I had the pleasure of examining Ekaterina’s project involving “Individualized Reading” which I found to be very interesting, well-researched, and informative. The “Individual Reading Diary” seems to be a manageable project from a practical perspective for both teachers and students. Clearly, this diary requires teacher-student interaction on a regular basis. The “Reading Calendar” is very helpful; every month, students are required to complete certain tasks that involve summarizing, quoting, translating, and transcribing parts of the text that they have read. The nature of this linguistic exercise is such that it is very profitable in terms of allowing students to acquire new vocabulary and fine-tune their writing skills in the process of completing these tasks. Students are asked to select certain words/phrases that they have found noteworthy to comment on; therefore, while students attempt to retell parts of the story that they have read, they can actually recycle some of the vocabulary they have acquired (students are asked to use 50% of the vocabulary that they have been exposed to). Fourth-year students are asked to fulfill the additional requirement of working on “stylistic devices”, a more sophisticated task, no doubt. Needless to say, constructive feedback from the teacher will prove to be useful at all times.
The idea of maintaining a “workbook” is a very challenging task in terms of the structure it provides and the tasks it elicits. Students will need to take this project seriously if they want to maximize the benefits attained. At the same time, this can be fun for students who are encouraged to select a book that is not too difficult (and obviously not too easy) but interesting. The students are asked to pick books that are written in modern-day language so that they can learn certain words and phrases that they can “imitate”, thus promoting every-day use of the language. I believe that the “Final Assignment” is “reflective” in nature because it requires the student’s personal input in terms of describing the book, the characters, and the plot in the process of reviewing the book. In this context, the “pause and think” method which forces students to reflect on what they have read is very helpful in getting students to stay focused while attempting to critique the book. Learning to critique a book is a very useful skill that every student needs to acquire in the process of developing certain essential reading skills. This is a common practice that most American students are engaged in at all levels of education because it promotes critical-thinking skills in students, this being the goal of higher education. Thus, this project is to be highly commended from this perspective.
(ст. методист Офиса английского языка Посольства США в Москве)
Составитель преп. Е.В. Скворцова
Отв.редактор к.ф.н., проф. А.А. Харьковская
Рецензент старший методист Офиса английского языка Посольства США в Москве (2007-2008 г.г.) Vino Reardon
This workbook was specially designed to optimize and perfect your individual reading skill. The aims of the workbook are: to help you absorb and recycle the vocabulary you get from the book you chose for individual reading and to help you better understand the book itself.
The workbook gives some advice and suggestions on how to choose the book, where to find it and how to read the book you chose in order to get the most of it.
The second part of the workbook is called The Individual Reading Diary. It is the main tool in your work with the book. It has a regimented structure with some tasks to do monthly and it also includes ^ which you need to complete after having read the book and which is the main indicator of your comprehension of the book.
The basic requirements for your individual reading activity are:
the 3d-year and the 4th-year students are to read 300-350 pages a term (assuming that there are approximately 350-400 words on a page). Usually it’s one book per one term.
What to read
In contrast to the home reading classes where you read the book given, you can choose the book for the individual reading yourself. Here are some tips to help you make the choice:
*(See Appendix 1 for the list of the English books that can be borrowed from Samara State University Library)
How to read
After you read a few books in English, you will see that your English has become better. You will start using new vocabulary and grammar in your essays, speeches, and e-mail messages. You will be surprised, but English phrases will just come to you when you are writing or speaking! Things like the past simple tense and how to use the word "since" will become part of you. You will use them automatically, without thinking. Correct phrases will just appear in your head.
It will be easy to use English, because your brain will only be repeating the things that it has seen many times. By reading a book in English, you have given your brain thousands of English sentences. They are part of you now. How can you make a mistake and say "I feeled bad", if you have seen the correct phrase ("I felt bad") 250 times in the last book you've read?
To promote and develop this process of “remembering” new vocabulary and grammar, the workbook ^ was designed. The Individual Reading Diary is intended for one book. After you’ve read the book you need to complete the Final Assignment which you must hand in to the teacher.
Individual Reading Diary (IRD)
The first page of the IRD is the ^ where you mark the pages read every month of each term.
The second page of the IRD is the List of Characters. Here you mark the peculiar features of the main characters which will later help you to analyze the book in general.
The next 8 parts of the IRD contain tasks for every month of each term:
For tasks 1,3 and 5 use "pause and think" method:
If you don't like to stop reading (to look up a word in your dictionary or add a phrase to the Diary), you can write down all the interesting sentences, or you can underline them in the book with a pencil. This way, you can handle these sentences later.
Another important piece of advice is that you don't have to use the above strategy all the time. Reading in this mode can be quite exhausting, so don't do it when you're tired after a long reading session. Also, do not try to give equal attention to every sentence. Some sentences in books (e.g. long poetic descriptions) do not contain phrases or structures that are useful for building your own sentences. Some characters in books use weird slang expressions which aren't very useful either.
Finally, the "pause and think" technique will not always make you remember the exact way to say something. But perhaps you'll remember that this particular type of sentence is "weird" or "difficult" in English. If you remember that, it will at least make you stop before you write that sentence, and look it up instead of making a careless mistake.
Former President Jimmy Carter will visit Venezuela next week to mediate talks between the government and its opposition, which have been locked in a power struggle since a failed coup.
The Final Assignment is a set of tasks that you do after you’ve finished reading the book. You hand in this paper to the teacher to get the final mark for your work during the term/year.
The Final Assignment has 7 tasks:
Here you can mention:
September - December
February - May
List of Characters:
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