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ESL in Reading: Critical Analysis of an existing unit of reading materials - Research Paper Example

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This report will discuss common strategies and the teacher’s approach to teaching reading skills, assumptions the teacher made in designing the approach; and comment on the quality and effectiveness of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz as a text for teaching L2 students. …
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ESL in Reading: Critical Analysis of an existing unit of reading materials
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Download file to see previous pages This research will begin with the statement that teaching reading skills to students whose first language is not English is a challenging task, mainly due to the structural, contextual, and other differences between English and other languages. Therefore, a language teacher should know the students’ level of understanding and their best learning approaches in order to design an effective teaching strategy. This enables the elimination of unnecessary assumptions that would lower retention rates, discourage students and result in poor grades among other negative effects. The most common approach in teaching students English as a second language (L2) is to define their reasons for learning, set aims and objectives for lessons, and implement the plan. In addition, the teacher should analyze the approach for effectiveness and efficiency mainly by taking various assessment approaches to students. Depending on the English literacy of students and other contextual factors, the teacher should use appropriate texts to teach students the English language; many factors determine the viability of a text for use at a metalanguage level. Some of these factors include the legibility, ability to hold the students’ interest for long periods, and the use of characters, episodes and other factors in the text with which students can relate. In this case, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by Lyman Frank Baum is the text of choice for teaching secondary school level L2 students. (Grabe and Stoller, 2002). This report will discuss common strategies and the teacher’s approach to teaching reading skills, assumptions the teacher made in designing the approach; and comment on the quality and effectiveness of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz as a text for teaching L2 students. Finally, the report will make recommendations on the various aspects of teaching reading skills among L2 students. Background Information In most government sponsored local secondary schools, English is the second language that students learn, and is the medium for teaching all other subjects except Chinese and music. The schools in question used to get top grade students but this has changed to only average ones of late; it is not clear why, but it does have an effect on performance of various subjects including English. Top students have opted to go to other schools of much higher repute, probably to increase their chances of joining institutions of higher learning and securing lucrative jobs after their studies. The school subdivides the students in each class into streams, according to their mathematics performance in their secondary one test. Therefore, the performance in English across streams is distributed evenly, though there are some classes with uneven distribution as the school used their English test as a basis or subdivision. The students in the target class are 36 in number, and the average age is 12 years, and this class is the second best in English for this form. Most of the students in this class can express themselves in Basic English, mainly when giving basic information that is devoid of many details. When prompted to offer explanations, most students are hesitant before giving replies in poorly structured English that is a direct translation of Cantonese; their first language. The students can understand spoken English, albeit with some limitations, but they have serious limitations with their spoken and written English such that they often opt not to use English for communication. The book adopted to instruct the L2 students in their English classes is Lyman Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, which was written in 1900. The version used in class is a 2007 version that incorporates drawings, exercises and other features for use in teaching students how to read, write, listen and use English in a social and academic setting (Harmer, 2007). Strategies and Approach Learning content and language development are two factors that teachers ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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