5.4 TKT Practice questions – Teaching reading

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Practise a TKT exam question on reading sub-skills

Time to complete: approximately 5 mins

Taken from: Spratt, M., Pulverness, A., and Williams, M. (2011) The TKT Teaching Knowledge Test Course, Modules 1,2 and 3 (Cambridge: C.U.P.) – Unit 5

This task can be challenging because the terminology used here is not always clearly distinguished in everyday contexts. Remember: 

reading for detail (also called close reading) is when you want to fully understand something that is written in a text (e.g. fully understanding a writer’s argument, exam instructions, or a text to paraphrase in your essay). However, intensive reading is when you analyse the text to see how language is used. Intensive reading examples include looking for all positive adjectives in a text or checking how the past tense is used. Intensive reading tasks are typical of literature or grammar lessons. 


The other two terms can also be easily confused, so remember that predicting is in relation to guessing about a future situation (i.e. in reading, guessing what the text will be about without reading the text). Deducing meaning from context, however, is guessing meaning based on what you can read around a word. For example, in the following text, can students guess the meaning of the word ‘tumble’ based on the text? 


“Net profits at Gucci tumbled by 97% in the last quarter compared with a year ago. The luxury-goods group made just £1.2 m and ran up an operating loss”

By looking at the context, we can say that tumble is clearly a verb and it could really only mean went down or went up. But the phrases just £1.2m and operating loss suggest went down. Tumble actually means to fall down quickly and suddenly and students can guess the meaning of that word by looking at context around that word.