Why should be a long Reading text??

Why should be a long Reading text??

By Herri Mulyono

Couple days ago, I read comment from a visitor of this site commenting that the reading text in the lesson play remains too short. I brought this issue to a discussion for my students at UHAMKA and most of them agreed to the commentator. “Students could read well, if it is only one or two paragraph they would finish earlier, how about rest of the time?? Students may be so noisy..” say them. Slightly just for an empty talk, “Yeah, too kill the time we need a long reading text,” I said.

Brightly, it has to be known that our curriculum adopts communicative competence model that elements of socio cultural competence, linguistic competence and action competence are integrated within what is called as discourse competence. This means one’s communicative competence either in mode of oral or written competence is involved in a communication discourse which is strongly affected with a communication topic (see the national English curriculum). Regarding to this, reading text is just a bridge to be connected with such communicative discourse.

When reading is undertaken particularly to achieve the issue of comprehension whereas at the end students have to complete multiple choice reading comprehension test, then it does matter the length of reading text. In this case, Students could read the text and immediately complete the test. In order words, it does not take time for the reading activity or short reading text might not appropriate to devise.

However, if the nuance of reading activities, or just say the reading text is devised to achieve broader objective: discourse competence. Then, length of reading passage would not be so important. Why? Because the reading passage would be performed by concerning to many aspect such as socio cultural (that deal with reading content suited to students’ social background), linguistics (grammar and vocabulary), and the most important the interpersonal skill (that content of the reading may generate certain language functions by which students might use). Definitely, regarding to these aspects in reading activity, of course, you would be kept busy to manage the activities sequently generated from the text you use.

The choice is all yours, … happy teaching then, ..

For further discussion, please visit my web: www.myenglish01.wordpress.com

Or find my nick at facebook: myenglish uhamka

2 thoughts on “Why should be a long Reading text??

  1. Vocabulary is one of important skills in reading activity which then we learn about strategies in improving that skill such as using the clue or step aside difficult words in order to comprehend the text only.
    How about reading activity for children ?
    Which activity should be on previous,
    comprehend the story or comprehend the vocabulary in the text.
    I often tell the story first using body language or picture, I’d like the children to know the story even not in detail but in the end when they read the story which then completing the 10 question there are so many questions about the words, they want to know all the words in the text and they have difficulties in understanding the question.
    I’ll send u the reading text through ur email in yahoo
    thank u sir

  2. Thanks for your question.

    I admire you in way of teaching reading. Yes. telling story is something interesting and would be enjoyable activity, not only for the students but also the teacher who tells the story.

    Understanding the story might be different from knowing meaning of certain word from the story. When you tell the story using your body language or picture, you put understanding of the story as your main goal. I bet when you ask question in Bahasa about content of the story to your students, they might answer it correctly.

    From your experience, i notice the problem is on understanding meaning of certain word in the story. For such purpose, you could employ of certain vocabulary game in pre-reading activity or at the post-reading activity for reinforcement. Of course, the vocabulary game is used to introduce the vocabulary before you tell the story, and to review the vocabulary after the story telling.

    What you have to notice, it is not always the reading comprehension task is carried out in writing activity that students have to write their answer after certain question on paper. The task is also possible to be done through question-and-answer and it does not require full (complete) answer (you have to consider your students limitation for oral English – if high school students have problem in speaking one complete sentence, how about your elementary student?)

    Hope it helps you …

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