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Students’ Perception on Pre-reading Activities in Basic Reading II Class of the English Language Education Study Program of Sanata Dharma University

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The students’ perception on the teacher instruction shows whether the teaching techniques meet the students’ need or not. Because of this reason, the researcher wants to find out the varieties of pre-reading activities used by the teacher and the students’ perception on the implementation of the pre-reading activities. There were two problem formulations in this study: 1) What kinds of pre-reading activities that are used by Basic Reading II teacher in the English Language Education Study Program of Sanata Dharma University? 2) How is the students’ perception on pre-reading activities used by the teacher? This research was a survey research. In gathering the data, there were two instruments used in this research. They were interview and questionnaire. The interview was done by interviewing the teacher of Basic Reading II Class. The interview was used to answer the first research question about the varieties of pre-reading activities in Basic Reading II class. Then, the researcher distributed the questionnaire to 56 students of Basic Reading II class. The questionnaire was used to answer the second research question about the students’ perception on pre-reading activities used by the teacher. The result of this research showed that brainstorming, pre-teaching vocabulary, pre-questioning, visual aids, and KWL strategy were the varieties of pre-reading activities used by the teacher. There were two different implementation of pre-teaching vocabulary. There were also two activities combined together, they were the use of visual aids and KWL strategy. The students had positive perception on the implementation of pre-reading activities in Basic Reading II Class. DOI: https://doi.org/10.24071/llt.2015.180206
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133
Students’ Perception on Pre-reading Activities in Basic Reading II Class
of the English Language Education Study Program of Sanata Dharma
University
Vindy Cahya Ekaningrum
Carla Sih Prabandari
Sanata Dharma University
Abstract
In a reading classroom, the teacher needs to prepare the students since the beginning of a
reading process. The teachers can create pre-reading activities before the students start to read.
The pre-reading activities are essential to activate students’ background knowledge and to
develop the students’ motivation. They will create an effective reading classroom. The students’
perception on the teaching techniques implemented by the teacher is important. The students’
perception on the teacher instruction shows whether the teaching techniques meet the students’
need or not. Because of this reason, the researcher wants to find out the varieties of pre-reading
activities used by the teacher and the students’ perception on the implementation of the pre-
reading activities. There were two problem formulations in this study: 1) What kinds of pre-
reading activities that are used by Basic Reading II teacher in the English Language Education
Study Program of Sanata Dharma University? 2) How is the students’ perception on pre-reading
activities used by the teacher?
This research was a survey research. In gathering the data, there were two instruments used in
this research. They were interview and questionnaire. The interview was done by interviewing
the teacher of Basic Reading II Class. The interview was used to answer the first research
question about the varieties of pre-reading activities in Basic Reading II class. Then, the
researcher distributed the questionnaire to 56 students of Basic Reading II class. The
questionnaire was used to answer the second research question about the students’ perception
on pre-reading activities used by the teacher.
The result of this research showed that brainstorming, pre-teaching vocabulary, pre-
questioning, visual aids, and KWL strategy were the varieties of pre-reading activities used by
the teacher. There were two different implementation of pre-teaching vocabulary. There were
also two activities combined together, they were the use of visual aids and KWL strategy. The
students had positive perception on the implementation of pre-reading activities in Basic
Reading II Class. The students got many advantages from the implementation of pre-reading
activities which help them to understand reading materials.
Keywords: perception, pre-reading activities, Basic Reading II class
A. INTRODUCTION
In a reading classroom, the teacher has a
responsibility to plan the instructions
which make the students experience the
satisfaction of learning from the text
(Vacca and Vacca, 1989). The teachers
need to help the students get along with
the text since the beginning of the reading
process. The teachers can prepare the
students before they start to read. “Pre-
reading activities are especially
important, as they prepare students to
read a selection.” (Armbruster & Osborn,
2002, p. 85). Colorado (2008) states, “Pre-
reading activities can engage student
interest, activate prior knowledge, or pre-
teach potentially difficult concepts and
vocabulary” (p.1). In the pre-reading
Students’ Perception on ...
134
stage, activating the students’ background
knowledge is essential. Carrel states that
the reader’s failure to activate an
appropriate schema in reading may result
in various degrees of non-comprehension
(as cited in Navarro, 2008). Moreover,
developing students’ motivation through
pre-reading activities is no less important.
According to Colorado (2008) in the pre-
reading stage, the teachers should create
motivating activities that interest
students in the text and motivate them to
read. Marinak and Gambrell (2009) state,
Research confirms that student
motivation is a key factor in successful
reading” (p.1). It means that the students
who have motivation to read will perform
well in the reading classroom. Variations
in teaching reading are necessary.
Baghaei and Riasati (2013) state,
“Creative teaching employs flexible and
appropriate techniques so that the classes
become fun and interesting” (p.1).
The varieties of pre-reading
activities are implemented in Basic
Reading II class in the English Language
Education Study Program of Sanata
Dharma University academic year
2013/2014. The teacher starts the
reading class with the varieties of pre-
reading activities before giving the
students the reading materials. Regarding
to the number of the pre reading activities
that are used by the teacher, the
researcher wants to conduct a research
on what kinds of pre reading activities
used by the teacher of Basic Reading II
class. Moreover, the students may have
various views, such as whether they are
effective or not to help them to achieve
their reading comprehension. The
students’ perception on the teaching
techniques implemented by the teacher is
important. If the students have positive
perception, it shows that the teachers’
instruction meet the students’ need.
Considering these backgrounds, the
researcher would like to discover what
kinds of pre-reading activities are used by
the teacher in Basic Reading II class and
the students’ perception on the use of
pre-reading activities.
This research tries to answer two
research problems which are formulated
as follows:
1. What kinds of pre-reading activities
are used by Basic Reading II teacher
in the English Language Education
Study Program of Sanata Dharma
University?
2. How is the students’ perception on
the pre-reading activities used by the
teacher?
B. REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
1. Pre-reading Activities
Pre-reading activities include the
activities and discussions before reading
which reduce the uncertainty that the
students bring to the texts (Vacca and
Vacca, 1989). Pre-reading activities are
able to activate the students’ background
knowledge. Nunan (2003) states that all
experiences which are accumulated and
brought to the reading texts belong to the
readers’ background knowledge. Pre-
reading activities help the students to
relate their background knowledge and
the new information which they find in
the text (Ajideh, 2006). The teachers have
the important roles to provide effective
instructions in the pre-reading stage of
the reading classroom. Vacca and Vacca
(1989) address four purposes of pre-
reading activities which teacher applies in
pre-reading activities. They are
motivating readers, building and
activating background knowledge,
introducing key vocabulary and concepts,
and developing awareness of the task
demands of the assignment and the
strategies necessary for effective learning.
The teachers are able to select the
appropriate pre-reading activity related
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135
to the reading text. Moreover, the
teachers are also able to combine some of
the pre-reading activities in the pre-
reading stage. Hedge (2000) says, “A
range of activity types are possible at this
stage and teachers can select or combine
from a repertoire, …” (p. 210). This
research addressed the varieties of pre-
reading activities as follows.
a. Brainstorming
In the brainstorming activity, the
students need to mention words and
concepts which have associations with
the keyword provided by the teacher.
Wallace (2003) states, “This may take the
form of giving the class a particular key
word or key concept, or it may be a
newspaper headline or book title” (p.91).
Wallace (2003) claims that there are
three advantages of brainstorming. They
are requires little teacher preparation,
allows learners considerable freedom to
bring their own prior knowledge and
opinions to bear on particular use, and
can involve a whole class.
b. Pre-Teaching Vocabulary
Pre-teaching vocabulary is helpful
for the students in achieving their reading
comprehension. According to Mihara
(2011), pre-teaching vocabulary may help
address unfamiliar words or phrases that
can interfere with students’
comprehension. There is a correlation
between vocabulary mastery and reading
comprehension (Armbruster and Osborn,
2002. If the students have good
vocabulary mastery of the text, they will
have better understanding of the text.
c. Pre-Questioning
Another pre-reading activity which
can be implemented before reading is
giving questions related to the text. Ajideh
(2006) says, “Some pre-reading activities
simply consist of questions to which the
reader is required to find answers from
the text” (p. 6). Besides providing the pre-
questions for the students, the teacher
can ask them to create their own
questions related to the reading text.
Vacca and Vacca (1989) state, “Teaching
students to generate their own questions
about material to be read is one of the
major instructional goals of prereading
preparation.” (p. 146).
d. Visual Aids
The use of visual materials in pre-
reading activities can help the students in
activating or building their background
knowledge. Navarro (2008) says visuals
have an important role in building
schema for English language learners. The
material can be in the form of pictures,
videos, or others. Porter (n.d) states,
“Pictures and other visual material can
activate a students' prior knowledge.
e. Conceptual Related Readings
Activating the students’
background knowledge and building their
frame of reference can also be achieved
by giving multiple texts with the same
topic to the students. Vacca and Vacca
(1989) mention that the use of the
multiple texts is a strategy which is able
to build multiple perspectives and
background knowledge for the concept
development. There are many sources
related can help the students to develop
concepts of what they read. They are
multiple textbooks, popular books,
pamphlets, or magazine.
f. Previews
Previews provide the students
with a frame of reference in which to
understand a new material (Vacca&Vacca,
1989).To construct a preview, Vacca and
Vacca (1989) address some steps. The
teacher can start with a series of short
statements and one or more questions
which spark interest, provide a link
between a familiar topic and the topic of
the story, and encourage students to
Students’ Perception on ...
136
actively reflect upon the theme. The
teachers can also provide a synopsis of
the story which includes key elements in
the story structure (without signaling the
resolution or outcome of the plot).
Moreover, the teachers can define several
key terms within the context of the
preview passage.
g. KWL Strategy
There is a technique named KWL
strategy. Farrel (2003) states, “One
method that will encourage students to
have a personal connection to a reading
assignment is the K-W-L” (p.13). The
abbreviation stands for What do I
Know?”, “What do I Want to know?”, and,
What have I Learned?”.Farrel (2003)
states that these questions will activate
the students’ prior knowledge and
motivates them to find the answer from
the text. Vacca and Vacca (1989) state
that the students can ask two of the most
appropriate questions about reading
selection. By asking what the students
need to know helps them to activate their
background knowledge, make prediction
on what they want to read and find out
the purpose they read the text. Then, by
asking what students have already known
of the text helps them to search their
experiences and knowledge related to the
text.
2. Perception
According to McShane and Glinow
(2005), “Perception is the process of
receiving information about and making
sense of the world around us” (p. 76). It is
stated that in the process of perception,
somebody will receive information from
their surroundings. Then, the person will
give meaning on the information received.
Therefore, the process of perception
makes us able to interpret information
around us and understand the
information. People will give their
responses to stimuli from the
surroundings. McShane and Glinow
(2005) state, “The resulting perceptions
influence our emotions and behavior
toward those objects, people, and events”
(p. 77). Therefore, people’s perception
about something will influence the way
they response about something, whether
it is positive or negative.
The research of the students’
perception on pre-reading activities is
worth doing to know the students
perception on the teaching instructions
implemented by the teacher. If the
students perceived positively toward the
teaching techniques used by the teacher,
they will think that the teaching
techniques are helpful and important for
them to be successful in the reading class.
The students will show their interest to
the pre-reading activities. On the other
hand, if the students respond to the
instructions negatively, the students are
not interested to the pre-reading
activities. The students’ perception on
pre-reading activities which are based on
their experiences will affect their way of
thinking or interpreting the pre-reading
activities implemented by the teacher.
C. METHODOLOGY
The researcher used survey research to
get the information. “In survey research,
investigators ask questions about
people’s beliefs, opinions, characteristics,
and behavior” (Ary, Jacobs, & Sorensen,
2010, p.372). The researcher asked
questions about student’s opinion on the
pre reading activities in Basic Reading II
class of Sanata Dharma University.
Through survey research, the researcher
was able to explore and analyze the
characteristics of pre-reading activities in
Basic Reading II class of the English
Language Education Study Program of
Sanata Dharma University. Moreover, the
researcher could explore and analyze the
LLT JOURNAL VOL. 18 NO. 2 ISSN 1410-7201
137
students’ perception on the
implementation of pre-reading activities.
The subjects of this research were
the students of Basic Reading II classes in
the academic year 2013/2014 and the
teacher of the Basic Reading II classes
where the questionnaire distributed. The
students were chosen as the primary
participants. The researcher took 56
students from the Basic Reading II classes,
namely class C and D. The researcher
conducted the research in April 2014.
The researcher conducted the
interview to the teacher face to face.
Through following the interview
guidelines, the researcher was going to
find out the implementation of pre-
reading activities that the teacher applied.
The researcher would find the
information of the varieties of pre-
reading activities used by the teacher, the
reason of the choices, and the effect for
the students. The researcher also
distributed the questionnaire to the
students in two Basic Reading II classes.
The purposes were to explore students’
perception on the implementation of pre-
reading activities.
From the interview result, the
researcher made a summary based on the
data collection. After that, the researcher
analyzed the data and drew a conclusion
based on the data which is obtained. Next,
the researcher calculated the students’
answer from the questionnaire. Each
question statement of the data was
analyzed. The researcher constructed
rating scale. The data obtained and the
numbers of the respondents were
calculated.
D. RESEARCH RESULTS AND
DISCUSSION
1. The Varieties of Pre-reading
Activities Implementation in Basic
Reading II Class
From the interview result, the
researcher analyzed the pre-reading
activities used by the teacher as follows.
a. Brainstorming
The first type of pre-reading
activity used by the teacher was
brainstorming activity. Based on the
interview to the teacher, this technique
was applied in a meeting with the text
entitled “Success is A Mind Set”. In the
process of brainstorming activity, the
teacher mentioned a keyword of the topic
from the text that will be discussed in the
class. This finding is in line with the
process of brainstorming activity stated
by Wallace (2003), in brainstorming
activity the teacher provides keyword of a
text that will be read. The students need
to mention words and concepts that have
association with the keyword provided by
the teacher. The teacher mentioned that
the purpose of this activity was to make
students had a frame of the main topic
which will be read.
b. Pre-Teaching Vocabulary
The teacher did pre-teaching
vocabulary in the pre-reading activity.
There were two different
implementations of this activity. First, in
“A Glorious Mongrel” text, there were two
stages of the pre-reading activity. The
first stage, the teacher took seven words
that are related to the text. Then, the
teacher provided the scrambled letters of
the words. The students should work in
group to guess the words. The second
stage of the pre-reading activity, the
teacher gave the words in the part of the
sentences. The students guess the
meaning from the sentences. The students
made prediction about the information
which they would find in the text. Because
the text had a lot of advanced words, the
Students’ Perception on ...
138
teacher used the advanced words
provided by the text to make the students
familiar with the words. Pre-teaching
vocabulary may help address unfamiliar
words or phrases that can interfere with
students’ comprehension (Mihara, 2011).
Second, in a text about birth order
and personality, the teacher asked the
students to make a chart of their
personalities. In the process of this
activity, the teacher provided a list of
characters. The students were divided in
groups based on their birth order. There
were first born group, middle born group,
and later born group. Each group chose 8
characteristics that best represent their
group. The teacher’s purpose of using this
activity was to relate the text to the
students’ personal experience as a family
member. Nunan (2003) explains that
background knowledge includes all the
experiences that a reader brings to the
text. In this case, this is students’ life
experience as a family member.
c. Pre-Questioning
The third type of pre-reading
activity used by the teacher was pre-
questioning. The teacher said that this
kind of activity was used in the narrative
text entitled “Charles”. The teacher asked
the students to make prediction based on
the selected parts of the text. In the
process of this activity, the teacher
divided the students in small groups. The
teacher provided some parts of the
materials and distributed it to the groups.
The students discussed the scrambled
parts in their group.
In the discussion in a smaller
group, the students should make
questions and predict what they would
find in the story, for example the
characters in the story. The students
would share the information from the
part which they had with the other
friends who had different parts of the
text. They also questioned the
information shared by the other friends.
In line with Vacca and Vacca (1989)
explanation that the teacher can help the
students to develop their own questions
related to the material which will be read.
In this activity, the students created their
own questions that would be asked to the
other friends
d. Visual Aids and KWL Strategy
After analyzing the interview
result, the researcher could find that the
teacher also combine some pre-reading
activities. As it is proposed by Hedge
(2000), the teachers can combine the pre-
reading activities used. For Steve Jobs
graduation speech text, the teacher
provided a picture of Steve Jobs. The
teacher also asked the students to draw
KWL chart, by asking the students what
they know and what they want to learn.
Vacca and Vacca (1989) state that by
asking what students have already known
about the text helps them to search their
experiences and knowledge which related
to the text. Then, by asking what the
students need to know helps them
activate their background knowledge.
The teacher saw that the students
had the physical experiences of having
gadgets which were produced by Apple
Incorporation. That is the reason why this
activity is implemented. This finding is in
line with Farrel’s (2003) explanation that
KWL strategy is one method that will
encourage the students to have a personal
connection to a reading assignment. The
teacher raised the students’ curiosity to
read the text by asking what they want to
learn. The students said they wanted to
know Steve Jobs’ family life, his love life,
and others.
2. Students’ Perception on the
Implementation of Pre-reading
Activities in Basic Reading II Class
From the explanation of the
questionnaire result, the researcher
concluded that the students had positive
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139
perception on the pre-reading activities
used by the teacher in Basic Reading II
class. Most of the respondents agreed that
they got many advantages from the
implementation of pre-reading activities.
The result was supported by the fact of
the degree of agreement for the
statements in the questionnaire. Most of
the respondents believed that pre-
reading activities helped them to
understand a reading text well. The
respondents agreed that pre-reading
activities help them to make predictions
about that information. The respondents
also believed that pre-reading activities
could help them imagine the content of
the text and remember their experiences
related to the topic of the text. The
respondents showed positive attitude on
the statement that pre-reading activities
help them to explore their ideas about the
topic of the text. The respondents showed
positive response to the statement that
pre-reading activities make them curious
about the text, being interested and also
motivated to read a text. The respondents
also agreed with the statement that pre-
reading activities implemented by the
teacher make reading activities are fun.
E. CONCLUSION
The result of the research showed that
there were five varieties of the pre-
reading activities implemented by the
teacher. They were brainstorming, pre-
questioning, pre-teaching vocabulary,
visual aids and KWL strategy. Among
those five, there are two ways in the
implementation of pre-teaching
vocabulary. Then, there was also a
combination of two techniques in a pre-
reading stage. It was the implementation
of a picture as visual aid and KWL
strategy. The second finding is about
students’ perception on pre-reading
activities implemented by the teacher.
The students’ perceptions on pre-reading
activities in Basic Reading II class were
positive. Most of the respondents believed
that pre-reading activities implemented
by the teacher helped them to understand
reading materials.
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considerations on pre-reading
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Armbruster, B. B., & Osborn, J. H. (2002).
Reading instruction and assessment.
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This study focused on the development of reading and writing skills to a group of B1 level learners of English in a private language institute in Athens, Greece with the aid of blogs (a web tool), since Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) enhances foreign language learning. To this end, two groups of young learners were formed; the control group which was taught through the traditional coursebook and the experimental group which was taught through a differentiated approach to language teaching. The differentiated approach which was applied involved eight teaching sessions in a private language institute. Pre-tests and post-tests were administered to both groups in order to evaluate the use of CALL in the improvement of literacy skills. Pre- and post- semi-structured interviews were also conducted with the students of the experimental group to evaluate their attitudes and feelings before and after the instruction. The aim of using blogs, as a web tool, was to enhance collaborative learning and social interaction. This research attempted to prove that blogs create a social interaction between students, and between the students and the teacher. For the purposes of this research, students were involved in process writing by making drafts and writing their posts and in active reading when they read other posts and texts from other web sites.
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Reading skills are specific abilities that enable a reader to read the written form as meaningful language and to mentally interact with the message. Reading is seen as an instrument that induces learning which involves a variety of interrelated activities. Comprehension in reading occurs when the reader takes hold of the writer's message. It is seen as the basic mechanical side of the reading process because the higher order cognitive processes are not called into play as they are with the more sophisticated side of reading that involves understanding and interpreting what is read. Research findings that have identified differences between gender groups in reading performance are not as clear cut. Various interpretations given by researchers often reported discrepancies between males and females in reading outcome. Not much work has been done on the investigation of gender differences, achievement in and attitude to reading, though there are general consensus that girls have been found in many Nigerian researches to have only a slight positive but statistically insignificant edge over boys in language performance. Also, it has been proven that a positive attitude often leads to successful learning and that students learn more effectively and achieve better when they are interested in what they learn. This study is interested in the provision of clear evidence that gender and attitude influence achievement in reading comprehension.
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This study focuses on two pre-reading strategies: vocabulary pre-teaching and comprehension question presentation. Researchers have claimed that a vocabulary strategy is less effective than any other pre-reading strategy. This study investigates whether their claim is true of Japanese university students. The purpose of the study is twofold. The first goal is to examine the effects of the two pre-reading strategies; the second is to discuss the relationships between students’ English proficiency and their reading comprehension. The participants in the present study were asked to perform a pre-reading strategy, read a passage, and then answer comprehension questions. They read four passages altogether. Three weeks after they read the fourth passage, they were asked to answer a questionnaire. This study indicates that vocabulary pre-teaching is less effective for Japanese students, although students with higher English proficiency outperformed lowerlevel students regardless of which pre-reading strategy they used.
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The present study is an investigation into the relationship between Iranian EFL teachers' degree of creativity and language learners' academic achievement. To this end, six female English teachers and 81 male and female advanced English learners from a private language institute were asked to take part in the study. Data were collected through Torrance Test of Creative Thinking (TTCT) and students' final exam scores as an indicator of their academic achievement. Results indicated that teachers' creativity level and students' academic achievement are interrelated. Pedagogical implications include language teachers' need to be more creative in their teaching in order to increase their students' academic achievement.
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In most cases a common problem students experience in reading classes is the feeling that they know absolutely nothing about the subject they are reading about. However, this feeling may be more complex than generally thought. The problem may not be the lack of background knowledge, but rather the failure to activate that knowledge. For Ringler and Weber (1984), pre-reading activities provide a reader with necessary background to organize activity and to comprehend the material. These experiences involve understanding the purpose(s) for reading and building a knowledge base necessary for dealing with content and the structure of the material. Ringler and Weber also note that pre-reading activities elicit prior knowledge, build background, and serve to focus attention. Wallace (1992) argues that in order to interact efficiently with the text, the second language reader needs access to content as well as context. In other words, second language readers will need to draw on appropriate schematic knowledge to reach satisfactory interpretation of the text. He continues that, in the light of schema theory, we might think of reading as a comprehension or understanding process that involves three stages, the first of which is called pre-reading. In fact, schematic knowledge has textual representations which are represented by lexical choices made by the discourse producer in the encoding process. Thus, one of the teacher's duties is to help the reader recognize these lexical choices. Any lexical element in a text is the textual representation of an abstract mental concept. This study argues that background knowledge can be provided as a pre-reading activity prior to reading. It is suggested that prior to reading the instructor can highlight those lexical elements in a text that seem to be in close relationship with the topic of the text and by making them transparent, the relevant schemata can be activated in the reader's mind. Finally, I will deal with the question of pre-reading activities in ESP textbooks written for Iranian students as university books by SAMT, and have a close look at the pre-reading tasks suggested in one of these textbooks.
Reading instruction and assessment. Boston: A Pearson Education Company
  • B B Armbruster
  • J H Osborn
Armbruster, B. B., & Osborn, J. H. (2002). Reading instruction and assessment. Boston: A Pearson Education Company.
Introduction to research in education
  • D Ary
  • L C Jacobs
  • C Sorensen
Ary, D., Jacobs, L. C., & Sorensen, C., (2010). Introduction to research in education (8 th ed.). Belmont: Wadsworth Group, Thompson Learning.
Pre-reading activities for ELLs Planning lessons for a reading class
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Colorado, C. (2008). Pre-reading activities for ELLs.Retrieved June 30, 2014, from http://www.fordham.edu/images/a cademics/education/rbern/ 5282013 ellactivities.pdf Farrel, T. S. C. (2003). Planning lessons for a reading class. Singapore: SEAMEO Regional Language Centre.