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 número13María Josefina Israel Semino, Reflexiones lingüísticas sobre la metodología de enseñanza-aprendizaje de una lengua extranjera: un caso de la enseñanza del español en BrasilMaría Josefina Israel Semino, Reflexões lingüísticas sobre a metodologia de ensino-aprendizagem de uma língua estrangeira: um caso do ensino do espanhol no Brasil índice de autoresíndice de materiabúsqueda de artículos
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Literatura y lingüística

versión impresa ISSN 0716-5811

Lit. lingüíst.  n.13 Santiago  2001 

An insight to reading
comprehension in Foreign
Language Teaching

María Josefina Israel Semino,
Linguistic reflections on the teaching-learning
methodology of a foreign language:
a case of Spanish teaching in Brazil
José Antonio Gac M.
Estudiante de 5año
Pedagogía en Inglés

There are very few articles which are really comprehensive in terms of conceptual information and which manage to integrate theories and principles that validate the practice. This is the case of «Linguistic reflections on the teaching-learning methodology of a foreign language: a case of Spanish teaching in Brazil» which, despite the fact it is related to the Spanish language, is of great importance not only for teachers who teach Spanish to Portuguese speakers but also, for any teacher who teaches a foreign language. This is probably because the main topic is reading comprehension.

In the article, the author defines conceptually text and textual context and, basing the information on her own experience as an active teacher at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul- Brazil, she clarifies some thoughts in a theoretical, practical, and methodological analysis taking into account semantic, syntactic, and sociopragmatic implications « ... in order to understand a written text in a foreign language it is indispensable that students: (a) know the language system (b) have the socio-cultural knowledge, and (c) have the world's knowledge: encyclopedic dictionary of the world and the culture filed in the memory». Besides, when expressing « ... to have an efficient teaching-learning process in the reading comprehension of a foreign language, the trilogy reader-student, author-writer, and teacher-educator must work well, according to the strategies designed by the latter». María Josefina makes us, almost in a spontaneous way, reflect about the teacher's role and the criteria used by him/her when teaching a second language and developing the students' reading comprehension. I say so, since in most of the cases students are exposed to non authentic texts that have as their central objective the introduction of a grammatical structure and to teachers who pay little attention to reading comprehension.

Despite the fact that a great variety of already- known-elements emerges, the author has integrated them magisterially in a few lines to develop didactic-methodological strategies easy to be understood and applied in the classroom. Such strategies, which are theoretically based on the contrastive analysis and cognitive psychology, involve the use of authentic material: an article from an Uruguayan newspaper.

From my point of view, I classify Maria Josefina's work as a significant contribution to the pedagogical field on the one hand, and an invitation to teachers to analyze their performances concerning the reading comprehension in the classroom, on the other. However, in spite of the different levels of correlation between practice and theory present in this work, for further information on the contents that refer to the relation between the written text and the reader, the following books can be useful sources: Lectura: teoría, evaluación y desarrollo, 4th edition, Editorial Andres Bello - Santiago de Chile, 1993 by The Professors and Researchers Felipe Allliende G. and Mabel Condermarín G. and Materials and Methods in ELT: A Teacher's Guide by Jo McDonnough & Christopher Shaw, Backwell, Oxford UK & Cambridge USA, 1993.

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