Tip #6: Read at your level (REVEALED! The reason for cloze passage exercises.)

REVEALED! The reason for cloze passage exercises! (Wow!)

Right, I’m being sarcastic, because if your teacher hasn’t already told you WHY you do cloze passages, s/he’s forgetting to explain something really, really simple. One reason you do cloze passages is so that your brain gets into the habit of filling words up where there is a word you do not recognise.

An example:
Julie stepped over the _______ and continued walking down the street.
Julie stepped over the triurnialristablort and continued walking down the street.

Readers of my blog should already know that the word in the blank should be some kind of object that one can step over (brick, cup, body, hobo, etc). So, what on earth is a “triurnialristablort”? I don’t know, because I just invented that word! But we can guess that a “triurnialristablort” is an object small enough for Julie to step over.

So, to my tip: read at your level.

So, to my tip:
Read at your level.

Your “level”, in case you’re not up to date on the most recent fancy techniques used to measure reading levels, is this. When you open a new book at random and read a page, you should be able to recognise most words, while able to make good guesses about the words you do not recognise.

Try it! The passage(s) that you can understand, but where you don’t recognise some words? That’s the passage at your reading level.

Passage 1
The hallway smelt of boiled cabbage and old rag mats. At one end of it a coloured poster, too large for indoor display, had been tacked to the wall. It depicted simply an enormous face, more than a metre wide: the face of a man of about forty-five, with a heavy black moustache and ruggedly handsome features. Winston made for the stairs. It was no use trying the lift. Even at the best of times it was seldom working, and at present the electric current was cut off during daylight hours. It was part of the economy drive in preparation for Hate Week. The flat was seven flights up, and Winston, who was thirty-nine and had a varicose ulcer above his right ankle, went slowly, resting several times on the way. On each landing, opposite the lift-shaft, the poster with the enormous face gazed from the wall. It was one of those pictures which are so contrived that the eyes follow you about when you move. BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU, the caption beneath it ran.
(From 1984 by George Orwell)

Passage 2
THE “Red Death” had long devastated the country. No pestilence had ever been so fatal, or so hideous. Blood was its Avator and its seal — the redness and the horror of blood. There were sharp pains, and sudden dizziness, and then profuse bleeding at the pores, with dissolution. The scarlet stains upon the body and especially upon the face of the victim, were the pest ban which shut him out from the aid and from the sympathy of his fellow-men. And the whole seizure, progress and termination of the disease, were the incidents of half an hour.
(From “The Masque of the Red Death” by Edgar Allan Poe)

Passage 3
Goldilocks was a playful little girl who had lovely golden hair and that is why she was called Goldilocks.

One day, while roaming the woods, she saw a pretty cottage. She went inside and saw three bowls of porridge on the table. Tasting the porridge in the biggest bowl she said, “This porridge is too hot!” She tasted some porridge from the second bowl and said, “This porridge is too cold!” Then tasting some porridge from the third bowl she said, “This porridge is just right!” and she ate all of it. After that Goldilocks felt sleepy, so she went upstairs where she saw three beds. She lay on the first bed and said, “This bed is too hard!” She lay on the second bed and said, “This bed is too soft!” Finally, she lay on the third bed and said, “This bed is just right!” And so, Goldilocks curled up and went to sleep.

(From “Goldilocks”)

Tip #6: Read at your level (REVEALED! The reason for cloze passage exercises.)

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