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, ..
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