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Discovering Yourself

Discovering Yourself
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외국어교육특수대학원 TESOL학과
이화여자대학교 외국어교육특수대학원
Deborah Sukyung Chin
Introduction Korean high-school students are taught to focus on the formation of the KSAT in their classes in order to prepare for the KSAT, which is based on reading and listening skills and strategies. Although, students have read many texts, and answered comprehension questions in various academic settings throughout their education, some students still have difficulties making use of appropriate reading strategies (Kim, 2006). According to Grabe (1991), a good reader is capable of changing their reading strategy depending on the different type of reading material. It is crucial for Korean high-school students to become increasingly aware of different reading strategies, as well as learning when and how to choose an optimal one for the task at stake. To encourage this process, Intensive Reading is used to constantly to enforce this through the three main stages of the textbook: learning, practicing, and applying reading strategies in reading texts. In recent years, another problem for Korean students is that the Korean educational system has undergone many, sudden changes. Currently more native English teachers, and more communicative classes are included in the curriculum, but most students are still reluctant to speak English and often lack confidence when speaking. Because of this, we need to provide our students with more opportunities for meaningful communication (Kim, 2014). In order to solve these problems, students will need to practice various reading strategies, and to apply them to the texts as much as possible. In addition to providing valuable and varied input, we should also provide students with the opportunity to participate in communicative output activities. This book is designed for high-school students with upper-intermediate level of competency in English, who are currently enrolled in language schools, or after-school programs. According to American Council on The Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), upper-intermediate students are able to deal with various tasks, and understand native speakers without too much difficulty with comprehension of the main ideas. With regards to reading, these students are also able to make sense of many different texts, and to connect social issues, personal knowledge, or interests. However, upper-intermediate speakers may still face several problems, such as sustaining discourse for an extended length of time, or may struggle with using appropriate vocabulary. In addition, difficulties with vocabulary and syntax may impede their understanding of reading texts. Furthermore, students may not be able to get the full detailed meaning from texts. Therefore, it is necessary that high-school students acquire appropriate reading skills, and improve their communicative competence through Intensive Reading and Communicative Learning Teaching. This textbook uses these theories and methods, in order to accomplish these goals. Method and Rationale Intensive Reading (IR) involves teaching reading strategies to help the students recognize a variety of language structures, enhance their knowledge of vocabulary, and develop their reading skills (Richards & Schmidt, 2002). Practicing this application of different types of reading strategies to different text types will help upper-intermediate level high-school students develop their English reading skills. Each unit of this textbook focuses on different target strategies, so that students can apply and practice these strategies to their readings. The appropriate target reading strategies for the given reading texts in this textbook are: skimming, scanning, searching for context clues, making a connection between sentences, recognizing a story’s structure through story maps, and placing a text in its historical and cultural contexts. The target reading strategies in the sample chapter of this textbook are: skimming, scanning, and organizing graphic information. Students will familiarize themselves with these three reading strategies through explicit instruction provided in the ‘Reading Strategy’ section and will further practice these strategies in the ‘Skill Practicing’ section. They will then be able to apply these strategies to the main reading texts in the textbook. Another method present in this textbook is the theory of Communicative Language Teaching (CLT). The main aim of CLT is to enable students to communicate and learn how to negotiate meaning through different tasks (Richard & Rogers, 2001). Nunan (1991) emphasizes several aspects of CLT, such as using authentic texts, bringing students’ own experiences, and connecting language activities to daily life. Students will be engaged through the meaningful interactions in the three CLT activities presented in the textbook: ‘Finding a Savant’, ‘Surveying Multiple Intelligence’, and ‘Guess Who’. This will be while they are discovering their own learning styles through activities about Multiple Intelligences. In addition, the reflective time offered at the end of each unit will provide opportunities for further meaningful communication among classmates. These reflections on the materials provided and what the students think will provide students with opportunities to develop more metacognitive awareness and more critical thinking skills. The overall theme of this textbook is ‘Discovering Yourself’. Students will read about topics relevant to teenagers, and then the communicative activities will allow students time to think about themselves. Through a variety of reading and listening materials, students will also gain different perspectives on the problems they face on a daily basis. For example, the topics in the sample chapter, such as Multiple Intelligence and Savants, may encourage the students to experience these issues indirectly, and to think about how amazingly infinite human capabilities can be. Students will also be able to enjoy and have a meaningful experience when thinking about others, and reflecting on themselves in more depth. With regard to the overall flow and organization of the textbook, students will go through several stages. First, they will start with a listening focus introduced by a video clip. This will be followed by vocabulary building, learning, practicing and applying the target reading strategy to longer texts, and then checking the target vocabulary. In the final stage, students will get involved in communicative activities, and reflect on what they have learned and read in each unit. Students will improve their practical reading skills through explicit instructions and repeated practice with shorter to longer texts, so that they will be able to become familiar with appropriately applying strategies to different genres. Conclusion This book is designed to address the problems of Korean high-school students by encouraging them to enjoy reading, and by building their confidence in their speaking skills. The two main applied approaches used in this textbook, Communicative Language Teaching and Intensive Reading, will also be beneficial to the students overall English competency. Firstly, students will familiarize themselves with the reading itself, by means of instruction through different reading strategies and their practice. Secondly, there will be an ample opportunity for students to engage in meaningful verbal interactions. Finally, students will enjoy reading interesting content related the inner world and external activities of teenagers. The ‘Reflection’ section at the end of each unit will give students this meaningful chance to think about themselves and others they interact with. By exploring these three aspects of the textbook presented, we can address some of the issues for the recommended for the target group of students. In addition, I also hope that the textbook will help student learn about themselves and will give them an opportunity to broaden their perspective.
☞ 이 논문은 저자가 원문공개에 동의하지 않은 논문으로, 도서관 내에서만 열람이 가능하며, 인쇄 및 저장은 불가합니다.
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