encouraging critical reading

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Lecture on Critical Reading from the article of Rosane Correia of Brazil


  • 1.Encouraging Critical Reading in the EFL Classroom By: Rosane Correia Brazil

2. What is critical reading?

  • to read critically involves becoming actively engaged in what we read by first developing a clear understanding of the authors ideas, then questioning and evaluating the arguments and evidence provided to support those arguments, and finally by forming our own opinions.
  • One must actively recognize and analyze evidence upon the page.

3. Critical reader vs. Non-critical reader

  • Critical reader
  • Any single text provides but one portrayal of the facts
  • Recognize not only what a text says but also howthat text portrays the subject matter.
  • Non-critical reader
  • Text provide facts
  • Readers gain knowledge by memorizing the statements within a text.

4. Most Frequent types of Reading comprehension exercises:

  • Multiple Choice
  • True-false statements
  • Vocabulary work

5. Merits on these tasks:

  • Easy for teachers to check whetherunderstand the text.
  • Easy to mark.

6. Reasons not to use this reading activity

  • Encourage passive reading behavior.
  • (Davies,1995)
  • 2.Do not encourage students to read between the lines or question the veracity and source of the information.
  • (Tomitch,2000)
  • 3.These tasks generally refer to parts of the text, not to the text as a whole .

7. 4.Tasks neither challenging nor fun, especially young learners.

  • Aim of this article:
  • To present an alternative possibilities for reading activities through sample reading lesson.
  • Help students to become a more active and more critical readers.

8. Two Kinds of Reading Activities (Davies,1995)

  • Passive Reading
  • Active Reading

9. Passive Reading Tasks:

  • Offer limited potential for learning.
  • InvolvesSilent Reading to respond to:
  • Multiple choice
  • Superficial comprehension questions
  • Gap filling exercises
  • True-false statements
  • Vocabulary
  • Dictionary work

10. What is active reading task?

  • It requires students to go beyond a superficial reading of the text to read between the lines
  • to work in pairs Involve students or groups.
  • Tasks considered active may include creating diagrams and filling in tables.

11. Grabe (1997,6) stated

  • Making use of diagrams and tables when reading texts, students better understand the coherence and logic of the information being presented, and as a consequence, will be able to locate the main ideas and distinguish them from less important information.

12. Other Kinds of Active reading (Davies,1995)

  • * Book reviews
  • * Summary writing
  • * Notetaking


  • Active reading enables students to interact with the text and each other
  • Teacher plays the role of facilitator rather than inquisitor.
  • Active reading tasks encourage readers to voice their own opinions about the text and discuss those opinions.


  • Students contextualize reading.
  • Allow the readers to see the text as part of a broader social context that includes the writer and the readers .(Tomitch,2000)


  • HUCKIN ( 1997 )
  • Student
  • Lesson

age interest relevant profitable 16. AUTHENTIC MATERIALS: *newspapers and magazines

  • pre-reading discussion - introducing the topic
  • while-reading tasks - set of instructions ( purpose and guide)
  • post-reading exercises - activities


  • pre-reading activity - students were asked to prepare in groups two questions they thought would be answered in the text.
  • TOMITCH ( 2000) ReQuest or Reciprocal Questioning


  • while-reading activity - required the students to read the article for the purpose of answering the questions they had raised.
  • Post -reading activity- wrote on the board three questions which had to do with the authors choice of verb tenses and words used in the text.


  • The major benefit of the lesson on critical reading described here was the high level of enthusiastic student participation.

20. Questions to help Develop Critical Reading Skills

  • General questions for the analysis of the text
  • 1. Where and when was the text written?
  • 2. Why was it written?
  • 3. What is the text about?
  • 4. What genre in the text?
  • 5. who is the text addressed to? Who are its probable readers?
  • 6. Does the author establish an interactive, friendly relationship with the readers or is she/he distant, formal and impersonal?
  • 7. are there elements of promotional discourse, such as positive evaluative words?

21. Lexical Choice

  • 1. What kind of vocabulary predominates in the text? (Are there formal, technical words or informal and colloquial expressions?)
  • 2. Does the vocabulary appeal to emotions, or is it logical and argumentative?
  • 3. Are there words that are ideologically significant?
  • 4. What metaphors are used? What purposes do they serve in the text?

22. Grammar

  • 1. What verb tenses are used and why?
  • 2. Which subjects are described using the passive or active voice and why?
  • 3. Are the agents of the actions explicit or implicit?

23. Visual Elements

  • 1. What visual resources are used beside the text ( colors, symbols, fgures)?
  • 2. In what ways do the illustrations relate to the text?
  • 3. What sociocultural aspects can be identified in the visual signs?

24. Gender Issues

  • 1. Does the text contain signs of asymmetry in male-female relationships?
  • 2. Are there traces of sexism?
  • 3. Are there signs of stereotyped attitudes?


  • That would be all and Thank you for listening with us!
  • Gemma and Edz