Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 2187

Search results for: English reading comprehension

2187 Using WebQuest for Developing English Reading Comprehension Skills for Preparatory Experimental School Students: Proposed Design

Authors: Sarah Hamdy Abd-Al Hamid Seyam

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The research aimed investigating the effect of using web quest on developing English reading comprehension skills for preparatory experimental school students. The descriptive design was adopted in the study. The tools of the study are represented in: a checklist for the English reading comprehension skills and a test of the English reading comprehension skills for the first year preparatory experimental school students. Results of the study were discussed in relation to various factors that affect the learning process. Finally the research presented applicable contributions according to using web quest in teaching English as a foreign language generally and improving reading comprehension in particular.

Keywords: English as a second language, preparatory experimental schools, reading comprehension, WebQuest

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2186 The Role of Vocabulary in Reading Comprehension

Authors: Engku Haliza Engku Ibrahim, Isarji Sarudin, Ainon Jariah Muhamad

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It is generally agreed that many factors contribute to one’s reading comprehension and there is consensus that vocabulary size one of the main factors. This study explores the relationship between second language learners’ vocabulary size and their reading comprehension scores. 130 Malay pre-university students of a public university participated in this study. They were students of an intensive English language programme doing preparatory English courses to pursue bachelors degree in English. A quantitative research method was employed based on the Vocabulary Levels Test by Nation (1990) and the reading comprehension score of the in-house English Proficiency Test. A review of the literature indicates that a somewhat positive correlation is to be expected though findings of this study can only be explicated once the final analysis has been carried out. This is an ongoing study and it is anticipated that results of this research will be finalized in the near future. The findings will help provide beneficial implications for the prediction of reading comprehension performance. It also has implications for the teaching of vocabulary in the ESL context. A better understanding of the relationship between vocabulary size and reading comprehension scores will enhance teachers’ and students’ awareness of the importance of vocabulary acquisition in the L2 classroom.

Keywords: vocabulary size, vocabulary learning, reading comprehension, ESL

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2185 Developing the Skills of Reading Comprehension of Learners of English as a Second Language

Authors: Indu Gamage

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Though commonly utilized as a language improvement technique, reading has not been fully employed by both language teachers and learners to develop reading comprehension skills in English as a second language. In a Sri Lankan context, this area has to be delved deep into as the learners’ show more propensity to analyze. Reading comprehension is an area that most language teachers and learners struggle with though it appears easy. Most ESL learners engage in reading tasks without being properly aware of the objective of doing reading comprehension. It is observed that when doing reading tasks, the language learners’ concern is more on the meanings of individual words than on the overall comprehension of the given text. The passiveness with which the ESL learners engage themselves in reading comprehension makes reading a tedious task for the learner thereby giving the learner a sense of disappointment at the end. Certain reading tasks take the form of translations. The active cognitive participation of the learner in the mode of using productive strategies for predicting, employing schemata and using contextual clues seems quite less. It was hypothesized that the learners’ lack of knowledge of the productive strategies of reading was the major obstacle that makes reading comprehension a tedious task for them. This study is based on a group of 30 tertiary students who read English only as a fundamental requirement for their degree. They belonged to the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences of the University of Ruhuna, Sri Lanka. Almost all learners hailed from areas where English was hardly utilized in their day to day conversations. The study is carried out in the mode of a questionnaire to check their opinions on reading and a test to check whether the learners are using productive strategies of reading when doing reading comprehension tasks. The test comprised reading questions covering major productive strategies for reading. Then the results were analyzed to see the degree of their active engagement in comprehending the text. The findings depicted the validity of the hypothesis as grounds behind the difficulties related to reading comprehension.

Keywords: reading, comprehension, skills, reading strategies

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2184 Salient Issues in Reading Comprehension Difficulties Faced by Primary School Children

Authors: Janet Fernandez

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Reading is both for aesthetic and efferent purposes. In order for reading comprehension to take place, the reader needs to be able to make meaningful connections and enjoy the reading process. The notion of reading comprehension is discussed along with the plausible causes of poor reading comprehension abilities among primary school children. Among the major contributing causes are imaging, lack of schemata, selection of reading materials, and habits of the readers. Instruction methods are an integral part of making reading comprehension a meaningful experience, hence several models are presented for the classroom practitioner. Suggestions on how primary school children can improve their reading comprehension skills are offered.

Keywords: children, improve, reading comprehension, meaningful strategies

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2183 Investigating the Effect of Juncture on Comprehension among Adult Learners of English in Nigeria

Authors: Emmanuel Uba, Oluwasegun Omidiora, Eugenia Abiodun-Eniayekan

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The role of phonology on reading comprehension is long established in the literature. However, the vast majority of studies on the relationship between phonology and reading or comprehension among adults involve investigating the role of intonation, stress, and segmental knowledge on understanding texts. Not much attention is paid to junctural observation and its effect on the interpretation of texts. This study, therefore, presents a preliminary case-study investigation of the effect of juncture on comprehension of texts among adult Nigerian learners of English. Eighty adult learners of English in Nigeria were presented with fifteen seemingly ambiguous sentences to interpret. The sentences were structured in a way that pausing at different points would produce different interpretations. The results reveal that wrong application of pause is capable of affecting comprehension even when other phonological factors such as stress and intonation are observed properly.

Keywords: comprehension, juncture, phonology, reading

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2182 Effect of Two Transactional Instructional Strategies on Primary School Pupils’ Achievement in English Language Vocabulary and Reading Comprehension in Ibadan Metropolis, Nigeria

Authors: Eniola Akande

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Introduction: English vocabulary and reading comprehension are core to academic achievement in many school subjects. Deficiency in both accounts for dismal performance in internal and external examinations among primary school pupils in Ibadan Metropolis, Nigeria. Previous studies largely focused on factors influencing pupils’ achievement in English vocabulary and reading comprehension. In spite of what literature has shown, the problem still persists, implying the need for other kinds of intervention. This study was therefore carried out to determine the effect of two transactional strategies Picture Walk (PW) and Know-Want to Learn-Learnt (KWL) on primary four pupils’ achievement in English vocabulary and reading comprehension in Ibadan Metropolis. The moderating effects of gender and learning style were also examined. Methodology: The study was anchored on Rosenblatt’s Transactional Reading and Piaget’s Cognitive Development theories; pretest-posttest control group quasi-experimental design with 3x2x3 factorial matrix was adopted. Six public primary schools were purposively selected based on the availability of qualified English language teachers in Primary Education Studies. Six intact classes (one per school) with a total of 101 primary four pupils (48 males and 53 females) participated. The intact classes were randomly assigned to PW (27), KWL (44) and conventional (30) groups. Instruments used were English Vocabulary (r=0.83), Reading Comprehension (r=0.84) achievement tests, Pupils’ Learning Style Preference Scale (r=0.93) and instructional guides. Treatment lasted six weeks. Data were analysed using the Descriptive statistics, Analysis of Covariance and Bonferroni post-hoc test at 0.05 level of significance. The mean age was 8.86±0.84 years. Result: Treatment had a significant main effect on pupils’ reading comprehension (F(2,82)=3.17), but not on English vocabulary. Participants in KWL obtained the highest post achievement means score in reading comprehension (8.93), followed by PW (8.06) and control (7.21) groups. Pupils’ learning style had a significant main effect on pupils’ achievement in reading comprehension (F(2,82)=4.41), but not on English vocabulary. Pupils with preference for tactile learning style had the highest post achievement mean score in reading comprehension (9.40), followed by the auditory (7.43) and the visual learning style (7.37) groups. Gender had no significant main effect on English vocabulary and reading comprehension. There was no significant two-way interaction effect of treatment and gender on pupils’ achievement in English vocabulary and reading comprehension. The two-way interaction effect of treatment and learning style on pupils’ achievement in reading comprehension was significant (F(4,82)=3.37), in favour of pupils with tactile learning style in PW group. There was no significant two-way interaction effect of gender and learning style on pupils’ achievement in English vocabulary and reading comprehension. The three-way interaction effects were not significant on English vocabulary and reading comprehension. Conclusion: Picture Walk and Know-Want to learn-Learnt instructional strategies were effective in enhancing pupils’ achievement in reading comprehension but not on English vocabulary. Learning style contributed considerably to achievement in reading comprehension but not to English vocabulary. Primary school, English language teachers, should put into consideration pupils’ learning style when adopting both strategies in teaching reading comprehension for improved achievement in the subject.

Keywords: comprehension-based intervention, know-want to learn-learnt, learning style, picture walk, primary school pupils

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2181 Using 'Know, Want to Know, Learned' Strategy to Enhance the Seventh C Grade Students' Reading Comprehension Achievement at SMPN 1 Mumbulsari

Authors: Abdul Rofiq Badril Rizal M. Z.

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Reading becomes one of the most important skills in teaching and learning English. The purpose of this research was to improve the students' active participation, and reading comprehension achievement by using Know, Want to Know, Learned (KWL) strategy. The research design was Classroom Action Research. The area and participants of this research were chosen by using purposive method. The data were collected by observation, a reading comprehension test, interview, and documentation. The results showed that there was significant improvement in Cycle 1 to Cycle 2 of the research. In cycle 1, the students’ active participation increased 49.77% from 28% to 77.77. In addition, in cycle 2, the students’ active participation also increased by 14.17% from 77.77% to 81.94%. The students’ reading comprehension achievement also increased by 52.14% from 25% to 77.14% in Cycle 1 and increased by 5.71% from 77.14% to 82.85% in cycle 2. It indicated that using Know, Want to Know, Learned (KWL) strategy could enhance the Seventh C grade students’ descriptive text reading comprehension achievement, and active participation.

Keywords: active participation, reading comprehension, classroom action research, Indonesian folktales

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2180 Examining the Links between Established Principles, Iranian Teachers' Perceptions of Reading Comprehension, and Their Actual Practice in English for Specific Purposes Courses

Authors: Zahra Alimorad

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There is a strong belief that language teachers' actual practices in the classroom context are largely determined by the underlying perceptions they hold about the nature of language and language learning. That being so, it can be envisaged that teaching procedures of ESP (English for Specific Purposes) teachers teaching reading comprehension will mainly be driven by their perceptions about the nature of reading. To examine this issue, four Iranian university professors holding Ph.D. in either TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) or English Literature who were teaching English to Engineering and Sciences students were recruited to participate in this study. To collect the necessary data, classroom observations and follow-up semi-structured interviews were used. Furthermore, the materials utilized by the teachers such as textbooks, syllabuses, and tests were also examined. Although it can be argued that their perceptions were partially compatible with the established principles, results of the study pointed to a lack of congruence between these teachers' perceptions and their practices, on the one hand, and between the established principles and the practices, on the other. While the literature mostly supports a metacognitive-strategy approach to reading comprehension, the teachers were mainly adopting a skills-based approach to the teaching of reading. That is, they primarily focused on translation as the core activity in the classroom followed by reading aloud, defining words, and explaining grammatical structures. This divergence was partly attributed to the contextual constraints and partly to students' lack of motivation by the teachers.

Keywords: English teachers, perceptions, practice, principles, reading comprehension

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2179 Story Readers’ Self-Reflection on Their past Study Experiences: In Comparison of the Languages Used in a Self-Regulated Learning -Themed Story

Authors: Mayuko Matsuoka

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This presentation reports the relationships among EFL(English as a Foreign Language) students’ story comprehension in reading a story written in English and Japanese and empathic reactions. The main focus is put on their self-reflection on past study experiences, one of the empathic reactions after reading a story. One hundred fifty-five first-year university students in Japan read three SRL-themed stories written in English (their foreign language) and those written in Japanese (their mother tongue). The levels of the stories are equivalent, at CEFR(Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) B2 level. The result of categorical correlation analysis shows significant moderate correlations among three empathic reactions in a group reading English versions: having similar emotions as a protagonist, reflecting on their past study experiences, and getting lessons from a story. In addition, the result of logistic regression analysis for the data in a group reading English versions shows the chance of getting lessons from a story significantly approximately doubles if participants’ scores of a comprehension test increases by one, while it approximately triples if participants’ self-reflection occurs. These results do not appear in a group reading Japanese versions. The findings imply that self-reflection may support their comprehension of the English texts and leads to the participants’ getting lessons about SRL.

Keywords: comprehension, lesson, self-reflection, SRL

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2178 Improving English by Reading Local Literature: The Case for Thai Primary Children

Authors: Wipada Prasansaph

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The aim of this research is twofold: to develop a local literature (simplified English translation version) reading booklet for Thai primary school children (the fourth graders) and to encourage the love of reading in English by reading local literature. An excerpt from Thai literature namely Phra-apaimani, the reading requirement for Primary 4 was selected to be translated into English in simplified language with cartoon pictures to illustrate the key happenings of the story. After the first draft of the booklet development, the samples of the booklets were distributed to 3 educator experts to call for validity and comments on 1) the appropriateness of the English language, 2) the organization of the booklet, 3) the comprehension of the story, and 4) the relevance to the core curriculum of Basic Education of Thailand (B.E.2551). The IOC (Index of Item – Objective Congruence) was 0.9 indicated that the material is applicable (with some comments and suggestions). After the first amendment, the booklets were distributed to 30 fourth graders (in 3 schools – 10 in each school), 10 English teachers of Primary 4, and 10 educational supervisors for English subjects (in primary level) to call for comments on 1) the comprehension of the story 2) the organization of the booklet, and 3) the encouragement for the love of reading in English. The English reading booklet on Phra-apaimani for Thai primary children, the IOC questionnaire (with the open-ended questions) for the educator experts, and the rating scales for the students, the teachers, and the educational supervisors were used as the instruments of the research. The findings revealed that most students rated ‘positive’ level for the comprehension of the story, while the teachers and the educational supervisors rated ‘highly positive’. The 3 groups rated ‘highly positive’ for both the organization of the booklet and for the encouragement for the love of reading in English. It is recommended that there should be more production of English reading texts for children, especially the texts that children already have some background knowledge. Moreover, illustration is the most crucial part for the children’s reading texts.

Keywords: English language, reading skill, primary children, Thai literature

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2177 The Effects of Consistently Reading Whole Novels on the Reading Comprehension of Adolescents with Developmental Disabilities

Authors: Pierre Brocas, Konstantinos Rizos

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This study was conducted to test the effects of introducing a consistent pace and volume of reading whole narratives on adolescents' reading comprehension with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The study was inspired by previous studies conducted on poorer adolescent readers in English schools. The setting was a Free Special Education Needs school in England. Nine male and one female student, between 11-13 years old, across two classrooms participated in the study. All students had a diagnosis of ASD, and all were classified as advanced learners. The classroom teachers introduced reading a whole challenging novel in 12 weeks with consistency as the independent variable. The study used a before-and-after design of testing the participants’ reading comprehension using standardised tests. The participants made a remarkable 1.8 years’ mean progress on the standardised tests of reading comprehension, with three participants making 4+ years progress. The researchers hypothesise that reading novels aloud and at a fast pace in each lesson, that are challenging but appropriate to the participants’ learning level, may have a beneficial effect on the reading comprehension of adolescents with learning difficulties, giving them a more engaged uninterrupted reading experience over a sustained period. However, more studies need to be conducted to test the independent variable across a bigger and more diverse population with a stronger design.

Keywords: autism, reading comprehension, developmental disabilities, narratives

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2176 Teachers and Learners Perceptions on the Impact of Different Test Procedures on Reading: A Case Study

Authors: Bahloul Amel

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The main aim of this research was to investigate the perspectives of English language teachers and learners on the effect of test techniques on reading comprehension, test performance and assessment. The research has also aimed at finding the differences between teacher and learner perspectives, specifying the test techniques which have the highest effect, investigating the other factors affecting reading comprehension, and comparing the results with the similar studies. In order to achieve these objectives, perspectives and findings of different researchers were reviewed, two different questionnaires were prepared to collect data for the perspectives of teachers and learners, the questionnaires were applied to 26 learners and 8 teachers from the University of Batna (Algeria), and quantitative and qualitative data analysis of the results were done. The results and analysis of the results show that different test techniques affect reading comprehension, test performance and assessment at different percentages rates.

Keywords: reading comprehension, reading assessment, test performance, test techniques

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2175 The Effect of Metacognitive Think-Aloud Strategy on Form 1 Pupils’ Reading Comprehension Skills via DELIMa Platform

Authors: Fatin Khairani Khairul 'Azam

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Reading comprehension requires the formation of an articulate mental representation of the information in a text. It involves three interdepended elements—the reader, the text, and the activity, all situated into an extensive sociocultural context. Incorporating metacognitive think-aloud strategy into teaching reading comprehension would improve learners’ reading comprehension skills as it helps to monitor their thinking as they read. Furthermore, by integrating Digital Educational Learning Initiative Malaysia (DELIMa) platform in teaching reading comprehension, it can make the process interactive and fun. A quasi-experimental one-group pre-test post-test design was used to identify the effectiveness of using metacognitive think-aloud strategy via DELIMa platform in improving pupils’ reading comprehension performance and their perceptions towards reading comprehension. The participants of the study comprised 82 of form 1 pupils from a secondary school in Pasir Gudang, Johor, Malaysia. All participants were required to sit for pre-and post-tests to track their reading comprehension performance and perceptions. The findings revealed that incorporating metacognitive think-aloud strategy is an effective strategy in teaching reading comprehension as the performance of pupils in reading comprehension and their perceptions towards reading comprehension were improved during the post tests. It is hoped that the findings of the study would be useful to the teachers incorporating the same strategy in teaching to improve pupils' reading skills. It is suggested that future study should involve the motivation factor of the participants on incorporating think-aloud strategy into teaching reading comprehension as well.

Keywords: DELIMa Platform, ESL Learners, Metacognitive Strategy, Pupils' Perceptions, Reading Comprehension, Think-Aloud Strategy

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2174 Exploring Reading Attitudes among Iranian English Language Teachers

Authors: Narges Nemati, Mohammadreza Fallahpour, Hossein Bozorgian

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Reading is one of the receptive skills which has an important role in improving other skills like writing and speaking. Furthermore, language learners can acquire plenty of vocabularies and become more acquainted with written expression through reading. Also, negative attitudes toward reading can cause negligible reading comprehension, which could prompt poor performance in the English language. Considering the fact that reading instruction was discussed as a low priority skill in the field of EFL teacher education, this study attempted to investigate EFL teachers’ attitudes toward reading instruction. Therefore, to serve the purpose of this study, a mixed-method approach was utilized by inviting 100 Iranian EFL teachers who taught at English language institutes of Iran to fill out a validated questionnaire on teachers’ attitude toward reading. Subsequently, 10 participants were randomly selected for further observations and interview sessions to evaluate the differences between their stated attitude and their actual practices. The findings from analyzing questionnaires, observations, and interviews revealed that EFL teachers’ stated attitude toward reading instruction was positive; whereas, due to some reasons like lack of time, scarcity of interesting passages, and lack of interest in reading long passages, teachers did not show positive actual attitude toward teaching reading skill.

Keywords: English as foreign language classroom, English language, reading skill, teachers' attitude

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2173 The Development of Ability in Reading Comprehension Based on Metacognitive Strategies for Mattayom 3 Students

Authors: Kanlaya Ratanasuphakarn, Suttipong Boonphadung

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The research on the development of ability in reading comprehension based on metacognitive strategies aimed to (1) improve the students’development of ability in reading comprehension based on metacognitive strategies, (2) evaluate the students’ satisfaction on using metacognitive strategies in learning as a tool developing the ability in reading comprehension. Forty-eight of Mattayom 3 students who have enrolled in the subject of research for learning development of semester 2 in 2013 were purposively selected as the research cohort. The research tools were lesson plans for reading comprehension, pre-posttest and satisfaction questionnaire that were approved as content validity and reliability (IOC=.66-1.00,0.967). The research found that the development of ability in reading comprehension of the research samples before using metacognitive strategies in learning activities was in the normal high level. Additionally, the research discovered that the students’ satisfaction of the research cohort after applying model in learning activities appeared to be high level of satisfaction on using metacognitive strategies in learning as a tool for the development of ability in reading comprehension.

Keywords: development of ability, metacognitive strategies, satisfaction, reading comprehension

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2172 Background Knowledge and Reading Comprehension in ELT Classes: A Pedagogical Perspective

Authors: Davoud Ansari Kejal, Meysam Sabour

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For long, there has been a belief that a reader can easily comprehend a text if he is strong enough in vocabulary and grammatical knowledge but there was no account for the ability of understanding different subjects based on readers’ understanding of the surrounding world which is called world background knowledge. This paper attempts to investigate the reading comprehension process applying the schema theory as an influential factor in comprehending texts, in order to prove the important role of background knowledge in reading comprehension. Based on the discussion, some teaching methods are suggested for employing world background knowledge for an elaborated teaching of reading comprehension in an active learning environment in EFL classes.

Keywords: background knowledge, reading comprehension, schema theory, ELT classes

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2171 The Effects of Three Pre-Reading Activities (Text Summary, Vocabulary Definition, and Pre-Passage Questions) on the Reading Comprehension of Iranian EFL Learners

Authors: Leila Anjomshoa, Firooz Sadighi

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This study investigated the effects of three types of pre-reading activities (vocabulary definitions, text summary and pre-passage questions) on EFL learners’ English reading comprehension. On the basis of the results of a placement test administered to two hundred and thirty English students at Kerman Azad University, 200 subjects (one hundred intermediate and one hundred advanced) were selected.Four texts, two of them at intermediate level and two of them at advanced level were chosen. The data gathered was subjected to the statistical procedures of ANOVA. A close examination of the results through Tukey’s HSD showed the fact that the experimental groups performed better than the control group, highlighting the effect of the treatment on them. Also, the experimental group C (text summary), performed remarkably better than the other three groups (both experimental & control). Group B subjects, vocabulary definitions, performed better than groups A and D. The pre-passage questions group’s (D) performance showed higher scores than the control condition.

Keywords: pre-reading activities, text summary, vocabulary definition, and pre-passage questions, reading comprehension

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2170 Investigating Reading Comprehension Proficiency and Self-Efficacy among Algerian EFL Students within Collaborative Strategic Reading Approach and Attributional Feedback Intervention

Authors: Nezha Badi

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It has been shown in the literature that Algerian university students suffer from low levels of reading comprehension proficiency, which hinder their overall proficiency in English. This low level is mainly related to the methodology of teaching reading which is employed by the teacher in the classroom (a teacher-centered environment), as well as students’ poor sense of self-efficacy to undertake reading comprehension activities. Arguably, what is needed is an approach necessary for enhancing students’ self-beliefs about their abilities to deal with different reading comprehension activities. This can be done by providing them with opportunities to take responsibility for their own learning (learners’ autonomy). As a result of learning autonomy, learners’ beliefs about their abilities to deal with certain language tasks may increase, and hence, their language learning ability. Therefore, this experimental research study attempts to assess the extent to which an integrated approach combining one particular reading approach known as ‘collaborative strategic reading’ (CSR), and teacher’s attributional feedback (on students’ reading performance and strategy use) can improve the reading comprehension skill and the sense of self-efficacy of EFL Algerian university students. It also seeks to examine students’ main reasons for their successful or unsuccessful achievements in reading comprehension activities, and whether students’ attributions for their reading comprehension outcomes can be modified after exposure to the instruction. To obtain the data, different tools including a reading comprehension test, questionnaires, an observation, an interview, and learning logs were used with 105 second year Algerian EFL university students. The sample of the study was divided into three groups; one control group (with no treatment), one experimental group (CSR group) who received a CSR instruction, and a second intervention group (CSR Plus group) who received teacher’s attribution feedback in addition to the CSR intervention. Students in the CSR Plus group received the same experiment as the CSR group using the same tools, except that they were asked to keep learning logs, for which teacher’s feedback on reading performance and strategy use was provided. The results of this study indicate that the CSR and the attributional feedback intervention was effective in improving students’ reading comprehension proficiency and sense of self-efficacy. However, there was not a significant change in students’ adaptive and maladaptive attributions for their success and failure d from the pre-test to the post-test phase. Analysis of the perception questionnaire, the interview, and the learning logs shows that students have positive perceptions about the CSR and the attributional feedback instruction. Based on the findings, this study, therefore, seeks to provide EFL teachers in general and Algerian EFL university teachers in particular with pedagogical implications on how to teach reading comprehension to their students to help them achieve well and feel more self-efficacious in reading comprehension activities, and in English language learning more generally.

Keywords: attributions, attributional feedback, collaborative strategic reading, self-efficacy

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2169 The Role of Reading Self-Efficacy and Perception of Difficulty in English Reading among Chinese ESL Learners

Authors: Kevin Chan, Kevin K. H. Chung, Patcy P. S. Yeung, H. L. Ip, Bill T. C. Chung, Karen M. K. Chung

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Purpose: Recent evidence shows that reading self-efficacy and students perceived difficulty in reading are significantly associated with word reading and reading fluency. However, little is known about these relationships among students learning to read English as a second language, particularly in Chinese students. This study examined the contributions of reading self-efficacy, perception of difficulty in reading, and cognitive-linguistic skills to performance on English word reading and reading fluency in Chinese students. Method: A sample of 122 second-and third-grade students in Hong Kong, China, participated in this study. Students completed the measures of reading self-efficacy and perception of difficulty in reading. They were assessed on their English cognitive-linguistic and reading skills: rapid automatized naming, nonword reading, phonological awareness, word reading, and one-minute word reading. Results: Results of path analysis indicated that when students’ grades were controlled, reading self-efficacy was a significant correlate of word reading and reading fluency, whereas perception of difficulty in reading negatively predicted word reading. Conclusion: These findings underscore the importance of taking students’ reading self-efficacy and perception of difficulty in reading and their cognitive-linguistic skills into consideration when designing reading intervention and instructions for students learning English as a second language.

Keywords: self-efficacy, perception of difficulty in reading, english as a second language, word reading

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2168 Using Metacognitive Strategies in Reading Comprehension by EFL Students

Authors: Simin Sadeghi-Saeb

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Metacognitive strategies consistently play important roles in reading comprehension. The metacognitive strategies involve the active monitoring and consequent regulation and orchestration of the cognitive processes in relation to the cognitive objects or data on which they bear. In this paper, the effect of instruction in using metacognitive strategies on reading academic materials, type of metacognitive strategies were mostly used by college university students before and after the instruction and the level they use those strategies before and after the instruction were studied. For these aims, 50 female college students were chosen. Then, they were divided randomly into two groups, experimental and control groups. At first session, students in both groups took the standard TOFEL exam. After the pre-test had been administered, the instruction began. After treatment, a post-test was taken. It is useful to state that after pre-test and post-test the same questionnaire was handed to the students of experimental group. The results of this research show that the instruction of metacognitive strategies has positive effect on the students' scores in reading comprehension tests. Furthermore, it showed that before and after the instruction, the students' usage of metacognitive strategies changed. Also, it demonstrated that the instruction affected the students' level of metacognitive strategies' usage.

Keywords: EFL students, English reading comprehension, instruction, metacognitive strategies

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2167 Moving from Practice to Theory

Authors: Maria Lina Garrido

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This paper aims to reflect upon instruction in English classes with the specific purpose of reading comprehension development, having as its paradigm the considerations presented by William Grabe, in his book Reading in a Second Language: Moving from theory to practice. His concerns regarding the connection between research findings and instructional practices have stimulated the present author to re-evaluate both her long practice as an English reading teacher and as the author of two reading textbooks for graduate students. Elements of the reading process such as linguistic issues, prior knowledge, reading strategies, critical evaluation, and motivation are the main foci of this analysis as far as the activities developed in the classroom are concerned. The experience with university candidates on postgraduate courses with different levels of English knowledge in Bahia, Brazil, has definitely demanded certain adjustments to this author`s classroom setting. Word recognition based on cognates, for example, has been emphasized given the fact that academic texts use many Latin words which have the same roots as the Brazilian Portuguese lexicon. Concerning syntactic parsing, the tenses/verbal aspects, modality and linking words are included in the curriculum, but not with the same depth as the general English curricula. Reading strategies, another essential predictor for developing reading skills, have been largely stimulated in L2 classes in order to compensate for a lack of the appropriate knowledge of the foreign language. This paper presents results that demonstrate that this author`s teaching practice is compatible with the implications and instruction concerning the reading process outlined by Grabe, however, it admits that each class demands specific instructions to meet the needs of that particular group.

Keywords: classroom practice, instructional activities, reading comprehension, reading skills

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2166 The Impacts of an Adapted Literature Circle Model on Reading Comprehension, Engagement, and Cooperation in an EFL Reading Course

Authors: Tiantian Feng

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There is a dearth of research on the literary circle as a teaching strategy in English as a Foreign Language (EFL) classes in Chinese colleges and universities and even fewer empirical studies on its impacts. In this one-quarter, design-based project, the researcher aims to increase students’ engagement, cooperation, and, on top of that, reading comprehension performance by utilizing a researcher-developed, adapted reading circle model in an EFL reading course at a Chinese college. The model also integrated team-based learning and portfolio assessment, with an emphasis on the specialization of individual responsibilities, contributions, and outcomes in reading projects, with the goal of addressing current issues in EFL classes at Chinese colleges, such as passive learning, test orientation, ineffective and uncooperative teamwork, and lack of dynamics. In this quasi-experimental research, two groups of students enrolled in the course were invited to participate in four in-class team projects, with the intervention class following the adapted literature circle model and team members rotating as Leader, Coordinator, Brain trust, and Reporter. The researcher/instructor used a sequential explanatory mixed-methods approach to quantitatively analyze the final grades for the pre-and post-tests, as well as individual scores for team projects and will code students' artifacts in the next step, with the results to be reported in a subsequent paper(s). Initial analysis showed that both groups saw an increase in final grades, but the intervention group enjoyed a more significant boost, suggesting that the adapted reading circle model is effective in improving students’ reading comprehension performance. This research not only closes the empirical research gap of literature circles in college EFL classes in China but also adds to the pool of effective ways to optimize reading comprehension performance and class performance in college EFL classes.

Keywords: literature circle, EFL teaching, college english reading, reading comprehension

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2165 Explaining Listening Comprehension among L2 Learners of English: The Contribution of Vocabulary Knowledge and Working Memory Capacity

Authors: Ahmed Masrai

Abstract:

Listening comprehension constitutes a considerable challenge for the second language (L2) learners, but a little is known about the explanatory power of different variables in explaining variance in listening comprehension. Since research in this area, to the researcher's knowledge, is relatively small in comparison to that focusing on the relationship between reading comprehension and factors such as vocabulary and working memory, there is a need for studies that are seeking to fill the gap in our knowledge about the specific contribution of working memory capacity (WMC), aural vocabulary knowledge and written vocabulary knowledge to explaining listening comprehension. Among 130 English as foreign language learners, the present study examines what proportion of the variance in listening comprehension is explained by aural vocabulary knowledge, written vocabulary knowledge, and WMC. Four measures were used to collect the required data for the study: (1) A-Lex, a measure of aural vocabulary knowledge; (2) XK-Lex, a measure of written vocabulary knowledge; (3) Listening Span Task, a measure of WMC and; (4) IELTS Listening Test, a measure of listening comprehension. The results show that aural vocabulary knowledge is the strongest predictor of listening comprehension, followed by WMC, while written vocabulary knowledge is the weakest predictor. The study discusses implications for the explanatory power of aural vocabulary knowledge and WMC to listening comprehension and pedagogical practice in L2 classrooms.

Keywords: listening comprehension, second language, vocabulary knowledge, working memory

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2164 Effective Glosses in Reading to Help L2 Vocabulary Learning for Low-Intermediate Technology University Students in Taiwan

Authors: Pi-Lan Yang

Abstract:

It is controversial which type of gloss condition (i.e., gloss language or gloss position) is more effective in second or foreign language (L2) vocabulary learning. The present study compared the performance on learning ten English words in the conditions of L2 English reading with no glosses and with glosses of Chinese equivalents/translations and L2 English definitions at the side of a page and at an attached sheet for low-intermediate Chinese-speaking learners of English, who were technology university students in Taiwan. It is found first that the performances on the immediate posttest and the delayed posttest were overall better in the gloss condition than those in the no-gloss condition. Next, it is found that the glosses of Chinese translations were more effective and sustainable than those of L2 English definitions. Finally, the effects of L2 English glosses at the side of a page were observed to be less sustainable than those at an attached sheet. In addition, an opinion questionnaire used also showed a preference for the glosses of Chinese translations in L2 English reading. These results would be discussed in terms of automated lexical access, sentence processing mechanisms, and the trade-off nature of storage and processing functions in working memory system, proposed by the capacity theory of language comprehension.

Keywords: glosses of Chinese equivalents/translations, glosses of L2 English definitions, L2 vocabulary learning, L2 English reading

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2163 Techniques to Teach Reading at Pre-Reading Stage

Authors: Anh Duong

Abstract:

The three-phase reading lesson has been put forth around the world as the new and innovative framework which is corresponding to the learner-centered trend in English language teaching and learning. Among three stages, pre-reading attracts many teachers’ and researchers’ attention for its vital role in preparing students with knowledge and interest in reading class. The researcher’s desire to exemplify effectiveness of activities prior to text reading has provoked the current study. Three main aspects were investigated in this paper, i.e. teachers’ and student’s perception of pre-reading stage, teachers’ exploitation of pre-reading techniques and teachers’ recommendation of effective pre-reading activities. Aiming at pre-reading techniques for first-year students at English Department, this study involved 200 fresh-men and 10 teachers from Division 1 to participate in the questionnaire survey. Interviews with the teachers and classroom observation were employed as a tool to take an insight into the responses gained from the early instrument. After a detailed procedure of analyzing data, the researcher discovered that thanks to the participants’ acclamation of pre-reading stage, this phase was frequently conducted by the surveyed teachers. Despite the fact that pre-reading activities apparently put a hand in motivating students to read and creating a joyful learning atmosphere, they did not fulfill another function as supporting students’ reading comprehension. Therefore, a range of techniques and notices when preparing and conducting pre-reading phase was detected from the interviewed teachers. The findings assisted the researcher to propose some related pedagogical implications concerning teachers’ source of pre-reading techniques, variations of suggested activities and first-year reading syllabus.

Keywords: pre-reading stage, pre-reading techniques, teaching reading, language teaching

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2162 Predicting Reading Comprehension in Spanish: The Evidence for the Simple View Model

Authors: Gabriela Silva-Maceda, Silvia Romero-Contreras

Abstract:

Spanish is a more transparent language than English given that it has more direct correspondences between sounds and letters. It has become important to understand how decoding and linguistic comprehension contribute to reading comprehension in the framework of the widely known Simple View Model. This study aimed to identify the level of prediction by these two components in a sample of 1st to 4th grade children attending two schools in central Mexico (one public and one private). Within each school, ten children were randomly selected in each grade level, and their parents were asked about reading habits and socioeconomic information. In total, 79 children completed three standardized tests measuring decoding (pseudo-word reading), linguistic comprehension (understanding of paragraphs) and reading comprehension using subtests from the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals-Spanish, Fourth Edition, and the Test de Lectura y Escritura en Español (LEE). The data were analyzed using hierarchical regression, with decoding as a first step and linguistic comprehension as a second step. Results showed that decoding accounted for 19.2% of the variance in reading comprehension, while linguistic comprehension accounted for an additional 10%, adding up to 29.2% of variance explained: F (2, 75)= 15.45, p <.001. Socioeconomic status derived from parental questionnaires showed a statistically significant association with the type of school attended, X2 (3, N= 79) = 14.33, p =.002. Nonetheless when analyzing the Simple View components, only decoding differences were statistically significant (t = -6.92, df = 76.81, p < .001, two-tailed); reading comprehension differences were also significant (t = -3.44, df = 76, p = .001, two-tailed). When socioeconomic status was included in the model, it predicted a 5.9% unique variance, even when already accounting for Simple View components, adding to a 35.1% total variance explained. This three-predictor model was also significant: F (3, 72)= 12.99, p <.001. In addition, socioeconomic status was significantly correlated with the amount of non-textbook books parents reported to have at home for both adults (rho = .61, p<.001) and children (rho= .47, p<.001). Results converge with a large body of literature finding socioeconomic differences in reading comprehension; in addition this study suggests that these differences were also present in decoding skills. Although linguistic comprehension differences between schools were expected, it is argued that the test used to collect this variable was not sensitive to linguistic differences, since it came from a test to diagnose clinical language disabilities. Even with this caveat, results show that the components of the Simple View Model can predict less than a third of the variance in reading comprehension in Spanish. However, the results also suggest that a fuller model of reading comprehension is obtained when considering the family’s socioeconomic status, given the potential differences shown by the socioeconomic status association with books at home, factors that are particularly important in countries where inequality gaps are relatively large.

Keywords: decoding, linguistic comprehension, reading comprehension, simple view model, socioeconomic status, Spanish

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2161 The Impact of Teaching Critical Reading Strategies on Students' Performance in English and Communication Skills in College of Education, Azare, Bauchi State Nigeria

Authors: Musa Galadima Toro

Abstract:

The study focused on the impact of teaching critical reading strategies on students’ performance in English and communication skills at the college of education Azare Bauchi state, Nigeria. It adopted a pre-test, post-test experimental group design. A sample of two hundred and forty (240) students was randomly selected from four departments within the school. The students were randomized into two groups: experimental and control groups. The experimental group was taught critical reading strategies as a form of treatment, while the control group involved in normal reading comprehension exercises. The findings of the study showed a significant difference in the performance of students who were taught critical reading strategies at the post- test level. Recommendations based on the findings of the study were proffered such as placing more emphasis on teaching critical reading strategies in order to improve students’ creative thinking skills and also encouraging students to read articles in science and humanities to improve their reading skills among others.

Keywords: English, communication skill, critical reading, strategies

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2160 The Comparative Effect of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), Critical Thinking and a Combination of Both On EFL Learners' Reading Comprehension

Authors: Mona Khabiri, Fahimeh Farahani

Abstract:

The present study was an attempt to investigate the comparative effect of teaching NLP, critical thinking, and a combination of NLP and critical thinking on EFL learners' reading comprehension. To fulfill the purpose of this study, a group of 82 female and male intermediate EFL learners at a Language School in Iran took a piloted sample PET as a proficiency test and 63 of them were selected as homogenous learners and were randomly assigned to three experimental groups. Within a treatment process of 10 sessions the teacher/researcher provided the participants of each group with handouts, explanations, practices, homework, and questionnaires on techniques of NLP, critical thinking, and a combination of both. During these 10 sessions, 10 same reading comprehension texts extracted from the multi-skill course book suggested by the language school where thought to the participants of each experimental group using skills and strategies of NLP, critical thinking, and a combination of both. On the eleventh session, the participants sat for a reading posttest. The results of one-way ANOVA showed no significant difference among the three groups in terms of reading comprehension. Justifications and implications for the findings of the study and suggestions for further research are presented.

Keywords: neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), critical thinking, reading comprehension

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2159 Reading in Multiple Arabic's: Effects of Diglossia and Orthography

Authors: Aula Khatteb Abu-Liel

Abstract:

The study investigated the effects of diglossia and orthography on reading in Arabic, manipulating reading in Spoken Arabic (SA), using Arabizi, in which it is written using Latin letters on computers/phones, and the two forms of the conventional written form Modern Standard Arabic (MSA): vowelled (shallow) and unvowelled (deep). 77 skilled readers in 8th grade performed oral reading of single words and narrative and expository texts, and silent reading comprehension of both genres of text. Oral reading and comprehension revealed different patterns. Single words and texts were read faster and more accurately in unvoweled MSA, slowest and least accurately in vowelled MSA, and in-between in Arabizi. Comprehension was highest for vowelled MSA. Narrative texts were better than expository texts in Arabizi with the opposite pattern in MSA. The results suggest that frequency of the type of texts and the way in which phonology is encoded affect skilled reading.

Keywords: Arabic, Arabize, computer mediated communication, diglossia, modern standard Arabic

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2158 Effects of Computer-Mediated Dictionaries on Reading Comprehension and Vocabulary Acquisition

Authors: Mohamed Amin Mekheimer

Abstract:

This study aimed to investigate the effects of paper-based monolingual, pop-up and type-in electronic dictionaries on improving reading comprehension and incidental vocabulary acquisition and retention in an EFL context. It tapped into how computer-mediated dictionaries may have facilitated/impeded reading comprehension and vocabulary acquisition. Findings showed differential effects produced by the three treatments compared with the control group. Specifically, it revealed that the pop-up dictionary condition had the shortest average vocabulary searching time, vocabulary and text reading time, yet with less than the type-in dictionary group but more than the book dictionary group in terms of frequent dictionary 'look-ups' (p<.0001). In addition, ANOVA analyses also showed that text reading time differed significantly across all four treatments, and so did reading comprehension. Vocabulary acquisition was reported as enhanced in the three treatments rather than in the control group, but still with insignificant differences across the three treatments, yet with more differential effects in favour of the pop-up condition. Data also assert that participants preferred the pop-up e-dictionary more than the type-in and paper-based groups. Explanations of the findings vis-à-vis the cognitive load theory were presented. Pedagogical implications and suggestions for further research were forwarded at the end.

Keywords: computer-mediated dictionaries, type-in dictionaries, pop-up dictionaries, reading comprehension, vocabulary acquisition

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