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Developing Communicative Competence through Intensive and Extensive Reading

Developing Communicative Competence through Intensive and Extensive Reading
Park, Eun Kyeong
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외국어교육특수대학원 TESOL학과
이화여자대학교 외국어교육특수대학원
Warren Euwon Chung
1)Introduction The current national curriculum of English education in Korea has focused much attention on listening and speaking as communicative competence. Proficient reading ability, however, seems to be a fundamental stepping-stone on the path to becoming a fluent speaker, especially in an EFL educational environment (Grabe, 2009). Furthermore, when considering the current circumstances of English education in Korea, it seems even more apparent that learners have few chances to read varied material independently, outside of their required course textbooks. This is the result of an intense college admissions system, where scoring highly requires being able to interpret a text quickly and solve superficial problems, so it is no wonder that wide, leisurely reading ends up taking a back seat. The average Korean student simply cannot afford to do the extensive reading that would provide an exciting experience for him or her to be exposed to varied literature. The reading book will be designed for first and second year high school students, whose language level is predicted to be middle to upper-intermediate, depending slightly on the individual. According to the ACTFL guidelines, middle-intermediate level students are considered to be able to read consistently with increased understanding of simple, connected texts dealing with a variety of topics on basic and social needs. Upper-intermediate level students can read consistently with full understanding of simple connected texts addressing basic personal and social needs, and topics which interest the reader. 2)Method In the textbook, I intend to take an approach whereby intensive reading is integrated with extensive reading. Nation (2009) insists that reading intensively is required for accurate reading and detailed understanding. In this book, intensive reading will involve students having to learn and practice various strategies that will help them to attain a greater understanding when reading passages. In contrast, extensive reading has been proven effective for developing L2 reading ability and beneficial for various aspects of language learning. Enhancing a student’s motivation for L2 learning and expanding his or her vocabulary are considered particular benefits (Grabe, 2009). On the other hand, research shows that students gain positive attitudes towards books as they raise their literacy levels in English by reading extensively (Elley, 1991). Not forgetting the particular circumstances of Korean students, extensive reading in this book will enable them to begin reading easy and interesting stories with confidence. The expected results of following this book’s methodology are twofold. Without sacrificing the required reading techniques that students are expected to sharpen during their high school years, they will be able to experience the enjoyment and excitement that is gained from reading interesting, enjoyable, yet approachable material. Carrell and Carson (1998) reinforce this crucial method, which states that both intensive and extensive reading is necessary preparation for students. This will benefit Korean students as they prepare for college admission, as well as for the tasks they may encounter outside of academia. My proposed book will have 10 units, each possessing an individual theme that is further divided into four parts. All of the themes will be familiar to the students, which will hopefully motivate students to read by lowering the burden of covering new material. Parts One, Two and Three of each unit will develop key reading strategies such as predicting the topic, skimming for the main idea, scanning, and making inferences. The reading passages will come from a variety of genres including magazine articles, newspaper articles, and web sites. The fourth and last part of each unit includes an extensive reading section that will enable students to read for enjoyment and pleasure and continue to develop their proficiency. The extensive reading passages will be extracted from the YBM SISA Spring Series of graded readers. Since readers published abroad such as the Oxford Bookworms Library and Penguin Readers are mainly developed for adults and do not cater to various levels of ability, I have decided to make use of the material published by YBM SISA. Following ten principles suggested in Day (2003), the materials will be edited to match the book. The YBM SISA series extracts are longer than the reading texts of parts one, two and three, and the language is also graded at a lower level so that learners can read without difficulties. 3)Expected outcomes There are a handful of expected outcomes that will be achievable through using this book. Learners will become fluent readers and better writers by exposing themselves to a wider range of writing styles. While carefully selecting the extracts for each level, the books will be able to introduce students to various literatures, without becoming burdensome. The aim of this is so that learners will be able to enjoy reading in the English language. Along with a newfound enjoyment of English will come a better understanding of its structure and basic grammar. Not strictly limited to English alone, learners will eventually start to develop positive attitudes toward reading and an increased motivation in language learning in general. Finally, by the end of the course students will be expected to have expanded their vocabulary in various subjects, without having even realized it. 4)Conclusion With this textbook, I hope to enable students to learn some of the many strategies that are important to becoming good readers, and to foster an early appreciation of reading intensively and extensively. Long after the students have left high school and entered university, where the methods of teaching change significantly, I hope that an early appreciation of reading enables them to continue to be successful learners. I believe this is especially important for Korean students who are under pressure to perform well on exams, and often take the joy of reading for granted.
☞ 이 논문은 저자가 원문공개에 동의하지 않은 논문으로, 도서관 내에서만 열람이 가능하며, 인쇄 및 저장은 불가합니다.
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