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Dual Skills Approaches to Reading Instruction: Reading-Writing Reading-Listening Reading Speaking


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Title: Dual Skills Approaches to Reading Instruction: Reading-Writing Reading-Listening Reading Speaking

Dual Skills Approaches to Reading Instruction
Reading-Writing Reading-Listening Reading
A Working Paper Presented at the 20th World
Congress on Reading, 26 July 2004, Shangri-la
Hotel, Manila
  • Melvin R. Andrade, Ed.D.
  • Sophia Junior College, Japan, and
  • Aoyama Gakuin University, Japan
  • E-mail m-andrad_at_jrc.sophia.ac.jp

Intended audience
  • Teachers of EFL/ESL reading skills at the
    intermediate level. Applicable to middle and high
    school, and college programs.
  • Curriculum planners of such reading programs.

  • To present a model of how multiple skills can be
    integrated in the reading class
  • To review examples of how textbooks actually
    combine skills to teach reading

Contents Overview
  • Difference between a discrete EFL/ESL "reading
    class" and an EFL/ESL "integrated skills" class
  • How purpose, level, ability and other variables
    affect the amount of time devoted to reading,
    writing, speaking, and listening
  • Appropriateness of certain skill combinations
    reading-writing vs. reading-listening vs.
    reading- speaking
  • Examples and analysis reading textbooks for
    non-native learners from the viewpoint combining

Background 1
  • Classroom reading activities fall into two broad
    categories, an input phase and an output phase,
    and these in turn can be further classified into
    socially interactive and independent activities
  • Learners listen to their teacher read a story
    aloud. They read silently. They respond to
    comprehension questions orally and in writing.
    They discuss what they read.

Background 2
  • Although reading is by definition an encounter
    with written language, reading instruction
    necessarily involves multiple skills and
    modalities (listening, speaking, reading, and
    writing). While numerous possibilities exist for
    combining the four basic language skills in a
    reading class, the focus always remains on
    developing independent readers who can get
    meaning from the printed page.

Pedagogical issues
  • The interdependence of skills in the reading
    class raises a number of questions, both
    practical and theoretical, of interest to
    classroom teachers and researchers. In reading
    classes where the goal is to develop skillful
    independent readers, some questions needing to be
    considered are the following

1. What is the difference between an
EFL/ESL reading class and an EFL/ESL
"integrated skills" class?
2. In a "reading class," how do purpose,
level, ability and other variables affect
the amount of time devoted to reading,
writing, speaking, and listening?
3. Are certain combinations of skills more
appropriate than others reading-writing vs.
reading-listening vs. reading- speaking?
The present ongoing study considers these and
other questions primarily within the context of
second- and foreign-language reading classes at
the intermediate level, although the findings to
a large extent can apply to first-language
classes as well.
Model Building
  • To answer the questions above, a two-part model
    was constructed.
  • The first part, Fig. 1, presents an analysis of
    course formats for teaching English skills
  • The second part, Fig. 2, presents an analysis of
    language input-output in dual-skill combination
    courses, which is the principal focus of this

Figure 1 Course Formats for Teaching EFL/ESL
Skills 1-1 Integrated Skills Course
  • All skills are taught in the same course
    Listening, Speaking, Reading, Writing,
    Pronunciation, etc.
  • Perhaps best for lower- and middle- ability
    learners, but also possible with upper-ability

Figure 1 Course Formats for Teaching EFL/ESL
Skills 1-2 Discrete General Skills Courses
  • Each course emphasizes one skill area (although
    other skills are included to some extent)
  • Pronunciation
  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Perhaps best for (1) middle- and higher-ability
    learners, and (2) English majors who need
    in-depth practice in all skills.
  • Courses may include both intensive learning for
    mastery and extensive learning for fluency.
  • Courses may be narrow (one topic area) or broad
    (covering many topics) in scope.

Figure 1 Course Formats for Teaching EFL/ESL
Skills 1-3 Discrete Specific Skills Courses
  • Each course emphasizes one particular skill in a
    skill area. Examples
  • Letter writing
  • Reading newspapers
  • Rapid Reading
  • English for Travelers
  • Vocabulary Development
  • Perhaps best as elective courses for middle- and
    higher-ability learners, but can be taught at
    multiple levels.

Figure 1 Course Formats for Teaching EFL/ESL
Skills 1-4 Two-Skill Courses
  • Each course emphasizes two particular skills
    combined either as receptive-receptive,
    productive-productive, or receptive-productive
    depending on the purpose and level of the course
  • Listening Speaking
  • Listening Reading
  • Listening Writing
  • Reading Speaking
  • Reading Writing
  • Writing Speaking
  • Application . . .

. . . These combinations may be most suitable for
teaching certain specialized skills for middle-
and upper-ability learners. Perhaps they are not
suitable for lower-ability learners.
ExamplesListening Speaking ?
Conversational skillsListening Reading ?
Drama, poetryListening Writing ?
Note-taking for lecturesReading Speaking ?
DebateReading Writing ? Research
reports, lettersWriting Speaking ?
Public speaking
Figure 1 Course Formats for Teaching EFL/ESL
Skills 1-5 English Skills Through Content
  • A variant of the integrated skills course
    focusing on one subject area and normally taught
    entirely in English. The emphasis is on the use
    and learning of English rather than on mastery
  • of the subject.
  • Most suitable for middle and upper ability
    learners. Courses are counted as English courses
    (practical seminars) not subject matter courses
    (history, science, etc.)

Figure 2. Analysis of Language Input-Output in
Dual-skill Combination Courses
  • Refer to handout (OHP).

Application of the Model
  • Based on this model, the next phase of the study
    involves the content analysis of actual textbooks
    to answer the following four questions

1. What kinds of listening, writing, and
speaking activities are included as part of the
reading lesson? 2. Which of these supporting
skills are emphasized, and how closely are they
related to the text?
3. What theoretical or pedagogical position do
they reflect? 4. How do reading textbooks
intended for an international audience differ
from those intended for a specific
linguistic-cultural group (in this case, Japanese
learners of English)?
  • A variety of recent and legacy materials are
    being examined including reading textbooks for
    EFL/ESL learners in general (U.S. and
    international editions) and textbooks produced in
    Japan for Japanese learners. Integrated skills
    textbooks and content-based textbooks are also
    being included. A working list appears in the
    reference section.

Data analysis
  • The content analysis involves categorizing and
    tallying the different types of pre- and
    post-activities associated with each reading task
    in relation to the reading skills being focused
    on . . .

. . . The analysis distinguishes between
task-type (e.g., multiple-choice,
fill-in-the-blank) and task purpose (e.g.,
identifying the main idea, drawing an inference)
. . .
. . . In the case of integrated-skills
textbooks, the entire flow of the lesson is
examined. In addition to the analytical scheme
proposed above, there are numerous taxonomies of
reading tasks that this study draws on (e.g.,
Hadley, 2001, p. 206).
Partial Preliminary Results
  • Overall and not surprisingly, the range of tasks
    across textbook types is similar. The
    predominating tasks are multiple-choice
    questions, true-false questions, matching tasks,
    fill-in the blank, and open-ended questions.
  • There is great variation, however, among
    individual textbooks in the number and variety of

Generally speaking, reading textbooks for
Japanese learners tend to emphasize grammar and
vocabulary practice, and focus on identifying
main ideas and details. Further, the number of
pre- and post-activities appears to be less than
in readers for international learners .
In particular, pre-reading activities -
to activate or build background knowledge,
- to encourage predicting, or - to set a
purpose for reading are frequently absent.
However, more recently published books for
Japanese learners are showing both a greater
number and more variety of activities.
In contrast to stand-alone reading textbooks,
integrated-skills textbooks show considerable
variation in the placement, length, and handling
of their reading skills component. Some books
place the passage at the beginning and others at
the end, of the lesson, and the number and
variety of learning tasks vary widely.
The role of the passage in the lesson also shows
variation that is, whether it is used 1.
to introduce the lesson, 2. to consolidate
the lesson, 3. to serve as a model for
grammar and vocabulary practice, 4.
to serve as a prompt for speaking activities,
or 5. to build up background knowledge for a
listening activity.
Further results (abbreviated)
  • Available on the handout or by e-mail
  • m-andrad_at_jrc.sophia.ac.jp

  • end
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