Teaching Reading Philosophy
People define great reading instructions differently. Great reading instructions consist of integrating culture into language learning in a reading class, providing clear instructions by using bloom’s taxonomy, and always generating interactions and activities.
Integrating culture into language learning in a reading class makes reading instruction better and more interactive. Language is a part of culture. Understanding the culture of the language will help learners to produce more authentic language, and deepen their learning. Readers need to be taught the culture of the language to bridge the gaps that they might encounter while reading, especially learners in an EFL environment where the opportunity to learn culture is very minimal. For instance, if students read a story and come across the sentence, “Y’all in thuh country now, gul.” It creates a discussion and provides an opportunity for instruction about the culture of the language. Students could get confused or think those are new words they need to learn. Teachers can explain and create a discussion about accents in their own language. A discussion on culture will make a reading lesson become more interactive. It also helps students to immerse themselves in reading texts even more.
Using the word list from Bloom’s taxonomy in giving instructions helps learners to perform better in reading. Many people might have experienced a pattern in a reading class: read then answer questions to check comprehension. People who do not understand the text will simply think that they do not know the answers. The pattern discourages students to read and causes them to become bored of reading. Using Bloom’s taxonomy words list in delivering instructions helps learners to read with a purpose. They will get to explore different elements in comprehending the text. A teacher can tell students prior to the reading what they need to do, such as to remember by matching or listing. As the lesson goes on with the same text, the teacher can help the students develop their thinking to another level, such as to understand by giving examples. Reading comprehension is at the core of instruction. Great reading instruction is providing clear instructions by using Bloom’s taxonomy.
Interactions and activities help learners to read better. A reading class needs high interaction between the learners and teachers and among the learners themselves. Interaction and activities trigger knowledge that students have inside and transform them into language skills. They also integrate other language skills, such as speaking or listening. A teacher cannot simply tell students to read faster, but students need activities to help them read fluently. The Reading Horizon program is a good example of providing activities to help learners read. It gives clear instructions, then follows by giving an activity for students to test themselves. This gives a sense of progress and success to students, which motivates learners to keep learning. Activities also help teachers to assess students in their reading.
Reading cannot be naturally acquired like speaking or listening. A teacher needs to provide good instruction to help students read. This can be done by teaching the culture of the language, using bloom’s taxonomy in giving instructions, and providing interactions and activities in a reading class.