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General Question - Essay Example

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Introduction This paper examines two related concepts of teaching reading to schoolchildren using basal readers. It examines the concepts of Direct Reading Activity (DRA) as it was presented by Betts in 1946. It goes on to examine the concept of Directed-Reading-Thinking Activity (DRTA) proposed by Stauffer in 1969 and 1975…
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General Question

The main purpose of this method of teaching reading to schoolchildren is to provide them with instructional support and a strong basis for the development of reading skills. It requires teachers' involvement in the reading process before, during and after the reading of a basal text. Stages of DRA There are several approximately eight steps in the Direct-Reading Activity. Each step comes with some expectations and advantages to the learning of reading skills amongst children. Step 1: Choose a text and the aim of reading The first step involves the teacher identifying a given text in the basal reader. This means the teacher will have to identify a portion of the reading text and identify the main reading techniques and new vocabulary that can be learnt through the reader. This step is to set the aims, objectives and basis for the whole exercise. This step sets the framework of the entire reading and here, the teacher will know the exact objectives that must be met by the class. This can be an avenue for the teacher to guide students through the various stages of the reading process. This will enable the students to progress gradually through important stages in the process of learning how to read and comprehend information in a given text. Step 2: Select vocabulary to be pre-taught After the teacher concludes on the aims and objectives of the reading exercise at hand, the next step is to identify new and unusual words in the text. These words are often words that the students have not met before or words that have links to other situations that the children are likely to meet in the future. These words are to be identified and written on the board for the children to understand. It usually helps if the teacher explains the meaning of the words as well as the linkage of the word with other contexts within which the students are likely to meet in the future. The immediate reason for this exercise on vocabulary is to enable the children to get familiar with the more difficult words that they are going to meet in the reading. It enables comprehension during the reading process because the students become familiar with the implication of those words and the context within which they are used in the text. The longer term aim of the pre-teaching of words is to help the children to improve their vocabulary. This will help them to acquire new words that will enable them in the future. Additionally, teaching vocabulary before reading also builds the conception of predicting the meaning of words by examining the context within which unfamiliar words are used. This will help students in future comprehension assignments and examinations like SAT and other English language examinations. Elicit prior knowledge on the topic of text After the vocabulary is taught and discussed, the teacher will have to take opinions and knowledge brought forward from the class. This will include discussing matters from the known to the unknown. This implies that the children will be called upon to share basic knowledge about what they know about the subject. Thus for example, when you are to talk about a fox in the reader, the teacher can ask about the similarities between the foxes and other animals. Obvious answers that are likely to come about might include a dog and other animals. Then the attributes of a fox as a sly creature or a creature that is not so straightforward can be brought up by drawing into similar tales like sly fox and ... Read More
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