Posts Tagged ‘Reading Skills’

What is Reading?

September 9th, 2012 No comments

What is Reading? (Click to read the original text)

Most of us think of reading as a simple, passive process that involves reading words in a linear fashion and internalizing their meaning one at a time. But reading is actually a very complex process that requires a great deal of active participation on the part of the reader.

To get a better sense of the complexity of reading, read what some experts in the field have said about the reading process:

What do we read? The message is not something given in advance–or given at all– but something created by interaction between writers and readers as participants in a particular communicative situation. – Roy Harris in Rethinking Writing (2000)

Reading is asking questions of printed text. And reading with comprehension becomes a matter of getting your questions answered. – Frank Smith in Reading Without Nonsense (1997)

Reading is a psycholinguistic guessing game. It involves an interaction between thought and language. Efficient reading does not result from precise perception and identification of all elements, but from skill in selecting the fewest, most productive cues necessary to produce guesses which are right the first time. The ability to anticipate that which has not been seen, of course, is vital in reading, just as the ability to anticipate what has not yet been heard is vital in listening. – Kenneth Goodman in Journal of the Reading Specialist (1967)

Literacy practices are almost always fully integrated with, interwoven into, constituted as part of, the very texture of wider practices that involve talk, interaction, values, and beliefs. – James Gee in Social Linguistics and Literacies (1996)

As you can see, reading involves many complex skills that have to come together in order for the reader to be successful.

For example, proficient readers recognize the purpose for reading, approach the reading with that purpose in mind, use strategies that have proven successful to them in the past when reading similar texts for similar purposes, monitor their comprehension of the text in light of the purpose for reading, and if needed adjust their strategy use.

Proficient readers know when unknown words will interfere with achieving their purpose for reading, and when they won’t. When unknown words arise and their meaning is needed for comprehension, proficient readers have a number of word attack strategies available to them that will allow them to decipher the meaning of the words to the extent that they are needed to achieve the purpose for reading.

Reading is also a complex process in that proficient readers give to the text as much as they take. They make meaning from the text by using their own prior knowledge and experiences.

Proficient readers are constantly making predictions while reading. They are continuously anticipating what will come next. Their prior knowledge and experiences with texts as well as with the world around them allow them to do this. It is this continuous interaction with the text that allows readers to make sense of what they are reading.

Making Generalization

September 6th, 2012 No comments

A generalization is a broad statement about a subject based on provided information, observations and experiences.

A valid generalization is based on:

  • Supporting facts;
  • Several examples;
  • Past experiences;
  • Logic and reasoning

Examples of generalization

Information Valid generalization
Post offices, courts and city halls are closed on the 4thof July.


Most government buildings are closed on national holidays.


雁儿,丫环,不识字 很多社会地位低的女性没有接受教育的机会。
颂莲,四姨太,大学辍学 即使是一些社会地位不太低的女性,在家庭发生变故时,也不得不中断学业。


Some clue words that mark generalizations:


很多,许多,大部分    |   有些,一些    |   很少,一小部分


总是,常常,经常,通常    |   有时候,有时    |   很少,极少

从来都不,从来都没    |   一般来说,总的来说



很多,許多,大部分    |   有些,一些    |   很少,一小部分


總是,常常,經常,通常    |   有時候,有時    |   很少,極少

從來都不,從來都沒    |   一般來說,總的來說

Categories: IBS1, IBS2 Tags: ,

Hyponymy: The Relationship Between Specific and General Words

September 3rd, 2012 No comments

Hyponymy: The Relationship Between Specific and General Words

Most people are familiar with the terms synonymy and antonymy. Both refer to a relationship between words: synonymy to words having the same meaning, and antonymy to words having the opposite meaning. Fewer people, however, are familiar with a term that refers to an even more important sense relationship between words: hyponymy, the relationship between a specific word and a general word when the former is included within the latter.

That relationship is illustrated by the common formula “An A is a kind of B.” For example, “A dog is a kind of animal,” or simply “A dog is an animal.” The specific word, “dog,” which is included within, or under, the general word, is known as a hyponym (Greek “under” + “name” 下义词). The general word, “animal,” which heads a list of many specific words under it, is a hypernym (Greek “above” + “name” 上义词). In this case, those other specific words, or hyponyms, could include, besides “dog,” a vast number of other animal names, such as “bird,” “horse,” and “monkey.” Those specific words under the same hypernym are related to each other as cohyponyms.

Clue words that mark generalization can include:
























IBS1: 第30届夏季奥运会开幕式(3)

August 21st, 2012 No comments

Reading Skill: Identify Complex Modifiers

Phrase Modifiers: with / without “的”

Clause Modifiers: with the marker “的”

IBS1: 第30届夏季奥运会开幕式(2)

August 21st, 2012 No comments

Reading Skill: Distinguish facts from opinions

Facts vs Opinions

A critical reader often needs to know the difference between fact and opinion. It matters a great deal when it comes to reading comprehension.

Opinions are not evidence; for opinions to be valid, they must be supported by cold, hard facts.

Study the following statements. In each case, identify the underlined portion as fact or opinion.

事實/事实Facts or 觀點/观点Opinions?

__________  奥运会每四年举办一次。

__________ 第30届夏季奥运会2012年8月27日在英国伦敦奥林匹克体育中心开幕

________ 西方媒体质疑,中国游泳选手叶诗文可能服用了兴奋剂。

________ 伦敦是2012 年第30 届夏季奥运会的主办城市。


IBS1: 第30届夏季奥运会开幕式 (1)

August 15th, 2012 No comments

Sememtic Affixes:

Knowing some sementic affixes is very helpful in reading new texts in Chinese.

In the text we are working on, there are 3 sementic suffixes meanning “person”:

员:运动员 (演员,服务员,球员,官员,学员)




員:運動員 (演員,服務員,球員,官員,學員)