FIVE POSSIBLE METHODS IN TEACHING READING
Iqbal Nurul Azhar
Tidak ada satupun metode pengajaran membaca atau kombinasi metode pengajaran membaca
yang dimiliki seorang guru atau dosen yang sukses mengajarkan membaca pada semua jenis
siswa/mahasiswa. Namun meskipun demikian tidak ada salahnya apabila seorang dosen atau
guru memiliki dan menerapkan satu atau dua metode yang disukai di dalam kelas. Dengan
metode-metode yang diterapkan tersebut diharapkan guru atau dosen akan memberikan catatan
kecil untuk revisi dan pengembangan ke depan sehingga mampu melahirnya metode yang lebih
baik dan sempurna. Artikel ini mencoba memaparkan lima metode pengajaran membaca.
Diharapkan dari pemaparan ini, guru atau dosen akan berkenan menerapkannya, memberikan
catatan dan mengembangkan metode tersebut sehingga menjadi lebih sempurna di masa yang
For long time, methods for teaching reading for English Department students have raised
controversy. The controversy is well debated as important as the statement that reading
is important for the students who are its major focus of concern. Early reading ability
effects academic success across the department curriculum, and students. Lecturers and
university policy maker must pay much concern to this issues.
The international reading association has developed position statements on several
important issues related to beginning reading instruction. These statements are aimed to
clarify association’s stance on method for teaching beginning reading. A reading method is
a set of teaching and learning materials and/or activities often given a label, such as
phonic method, literature based method, or language experience method (international reading
The statements say that there is no single method or single combination methods that can
successfully teach all students to read. Therefore a teacher/a lecturer must have a strong
knowledge of multiple methods for teaching reading and a strong knowledge of the students
in their care so they can create the appropriate balance of methods needed for the students they teach. (international reading association, 1999).
Although there is no single method or single combination methods that can successfully
teach all students to read, it is still essential for teaching reading experts to conduct
studies and invent better methods to revise the old ones. As a result, methods have
been found and implemented in reading subject in classroom. At least more than ten methods
have been developed and implemented and some of them have become trends, yet only five of
them to be highlighted in this article, those are; (1) Choral Reading (CR) Method,
(2) Paired Reading (PR) method, , (3) PORPE method, (4) KWL method and (5) SQ4R method.
These methods are taken as the main discussion in this article since they (some of the
methods) can easily be memorized through the acronym/abbreviation of their names and
implemented in class room. Furthermore they have become trends in teaching reading
This articles reviews recent trends in the study of reading methods. It introduces and
discusses the six methods in teaching reading in the classroom.
B. The Five Possible Methods in Teaching Reading
B.1 Choral Reading (CR) Method
The first reading method is called Choral Reading Method, or frequently called “unison
reading.” Choral method provides many opportunities for repeated readings of a particular
piece, and gives practice in oral reading. Choral reading is particularly suitable to
poetry and rhymes. There are four principles for selecting materials that are planned
to read in chorus or together. The principles are:
1. Try to take short selection of stories or poems.
2. Select the material that every student can read easily.
3. Look for something with an attractive title that will make imaginations work.
4. Select a poem or story that will come alive when it’s read aloud, words with charming
sounds, contrast of some sort that can be interpreted, mood that can be improved through
verbal interpretation or dialogue that draws personality.
To prepare, each student reads the whole selection that is going to be chorally read.
One can read it aloud with the other person following along silently. Then the readers
read the piece together. A few repetitions are necessary to fix the piece in the students’
Next comes the hottest part. An almost infinite number of possibilities exist for choral
reading. Try to decide on the most fitting voice elements to strengthen the sense of the
selection. Dissimilarity is the key. Use one or two simple classifications for the voices
for example, high and low, as well as strong and soft. Here are just a few of the possible
1. Alternate slow and fast lines, stanzas, or paragraphs.
2. Alternate loud and soft lines.
3. Alternate low and high voices.
4. Emphasize key words and phrases by reading them in a louder or softer voice.
5. Pause for a specified number of silent “beats” before the students join in and
6. Clap or make a certain sound at the end of certain lines, stanzas, or paragraphs.
Choral reading is like improvisational affected behavior. The significance in
choral method is that it is a amusing way to put into practice reading. Pleasure can
easily be found during the practice. Don’t worry about the excellence!
B.2 The Paired Reading (PR) Method
The paired reading was formerly used by parents with their children at home. But because
of its advantages, the use of this method then was modified to broader area. It has also
been utilized by schools to conduct classroom action research or to train tutors to read
with students on a regular basis in natural settings.
The technique allows the students to be supported while reading texts of greater complexity
levels than they would be able to read individually.
Evaluation studies show that students involved in paired reading, on the average, make
three times the normal progress in reading accuracy and five times the normal progress
in reading comprehension (www. paired_rdg_method.html).
This method has been shown to be successful with students at all levels of skill and
ability, ranging from the students in special class for slow learners, to students who are
beyond average in reading skills competence. Studies indicate an increase in reading
fluency, comprehension and accuracy. In addition, research indicates that students find
the method easy to use, and feel they becomes a competent readers as a result of paired
reading. (www. paired_rdg_method.html).
a. At the first Reading Session
1. Make an agreement on reading times
2. Make also an agreement about starting signal
3. Teacher/lecturer reviews how the method works
b. Before Reading
1. Student pick up reading materials and can exchange among them as they like
2. Find a comfortable place that far away from distractions
c. Reading in Duet
1. Always start by reading together
2. It is wise to have non-critical correction of errors works: if a student makes an error, the tutor only says the word and the student repeats it
d. Reading Solo
1. Student and lecturer agree on a solo reading signal
2. Praise the student when the signal is used
3. Tutor continues to offer assistance and commend during solo reading
e. Return to Duet Reading
1. Tutor corrects student’s error (gives word and student repeats it).
2. Return to duet reading until the students hear the signals of reading solo
Try to always relax and discuss what the students have read
B.3 PORPE Method
PORPE is a method to study textbook materials in which the students create and answer
essay questions. It can be a time-consuming process, but it is an excellent means for
preparing for essay exams (www.arc.sbc.edu/porpe.html)
There are five steps in this learning strategy. Those steps are: Predict, Organize,
Rehearse, Practice and Evaluate.
1. Predict: After reading the chapter, predict possible essay questions from the
information contained in the text. In the arrangement of these questions, the students
should evade questions that begin with “what,” “who” or “when” and do not include
analysis.Some key question words are “explain,” “discuss,” “criticize,” “evaluate,”
“contrast” and “compare”
2. Organize: few days before the exam, the organization of information is needed to answer
the predicted questions. The organization can be done by outlining or by other methods
such as mapping. Main concepts and supporting details to answer the questions are highly
recommended to be summarized. The more information is organized, the more advantage can
be taken to arrange the practice answers..
3. Rehearse: Recite aloud the information and examine the students memory. Reciting aloud
must be performed because the more senses that are involved in forming the memory,
the better understanding the students will get. This step helps students to place the key
ideas, examples, and overall organization in students’ long-term memory.
4. Practice: In practicing, the students’ answer the students’ predicted essay questions
from memory. The students can draft an outline of the essay or organize a complete answer.
5. Evaluate: Evaluate the students’ work by asking the following question: Do I have
enough clear examples? Is my answer complete, truthful, and suitable? Is there anything I
should study before taking the exam?
B.4. KWL Method
In recent times, an instructional method known as K-W-L, developed by Ogle (1986) has
been implemented in classrooms. Students’ prior knowledge is activated by asking them
what they already know; then students set goals focusing on what they want to learn;
and after reading, students discuss what they have studied. Students apply higher-order
thinking strategies which assist them to build meaning from what they read and help them
examine their progress toward their goals. A worksheet is given to every student that
includes columns for each of these activities. (www.ncrel2.org.htm)
KWL is aimed to be an exercise for a study group or class that can direct the students
in reading and understanding a text. The students can adjust it to working alone.
The method is formed of only three stages that reflect a worksheet of three columns
with the three letters. The three stages is intended to discover the following information;
a. what the students Know
b. what the students Will/Want to know
c. and what the students Learned
a. K stands for Know. This first stage occasionally astonishing: Think first what the
students understand about the topic and make a list about that. This activity constructs
a knowledge of the new material. Build a scaffold to support it. Think of it as a
Before looking at the text, think of terms, phrases, or keywords about the topic,
either in the students class or in a study group.
• Record these in the K column of the students chart until the students cannot think
• Engage the students’ group in a discussion about what the students wrote in the K
• Organize the entries into general categories.
b. W stands for Will or Want. The second stage is to list a series of questions of what the
students want to know more of the subject, based upon what the students listed in K.
• Preview the text’s table of contents, headings, pictures, charts etc.
Discuss what the students want to learn
• List some thoughts on what the students want, or expect to learn, generally or
specifically.Think in terms of what the students will learn, or what do the
students want to learn about this.
• Turn all sentences into questions before writing them down.
They will help the students focus the students’ attention during reading.
• List the questions by importance.
c. L stands for Learned. The final stage is to answer the students’ questions, as well
as to list what new information the students have learned. Either while reading or
after the students have finished.
• List out what the students learn as the students read, either by section, or
after the whole work, whichever is comfortable for the students.
• Check it against the W column, what the students wanted to learn
• Create symbols to indicate main ideas, surprising ideas, questionable ideas, and
those the students don’t understand!
d. Expand this exercise beyond K W L:
We can add an H to make this method complete. H stands for How. By adding this,
we can learn more. This H can be done by easily by posing new questions about the
topic. The questions my form: “How can I learn more or answer questions not answered
in my worksheet. These include other sources of information, including: organizations,
experts, tutors, websites, librarians, etc. Below is the sample K-W-L-H
e. How Does It Work?
1. On the chalkboard, on an overhead, on a handout, or on students’ individual
clean sheets, three/four (the last is optional) columns should be drawn.
2. Label Column 1 K, Column 2 W, Column 3 L, Colum 4 H (Additional)
3. Before reading (or viewing or listening), students fill in the Know column with words,
terms, or phrases from their background or prior knowledge. If the teachers are having
them draw on a topic previously learned, then the K column may be topic-related.
But if the topic is something brand-new, and they don’t know anything (or much) about
it, teachers should use the K column to have them bringing to mind a similar, analogous,
or broader idea.
4. Then have students predict what they might learn about the topic, which might follow a
quick glance at the topic headings, pictures, and charts that are found in the reading.
This helps set their purpose for reading and focuses their attention on key ideas.
5. Alternatively, you might have students put in the middle column what they want to
learn about the topic.
6. After reading, students should fill in their new knowledge gained from reading the
content. They can also clear up misperceptions about the topic which might have shown
up in the Know column before they actually read anything. This is the stage of
B.5. SQ4R Method
This SQ4R Method is very practical to help students keep studying organized and efficient.
The steps to SQ4R are Survey, Question, Read, Recite, Record, Review. These steps are
explained in the steps below.
Students should skim and scan the chapter. The purpose of surveying the chapter
is to get the general idea of the content, structure, organization, and plan of
the chapter. Surveying the chapter gives the “big picture” a framework of the main
ideas, which will help to hold the details together later (Richardson & Morgan, 1997).
• Titles, headings, and subheadings
• Caption under pictures, charts, graphs or maps
• review questions or teacher-made study guides
• Introduction and conclusion
• Bold or italicized print
• First and last sentences in paragraphs
• Summary and Footnotes (www. reading/sq3r.html)
After surveying the entirely text, the next is to focus to a particular information in
a particular place in the writing. Survey each chapter. Survey a chapter assignment before
the students actually read it. Survey should tell the scope of the content, how different
topics are organized, and what the author’s purpose and point of view are. The chapter
survey will also give the students sufficient background information for class notes.
? Read the chapter title.
? Read the chapter objectives.
? Read the chapter summary or review.
? Read the major headings and subheadings.
? Read the visual aids.
? Read the italicized and/or underlined words and terms.
Try also to survey the illustrations. Our society is visually oriented; authors and
publishers are well aware that effective use of illustrations in textbooks is more
necessary than ever. Illustrations can literally replace hundreds of words and convey
a message more dramatically and quickly than a comparable section of text. Formats range
from equations, theorems, and formulas to tables and graphic illustrations.
Having students develop questions gives them a purpose for reading. Reading for
specific purposes positively influences comprehension (Narvaez in Santa, Havens,
and Valdes, 2004).
Setting a purpose also aids the student in recalling information. Developing questions
prior to reading results in spontaneous attempts to answer the questions based on
information already known, increased concentration and attention while reading to find
an answer to the question, and increased comprehension due to the mind in its attempt
to find an answer to the question.
Before beginning to read, students should turn each title and subtitle into a question.
Practice will make this skill automatic (Richardson & Morgan). For example, if they are
reading part of a chapter called “Functions of Word Formation Processes,” the teacher
should lead the students to ask themselves, “What are the functions of Word Formation
Reading promotes an active search for answers to the specific questions that students
have developed. It forces the student to concentrate for better comprehension and aids
in lengthening attention span (Richardson & Morgan, 1997).
Students should read each section of the text to answer questions that were developed
in the step above. If a word meaning is not clear through its use in the selection,
reread. If it is still unclear, underline the word or jot it down and look it up when
students finish reading.
? Question in mind: What is the writer’s purpose? What is he trying to get the
reader to think or do? Is he giving facts or his opinions?
? Look for answers to the questions that have been developed in mind.
? Reread captions under pictures, charts, graphs, or maps.
? Note all the underlined, italicized, or bold printed words or phrases.
? Study graphic aids.
? Reduce the speed for difficult passages.
? Stop and reread parts that are not clear.
Recite the main ideas, in other words, aloud or to the students, after finishing a page.
Check the comprehension and make sure the students have the correct information.
Do the same for the major points after reading each section or chapter.
By reciting what the students’ read, the students are able to see how much information
the students absorbed, areas the students didn’t understand and need to review, and
answers to the questions the students generated for the students. If the students
cannot answer the questions, go back to the material and reread.
Marking the textbook increases understanding of the material for the present and for
future reference. The process of selecting and marking requires the students to find
the main ideas. Later, when the students evaluate the text for exam purposes,
the students will find that the textbook markings and highlights enable the students
to grab the essential points without having to read whole paragraphs and chapters again.
Write down the central points for the chapter or section in the notebook. Do each
assignment before class. This will prepare the students to take part in class
discussions which will, in turn, help the students memorize the material the students
have read and to put it into mind.
Underlining key words and sentences will make those items stand out in the mind.
Summaries enable the students to write a brief outline of a section in other words.
Expand the students own system of reading. Use whatever facilitates the students
retention of the material and works best for the students. The students might use the
following: a double underline for main ideas and a single underline for supporting
points; a bracket to enclose several consecutive lines that are important, rather
than underlining all of them; or a box or circle around key terms.
Use other words. Marginal notations and summaries should be in other language so the
students can readily recall the original material as the students review.
Using the text in this manner enables the students to extract all that the book has to
offer the students in a learning situation, now and in the future.
The students will be able to use the texts for review in later softwares in the same field or in a related field, thus reducing the need to re-read the material. The students will reap the most benefit from reviewing the notes in the text, rather than being distracted by notes the students may find written by some other person in a used text.
Teachers should include regular review periods as an effective strategy for retaining
information. Regular reviews help students remember more of the information, thereby
changing the nature of studying done at exam time. Rather than relearning material that
has been forgotten because students haven’t looked at it since reading it or writing it
down, preparing for an exam can include a review of familiar material and rehearsal
strategies like trying old exams. The volume of material to review increases as the
course continues, but the amount of time needed to review older material decreases.
Students should study their outlines and notes and be able to retell what was read in
their own words. Students should try to see relationships within the content. If they
are unable to the teacher may need to model for students how to look for relationships.
Student should be checking their memory by trying to recall main points and sub points
(Richardson & Morgan, 1997).
C. Concluding remark
Though the five teaching reading methods that have been discussed in this article are
not the ultimate solutions that can solve all students’ reading problem, they are very
helpful for teacher. Not only the methods give direction to the teachers who teach
reading, give them inspiration to find their own style in teaching, but also encourage
the teacher to conduct researches. Researches that are intended to revise, to improve
and to develop these teaching reading methods so that they become better in the future.
These five methods are just a trigger for the teachers to increase teachers’ spirit to
There is no single method or single combination methods that can successfully teach all
students to read. Even so, by working hard one day, teachers will be able to teach all
students reading successfully by using thousands methods that have been developed from
the five ones.
Choral Reading Method. http://www.d21.il.us/dep_instr/langarts/parentinfo/
choral_rdg.tml (Accessed on June 28, 2008)
International reading association. 1999. Using multiple methods of beginning reading
instruction, a position statement of the international reading association. Newark,
-. Reading Method:PORPE. http://www.arc.sbc.edu/porpe.html (Accessed on December 6, 2007)
Richardson, J. and Morgan, R. (1997). Reading to learn in the content areas. Belmont,
CA: Wadsworth Publishing Company.
Ogle, D.M. (1986). K-W-L: A teaching model that develops active reading of expository text. Reading Teacher, 39, 564-570.
Santa, C., Havens, L. and Valdes, B. (2004) Project CRISS: Creating indenpendence through student owned strategies. Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt Publishng Company
-. THE Paired Reading Method. www. paired_rdg_method.html. (Accessed on December 3, 2007)
-. The KWL Reading Method. http://www.kipling.org.uk/poems_serving.htm. (Accessed on December 6, 2007)