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On English Fast Reading of Senior Middle School

In: English and Literature

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Words 3037
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On English Fast Reading of Senior Middle School
Li Shengwen

Thesis: This research paper is mainly about how to teach fast reading of senior middle school and some suggestions on teaching fast reading. Outline:
Ⅰ.Introduction: the importance of fast reading and the concept of fast reading.
Ⅱ.How to teach fast reading
A. Help the students take a correct attitude toward fast reading . B. Change the student’s bad reading habits. C. Introduce some basic reading skills used to train the students’ reading speed.
a. Topic and specific sentence method.
b. Main idea.
c. Understanding synonym and antonym of context clues.
d. Drawing conclusion
e. Skimming
f. Scanning D. Guarantee the students’ reading quantity.
Ⅲ. Some suggestions on teaching fast reading. A. Select proper reading material. B. Help the students to overcome difficulties. C. Limit the reading time. D. Help the students keep a record of reading. Ⅳ.Conclusion: Improvement on fast reading with good habits, skills and teaching methods.

On English Fast Reading of Senior Middle School Li Shengwen Fast reading is a kind of basic and important skill in learning English. It is the most efficient way of improving the readers’ comprehension ability and enlarging the vocabulary. It is also a way of obtaining different kinds of information and knowledge, such as history, geography, literature, philosophy and science, etc. So fast reading ability is considered as a standard to measure the readers or learner’s English level. In China, the senior middle school students are required to practice English fast reading as one of the fundamental skills the same as listening, speaking, and intensive reading and writing. Then what is fast reading? It is a kind of extensive reading that the readers read the reading material as fast as they can and obtain as mush information as possible and understand the reading material correctly. To be an English teacher of a senior middle school, we should know how to teach English fast reading and get the students to know how to deal with fast reading. In China, the senior high students learn English as foreign language. They know a little English knowledge, only some basic words, phrases, sentence patterns and some grammar items. It is difficult for them to read and understand a whole passage, especially the passage with some new words in it. So how to teach the students to practice fast reading is one of the main aims of English teaching in Junior high school. The following items should be the fundamental methods of teaching fast reading. Firstly, the teacher should help the students have a correct attitude towards fast reading. Some students always think that they couldn’t understand the reading material unless they understand each word and each sentence. Some students consider that reading comprehension means translating each sentence into Chinese. Some students read the reading material word by word and think over each sentence for few minutes. These are the main wrong attitudes towards the fast reading. In fact, fast reading does not mean that a reader needs to understand everything in the text. The reader is actively working on the text. The efficient reader generally reads only on groups of words, not word-by-word, far less letter-by-letter. Fast reading is to understand the reading material as a whole and get more information from the reading material. The reader should understand the text by guessing the meaning of new words or with the help of context clue, and the effective fast reading should also be accompanied with analysis, conclusion, inference and reasoning. While the Students practice fast reading, it is necessary for them to have the above positive attitudes and put them into practice in the procedure of fast reading. Secondly the teacher must help the students change some bad habits. Good fast reading habits will improve the reading quality and speed up the reading, while the bad reading habits will influence the reading comprehension and slow down the speed of reading. The common bad reading habits are : reading the fast reading material in loud voice or mumbling, pointing to the lines with finger, ruler, or pencil while reading, looking backwards constantly, swinging head softly and continuously, reading the material word by word and relying on the dictionary to look up each of the new words. In order to change these bad reading habits, the teacher must tell them what the bad reading habits and good reading habits are. The following measure can be taken to overcome the bad reading habits. The first, make sure the students read silently and remind them not to read out during the fast reading. If necessary, put a piece of candy in mouth in order to prevent student from reading out. The secondly, ask the students to read the material with the movement of the eyeballs and tell the students it is not necessary to point to the words with finger, pencil or ruler. The third, practice a fast reading machine (a machine, which can be used to show the reading material continuously on the screen) to prevent the students from looking afterward until the students are used to it. The fourthly, make sure the students don’t swing their heads and ask them pay attention to their reading postures. The fifthly, make the students read the material as a whole and get them to understand the words by analyzing the match of words and the connections of the words, sentences and paragraphs. At last, encourage the students to guess the meaning of the new words according to the context. For example, in the sentence “Half a year after her marriage, Mrs. Smith learnt that she was with a child.” the phrase “with a child ”may be unknown to the reader, but if the reader guesses carefully according to the key words “marriage” ,“half a year ”and “child”, the meaning of the phrase “with a child” will be clear. It means “to be pregnancy”. It says that Rome is not made in one day. So good reading habits couldn’t be formed in one day, either. It is important for the students to insist on the good habits. Thirdly, the teacher must train the students’ reading speed. One of the important aims of fast reading is the reading speed. It is important for the students to master some basic reading skills to improve the speed of the fast reading. Now we will introduce some basic reading skills. 1) Topic and specific sentences method. Usually there is one sentence to express the general idea or the topic of a passage or an article. This sentence is the topic sentence. Very often, it is the first sentence, but sometimes it appears in the middle or at the end of a paragraph. However, Sometimes there may not be such a state topic sentence. In that case, the main idea is hinted at but not stated outright, so the general sentence makes a general statement or a topic, and the specific sentences provide the details related to it. So the students should learn to get the topic sentences by analyzing and understanding the contents of the reading material while they are reading. 2) Main idea The main idea or the most important idea usually expressed by the topic sentence, and other sentences are to explain, develop or support it. The main idea, therefore, gives the aim and direction of writing. A topic sentence in the most general statement in a paragraph, in other words, it gives the main idea. It is the most powerful sentence in the paragraph. To find such a sentence as the Students read a paragraph, the Students need to ask about themselves,“What sentence or sentences state the biggest, most general idea about the subject under decision in the paragraph?”When the Students have found this sentence or these sentences, they have found the thought that ties the details together. 3) Understanding synonym and antonym of context clues. The context of a word consists of the other words surrounding it and the situation in which it is used. When the Students readers come across a new word in their reading, instead of looking it up in a dictionary for its definition. They can guess it meaning from the context. There are often specific words in a sentence or paragraph that can help them determine the meaning of an unfamiliar word. Another type of context clue is the antonym of context clue. Unlike the synonym clue, which provides similar meaning to a word. The antonym clue provides just the apposite meaning of a new word. For example, the paragraph,“A special method of photograph, called microphotography was used. By this method, men could reduce writing to very small size. Then one bird could carry thousands of dispatch on one trip. When the dispatch was received, it was enlarged by photography so that it once more become possible for the human eye to read it.”In the paragraph, the word“reduce”,if new to Students, will cause difficulty in understanding. But when the Students read on, the context tells Students that writing was first reduced and then enlarged again. The meaning of “enlarge”——to make something larger——will lead the Students to reason out that the possible meaning of “reduce”is to “make something smaller”.So the word “enlarge” functions as the antonym clue of “reduce”.The phrase“once more”signifies the process of the change from small to large again and helps make the idea clearer. 4)Drawing a conclusion Drawing a conclusion means arriving at the only decision from the stated evidence. The Students can draw an accurate conclusion from a statement, a paragraph or a longer piece of writing only when they understand what the writer intends to say. So learning to draw an accurate conclusion from the stated facts can help the students to sum up logically the idea expressed in the writing. For example, it is a fact that Monday always follows Sunday. Now, since today is Sunday, tomorrow must be Monday. In the example, the conclusion,“…, tomorrow must be Monday.” is right, because the stated facts are accurate and the conclusion is the only one can be drawn. 5) Skimming Skimming is one of the two major types of selective reading. It differs from normal reading in that not all of the materials are read. Parts of the material are skipped over. Skimming is a way of covering material quickly, with comprehension that may be complete enough for many purposes. The Students may not have the enough time, the interest, or the need to read many items carefully. On the other hand, it may be very useful to skim over something quickly to get the main idea, to build up the general background on a topic, or to satisfy the curiosity about the topic without spending a lot of time. Skimming is an effective way of getting general idea when the Students take an examination and they don’t have enough time. When the students skim the reading material, he may just read the first and last paragraphs or the first and last sentences in each paragraph to get the main idea. 6) Scanning Scanning is the other major type of selective reading. It is the term used to describe a reading process in which the students are searching for certain facts, details or information. There are several levels of scanning, such as scanning for specifics, scanning for facts, scanning for required information and so on. When the students scan for something, they must concentrate on the thing (or things) in their mind. In fact scanning and skimming are often used together during the fast reading. Scanning is helpful for the students to complete the reading comprehension exercises in the test or examination. The above six points are the common skills of fast reading. If the students could master them and put them into practice, their reading speed will be improved (perhaps 3 to 4 times faster than usual. And also their comprehension ability will also be developed. At last, ensure that the students read a quantity of reading material. The teacher may encourage the students to read as much as they can. We often say“Learn swimming by swimming”. It is the same with fast reading for we practice fast reading by fast reading. To ensure the reading quality, the students should keep a good habit to read a few pages of English reading material each day. They should know ten minutes every day is better than ten hours in one day. The students should make a reading plan each term. It is necessary for a senior student to read six or more short English novels each term. They should also read an essay of at least one thousand words each month. The teacher can make the in-class reading connected with out-class reading. Try to enlarge the reading quantity and ensure the reading quality in class, and give necessary directions. Give the students some suggestions on out-class reading. Here are some suggestions on teaching English fast reading in senior middle school. They may be helpful. 1. Select proper reading material . What is the proper reading material? First, the length of the reading material (except novels) should be equal with the length of the text in the textbook. To the junior students, short novels are better than long novels. If the reading material were too long, the students would not be interested in it. Second, the degree of difficulty of the reading material should be equal with the text or a little easier than the text. The rate of the new words should not exceed 3 percent, and the rate of new language items should not exceed 10 percent. If the reading material is much difficult to understand, the Students may lose interest and confidence. At last, the teacher should offer reading material on different themes and in different styles to the students. The contents of the reading material should connect with as more fields as possible, for example, on politics, culture, social life, economic, science, technology, etc. The students should also read the material in different styles, such as story , novel, verse, essay, prose, practical writing and so on. 2、Help the students to overcome difficulties. There are three main difficult points on fast reading. They are reading speed, new words and the range of knowledge. Usually the students found it hard to read the English material fast. Why? Because the students always want to translate each sentence into Chinese and then understand the material with the help of Chinese. The teacher should get the students to know that reading is not translating and it is not necessary for them to translate the sentences into Chinese. Encourage them understand English in English. It’s hard for the students to think in English at the beginning, but we must make the students cultivate this kind of habit and ability. The most difficult point on fast reading may be the new words. It is necessary to teach the students how to “guess”the meaning of the new words by context clue. And tell the students that they needn’t know the all the new words, because some of the new words don’t matter with the reading comprehension, for example, some names, countries, cities, animals, plants and so on. It is very important for students to know some background knowledge, especially that of English spoken countries. Because there are different customs, habits , social systems in different countries. Some students find the reading material hard because they know nothing about the field that the reading material talks about. If the students have a wide range of knowledge and they are familiar which the reading material talks about, they can understand the reading material with the help of their former knowledge, though there are some new words or new language items in it. So the teacher should encourage the students to enlarge their range of knowledge by reading both English and Chinese books of all kinds. 3. Limit the reading time. In order to improve the fast reading speed, we must limit the reading time during the fast reading practice. First tell the students to read whole passage without a stop so that they can save time. Secondly ask the students to finish reading the material and do the exercises during the given time. Finally let the students keep a record of the reading time to check if they achieve the goal. 4. Help the students keep a record of reading. Usually the students need to record the reading time, reading speed (words per minute), and correct number or rate of the comprehension. The record is used to evaluate the fast reading. Generally speaking, the senior students should read 50—60 words per minute and the correct rate of comprehension should be 70 percent or even higher. Keeping a record of fast reading will make the students evaluate their own fast reading and it also encourages the students because they will feel successful when they compare the past record with the present record. In all, fast reading practice is a long procedure .The teacher should get the students to have correct attitude and good reading habits, master some necessary reading skills, read a large quantity of reading material, speed up the course of fast reading, improve the ability of reading comprehension. The most important point is that the teacher should make the students keep a good reading habit and insist on reading some English material with the correct skills every day. There must be great improvement on fast reading with good reading habits skills and teaching methods. The more fast reading material they read, the easier it will be; the more they read, the more interesting English will be; the more thy read, the better their English will be.

Bibliography Han Zhixian, He Huisheng and Liu Beili,ed. An English Reading Course For Comprehension & Speed.Beijing: Higher Education Press, 1999. Zhang Zhengdao and Huang Taiquan. A Bilingual Course of English Teaching Methodology. Beijing:The Science Press, 1999. Hang Baotong,ed. English, Teach It Better.Shanghai: East-China Normal University Press,1988. Wang Jinghe,ed. Celebrities’ Talks on English Teaching.Jiling: Jilin Education Press,1998.

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...gradually changing the eating habits of Koreans. Many Koreans now enjoy many western style of foods as well as other Asian cuisines in addition to their traditional Korean dishes. Pizza seems to be a favorite food of the Koreans and you can find take-out pizza places such as Pizza Hut in many locations throughout Korea. While some Koreans choose the same type of pizza toppings that you might find in a U.S. based pizza parlor, you will also find Koreans eating things such as corn, sweet potatoes, mayonnaise, bulgolgi and various other items on their pizzas. You’ll also find many other western type restaurants throughout Korea serving hamburgers, chicken, coffee, and ice cream. McDonalds, Burger King, Popeye’s Chicken, as well as other fast food chain style restaurants can be found throughout Korea and are consistently growing more popular. The beauty and grace of Korean culture can be seen in photographs of women dressed in the hanbok The hanbok has been the Korean traditional clothing for thousands of years. The top part called a jeogori is blouse-like with long sleeves with the men's version being longer, stretching down to the waist. Women wear skirts (chima) while men wear baggy pants (paji). Commoners wore white, except during festivals and special occasions such as weddings. Clothes for the upper classes were made of bright colors and indicated the wearer's social status. Various accessories such as foot gear, jewelry, and headdresses or hair pins completed the......

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...relatively simple dishes that we associate with personal warmth and are everywhere in Chinese society. Many dishes that are somewhat more complex but still may be considered "simple", like KungPao Chicken and Fish-flavored pork, would have to be considered favourites, as well, otherwise I wouldn't know how to account for why they appear on every restaurant's menu in China. It should also be noted than many children today seem to love western foods. 5. Q: Do you like cooking? How often do you cook by yourself? A: Actually yes, I like cooking a great deal, although I wouldn't say I'm especially competent in the kitchen. I cook for myself frequently in order to save money and to give myself time to wind down every day when I return from school or work. Cooking is a terrific way to regulate your eating habits and get creative in ordinary circumstances. 6. Q: Who cooks in your family? A: In many Chinese families, the mother is the person who cooks most, and my family is no exception. My mother is good at cooking. She can make different kinds of delicious dishes. Specially in festivals, she always cooks some traditional foods for us. When I live in the dorm, I often miss my mother's cooking. 7. Q: What do you think is the healthy diet? A: I think a healthy diet should include all essential nutrients for people's daily requirements. Additionally, it should be low in fats, which can lead to obesity and heart disease. Certain foods which are quite full of......

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