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Re: [ExtensiveReading] Digest Number 688

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  • doran33@aol.com
    Hello, In my experience, silent reading needs to be sandwiched between oral reading and comprehension analysis. If not, the readers may be sitting there and
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 24, 2005
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      Hello,
      In my experience, silent reading needs to be sandwiched between oral reading and comprehension analysis.  If not, the readers may be sitting there and getting only the "gist" of the materials, but it may be beyond their frustration level, beyond their independent reading level.
       
      My adults formerly illiterate students tell me of stories where they were sitting in silent-reading classes, turning the page after an "appropriate" amount of time had passed. 
       
       
      Phoenix evening, eight-eight degrees F
      Pat
       
      In a message dated 10/24/2005 2:04:35 AM US Mountain Standard Time, ExtensiveReading@yahoogroups.com writes:
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      There are 3 messages in this issue.

      Topics in this digest:

            1. ER in Hong Kong
                 From: Marc Helgesen <march@...>
            2. ER in Hong Kong
                 From: Julian Bamford <bamford@...>
            3. Re: ER in Hong Kong
                 From: "Wendy Arnold" <arnoldhk@...>


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      Message: 1        
         Date: Mon, 24 Oct 2005 09:13:34 +0900
         From: Marc Helgesen <march@...>
      Subject: ER in Hong Kong

      Hi,

      I saw something vague on another list about the failure of ER in Hong
      Kong. Anybody know what that is referring to and where I might read
      up on it?

      best,

      marc
      --
      Marc Helgesen
      march@...
      Dept. of Intercultural Studies
      Miyagi Gakuin Women's University
      9-1-1 Sakuragaoka, Aoba-ku, Sendai 981-8557 Japan
      fax: +81 (0)22 277-6208
      http://www.mgu.ac.jp/~ic/helgesen/Helgesen.front.htm


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      Message: 2        
         Date: Mon, 24 Oct 2005 11:14:49 +0900
         From: Julian Bamford <bamford@...>
      Subject: ER in Hong Kong

      (Marc wrote: I saw something vague on another list about the failure of
      ER in Hong Kong. Anybody know what that is referring to and where I
      might read up on it?)

      It's probably Christopher Green's article in the latest ELT Journal
      (October 2005), "Integrating extensive reading in the task-based
      curriculum." (Volume 59, Number 4, pp. 306-311).  Quote:

      "It is argued here that schemes which emphasize individual and largely
      unguided activity fail to provide a clear and direct purpose for the
      reading and do not exploit the opportunities extensive reading presents
      for the dynamic processes of presenting and debating what has been
      read.  Extensive reading left to be done silently by individuals goes
      against the tenets of interactionist theory and, as is the case in many
      Hong Kong schools, is likely to find itself marginalized in the
      curriculum" (p. 307).

      He concludes that to improve things "extensive reading should be
      incorporated fully in the language curriculum as a vital component of a
      task-based approach to second language learning" (p. 306).

      --Julian



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      Message: 3        
         Date: Mon, 24 Oct 2005 14:13:12 +0800
         From: "Wendy Arnold" <arnoldhk@...>
      Subject: Re: ER in Hong Kong

      Hi all

      At the risk of being really boring because I have whined about reading in
      Hong Kong before, I haven't seen Green's article yet but I think he may be
      at risk of throwing the baby out with the bathwater if he's saying 'silent
      reading' should be scrapped. 

      I'd agree that silent reading isn't particularly valued by local teachers
      (anecdotal but based on more than 12 years teaching at a Hong Kong primary)
      and they were very happy when we had the English Extensive Reading Scheme
      (EERS) to leave it up to the native-English teachers to manage.  Our current
      reforms ask for 40% of the curriculum time to be taken up with 'reading'
      which include

      -    reading strategies e.g. syntactic, semantic and graphophonic
      -    teaching strategies e.g. storytelling, independent reading, shared
      reading, reading aloud (and there was one more but I can't remember it)

      What I've learnt (the hard way) is that there needs to be a variety of
      different 'reading' lessons but what is essential is that the learners
      realize that the purpose of reading is to get 'meaning' and not just to
      decode' words.  We have a lot of little 'parrots' in Hong Kong, who've been
      taught how to decode without encoding ... bit of a waste of time to my mind
      . but this is how Cantonese is taught, chanting/whole class and teacher's
      not surprisingly teach L2 as they do L1.  I really do mean 'not surprisingly
      because values/beliefs are rock solid here about L1 and L2 needing the same
      strategies. Ironically Cantonese teachers complain about the poor reading
      and writing levels of the learners but don't seem to ask themselves if there
      is any other way of doing things.

      If anyone is interested I found some very interesting articles about the
      differences between Cantonese L1 and English L2 and how they are learnt (it
      was whilst I was researching dyslexia in Cantonese).  This appears to
      indicate that to be an effective reader in Cantonese you need to master
      writing first and to be an effective reader in English you need to master
      listening (and meaning!).

      Bye for now
      Wendy









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