Characteristics of good readers

I can remember those days clearly. As students in English Teaching main, I always had issues with English literature and it was hard for me to complete reading an English history like "elephants like white hills" without problems and difficulty. Once our literature teacher was asking students remarks and recommendations about English literature and it had been a good time for me to talk about my horrors and problems with English literature. "Whenever I’m examining an English story or poem, a feeling from deep inside my heart tells me that provide it up! You don’t need to shoulder this large burden!" I said. While he previously a smile on his face, our dear expert answered me: "have you ever seen persons who are looking forward to sunrise in a dessert to see the beauty of twilight? Do you know that their tolerance is rewarded by the most beautiful scene they can have entirely their lives?" This declaration was so masterly mentioned that forced me to think about the hidden part of the iceberg! So rather than giving up this charm of twilight, I attempted to get familiar with different reading skills and different procedures affecting it and manage the hard task of reading. In fact, reading is a sophisticated skill and good readers should approach examining from three important points of check out: From teaching point of view, from different approaches needed, and from distinct processes required for the selection of materials.

Primarily, reading is an art which is mostly required in academic organizations. To analyze reading from teaching viewpoint, you ought to have a clear explanation of reading. Different authors and various researchers have unique definitions for browsing. Christine Nuttall (1996) offers given three groups of ideas for reading description (p. 2). The 1st group deals with reading as a decoding, deciphering, and identifying procedure. The second one sees it as an articulation, speaking, and pronunciation. The third one has some ideas like understanding, responding, and meaning for reading. We can see that this band of ideas handles some loaded cognitive processes for reading and it is somehow related to this is of browsing by Perfetti (1984) who defines browsing as "thinking guided by printing" (qtd. in Chastain 216). Some people think that reading is usually a passive skill, since there is no production from the reader’s side, but Chastain (1988) is from this kind of classification and opposes this group’s ideas by stating that:

Referring to browsing as a passive skill perpetuates a misconception that can only mislead pupils and damage their perceptions of what their guideline in their reading process is. Reading is normally a receptive skill in that the reader is getting message from a article writer. In past times various writers also have referred to browsing as a decoding skill. This terminology derives from the thought of vocabulary as a code, one which must be deciphered to reach at the meaning of the concept. Although this term highlights the active position the reader must enjoy in studying describe the reading process in a way that implies productive reader intent after using background knowledge and abilities to recreate the writer’s intended meaning (p. 216).

Sengupta(2002) in her longitudinal analysis tracing conceptual modification in developing academic studying at tertiary level provides given an interactive unit for academic reading in which the reader’s background knowledge, his risk-taking, and meaning producing through this interaction are of most important importance in academic browsing. Figure 1 obviously illustrates this relation.

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Undoubtedly, in order to be able to read in a foreign language, before anything, one must be acquainted with the signs and signal systems of that foreign language. Like the children learning their first languages’ signs, someone who really wants to read in a spanish has to know for instance what an "X" sign means. But we should are thinking about that children go under many preparatory processes before to be able to read a text message or a story. To get familiar with a few of these multilevel techniques, Smith and Elley (1997) conducted a report on teaching reading for kids in New Zealand plus they reported that:

Children are prepared for reading at an early age by listening to stories, being read to, and interacting with adults and others about the tales they hear. That is done not with the key purpose of preparing a kid for reading but as a means that parents and others interact with, exhibit affection for, and entertain and educate kids. The conversation involves asking questions about what will probably happen in the account, getting the child to total sentences in a known story, discussing the interesting and frightening parts of the account, and generally having fun (qtd. in Nation 3).

As you can see in this example, children primarily pay attention to this is the sentences own and the form and pronunciation of the sentences could be of little concern for these small children. This awareness of sentence meaning and the approaches used to teach reading makes this sort of reading interaction generally meaning-focused and Nation (2009) states that it includes shared reading, guided studying and independent browsing. In shared reading, "the learners gather around the teacher and the instructor reads a story to the learners from a very large blown-up book while showing them the photographs and the written words and phrases. " The next type is Guided reading which "can be done silently or with a kid reading aloud to a pal, parent or teacher. Before the studying the learner and instructor discuss the book" (pp. 3-4). More than a few researches have shown the effectiveness of this kind of reading. One of them is the research carried out by Wong and McNaughton (1980):

Research by Wong and McNaughton (1980) showed that for the learner they studied, pre-browsing discussion resulted in a larger percentage of words primarily correct, and a larger percentage of problems self-corrected. The instructor and the learner consider the title of the reserve and ensure that all the words in the name are known. Then they talk about the images in the storyline and make predictions in what might happen in the history and speak about any knowledge the learner currently has about this issue. Important text in the story are talked about but need not be pointed to within their written form. So, prior to the learner actually starts to learn the story, the thoughts and important phrases in the account are discussed and clarified. Then your learner begins to learn (qtd. in Country p. 4).

The third kind of meaning-focused reading is the independent reading in which "the learner chooses a publication to read and quietly gets on with studying it. During this quiet amount of class time, the instructor may also read or could use the time as a chance for individual learners to appear to learn to the teacher" (Nation, 2009, p. 5).

As you saw, understanding how to read in the first language seems quite easy, but the way in which you learn examining in second vocabulary has its problems. Taken from Nation (2009), some of these problems happen to be illustrated in table 1(p. 7):

Table 1. 1 L1/L2 Differences for a person Beginning to Read


General effects

Particular effects

L1 beginning readers already

know a lot of the language

they are beginning to read

(sounds, vocabulary,

grammar, discourse). L2

learners do not.

Learning to learn an L2

involves a great deal of

language learning.

L2 learners need very

controlled texts.

L2 learners desire a greater

amount of pre-reading


L2 beginners can currently read

in their L1.

L2 beginners have general

cognitive skills.

They have preconceptions

and attitudes to browsing.

They have language

specific skills.

There will be interference

and facilitation effects

between the L1 and L2

L2 beginners do not need

to study what they can

transfer from the L1.

They may need to change

their attitudes to browsing.

Learners may have to

learn a different writing


L2 beginners are usually

older than L1 beginners.

L2 learners have greater

metalinguistic and

metacognitive awareness

It is easy to transfer L1


L2 learners may use more

explicit approaches and

tools like dictionaries.

This table has been kept basic by focusing on only one learner who is merely beginning to read. It is more complicated for those who have several learners with several L1s, several L2 proficiencies, unique L1 reading proficiencies, and different motivations for reading.

Reading as well requires having different approaches. These reading strategies are grouped into diverse categories, according to the preference of their authors. For example, www. readinga-z. com (n. d), has granted the set of following strategies:

Making Predictions


Asking and Answering Questions

Skimming and Scanning

Retelling and Summarizing

Connecting the Text alive Experiences, Different Texts, or Prior Knowledge

Word-Attack Strategies

The first one is making predictions. By producing predictions, you can create the reading even more interesting. Iphone users are disappointed with the ios 7. "Incorrect predictions can signal a misunderstanding that needs to be revisited" (www. readinga-z. com).

In making predictions, you ought to have these points in your thoughts:

Look at the pictures, table of contents, chapter headings, maps, diagrams, and features. What topics are in the publication?

Write down predictions about the text. During reading, look for text or phrases from those predictions.

While studying, revise the predictions or generate new kinds (www. readinga-z. com).

The second strategy can be visualizing. In visualizing, the reader uses his mental vitality effectively and "using designs, spatial relationships , activity, and colors can benefit greatly out of this strategy. " This strategy also requires getting the following points in mind:

Imagine a fiction storyline taking place as though it were a video. Imagine the individuals’ features. Photo the plot in time and space.

Imagine operations and explanations going on visually. Work with nouns, verbs, and adjectives to create pics, diagrams, or additional mental images.

Use graphic organizers to lay out information. Generate sketches or diagrams on scrap paper (www. readinga-z. com).

Let’s visit the third technique which is requesting and answering queries. Using this strategy you should ask different problems from yourself while studying and then by answering these issues you can direct your studying. Like the rules given in the previously mentioned strategies, readinga-z. com

gives the following recommendations to us:

Before reading, think about the subject based on the title, chapter heads, and visual information. Make notice of anything you are interested in.

While reading, pause and write down any questions. Be sure you ask questions if you have confusion.

Look for the answers while reading. Pause and write down the answers.

Were all the questions answered? Could the answers result from other sources?

Then we arrive to the skimming and scanning. Lindsay and Knight (2006) give credit to these abilities by saying that: "the ability to reading something quickly and effectively is a crucial skill for learners to acquire. Skimming and scanning are two of the" (p. 71).

They establish skimming as the studying "for gist" without trying to comprehend everything in it. In this process, you read through the text to "get a general notion of what it is about", while in scanning "you want to determine about something specific, for instance get a particular little bit of information from a text message" (Lindsay and Knight, 2006, p. 72).

The next reading approach is Retelling and Summarizing during which you have to paraphrase the written supplies and summarize it and be able to "discriminate between main strategies and minor details" (readinga-z. com). In this plan, readinga-z. com recommends us to pay attention to the following points:

During reading, note the primary ideas or occurrences. Put a check mark in the e book or write a note to point out a primary idea.

At the ends of chapters or sections, examine the info or story. Note key ideas or events and the details that support them.

After reading, retell or summarize the text. Concentrate on the important things, and support them with relevant specifics.

Refer to the publication to check the retelling or summarization.

The last point to mention in the studying strategies refers to the use of word-attack tactics which "help pupils decode, pronounce, and appreciate unfamiliar text. They help students attack words piece by part or from a different angle" (readinga-z. com).

Using word-attack abilities, you can reduce the difficulties of reading procedure. "Reducing the scale of the problem by ignoring inessential thoughts is the first step. Next, pupils must require strategies for dealing with lexical items that actually block comprehension" (Nuttall, 1996, p. 69). Here we will discuss three kinds of them: the foremost is the interpretation of structural clues by "looking at the positioning of a term in a sentence", inference from context may be the next which is "an art we have in our L1 … and for fewer fluent students conscious utilization of it is valuable. By using it, they can get a meaning – not necessarily completely accurate, but enough for his or her goal" (Nuttall, 1996, pp. 69-72).

Using a dictionary may be the last skill the use of which can be both discouraged and encouraged. It is discouraged because of the "usual inclination to use them much too quite often" (Nuttall, 1996, p. 76). I think there is no need to make clear why a dictionary is encouraged.

For using a dictionary, Nuttall (1996) emphasizes the implementation of the next steps:

The first step towards applying the dictionary as a tool instead of a crutch is to choose which word to look up–and to accept that they must be only possible. Having decided to look up a word, we want to do it quickly and also to make the best utilization of the information in the dictionary (p. 76).

It is essential to include continual insistence on the utilization of this skill. "This implies you should make regular use of the dictionary in course (even though it is quicker to provide the meaning yourself); and that it ought to be the student who select the appropriate definition" (Nuttall, 1996, p. 76).

Among others, Krashen and Terrell (1983) outline the following communicative reading strategy:

"1. Read for meaning

2. Don’t look up every word

3. Predict meaning

4. Use context" (qtd. in Chastain 225)

Finally, we arrive to the selection of materials for reading. "Collection of appropriate reading resources is a crucial element in the establishment of a successful reading program" (Chastain, 1988, p. 231). Defending the area of selecting the materials, Doff(1988) has given some factors for selecting materials to consider:

In normal lifestyle, we usually do not normally read because we have to but because you want to. We usually have an objective in reading: there is certainly something you want to find out, some info we want to examine or clarify, some opinion you want to match against our own, etc. We likewise have an objective in reading when we read stories for delight: we want to find out how the story develops, "what happens next" (p. 170).

As we are able to infer from the provided text, it is the learner’s interests and requirements which initially shapes the selection of materials, therefore the first component to consider in the selection of the appropriate reading materials could possibly be the passions and goals of the learner. Chastain (1988) emphasizes the value of this point more than linguistic complexity by stating that:

"With the advent of the concept of reading as occurring within the reader’s head as he interacts with what on the web page, the reader’s willingness to keep the procedure of recreating meaning until the author’s message is comprehended becomes central to reading method. Thus interest in the content rises to a level of importance higher than that of linguistic complexity because no studying will take place if readers aren’t interested enough to continue reading. However, if they are really enthusiastic about knowing what author has to say, they will make every effort to understand the studying" (p. 231).

Here Chastain (1988) raises a question: "students interests cover an enormous range of topics, trying to fulfill all will be impossible" (p. 231). Therefore, what would we carry out in selecting products while at the same time we will consider the student’s passions? The answer is so simple. We are able to use a variety of procedures to choose the reading elements from among the learners’ interests. For example, "… they (the teachers) can choose readings with which college students involve some familiarities", or "they can use prereading activities to create interest and also enthusiasm for this content of selected reading" They are able to even survey the college students’ interests soon after in the program "and try to incorporate in to the course reading on a number of the mentioned topics" (Chastain, 1988, p. 231).

The second factor in selecting the reading elements is the element of readability which is set through "linguistic examination of the author’s language" (Chastain, 1988, p. 232).

Nuttall (1996) defines readability as "combination of structural and lexical problems" and further explains that "because the language of a text maybe difficult for one student and easy for another, it’s important to assess the proper level for learners you teach" (p. 174). It really is obvious that if the text would be beyond the reader’s electricity of comprehension, soon he will be frustrated and he may put it aside and, like what I did so with the "the hills like light elephants"! Therefore the text should be analyzed through the factor of readability before getting processed by the reader. Readability of a text message can be analyzed from many ways. For instance computer programs and just how they process the data you when you give the sample from the text. Some readability indexes like Harrison 1980 and Chall 1984 are generally used to compute readability (Nuttall, 1996, p. 175).

As you pay attention to the amount of readability of the text, you should also be aware of the additional detriment of reading comprehension: Syntactic simplicity.

"Bernhardt (1948) highlights that syntactic simplicity may decrease text cohesion and thereby hinder comprehension" (qtd. in Chastain 232).

Now, we shall go to the last factor in selecting the reading supplies which is the application of the authentic materials. Nuttall (1996) responses that "they may be motivating because they’re proof that the dialect is used for real life purpose by real people" (p. 172). Chastain (1988) defines real materials the following: "Generally, any text an author writes in order to communicate some concept is authentic because it comes with an authentic goal and it conforms to real language use" (p. 233).

This explanation of the genuine materials differs from the definitions given by some other authors who define authentic elements as those "texts created for employ by the spanish community, not for language learners" (Nuttall, 1996, p. 177). Byrnes (1985) obviously explains the reason why some people just label the texts written by native speakers as genuine materials: "As a result of problems students contain with such texts because they’re unfamiliar with the culture, you can think of material written by native speakers for language users as being traditional" (qtd. in Chastain 232).

Chastain (1988) comments which types of traditional materials are best for L2 readers exclusively for learners and which types aren’t by stating that:

Supervisors and teachers of terminology courses may choose more academic types of reading such as for example articles, essays, short stories, plays, and novels, and these works certainly are important. One reason for education is normally to expose learners to high quality writing and to stimulating intellectual tips from the culture’s writers. However, never exposure to a number of the more prevalent types of studying that they do in their native culture such as advertisements, notices, Tv set schedules, bulletins, manuals, programs, papers, and menus may result in students who cannot read things they will need most to be able to read within the foreign culture (p. 233).

In this paper, we looked at reading from three key viewpoints and the effect they could have got on increasing the reading. I frequently utilize the reading strategies just mentioned in this paper, but whenever a account like "elephants like white hills" really wants to irritate me, a sense from deep inside my heart and soul tells me that provide it up!