Reading for gist/Skimming
Reading quickly to get a general understanding of a written text, eg reading a description of a city to find out if it sounds like somewhere you’d like to visit.
Reading for specific information/Scanning
Searching for a particular piece of information in a written text, eg reading a description of a city only to find out which country it’s in.
Reading/listening for detail
Reading or listening more carefully so that you get a full understanding of the text, eg reading a description of a city to find out everything about it.
Listening for gist
Getting a general understanding of something you hear, eg listening to the weather forecast and deciding you might need to take an umbrella when you go out.
Listening for specific information
Listening for a particular piece of information, eg listening to the weather forecast to find out what the temperature will be tomorrow.
Making guesses about what is not stated explicitly in a text, eg listening or reading a conversation and deciding that the people are brother and sister without them saying so.
Organising ideas in a logical way when speaking or writing so that the listener or reader can follow our ideas.
Joining sentences together using words like and, but and because so our language flows more easily.
Strategies we use when we are speaking, eg showing you are listening to other people by saying things like, mmmm or uh-uh or oh!
An interactive strategy which is about knowing when you can join in a conversation and signalling when you think someone else should speak.
For speaking; this is speaking without a lot of hesitation and too many long pauses. For writing; this means you can write without stopping for a long time to think about what to write.
© UCLES 2016
Rhymes can be used to teach new vocabulary and to enhance early reading skills in lots of ways.
Each rhyme is really a miniature story that children can act out, sing or retell from memory.
The students gain confidence in retelling each story to friends, parentes or in class.
When the children act out these short rhymes they are speaking, listening and moving.
Because they are short stories it is easy to memorize, take turns and participate.
Here are some pictures of the characters from a variety of rhymes that could be used in many ways. As necklaces, finger puppets or stapled onto headbands or popsicle sticks.
So, let´s have fun and learn some nursery rhymes!
Children can manipulate these figures as they retell the rhyme.
Here is a summary of the stories.
Nursery Rhymes provide great practice with concepts in early reading.
Because the children sing and memorize these rhymes most of them are successful “reading” them.
My students are beginning to read in English and I am very proud of them.
Meus alunos estão começando a ler em Inglês e estou muito orgulhosa deles
think about the different types of knowledge that your learners have.
|Linguistic knowledge||Knowledge of English and of other languages|
|World knowledge||‘General’ knowledge or specialist knowledge|
|Sociocultural knowledge||Knowledge about communities and social practices, how language is used by different groups of people, in different situations, for different functions|
- What types of knowledge do your learners have?
In the previous step we talked about how reading and listening to different things affects the way we read or listen. These different ways of reading and listening require different reading and listening skills. In the world of English language teaching, there are specific terms for each of these different skills. Look at the descriptions below – do they match the ideas that you had? After you’ve read about the different skills, look at the Quizlet activity to see how much you remember.
Reading and listening skills
You can read or listen for general understanding. This is what you do when you read through an article quickly to see what it’s about. For reading, this is called skimming. It’s also sometimes called reading or listening for gist.
Sometimes you might read or listen to find specific information. For example, maybe you are looking through an article about teaching abroad. You have a particular country you know you would like to work in, and you want to find out exactly where to find a job and how to apply. In this case you’ll read only the information in the text about that country. You wouldn’t read everything as you would if you were reading or listening for general understanding. This is reading for specific information.
This is a bit like looking for specific information but is used only for reading, and is about finding particular bits of a text. For example, looking at a website for jobs, you might look through for a particular word or phrase. This could be a specific word, for example a qualification, or a specific number, such as the pay or the number of posts.
Play is fun, all children love playing, and children learn so much through play without even realising it. So we need to give children time to play, not just ten minutes when they finish their ‘work’.
When children play, they are experimenting with ideas, testing hypotheses, mastering skills, using their imaginations and representing their world. If you cut out play when teaching English you are removing a vital step in childhood development.
Here are a few examples of the different types of things children are learning and developing as they play.
- When playing with plasticine children develop their fine motor skills. Children are working on hand-eye coordination and building up the muscles in their hands and fingers when modelling plasticine. These are valuable pre-writing skills, as good muscle strength and hand-eye coordination will help children hold and use writing tools properly later on. By playing with plasticine, children are also experimenting with things like colour, shape and texture.
- When playing with dolls and a tub of waterthey are learning about the concepts of wet and dry, floating and sinking, clean and dirty. They are also engaging in sensory play, and experimenting with the way water feels.
- When playing with musical instrumentschildren are developing sound recognition (the sounds that different instruments make and an understanding of how sounds can change (e.g. high, low, soft, loud, fast slow) and an appreciation of music. These valuable listening skills are transferable to the area of language and communication.
- When playing with transport toys, children are experimenting with friction and motion, up and down, forwards and backwards, fast and slow.
- When children are playing with blocks, they are learning about colour, shape and patterns, as well as the concepts of weight, size, height, length, vertical and horizontal.
- In dramatic play and small world play(acting out scenes from real life, stories and/or imagination created with small figures and objects) children are representing ideas that help them make sense of the world around them. They can also experiment with playing different roles and inventing different scenarios, taking them beyond the real world and developing their imagination.
What do you think?
- How important do you think it is to give children time to play?
- How do you think play can help a child’s language development?
© British Council
We’ve talked about why children play and the benefits of play, but the idea still persists that if it’s too much fun, children are not learning.
However, the evidence suggests the opposite. Research shows that children actually learn through play. Play is learning.
Internationally renowned expert on early childhood and play, Tina Bruce, outlines in her book, Early Childhood Education, the 12 features of free-flow play:
1. Children use the first-hand experiencesthey have had in life during play.
2. Children keep control as they play. Play does not bow to pressure to conform to external rules, outcomes, targets or adult-led projects.
3. Play is a process. It has no products.
4. Children choose to play. It is intrinsically motivated and spontaneous.
5. Children rehearse their possible futures in their play. Play helps children learn to function in advance of what they can do in the present.
6. Play has the potential to take children into a world of pretend, beyond the here and now, in the past, present and future, and it transforms them into different characters.
7. Play can be solitary, and this sort of play can be very deep.
8. Children can play together or with an adult, in companionship (parallel play), associatively or cooperatively in pairs or groups.
9. Play can be initiated by a child or an adult, but adults need to respect the child’s play agenda by not insisting that the adult agenda dominates the play.
10. Child-led play is characterised by deep concentration.
11. In play, children try out their recent learning, mastery, competence and skills, and consolidate them.
12. Play makes children into whole people, able to keep balancing their lives in a fast-changing world.
Tina Bruce (2015) Early Childhood Education 5th Edition