Wadah Profesionalisme Musyawarah Guru Mata Pelajaran Bahasa Inggris SMK Negeri dan Swasta Jakarta Barat 2 Provinsi DKI Jakarta


                                                                                                  By: Ayatullah Nurjati, S.S., S.Sos.I

Before beginning to read any text—a book, a magazine or journal article—you should ask yourself three questions:
What am I reading about?
Why am I reading?
How am I reading?
Many students are only familiar with from the first word to the last word strategy. The other strategies that can be used for understanding a text—a book, a magazine or a journal articles—are:
Overview A Passage
By overview a passage, we should know:
The Topic : What is the passage about?
The writer’s Purpose : Is the writer, for example, describing a process, making a comparison, giving recommendation?
We do this strategy by:
Reading the title and headings to understand what the passage is about.
Looking at the titles of any diagrams, tables, graphs and illustrations.
In this strategy we need not:
Read word by word.
Follow the text with our finger or a pen.
Worry about words we do not understand.
Whether we are over viewing a book, a magazine or an article, we should never take more than two minutes.
2. Understanding the main point
One paragraph contains one main idea; and we can find this main idea in a summary sentence. [1]This summary sentence is frequently, though not always, the first or the second sentence of the paragraph. To understand the main points of a passage, we should LOCATE and UNDERLINE THE SUMMARY SENTENCE IN EACH PARAGRAPH.
The other sentences in the paragraph expand, illustrate and/or explain this main idea.[2]
There are relationships between words and phrases in a sentence; between in a paragraph and between whole paragraphs. Understanding and recognizing these relationships helps us read more effectively.
Some of the most common types of relationships linking ideas in passage are:
Addition : Using and, as well, in addition to, beside, also, Another, the other, first, second etc.
Consequence : Using cause, lead to, result in, as a consequence, consequently, therefore, hence, as a result.
Sequence : Using then, after, later, until, when, before.
General and particular: Using such as, e.g., for example, for instance.
Contrast/Comparison : Using but (not), as opposed to, in contrast, in (on) the other hand, however.[3]
In a set of statement, some of the words in one sentence are often repeated in other sentence. In passage, we try not to repeat words very often. We can refer back to words used in other sentences, this relation is called reference.
See this example:
Deserts are very dry regions. They have very little rainfall. Few plats live there.
When our objective is to extract specific information, we should use the following strategies:
Focus on our objective, ignoring irrelevant information.
Look in likely places knowing the organization of the text will help to decide which parts of the text are more likely.
Run our eyes rapidly over the text. Looking for words and phrases associated with the target information.
Use print style to help us, such as names, numbers, and italics and bold.
Remember that the information we need to locate may be expressed in different forms.[4]
In any comprehension text you will find words that you don’t know. You can look them up in a dictionary, of course, but it’s a good idea to get into the habit of doing without a dictionary as much as possible, particularly if you are preparing for an examination. In fact, if you read text carefully and think, it’s usually possible to guess the meaning of most of words that you don’t know. Look to see if the word is repeated later in the text; the more often it’s used, the easier it is to understand.
Don’t expect to be able to guess all new word in a text. There will be some that you can only get a vague idea and a few will be impossible. Don’t waste too much time worrying about these; the most important thing is to understand the text as a whole as well as possible, and one or two difficult words won’t usually make much difference.[5]
Sharpe, Pamela J. Baron’s Practices for the TOEFL; 10th edition. Jakarta: PT. Binarupa Aksara. 2005.
Addison, Philip.-Wesley. Longman Complete Course for TOEFL. London: Longman. 2001.
PAMU TEAM, Business English, UIEU Student’s hands book, Jakarta, 2006.
[1] Sharpe, Pamela J. Baron’s Practises for the TOEFL; 10th edition. Jakarta: PT. Binarupa Aksara. 2005. p. xiii-xiv
[2] Addison, Philip.-Wesley. Longman Complete Course for TOEFL. London: Longman. 2001. p. 245-246.
[3] PAMU TEAM, Business English, UIEU Student’s hands book, Jakarta, 2006 p. 9
[4] Ibid., p. 249-250
[5] Ibid., p. 255-259

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