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"Students can use a simulation to work on a number of these subskills. SimCity (1995) is one software package that can provide learners with opportunities to build their reading skills. Students working as a class or in a small group each take a role within the simulation, such as police chief, city planner, or mayor. The software asks players to make the decisions necessary to run a city and gives them information in a variety of categories. The task is to create a city that survives and prospers. Students need to skim the on-screen information quickly to find facts relevant to their role. Because the simulation imposes time limits, quick, accurate reading is essential.

A simulation that uses longer readings helps students work on scanning to decide whether a specific reading covers a topic they need to know about-and gives practice with prediction. Learners need to recognize topic sentences and supporting details if part of their task is to justify, either orally or in writing, the decisions they make. If students work in small groups, the groups can compare their results when the time is up, explaining their basic decisions and their results to the whole class. Extensive material to read, a time limit, and some element of competition can motivate students to read faster and more efficiently, and the right technology can help."

Healy, D. Classroom Practice: Commmunicative Skill-Building Tasks in CALL Environments, in CALL Environments Research, Practice, and Critical Issues,TESOL, 1999,p.117.



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