Eliminate Your Fears and Doubts about Comprehension Skill of a Target Text

The students will have to complete numerous comprehension exercises during their time in school, both in class and at end of each Key Stage examination. This is true from early secondary stage to the post graduate label. The tasks i.e. The Comprehension Skill of a Target Text which help the students with their writing, such as adjective use, creating atmosphere and so on, introduce the skills that the students will need to discuss in their analysis of texts. Learning of these skills and implementations of them are very crucial both for the students and the teachers.

Here it is very essential to remind the students of these lessons and of how they create effects in their own writing. Some comprehension questions are 'what' questions i.e. WH questions on knowledge base, which ask the students to retrieve information. These will generally be lower-tariff questions and so remind the students not to spend too long on their answers. Higher-tariff questions will ask the students to comment on the 'how’ questions about a piece of writing. They generally require the students to comment how a particular atmosphere is treated, or how a character is feeling. To answer these types of question effectively, the students need to be trained in the habit of looking for 'clues' in text and using these to support their comments and analysis. If the students do not already have one, give them a glossary of literary techniques and devices. While terminology by itself won't gain the students marks, it does act as good shorthand when they write about text and makes their writing seem more sophisticated. Most important, however, is that pupil can identify and discuss how text works.

 Often time, The Comprehension Skill of a Target Text is needful both short-term and long-term Skill developing method leading to joy of learning, which are conventional as well as innovative. Most of these Skills developing method have been developed after an initial survey of the demand for such Skill developing method among students.

They are launched with a view to fulfill the learner’s needs. The Comprehension Skill of a Target Text follows a multifaceted approach for instruction, which comprises:
a) Written Material: for both theory and practical components of the Skill developing method is given at any unknotted textbook of good quality.
b) Audio-Visual Material Aids: The audio and video CDS which have been often supplied for the Comprehension Skill of a Target Text for better clarification and enhancement of understanding of the Text.
c) Counseling:  counseling sessions are required and a YouTube or virtual or real teacher is handy for this part.

Rather than give the students a whole extract to analyze, give them a piece of text which is broken into short chunks with no more than three questions on each section. You can use any text you feel suitable or, to make sure that the devices are readily available to the students, you could write your own. This will lead to some fundamental achievements:
a) Enabling higher learning of text by taking it to the doorsteps of the learners.
b) Providing access to high quality learning of text to all students.
c) Offering need-based academic Skill developing method by giving professional and vocational orientation to the courses
d) Promoting and developing learning of text, setting and maintaining standards

One way to introduce the idea is to base the text around a mystery or treasure hunt, with textual clues to be picked up throughout. This can help reinforce the idea of a search rather than a cursory reading. For example:


Act 2, Scene iiEnter Lady Macbeth

LADY. That which hath made them drunk hath made me bold;
What hath quenched them hath given me fire.—Hark!—Peace!
It was the owl that shrieked, the fatal bellman
Which gives the stern’st good-night. He is about it.
The doors are open, and the surfeited grooms
Do mock their charge with snores; I have drugged their possets
That death and nature do contend about them
Whether they live or die.

MACBETH (within). Who’s there? What, ho!

LADY. Alack, I am afraid they have awaked,
And ‘tis not done. The attempt and not the deed
Confounds us.—Hark!—I laid their daggers ready;
He could not miss ‘em. Had he not resembled
My father as he slept, I had done’t.
Enter Macbeth, carrying two bloodstained daggers
My husband!

MACBETH. I have done the deed. Didst thou not hear a noise?

LADY. I heard the owl-scream and the cricket’s cry.
Did not you speak?


LADY. Now.

MACBETH. As I descended?


Who lies i’the second chamber?

LADY. Donalbain.

MACBETH. (looks at his hands)
This is a sorry sight.

LADY. A foolish thought, to say a sorry sight.

MACBETH. There’s one did laugh in’s sleep, and one cried “Murder!”
That they did wake each other. I stood and heard them.
But they did say their prayers and addressed them
Again to sleep.

LADY. There are two lodged together.

MACBETH. One cried “God bless us” and “Amen” the other,
As they had seen me with these hangman’s hands.
Listening their fear I could not say “Amen”
When they did say “God bless us.”

LADY. Consider it not so deeply.

MACBETH. But wherefore could not I pronounce “Amen”?
I had most need of blessing, and “Amen”
Stuck in my throat.

LADY. These deeds must not be thought
After these ways; so, it will make us mad.

MACBETH. Methought I heard a voice cry, “Sleep no more!
Macbeth does murder sleep—the innocent sleep,
Sleep that knits up the ravelled sleave of care,
The death of each day’s life, sore labour’s bath,
Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course,
Chief nourisher in life’s feast.”

LADY. What do you mean?

MACBETH. Still it cried “Sleep no more” to all the house;
“Glamis hath murdered sleep, and therefore Cawdor
Shall sleep no more, Macbeth shall sleep no more.”

LADY. Who was it that thus cried? Why, worthy thane,
You do unbend your noble strength, to think
So brain-sickly of things. Go, get some water,
And wash this filthy witness from your hand.
Why did you bring these daggers from the place?
They must lie there. Go, carry them and smear
The sleepy grooms with blood.

MACBETH. I’ll go no more.
I am afraid to think what I have done;
Look on’t again I dare not.

LADY. Infirm of purpose!
Give me the daggers. The sleeping and the dead
Are but as pictures. ‘Tis the eye of childhood
That fears a painted devil. If he do bleed,
I’ll gild the faces of the grooms withal,
For it must seem their guilt.
Knock within

MACBETH. Whence is that knocking?
How is’t with me when every noise appals me?
What hands are here! Ha—they pluck out mine eyes!
Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood
Clean from my hand? No, this my hand will rather
The multitudinous seas incarnadine,
Making the green one red.

Enter Lady Macbeth

LADY. My hands are of your colour; but I shame
To wear a heart so white.
I hear a knocking
At the south entry. Retire we to our chamber.
A little water clears us of this deed;
How easy is it then! Your constancy
Hath left you unattended.
Hark! more knocking.
Get on your nightgown, lest occasion call us
And show us to be watchers. Be not lost
So poorly in your thoughts.

MACBETH. To know my deed ‘twere best not know myself.
Wake Duncan with thy knocking! I would thou couldst!

Let these questions be popped up in his brain:
*Is Shakespeare’s Macbeth a study of the evil?
*Is it a one man’s downfall?
*Who has greeted Macbeth that he will one day become king?
*What is the confirming part of the witches’ prophecy?
*How does Lady Macbeth spur her husband’s ambition forward?
*How does The Lady’s purposeful activity provide a stark contrast to Macbeth’s almost paralytic state as he becomes locked into an obsessive contemplation of the bloody deed?
*What is the significance of Macbeth’s account of his inability to say “amen” to the grooms’ prayer?
 *How does Macbeth become the very embodiment of his crime?

Continue in the same vein, setting questions after small sections of text which encourage the students to look for ‘clues' and it goes very handy for interest base. These are the steps which the students should follow:
a.       At least for the first few sections, ask the students to stop after each section and share their answers so as to ensure that all are on the right track.
b.      Some The students' answers will be more detailed than others. They can be asked to go a stage further and look at why the 'clue words' led them to their conclusion.
c.       Following on from this, the students can look at a whole extract and focus on the specifics of a high-tariff question.
d.       Ask the students to look closely at the question and any bullet points that may have been given as guidance, and underline the key words.
e.       They will use these words to structure their answer, using the bullet points as paragraph headings.
They can then begin to structure their response in a number of ways:
a.       These could include underlining and annotating key words or phrases which could illustrate their answer.
b.      Remind the students that they won’t be able to write about everything and so to focus on specific examples and write about them in detail.
c.       The students could also make tables with headings such as ‘device’ and 'effect created' and 'What x does' or 'What this shows us'; or
d.       You could give the students parts of sentences to fill in with observations or quotations.

The formula used by many to structure responses of this kind can be an efficient base. It has many names: PEE - Point, Evidence, Explanation; SEC - Statement, Evidence, and Comment; 'The Hamburger Method'; and so on.

The students are in the habit of justifying and explaining their answers. The problem is that in a long answer, the formula can become very repetitive and can limit some responses. Provide the students with suggested phrases that they can use in their writing to avoid repetition.

Ardhendu De



Popular posts from this blog

Dr. West’s New Method of Teaching English :Its Merits and Demerits

Critical Appreciation of Philip Larkin’s Poem, "The North Ship": Life Award for Best Philosophical Access

What are the specific objectives of teaching English as a second language at the secondary stage? How far is the current high school curriculum helpful in realizing the objectives?