Published on February 27, 2014
EDUC 1821: Teaching Reading & Writing American Culture & Language Institute, TESOL Certificate Program Northern Virginia Community College www.nvcc.edu/workforce
Overview • Reading – Genres & Characteristics – Bottom Up vs. Top Down Processing • Writing – Product vs. Process Oriented – Discourse Patterns – Minimal marking www.nvcc.edu/workforce
Reading Genres • • • • • • • • • Non-fiction (reports, essays, articles, dictionaries) Fiction (novels, jokes, dramas, poetry) Letters (personal, business) Diaries, Journals Memos, messages, invitations Academic writing (test responses, thesis) Questionnaires, applications Signs, labels, directions, recipes, maps, menus Bills, schedules, directories www.nvcc.edu/workforce
Genres Used in Different Programs Life Skills Pre-Academic • In pairs, categorize reading genres used in each program above. • Discuss. www.nvcc.edu/workforce
Reading Characteristics • Permanence: ability to revisit a text and reread • Processing time: time taken to comprehend • Distance: content’s similarity or difference from students’ prior knowledge • Orthography: relationship between sounds and letters • Formality: genre of text www.nvcc.edu/workforce
Bottom-Up Processing Print Phonemes & Graphemes Blending to make words Meaning Cambourne cited in Nunan, 1991 www.nvcc.edu/workforce
Bottom-Up Processing • Requires oral knowledge of the language, which many ELLs don’t have • 26 letters = 40 sounds • How we learn our L1 • Decoding doesn’t equal comprehension • In the 1950s, thought to be the best way to teach reading www.nvcc.edu/workforce
Top-Down Processing Experience Intuition Expectation Aspects of Print/Layout Meaning Cambourne cited in Nunan, 1991 www.nvcc.edu/workforce
Top-Down Processing • Also called “conceptually driven processing” • Uses our students’ own experiences to understand a text • Focuses on meaning-based text elements, not decoding Brown (2007) www.nvcc.edu/workforce
Interactive Reading • Current research supports “interactive reading.” – A combination of both top-down and bottom-up processing – This is what happens naturally when native English speakers read www.nvcc.edu/workforce
Extensive Reading • “free reading” or “reading for pleasure” 25% of class time • Longer texts, uninterrupted • Limit dictionary use – breaks train of thought if students are constantly looking up words • Key to student gains in reading, vocabulary, spelling, and writing • www.er-central.com www.nvcc.edu/workforce
Intensive Reading • Direct instruction of metacognitive strategies – Self monitoring – Evaluating reading process – Reflecting on what’s been read • Pre-reading, while reading, and post reading strategies www.nvcc.edu/workforce
Skimming • • • • Quick! Getting the “gist” Predict the purpose of the passage A head start before more focused reading www.nvcc.edu/workforce
Skimming Practice How long have you lived in your house? Do people in your country move frequently? Or do they stay in one place for a long time? A recent report by the United States Census Bureau said that Americans move approximately once every five years. “America is an extremely mobile nation. Ever year millions of people pack up and move to a different house,” said Kristin Hansen. People who own their own houses usually stay in one place longer than people who rent. Homeowners move every 8.2 years, but renters move every 2.1 years. Summer is the most popular time for moving. www.nvcc.edu/workforce
Scanning • Quickly searching for something specific – Dates, names, places, etc. • To get information without reading everything • Essential in academic English • Helpful for schedules, forms, manuals www.nvcc.edu/workforce
Scanning Practice Calendar Item Parking enforcement begins Date February 2 Spring Break (no classes) Last day to withdraw Spring graduation application Commencement Ceremony March 11 - 17 May 13 May 19 www.nvcc.edu/workforce
Reading Micro Skills • Retain chunks of language in short-term memory • Process writing at an efficient speed • Recognize a core of words, interpret word order patterns and their significance • Recognize grammatical classes (nouns, verbs), systems (tense, plurals), etc. • Recognize that a particular meaning may be expressed in different grammatical forms www.nvcc.edu/workforce
Reading Macro Skills • • • • Recognize cohesive devices & rhetorical forms Recognize the communicative functions of texts Infer context that is not explicit Infer links and connections between ideas, etc. and detect relations such as main ideas / details • Detect culture-specific references • Use scanning, skimming, guessing, and background knowledge www.nvcc.edu/workforce
Reading in the ESL Classroom • Choose relevant, level-appropriate materials – Authentic materials/realia • Provide some student-produced materials • Use Pre-, During- and Post-reading activities • Limit the amount of oral readings (reading aloud) due to high cognitive load www.nvcc.edu/workforce
Reading Activities • • • • • Read & Do Read & Choose Answer questions Information Gap Ordering / Sequencing • Editing • Summarizing, essay • Note taking, highlighting www.nvcc.edu/workforce
Reading Activities • Read a paragraph then circle all the words that start with P. Point to other things in the room that start with P. • Look at a grocery store ad from the newspaper and answer the following questions: – What is the purpose of this flier? – What information is given? – Where could you find this flier? www.nvcc.edu/workforce
Types of Writing • • • • Imitative (copying) • Real-World Writing – Academic Intensive (controlled) – Vocational/Technical Self-writing – Personal Display writing www.nvcc.edu/workforce
Product-Oriented Writing • Imitating the final product • Emphasis on “model” compositions • Focus on rhetorical style, accurate grammar, conventional organization • Often graded using a list of criteria • Style of teaching writing in the 1950s www.nvcc.edu/workforce
Process-Oriented Writing • • • • • • • Focus on message & process Enhances intrinsic motivation & creativity Allows students to find their own voice Prewriting & revision seen as important steps Continual feedback (during each step) Encourages journaling and free-writing Current teaching writing methodologies www.nvcc.edu/workforce
Discourse Patterns Kaplan (1966) suggested that different languages (and cultures) have different patterns of written discourse. www.nvcc.edu/workforce
Writing in L1 vs. L2 • Silva (1993) demonstrated that L1 and L2 writing processes are not at all similar • L2 writers: – – – – Do less planning Are less fluent (fewer words) Are less accurate Are less effective in stating goals and organizing www.nvcc.edu/workforce
Writing in the ESL Classroom • • • • • • • Balance process and product Account for cultural backgrounds Connect reading & writing Provide authentic reasons for writing Use prewriting, drafting, and revising stages Offer interactive techniques Give clear instruction on rhetorical conventions www.nvcc.edu/workforce
Writing Activities • • • • • • • Vanishing letters Picture-cued writing exercises Completing forms/Scaffolded Writing Dictation or Dicto-comp Ordering tasks Sentence completion Paraphrasing/Summarizing www.nvcc.edu/workforce
Assessing Writing • Use targeted correction (i.e. focus on one type of error) • Use a checklist or rubric • Grade each category separately (content, spelling, organization, etc.) • Content should be emphasized over mechanics • Write comments using minimal marking www.nvcc.edu/workforce
Minimal Marking • Mark the presence of a problem in the margin using a system of abbreviations: – – – – – vt = verb tense error agmt = agreement error sp = spelling error wc = word choice error wf = word form error • Student locates the error on the line & corrects Hazwell, 1983 www.nvcc.edu/workforce
Put it into Practice • Work in pairs to create a 10 min reading or writing lesson. – Authentic Task – Grammar Point • Consider how you will assess students’ reading or writing. • Teach us! www.nvcc.edu/workforce
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