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Table 5 Examples of reading tasks for small-group discussion in the classroom

From: Integrating diagnostic assessment into curriculum: a theoretical framework and teaching practices

No. Attribute Example task for small-group discussion
1 Locating the target information by skimming, scanning, or browsing (1) The title of the text is “The Three New Yorks”. Please scan the text and find out what “The Three New Yorks” refer to. What are the major characteristics of the three New Yorks?
2 Extracting detailed information from the text (2) Please identify the word “commuter” in the text and find out the author’s detailed description of commuters.
(3) The author uses examples to describe the current state of settlers in New York. Please find out these examples and explain the function of them.
3 Summarizing the main idea of the text (4) Try to find out the topic sentence of each paragraph, or to summarize the main idea of each paragraph in one or two sentences.
(5) Try to summarize the main idea of the text.
4 Analyzing logical relationships between ideas (6) Please find out, in the second paragraph, the connective words that help develop the logical relationship of the paragraph.
(7) Draw a mind map to show how the author develops the topic and organizes the ideas in the text.
5 Making inferences about the author’s feelings and attitudes (8) Try to make inferences about the author’s attitudes toward the three groups of New Yorks discussed in this text.
6 Differentiating facts and opinions/ comparing the opinions and attitudes of different authors (9) This unit comprises two texts about urban life (i.e., “The Three New Yorks” and “Loving and Hating of New York”). Please read the two texts and compare the opinions of the two authors about New York city and life in the city.
  1. Note. The example tasks for small-group discussion are adapted from “Unit Three – The Three New Yorks” in the textbook An English Reader for Postgraduates (Zhu, 2011)