Teaching Reading In A Communicative Way

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorUniversity, Master's February 2008

download word file, 9 pages 5.0

Teaching Reading in a Communicative Way Introduction Learning English in a Chinese language environment is a discouraging task. Millions of EFL learners take regular English courses, four class hours a week, eighteen weeks a term, four to eight terms in university, however the learning result is still disappointing. Research findings show that one of the main reasons is due to teachers¡¯ stereotyped teaching methodology and learners¡¯ poor reading ability. The curriculum seem to suggest that reading has taken up the bulk of the students¡¯ time, but students feel that they have little exposure to other English materials than their textbooks. Reading has not been given sufficient attention. The predominant majority of the EFL learners are studying in an input-poor environment. They learn English only through their textbooks. The teaching and learning situation I am going to describe in this paper is typical in most of the tertiary institutions in Gansu province, northwest China.

In my university (Tianshui Normal University), reading is considered the most challenging course to teach, as teachers themselves have no idea what a reading lesson should be like. In most cases, the teaching of reading is conducted exactly the way the intensive reading is taught. In reading classes, teachers manage to explain everything to students, including vocabulary, grammar, background knowledge. Sentence structures are analysed as the objective of a reading lesson. Students remain passive in class all the time, fulfilling their teacher¡¯s commands, listening to the teacher¡¯s story-like lecture. Of course, they seldom participate in the process of reading themselves. Teachers are actors, while students are the audience. Under these circumstances, the purpose of reading is restricted to two goals: enlarging vocabulary and enriching background knowledge. In the reading classroom, students just take down almost everything the teacher said, so taking notes is their main task in...