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[转载]How To Build  & Develop Reading Ability In English

(2023-12-18 20:32:36)
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[转载]How <wbr>To <wbr>Build <wbr> <wbr>& <wbr>Develop <wbr>Reading <wbr>Ability <wbr>In <wbr>English

How To Build  & Develop Reading Ability In English

Liu Xiao

Abstract:

Reading is an active process,during which the reader tries to understand the meaning of a given text.

On this thesis,I talked about the problem in reading that is we recognize every word but still fail to grasp its meaning,why?And the skills of reading,oneis Skimming,anotheris Scanning.If we would liketo be an efficient reader,we need clear prrposes,adequate knowledge ofgrammar,sufficient amount ofvocabularies,etc.I have reflected on my experince both as a learner of English and as a teacher of English.I divided my teaching into three stages,the first is Pre-Reading stage,the second is While-reading stage,the third is Post-reading stage.

The thesis systematically depicts the necessity of developing reading ability in English,grasping the skills and measures of training,improvingreading speed and the ability of comprehension,in an attempt that English learners and scientific workers can keep it for reference so as to raise their reading level in English.

Key words:reading ability;reading skills;stage background;measures of training;comprehension and speed

English is one kind of language used by the most countries and people.In order to know the foreign countries,to learn their advanced technology and co-operate with them better,to promote the e-conomic development in China.So,in our country,in foreign language teaching,English learning holds the leading postion.“We learned English mainly through reading.”(ELTM,100)“In China,the middle school teaching program raises that we must emphasis on training the students’ ability of reading comprehension.”(1)During these years,as a pro-fessional teache,I have made many valuable tests in these aspects and got some fruits.Now I’ll state them as follows.

What is Reading?

“Reading is an active process,during which the reader tries to understand the meaning of a given text.”

How do we read?

In my class,I asked my students how do they read?

Most of them said,“We usually start reading a text by recognizing words,phrase patterns as well as sentence patterns,then we rapidly and automatically get meaning from the text.”

Some of them said,“I first identify the topic,purpose and structure of the text,then I make guesses,predictions during reading.In this way,I create meaning from the text as a whole.”

In the first situation,the student builds up the meaning of a text on the basis of edcoding smaller units:first words,and phrases,then sentences and paragraphs,and finally working out the meaning of the whole text.

In the sencond situation,the student uses his/her knowledge of the topic or the type of the text and makes predictions about what the text will contain,then these predictions are checked by reading and trying to understand the text.

I tell them the “Interactive”way of reading,“which means the readers can interact that two situations which students say with each other in the understanding of a text.”(ELTM 103) That means he might to predict the context of the text by using his knowledge of the topic,then look for key words to check the prediction,or get the main gist of the text by skimming it quickly and examine the writer’s choice of vocabulary for understanding the implied meaning.

The “interactive”way of reading has come to be accepted by more people.It makes use of background knowledge,context,and expections.At the same time,it also incorporates recognizing letters and words rapidly and picking out important words phrases,picking out details which give the key to the general meaning.We should be flexible as readers and employ whatever techniques and strategies that are suitable to the reading purpose and the type of text.

What’s the problem?

It’s not uncommon that sometimes when we take up a text in a foreign language,we recognize everyword but still fail to grasp its meaning.So what’s the problem?And where does the difficulty lie?

Let’s look at the following example:

Defender Zhang,of China’s league champions Dalian Wanda,scored his header at the 24th minute of the second half from a corner kick.(China Daily,4/10/97)

To understand the above passage,we need to have a certain amount of background knowledge in the field of football,in order to understand such terms as “defender” and “header”,and also the rules of the game,such as “the second half”and “corner kick”,otherwise,it may not make much sense.

“The background knowledge needed to inter-pret a given text.is called ‘schema’”(ELTM,104)

“Schema” plays a very important role in understanding a given text.Many pre-reading activities are desined with this purpose in mind.We usually spend time in activating the students’ existing schema,or providing it if it didn’t exist,before teaching a text.For example,if the students were going to read a story about Thanksgiving Day,I tried to activate their relevant bvackground knowledge by asking such questions as:“How much do you know about Thanksgiving Day”?The students responded by saying something they knew about the Day,it is the holiday in North America,holiday in the USA (on the fourth Thursday in November) and Canada (on the second Monday in October),(OXFORD,1579),Originally set a part for giving thanks to God,and so on .The students then might be told what sort of text it is,in order to predict what sort of information will be there.So,if it was an article describing how to spend the Thanksgiving Day,the students would know the details about it.Asking students to predict the contents from the topic and from the text type are examples of activation their“schema” that it,using their experience of the structure they are familiar with in certain types of texts.

Being an afficient reader

Now,elt’s think about what we might need to have in order to become an efficient reader in English.

First,we need clear purposes.That means why we read the text or other material,what we want to get from it.

Second,we must have adequate knowledge of guammar,sufficient amount of vocabulary quick recognition of vocabulary and grammar.

If we really have clear purposes,but we have no enough knowledge of grammar,sufficient amount of vocabulary as same as a General who had a clear goal,he had no soldiers,no bullets.How could he win a battle?

The third we should have background knowledge.For example,we expect to find the details of the writer’s birth,works and so on or the abstract of a text in order to know the reading material easily.

The fourth we need some reading strategies.We employ different strategies to suit different reading purposes.Such as,Intensive Reading,skimming,scanning and so on.

I’ll introduce skimming and scanning in detail.

(1)   Skimming

Skimming is not careful reading.The reader usually moves his eyes over the text very quickly just in order to get the gist of it or to decide whether it is worth reading more deeply or not.Skimming enables readers to look efficiently for something that interests them,without spending too much time reading what is unnecessary or uninteresting.(ELTM,106)

In my class,I always give my students a text which is not difficult to read.

For example:

THE MONKEY KING

Long long ago,there was a big rock in China.For thousands of years strong winds blew on it,rain fell on it and the sun shone on it.One day the rock broke and an egg fel out.The egg soon turned into a stone monkey.Stone Monkey thanked the sky.As he did this,a bright light shone on him.Stone Monkey began to run,jump and climb.He ran over hills and mountains.He ate all kinds of fruits and drank from small rivers.During the day he played with his animal friends in the forests.At night he slept in trees or among rocks.

One very hot day,he and some other monkeys went to a small river to have a bath.After that,they went up the hill till they came to a waterfall.The monkeys began clapping hands and shouting three times over:”Who can go through the wall of water?We will make him our king!”

From among them came a loud cry,”I will go!”And Stone Monkey stood before them all smiling.Then he jumped straight through the water.That’s how Stone Monkey became Monkey King.

They need to read ti within 2—3 minutes and then find out its main idea.After practicing,the students can get the answers according to the requairments quickly.

(2)   Scanning

Scanning means locating specific information.You,the reader,want from the text.You do not necessarily follow the order of information in thepassage,but can go back and forth to read the part of the text relevant to your purpose.Scanning is “invaluable” when you are reviewint a text,doing research,writing a paper,or seeking specific ingormation for other  purposes.It is the usual way people with dictionaries,tables,indexes,and maps.It’s slso a time and energy saving activity,which should help you increase your reading speed and efficiency.(ELTM,113)

According to the stage,I give my students a task to do,it is not difficult.Before their reading,they would be given several questions and they need to read them,within 5 minutes then answer.They needn’t to read the material carefully,for effective scanning only read what is necessary.

The Three Stages of Teaching Reading

Generally speaking,a typical English class in the Chinese middle school (from

1980---1999) is traditionally conducted in the following way:

We learn the “new words” from the text in lists with their Chinese translations.Our teacher asks the students to read the text aloud sentence by sentence,paragraph by paragraph,interrupting them to correct their pronunciation.They explain the meaning of words and phrases in English and Chinese and draw the students attention to certain grammatical points.The students’ comprehension of the text is checked by our teacher asking questions and nominating students to answer.After this,our teacher and students will do the language exercises from the text book.

Now,I have been an English teacher for six years,at beginning I taught my students in this kind of method.My students were tired and bored during my lengthy expanations of the phrases and grammar points in the text.They would not remember and use what they have learned in class.They are not interested in this teaching method.I don’t think it was clear to them what they had gained from the lesson.

In order to improve the way of teaching I practiced and practiced.Before the students read a text,I’ve given them several questions in order to increase their motivation or during reading they were asked something to guess the next meaning and so on.Improved after this,I found my students like reading and can use what they have learned to speak and write something.They can remember 85 percent in class.

How can I improve my way of teaching?One way is to teach reading in three stages,pre-reading stage.Each stage has a different goal and deals with different reading strategies.The overall aim is to train the students to be efficient readers in the foreign language.Other aspects have to be considered as well though,such as the students’ interest and motivation.An interesting text can arouse te students’ will to read,but teachers often have no choice in the texts they have to teach.In that case,the activities must stimulate the students’ interest by challenging them,providing them with a chance to use their imagination and creative ability,and encourage them to use the language and information gained from the text.

(A) Pre-reading Stage

“Pre-reading means before the text is read.”(ELTM,131)

The aims of the pre-reading stage are three-fold:

(a)    arousing the students’ interest in the topic or type of text.

(b)   Motivating students to read the text by providing a purpose for reading.

(c)    Preparing the students for the content of the text.

It should be pointed out that notall three aims are relevant to all text types.Sometimes the topic of the text itself is very interesting,in which case the students may be eager to read it.So,I do not have to spend too long on motivating them to read.In some texts,the language maybe will within the students’ proficiency with few or no unknown elements.It would be pointless in that case to deal with the language elements beforehand, but it may be worthwhile to draw students’ attention to the way they are used in the text,once they have read it.One thing that is always necessary,is the purposes for reading employ different reading skills.In order for the students to be efficient readers,they need to know which reading skill they need to employ.

“One of the reading practiced in this stage is the skill of anticipation-forming predictions about what is to be read.Usually predictions are made on the basis of various clues provided by the text.”(ELIM,131)

What can I do to get the students to predict the contents of the text?

My students could be asked to state what they already knew about the topic and what they would like to know about the topic,write their own questions that they want the text to answer,answer my general questions about the text type or topic (oral or written),brainstorm the topic in groups or whole class,these are the usual type of activities done in the pre-reading stage.

Next I’ll give a text to design pre-reading activities.

Iceland

To the American visitor,Iceland is a very interesting country.It’s different in so many ways from what he or she is used to seeing at home.There are quite a few things that are not done,or that do not exist on the island.

There is no pollution,for instance.No dogs are permitted in Reykjavik,the capotical.There is no television on Thursdays or during the entire month of July,and only three hours of black-and-white TV the rest of the time.There is no strong wine on Wednesday and no beer at any time.There are no handguns,even the police do not carry them.Crime is so rare that there is only one small jail in thentire land.This is very good even for a small country of 222000 people.There is no army.There is no tipping for anything.There are no large stores open on Saturdays and Sundays.Since Iceland is quite close to the North Pole,there is no darkness in summer and no daylight in Winter.But thanks to the Gulf Stream,the climate is rather mild,with temperatures renging from 34F to 52F in July.

Iceland has been described as a country where more fish are caught and more books are published person than anywhere else in the world.The Icelanders have always felt a particular love for literature.They wrote their first works in the ninth and the tenth centuries AD.These works were about the kings,heroes,and the heroines of Iceland and Norway.Since the first settlers in the island were Danes and Norwegians,the works were written in their ancient language.At first the stories were memorized and passed from generation to generation.They were finally written down between 1140 and 1220.The Icelanders have never stopped writing since.”Rather shoeless than bookless”,they proudly say.

I have designed one pre-reading activity for this text.

Activity:

I brought in several pictures (they were drawn by my students) reflecting the locations of Iceland and the environment.Draw several pairs of pictures to compare Iceland with China.

Then asked students to dewmonstrate short play to explain the pictures.Then I acted as a guide.The students were followed by me and “traveling” in Iceland.The students were interested in the pictures,short plays and my explanation.They may provoke the students to contribute their ideas freely to the topic.In doning so, I not only activates students’ existing knowledge about the  “Iceland”,but also arouses students’ interest in reading the text.

(B)  while-reading stage

“This stage mainly focuses on the exploitation on the text.It aims to help the students with understanding the content and the structure of the text,as well as the author’s purpose in writing it.”(ELTM,137)

It needs to be kept in mind that while-reading activities should begin with a general or globa understanding of the text,and then move to a more detailed study of small units,paragraphs,sentences and words.The reason for doing this is that larger units provide the context for understanding the smaller units.For example,a paragraph or sentence may help the students to figure out the exact meaning of a particular word.

Now please go back to the next Iceland and read it again,I have designed some while-reading activities for it.

I’m here to help my students become efficient readers with their own reading strategies and skills.I’m not here to explain or translate the text to them so that they don’t have to read it themselves.Neither am I here to punish those students who have not yet developed efficient reading strategies.There may be a lot of unknown vocabularies in this text,try to cincentrate on helping students to get the main idea of the text and only deal with a few key words or those that can’t be worked out from the context.

Here are some possible while-reading activities I have designed for the text.

1.      What is he/she used to seeing at home in common things?

2.      Why is there no television during the entire month of July?What’s the benefit?

3.      Do you think there is no beer in Iceland good or bad?Why?

4.      Whether you pretect the environment or not?How did you do?Students should discuss the answers,because some of them can not be picked out straight from the text.

(C)  Post-reading Stage

Quite different from what is done in the while-reading stage,post-reading work is not directly connected with the text,but usually “grows out” of it.It has two aims,one is to consolidate or reflect on what has been read in the text,the other is to relate the text to the students’ own knowledge,interests,or views.

In real life,we often discuss what we have read or sometimes we write about it,giving our own opinions on the topic or argument.As a teacher,I give students a sense of responsibility to read a text,when they know that they will have to use the imformation gained from it to do something else.

Now,I gave a post-reading activity on Text Iceland:

Activity:

I asked students to do a writing task after reading the text.Write a short paragraph under each of the following headings.

1. What I found interesting in the text.

2. What the text made me think more about.

This activity also gets students to think about the content of the text and express their own views on it,It can relate the text directly to the students’ real life experience,I could read out some of the more interesting comments.For example,”In China we should do something to keep our environment clean and beautiful”,”There is no television in the whole July can save time to do other things or can keep the eye-sight,etc.”

On this topic I talked about the language skills of reading and what is involved in becoming an efficient reader in English,Inglish,I have reflected on my experience both as a learner of English myself and as a teacher of English.

Now the students are not as same as me (I was a student before).They need to read more wide and difficult things now.In order to motivate students to read widely and efficiently in English.I need to make sure my lessons are interesting,varied,unpredictable to my students and the texts I am using.I should think more deeply about what is involved in reading in a foreign language and try to design a wider variety of better ways to teach reading.

We know it is an important component to develop reading ability in the English study.only by effective reading training can he master reading skills,thus improving reading speed and the ability of comprehension gradually.How,on earth,can he develop his reading ability in the English study by the systematic training?Here is a brief exposition on the necessity of improving reading ability,grasping reading skills and the measures of training,improving reading speed and the ability of comprehension.

The Necessity of  Developing Reading Ability in English

English is one of  the most widely used languages in the world.The information on natural and social sciences gained from English comes to over 85% on earth.(Bao Jiahua,1992).With social development,scientific and technical advance,a swift and violent increase of a great amount of information on sociology,science and technology makes reading in people’s lives grow more and more with time.For this reason,a scientist,with high-speed reading ability,can finish reading only 5% of all the books,magazines and reference materials in his or her own special field even if neglecting his or her meals and rest.It is obvious that it is very difficult for him or her to absorb as much information as possible without a very efficient reading ability.

Reading ability in English is one of the most widely valued abilities in the world.As to an English learner,whether studying at school or being engaged in scientific research,he must have some reading abilities in English.He cannot acquire the latest information of politics, economy,civilization,science and technology etc.Until he has read enough books and periodicals as well as documentary materials in English from other countries.

Francis Bacon,the great British philosopher,said,”Some books are to be tasted,others to be swallowed,and some few to be chewed and digested;”(Wang Peilan,1995).He discussed the importance of reading extensively as well as the flex-ibility for different readers.It has been made clear that a good English learner must be able to adopt suitable reading techniques and reading speed according to different reading materials and aims.

Factors of Affecting Reading Ability

It is pointed out that reading ability contains the successive steps of discernment in written language,comprehension and fast memory and others.(Hang Baotong,1998)

An American scholar has outlined that the training of reading ability can be summarized as the two aspects on language techniques and the training of reading skills.(Baudoin,1977)From this we can see that reading ability is closely related to language competence and reading skills.According to Chomsky,language competence involves the ability of a reader should be his or her fluency in reading and his or her accuracy in comprehension as well.

The relations between the reading comprehension and the reading speed are those and unity of opposites.They are both connected and opposite.Without comprehension,reading is a waste of time and is completely worthless.Without speed,one cannot absorb as possible from the vast amount of written data.It is demonstrated that a person who has good reading ability often reads very fast and with a good understanding.On the contrary,one who has mean reading ability not only reads very slowly,but also lacks good lacks good understanding.

The factors effecting reading speed and understanding are various.They are related to a reader’s age,language knowledge,language competence and the capacity of thinking as well as experience etc.Comprehension and reading rare are sometimes effected by the difficulty of the reading materials.It has been proved that the study-reading ratre of middle school students inAmerica is an average of 250 WPM.Thestudents with high reading ability may reach 500 WPM.A student of poor ability can reach only 180WPM.(Hariis,1948).However,the English study-reading rate of a middle school student in out country is no more than 40 WPMso far.(Hang Baotong,1998).It is thus clear that there is a great disparity between ourf own students and America’s.

The reading techniques are what one should exert special effort to learn.The reading ability refers to the definite language accomplishment,psychological diathesis of a reader and acual techniques of speed reading.The techniques of reading in English can be used alternativiely.When mastered,they are able to be used simultancously in any other languages.It is essential for people today to master some practical reading techniques in English.

Li Yongfang,a professor of Anhui University,has proposed a systematic training of the skills of speed reading.(1994).She calssifies the skills as “microskills” and “macroskills”.The microskills are generally termed as basic skills of speed reading.It forms the base of macroskills in speed reading.It forms the base of macroskills in speed  reading.

The microskills contain the following:(1)”Sense of urgency”.It demands a reader to read more materials within less time.(2)”Concentration”.It means that a reader should concentrate his or her attention on reading and overcome obstacles when reading,in an attempt to attain the information which the writer wants to convey both fast and well.(3)”Phrase reading”.The parameter of eye movement decides one’s reading rate.The basic principles are “widen eye sapn and shorten eye fixation”.(4)”Visual reading”.That is reading without vocalization and subvocalization.(5)”Vertical eye movement”.It is also termed as perpendicular eye movement.(6)”Skimming”.It is a reading skill to get a general idea of what an article is about and to become familiar with the most important ideas in it.(7)”Scanning”.It is a way of finding out some appointed information meeded for a reader’s immediate purpose from large quantity of materials.(8)”Guess game”.It is a skill dealing with new words.It is usually referred to word attack skills.It requires concentrating on the conjecture and comprehension to the content of an article without identifying word by word.(9)”Thinking in English.”A way of thinking the content of materials directly in English.(10)”Flexibility”.A way of handing reading skills and regulating reading speed very nimbly for different purposes,in order to achieve the best reading results.

Macroskills are techniques of using microskills reasonably and dealing with the reading materials as a whole.Reading as a whole means that a reader’s attention should be concentrated on the full sections and chapters when reading.(Carrell,1985).At the beginning of reading,the reader should have a prediction(or anticipation),and modify it again and again,till a right one is produced finally.When the new prediction is confirmed,then a reader has finished his or her reading perfectly.

K.S.Goodman(1983) described “the whole-reading” as psycholinguistic guess game.It relates to the interaction between thinking and language.First of all,a reader must develop the skills of guessing the most possible meaning of the article according to the least clues.

1.The Training Measure of Developing Reading Ability

Development of reading ability in English must be fostered and strengthened with long term efforts in a feasible planned way.It comes into being only on the basis of mastering a certain vocabulary and primary grammar,under a series of effective measures,through a great amount of reading.Here are some training measures:

(1)  The training of words.Fostering reading ability must begin with words.Developing the ability to understand words,the methods usually adopted are as follows:(A).By analyzing word formation keeping hold of the meaning of prefix,suffix and root of active words in order to help understand the meaning of a new word in the context.The prefix”un-“,for example,makes adjectives and adverbs with negative meaning,e.g.”uncomfortable” means “not comforatable”.The suffix is often used as transforming parts of speech.For example,”-ment” makes nouns from verbs.The word “government” means “the act or method of ruling a country”.(B)Fixing the meaning of a word by the language clues of context and confine it within the narrowest correct limits.Some words are given a definition or explanation in the context by the writer.Some are understood by a reader’s direct or indirect experiences.Some are known by familiar words with identical meaning and son on.

(2)  The training of phrases and sentences.That is training of taking semantic structure as a unit.Phrases and sentences are semantic units of expressing a full idea.Developing reading ability,as it appears to me,we must foster the ability of reading phrases and sentences further on the base of knowing a word.Reading word by word,not only slows down one’s reading speed,but also hinders one from understanding the meaning of phrases and sentences.

The training of extending reading units is also that of widening his or her eye span.It is one of the most basic tasks.Eye movement should be paced as a unit by sense group.Sight movement must be short.It has been found that the widest eye span of a person can cover 29 letters in each fixation.(Li Yongfang,1994).So we should transform “a word one fixation” into 1/3 line one fixation.Reading in one fixation must achieve the results of being clear at a glance as more,fast and meaningful as possible.We must concentrate our attention on the key words and topic sentences of the article consciously,and guard against getting nothing from a sentence.

(3)  The training of analysis.We must set about analyzing the grammatical hierarchy of the comples sentence,cultivating analyzing ability and comprehending them.The constructions of some complex sentences,especially in scientific and technical materisals,usually have post-position attributies which include attributive clauses,participle phrases,adjective phrases and infinitive phrases etc..We cannot translate and comprehend them as matters stand.

Firstly,we should find out main clauses and subordinate clauses before distingurshing the relationships between them.The simplest way is to cut them short.We may take the fragments cut as a logical unit to understand,e.g.the relations of condition,cause and result,and time order erc..

Secondly,we should understand the function of connectives.Understanding complex sentences,we should depend,to a great extent,on the comprehension of the connectives between main clauses and subordinate clauses.Each connective has specific meaning and the function of grammar.If one has known the meaning of connectives and grammar well,it is not difficult for him or her to analyse these long and complex sentences by hierarchical analysis.

Lastly,it is definitely helpful for us to know the implication of the conjunction.Some conjunctions play a role of forming a connecting link between the preceding and the following in the article.The conjunctions,such as “but”,”for”,”and” etc.,may help a reader predict the meaning of next paragraph.

(4)  The training of sections and chapters.The trainingcan make us develop the ability of reading a whole text.Words,phrases and sentences are the base of reading a whole text.Worss,phrases and sentences are the base of reading training,and actual meaningful reading is one of piecing together various kinds of data and pondering over them.Theways of its training are,first,in the light of the questions to the article,calling for a reader to use them as clues,and find out the answers to the questions consciously until gettingthrough the main content of the whole text.That is finding out the topic sentences of illustrating the gist of each paragraph or using a sentence or two to summarize the gist of each paragraph,drawing an inference from the gist,then reaching the idea of the whole article.To a certain degree,it is reputed to be a synthetical exercise in mixing vocabulary,a sentence and a paragraph together through a comprehensive study of the subject.

(5)              The training of feelings.The factors of feeling are worth special attention in reading.Especially at the period of teenagers,their feelings often burst out fast,in a variable and uneven state of mind:sometimes calm,sometimes excitable;now active,now passive;now concealed,now exposed.(Chen Zheming,1998),it is noticed ha the feelings of a person in reading often bring about some changes as followings.An extremely difficult or easy material brings about “disagreeable sense”.Apedestrian writing,that does not fit a reader’s taste,brings about “dull sense”.Aimlessness or single technique brings about “sgagnated sense”.The training of no avail brings about “anxious sense”.(Yuan Dalian,1992)

All the above mentioned moods are of negative factors in reading.All of them affect the further elaboration of reading initiative in different degree and hinder the fostering of a reader’s reading interest as well block a reader’s development of “potential reading ability”.These factors can bring the “negative effect” on reading.In order to get rid of the side eddects and turn the passive factors int oactve ones,we may adopt the following measurements.We must make sure of thedegree of difficulty of the materials by measurements and following an orderly sequence.Bettering the “suitable sense” in the training instead of “disagreeable sense”.Strengthening a reader’s “interesting sense” by selecting a variety of materials and cultivating the appreiation of good words instead of “dull sense”The seriation of reading training is put into effect and strengthen a learner’s “objective sense” in order to rejiect”stagnated sense”.Evaluate the results of the training correctly by bringing reading speed into correspondence with accuracy of comprehension so that we can improve “successful sense” and relieving a reader’s excessive “anxious sense”.Therefore,we should judge and guide the reader’s moods correctly.

(6)  The selection of reading materials.Developing reading ability in English,in great measure,needs more exercises on reading.If so,a reader should select the most suitable matericals for himself.It is estimated that the series,such as those for a middle school student,are about 12 kinds in all,amounting to 108 books.These books and magazines may be divided into three varieties.One comes from Foreign Languages Teaching in Middle and Primary Schools and English Teaching and Research Notes.Another comes from the imported teaching materials,such as EssentialEnglish,English for Today,New Concept English,and English This Way etc..The third is from original editions of the reading series,such as Voice of the American Celebrities,amounting to 9 books.(XuJianlin,1992).These books deal with rich and varied content,wideranging subject matter and a variety of artistic styles.

The students read the short stories after having learned the texts,such as The Lost Necklace and Edison in the textbooks.They may improve their good tastes of original works,enlarge their vocabulary and help them get a deeper understandin of what they have learnt.On the one hand,they can consolidate the text learnt and understand widely;on the other hand,they can broaden their outlook.For the volumes of Speed Reading newly revised are also worth holding in esteem,besides some famous literary works,such as Sister Carrie,Jare Eyre and Pride and Prejudice ect..The series can be applied not only in speed reading training,but also in the study of intensive reading and skimming in extensive reading,and applied for postgraduate students and self-taught examinee as well as English majors.

(7)The measurement of the degree of difficulty of materials.It is an essential step that we must quantitate the index of the degree of difficulty of the materials.The measurement of the materials is generally calculated by the indices of ASL and Fog.”ASL” means average sentence length.(That is the average of vocabulary of a sentence).The index of training material for intermediate English level is generally developed from 10 to 18.Finally to 20.The index “Fog” is (ASL+m) constant 0.4.The value “m” includes the average of three syllabic words and poly-syllabic words within 100 fwords in reading materials.It is quite evident that the higher an index of ASL is,the more the average of vocabulary of a sentence is,the more complex the construction os a sentence tends to be,and the harder to understand the materials is.Besides,the greater the value “m” is,the more non-everyday words and expressions used in the materials are,and the more profound the implication of an article is.As a student in an intermediate English level,the index “Fog” can rise from 5 to 10,and even 11 gradully.(Yuan Dalian 1992)

4.The Obstacles of Developing Reading Speed in English.

With readiing skills and measures adopted and the development of the ability of knowing words,the reading speed in English is also being developed faster and faster.In order to guarantee carrying the reading speed forward perseveringly,we must pay attention to surmounting some of the following common obstacles in reading:

(1)              Correcting some bad reading habits.We must try our best to control the movement of lips or vocalization and subvocalization in reading.In general,the silent reading is twice times as fast as that of talking speed.We must overcome the habit of the movement of the lips and sound production if we would like to better the reading rate.

(2)Reading line by line and avoiding finger-reading.The eye moves across lines and entire paragraphs ingeniously,noticing clue words that indicate the likely location of the answer instead of the aid of a finger or anything else shown in the figures:

(3)Using the brain while reading without overemphasis on the eye.A psychologist comes to the conclusion that one psychological process can control another one.The eye movement must be skillfully integrated with “thoughts”.Both of them play a coordinative role.The correct method is that we should transmite what eyes see to our brains quickly.Thinking it through our brains and making correct judgment in time.By the way,if a new word beats ourselves,we need not stop to consult a dictionary at once.We should catch phrases and sentences very soon,so as not to affect reading speed without attaining the purpose of the training.

(4)Avoiding the swing of a head.The skin texture of eyes capably makes sight move from one meaningful unit to another one.Sometimes a reader’s mood is nervous in reading,for he or she is afraid of wasting time,his or her head oscillated.If so,it would be of no help to his or her comprehension,and would slow his or her reading speed down and interfere with good concentration.

(5)Surmounting regression.Sometimes it is worth regression when coming across some key words and long sentences which are difficult to understand.But it is no good that we regress to a word or words already read only because of a bad habit when there are not any new words or difficult sentences.Therefore,in order to faster,we should avoid frequent regressions.

As mentioned above,reading ability in English is one of the abilities an English learner and scientific researcher must possess.Only by more systematic,effective training in reading can they actually master the reading skills,develop reading ability in English and cultivate good reading habits,so as to do better in their students and work.

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