Эл. №ФС77-60625 от 20.01.2015
Презентация "Developing reading skills: essential reading comprehension skills, reading for the main idea, determining meaning from the context, tips for vocabulary questions"
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The immune system uses a complex and remarkable communications network to defend the body against infection. Inside the body, millions and millions of cells are organized into sets and subsets. These cells pass information back and forth like clouds of bees swarming around a hive. The result is a sensitive system of checks and balances that produce a prompt, appropriate, and effective immune response.
The main idea is so important because it is the idea that the passage adds up to. It’s what holds all of the ideas in the passage together and is the writer’s main point. To hold all of the ideas in the passage together, main ideas need to be sufficiently general. For example, look at the following choices for the main idea of the immune system paragraph: a. The immune system has its own system of checks and balances. b. The immune system consists of billions of cells. c. The immune system is a very complex and effective communication system.
Much of the writing you will see in textbooks and tests follow the following very basic pattern: general idea ➔specific support Main Idea (general claim about the subject) Supporting Idea Supporting Idea Supporting Idea (specific fact or detail) (specific fact or detail) (specific fact or detail)
Many people are afraid of snakes, but most snakes aren’t as dangerous as people think they are. There are more than 2,500 different species of snakes around the world. Only a small percentage of those species are poisonous, and only a few species have venom strong enough to kill a human being. Furthermore, snakes bite only 1,000–2,000 people in the United States each year, and only ten of those bites (that’s less than 1%) result in death. Statistically, many other animals are far more dangerous than snakes. In fact, in this country, more people die from dog bites each year than from snakes.
Writers often state their main ideas in one or two sentences so that readers can be very clear about the main point of the passage. In a longer text, such as an essay, the main idea is often called the thesis or theme. But within a text, each paragraph also has its own main idea. In fact, that’s the definition of a paragraph: a group of sentences about the same idea. The sentence that expresses the main idea of a paragraph is called a topic sentence.
Topic sentences are often located at the beginning of paragraphs, but not always. Sometimes writers begin with specific supporting ideas and lead up to the main idea. In this case, the topic sentence would probably be at the end of the paragraph. Notice how we can rewrite the snake paragraph to put the topic sentence at the end of the passage:
There are more than 2,500 different species of snakes around the world. Only a small percentage of those species are poisonous, and only a few species have venom strong enough to kill a human being. Snakes bite only 1,000–2,000 people in the United States each year, and only 10 of those bites (that’s less than 1%) result in death. Statistically, many other animals are far more dangerous than snakes. In fact, in this country, more people die from dog bites each year than from snakes. Clearly, snakes aren’t as dangerous as people think they are.
Sometimes the topic sentence is not found at the beginning or end of a paragraph but rather somewhere in the middle. Other times there isn’t a clear topic sentence at all. But that doesn’t mean the paragraph doesn’t have a main idea. It’s there, but the author has chosen not to express it in a clear topic sentence. In that case, you will have to look carefully at the paragraph for clues about the main idea.
Just as the sentences within a paragraph support the main idea of that paragraph, the main idea of each paragraph supports the main idea of the entire passage. Writers often state their overall main idea, but these thesis statements are not quite as common as topic sentences in paragraphs. You will often have to look carefully at the answer options and decide which of those ideas best encompasses all of the ideas in the passage.
So how will you figure out what unfamiliar words mean? And how can you fully understand what you are reading if you don’t know all the words? Fortunately, by looking carefully at context—the sentences and ideas surrounding an unfamiliar word— you can often figure out exactly what that word means.
When you’re trying to determine meaning from context on an exam, two strategies can help you find the best answer: 1. First, use the context to determine whether the vocabulary word is something positive or negative. If the word seems like something positive, then eliminate the options that are negative, and vice versa. For example, you can tell from the context that bogus is something negative; otherwise, the speaker wouldn’t be “so angry.” We can therefore eliminate choices b and c.
2. Second, replace the vocabulary word with the remaining answers, one at a time. Does the answer make sense when you read the sentence? If not, you can eliminate that answer. In the bogus example, we are left with two options: choice a, fake, false and choice d, expensive. Either situation might make the speaker angry, so we must look to see which word makes sense with the context of the third sentence. That sentence, of course, tells us that the autograph isn’t real, so choice a is the only possible correct option.
1. What kinds of reading comprehension passages and questions can be found in proficiency language tests? 2. What are essential reading comprehension skills? 3. Which of active reading strategies do you use while reading the texts? 4. What is the difference between the topic and the main idea? 5. Give the definition of a paragraph. 6. What is the topic sentence? 7. How can you determine meaning of the unfamiliar vocabulary? 8. What are the tips for vocabulary questions?
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