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reading comprehension - what's the best?

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reading comprehension - what's the best?

Unread postby janerandom » Thu Jan 11, 2007 11:04 am

Hi, everybody :D
I have to choose a coursebook for my students.
I see that in some coursebooks the reading comprehension is placed before the text and in others after it.
Placing it before the text permits to know beforehand what kind of information you have to look for, but can make the students focus only on some specific elements instead of the whole text.
When it placed after the text the students may have to read the text more than once and this can be quite boring.
What's your opinion on the matter? What is the best option?
I look forward to hearing your opinion!
Paola
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textbooks...

Unread postby eric_p_m » Fri Jan 12, 2007 6:10 am

Dear Paola,

Textbook publishing companies really don't know the students in your class and they have only the concept of money as the bottom line.

I create my own textbooks for my students. My intimate knowledge about my students allows me to create dynamic and interactive exercises that hopefully motivate them to learn more.

As far as reading comprehension placement goes, I provide three exercises for all four basic language skills: listening and speaking, reading and writing: pre, main, and post exercises. In total, that means twelve activities for each major topic. Just don't limit your imagination and focus on actually communicating with your students.

Shuffle different learning strategies and teaching methodologies that cater to your students' linguistic needs. Don't forget about right and left brain activities, open-ended questions in addition to top-to-bottom and bottom-up exercises to further nurture cognitive development.


Sincerely,

Eric Paul Monroe
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Why are we reading?

Unread postby pthompson4 » Sat Jan 13, 2007 3:55 am

Hi Paola,

Most comprehension exercises found in coursebooks, I believe, don't really teach comprehension. By that I mean the answers are found in the text somewhere, and there isn't much challenge to think, problem-solve, predict, create alternative solutions, etc. I don't like books with questions first because reading should be enjoyed, and who enjoys a story when the introduction says you must find answers for these questions. Good introductions introduce a few important words that will be needed, guessing what will be in this text, and posing an interesting question to motivate starting to read.... and so it goes... I guess I'm suggesting coursebooks with questions at the end. Another great idea which is loved by all is finishing the reading and saying "That was great! Forget doing the questions this time. Just enjoy your memories of a cool story.

Paul
Considering TESOL somewhere
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Unread postby janerandom » Sun Jan 14, 2007 3:01 pm

Dear Eric Paul and Paul,
thank you very much for your suggestions!
I agree with Paul about starting with questions. I have always felt that questions at the very beginning were somehow limiting the students' approach to a text.
Creating your own coursebook is certainly the best solution.
With the help of an English colleague (English is my second language), I write coursebooks too. Unfortunately, I can't do it in this particular case because it's just a three months' course.
I strive to write coursebooks that are interesting, amusing and, above all, relevant to the student's needs.
As Eric Paul has pointed out, textbook publishing companies place economic interests before other more important issues . The publishing companies I have worked with always stress that coursebooks must be good but not too good. Otherwise how can new editions be planned?

kind regards,
Paola

Ps Eric Paul is it possible to view one of your coursebooks (or part of them)? From what you say, your coursebooks must be very good indeed.
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course books...

Unread postby eric_p_m » Wed Jan 17, 2007 4:47 am

Dear Paola,

I am sorry for my late response. I have been sick for the last week and haven't been working on-line as much as usual. All of my materials are always kept on-line, Paola, and you can view a good portion of them inside my on-line school. Use the Sitemap for navigation and if you have a problem, just click on the green "Click here for LIVE HELP" button located in the bottom right-hand corner to open a secure chat window with me.


Sincerely,

Eric Paul Monroe

http://www.eric-tesol.com/
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