Lesson 2: From Pre-Reading to Intitial Reading

Guided Matrix

A guided matrix can be introduced after the in-class brainstorming and skimming activities. It requires readers to select phrases or sentences from the text that help readers reconstruct the logic of the text. In its most rudimentary form, a guided matrix consists of a table with two columns with headings that guide readers in making selections from the text.

Guided Matrix Headings

The headings used in a guided matrix reflect a pattern of logic. The following table gives some examples of logical relationships and headings.

Logical Relationships (Headings) Type of Text
Contrasts or Comparisons A text that contrasts two people or the "before" and "after" of an event or problem (differences in their characteristics)
Issues and their Features or Results A text that critiques a movie (what's right or wrong with it and why)
Problems and their Solutions A text about an historical era (political, economic, social issues and how they were addressed)
Events and their Impact A news story about a current event (what happened/who was affected and how)

The structure of a guided matrix requires precise cognitive and linguistic work; learners have to note the way the text expresses information according to the categories established by the matrix. Such precision helps establish a correlation between the learners' horizon of expectation and semantic and syntactic elements of the foreign language texts.

Let's go back to the Batman texts introduced earlier in this lesson. Compare the English and Norwegian texts using the sample guided matrix.

Sample guided matrix


Description of a guided matrix.

Duration: 01:20

Advantages of a Guided Matrix

The advantage of using a guided matrix as a task to structure reading is that learners are likely to reread parts of a text (or re-view sections of a film) in order to find the information they want to include. In so doing, elements of syntax and semantics are reinforced in context, as part of values and expectations found in the given foreign culture. Such incidental contact will prepare learners for more detailed contact with the world from which the text stems, and help them make the transition from reading to writing.