Step one: Orientation
Goal: Pre-reading preparation
Look carefully at anything that can give you information on the reading. Table of contents, the introduction to the story, the title, sub-headings within the story, glosses and vocabulary. (What kind of text it is – fairy tales, report, journal etc.), whether it is mainly action or dialogue, whether it is internal or external interactions among the characters and whether it is in chronological order or not.
Step two: Skimming
Goal: to get the general meaning of the text/story without trying to decode exactly what each word means.
Read the whole text/story thoroughly and silently twice. Do not use a dictionary – to help you resist the temptation to decode the reading word-to-word, you should time yourself, allowing no more than two minutes per stanza and finally look for mental summary.
Step three: Scanning
Goal: to extract specific pieces of information.
In real life you might scan a train schedule for one kind of information, a travel brochure for different information and a theater program. From the literary texts in this course you will extract certain basic facts by scanning it. Read through the text again very quickly, scanning for the things as asked for. To focus the attention more clearly, underline some texts or lines or words preferably in different color or ink.
Step four: Decoding
Goal: thorough comprehension
After you’ve skimmed and scanned, there’ll still be stretches of text that offer vocabulary or grammatical differences you can’t overcome easily. In those cases, intense reading – detailed, word-by-word decoding is necessary. So, now read again, this time slowing down and decoding these sections – carefully analyzing each word unit. Remember to think about structure as well as vocabulary when you are working. Establish logical relationship by finding connectors. Identify to what or whom a word or group of words refers and locate important words in the phrases or sentence, like the subject, main verb and important pronouns.
Step five: Global understanding
Goal: to understand and critically evaluate the why of the text.
The questions like why did the author put this remark or description in this place and not in another, what is the meaning of a fact alone and in relation to other facts in the texts?