Reading is the complex cognitive process of decoding symbols to derive meaning. It is a form of language processing.
Is the process of going through written information or piece of work in order to get information or in order to understand the content of the message.
Reading skills refers to the ability to understand written text.
It is advisable to develop this skill at early age of schooling. When students comprehend or understand written text, and combine their understanding with prior knowledge, they are able to perform the following three reading-comprehension skills.
- Identify simple facts presented in written text (literal comprehension)
- Make judgments about the written text’s content (evaluative comprehension)
- Connect the text to other written passages and situations (inferential comprehension)
The development of these reading skills is vital to children’s development, and a sheer volume of studies has demonstrated a link between competency in reading and overall attainment in school (literacy attainment and other outcomes). According to OCED’s report on reading for change, program for International Student Assessment (PISA):
“Reading for pleasure is more important for children’s educational success than their family’s socioeconomic status.” Besides, there are some other key benefits of engaging children in reading from the early age. This is so because the development of reading is a key to future success both in school and in life. By supporting children to read in their leisure time at every age, parents can help to ensure that children are equipped with the necessary skills to succeed in later life.
Success in this process is measured as reading comprehension. Reading is a means for language acquisition, communication, and sharing information and ideas. The symbols are typically visual (written or printed) but may be tactile (Braille).
Like all languages, it is a complex interaction between text and reader, shaped by prior knowledge, experiences, attitude, and the language community—which is culturally and socially situated. The reading process requires continuous practice, development, and refinement. Reading requires creativity and critical analysis.
Reading is difficult when the reader lacks the skills of reading therefore one may read but end up without getting the message from the written information or one may spend a lot of time to go through a small written text due to lack of reading skill.
Good reading skills starts from childhood
Types of Reading / Techniques of reading skills
There are various types or techniques of reading depending on the activities involved in the act of reading or depending on the purpose of the reader. The following are some of the types/ strategies of reading:
This is the type of reading whereby the reader reads for general information. I.e. where the reader is interested in just knowing what is the text being read is about
– Skimming involved reading few lines, paragraphs headings, sub
– headings, table of content or any part the book which can assist the reader to know the important or key issues found in the text.
– We use skimming when we get new books, journals news-papers, magazines, essay etc as a strategy of assessing withers the material is worth reading or otherwise.
This is usually used in the library were various written material are found to be able to borrow or read the right one, one should employ skimming.
– Skimming is therefore very important in saving time of the reader but also it helps the reader make decision because he/ she knows what he/ she wants to achieve at a certain time and what to achieve later.
This is a quick survey of the written materials where the reader looks for specific information.
– It is always done quickly since the reader knows what he/she is looking for in advance i.e. in scanning you are looking for particular items of information. This means the book you have may contain a lot of things but you are interested in one thing or few of them, this can be affected by going through the table of contents or index in order to know where that particular information is found in the book or text.
– For the case of newspapers one should go through the headlines until when he/ she comes across the information of his/ her interest
c) Intensive/ study reading
This is a type of reading in which the reader wants to fully understand and remember what is read i.e. it is the type of reading where the reader aims to read the whole text or book about certain information in order to understand and remember thoroughly about what is read.
– It is the method that is used in reading text books where the reader concentrates in everything being read, for example, when person wants to understand poetry he/she must apply intensive poetry, when a student is given a topic to read he/she must apply intensive reading.
– Intensive reading involves the concentration of the reader in understanding all the details of what is read.
d) Extensive reading
This is the habit of reading by which the reader reads many sources of information i.e. Involves reading or going through various source of information.
– For example; at school, students are expected to read a lot of novels, plays, short stories and poetry.
– Thus buy so doing they engage themselves in extensive reading
Extensive reading is more important (useful in enriching the student with knowledge i.e. it gives a student a lot of information from different sources.
e) Critical reading
This is the type of reading which needs the reader it interprets what has been read beyond what the words suggests. I.e. it involves identifying the information presented and let it to your experience and the experience of others.
In this kind of reading you read between the lines you interpret what you read and try to go beyond what the writings say.
Teachers have an important role for making students have good reading skills
STRATEGIES OF CRITICAL AND INTENSIVE READING
Since the intensive reading is meant to make the reader understand all the details of what is read and critical reading also requires the reader to concentrate on the material read
There are a number of hints/ criteria/ strategies in order to archive both critical and intensive reading as follows:
1. Prepare yourself physically i.e. Arrange your books and note books well before you start reading in order to make the environment attractive for reading i.e. put all material in order so that you avoid unnecessary movement
2. Set your objective i.e. indicate what you want to archive at the end of the reading for example, ability to define concepts, ability to identify and describe themes etc.
3. Outline the main points as you read i.e. read the signal words which will guide you to give the order of how ideas flow and to identify point that appear in the text
4. Predict some questions i.e. sort down some questions as you read, these review questions are important because they help you to assess your understanding
5. Observed the text structure i.e. pay attention to headings and sub – headings as well as titles. These help you to show the topic been discussed, what topic is included under the other and also help us to organize the material in our mind as a result we can easily remember what we read.
6. Be active as you read i.e. read phrases rather than individual words because ideas are clearly understood by looking at the way they are related to each other in phrases, you are also advised to concentrate on main points, this help in both remembering and understanding.
7. Take some breaks when you fell tired i.e. reading is to be taken as leisure thus schedule time for break
8. Make connections i.e. link new information with something that you already know – relate the new knowledge with the prior knowledge that you have in your mind. This helps to understand the new knowledge and to strengthen what you already know.
9. As you read, talk to the author i.e. pretend you are talking to the author like when you are talking with a friend, there are things which you agree or do not agree, thus identify the points on which you agree with the author and those on which you do not. This will make you distinguish between facts and opinions.
Is the meaning given to a word, concept or expression over and above the basic (denotative) meaning according to the belief, culture and the real words experience of the society.
This meaning is normally unstable and it varies from one individual to another or from one society to another or culture to culture.
Example– This man is a lion (meaning man is cruel and aggressive)
– Don’t cry, be a man be a woman (meaning man is strong, woman is weak)
– Third world countries (meaning poor countries of the world)
– Western countries – (rich and capitalist countries)
– This man is a child (man believes like a child)
Connotation is the use of words in such a way that the words have additional meaning beyond what they mean denotative.On the other hand,refers to the association that are connected to a certain word or the emotion suggestion related to that word.The connotative meanings of a word exist together with the denotative meaning.The connotation for the word “snake” could mean evil or danger.
use of a words in a manner that makes it be interpreted as the original /basic meaning.OR It refers to the literal meaning of word;the “dictionary definition” “for example if you look up the word “snake” in a dictionary you will discover that one of its denotative meaning is any numerous.Scarily,legless,sometimes venomous reptiles having a l ongtapering,Cylindrical body and found in most tropical and temperate region.
In short we only share the denotation meaning of a word regardless culture, beliefs or emotional but with connotation meaning of a word would highly depends on the culture, age, beliefs and emotion of the people in a given society. For example in some societies it is believed that woman is someone weak, lazy cowards (Connotative).
Where as man is someone who is strong, hard work and courageous (connotative). So if a person refers a man as a woman and vice versa it will implies the connotation meaning as explained
Connotation meaning may be positive, negative or neutral.
E.g:- When you call a “Man” a “Woman” it has a negative meaning but when you call a ‘man’ it has a positive connotation.
NB:- Positive connotation – good feeling
Negative connotation -bad feeling
Neutral connotation – neither good nor bad
Negative connotation arouses hurting fee and can be demeaning and offending
For example the words
Relaxed and idle
Spending and extravagant
Note Well that, most of the words use in literature have connotation meaning.
Give the denotation and connotation meaning of the following words and make two sentences in each.
(a)Lion (b) baby (c) Dog (d) Google (e)Books (f)Honey(g)Heart (h)Red (i)Tick (j)Books
Reading in front of the people increase confidence
IDIOMS / IDIOMATIC EXPRESSIONS
Is a linguistics expression (group of words) whose meaning is different from the meanings of the individual words which make it up.
The idiom has a meaning which is over and above the meaning of its constitutes
→to kick the bucket- die
→to pave the way- facilitate
→to bury the hatchet – forget the past quarries
→to air ones opinion- to give ones feelings
→to lead the altar- to marry
→to take arms – go to war
→to be bad eggs – to be worthless person
→to receive with open arms – receive
→to breathe once last- to die
→to let the cat out of a bag – to tell a secret
→to be a Good Samaritan – be kind to someone in trouble
→to be modern – updated
→throw dust in one’s eyes – deceive
→save ones face – avoid disgrace or shame
→to be in hot water – in trouble
→but about the bush- approach matter indirectly or in a roundabout manner
→keep a straight face – hide ones amusement by not smiling or laughing
→build castles in the sky – day dream
→to sit on the fence – neutral
→to burn the midnight oil- study / work until late at
→take the cake –take first night prize
→break ones back – work very hard
→crocodile tears- false tears
→take French leave – go without permission
→take a lion’s share – largest part/almost the whole
→she is over the moon – extremely happy
→make both ends meet – earn enough money, balance
→a dog life – unhappy life
→same boat- same situations
→have eyes in the back of your head – be aware of everything around you
→to see daylight – begin to understand
→ a hard not to crack – a person difficult to convince/a problem difficult to solve
→to go bananas – become angry, crazy, and silly
→it’s raining cats and dogs – rain heavily
→to give up the ghost –to die / cease trying
→to be under the heels of somebody – be under somebody’s control
→a non day wonder – a person or things that attract attention for a short time but are soon forgotten
→exam was piece of cake- very simple
→by hook and crook – any means possible
→to break the news – to be the first to tell somebody bad news
→to bite the dust – to be defeated / die
→to blow hot and cold – to do one things and the opposite soon after.
Argument among people are designed in order for one to convince others.
In ordinary usage the term argument indicates a dispute, quarrel or conflict of opinion.
The argument to be examined usually consists of three propositions. The first two are called the premises or the antecedent. They are meant to postulate the evidence of the argument .The third proposition is called the conclusion, which is drawn on the basis of the antecedent.
An argument based on correct reasoning is a valid argument .A valid argument is one whose conclusion follows logically(“sensibly”)from the premises.
So every argument consists of two parts. The first part consists of premise or a set of premises and the second part consist of a conclusion-one that derives from the premise or premises. The premises present the evidence or reason for the conclusion .Good arguments would often contain words such as if, since, then, because, must ,out, should, we may infer and so on. These words signal that there is an argument going on. They also call attention to the logical relationship between proposition that the given statement express.
NOTE: Not every presentation of proposition constitutes an argument. In newspaper ,magazine and even news report on the radio or television, there is usually an abundance of propositions that are made. But many of these tend to contain relatively few arguments.
Although it is also true that containing several assertions is necessary condition for discourse to present an argument,this in itself is not a sufficient condition .In an argument there must be premises asserted an inference being made and a conclusion.
This moves from the general to specific
e.g 1. If it rains ,They will not come
- It is raining
3.Conclusion…………….They will not come
1.Since all students are young
2.Barnaba is a student
3.Conclusion……………Barnaba is young
ASSERTION – A student saying that you strongly believe that to be true(claim)
INFERENCE – That you can find find out indirectly from what you already know(Deduction)
Identifying main conclusion from argumentative texts
A conclusion is just as important as introduction. The conclusion closes the text and tries to close the issue. The aim is to convince the reader that your has covered all the most important arguments about the issue and that your main promise is the position on the issue.
How can we identify conclusions in an argument texts?
Note that, in an essay there can be many conclusion as some are just concluding points/subheading. The main conclusion can easily be identified as it is always placed at the end and we can use the following phrases which are always used in concluding a text or an essay.
In conclusion …………, To conclude, To sum up …………, Generally …………., Therefore ……….., In summary ……………,
Search for an argumentative text/essay and identify, the main conclusion.
USING INFORMATION RESOURCES TO RESEARCH A TOPIC FOR PRESENTATION
A student will be given a lot of tasks to present on different topics/issues.As a good student you are suppose to know how to use information resources so as to research a topic for presentation.In libraries there are number of books,journals and other references such as encyclopedias which yo may used to read for various information.
unless you are instructed ,it is not easy to locate these resources in the library.So there is a need for us to adhere to guidelines an how to locate reference in the library as well as how to look for information .
Catalogies in the library
A catalogies are either in form of cards that have the information on where to find resources or they are online information (computer based catalogies).
A catalogies may be refered to as
- An author catalogue
- A title card catalogue OR
iii. Subject card catalogue
Library classification system
There are two main classification system in the library
- The library of Congress Classification system(LCCS)
- Dewey Decimal Classification(DDCS)
The library Congress classification system uses letters of the alphabets in classifying books and other resources on the shelves.
E.g A-History,Sociology.General Studies
C-Philosophy,Psychology and Anthropology
D-Topography,Technology an Games.
Dewey Decimal classification system uses numbers in classifying library resources
E.g 000-099 Philosophy books
800-199 General books
200-299 Social sciences
300-399 Pure Science
400-499 Literature and arts. etc
How to research a topic for presentation?
- Identify your research topic
I.e identify what you want to write about,this is always a topic of your interest so that your writing become easier.Your topic should not be too broad or too narrow.
e.g Education system in Tanzania(too broad).
Level of education in Grade I,II, and III-(too narrow).
Poor performance in 2012 form four Nation Exams.-(Standard)
1. Set for appropriate research questions
i.e write at least five research questions that you will be looking answers for them.That you will be looking answers for them .This should combine different
e.g Research topic; The formation of Africa Union(AU).
- When was it formed?
- Who are the members of the union?
- What are the objective of the union?
- Why was it formed?
- What are it advantages.
2. Collect the needed information
The needed information can be collected through different sources e.g,books,magazine,articles,internet, encyclopedia.journals or face to face interviews with an expert .The information collected has to be noted by either quoting direct from the source or paraphrasing.All sources of information used in your research have to be written so as to avoid academic theft.
3. Organize the information
i.e Start to draft your research paper by organizing it in a logical sequence .This will provide the structure of your paper and the sequencial of your material.
Students reading books in the library
– Tells the reader how you will interpret the significance of the subject matter under discussion.
– Is a road map for the paper; in other words it tells the reader what to expect from the rest of the paper.
– Directly answers the questions asked of you.
– Makes a claim that others might dispute.
– Is usually a single sentence somewhere in your first paragraph that presents your argument to the reader.
For example from the topic for research
“The formation of AU”The thesis statement can be;
“The formation of AU is to create unit analyses problem and to solve challenges facing African Countries”
CITATION OF RESOURCES
When we write academic works such as research paper,books journals or articles we normally collect information from different sources like encyclopedias,journals,books,the internet or from newspaper.To acknowledge these sources is very important so as to avoid academic theft or plagiarism.
Citation is done by following particulars rules which vary according to the type of sources being cited e.g a book.a journal,a newspaper,article etc.One of the system used in citation is the APA STYLE.
The APA style of citation
American Psychological Association (APA) is the association that has a style is comprised of rules and conventions which are used for formatting books,research papers,journal articles etc.
Two ways of showing citation by using APA system
The in-text citation and the reference list at the end of a work.
- The in-text citation
Is the reference that we make inside our essays.
Is the one in which the source is shown within the text.This is done either by Quoting directly the exact words of the original author or by paraphrasing them.
(i) One author
Use family name plus the year of publication According to Nkwera (2005).”Literature is a mirror” this meas that literature portrays the reality of the society
-When citation is repeated within the same paragraph,use family name only;
E.g According to Nkwera (2005″literature is a mirror” Nkwera said that literary works copy the society and portrays it as it is.
(ii) Two authors
Use the family names of both authors and year of publication and ignore the year of publication only if citation is repeated within the same paragraph
e.g Nkwera and Iyan (2010) argue that any work of art must have the universe where the content can operate .Nkwera and Iyan added that……
(iii) Three to five authors
Write all family names and the year of publication the first time you cite, then the first name and et al and year in other citations,
e.g Nkwera ,Iyan,Chomsky.Achebe and Mloka(1998) view language as the system of arbitrary vocal symbol through which human being use for communication and it has unique feature from other creatures communication
Nkwera et al (1998)Argue that…….
(iv) Six or more authors
Write only the first family name and et al sand the year of publication
e.g Lincoln(1930)”Democracy is the government of people by the people and for the people” This means that democracy……….
(v) Secondary source
This is when you quote something from someone who also quoted it from another person.Use the family names of both author beginning with the primary author.
e.g Diyani (1964)as cited in Chomsky (2000)argues that…………………..or………………..
says “Every child is born with inate which enable him/her to learn any language he/she might might exposed to”
(vi) Group authors
These are government agencies ,association, organization etc. Under whose name authorship appear
Write the full name of the group together with its short form then the year of publication only if its first time you’re citing it.in the subsequent citation use only the short form of the group and the year of publication.
For example: According to (World Health Organization(WHO),2005).”The child mortality has dropped by fifteen percent in the last “
WHO(2005)Suggest that government out to put more emphasis in the health sector ,especially in rural areas………
(vii) How to write quotation
Short quotations i.e those with less than 40 words should be written as a run part of the sentence concerned ,with open and closing double quotation mark. The page number should also be included.
For example. Chomsky (2008) says that “Any body can learn language regardless the age though it is true that children will master the language faster than the adult”(p 14).
“Any body can learn the language regardless the age though it is true that children will master the language faster than the adult(Chomsky 2008:14)”.
For long quotations i.e those with more than 40 words(block quote) begin on a new line indent about 5 spaces from the left margin and use no quotation marks.
For example According to Lipumba (2006) democratic is the government which listens to his people ,allow them to give out their views and has the rules of law which ensure even distribution of national cake.It is the government which works on the challenges paused by its people and gives out the positive solution(p 29).
(viii) End of the essay citation(reference)
After you have written your research paper/essay or a report tell the reader the references you have used to compile your work.This is so important because people(reader)may wish to consult some of the books or call sources you consulted.
This can only be made possible through the so called “reference “you are therefore required to be very keen in presenting the reference using APA style
Thus ,Reference list is a list of all books ,journals, encyclopedias and any other resources you consulted in accomplishing your research paper,essay or project.
Write reference on a fresh page at the end of your essay or research paper.
Include books,journals,articles etc in alphabetical order.
HOW TO WRITE REFERENCES
Reference of a book written by one author:
1. Write the last/family name of the author example:the book written by Chinua Achebe,the last name is Achebe For that case your reference will start like
Achebe,(Remember to put Comma)
2. Write initial of the other names: (starting with the first name)
In the example above the first name is Chinua so the initial will be C. At this point you will have
Achebe C.(Which is the followed by a full stop as shown)
3. Write the year of publication in brackets: Every book has the year in which it was published .Lets assume that Achebe’s book was published in 1961.Up to this point you will have,
NB:After brackets is full stop.
4. Write the title of the book.Let us assume that Achebe book is entitled “Things fall apart”up to this point we are going to write
Achebe C.(1961). Things fall apart.
NB: The title of the book is italicized if written using computer or underline if hand written,Also Capitalized the first word of the book title or proper noun if any.
5. Write the name of the city/Town where the book was published .Every book has its address inside .This address show among other things,the name of the town where the book was published. Lets assume that Achebe book was published in Lagos.
the city/place of publication is followed by colon(:)up to this point our reference will look like.
Achebe,C.(1961). Things fall apart.Lagos:
6. Finally write the name of the publishing company,there are many companies in world and a good number too in Tanzania.Examples of these companies are Dar es salaam University Press, Nyambari Nyangwine publishers,Oxford University Press etc.Let us assume that Achebe’s book was published by Oxford University Press
Thus our final reference will be;
Achebe,C.(1961).Things fall apart.Lagos: Oxford University.
Reference involving a book written by two authors.
The procedures are the same only that we write two authors .let us assume that we are writing a reference for the book written by Nyambari Nyangwine and Michael Kadeghe in 2010 entitled “Advanced Level English Language” which is published by Mkuki na Nyota Publishers in Dar es salaam.
POINT TO NOTE
– Write the Surname of the first author and the initial(s) of the same author.
– Use the symbol & followed by Surname and initial of the second author.
– Other details follow just like what we did when talking about the book written by one author your reference will be
Nyangwine,N. & Kadeghe, M.(2010).Advanced level English language.Dar es salaam:Mkuki na Nyota.
Reference involving a book written by more than two authors
Write the Surname and initial of all six or less than six authors then write the ampersand “&”before the name of last author.
If there are seven or more authors write the surname and initial of the first author and then write “et al”other details will follow as we have been doing in one book reference.
For example the book entitled”Principles of Language “Written by Elibariki Ibrahim Ngowi,Rwehumbiza Kamanzima,Shaban Idrisa Juma ,Ally Nassoro,Zawadi Jonathan and Penina Muhando in 2009 and published by MacMillan Company Limited Nairobi .Our reference is as follows.
Ngowi, E.I., Kmanzima,R., Juma S.I., Nassoro,A., Jonathan,Z. & Muhando,P.(2009).Principle of language.Nairobi:MacMillan Company Limited.
Reference that involve the book that has been edited
People who put together works of different authors into one book are called editors.Books of this kind have something written”edited by…….” on their covers.Another way of recognizing that the book in question is an edited work is to see if it contains articles or chapters written by different people.In that scenario the names that appears on the cover will be the names of editors.If one editor write(Ed)coming after the surname and initials ,if more than one editor write (Eds)
for example A book entitled “Social Political Approach “edited by Neema Mosha,Ramadhani Rajabu and Theresia Hoza Published in Dar es salaam(2012)by Good Books Publishers.
Mosha,N.,Rajabu,R. &Hoza,T.(Eds)(2012).Social Political Approach.Dar es salaam:Good Books Publishers. (This is when the author is not known).
Plath,S.(2000) The great pond.K.M(Ed)New York:Salt Publishers. (This is when the author is known).
Chapters or Articles in edited books
Write the author -Year of publication -Tittle of the chapter-the word “in” name(s) of editor(s)-Title of the book-Page number-City-Publisher
i.e Author-(year).Title of the chapter.In -(editor(s))Title of the book(PP-).City:Publisher
Egan,J.(1992).Men’s and Women’s gender role journey.In B.Jembe (Ed),Gender issues across the life cycle(PP.107-123)Dar es salaam:Ujuzi Publishers.
Write Author-(Year,Month,Day)-Title of article-Title of Newspaper-P-
If the article has got no author ignore the part of author and that of (year.month,day)
For example: Mtani,W(2013.January 27) Sports and Tanzania.The daily News P.14
Write author-(year,month)-Title of article-retrieved Month,day,year from http://www……
For example: Rodrigoz,V(2012,May)All 33 chile miners freed in flawless rescue retrieved October 12,2014,from http://www.msnbc.msn.com
– When there is no author for a web page the title moves to first position of the reference entry.
All 33 chile miners freed in flawless rescue (October 12,2014,) retrieved from http://www.msnbc.msn.com
– When there is no date write (n.d)+retrieved (Year,Month,Day) and then web address.
All 33 chile miners freed in flawless rescue(n.d)retrieved October 12,2014,from http://www.msnbc.msn.com
QUESTION FOR REVISION
1. Write reference of not less than ten books/journals/encyclopedias/Newspapers/Articles or Internet by observing APA style
2. Write five advantages of making citation
3. List five disadvantages of not making citation
4. Differentiate skimming from scanning and intensive reading from extensive reading
5. What is the difference between the “in-text citation” and “end -of-essay” citation? Support your answers with example
6. With Example write short notes on Donatative and Connotative words.
7. Assume that you want to write a very good essay on a certain topic of your choice Write the title of your choice ,introduction plus the thesis statement in it.
8. (a)What is an argumentative text?
(b)What makes you say “this is an argument “and this is not
(c)Briefly explain how you can research a topic for presentation.
9. (a)Why do we need catalogue in our library
(b)List two system used in the library and say shortly how they work.
(c)Briefly explain how you can research a topic for presentation
10. What are the technique that make skimming successful.