The Concept and Techniques of Teaching Reading


Frieda Jansen


Studi ini membahas hubungan antara konsep membaca, teknik membaca dan penerapannya dalam pengajaran kemahiran membaca.

Tujuan penulisan ini yaitu menggambarkan teknik-teknik serta konsep-konsep membaca yang cocok dengan pengajaran membaca.

Studi ini menggunakan metode deskripsi disamping penelitian kepustakaan.

Masalah yang timbul ialah sampai dimana minat baca mahasiswa dalam membaca teks bahasa Inggris; teknik membaca apa yang cocok digunakan untuk menarik minat baca mahasiswa, konsep-konsep membaca apa yang perlu digunakan dalam kaitannya dengan teknik kemahiran membaca ?

Sebelum memberikan materi bacaan pengajar hendaknya memilih bahan bacaan yang tidak terlalu gampang akan menyebabkan mahasiswa menjadi bosan dan materi yang terlalu sukar akan menghilangkan minat baca mereka.

Diharapkan penulisan ini dapat bermanfaat bagi para pembaca khususnya mereka yang mengajar kemahiran membaca.


1.1 Background of the study

One facet of education that helps the individual attain full development of his potensials is reading. The value of reading cannot be underestimated. It over reaches the purely personal and social values. Villamin ( 1984 : 3 ) says: “Reading is the key that unlocks the door to the world of enlightenment and enjoyment”. She also notes that in our daily lives, 80 % of the things we do involve reading, such a task as filling out an order form, application form, enrolment form, etc. Already calls for the use of reading skills.

Reading is also essential for academic purposes. A child will learn little if he does not know how to read properly.

Reading is one of the language skills wich is learned in English Deparment at the faculty of letters, Sam Ratulangi University. Reading in this case is given to the students of first, second, third and fourth semester. Four semesters of reading course as

specified in the syllabus are given in order to facilitate the students in reading skills, yet it remains to be quetions how far they are relevant to meet the needs of the stu­dents, how far the materials enable them to master the skills within the short period of time. It is felt important to conduct tech­nique by taking into consideration the mate­rials for developing reading skills so that the students become mature, independent, and effective reader.

1.2 Statement of Problem

In this study, there are several problems that have to be answered. They are :

- Do the students of English Depart­ment have a need to develop their reading skills ?

- What types of reading skills are appropriate to use ?

1.3 The Objectives of the Study

The objectives of the study are :

- To assist the teacher who, as an agent of change, is primarily con­cerned with teaching the students to be functionally literate.

- To suggest the techniques in teach­ing reading which is relevant to the needs of the students.

1.4 Methodology

In this study, the writer uses descrip­tive method through bibliographical and observation through experience. The writer will discuss some theoretical views on read­ing followed by technique of teaching reading with a sample material to develop students ability in reading skills.

1.5 Theory

There are two concepts of how read­ing takes places. They are bottom up concept describes reading as starting with the input of some graphic signal or stimu-lus,e.g : the letters which form the printed words. This theory usually describes read­ing as beginning with the synthesis of let­ters into words. Words into sentences and so on, until a large enough sequence of language is perceived to allow the reader to understand what the author has written. “Reading was viewed as decoding process; a reconstructing of the text’s meaning from the smallest textual units at the bottom to the largest at the top”. (Devine, 1974 : 2).

In classroom practices there will be the use of phonics and structural analysis as the main words identification strategies, regular use of flash cards to drill word recognition and the development of reading skills through oral reading.

According to Smith and Goodman, a proficient reader does not use all the signals built into the writing system. The reader predicts meaning and has it confirmed, the reader needs to change the fewer cues re­quired from the print, the more effective the reader. Thus by exploiting the redundancies by the interaction of meaning with syntax, a reader does not attend all the data. For ex­ample, in the sentence ” The butcher cut the….. with a knife”, the delition may be

completed by the interaction of meaning (i.e. what the butcher cut) and the syntax which determines that the word must be a noun.

The interactive concept is a concept-which accepts the reading, although basi­cally top-down (cognitive) is also selec­tively on occasion bottom-up. This concept suggests that reader can be taught to adjust their reading strategies flexibly, selecting the best strategy to meet their purpose and the demands of the text.


Teaching reading in classroom involves approach and reading skills. To achieve the objectives of the lesson the writer uses three-phase: approach, reading skills and the ways of teaching reading.

2.1. Teaching Reading Skills

The aim of teaching reading is to help students to find the information they want quickly besides to show the students that understanding just a few words is often sufficient to get the message.

Teaching reading skills can be divided into : skikking, scanning, on going prediction, reading for the main ideas and reading in detail (Salomon, 1985 : 55).

2.2. Teaching Reading Approach

There are three-phase approach to teach reading in the classroom. They are pre-reading phase, while-reading phase and post-reading phase (William, 1984 : 45).

A pre-reading phase is anything teachers do in class before students begin to read the selection and can affect compre­hension. The writer gives the students the preparatory activity, such as brainstorming.

The while-reading phase or during-reading activity draws the students on text and involves them in the thinking process. The activities here will help the learners understand the writer’s purpose, the text structure, and the context.

The post-reading phase is a follow-up of pre-reading phase and during-reading phase. The activities in this stage encourage learners to make use of acquired informa­tion to express their opinion and form ideas. Ideally, post—reading work should con­tribute to the writing, speaking, and listen­ing skills. Students; activities can be varied such as writing, drawing, interviews, discussion research.

23. The Ways of Teaching Reading

According to Devine (1986 : 47) there are some effective ways in teaching reading activities. The writer employs some of them. They are : question-answering, inserted questions, listing main ideas, paraphrasing, summarizing and study guide.


The writer choose an appropriate text based on the students level Then she/ he decided that she/he is going to teach reading using some reading skills. A lesson plan covering the-three approach, the read­ing skills and the ways of teaching reading has to be organized.

The Material and The Lesson Plan

Below is a lesson plan for teaching-the following reading text.

Reading text


Recently scientists carried out an experiment. They placed a monkey in a cage. Another cage was places next to it, and in this second cage they 5 placed some food. The monkey put its arms through the bars of the cages and reached for the food. When it had got the food it went into the corner and ate it.

10 There was, however, something else inside that second cage. A snake.

The scientist then repeated the experiment. They took another monkey and put it in the same cage. When this 15 second monkey saw the snake in the nearby cage, it ranback into its corner and started screaming with fear.

Why was the first monkey not 20 frightened of the snake, and why did the second monkey show fear ?

It is interesting to note that the great majority of people in the world are like that second monkey. They are 25 frightened of snake. But before look­ing at possible reason for this, let us think about another that many are afraid of. The Spider.

When asked why they dislike 30 spiders, people give a variety of answers. They say they are dirty. They hate the way they run around the house.

They do not like their shape. They 35 say spider bite, and their bite is poisonous.

The fact is spiders only rarely bite humans and generally theirs poison has almost not effect on warm-40 blooded animals. The bites of very dangerous spiders, such as tarantulas, can hurt and even kill, but most spider bites do not even break the skin.

In feet, spiders are valuable to 45 man because they eat large amounts of insects.

We can see, therefore, that our attitude and actions are often influ­enced by fear to the extent that we are 50 no longer able to see what is really happening. The snake in the cage made the second monkey so frightened that it lost all interest in the food. Within a short time it had completaly 55 forgotten the food, and instead, its at tention was totally taken up by its fear of the snake.

Take the spider’s web. It is aston ishing that something which is no 60 common, and can be found in every garden, in almost every house, in every hedge, in every field, is passed by harsly looked at, because there sits a spider. 65 In fact, the spider is a great enginneer. Spiders produce silk of great strength, but only 0,005 milli-metres thick. In life-time a singel spider will produce several kilometers of it. They 70 use it to catch food.

They use ft to wrap their eggs. And many spiders use it as a lifeline, which stops them from failing.

Lesson Plan

Instructor :

Level : Intermediate Level

Semester : IV

No.of student : 55 students

Topic : Spiders and their web

Time : 100 minutes

Function :Talking about experiment of the scientist

Aim(s) of the lesson :

1. To develop students abillity is making inferences and under­standing cohesive devices,

2. To check and to develop stu­dent’s vocabulary mastery.

Student’s problem:

Students may have problem to comprehend the text.

Students lack in vocabulary. Aids/materials :

Photocopies of the material.

Blackboard, marker, dictionary. Teaching activities :

Individual work and group work Activities students and teacher : A. Pre-reading :

- Ask the students if they know a spider and a web. If they do not know, show them a picture of a spider and its web.

B. While-reading activity:

Give the students a handout where they can read the passage.

The teacher gives the opportu­nity to the students to ask the words they do not understand.

To tell them to read in detail.

Divide them into several groups, and ask them to predict : Why the two monkeys had different attitudes toward the snake.

C. Post-reading activity:

The teacher asks each group to report their predictions and the teacher writes them on the board.

Checking prediction : Give them another handout where they can check if their predictions are correct or how far they from the facts of the story.

Comprehension question “

1. In what way is the first mon­key different from the se­cond one ?

2. Why does the writer talk about snakes and spiders in n the same passage ?

‘ 3. What is the main point of the experiment ?

4. Why did the scientists repeat the experiment ?

5. Why does the writer say, “in fact he spider is a great engineer”?

Understanding cohesive de­vices:

1. It in line 4 refers to ………..

2. Something else in line 10 refers to ……..

3. They in line 24 refers to ……

4. Their in line 35 refers to ……

5. Something in line 59 refers to ………

Predicting the meaning of the words from the context. Say the meaning of these words and phrases based on their context.

1. Carried out (line 1)

2. Scientist (line 12)

3. Repeated (line 12)

4. Poisonous (line 36) S. Screaming (line 17)

6. Frightened (line 20)

7. Fear (line 21)

8. Taken up (line 56)


The writer arrives at the following conclusion:

The teaching technique is one of the primarily important factors which determine the success of teaching. Therefore, the teacher should improve her or his knowl­edge in theory and principles of reading on which she or he may create a best way to present her or his instructional materials.

In teaching reading ‘process’ is more advocated rather than ‘product’. We do not test student every time we give them reading lesson.

The mastery of vocabulary is not the only key to comprehension. Nevertheless, it is true that with adequacy in vocabulary facilli-tates understanding. Give only key words to a passage, because without them there is a blockage in grasping the information. Other words or expressions are to be guessed by based on the context and clues in the text.

The teacher should make selec­tion of material for the need of her or his students in terms of level of difficulty and suitability for the development of skills

intended, so that her or his student may find it is easy to read.


Carrol, R. 1971. Integrating the skills. At the Chalkface : Practical Tech­niques in language Teaching. Ed .by. A. Matthews London : E. Arnold.

Davies, Evelyn and Whitney, Norman. 1981. Strategies for Reading. Lon­don: Heineman Educational Books.

Devine, Thomas L. 1986. Teaching Read­ing Comprehension : From Theory to Practice. Boston : Allyn and Bacon, Inc.

Goodman, Kenneth S. 1973. The Psycho-linguistic Nature of Reading Proc­ess. Detroit : Wayne State Univer­sity Press.

Grellet, Francoise. 1981. Developing Read­ing Skills. A Practical Guided to Reading Comprehension Exercise. London : Cambridge University Press.

Herber, Harold L. 1970. Teaching Reading in Content Areas. London : Prenc-tice-Hall.

Muttal, Christine. 1982. Teaching Reading Stalls. London : Heineman Educa­tional Books.

Pearson, David and Latham, Ross. 1979. A Modern View of Reading. Mel­bourne : The Dominician Press.

Content Area Little Brown

Vacca, Richard T. 1981. Reading. Boston and Company.

Villamin, Araceli. 1984. Innovative Strate­gies in Teaching Reading. Quezon City : Phoenix Publishing House, Inc.

Williams, Eddie. 1984. Reading in the Lan­guage Classroom. London : Mac-millan.

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