be the impact
of
deforestation
on
rainforests?
PAGE 19

Trainers Notes: Reading

6
Why are
people
more aware
of the local
flora?

20

MAJLIS PEPERIKSAAN MALAYSIA


(MALAYSIAN EXAMINATIONS COUNCIL)

It is found that most ingredients can be cultivated, but about 15 per cent
including tongkat ali, kacip fatimah and mengkunyit refused to grow
anywhere except in the rainforest. Consequently, many local manufacturers in
the burgeoning herbal products industry raise these herbs on small plots in the
forests.
Discovering Malaysias herbal wealth has not only increased
understanding and appreciation of the local flora but it has also given rise to a
flourishing local herbal products manufacturing industry. This has made it all
the more important that Malaysia should conserve and sustain its unique
rainforests.

35

What does
the word
this refer
to?

40

Adapted from Going Places, March 1999

ANSWER KEY
Question
What is the main idea here?

Answer
Plants with medicinal values have
monetary value as well.

Skill
Identifying main
ideas

What two plants mentioned have


medicinal properties?

Kacip fatimah (Labisia pumila),


mata ayam (Ardisia crenata)

Extracting
specific
information

Locate 3 statements which indicate


that the government wishes to exploit
the medicinal value of plants.

The government has encouraged


investigation and development of
herbal medicines.
The IMR has been directed to
gear its research towards
establishing the effectiveness of
natural products.
The ministry has set up a Task
Force on Herbal Medicine to
investigate the development of
pharmaceuticals from medicinal
plants.

Extracting
specific
information

Understanding
relationships
between
sentences

Why do you think the IMR was


directed to conduct the research?

It functions as a research body.


It has the expertise and the
experience of conducting medical
research.

Extracting
specific
information,
making
inferences

Name some of the illnesses that can


be treated with traditional herbs.

Malaria,
cancer tumours in rats

Extracting
specific
information

According to the passage, what


would be the impact of deforestation
on rainforests?

Loss of valuable medicinal plants


Necessity to find alternative areas
of cultivation for medicinal plants
Inter-cropping in plantations

Distinguishing
the relevant from
the irrelevant

800/3

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Trainers Notes: Reading

MAJLIS PEPERIKSAAN MALAYSIA


(MALAYSIAN EXAMINATIONS COUNCIL)

21

What does the word this refer to?

given rise to a flourishing local


herbal products manufacturing
industry

Understanding
the relationship
between
sentences

Why are people more aware of the


local flora?

Appraising
information,
drawing
conclusions,
understanding
relationships
between
sentences

It has monetary value.


The medicinal properties are
more well-known.

A OR C?
TASK: 10
TIME: 5 minutes
AIM: To get CPs to detect the writers views, attitudes or intentions by processing given
phrases extracted from the text.
ORGANISATION: Pair work
PROCEDURE:

Get CPs to work in pairs.


Distribute the handout to CPs.
Remind CPs to look at the phrases in their context.
Allow CPs time for discussion.
Invite CPs to share their responses on how they arrived at the answers.

ANSWER KEY
From the text it is apparent that the writer expresses his appreciation for the medicinal values of
rainforests as well as his grave concern for the future of these forests.
Reproduced below are clauses and a phrase used by the writer. Write A if you think the clause /
phrase expresses appreciation and C if it signals concern.

800/3

1) change is underway.

( A )

2) But there is little point ...

( C )

3) but about 15 percent refused to grow anywhere

( C )
PAGE 21

Trainers Notes: Reading

MAJLIS PEPERIKSAAN MALAYSIA


(MALAYSIAN EXAMINATIONS COUNCIL)

4) now proving to have monetary value

( A )

5) Malaysia should conserve and sustain

( C )

6) ... the ministry has also set up a Task Force on Herbal Medicine

( A )

22

IN OTHER WORDS
TASK: 11
TIME: 7 minutes
AIM: To get CPs to process at word level and focus specifically on vocabulary.
ORGANISATION: Pair work
PROCEDURE:
Distribute task sheet to CPs and set them on task.
Invite responses and ask CPs how they arrived at the answer.

ANSWER KEY

Find words in the text that convey the meanings listed in the table below. The paragraph
in which the word is found is identified for you.
Paragraph
2
2
3
4
5
6
7
800/3

Word
remedies
alleviate

Meaning
medications
relieve or help in reducing pain,

gear
indigenous

discomfort or illnesses
to pitch something at a certain level
native or originating where something is

cultivation
burgeoning
sustain

found
growing crops or plants
growing or expanding
supply with necessities and support
PAGE 22

Trainers Notes: Reading

MAJLIS PEPERIKSAAN MALAYSIA


(MALAYSIAN EXAMINATIONS COUNCIL)

23

POST-READING ACTIVITY
READING COMES ALIVE
TASK: 12
TIME: 15 minutes
ORGANISATION: Groups of 4
PROCEDURE:

Get ready the suggested materials:


o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o

800/3

Aloe Vera
Cucumber
Turmeric
Pandan leaves
Hibiscus leaves
Ginger
Henna
Papaya
Pegaga
Serai

Distribute the task sheet to CPs.

Ask CPs to work in groups of 4.

Distribute one type of herb/plant to each group.

Set the group on task.

PAGE 23

Trainers Notes: Reading

MAJLIS PEPERIKSAAN MALAYSIA


(MALAYSIAN EXAMINATIONS COUNCIL)

24

INSTRUCTIONS:

Discuss the uses of the herb/ plant that your group has received.

Based on your discussion or answers in the pre-reading activity, demonstrate how


the herb/plant can be used to treat an ailment/enhance beauty.

WORKSHOP
PACKING IT ALL
TASK: 13
TIME: 2 hours
AIM: To get CPs to develop teaching materials.
ORGANISATION: Groups of 4
PROCEDURE:

Ask CPs to work in groups of 4.

Distribute task sheet and a past-year 800/3 Reading paper to each group.

Inform CPs to refer to Teachers Guide to MUET and Test Specifications to carry out the
task.

Set CPs on task.

Facilitate CPs when necessary.

INSTRUCTIONS:

Work in groups of 4.

Refer to a past-year 800/3 Reading paper and prepare a complete lesson.

Include a pre-reading activity, 2 or 3 while reading activities and a post-reading activity.

Prepare the answer key.

800/3

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Trainers Notes: Reading

25

MAJLIS PEPERIKSAAN MALAYSIA


(MALAYSIAN EXAMINATIONS COUNCIL)

REFLECTION GRID
TASK 14
AIM:To reflect on what you have done throughout the Reading session.
ORGANISATION: Individual work

Content/Activity

What I have learnt


from this task

What I plan to do
in my MUET class

Notes

SO WHATS NEW?

GOT IT RIGHT? GET IT


RIGHT!

ITS NOT A GAME OF


CHANCE. SO, DONT
GAMBLE

KNOWING WHAT YOU


TEACH

800/3

PAGE 25

Trainers Notes: Reading

26

MAJLIS PEPERIKSAAN MALAYSIA


(MALAYSIAN EXAMINATIONS COUNCIL)

BRIDGING THE GAP

NO TEXT IS TOO SHORT!

Content/Activity

What I have learnt


from this task

What I plan to do
in my MUET class

Notes

MOTHERS CHOICE

THE POINT IS

OF FORGOTTEN
TREASURES

A OR C?

IN OTHER WORDS

READING COMES ALIVE

800/3

PAGE 26

Trainers Notes: Reading

MAJLIS PEPERIKSAAN MALAYSIA


(MALAYSIAN EXAMINATIONS COUNCIL)

27

PACKING IT ALL

SUPPLEMENTARY TEXTS
Read the following texts and complete the tasks with your partners.
TEXT 1
Just 25 years ago, medical researchers boasted that victory against infectious disease was
simply a matter of time. Polio had been tamed by the Salk/Sabin vaccines, and smallpox,
diphtheria, and tetanus were virtually gone. Moreover, widespread antibiotic use had
transformed the most terrifying diseases known to man into manageable illnesses, if caught in
time. Many who went to medical school were told not to bother going into infectious diseases
and that it was better to concentrate on real problems like cancer and heart diseases.
MUET Oct 2003

1. Which vaccines helped to eradicate polio?


Salk/ Sabin vaccines
2. Which diseases were considered `real problems?
Cancer and heart diseases
Points to ponder
What skill is tested?
Scanning
How did you get the answer?
I read the text quickly to locate specific information.

TEXT 2
Anyone who has taken a careful look at our society is concerned with the effects of TV.
Much of this concern has to do with how TV affects people of school age. Most young
people watch more than twenty hours of TV per wee; many more hours than what they
spent in reading. Because TV glamorizes violence, sex and crime some experts fear it can
have a serious impact on the thinking of viewers. There is a further fear that people elected
to high public offices get there because of how they appear on TV. Their images seem more
important than their knowledge or public record. Clever advertising on TV leads some
viewers to buy luxury items they do not need. Many teachers now feel that they must
800/3
PAGE 27
entertain their students in order to compete with TV.

Trainers Notes: Reading

28

MAJLIS PEPERIKSAAN MALAYSIA


(MALAYSIAN EXAMINATIONS COUNCIL)

Which of the following best describes what this passage is about?


How television affects society
Points to ponder
What skill is tested?
Skimming
What is the difference between this skill and the earlier skill?
In the first task I had to read through the text quickly to locate the specific information. In this
task I had to read quickly to get the gist of the text.

TEXT 3
Read the following text and answer the question.
Some people often see their cars as an extension of their egos. But the horsepower of a car
is very quickly expropriated and adapted to become the power of the motorist. Every
person is born with an inferior feeling. Hes much smaller than all the people around him,
and there are a thousand things that he cannot do. We all dream of some day becoming
Superman. Driving cars allows us partially to satisfy this wish. It is no coincidence that
cars often carry the names of aggressive animals or speedy winds such as Wildcat,
Mustang, Fury and Thunderbird.
MUET April 2004
1. The writer substantiates his view that `Every person is born with an inferior
feeling by saying that man
A. has so many dreams and owning a car is like a dream come true
B. sees himself as smaller than the rest of the world and wants to be noticed
C. gives cars the names of aggressive animals and speedy winds so that they can
feel superior
Points to ponder
What skill is tested?
Following the development of a point or an argument.
How did you get the answer?
i) Read through the question.
ii) The phrase `the writer justifies indicates that you will have to follow the development of the
point made in order to get the answer.
iii) Look at the text again . The sentence after` Every person is born with an inferior feeling
supports why man feels inferior through words like smaller, things he cannot do and the
word Superman in the next sentence suggests mans need to overcome the inferior feeling.

800/3

PAGE 28

Trainers Notes: Reading

MAJLIS PEPERIKSAAN MALAYSIA


(MALAYSIAN EXAMINATIONS COUNCIL)

29

2. The expression ` an extension of their egos suggests that


A. cars are measured by the horsepower of the vehicle
B. cars can be adapted to suit the motorists who drive them
C. car owners use their cars to make up for their inadequacy
Points to ponder
What skill is tested?
Making inferences.
How did you get the answer?.
Details from the text show that men suffer from inadequacies and so they use cars as extensions
of themselves.

TEXT 4
There are several styles of Tai Chi, but most of them start with a series of controlled movements,
or forms. You can choose from among the growing number of classes offered at recreational
centres and health clubs. These have the added benefit of combining instruction with a chance to
meet new people. Either way, the goal is to move at your own pace. As a Tai Chi master puts it,
Pain is no gain.
MUET April 2005

What does the phrase Pain is no gain in the text mean?


We do not have to exert ourselves to benefit from exercise.

Points to ponder
What skill is tested?
How did you arrive at the answer?

TEXT 5
The best thing about Tai Chi is that people enjoy it, so they are more likely to stick with it long
enough to get some benefit. Tai Chi may not always top the list of exercises but it is suitable for
people of all ages. Although younger people probably need more of an aerobic challenge, they
can benefit from Tai Chis capacity to reduce stress. Tai Chi has the added benefit of allowing
practitioners to practice at their own pace coupled with the opportunity to widen their social
circle. It helps when something that is good for you is also fun.
MUET April 2005

Tai Chi is the most popular form of exercise.


a. True
b. False
800/3

PAGE 29

Trainers Notes: Reading

30

MAJLIS PEPERIKSAAN MALAYSIA


(MALAYSIAN EXAMINATIONS COUNCIL)

c. Not stated
Points to ponder
What skill is tested?
deriving the meaning of words, phrases, sentences from the context

What information did you draw from the text to arrive at your answer?
Use of contextual clues as found in line 1 a series of controlled movements, or forms and in
line 4 to move at your own pace

TEXT 6
As they get older, adolescents from lower-income families often make compromises in
their career plans. They lower their career aspirations and aim toward the jobs they think
they can get rather than the jobs they may most want.
MUET December 2001 p15

Why do adolescents make compromises as they grow older?


Possible responses:
They become more realistic / less idealistic/ practical /
Their choice of vocation changes/
They realise their dreams may not be realised and may need to be changed

800/3

Points to ponder
What is the level of questioning here?
High - complex processing of text
Low- answer is very obvious in the text / direct

What skill is being tested?


Appraising information leading to conclusion

Is the information needed to answer this question readily available? Elaborate.


Based on contextual clues: as they get older, make compromises and they lower
their career aspirations

PAGE 30

Trainers Notes: Reading

MAJLIS PEPERIKSAAN MALAYSIA


(MALAYSIAN EXAMINATIONS COUNCIL)

31

TEXT 7
FORMULATING QUESTIONS
Read the following extract and complete the task below.
Bookshops and publishers in Malaysia may already be reading the final chapters of their
evolution story and the epilogue may not be a happy one. Faced with a dwindling reading
society, illegal photocopying of literary works and books, higher operating costs and lower
returns, the odds appear to be heavily stacked against them. In the first place, their foundation
has grossly weakened since Malaysians read an average of only two books a year. The number is
not expected to increase anytime soon since books are facing formidable competition from other
sources of knowledge such as information and entertainment, including television and the
Internet.
The advent of technology is also changing the landscape of the book retailing business, such as
new methods for promotion and selling. Internet-based electronic commerce has redefined how
consumers want to shop. The trend is expected to gradually take prominence in the book retailing
fraternity.
Customers are not static and readers preference will change with age. The online book business
will gradually become an important distribution channel with the information technology-savvy
readers. Time-cost, comfort and convenience are increasingly becoming vital factors in consumer
buying decisions, said C.P.Lua, general manager for operations of MPH Bookstore Sdn.Bhd.
Extracted from: New Straits Times, 1 Nov 2006

Formulate questions for the following skills with your partner:


a)
b)
c)
800/3

identifying main ideas


extracting specific information
understanding relationships between sentences
PAGE 31

Trainers Notes: Reading

d)
e)

32

MAJLIS PEPERIKSAAN MALAYSIA


(MALAYSIAN EXAMINATIONS COUNCIL)

making inferences
drawing conclusions

Suggested Questions :
a)
b)
c)
d)
e)

800/3

What is the main idea of paragraph 1?


How has the advent of technology affected the sales of books? (paragraph 2)
The word number in paragraph 1 refers to
The word trend in paragraph 3 refers to
Why are information technology-savvy readers more likely to buy books online?
What do you think is the future of the book business in Malaysia?

PAGE 32