Lesson 2: From Pre-Reading to Intitial Reading

Initial Reading

After pre-reading, learners need to be led through their initial reading of the text. While pre-reading deals with identifying the global issues that are shared among many readers and texts, reading, whether done in class or assigned, requires learners to move to textual specifics. Where the pre-reading activities stressed the "who," "what," "when," and "where" of the text, initial reading adds details. It should also ask learners to apply the text's genre to help structure their reading process.

Before you watch the following video, brainstorm how the idea of "genre" or "text type" can help you understand a text. What changes when the "who," "what," "when," and "where" of the text are identified, for example as belonging to a mystery novel?


Using genre to frame initial reading.

Duration: 02:43

Knowing the genre of a text helps a reader engage with the details. The main characters in each text type will have different functions. Knowing that a text is a mystery or detective story will mean that there will be multiple moments of investigation and discovery. That makes it possible for learners to look for various stages in the investigation as their more specific task—to find the episodes that characterize the genre.

In the discussion that follows the initial reading, teachers should help learners weigh the textual details they have identified. When they compare their work with that of their classmates, for example, teachers can ask students to discuss and justify their choices. At this stage, learners begin to move toward the "how" and "why" of the text—synthesizing concepts or engaging in problem-solving. For example, where is the mystery or reader interest in a detective story is told by the murderer?


Initial reading leading to discussion.

Duration: 02:16