Study Guide for Silent Reading

Study Guide for Silent Reading

Did you know that the Study Guides supplied with Direct English are the key to success?

In the article entitled Study Guide for Conversation, you will find a step-by-step method for learning how to understand and speak English. In this article, we’re going to consider a step-by-step method for learning
how to read silently. You will immediately (and rightly) conclude that we can’t learn a language by using a single method: we need a variety of methods to achieve the different objectives of language acquisition. Speaking is quite different from reading, so naturally a different method is required.

Direct English contains reading texts at regular intervals. They are quite short and they explore and expand the story lines on video. This means the subject matter is familiar to you because it deals with characters and situations you already know about.

Here is a typical text from Book 3, Unit 21, Lesson 3: In love
Kevin and Heather are in love. He likes the way she talks, the way she smiles, the way she looks. She likes the way he talks, the way he smiles, the way he looks. She likes the way Kevin tells jokes and stories. He used to say he was a physicist, (but that’s another story). He makes Heather laugh all the time. She thinks he’s interesting because he’s so well traveled. She talks about him all the time. She thinks the sun shines out of his eyes. That’s what love has done to her. Since Kevin met Heather, he can’t sleep, he can’t eat and he can’t talk. He thinks the sun shines out of her eyes. That’s what love has done to him.

Here is the method suggested in the Introductory Manual so that you can get the most out of a text like this:

Before you read
1 Look through the whole text quickly and try to decide what it is mainly about.             [As the situation and the characters are familiar to you, this is not too difficult. You already know a lot of the vocabulary and grammar so you can get a general idea of the theme of the text.]          Read the general question about the text in the Companion.                        In this case, it is: What does Heather like about Kevin?

Listen and read
2 Listen to the recording of the text on cassette while reading silently at the same time. Try to answer the general question while you are reading. Rewind the cassette and repeat this step as often as is necessary for you to feel confident.                                         [This step allows you to match the sound of what you hear with the printed word.]

Read silently
3 Read the text silently, sentence by sentence, and try to work out from the context the meanings of words you don’t understand. Look up any new words in the general bilingual index at the back of the book if necessary.

4 Check the meaning of the text against the translation in the Companion.

5 Read any notes about the text where these are provided. Listen again.

6 Rewind the cassette and listen to the whole recording again without referring to the text if you want to.

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