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The results of a similar study conducted by Ilustre (2011) in the Philippines showed that amongst the three subscales of metacognitive reading strategies, only problem solving strategies correlated positively with text comprehension.Purpose of the study In order to meet the reading needs of learners, educators are pressed to develop both effective instructional means for teaching reading comprehension and the use of reading strategies.
In recent years, there has been an increased focus on reading instruction in primary, secondary and higher education (Lei 2010).
The literature has shown that comprehension strategy instruction, including multiple reading strategies, have been justified in being beneficial to helping learners become strategic readers and improve their reading comprehension (Klapwijk 2012; Medina 2011; Fan 2010; Antoniou & Souvignier 2007) .
In a South African context, the need for a reading strategy instruction should be seen against the poor reading performance of the learners at primary, high school and tertiary level.
According to Pretorius (2002), reading is a powerful learning tool, a means of constructing meaning and acquiring new knowledge.
Moreover, reading is the cornerstone of instruction for all learners regardless of their ability level because it sets the foundation for future progress and success in virtually all other facets of life (Scott 2010; Luckner & Handley 2008).
However, poor reading comprehension is cited as a fundamental feature of academic underperformance in South Africa (Pretorius 2002; Granville 2001; Dreyer 1998).What does the reading comprehension and reading strategy use profile of the Grade11 ESL learners portray? Do learners in the experimental group who received strategic reading instruction attain statistically and practically significantly higher scores on the reading comprehension test and do they differ significantly in terms of their use of reading strategies?How readers extract meaning from a text has long been a focus of attention because the process of extracting meaning gives learners invaluable information about readers’ cognitive processes during reading (Salataci & Akyel 2002).Thus, strategy teaching is an important part of teaching a second language and constructing meaning is the goal of comprehension (Dalton & Proctor 2007).In addition, Mc Keown, Beck and Blake (20) point out that recent research on comprehension has certainly provided increased understanding of the comprehension process and broad and general knowledge of what makes for effective instructional practice.The results of this study indicate that (1) learners who received reading strategy instruction scored both statistically and practically significantly higher marks on the reading comprehension test than those in the control group and (2) explicit instruction in the use of reading strategies was essential to bring about the increased use of reading strategies of learners in the experimental group.The study has implications for learners, teachers, university students and lecturers.In addition, studies conducted on reading instruction and reading strategies indicate that strategy instruction with a focus on comprehension monitoring can help less skilled readers overcome their difficulties in reading (Franco-Fuenmayor, Kandel-Cisco & Padron 2008; Salataci & Akyel 2002; Pretorius 2002; Grabe & Stoller 2002; Granville 2001; Anderson 1999).In addition, Oxford (1990) points out that it appears that successful language students have the ability to orchestrate and combine particular types of strategies in effective ways according to their own learning needs.According to Hall (2009), explicit instruction is a systematic instructional approach that includes a set of delivery and design procedures derived from effective schools research merged with behaviour analysis.Hall further points out that there are two essential components to well-designed explicit instruction: 1.