Juni 16, 2012

Skimming and Scanning Technique

Skimming and Scanning


Skimming and scanning are very important reading techniques.  In short, skimming refers to looking through material quickly to gather a general sense of the ideas, information, or topic itself.  When you skim, you read through an article three to four times faster than when you read each word.  Scanning refers to reading through material to find specific information.  When you scan, you run your eyes over text or information to pull out specific words, phrases, or data.  For example:
You quickly go through a twenty-page report in a few minutes, and determine the overall subject, tone, and a few key points. This is skimming.
You pick up the newspaper in the doctor's office, thumb through the first few pages, and gather the gist of the events happening in the world.  This is skimming.
You flip through an accounting report to find a particular set of data.  This is scanning.
You open the classified section of a newspaper, find the automobile section, and then mark a few cars within your price range.  This is scanning.
Skimming and scanning work in tandem.  For English learners, both techniques should always be encouraged because, with practice, students realize that every word doesn't need to be read and fully understood.  Good skimming and scanning skills means that they will no longer be so strictly bound by the text, nor their reading and comprehension speed.  There are applications both inside and outside the classroom.
In the classroom, you may ask students to find specific key words in an article, or answer questions for comprehension, or decide on the purpose of the article.  With students who must read and understand every word, the opportunities for effective discussion becomes limited.  The opportunity to select more challenging articles also becomes limited, otherwise the entire class may be spent on a line-by-line translation.
Outside the classroom, students may look at bus timetables, job advertisements, business reports, emails, and so on.  A student will need to effectively and quickly gather and synthesize the information, an impossible expectation if he were to read each word.  The sooner students become accustomed to, develop, and improve their skimming and scanning skills, the better.

Here are some example activities to improve skimming and scanning:


Skimming:

Idea #1:  Students read the headline and the first sentence of each paragraph of an article.  They then pair up to discuss the guessed-at topic of the article.
Idea #2:  Students read the first paragraph and the last paragraph of the article.  They then work in pairs to discuss the guessed-at contents of the piece.
Idea #3:  Students have two minutes to read the article.  Of course, they won't be able to complete the piece, especially if they try to read each word.  After two minutes, students get into pairs to discuss the contents of the piece.  Additional points may also be discussed, such as overall tone (humorous, serious, persuasive), whether the writer supports or opposes the main idea,


Scanning:

Idea #1:  Several content-specific questions are written on the board before students receive the article.  Students read through the text and answer the questions.
Idea #2:  Key vocabulary words are written on the board before students receive the article.  Students read through the text and circle the words, then read the sentence for each word for context.
Idea #3:  You read aloud the beginning of a sentence.  Students must go through the article, find the sentence, and read it aloud.
With any of the above skimming and scanning ideas, make sure to let students return to the piece after their discussion.  Allot several minutes to skim and/or scan through the information once more to confirm the ideas exchanged with a partner.  Students should then pair up, correct any information previously exchanged, and add to the discussion.  When you then assign students to take a more detailed look at the article, they will be better prepared to do so.

The Effectiveness of Scanning And Skimming Technique

The objective of this research is to know whether scanning more effective in teaching reading than skimming technique. The researcher was conducted at MTs Al-Hidayah, Raman Utara, the subjects were the eighth grade students in 2009/2010 academic year. The total numbers of the subject are 60 students. There are three classes and the researcher took two classes as sample of this research. One is experimental class consisting of 20 students, and the other is control class consisting of 20 students.

There are three hypothesis in this research, those are (1)There is a significant differences of reading ability between the students who are taught  through by scanning technique and those who are taught through  skimming technique to the eighth-grade students of MTs Al-Hidayah, Raman Utara. (2) Scanning technique will give better effect on reading comprehension than skimming technique. (3) Scanning technique will increase the students’ on the reading ability higher than skimming technique will do, because the scanning technique gives a freedom for the students to read their more specific and easily.
In order to get the data of the research, the researcher used tests, to investigate the students reading ability before and after they are given the treatment. After giving the data, the researcher analyze the result of item test, the researcher uses T-test formula.
From the result of the research shows that scanning technique is suitable technique to teach English lesson especially reading at the eighth grade of MTs Al-Hidayah, Raman Utara. It is showed from their result of post test. On the post test, the students get the highest score is 100 and 78.15 for the average. It shows that the students’ score is more increase after they get the treatments. And the students’ score of experimental class who used scanning technique is better than the control class who used skimming technique.

The Basic


Easier - There are different styles of reading for different situations. The technique you choose will depend on the purpose for reading. For example, you might be reading for enjoyment, information, or to complete a task. If you are exploring or reviewing, you might skim a document. If you're searching for information, you might scan for a particular word. To get detailed information, you might use a technique such as SQ4R. You need to adjust your reading speed and technique depending on your purpose.
 
Many people consider skimming and scanning search techniques rather than reading strategies. However when reading large volumes of information, they may be more practical than reading. For example, you might be searching for specific information, looking for clues, or reviewing information.
 
Harder - Web pages, novels, textbooks, manuals, magazines, newspapers, and mail are just a few of the things that people read every day. Effective and efficient readers learn to use many styles of reading for different purposes. Skimming, scanning, and critical reading are different styles of reading and information processing.
 
Skimming is used to quickly identify the main ideas of a text. When you read the newspaper, you're probably not reading it word-by-word, instead you're scanning the text. Skimming is done at a speed three to four times faster than normal reading. People often skim when they have lots of material to read in a limited amount of time. Use skimming when you want to see if an article may be of interest in your research.
 
There are many strategies that can be used when skimming. Some people read the first and last paragraphs using headings, summarizes and other organizers as they move down the page or screen. You might read the title, subtitles, subheading, and illustrations. Consider reading the first sentence of each paragraph. This technique is useful when you're seeking specific information rather than reading for comprehension. Skimming works well to find dates, names, and places. It might be used to review graphs, tables, and charts.
 
Scanning is a technique you often use when looking up a word in the telephone book or dictionary. You search for key words or ideas. In most cases, you know what you're looking for, so you're concentrating on finding a particular answer. Scanning involves moving your eyes quickly down the page seeking specific words and phrases. Scanning is also used when you first find a resource to determine whether it will answer your questions. Once you've scanned the document, you might go back and skim it.
 
When scanning, look for the author's use of organizers such as numbers, letters, steps, or the words, first, second, or next. Look for words that are bold faced, italics, or in a different font size, style, or color. Sometimes the author will put key ideas in the margin.
 
Reading off a computer screen has become a growing concern. Research shows that people have more difficulty reading off a computer screen than off paper. Although they can read and comprehend at the same rate as paper, skimming on the computer is much slower than on paper.
 

References:

http://www.headsupenglish.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=409&Itemid=72
http://nawawielfatru.blogspot.com/2011/06/effectiveness-of-scanning-and-skimming.html
http://42explore.com/skim.htm

http://web2.uvcs.uvic.ca/elc/studyzone/570/pulp/hemp1.htm [Scanning and Skimming Exercise]

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