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Presenter: Miriam Lear Coordinator: English for Law

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1 Presenter: Miriam Lear Coordinator: English for Law
READING AT UNIVERSITY Reading with Understanding Strategies for Success 15 May, 2014 Humanities Presenter: Miriam Lear Coordinator: English for Law Auckland Park Campus

2 Introductions Academic Development Centre Academic Development
& Support Units: Academic Literacies Access Modules Learning Development Academic literacies Writing Centre We are from the Academic Development Division which is housed in D Ring 3, APK Campus. UJ has 9 faculties. Which faculty are you from? We don’t belong to any faculty i.e non faculty but work with across all faculties. Offer Academic literacy modules (year long) to students on extended degree programmes & also to first year mainstream students. We also run the MAPS course – colleagues will be tell you more about this course later in the day. Students from across faculties are encouraged to use the writing centre – where they are assisted with their writing – must make an appointment. The Writing Centre’s times are as follows: Mondays to Thursdays: 8.30 to and Fridays from 8.30 to

3 THE WRITING CENTRE Visit us at the Writing Centre if at some point
you realise that you are already a good writer, but would like to make your writing even better you need help putting your ideas down on paper you would like to organise your assignment better lecturers are unhappy with your assignments you get low marks even when you think you have worked very hard

4 The Writing Centre The Writing Centre is for any student who would like to write good assignments and get excellent marks. Mondays to Thursdays 8:30 – 15:30 Fridays 8:30 – 13:00 Stop by to make an appointment - D Ring 3.

5 Reasons for reading Casual reading: relaxation/pleasure; boredom; escape world Practical reasons: know what is happening in the world/current issues; communicate effectively; help other people Educational Goals: increase general information/knowledge; obtain better understanding of topic; learn vocabulary; improve reading/reading speed; improve language and study purposes Get students to discuss the various reasons why people read (5 minutes) then get feedback & build on responses. I have grouped the reasons for reading into three broad categories: casual reading, practical reasons and educational goals. NB: try to fit responses you get from students into these three categories.

6 What difficulties do you experience when reading for study or research purposes?
Get students to discuss with seated partner some of the difficulties they experience when reading and what they do to overcome these difficulties (5-6 minutes). Range of techniques that one can use to overcome reading difficulties. Many students entering higher education are not aware of strategies or techniques that can help them improve their reading and understanding. Therefore it is essential to teach them reading strategies. This is particularly relevant for students whose home literacies are not congruent with the literacy practices of their discipline or institution.

7 How do you overcome them?

8 Reading at university Academic reading is much more challenging than reading in high school- deep reading (as opposed to surface reading) is required Many students struggle to cope with the level, complexity and volume of academic reading required "By deep reading, we mean the array of sophisticated processes that propel comprehension and that include inferential and deductive reasoning, analogical skills, critical analysis, reflection, and insight. The expert reader needs milliseconds to execute these processes; the young brain needs years to develop them. Both of these pivotal dimensions of time are potentially endangered by the digital culture's pervasive emphases on immediacy, information loading, and a media-driven cognitive set that embraces speed and can discourage deliberation in both our reading and our thinking." (Maryanne Wolf and Mirit Barzillai, "The Importance of Deep Reading." Challenging the Whole Child: Reflections on Best Practices in Learning, Teaching, and Leadership, ed. by Marge Scherer. ASCD, 2009) •"Deep reading requires human beings to call upon and develop attentional skills, to be thoughtful and fully aware "Unlike watching television or engaging in the other illusions of entertainment and pseudo-events, deep reading is not an escape, but a discovery. Deep reading provides a way of discovering how we are all connected to the world and to our own evolving stories. Reading deeply, we find our own plots and stories unfolding through the language and voice of others." (Robert P. Waxler and Maureen P. Hall, Transforming Literacy: Changing Lives Through Reading and Writing. Emerald Group, 2011)

9 Research on reading Research indicates that there is a strong correlation between reading proficiency and academic success Reading proficiency also influences writing – good readers tend to be good writers and vice versa Reading & writing are complimentary processes. As such, reading forms the basis of academic writing * It is important that you develop and improve your skills for reading academically in order to study and learn more effectively.

10 “A man who chooses not to read is just as ignorant as a man who cannot read.” (Mark Twain)

11 How do “good” readers read academic texts?
Good readers make use of various reading strategies and reading techniques Before reading During reading After reading These strategies can be learned by all students

12 Before reading Good readers ask themselves the following questions:
Who is the author of the text? When was the text written? Who is the audience? Why was it written? What do I already know about the topic? What don’t I know? What do I need to know?

13 During reading Good readers do not read all texts in the same way - different texts invite different ways of reading Experienced readers identify a purpose for reading and adjust their reading speed accordingly

14 After reading *It is important to remember what you have read and to further develop and clarify ideas and concepts from your reading. Good readers summarise, discuss, respond to and ask questions about what they have read Experienced readers often formulate graphic representations of ideas with lines, arrows and shapes to indicate links and connections between them Mind maps Concept maps

15 Reading techniques Effective readers employ different reading techniques Speed reading Skimming Scanning Study reading

16 Speed reading Reading quickly to get a preliminary understanding of a text or to find background information on a topic The more familiar you are with advanced reading texts the more quickly you will be able to access information - reading improves with practice!

17 Skimming To preview or get an overview of a text - reading quickly to gather as much information about a text as possible in the shortest amount of time When you skim, you do not read everything Read only the following: Title Introduction and/ or first paragraph Headings/ sub-headings First sentence of each paragraph Key words in bold or italics Pictures, diagrams, graphs or charts Conclusion or summary

18 Scanning Reading quickly to find specific information in a text
Names & dates Words in a dictionary Definitions in glossaries Table of contents Timetables & directories

19 Study reading Study reading is deep reading
The purpose of study reading is to understand and remember Good readers also struggle with difficult texts in order to make them comprehensible Good readers read academic texts slowly and re-read often (sometimes two or three times) Study reading involves reading interactively and critically

20 How do we read interactively?
We relate what we are reading to our own experience and knowledge of the world We read actively and have a “conversation” with the text We annotate the text Identify main idea & topic sentence in each paragraph Make notes in the margins; paraphrase & summarise key points; ask questions & make comments Highlight key words/ concepts in the text Highlight unfamiliar words and work out possible meanings from the context; look up words you still do not understand

21 How do we read critically?
We read “against the grain” We do not believe everything we read; we ask questions and challenge the writer’s assumptions We analyse arguments We weigh an author’s claims against evidence We discount arguments based on faulty reasoning We distinguish between fact and opinion We form our own opinion on the topic

22 SQ3R Method Does anyone know what these letters and figure stand for?

23 SQ3R Method SURVEY: Pre-read chapter. Look at titles, headings, words in boldface and italics; graphs & diagrams; summary and/ or conclusion and questions at end of chapter QUESTION: Formulate questions before you read. Convert titles & subtitles into questions. Write these down. READ: Read chapter thoroughly and write down the answers to your questions section by section RECITE: Try to recite the answers to your questions. Use your own words and give examples REVIEW: Check your notes against the text; this is an on- going process *SQ3R will help build a framework to help you understand your reading assignments.

24 PREPARING FOR LECTURES

25 Reading ahead It is important to read ahead so that when you get into a lecture you are able to Listen actively Engage effectively with the content of the lecture Compare what is in the lecture with what you already know Take meaningful notes

26 Note-taking Work with a partner and answer the following questions:
What is active listening? What does taking notes help you to do? How do you think you can take clear and concise notes?

27 Purposes of note-taking
To consolidate information – integrate the new with the old To discover what is important and what material will most likely be included in the exams To have a permanent record to use for assignments and to study for exams *Class assignments and other important information is also frequently given during the lecture. Draw on prior knowledge Make links between this knowledge and new information Integrate new knowledge into prior frames of reference

28 THINK Active listening Listen with a purpose Evaluate Understand
Analyse Review Anticipate what is coming next Mentally reviewing what has gone before, making connections with other lectures, seeing how things fit together Anticipate Select most central points & ignore irrelevant points

29 How to integrate new and prior knowledge
Before the lecture: Read the textbook/study guide Read the lecturer’s slides on uLink Read your previous lecture notes Read the assignments Read around the topic and in the field generally

30 Building knowledge Integrate with New knowledge / understanding
New information (incoming text) Prior knowledge (frames of reference) Integrate with New knowledge / understanding Integrate new / incoming information with prior knowledge to create new understanding (constructing meaning). Successful listening involves: active, constructive, critical thought integrating written or spoken information with prior knowledge to: interpret and comprehend (understand) information

31 Active listening Compare lecturer’s presentation to information in textbook/study guide Apply what you hear to your own personal experience (prior knowledge) Reserve judgment when something controversial is said Your goal is to improve your listening, you don’t have to do all these activities at the same time. A practical way to improve your listening is to focus on one or two of these mental activities at a time. If something stays in your mind after the lecture, then it means that you must have thought about it on some level. The more you think about what you hear, the more likely that you are going to understand and remember the ideas in your lecturers. It is pointless to attend lectures and not think. Afterall the purpose of attending lectures is to understand and record for use in future essay writing, and preparing for exams. Try to learn your lecture’s style and focus on some common characteristics of lectures.

32 Active listening Think about questions you have Check for accuracy
Shift your attention between the lecturer and your notes

33 Use cues Get to know your lecturer’s style of teaching
Visual clues – headings, notes, drawings, summaries, examples Vocal clues – emphasis, pauses, slowing down, questions Body language – position, gestures Different lecturers have different styles and it will help you to think about the teaching styles of your lecturers so that you can get the most out of the lecture. Some give an outline at the beginning of the lecture or review what was talked about the week before. Others tie up the loose ends at the end of the lecture and provide you with a hint or two about what the focus of the next week is. Some have titles for their lectures and slides with headings, whereas some may simply talk and then you have to listen carefully for the main ideas. Some lectures use humour, some seem dry. Some have a way of repeating important information so that it stands out. Some use lots of examples, some rephrase main ideas into different words to give you time to capture what they are saying. Whatever characteristics your lecturer has, it is a good idea if you become acquainted with them.

34 Lecture features Introduction Conclusion Repetition Rephrasing
Linking expressions Learning how your lecturer presents can be complemented by understanding some features of lectures that are common. Paying attention to these features can assist you in deciding on the main ideas of the lecture.

35 Introduction Explains the lecture structure or outcomes
Highlights main ideas Helps to categorise the information Summarises the previous lecture and links to the present lecture Announces tests, due dates, changes, cancellations The first few minutes of a lecture are very important, especially when it is the lecturer’s style to present a formal introduction or a summary of the previous lecture. Sadly some students rarely organise themselves to attend class in time to take advantage of this important feature of the lecture.

36 Conclusion Reveals connections between ideas
Brings closure and summarises main points Links to reading material Previews next lecture

37 Repetition and rephrasing
Emphasises main ideas Creates opportunity to record important information Remember that the biggest hurdle to taking good notes is that the lecturer’s speak more quickly than you are able to take your notes. And lecturers know this. So, lecturers often repeat the central ideas, rephrase them or elaborate them over an extended period of time. Repetition gives you what you need most and that is time. Speaker’s can say average 200 words per minute but your writing speed is probably words per minute. For you to take advantage of the repetition, you need to recognise it in its various forms. You have to prompt yourself to listen for the ways in which repetition is occuring. Sometimes you will just hear the word being repeated. Sometimes an idea will be rephrased. Said in different words to make the meaning clearer.

38 Linking expressions Linking words and phrases logically organise ideas in lectures which will help you to Organise your own notes Identify main ideas Some students feel that they have to take down every single word in the lecture. Clearly students do this so that they feel sure they have noted everything that could possibly appear in an exam. Given the presence of repetition in lectures, you might begin to see how this is not necessary. Another feature of lectures that you can attend to are linking expressions. Their purpose is to help you logically organise the relationships between ideas expressed in lectures.

39 Note Taking: Reasons for taking notes
Making yourself take notes forces you to listen carefully and test your understanding of the material. When you are reviewing, notes provide a gauge to what is important in the text. Personal notes are usually easier to remember than the text. The writing down of important points helps you to remember then even before you have studied the material formally.

40 Important things to write down
Material written on the blackboard. Repetition Emphasis Emphasis can be judged by tone of voice and gesture. Emphasis can be judged by the amount of time the instructor spends on points and the number of examples he or she uses. Word signals (e.g. "There are two points of view on " "The third reason is " " In conclusion ") Summaries given at the end of class. Reviews given at the beginning of class.

41 Find your own method of making notes
Make your notes brief. Never use a sentence where you can use a phrase. Never use a phrase where you can use a word. Use abbreviations and symbols, but be consistent. Put most notes in your own words. However, the following should be noted exactly: Formulas Definitions Specific facts Use outline form and/or a numbering system. Indention helps you distinguish major from minor points. If you miss a statement, write key words, skip a few spaces, and get the information later. Don't try to use every space on the page. Leave room for coordinating your notes with the text after the lecture. (You may want to list key terms in the margin or make a summary of the contents of the page.) Date your notes. Perhaps number the pages.

42 Making Notes: What to include?
A4 paper (think about where you will file this later)   Date and title   Record the bibliographic details of your text.   Answer questions: Who will use this summary? What is its purpose? What form is appropriate?   Do an overview of the text. Introductory paragraph Conclusion Scan for the main ideas   Read text in detail.  Look up the words you do not understand. Make a list and compare with your partner.  Identify the main ideas.

43 Examples of linking expressions
Emphasis words: most importantly, especially Summary words: in brief, in conclusion Amplification words: for example, in other words Contrast words: however, but, despite Some of you will be familiar with these expressions and you will be learning how to incorporate them into your writing in future lectures. Their job in writing and in speaking is to link ideas and develop argument.

44 Successful note-taking
Write down the heading Write down main ideas Follow main argument or focus of lecture Leave space for elaboration, examples Beware of repetition- you need the essence, not alternatives Use abbreviations – create your own if necessary

45 Note-taking method The Cornell note-taking system is used all over the
World. Divides note pages into three columns notes review reflection Uses abbreviations (after lecture complete phrases as much as possible) Allows for recording notes in paragraph form, skipping lines to show new thoughts

46 Cornell method To review, cover your notes leaving the main ideas exposed Say the main ideas out loud, adding as much as you can remember about each Studying while organizing material, i.e., learning – using hearing, as well as visual reinforcement, repetition, etc.

47

48 Pictorial notes Diagrammatic way of organising key ideas from lectures
Shows interconnection of main concepts and supporting details A great deal of information can be included on a single page Key words and phrases can be further developed in your review column or in mind-maps

49 Scarcity Incentives Choices Macroeconomics Definition Two kinds Microeconomics Economics Give to get Factors of production Choices & tradeoffs Land Capital & Entrepreneurship Guns vs butter Labour

50 After the lecture review regularly
recite (repeating key concepts from lecture) reflect (connecting lecture ideas to other notes and readings)

51 Summary It is important to develop academic reading proficiency in order to study and learn more effectively Good readers make use of various reading strategies and reading techniques These strategies can be learned by all students During lectures listen actively Draw on your prior knowledge Know your lecturer’s style Learn the features of a lecture Use an effective system of note-taking

52 Exercise: In pairs, make notes from the following text:

53 Understand your assignment title
MAKE NOTES HERE Main topic Key words Unfamiliar words Ask questions Paraphrase/ summarise Find examples Definitions Outline of the text Etc. Understand your assignment title Understanding your assignment title fully and precisely is vital in producing a successful piece of writing. * Give yourself plenty of time (preferably at least a week) to analyse and just think about the title before you start doing anything with it. Discuss it with other students and with your tutor. Shorter titles may look simpler, but can actually be more vague and therefore more difficult to interpret than longer ones. Try to read the title objectively rather than seeing what you want to see or expect to see.

54 Good luck in your first year at UJ!
Hard work! Rewards… More hard work! Good luck in your first year at UJ!


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