Competent readers use various reading skills when approaching a text written in a foreign language. Reading techniques vary depending on the type of text. These different approaches and techniques help the reader to more effectively understand a particular writing style or content. Students are better able to engage and understand a text in the target language when the accompanying activities are scaffolded toward these styles.
Keep these ideas in mind when developing reading activities:
- When reading for specific information, activities need to provide ways for students to ask themselves, “Have I obtained the information I was looking for?”
- When reading for pleasure, activities should lead students need to ask themselves, “Do I understand the story line/sequence of ideas well enough to enjoy reading this?”
- When reading for thorough understanding (intensive reading), Activities should be geared toward students asking themselves, “Do I understand each main idea and how the author supports it? Does what I’m reading agree with my predictions, and, if not, how does it differ?” To check comprehension in this situation, students may stop at the end of each section to review and check their predictions, restate the main idea and summarize the section
Traditional comprehension questions are a useful tool, but they can be modified to scaffold student engagement with the text so that they are better able to navigate the various styles and objectives of the text. Here are come additional suggestions from the NCLRC.