Reading Comprehension Passages: Congolese Tales is a collection of eleven Tales from the Democratic Republic of Congo. They belong to the Oral Tradition. They have been transmitted from mouth to mouth to younger generations. They hand down traditions and customs from one generation to the next one. The protagonists of the tales are human beings, animals and objects. The animals take on human characteristics: greed, jealous, honest, empathy etc.
The tales are told to children by adults in the evenings around a fire or under a blue and starry sky.
They are not told aimlessly. Their objective is to inculcate in children’s mind values which will enable them to have harmonious relations with the members of their communities, to be wise enough to cope successfully with life’s challenges and situations. And so children are taught to take into consideration the recommendations and instructions of more experienced people, to be considerate to other people, to be humble, wise and cautious.
They are rendered aware that, in life, every human being must be responsible of his deeds and will reap what he has sown. The tales also help children develop astounding capacities for memorization. Some tales are punctuated with songs. The latter help children to have the sense of rhetoric’s and rhythm.
This book is intended for students of English at advanced level. At the end of each tale, there is an English glossary, the aim of which is to help students to have a better understanding of the tales and to enrich their vocabulary. It also contains exercises which are in connection with the tales and the exploitation of which runs as follows: Comprehension questions; The reordering of some sentences closely connected with the tales; Lexis; Sentence completion; Discussion points and Creative writing skills.
Up with provocative statements. These statements give rise to opinions which are proper to each student’s sensitivity and perception of things. They stimulate students’ responses in free activities.
As for the way of reading the tales in the classroom, before reading, the teacher will have recourse to pre-reading tasks. They help students focusing attention on ideas and key words and the silent reading has to be privileged because it helps students to concentrate more on ideas than on pronunciation and into nation unfamiliar to them.
About the way of dealing with the discussion points, teachers will divide students into pairs or into small groups. They will be active animations going from groups to groups, offering discrete suggestions. They will let students give frein to their imagination more freely in expressing their opinions in summarizing the tales and in giving continuations to some tales.
About the ways summaries should be made, here are some tips. Students should:
a) Make a careful selection of the main ideas.
b) Connect these ideas: provide bridges from one idea to another.
c) Eliminate irrelevant and unnecessary ideas.
d) Give the summary an impression of simplicity.
e) Write down the ideas in a coherent sequence and a logical order.