Communicative reading

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Article Discussion GroupAn Insight into Communicative Reading & Listening

June 28th, 2016

Sebahat Ylmaz

IntroductionWhat does CLT mean?Activity Types in CLTHow do we read?Can reading be communicative?Strategies used for communicative readingSamples activities: NLLSuggestionsConclusionReferences


Telling my students "And now we're going to practise listening." elicits looks of dread and fear, and announcing reading practice often elicits yawns, heads descending to desks, or eyes ascending heavenwards..

This session and the presentations aim to show a theoretical frame and practical activities to implement Communicative Language Teaching in Listening and Reading classes of English.

The theory taken as a guide was discussed during our article discussion sessions and they were chosen from different books, websites and journals.

Following the discussions, some practical activities to be implemented in language classes were considered and included in the concurrent sessions. Aim

What does CLT mean?teaching conversation?an absence of grammar in a course?an emphasis on open-ended discussion activities as the main features of a course?

What does CLT mean?Which of the statements below do you think characterizes CLT? 1. People learn a language best when using it to do things rather than through studying how language works and practicing rules. 2. People learn a language through communicating in it. 3. Errors are not important in speaking a language. 4. CLT is only concerned with teaching speaking.5. Classroom activities should be meaningful and involve real communication. 6. Both accuracy and fluency are goals in CLT. 7. Grammar is no longer important in language teaching.

What does CLT mean? What is the goal of language teaching? To develop communicative competence .

communicative competence How sentences are used in communication Implications for English as an international language Not necessarily based on native-speaker norms

Jacobs and Farrell (2003) suggest that the CLT has led to major changes in approaches to language teaching.

One of these changes is the thinking skills:Language should serve as a means of developing higher-order thinking skills, also known as critical and creative thinking. In language teaching, this means that students do not learn language for its own sake but in order to develop and apply their thinking skills in situations that go beyond the language classroom.

What does CLT mean?

Mechanical PracticeMeaningful PracticeCommunicative Practice

Many CLT course books take students from mechanical, to meaningful, to communicative practice (Richards, 2006, p.16).

What does CLT mean?

Opinion-sharing activities:

Activities in which students compare values, opinions, or beliefs, such as a ranking task in which students list six qualities in order of importance that they might consider in choosing a date or spouse.

Activity types in CLT

Information-transfer activities: These require learners to take information that is presented in one form, and represent it in a different form.

Activity types in CLT

A sample for Information Transfer Activities:

In pairs: A and B.As describe the picture & Bs draw.

Activity types in CLT: A sample

Activity types in CLT

Activity types in CLT

Groups of three: A-B-C

Bs and Cs go out.T pulls up a picture on a slide or give a copy of it to As.As study a picture for 1min.T hides the picture.Bs come inAs describe the picture to Bs and Bs take notes.Cs come inLooking at their notes, Bs describe the picture to Cs.Cs draw a picture based on these descriptions.Activity types in CLT

What does CLT mean?According to CLT, second language learning is...

Interaction between the learner and users of the language Collaborative creation of meaning Creating meaningful and purposeful interaction through language Attending to the feedback Paying attention to the input Incorporating new forms into communicative competence Experimenting with different ways of saying things


Aim:The aim of this part is to consider a few approaches to making classroom reading more communicative, by which I mean integrating it with other skills work, so that students can see its value.


Reading SkillsIn order to comprehend a passage, we employ various skills depending on what we are reading. These skills are: (Harmer, 2003, pp. 201-202)

Identifying the topicPredicting and guessingReading for general understandingReading for specific informationReading for detailed informationHow do we read?

Reading is one of receptive skills. In this section, some reading strategies will be put forward.

Skimming and scanningTop-down and bottom-upWord-attack skills.: a. Inference meaning of words through the contextb. Inference meaning of words through word-formationHow do we read?

What are your reading classes like?

Is reading, therefore, since it is often a solitary activity, a non-communicative activity?

Just as communicative as any other form of language use

Talking about what we have read is a rich source of classroom possibilities (Howarth, 2006).

Can reading be communicative?


Purpose is to enhance language and reading comprehension in an engaging, supported environment.

Can reading be communicative?

How is Communicative Reading Different from Typical Reading?

Differs from typical book reading

Plannedspecific book and objectives Read very slowly, allowing time to teach language and content Comprehension of language and content are monitored continually When construction of meaning breaks, teacher scaffolds source of the breakdown. Students re-read the text with confidence and comprehension (Brinkley, 2014).

Can reading be communicative?


Classroom reading is not the same as real reading.

To enable this we plan 'pre-reading', 'while-reading', and 'post-reading' stages. These stages can help us make reading more communicative. Strategies to use for Communicative Reading

Pre-reading tasks often aim to raise the readers' knowledge of what they are about to read (their schematic knowledge) as this knowledge will help them to understand the text.

Some approaches to use include:Tell your partner what you know about the topicDo a quiz in pairs to find out what you know about the topicLook at some pictures related to the topicSkimming the first paragraph for gist and then predicting.Strategies to use for Communicative Reading: Pre-reading

When reading in our L1 we are constantly using our schematic and linguistic knowledge to predict content.In class, predictions can be based upon the following:A titleVisualsKnowledge of the authorA skim of the first paragraphA set of keywords from the textReading the end, predicting the beginning.Reading the middle, predicting the beginning and the end. Strategies to use for Communicative Reading: Pre-reading

A Sample: NLL Elementary p.31

Do a quiz in pairs to find out what they know about the topic.

A Sample: NLL Elementary p.31

A Sample: NLL Elementary p.31

A Sample: NLL Elementary p.31

Although reading is often a solitary activity and the idea of 'reading in pairs' seems odd, reading can be collaborative. Approaches to use include:

Running and ReadingSlashed/ Cut up textsUsing Websites

Strategies to use for Communicative Reading: While-reading tasks

This approach especially lends itself to scanning as the idea is to encourage the students to read as quickly as possible in a race.

Divide the class into student A and student B pairs. Student A sits at one end of the classroom.Stick the text to be read on the wall at the other end of the room.Give student A a list of questions.Student A reads the first question to student B who has to run down the classroom to find the answer in the text, and then run back to dictate the answer to student A, who then tells B question 2 and so on.The first pair to answer all the questions wins.

Ask the students to swap roles halfway through so everyone gets a chance to scan.

While-reading tasks: Running and reading

This is a genuinely collaborative reading approach.

Photocopy a suitable text and cut it into four.Seat students in fours. Give a piece of the text to each student. They mustn't show their piece to the others.Give each group a set of questions.The group have to work collaboratively to answer the questions since no one has the whole of the text.Groups can compare answers when they have finished.While-reading tasks: Slashed / Cut up texts:

Strategies to use for Communicative Reading: While-reading tasks leading into post-reading tasks

Jigsaw reading is an old favourite but effective.Divide a text into two parts or find two (or three) separate texts on the same topic.Students A get one text and a related task, students B get the other text and task.Students A complete their tasks in a group. Students B likewise. Compare answers in A & B groups.Students get into A & B pairs and tell each other about their tasks.

While-reading tasks leading into post-reading tasks: Jigsaw reading

Telling someone about what we have read is a very natural reaction to a text.

Some ideas to use include:Discu