Module 7Teaching the Receptive Skills: Reading and Listening7.1 IntroductionSo far in our exploration of current practices in teaching English, we have covered some veryimportant ground: the roles played by the teacher and the learner, how to manage your classroom,language systems and language skills/subskills, and how we approach teaching a second language intheclassroom.In the next two modules, we will consider how to teach the four language skills, beginning with thereceptive skills: listening and reading. These two skills are classified asreceptiveskills, ratherthanproductiveskills, because studentsreceiveinformation using these abilities. Another interestingidea to keep in mind when teaching reading and listening is that no matter what the level, these skillsare never fully mastered. While the beginner may be successful learning to read simple signs, themost highly educated native speaker can encounter challenges when reading works by StephenHawking. All readers of and listeners to English are somewhere on this path of reading and listeningabilities. Their teachers are supporting their progress.7.2 Teaching ReadingThere are many reasons we teach reading in the EFL/ESL classroom. People need to be able to readfor their careers, for study purposes, and for pleasure. Reading provides models of correct grammarand form. It offers richer vocabulary and more complex structures than are available in casualconversation. In the EFL classroom, the many graded reading selections available via textbooks orother materials allow the teacher to focus on targeted vocabulary and structures appropriate forclasses at any level. Reading can introduce interesting topics into class, stimulate discussion, exciteimaginative responses and be the catalyst for fascinating class lessons! Finally, reading can be easilyintegrated while working with the other language skills and can be a springboard to other languagestudy.There are two types of reading that we all engage in our lives and they should be explicitly taught inthe reading classroom:extensiveandintensive.Extensive readingis the broad, general reading thatteachers should encourage their students to do independently. Reading newspapers, special-interestmagazines, and self-selected articles and books are examples of extensive reading. During extensivereading, the meaning of individual words and structures is less important than the overall flow andmain ideas of the material.Intensive reading, on the other hand, is typically done in small sections orsentences, when students need to understand information or language in detail. An intensive readingactivity might be to study some personalized, written feedback you gave your students on anassignment they submitted or to focus on the use of adverbs in a paragraph from a popular novel.