Everyday English 2
Everyday English 2

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Everyday English 2

2.2 Scanning

Described image
Figure 5 Scanning

Scanning means reading a text quickly to get the main points. Scanning helps you to:

  • find a specific piece of information
  • preview material before you read it in detail
  • check if you understand something after you have read it carefully.

The next two activities will help you to practise your scanning skills.

Activity 6 Practice with scanning (1)

Timing: Allow about 10 minutes

This activity involves reading something in a limited time.

1. Click anywhere on the image below and read as much as you can in 15 seconds. After this time, the advert will disappear. Then have a go at answering the questions.

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a. How much do Functional Skills courses cost?

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b. Who should you contact?

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c. Note down three things that ‘Help with English and Maths’ can improve.

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d. What is Aisha’s phone number?

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Discussion

  • a.They are free.

  • b.Aisha.

  • c.Any of:

    • Confidence with money
    • Booking holidays
    • Reading to children
    • Learning to drive
    • Using reference books
    • Completing forms
    • Social skills
    • Using the internet.
  • d.01234 567890.

2. How easy did you find this activity? What things about the advert made it hard or easy to read?

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Discussion

If you found this activity easy, it may be because the leaflet is laid out well. There are clear headings, bold titles and plenty of space between the lines. You were probably able to pick out the main points.

Activity 7 Practice with scanning (2)

Try the same activity again, now that you know the questions. Click anywhere on the image below and read as much as you can in 15 seconds. After this time, the advert will disappear. Then have a go at answering the questions.

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Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

a. How much do Functional Skills courses cost?

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Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

b. Who should you contact?

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c. Write three things that ‘Help with English and Maths’ can improve.

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d. What is Aisha’s phone number?

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Discussion

The first time you read the advert, you will only have managed to pick out the main ideas. You may have done better the second time, because you knew what the questions were going to be; you were reading for a purpose. This should have helped you to concentrate and come up with your answers more quickly.

Activity 8 Practice with scanning (3)

Timing: Allow about 15 minutes

The text below is taken from careers guidance for parents returning to work. As with the previous two activities, you will read this in a limited time.

Click anywhere on the text and read as much as you can in five minutes. After this time, the text will disappear. Then have a go at answering the questions.

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a. Where are courses available?

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b. How is confidential advice available?

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c. What kind of work might people want?

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d. At whom is the guidance aimed?

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e. How do you know whom the guidance is aimed at?

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2. Do you think the guidance is well written? Can you think of ways of improving it?

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3. Now that you know the questions you need to answer, re-read the guidance again and time yourself as you do so – see how long it takes to read it the second time. Then scroll down the page so the text is hidden and try to answer the same questions. Use a pen and paper if you don’t want to write over your previous answers.

Discussion

Check your answers against these. Yours may have been slightly different.

  1.  

    • a.local further education colleges

    • b.through a personal interview

    • c.voluntary or paid, part time or in a job share

    • d.The guidance is aimed at parents who gave up work to have children and are thinking of returning to education or work, and are not confident about doing so.

    • e.Because it says it in the first paragraph. Also, the heading ‘DOES YOUR CONFIDENCE NEED A BOOST?’ gives a clue.

  2. You may have thought that the guidance is easy to read because it has clear, simple words and is divided into sections with headings.

  3. It could have been improved because:

    • there is too much writing

    • the headings would have been easier to read if they had been in bold or italics rather than capitals

    • there is no title, so you have to read the first paragraph to find out what it is about.

It should have been easier to read the second time because you knew what you were looking for. You probably read it more quickly and answered more questions correctly. This is because you were reading for a purpose.

After doing these activities on skimming and scanning, you should have a good understanding of how to pick a relevant text and identify key points or pieces of information in it. This skill is a useful one in everyday life and in any exam that involves answering questions on a text.

FSE_2a

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