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How to improve english reading and writing ability through summarization drills
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The purpose of this study is to suggest some ideas for improving secondary school students' English reading and writing skills through the use of summarization drills. What is aimed at here is integrated teaching and learning of the two language skills. Most teachers of English in Korea think that reading and writing are two different skill areas that need to be taught and learned separately: the former, for understanding, and the latter, for expression. So the general practice in schools has been to teach them separately. But this method has not proved successful for two main reasons. First, teaching reading and writing separately is less effective than teaching them in an integrated way. Second, teachers tend not to know how to teach writing, so they teach reading only. This results in an undesirable unbalance in the students' reading and writing skills. Recently, it has been suggested that this unbalance should be corrected, and that integrated methods in the teaching and learning of language skills are much more effective. This thesis seeks to demonstrate that summarization drills are an effective way to integrate reading and writing. Summarizing is an activity that requires students to extract the core information of a given text. In order to do this, students need to read with understanding. Summarizing is also a writing activity inasmuch as students have to express, in spoken or written language, the main points of a text. We can see how reading and writing activities are interactively integrated through the process of summarizing. This is why summarization drills can improve both abilities. The first part of this thesis provides the theoretical background of summarization as an interactive activity of reading and writing with similar mental processes. Then, summarization rules are introduced in relation with text structures, and ways of applying these rules are considered. The second part of the study examines some methods of summarization and suggests standard stages of summarization drills with examples. Finding the topics and identifying the main ideas of paragraphs are recommended as effective initial stages of the drills. Then the study tries to give some ideas for summarizing according to the patterns or structures of given paragraphs: listing, sequence, cause and effect, and comparison and contrast. Next, the study tries to provide some guidelines for summarizing according to different styles of texts. Three important styles of texts (narrative, explanatory, and persuasive) are analysed, and different approaches to the summarization of each style are examined. Lastly, the study notes a possibility of applying summarizing skills to other aspects of reading and writing activities, such as analysis, synthesis, application, inference, and evaluation, and that these skills are useful for other subjects as well. In the conclusion, the study suggests the necessity of developing more systematic methods of summarization that cater to students at different proficiency levels.