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Let's Read the News!

Let's Read the News!
Lee, Miri
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외국어교육특수대학원 TESOL학과
이화여자대학교 외국어교육특수대학원
Laura Eunae Park
Although reading is an important skill that needs to be developed with careful guidance and instruction, much of the teaching practices that take place in English language classrooms do not teach the learners to develop efficient reading strategies. When considering the current educational circumstances in Korea (especially in high school settings), one of the major problems is that English language classes mainly teach students to translate the reading passage; as a result, students simply learn to translate the text from English to Korean without making an attempt to use any appropriate strategies for efficient reading. These kinds of teaching practices lead the students to become passive readers, focusing on preparations for exams, which mostly assess vocabulary and grammar. Another concern is that learners have little opportunity to read authentic materials independently. This may be due to university entrance exams, which only requires the students to interpret a text quickly and solve grammar questions by memorizing the rules and patterns in textbooks. As a result, students are not only able to develop efficient reading strategies but they find no time to explore different genres; this of course may cause learners to develop a negative impression of reading in general. In general, students are good at simple translations but they are unable to read and write fluently – critical thinking, of course, is also a problem for most of them. This is because they rarely get a chance to receive appropriate guidance in reading and writing focusing on various strategies. Despite the effort and time spent in English learning, many students do not know how to read efficiently. This textbook will not only encourage the students to practice various reading strategies to attain a better understanding, but also increase their reading comprehension and interest. According to Nutall’s cycle of a fluent reader, if students read more, they understand better, and enjoy the process of reading itself, which eventually leads to reading faster in the end. This portfolio is not only designed to help learners to improve their reading skills, but it also seeks to help them to develop a habit of reading for enjoyment outside the classroom. The target students are 17~18 years old and they are typical Korean high school students preparing to enter university in a few years. The average English proficiency level is B2 on the CEF (Common European Framework) and low advanced level on the ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages). According to the CEF, B2 level learners can understand the main ideas of complex texts on both concrete and abstract topics and recognize implicit meaning. They can also explain a viewpoint on a wide range of issues giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options; furthermore, most of the students’ TOEFL score is between 87 and 109. Since majority of the Korean students are used to being taught in a teacher-centered way, explicit instructions on developing reading strategies are needed. Giving specific instructions on reading strategies along with vocabulary instruction would benefit them. Classes will be held at a private institution and the number of students will be approximately 7-8.
☞ 이 논문은 저자가 원문공개에 동의하지 않은 논문으로, 도서관 내에서만 열람이 가능하며, 인쇄 및 저장은 불가합니다.
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