Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Saturday, October 21, 2017 08:15:50 PM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Developing reading skill in English

photo by

Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Touhid Ebrahim :
English is the most used international language and most commonly spoken language in the world. It is also the most widely learnt second or additional language and official language of the United Nations, European Union and many international and regional international organizations. It is considered to be the most important and essential language in the world. It has achieved the status of international language because of its suitability, clarity, flexibility, and popularity all over the world. In the field of education, research, communication, media, trade and commerce, the importance of English is so high. Currently, it is undoubtedly needed for any kinds of jobs, business, research activities and many other purposes. Nowadays, English is no more a unique possession of the British or the Americans; it is a language that belongs to all people of the world. Nowadays, being able to use English language is similar to having an international visa. It is so useful and helpful that, learning English really can change our life.
It is a great happiness that our education system attaches importance to the learning of English. The curriculum has included English as a compulsory subject from class one to twelve. In order to learn English well, all language learners have to develop four basic language skills - listening, speaking, reading and writing. Among these four skills reading is in the third position. To be efficient in English, reading is important like other three important language skills especially for the intellectual growth of the life-long learners. Reading is simply defined as a process whereby we look at and understand what is written and printed. It is a receptive skill. When we read, we use our eyes to decode written language and images. Simultaneously, we use our brain to convert the written symbols and information into words, sentences and paragraphs that communicate something to others.
From time to time we are getting wonder why reading is important. It is important for variety of reasons. It exercises our brain and improves concentration; helps the readers to understand the meaning of different topics; teaches about the world around us; introduces with cultures of different nations; improves our thinking power; develops readers' vocabulary that increases the ability to write something well; makes the readers keen to learn; gives the readers pleasure; all these help the readers to get enlightened. For studying in a high-ranking university or in any university in an English speaking country, admission seekers have to score high in reading alongside other skills.  
Although reading is an important language skill, my experiences as a student of education show that English reading skill is taught poorly in the schools and colleges in Bangladesh. Although there are a lot of lessons in the English for Today books of every class, those are not taught in ways that can enable students to understand English text when they read them.
Teachers in our schools and colleges generally teach reading skill to students using the age-old Grammar Translation Method. In this method, teachers read out and clarify the text in Bangla; and the learners listen to the teachers inactively. However, as reading is a skill, learners should be engaged in the practice of the reading skill because no skill is possible to acquire without ceaseless practices. Teachers should set some questions for students to answer after reading. Those questions could be short questions, gap-filling, true/false, matching, information transfer, etc. Students are supposed to read the text themselves, answer the questions, check answers in pairs, and get feedback from the teachers. Through the continuous practice of reading in the similar way, students become able to understand any text. Although some English teachers know how to develop students' reading skill, they cannot engage students in reading practice as other teachers and students create obstacles. There are some teachers who are not willing to spend much time in teaching reading. They consider reading as a knowledge-based subject, not a skill based subject. As a result, they try to provide students with knowledge, not with skill.
In order to get rid of this situation, the education authority should take initiative to provide proper training to the English teachers so that they teach English reading skill properly. Teachers need training, no doubt, but there are great dearth motivated and sincere English teachers in our educational institutions. Thus in want of motivation and proper guidance, the students cannot understand the importance of reading and as a result, they cannot be good readers. On the other hand, in schools and colleges many of the students of our country are indifferent and lazy. Even though a small number of teachers try to help the students, they have to be disappointed to see the reluctance of the learners. They read English only for passing the public examinations or getting a good grade. Students get good grades but their grades, in most cases, is not reflected in their everyday use of English.
Alongside teachers' teaching, learners can follow some more effective strategies like making a habit of reading, reading English books, newspapers and magazines daily, creating reasons why we read, finding a place where learners can concentrate, choosing and reading about things that interest us, trying to understand the overall meaning of the topic, writing a summary of the topic we have read, discussing the topic we have read to others, going to a library and picking up books, to get standard pronunciation and joining an English language club or readers' group. Teachers should create opportunities for the students in the classrooms to engage students in activities like read and answer; read and fill out; read and match, read and tell if true or false, read and draw etc. for teaching reading skill. Students' participation in reading should be preferred over teachers' dominance in solving the exercises. The Grammar Translation Method should be replaced with Participatory Approach where students will practice and acquire skills. Through the proper practice with concentration, students can develop their reading skill.
Today we cannot think of the perfection of education without good reading habits. Francis Bacon, an English philosopher says, 'reading makes a full man'. Actually, we see without developing the reading skill, we cannot acquire knowledge and cannot be a full man. The development in the field of education is not immediately visible. It takes a long time to be tangible. Thus higher skill in reading comes from determination and regular practices. If reading teaching strategies are followed properly and practice is continued, I believe the students will develop their competency in English reading within a short period of time.

(The writer is a 3rd year 'Bachelor of Education' honours student at Govt. Teachers' Training College, Dhaka. He can be reached at e-mail: touhidebrahim69@gmail.com)

Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Football »

Giroud`s overhead kick gives Arsenal 1-0 win at Red Star

Agency :Olivier Giroud scored late in the second half for Arsenal to maintain its perfect Europa League campaign with a 1-0 win over 10-man Red Star Belgrade on Thursday.Five minutes after Milan Rodic was sent off for a second yellow card, Giroud struck with an overhead kick five minutes before ...

Entertainment »

Ali Fazal and Shriya Pilgaonkar come together for Web Series

Shriya Pilgaonkar who was appreciated for her Hindi film debut as Shahrukh Khan’s love interest in Fan and for her viral short film Jai Mata Di, is now going to be seen in a web show called Mirzapur produced by Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani for a global online platform ...

Editorial »

Flood victims yet to get enough support

GOVERNMENT and aid agencies have provided emergency relief for flood victims but not sufficient to settle flood victims as per media reports quoting Center for Policy Dialogue (CPD) researchers who tried to figure out the distribution system in the Haor areas. Over 37 lakh people were affected in the floods ...

City »

Islami Andolon Bangladesh brought out a rally in the city on Friday in protest against price hike of gas and electricity.


International »

Iranian Army chief, Assad discuss joint military strategy

Reuters, Beirut :Iran's military chief met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Thursday during a visit to Damascus to set out a joint military strategy, Syria's state news agency reported, a sign of deepening Iranian influence that has alarmed Israel.General Mohammad Baqeri said Iran was determined to continue supporting the ...

Editorial »

Mr Xi`s new vision for China

CHINESE President Xi Jinping has laid out a far-reaching vision for a more prosperous nation and a dominating role for China in the world as the US President Donald Trump is working on a reverse way isolating his country from the world leadership role. In the domestic front he has ...

International »

May to urge EU leaders to speed up Brexit talks

AFP, Brussels :British Prime Minister Theresa May will appeal to European Union leaders at a crunch summit in Brussels on Thursday to push forward the deadlocked Brexit negotiations.At a meeting moved to a new venue at the last minute due to an eruption of toxic gas, May will urge her ...

Cricket »

Rangpur Riders recruit Brendon McCullum

Sports Reporter :Rangpur Riders have recruited wicketkeeper-batsman of New Zealand Brendon McCullum for the up coming fifth edition of Bangladesh Premier League (BPL).Chief Executive Officer of Rangpur Riders Ishtiaq Sadek said to the newsmen, " We have confirmed that McCullum will join our squad on November 15. He will play ...

Entertainment »

Titaan Chowdhury hosting `Sampan`

'Sampan' is one of the popular programmes of Chittagong centre of Bangladesh Television of present time. Dance, music, magic, etc are presented in this show. Popular face of the small screen Titaan Chowdhury is hosting this programme. Positive side is Titaan is hailed from Chittagong. So it becomes easier for ...

City »

BNP Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia appeared before the Alia Madrasha Special Court in the city's Bakshibazar on Thursday seeking bail on Zia Orphanage Trust and Zia Charitable Trust Graft cases.

International »

Threats to start war with North Korea `dangerous, short-sighted`: Hillary

Reuters, Seoul :  Former U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday that "cavalier" threats to start war on the Korean peninsula are "dangerous and short-sighted", urging the United States to get all parties to the negotiating table.Clinton also called on China to take a "more outfront role" in enforcing ...

Sports »

U-12 School Handball Tournament begins tomorrow

Sports Reporter :The Atom Gum Under-12 School Handball (Boys' & Girls') Tournament begins tomorrow at the Shaheed (Captain) M Mansur Ali National Handball Stadium.Bangladesh Handball Federation will organize the handball meet under auspices of Pran Confectionary Limited.In this regard, a press conference was held at the Dutch-Bangla Bank Auditorium in ...

Editorial »

Diplomacy must work in Korean peninsula

THE Korean peninsula is closer to war again as a North Korean official reaffirmed on Monday Pyongyang's commitment to developing a long-range intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching "all the way to the East coast of the mainland US." He said his country is currently not interested in diplomacy with ...

Entertainment »

Only Sunny Leone could dare to wish Diwali in this unique manner

Sultry actress Sunny Leone who has millions of die-hard fans around the world has come up with a new video and that too in her own style. Sunny Leone has posted a new video in which she is wishing a Happy Diwali, especially to the boys. This video is, in ...

City »

Liberation Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haq speaking as Chief Guest at a discussion meeting organised by the BADC Sramik -Karmachari League on the occasion of its 56th founding anniversary of Bangladesh Agriculture Development Corporation (BADC) at its Conference Room yesterday.

Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Write a comment to this news