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Burkina Faso: - West Africa - French speaking country.

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Presentation on theme: "Burkina Faso: - West Africa - French speaking country."— Presentation transcript:

1 TOPIC Designing reading materials in an environment of material scarcity Constantin Sanon

2 Burkina Faso: - West Africa - French speaking country.
Secondary school: two levels  the first four years form the first cycle.  the following three years constitute the second cycle. Pupils take English classes throughout their secondary school education.

3 Justification of the topic:
Teaching reading holds an important place in the teaching of English in Burkina Faso secondary schools In the second cycle (= senior high school):  no one specific course book.  most teaching evolves around reading So, it is interesting to deal with “text adaptation” since instructors have to rely on resources they must find for their own use.

4 Definition of reading For Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary:
to read = “to look at and understand the meaning of written or printed words or symbols”. For Penny Ur:  reading = “reading and understanding”.  reading without understanding is not reading; it is decoding – translating written symbols into corresponding sounds” (in A Course in Language Teaching p. 138.)

5 Reading and text adaptation
From the above, reading = reading comprehension (term used for classroom reading activity). Adapting a text = the process of finding an authentic text which can be of interest to learners, and bringing some modifications to it in order to make it usable as the basis for teaching in-class reading activities.

6 Steps to go through in adapting texts.

7 I. Possible sources for class reading materials
 Articles from newspapers, magazines …  Extracts from novels, plays, stories …  Texts from existing textbooks (old ones, ones from other cultural backgrounds …)  Texts from the internet  Relevant French texts to be translated into English.

8 Where can we find these materials?
 Libraries (school, university),  English speaking countries’ embassies and cultural centers,  Airports, NGOs, individual English speakers,  Bookstores,  Cyber centers (cybercafés),  For teachers working in remote areas: need to move to the capital city to find the embassies, cultural centers and airports.  If teachers resort to bookstores: - need to have necessary funds - contribution from their school administration or some partners to subscribe to some newspapers or magazines, to make photocopies, …

9 II. Tips for adapting texts for classroom use
1. Choose texts which meet learners’ interests :  texts dealing with issues that are of interest to them,  which motivate them → take into account their “pre- majors”(litera- ture, science, business, vocational training, …), their classes and levels, their interests in domains such as sports, culture, religion, social activities …

10 2. Keep the text as authentic as possible
(as close as possible to the original one) 3. Select articles of an appropriate length if possible. 4. For longer pieces of writing:  reduce the text to an acceptable length keeping it as complete as possible  select important parts or paragraphs keeping intact the general idea and progression of the writer’s reasoning.

11 5. Substitute difficult vocabulary words with simpler ones: those vocabulary words are those which meanings are not accessible (even in context) to the learner and will prevent the understanding of the text. 6. Give the explanation of a few vocabulary items at the end of the text. 7. Substitute highly complex and confusing structures with clearer ones. It can imply breaking sentences into two or more.

12 8. Omit references made to parts of text or things which are not obvious through the adapted text.
9. Add 1 or 2 explanative or precision words when necessary. 10. Make connections between ideas more explicit by using connectors known to the learners.

13 Note : The above proposed tips are not to
11. Replace a pronoun by its referent when the latter is not obvious. 12. Design appropriate activities to use the text profitably in class. Note : The above proposed tips are not to be used all for the same text. They will be used as necessary according to the text at stake.

14 III. Designing a lesson plan based on an adapted text
Depending on the duration of the class, the level of the class, the number of activities designed for each part, all or part of the types of activities proposed below can be dealt within one class period.

15 A. Pre-reading activities
Set the ‘context’ of the text to be studied. Pre-test learners knowledge of the context and/or subject dealt with in text. Communicating the objective of the lesson Dealing with prediction activities (from title, author – if known to students – learners predict what [nouns, verbs, ideas…] will appear in the text) Pre-teach limited number of vocabulary that are paramount to comprehension Etc.

16 B. While-reading activities
It is important to set reason-for-reading questions even before the first reading. Activities among others are:  Questions on finding out main idea of text Checking guesses (if previously made) Multiple choice questions Yes / No questions True / False statements Matching exercises Sentence completion Drawing / making diagram based on text Reordering scrambled sentences Summarizing providing a title to a text Etc.

17 C. Post-reading activities
Calling on learners’ experience to expand from the text; going beyond the text (= creative types of activities based on the text studied): Discussion based on the topic dealt with in the text Debates Simulations Designing sensitizing campaigns Etc.

18 Bibliography - Larimer Ruth E. & Shleicher Leigh [Editors] (1999). New Ways in Using Authentic Materials in the Classroom. Illinois : TESOL, Inc. - Gebhard Jerry G. (1996). Teaching English as a Foreign or Second Language. Michigan : Michigan University Press. - Wood Tessa (1992). Ways of Training : Recipes for teacher training. Singapore : Longman. Professional Development Training for English Teachers of Burkina Faso by the English Inspectorate, Ur Penny (1996). A Course in Language Teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

19 Thank you for your patience and attention!!!

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