Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Developing Skilled Readers

Roland Paris of the University of Ottawa, realizing that it would be up to him to teach his students how to read critically, uses the CLEAR (or possibly the CLEAA) technique. This is a strategy that helps students to:
  1. Identify the claims or arguments of a text,
  2. Evaluate the logic of these arguments,
  3. Assess whether the author has presented sufficient and valid evidence to support the arguments, and
  4. Consider alternative evidence and arguments that challenge the original line of reasoning.
He teaches students to look at each piece of academic writing from the following perspectives:
  • Claims: What are the main claims and arguments outlined in the text?  What is the author’s main point?
  • Logic: How does the author reach these conclusions?  What are the steps in the author’s reasoning or logic?  Is this logic sound?
  • Evidence: What evidence does the author present to support the argument(s)?  Does he/she offer enough evidence?  Is this evidence convincing?  Can you think of any counter-evidence that would challenge the author’s claims?
  • Assumptions: Does the author rely on hidden assumptions?  If so, are these assumptions correct? How do you know?
  • Alternative aRguments (well, yes – it doesn’t start with an R, but there’s one in there somewhere): Can you think of alternative arguments that the author has not considered?
For more information:
Visit Roland Paris’s website to read more.

1 comment:

  1. We used to use 4H - Hear, Head, Hidden, Heart...they equate to 4 question types which help the reader develop comprehension skills when reading. It's a great strategy for ESL learners and students reading copious amounts of text to find answers for an obscure question the lecturer has asked.