“Students, like the rest of us, need to be able to do a number of different things with a reading text”. They need to be able to guess what the text is about before they decide to read it, they need to be able to skim a text to_’get a general idea of what it is about, and they should be able to scan the text for the particular bits of information that they need. Whether readers skim or scan texts is dependant on , what they are reading, and why.
Therefore, one of the teacher’s main – , functions is to make students aware of effective strategies for reading. We always have a reason to read something, and this is something a teacher needs to consider when dealing with texts. The student needs _ ‘ to be engaged in the topic, and some discussion on the content of the text helps the students familiarise themselves with what they are about to read. This can just be a general discussion, or students can predict the content of a text using clues, such a headings or pictures.
The students are therefore better equipped to get the gist of the passage, and a short activity, perhaps checking against their predictions or ?nding a sentence that encapsulates the text, will help students familiarise themselves with the passage before a more intensive reading task. It is also a good idea to set time limits for short gist tasks, so students are encouraged to skim and scan texts, as opposed to trying to read every word. Of course, one bar to effective reading is dif?cult vocabulary, so . _ teacher needs to consider methods for dealing with problem ‘ language.
Pre-teaching essential vocabulary is often necessary (in the comprehension questions as well as the text), but the teacher also needs to make students aware that they do not need to understand every word, either by telling them, or by grading the task so that students can. complete it without understanding everything. Of course, the teacher can follow up with a vocabulary exercise, or students can come back to dif?cult vocabulary in -their own time. Many students will highlight new vocabulary as they go along, and though this slows down the process, they will learn new lexis.