The Reading Teacher

19 Oct

Today I gave a presentation at the APPI / British Council BritLit 10th Anniversary celebrations in Coimbra.

You can see the presentation slides below – and in due course I’m planning to do a you tube 15 minute version of the talk and I’ll post that below when I can.

The presentation is based around two main ideas:  (1) the fact that I don’t like teaching reading – at least not in coursebook contexts, (2) my contention that coursebook reading tasks, in the main, fail to develop the reading skill in learners.  Obviously, this latter point is contentious and it would depend on the text, the learner and of course – the teacher.

The presentation therefore looks at the difference between a typical coursebook treatment of a text, and how we access and react to texts in real life – it goes on to look at useful reading sub-skills and strategies and finally suggests some activities to use in class to help learners develop these sub-skills and strategies.

I know that as I post this, there’s no explanation of the activities towards the end, if anything is unclear (and it will be!) please feel free to leave a question in the comments and I’ll try and explain.  Or you can wait for the video version!



7 Responses to “The Reading Teacher”

  1. rosa Saturday 19 October 2013 at 16:56 #

    Highly interesting from a tired teacher!

  2. mayorjunneil Saturday 19 October 2013 at 21:43 #

    Reblogged this on learningenglishonlinewithus.

  3. Francis Sunday 20 October 2013 at 10:25 #

    Quite informative and comprehensive on the topic of reading.

  4. Ada Friday 1 November 2013 at 03:41 #

    Thanks for the PPT. Love the part about the sub-skills. Any chance that you could let us know the activities that you shared with the audience at the later part of the presentation? By the way, I’m a little embarrassed that I need to ask you this – what do TAVI, TALO and TASP stand for?

    • David Petrie Tuesday 5 November 2013 at 16:41 #

      Hi Ada,

      As I mentioned in the blog – I’m planning to try and record a screencast version of the presentation in which I’ll go through all the activities: so stay tuned!!!

      To answer your question about the acronyms:
      TAVI is Text As a Vehicle for Instruction: this basically means you use the text to develop learners’ reading skills.
      TALO is Text As a Linguistic Object: in other words, the text contains some language you want the learners to analyse & use (e.g. it’s full of examples of the present continuous).
      TASP is Text As a Springboard for Production: which means you use the content of a text to stimulate a response (e.g. a discussion or debate).

      If you want to look at these in more detail, then the TeachingEnglish website has quite a good article by Lindsay Clandfield on the main differences and how to exploit them:

      Hope this helps,

      • Ada Tuesday 5 November 2013 at 23:47 #

        Thank you so much for your reply. It’s very helpful. I’m looking forward to seeing the new version of your presentation.

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