terça-feira, 26 de fevereiro de 2008

Advertisement Texts as Developing of Reading

Advertisement Texts as Developing of Reading¹

Rubenilson Pereira de Araujo²
Jaciara Rondon Gonçakves³

Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to analyze the reading strategies from four students from the last class of Primary and High school. The question research is: Could Advertisement texts help the lack of Reading skill? In the teaching and learning process of a language is necessary to develop the four skills – speaking, writing, listening and reading. This paper tries to show that reading is one of the most important skills in teaching and learning of a language. It’s advisable to work in the classroom with several kinds of authentic texts, and advertisement texts seem easier for the students and teachers. Besides, it’s important to try to comprehend the reason for the use of the reading strategies for the students using Advertisement texts in the English learning. This investigation can be interesting to help English teachers to think about pedagogical practice in the teaching and learning process. The methodology was the case study by semi open written questionnaires, oral interviews and some activities with advertisement texts. This analysis was qualitative. Data showed the lack of reading and the possible solution with reading strategies using Advertisement texts in the classroom’s context.
Keywords: reading strategies, Advertisements texts, English Language teaching-learning process


Students need to develop reading skills because reading is one of the most important skills in Language’s learning. Reading tools is necessary to extend the world’s comprehension.
But to develop this so important skill is relevant to look for ways to promote it. Reading isn’t a lonely act, so it’s necessary to understand its strategies for practicing it in fact.
According Brasil (2001) for the integral student’s instruction in a Foreign Language it is necessary a new methodology of language used in real life situation of communication in the classroom’s environment. Students need to use the language in an effective way, for communicating indeed.
Authentic texts could help in this case because they are written in the real life situation of native languages.
There are several kinds of texts and it’s possible to promote student’s contact with them. Authentic texts could enlarge the access for the real language (Totis, 1991).
Advertisements like authentic texts could help in this process because they bring some favorable aspects to attract students for the reading experience like organization and presentation of the text, illustrations, talking directly with the reader, etc.

1. What’s Reading?

In a Language’s teaching it is relevant to develop in the students the four skills – Speaking, Listening, Writing and Reading. Reading is one of the most important skills because it can expand knowledge of the world.
Therefore, what’s Reading?
It isn’t easy to find an exactly definition for Reading because a lot of authors tries to give concepts for it but Reading involves so many aspects that it’s quite impossible to resume it in an only definition.
Reading isn’t a lonely act but an interaction between the reader and the writer by the text.
Reading is participating of the society.
“Reading is like a game but it doesn’t play a competitive game. It is interactive, it needs partnerships, no adversaries and the writer, the reader and text are indispensable”(Soares & Ribeiro 2002, p.2)
The students need to be oriented through reading strategies and not only by the text. They need to know how to use the samples, prediction, confirmation and rejection of hypothesis when they are reading. The learner of a foreign language need to learn how to use all the clues and redundancies in the written language, following the same procedures of a native language.
According Anderson (2003) it is necessary the following elements to observe reading’s skill as well as become an active reader in the teaching and learning process: a) Activate previous knowledge; b) Cultivate vocabulary; c) Teach for comprehension; d) Verify Strategies; f) Evaluate Progress.

2. Reading strategies in the English Language’s learning

Reading isn’t an easy task because it’s an interaction between the reader and writer by text without the writer’s presence.
For developing an effective reading the reader needs looking for ways to follow steps or clues left by the writer.
Language teachers can build with the students the idea or manners of appropriating strategies for an effective reading frequently improving text’s comprehension, becoming competent readers.
According Totis (1991) the ideal reader in a foreign Language doesn’t need to be able to translate all the words but understand the general meaning of the text.
Munhoz (2002) quotes a lot of facilitators for reading in a foreign language:
· Prediction;
· Cognates;
· Repeated words;
· Typographic forms;
· Dictionary.
There are also the following Reading Strategies:
· Skimming – Quick reading for understand the main idea of the text;
· Scanning – when the reader tries to find some specific information in the text;
· Selectivity – when the reader select some parts of the text to find information.
The learner must know that reading is an active process of construction of sense and the reader can understand by predictions, confirmations/ reformulations of hypothesis, inferences, using of previous knowledge’s, no information linguistic as iconography (illustrations, graphic, tables, punctuations, effects and typographic forms etc). Reading isn’t a lonely act but an interaction between the reader and the writer constructing the meaning.
TOTIS 1991(op.cit.p.38) says that prediction is an important way and the first component of the perception process, with the world’s knowledge and its linguistic restrictions the learner forms his expectations about the text not only by reading the material. The objective of the prediction is to prepare the student in the mind for reading, stimulating him to think about the probable text’s subject before start reading.
The students need to pay attention to the organization and to the presentation of the text, looking at the pictures, tables and illustrations that are present in the text and can help in the reading of the text.
According Colaço (2000) there is an interaction between the reader and the text that implicates a correspondence between the reader’s pre-knowledge and the information given by the text.
According Foucambert (1994) the preoccupation of the school must be in “how” to proceed, in the reading process. Reading is a negotiation between the known that is in our head and that is in front of our eyes. It is a detective’s work that uses summary (pages, known words…) to elaborate hypothesis, check them based in other indices, back to the unclear points with external helps. The teacher must help their students to read efficiently.

3. Advertisement texts

The function of Advertisement texts is to convince their public to buy a product or change his behavior. There are two kinds of languages in the Advertisement message: verbal and no verbal that interact, mix and complete themselves.
According Thompson in Neto & Gandour (2002) advertisement texts communicates the message extremely quick and the writer need be persuasive (informative) through a brief language using creativity and emotion.
Pavanello (2002) says in her article that advertisement texts are based exclusively in ideas. These texts instruct how to take a medicine, for example. Advertisement texts give instructions of who you must be in this global world, how to behave for belonging to another “tribe”. This instruction is not explicit but an implicit way to show you the new world where the behavior, the actions and recompense are another’s, where you go out of a common place and become a special person or you become an included person in a group.
According Pavanello (op. cit.) the advertisement texts present always the sale of something (idea or concept). This kind of text influences behaviors, actions and reinforcement the dichotomy: social inclusion x social exclusion. The advertisement texts don’t have only sale intention, but estipulate model of insertion in the society; Valentine’s Day is an example.
In the writing of advertisement texts the author need to use brief space on pages to send a message in a very short time. Oliveira (1999) says that every message includes several functions and in the advertisement texts are used the appellative function that gives emphasis to the reader (most of advertisement texts are appellative – Example: “Drink Coke”). Another function very used in this kind of text is the Factic that emphasizes the contact with the reader.
It’s appropriate to observe that in advertisement texts are used elliptic forms where part of the sentence has been omitted. It is useful in advertisements, headlines, telegrams and telex messages. Examples: “Arrive Sunday 3 p.m. Heathrow.” (Somebody saying he is going to arrive at Heathrow Airport on Sunday at 3 p.m); “Cleaner wanted” (Someone wants/ needs a cleaner); “Comic books wanted”; Apartment to share”; etc. The writer and the reader share knowledge and the reader needs report to his world’s knowledge for processing the comprehension of the message. Ellipse is a resource of referential cohesion. The missed word may be easily evacuated.

4. Research Methodology

The research methodology adopted was Case study. According (Silva, 2000) Case study is a study of simple or specific case. Strategies for reading have a very significant point in the classroom environment and in a special way for Language teaching (English Language). It brings reflections about the effective learning and try to show that it’s possible and better for both (teaching and learning) processes associate the content and methodology to real life situation where the student can use in fact the language for communication.
Read something present in the social environment is act in the society, participating as an active person.
Data collecting was from texts, semi opened questionnaires, interviews, recorded data and activities carried out with two students of the last class of Primary School and two from the last class of High School in Porto Nacional.
The analysis of the data was interpretative. The researcher carried out interpretative analyses of the data.

5. Results and Commentaries

The subjects of this research were four students: two from the last class of Primary School and two from the last class of High School. The general objective was to study the Reading strategies performed by the two students from each level.
The students from Primary School are fourteen and fifteen years old, and the students from High school are both eighteen. All the students are from Porto Nacional. They were called A-1, B-1, A-2 and B-2.
Data colleting was analyzed by instruments: semi opened questionnaires, recorded interviews and activities carried out by the students using Advertisement texts.
In the semi opened questionnaire it was questioned if they frequently read magazines and newspapers. The students from Primary School answered both that sometimes they used to. It’s important to note that the informant A-1 said in the interview that she preferred to watch novels or TV program like “Malhação” – A teenager program from television. The students from High School answered that they like to read, but when analyzing in the interview it was noticed that this Reading was due to the preoccupation with the insertion in the work’s life to help their family: “I need to study and read a lot to get a job and help my parents in my home” (sic).
The first’s questions of the semi opened questionnaire and interview were to note what were the student’s habits of reading in the mother tongue. Students from both levels just reproduce the Society’s speech that it is important to read but they didn’t internalize it in the real life situation. It was realized the difference of interests. It confirms what Freire (2001) says that it’s relevant to teach according the world student’s knowledge.
In the questionnaire and interview the students from both levels showed lack of Reading in English Language. They read only in the classroom when the teacher brings a text’s book for them. Students from Primary School said that Reading in English is bored, and student A-2 said in the interview: “I need to read to get grade” (sic)
When asked for them what activities in English they liked most, both answered: songs. It was realized that writing and speaking skills aren’t present in their academic lives.
Another observed fact was the lack of textual diversity. Both levels said that they aren’t able to understand an interview, a poem or an advertisement text in English.
It was offered for the students two kinds of texts: a text written in paragraphs talking about Madonna singer and her diet to get fit and another one written like Advertisement talking about the importance of milk in alimentation to get fit. They were required to choose one and explain it in Portuguese.
The students from Primary School said that it was so difficult but after some insistence by the teacher they chose the Advertisement text. Student A-1 said: “I prefer this one because it is more attractive” (sic). Students from High School were insecure with this activity.
The next activity was the following:

1- “The most loved river in Brazil” ( ) Banco do Brasil
3- “Total dedication to you” ( ) Tim
4- “Share moments! Share life” ( ) Havaianas
5- “It goes down round” ( ) Ford
6- “All the time with you” ( ) Kodak
7- “Live without countries” ( ) Casas Bahia
8- “The legitimate ones. Everybody uses them. ( ) Armazém Paraíba
Reject imitation”
9- “This is the real thing” ( ) São Francisco
10- “Let a ________ surprise you” ( ) Skol

Students were oriented to link the slogan with its product or company. Here it was noted the importance of the content to the subject’s real life. The perceptual of errors was bigger when it talked about companies that weren’t present in their towns, like Casas Bahia, for example.
There are some mistakes in this enunciated activity: in the item 5 there isn’t a literal translation, but it was like written so proposed because here the student could use some strategies like Prediction or Guessing, because it is a slang or local Language. The word “countries” (boundaries) isn’t appropriate in the item 7 but it is used in this form at in the media like idiomatic expression. The verb “use” (wear) isn’t adequate in the item 8, but here is used a Cognate – this is a Reading facilitator.
The students needed to explain an Advertisement text in another activity and both levels said that understood the idea of the text using prediction (guessing) – associating the content with their world’s knowledge, typographic forms like illustrations or Cognates like experience, necessary, local, company and phone. One student from Primary School (B-1) and one from High School (A-2) are tended to use frequently the dictionary – it is inadvisable for Munhoz (op. cit.). It is noted that all facilitators of reading were used by the students.
Final Considerations

This research possibilities some reflections about teaching and learning English. It was so relevant because showed some aspects in how to learn a foreign Language.
Students don’t read frequently in their mother tongue. In the teaching of a Language it’s so important to develop the reading -
This skill can possibility the real contact of the student with Language in real life situation.
English Teacher can present the textual variety. In this way can happen an effective learning of the Language.
Advertisement texts are more an option to promote the student a real contact with the language because this is authentic text present in the media.

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Resumo: A presente pesquisa visa estudar a importância da habilidade de Leitura na aprendizagem da Língua Inglesa, bem como as estratégias utilizadas pelos estudantes do Ensino Fundamental e Médio. O objetivo geral é estudar as estratégias de Leitura, utilizando textos publicitários. No contexto da sala de aula de Inglês é necessário explorar a diversidade textual, entre eles, os textos autênticos. Nesses, apresenta-se a propaganda como uma opção, com as características de ser um texto conciso, objetivo e direcionado à realidade do público-alvo. Diante disso, surge a questão de pesquisa: O texto publicitário pode suprir a lacuna de leitura nos discentes do Ensino Fundamental e Médio? Esta investigação pode ser útil no auxílio a professores de Inglês para repensar a sua prática pedagógica no processo de ensino e aprendizagem. A metodologia de pesquisa utilizada foi o estudo de caso: questionários semi abertos, entrevistas orais e atividades com textos publicitários. A análise foi qualitativa. Os dados mostraram a lacuna de leitura existente entre os discentes do Ensino Fundamental e Médio e a possível solução com as estratégias de leitura utilizando textos publicitários no ambiente da sala de aula.
Palavras-chave: estratégias de leitura, texto publicitário, Processo de ensino e aprendizagem de Língua Inglesa.

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