Evaluating a Reading Text and the Way to Teach in the Classroom

Evaluating a Reading Text

Going to a new school - English For Today - Class 6
Lesson Title: Going to a new school (2nd part: Tarun's first day in the new school)

B   Read the following passage about Tarun’s first day in the new school.

Tarun’s first day in the new school | English For Today - Class 6

My first day at the new school was interesting. I was going to school with my father in a rickshaw. We reached school after fifteen minutes. My father said good bye and left me at the school gate. I went in and found that everyone had gone to class. I walked into my classroom and found a seat. After sometime a teacher came and warmly greeted us. I found the students very friendly in my new class.

B1       Choose the right answer:
The passage is about
a.       who took Tarun to school the first day.
b.      how Tarun felt on the first day in school and why he felt so.
c.       what happened in the school on the first day.
B2       Match a word from Column A with a word (or words) from Column B that has (or have) similar meaning.

Column A
Column B
Enthusiastic or eager
Awkward or ashamed

B3      Talk about your first day in school and how you felt- happy, frightened, excited or embarrassed. Work in groups.

B4      Now write a paragraph on how you felt on your first day at school and why you felt so.

The above passage has been taken from English textbook of class six (English For Today by National Curriculum & Textbook Board, Dhaka), and it is extracted from lesson 1 (page: 2-3). So, students will meet this text in their first class. The vocabularies of this passage are not much more difficult for this level of students, and here only a specific tense form (past tense) is used which will help the students to make well known about the form of this format (sentence structure). It is not much more difficult or much easier for class six. The topic is really interesting that is really related to these students, and it is obviously appropriate for this level of students.

After completing the text and task, students will be able to
  •  read and comprehend texts
  •  read for skimming, scanning, and inferring
  •  read intensively and extensively
  •  ask and answer questions
  •  narrate incidents and events
  •  participate in conversations and discussions
  •  listen to and understand others
  •  write a dialogue
  •  describe something in writing.

Before going through the text, students will be asked to predict something to see the picture that will involve their background knowledge. Then they are required to know the meaning of some unknown words that will help them to read the text fluently. So, the teacher will pick up some words from the text and explain the meaning of those words.

This passage contains past tense which will help the students to understand the form of past tense, and they will also become familiar with a range of text structure. So, they will be able to describe anything that happened in past. After completing the reading, students are required to do some tasks which will evaluate their reading and develop their skills in some specific areas. In this passage, students will complete four tasks where they have to use some strategies such as previewing, searching for information (including skimming and scanning), connecting to background knowledge, paying attention to text structure, guessing words from context etc. 

In the first task (Task B1), students will answer an MCQ (Multiple Choice Question) which will justify their comprehension on the text because they require the comprehension of the text to complete the test. Here they have to use skimming to give the answer to this question. This question will also help them to use skimming, scanning and inferring to answer such type of question in their future reading.

In the second task (Task B2), students will be asked to match words from Column A to Column B. Here they will learn some new words and synonyms that will develop their vocabulary. But, in this task, two or three words are difficult for this level of students. So, the teacher will help them by introducing the words using word cards or writing the words on board where the description of the words will be provided. So, students will be able to complete the task easily.

In the third task (Task B3), students are required to work in groups where they will talk about their first day in school. This task will develop the speaking skill of the students and pronunciation as well. It is one of the important tasks of this text which will develop their listening skill as well as communication skills. In this task, the teacher will monitor the groups and help them if the students find any difficulty to work in groups.

The last task (Task B4) will develop the writing skill of the students. Here students will write a paragraph about the feeling of their first day at school and will explain the reasons. So, it will make them creative while they will write about this.

At last, from the above discussion, it is clear that this passage and the tasks are appropriate for this level of students from where they will be able to develop their four language skills properly. At the same time, it can be said that reading text not only develops reading skill but also other skills such as listening, speaking, writing and linguistic development etc.

  1.  Kabir, M.S. & Haider, M.Z. (2014). Going to a new school. In Roy, G. & Majumder, S.R. (Eds), English For Today [Class Six] (pp. 2-3). Dhaka: NCTB.
  2.  Nation, I.S.P. (2009). Teaching ESL/EFL Reading and Writing. New York: Routledge.


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