This article is about Intensive reading exercise. Actually, an English language teacher have to guide his/her students in acquiring all language skills. One of them is reading. They should conduct an effecive exercise in order to get his/her students are good in reading. Let us look at what a good reading exercise should do.
1. A good reading exercise directs the learners’ attention to features of the text that can be found in almost any text, or to strategies for dealing with any text, with the aim “to develop in the language learner the ability to comprehend texts, not to guide him to comprehension of a text” (Davies and Widdowson, 1974: 172). To put it another way, when learners study a reading text, we want them to gain knowledge that will help them to understand tomorrow’s reading text. We want them to learn things that apply to all texts. We want them to gain knowledge of the language and ways of dealing with the language rather than an understanding of a particular message. If a reading exercise does not focus on generalisable features of a text, it does not provide much opportunity for any useful, cumulative learning to take place. This requirement is particularly important for teaching reading.
2. A good reading exercise directs the learners’ attention to the reading text. That is, the learners need to read the text or at least part of it in order to do the exercise. It is also important that some reading exercises require the learners to consider parts of the text in relation to their wider context, that is, other parts of the text, and information from outside the text.
3. A good reading exercise provides the teacher and the learners with useful information about the learners’ performance on the exercise. If the learners were not successful on some parts of the exercise, then they should be aware of what they have to learn in order to do the exercise successfully with another text. Also, the teacher can get guidance from the learners’ performance to improve teaching. Good exercises provide useful feedback for the teacher and the learners. Also, if the teacher understands what an exercise is trying to teach, they can judge the value of the exercise according to what they think is important for teaching reading.
4. A good reading exercise is easy to make. Teachers have to choose texts suited to the particular needs of their learners, and if these texts do not have satisfactory exercises, the teachers must make their own. Often teachers may want the learners to work with a textbook that is used in another discipline they are studying, and so they will have to make their own exercises. This should require a minimum of skill and time. If the preparation of language teaching materials becomes the job only of experts, then language teachers will have lost the flexibility needed for successful teaching.
So, a good reading exercise focuses on items or strategies that apply to any text, requires the learners to read the text, provides useful feedback for the learners and the teacher, and is easy to make.
Nation, I.S.P. 2008. Teaching ESL/EFL Reading and Writing. New York: Routledge