Dr. Janet Swaffar teaches the Classroom Management Module
Dr. Janet Swaffar, Reading Module Instructor

Introduction to the Reading Module

Duration: 02:15


Hello. I'm Janet Swaffar, a Professor in the Department of Germanic Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. My language teaching has centered on the reading process as the basis for learning a foreign language. I have found that authentic texts can provide optional stages for learning: starting with comprehension, then reproducing that text's language by reading key words and phrases aloud and then analyzing that text by sorting the way it presents information.

Research on reading comprehension suggests that about 50 percent of what is understood depends on text-extrinsic factors such as familiar topics or concreteness of information, so teachers need to choose texts with regard to such factors. The module you are about to see will introduce ways reading choices can be integrated into a curriculum, not just as a task for students to learn facts, but as the basis for their own critical thinking, their speaking, their writing, and learning about a foreign culture—reading as a holistic, multi-literacy, applicable to the broader learning objectives of a foreign language teacher.

The module is broken down into four lessons. Lesson 1 looks at what to consider when foreign language teachers select readings. In Lesson 2, the discussion turns to pre-reading—ways to engage learners in getting ready to read texts for their the central messages. Lesson 3 looks at ways to design reading activities that help learners structure their assigned reading and facilitate their transition to speaking and writing about texts. The last lesson looks at the challenges posed by the holistic approach to reading advocated in this module—ways to integrate reading needs with other activities over the arc of language learning.


1 What is Reading?
Specific learning goals, along with the tasks that help students reach those goals. Choosing suitable texts for a particular group of learners.
2 From Pre-Reading to Initial Reading
Demonstrates how pre-reading and initial reading activities help structure the reading process, and how specific tasks help students to manage their reading and facilitate their move from comprehension to production.
3 Rereading
Reading strategies that foster more sophisticated language-learning outcomes. The importance of rereading.
4 Challenges of the Holistic Approach
Challenges of the holistic approach and suggestions for overcoming these challenges.