Reading Comprehension as a process

Reading Comprehension is a process.

Different people see different things in a text. Even the same person may sometimes see different things in a text after reading it for the second or third time.  A text is like a picture – it is subject to personal interpretation.

In the next posts I will bring different texts dealing with the same subject or actually, different aspects of the same subject. From text to text we will accumulate information and enrich our understanding of the text since reading is strongly influenced by prior knowledge.

Our general subject is Culture, Customs and Manners

Text No. 1

Sabras are known to be outspoken, straightforward and sometimes, even blunt. They usually say exactly what they think, feel and want without worrying too much about the effect their words may have on others. They are direct and speak straight to the point. They often think that manners are nothing but hypocrisy. Why apologize if you are not really sorry? Why say "thank you" if you do not feel truly grateful? Why say "nice to meet you" if you hope you will never see that person again?

Today, the approach to manners has changed in Israel. and still, many people think there is much to improve. More and more Israelis go abroad and there, they discover how pleasant good manners can be. They see that standing in line and waiting patiently for your turn does not necessarily mean that you are soft… Besides, it is always nice to meet at the entrance of a store a smiling face saying: "Good morning. Can I help you?" and it certainly helps to hear "Have a nice day" when you leave, even if you haven't bought anything.

Many Israelis have learned to restrain their tendency to be very outspoken and even blunt. After all, It is sometimes hard to be direct and speak straight to the point. It may even be embarrassing in certain situations. Besides, it may not always be wise to say everything that is on our mind. It may sometimes be wiser to keep quiet…

Working on the text

Read the text carefully.

  • Find the main idea of every paragraph.
  • Can you sum up the text in three sentences?
  • Choose a suitable title for the text.

Suggestions for Class Discussion:

  • What is the meaning of the word SABRA?
  • Why are Israeli natives called this way?
  • What are the associations of the word SABRA?
  • Do you think the word describes the characteristic features of Israeli natives? Discuss.
  • On what occasions are we sometimes too shy to speak straight to the point? (When we meet new people, when we move to a new neighborhood,etc,…). Discuss.
  • Is it always wise to tell the whole truth? Should doctors, for example, tell teir patients the whole truth? Discuss.
  • Is it always wise to say straight out what we think? What if our outspoken approach hurts others? Discuss.

Writing Activity

  1. Complete the following sentences according to the text.

  • They see that if …,
    it doesn't mean that …
  • Some of them even think that politeness …
  • They don't worry too much …
    and say …
  • Saying everything that is on our mind is …
  • Sometimes we may be too shy or embarrassed …
  • They are afraid that people may think that …
  • Many people think that sabras are …
  • "Can I help you" and "Have a nice day" are examples of …
  • Sabras are now more polite probably because …

2. Rearrange the sentences that you have just completed in chronological order according to the passage.

3. Choose 5 or six sentences that would best sum up the text.

Homework Assignments

Write 2 – 3 paragraphs about one of the following subjects:

  • Write a short note to your friend telling him what you really think about him. Write straight to the point, but watch your manners.
  • Write a short note of apology to your friend. Explain why you have chosen to write instead of talking to him.


And that's all for today. More texts and suggestions in my next post.             

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