A Teaching Method: Reading Approach


A Teaching Method: Reading Approach

Written by:

Thety Anggraini  (06081001003)

Lianasari  (06081001004)

English Education Study Program

Sriwijaya University





Nowadays, English becomes an international language. It demands all the society in every background especially for students to master it well. Mastering English becomes a need for students who want to be success later. In Indonesia, The government has already said that English must be a prior language that should be taught as a second language. It shows that, teaching English as L2 is a very important thing. Many experts give their opinion about the condition of teaching English as a second language. They agreed that teaching English especially in Indonesia is still not good. It is also have an impact to the English achievement of students that still low.

The successful of teaching English as a second language comes from many factors,  such as from the teacher, students, or outside both of them like facilities, approaches which is used by teacher etc. Here, we will talk about one of factor that gives a big influence to the successful of teaching English that is Approaches. Approaches or method is the teacher’s way to transfer knowledge to the students; the way to transfer is depend on the student’s need and teacher creativity. Teacher should use an appropriate approach in order to achieve learning goal.

Reading approach is one of methods that can be used by teacher. It is one of way that will help students to solve their problem in reading. In reading approach, students will improve their knowledge and get something new because they are demanded to read more. Reading becomes important because it is an active skill which involves inferencing, guessing, predicting etc. It also has, more often than not, a communicative function. By reading students will know about the tenses, kinds of tenses and how to use it. They also will know about the different of culture by reading cross cultural understanding, and they will learn how to pronounce the words correctly. In reading approach, many things that will be achieved by students and they can master English well. So, Because of the important of reading that have already mentioned before, teacher should teach and emphasized the students to read effectively by using reading approach.



A Brief History

Reading approach or reading method was first devised for English learners in India and French or German learners in the United States of America who have not the time to master the “active” or oral use of the language. It has also been advocated in England for pupils of inferior language-learning ability. Reading approach is like GTM (Grammar Translation Method) since it also stressed on written skills. Only the grammar necessary for reading comprehension and fluency is taught. But, it was flexible approach as far as the teaching is concerned.

Theory of Language

q  Reading approach is a way to start teaching beginning readers.

q  It is based on cognitive theory originally conceptualized by Albert Bandura


Theory of Learning

  • Reading Comprehension level of understanding
    • Round Robin reading following a set order



–          The students are able to identify meaning rather than letters or words

–          The students are able to understand and read the text quickly

–          The students are able to read actively


The syllabus based on the development of reading skill. How to make students have the ability to comprehend what they read.

Types of Teaching and Learning Activities



It is an activity to read shorter texts to extract accurate detailed information. Skimming is used to quickly identify the main ideas of a text. Skimming is done at a speed three to four times faster than normal reading. People often skim when they have lots of material to read in a limited amount of time. There are many strategies that can be used when skimming. Some students read the first and last paragraphs using headings, summarizes and other organizers as they move down the page or screen. The students might read the title, subtitles, subheading, and illustrations. Consider reading the first sentence of each paragraph. This technique is useful when the students are seeking specific information rather than reading for comprehension. Skimming works well to find dates, names, and places. It might be used to review graphs, tables, and charts.



It is a quickly reading a text to get the gist of it. Scanning is a technique that  often use when looking up a word in the telephone book or dictionary. The students search for key words or ideas. Scanning involves moving eyes quickly down the page seeking specific words and phrases. Scanning is also used when the reader first find a resource to determine whether it will answer the questions. Once you’ve scanned the document, you might go back and skim it.

When scanning, the students look for the author’s use of organizers such as numbers, letters, steps, or the words, first, second, or next. They look for words that are bold faced, italics, or in a different font size, style, or color. Sometimes the author will put key ideas in the margin.


Extensive reading

Extensive reading is a reading longer text, usually for pleasure. Extensive reading is an approach to language learning, including foreign language learning, by the means of a large amount of reading. The students view and review of unknown words in specific context will allow the student to infer the word’s meaning, and thus to learn unknown words. While the mechanism is commonly accepted as true, its importance in language learning is disputed. We can consider extensive reading as private reading in width at a pace suited to the individual’s ability, taste, and mood. Extensive Reading is the free reading of books and other written material that is not too difficult nor too easy!  Extensive Reading is sometimes called Free Voluntary Reading.

Why use it?  ESL students always want to learn more words, acquire more grammatical structures and be better readers and writers.  Doing extensive reading will help students with all of the above, along with motivating them to enjoy reading and learning independently.

The role of extensive reading in language learning:

  1. It can provide ‘comprehensible input.
  2. It can enhance learners’ general language competence.
  3. It increases the students’ exposure to the language.
  4. It can increase knowledge of vocabulary.
  5. It can lead to improvement in writing.
  6. It can motivate learners to read.
  7.  It can consolidate previously learned language.
  8. It helps to build confidence with extended texts.
  9. It encourages the exploitation of textual redundancy.
  10. It facilitates the development of prediction skills


Intensive reading

It is a quickly going through a text to find a particular piece of information. It is essentially reading in depth and is usually done in the class with each pupil having the same text. Intensive reading involves students reading in detail with specific learning aims and tasks. It can be compared with extensive reading, which involves students reading texts for enjoyment and to develop general reading skills. The Intensive Reading Technique is reading for a high degree of comprehension and retention over a long period of time. For example, the students read a short text and put events from it into chronological order.


Kinds of instructional experiences and materials

  • Reading aloud by the teacher is an important component of the struggling reader’s literacy program. Teacher is as model in reading process and students listen and respond to the teacher. Teachers should select stories, poems, and informational texts to read aloud that help expand and strengthen the background knowledge of their students.

Materials: storybooks, content materials, poetry, charts.

Choice: usually teacher’s choice.

Grouping format: usually whole group.


–    To stretch students beyond their reading levels, particularly in content areas under study; expand vocabulary; develop concepts.

–    To expose students to varied forms of text (fiction, nonfiction, poetry)

–    To enlist varied forms of response (discussion, writing, drama, art, movement, etc.)

–    To study various genres, literary devices, writer’s craft.

Struggling readers benefit from listening, responding, and expanding their knowledge, vocabulary, and concepts.

  • Shared reading. Teacher leads and students participate. This is extremely valuable for the child who is having trouble figuring out what reading is all about. The teacher reads a text while the student observes and follows along silently. This method helps build reading fluency and comprehension.

Materials: primarily enlarged texts visible to students; may include content materials, storybooks, charts, poems, songs.

Choice: usually teacher’s choice.

Grouping format: whole group or small group.


–    To teach concepts about print and print conventions.

–    To teach comprehension and interpretation.

–    To analyze textual features: word study (e.g. phonics, word analogies, structural analysis)

Struggling readers benefit from highly visible demonstration of the reading process. Concepts and conventions of print are made very accessible for them. Examination of textual features (letters, words, and part of words) helps develop an understanding of the alphabetic principle and the nature of written language.

  • Word study. Teacher leads and students participate. Word study fosters recognition of the individual sounds of words and an understanding of the alphabetic principle and its application to reading and spelling. Activities involve phonemic awareness, phonics, structural analysis, and the development of sight vocabulary.

At prekindergarten level: largely oral activities fostering phonemic awareness.

At kindergarten level and above: phonics, structural analysis, and sight vocabulary.

Materials: core program, trade books, charts, environmental print.

Choice: usually teacher’s choice.

Grouping format: whole group or small group.


–    To provide systematic, focused instruction at the word level.

–    To provide additional support for students who need it.

Struggling readers benefit from focused instruction and direct experiences applying the alphabetic code and sight vocabulary. The examination of textual features and linguistic patterns helps to support reading and spelling.

  • Guided reading involves teachers’ structuring learning situation in which children work in small group on material that is modestly challenging to them. Teacher monitors for application of strategies.  A student reads with the assistance of an instructor as it is needed. When an unfamiliar word appears, the instructor either tells the student the word or assists the student in decoding the word. During the story, the teacher stops at certain points and questions the student in order to determine/guide comprehension. This helps build practice in comprehension, decoding, sight word vocabulary, and oral reading.

Materials: books or materials that modestly challenge the reader.

Choice: usually teacher’s choice.

Grouping format: small group.


–       To practice application of specific strategies/skills in highly focused manner.

–       To provide opportunity to teacher-monitoring of application of skills and strategies.

–       To provide instruction as close as possible to students’ instructional levels while gradually increasing the difficulty of the material.

Struggling readers benefit when they read materials with which they can practice what they have learned.

  • Independent reading is as important for low-achieving children as for any others. Independent reading is what struggling readers most need to practice. Struggling readers should be encouraged to select books that match their interest and reading abilities. Teacher can assist them in finding appropriate books by giving them tips on how to select books on their own. Teacher monitors for time on task.

Materials: books or materials with minimal challenge; varied types.

Choice: usually student’s choice; maybe negotiated choice (teacher and student agree).

Grouping format: individual, pairs, small group (response circles).

Struggling readers develop fluency, automatically, and confidence from frequent, intensive

practice in reading familiar or new texts of minimal challenge.


Learner Roles

–                Recognizing the script of a language.

–                Translating the text.

–                Deducing the meaning of unfamiliar lexical items.

–                Understanding explicitly stated information.


Teacher Roles

Teacher should create situations in which learners are most suggestible and then to present linguistic material in a way most likely to encourage positive reception and retention by learners.

–                Motivating learners

–                Encouraging to set reading strategies

–                Supporting the students to develop reading comprehension


The Role of Instructional Materials

–                to get meaning from whole chunks of text

–                To have good vocabulary and integrate naturally with other class work.



The students/ readers decode (figure out how to pronounce) each word in a text and automatically comprehend the meaning of the words, as they do with their everyday spoken language. There are specific comprehension strategies that some teachers are now using in the classroom.

  1. The teacher teaches students about prior knowledge. Prior knowledge is using what you already know to help understand something new. To help students comprehend and learn from a specific reading material, they can access their prior knowledge on a subject to help them relate to the subject that they are learning at the moment.
  2. Making a connection is when a student can relate a passage to an experience, another book, or other facts about the world. Making connections will help students understand what the author’s purpose is and what the story is about. The teacher can use connections with any fiction or non-fiction text that the students read.
  3. Questioning is another strategy that will greatly benefit a student. Dr. Neil Postman has said, “All our knowledge results from questions, which is another way of saying that question-asking is our most important intellectual tool” (Response to Intervention). There are several types of questions that a teacher should focus on: remembering; testing understanding; application or solving; invite synthesis or creating; and evaluation and judging. Teachers should model these types of questions through “think-alouds” before, during, and after reading a text.
  4. Visualization is when a student can create a picture or movie in their mind while reading text. Use terms like “mental image” and asking sensory questions will help students become better visualizers. Another way of looking at visualization, is to think about bringing words to life.
  5. Summarizing is a comprehension strategy that also needs to be taught. Summarizing is telling what is important about the text. A summary might include the answers to who, what, where, when, why, and how. You can have students summarize any text that you are using the classroom.
  6. Evaluation is about making judgments on what you read and then explaining why you made those judgments (Into the Book). Some activities to help with evaluating can be as easy as having a small group book talk or having students rate a book. Evaluating non-fiction texts can be done by using a criteria checklist (i.e. table of contents, index, titles, headings, etc.) to help students rate a text.
  7. Synthesizing is putting the pieces together to see them in a new way (Into the Book). Students will take what they already know about a subject along with their reflections from the book to create their own interpretation and ideas about a certain text.


Advantages of Reading Approach

There are some benefits in utilizing reading approach:

  1. Reading approach can be used in a big class.
  2. In reading approach, students can know much vocabulary because they have to read the passage.
  3. Students focus what they are studying because they only learn grammar.
  4. The reading method requires little teaching skill since the lesson-form is a standardized and fixed procedure.
  5. The reading method is economical of time since the pupils all read simultaneously.
  6. The reading method does not demand deep knowledge of the language on the part of the teacher, since the teacher does not have to compose the sentences and questions: everything is supplied in the book.


Disadvantages of Reading Approach

Reading approach also has limitation since there is no single teaching method that is chategorized as the best based on some consideration such as: the curriculum, students’ motivation, financial limitation, number of students, etc.

The main disadvantages of reading approach are as follow:

  1. Since reading approach is only focused on written skill, this approach is lack in speaking skill.
  2. Reading approach is oppressive approach because the vocabularies and grammar are controlled.




There are many factors that influence the successful of teaching English. One of them is approach. Approach is the way of teacher to transfer the knowledge to the students besides encourages their motivation to learn. Teacher should be creative and smart in choosing and using an appropriate approach. Teacher can use Reading approach as the way they teach.

In this approach, students focus on identifying meaning, understanding the text quickly, and reading actively. Reading approach also has some weakness and some benefits. It is a fact that no approach or method is perfect, But the important thing that can not be ignored is reading is a very important thing. By doing reading students will get many things, and can understand everything related to the language learning especially English. So, it is important to know how to read effectively by using reading approach.








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Lamb, Annette and Johnson, Larry. 2001. Skimming and Scanning. Available:

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Implications For The Future. Available: https://soar-ir.shinshu-u.ac.jp/dspace/ 

           bitstream/10091/11266/1/Humanities_28-08.pdf,accessed April 14, 2011.


Ojeda. (2010). Classroom Reading Methods. Available: http://www.annikeris.com/

           reading_methods.html, accessed April 24, 2011.


SIL International. (1999). What is a reading approach?. Available: http://www.sil.org/       


approach.htm, accessed April 15, 2011.


Strickland, Dorothy S. and Morrow, Lesley M. (2000). Beginning Reading and Writing.

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West, Michael. (1937). “The Reading Approach and the New Method System.”The Modern    

          Language Journal. Available: http://www.jstor.org/stable/317672, accessed April 15,



Wikipedia. 2010. Reading Comprehension. Available: http://en.wikipedia.org/

            wiki/Reading_comprehension, accessed April 15, 2011.


Wikipedia. 2010. Extensive Reading. Available: http://en.wikipedia.org/

wiki/Extensive_Reading, accessed April 26, 2011.


About novaekasari

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