Please help me with reading comprehension

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linkhn
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Please help me with reading comprehension

Postby linkhn » Thu Aug 31, 2006 2:13 am

Hi! Everybody!
Although I have learned English for a long time but my reading comprehension skill is not so good. I have trouble with this kind of exercise.After I've read a long text I can't answer all of the questions below :oops: .It seems that I read and I comprehend almost nothing, especially a long and complicated text.
I have tried but I made no progress. Could you tell me some ways to improve my skill?
Thanks in advance :D

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MissLT
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Postby MissLT » Thu Aug 31, 2006 4:48 am

Divide your reading into small paragraphs and try to answer the questions you have in your mind first before going to the next one. It's easier this way to understand.

Or don't try to understand it word by word of the first time of reading. Get the main meaning of the context first. And then slow down your time by re-read it again to get the full meaning.

linkhn
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Postby linkhn » Fri Sep 01, 2006 8:54 am

Thank you very much. May be I need to do more excercise to get better result. :D

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MissLT
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Postby MissLT » Fri Sep 01, 2006 4:44 pm

Just don't bite off more than you can chew and you'll be fine. 8)

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Postby linkhn » Sat Sep 02, 2006 10:13 am

Sure! :D
Thank you for helping me!

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Seafarer
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Postby Seafarer » Sat Sep 02, 2006 12:02 pm

Maybe not knowing the meanings of some words causes you not to understand the text.So do some vocabulary activities before reading. Indeed, the more u read ,the more u comprehend

linkhn
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Postby linkhn » Sat Sep 02, 2006 1:50 pm

Yes! I should try my best. Knowing the meaning of the words is an advantage. But I don't bite off more than I can chew. :D :D

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Postby Seafarer » Sun Sep 03, 2006 11:48 am

hahaha right :P

linkhn
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Postby linkhn » Mon Sep 04, 2006 10:12 am

But if I take an exam and I only have one minute for each question, I can't go through the text before answer the questions.
So, what should I do?

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Postby jeffcox » Mon Sep 04, 2006 2:30 pm

If you cannot read the whole text before answering the questions, the problem is not with you, but with your teacher.

Time MUST be allowed for a complete reading of the text before any question is answered.

I always allow time to read the text twice, then answer the questions. This is more realistic, since we rarely read with such a restriction on time.

One exercise I give to my students is to limit the time to 1 minute to read the text. Then, write a summary about the main points of the text. Obviously, that is not enough time to read the whole text, so they have to use strategies like reading the titles or subtitles, reading the introduction and the final paragraph(s) and reading the first sentence of each paragraph.

After only a few such exercises, students become more selective about finding information in a text for general understanding puposes and their reading strategies develop very well.

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MissLT
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Postby MissLT » Mon Sep 04, 2006 3:09 pm

jeffcox wrote:After only a few such exercises, students become more selective about finding information in a text for general understanding puposes and their reading strategies develop very well.

It has its own disadvantage, to me. If one's used to this way of reading, they'd only read what they wanted to know or hear in the text and ignore the rest. They'd think the information was enough; there was no need to look at other aspects as well.

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Postby jeffcox » Mon Sep 04, 2006 3:18 pm

Good point...

One exercise I give to my students


This is just one of the exercises I give to my students.

[quote LennyeTran]If one's used to this way of reading, they'd only read what they wanted to know or hear in the text and ignore the rest.[/quote]

There are others that require different reading strategies and I make a point of rotating the kind of exercise.

The purpose of that exercise is that it focuses on understanding the text - getting the general idea. It was one example of how developing stategies is important.

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MissLT
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Postby MissLT » Mon Sep 04, 2006 3:22 pm

Cool, we did that in high school also. My teacher told us that a well-written essay should have a good thesis and one point is linked to the next in each paragraph. Find them and you'll get the general idea of the essay if you're in rush. Then find your own time to read it later on.

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Postby jeffcox » Mon Sep 04, 2006 3:28 pm

Good point to be discussed...

Jeff Wrote:
One exercise I give to my students


This is just one of the exercises I give to my students.

LennyeTran Wrote:
If one's used to this way of reading, they'd only read what they wanted to know or hear in the text and ignore the rest.


There are other techniques that require different reading strategies and I make a point of rotating the kind of exercise. Therefore, the students don't get used to just reading this way.

The purpose of this exercise is that it focuses on understanding the text - getting the general idea. linkhn expressed some difficulties in this area. It was one example of how developing stategies is important. Students are often unaware of how they read in their native language and thus may have some difficulties reading foreign texts.

Anyway, Linkhn, the idea is that you could consider this exercise as a starting point for further practice, it isn't a complete solution.

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Postby jeffcox » Mon Sep 04, 2006 3:34 pm

Oops... clicked the submit button by accident so the last message got sent twice.

That's exactly the idea, LennyeTran. Follow the structure of the information.

Linkhn, good writers use a structure for writing a text that helps the reader understand it. Therefore, if you follow that structure, it makes reading comprehension easier.

When you have the general idea by using this exercise, you can then read through the text completely the second time. That's why I said I always give time to read the text twice! The second time, you already have the idea, so the details fall into place and make more sense.

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MissLT
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Postby MissLT » Mon Sep 04, 2006 3:44 pm

Another thing I think is different about English readings than those in my language is that they always have new vocabulary (even for a native speaker); however, there's always a definition for those new vocabulary embedded in the text.

My Vietnamese friends sometimes ask me for the definition of some vocabulary in the text when I could see the meaning is next to it.

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Postby jeffcox » Mon Sep 04, 2006 4:02 pm

That would be 'contextual inference' where you guess the meaning of new words from the sentence or paragraph.

Linkhn, here is the second technique explained:

John has a large dog but mine is tiny.

What does 'tiny' mean? but indicates opposite or contrast. Opposite of what?
John's dog is large. Therefore the contrast is that mine is the opposite of large. So, mine is small, little, tiny!

This is one of those other strategies that I was talking about. When my students ask me what a word means, I always ask them what they think it means before I answer.

One way to practice this is with 3 columns:
| word | what I think it means | dictionary definition.

When reading, circle unknown words. Then, write the words in the fist column. Then, try to guess what they mean by looking at the text. Then, look in the dictionary and find the true meaning.

With practice, you get better at this and reading becomes more fluent.

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MissLT
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Postby MissLT » Mon Sep 04, 2006 4:06 pm

You've got any examples with the comma to show her also? :wink:

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Postby jeffcox » Mon Sep 04, 2006 4:19 pm

You've got any examples with the comma to show her also? Wink


Commas are used to separate longer or more complicated clauses.
Shorter pairs of clauses are often connected without commas when both are co-ordinating clauses (of equal strength and value). :wink: :wink: Beijos!

linkhn
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Postby linkhn » Wed Sep 06, 2006 5:44 am

Thank you very much :D

linkhn
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Postby linkhn » Thu Sep 07, 2006 11:09 am

Thanks for your advice. Now, I know what to do.
" Patience comes with everything", eh?

I will follow your advice. My teacher always ask us to guess the meaning of the word in the context. But somtimes I find it rather difficult. My problem is I can't find the general idea.

And I never read the text twice,even never go through the text and I only notify some special sentences which are related to the questions below. Now I know it's not a right way to do this kind of excercise.

Thanks again for helping me. :D


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