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A TASK-BASED APPROACH TO TEACHING READING

E. Mounts1, L. Smirnova2

1Defense Language Institute (UNITED STATES)
2Kazakh-British Technical University International School of Economics and Social Studies (KAZAKHSTAN)
The paper describes one of the ways of developing intermediate level reading skills through a variety of pre-reading, while-reading, and post-reading tasks. Reading in a target language is a complex interactive process that encompasses two important acquisition areas - understanding information and enhancing language proficiency. The complex nature of the process necessitates special approaches to task development.
The paper focuses on a technique of paragraph-by-paragraph reading, with a paragraph viewed as a minitext with its own semantic and structural organization. Its content, structure, and linguistic peculiarities should influence the teacher’s selection of planning strategies and determine the design of specific tasks that are essential for facilitating comprehension. Tasks may aim at obtaining and understanding information, as well as evaluating and reflecting on it. The authors give examples of different types of tasks with itemized steps and discuss the advantages of the paragraph-by-paragraph approach in teaching reading.