Raising the comprehension skills of Thai tertiary readers of English through strategies-based instruction
This quasi-experimental study researches the efficacy of strategies-based instruction on the L2 and L1 reading proficiency and reading strategy use of Thai students. The subjects were 164 tertiary students of scientific and technological domains at King Mongkut’s University of Technology North Bangkok (KMUTNB), Thailand. A programme of strategy training was introduced to an experimental cohort of 82 students while another 82 students were taught in a control condition using traditional, teacher-fronted methods. A mixed research approach using both quantitative and qualitative procedures was adopted. A standardised test of English reading comprehension, a test of Thai reading comprehension, and a strategy use questionnaire were administered to all subjects as pre-post measures. A post-lesson interview was conducted with three students from each cohort during the course. A concept interview was conducted with all students from both cohorts to form a post-course survey. As out-of-class assignments, all students were required to produce portfolio entries giving their retrospective accounts of strategy use for 11 weeks. The quantitative findings revealed a significantly higher gain in English and Thai reading abilities in favour of the experimental cohort. Both cohorts reported more frequent strategy use after the course, but there were no statistically-significant differences on the post-survey between the two cohorts. The findings indicated a significant correlation between strategy use and English reading proficiency as well as between English and Thai reading proficiency. The qualitative results indicated that the experimental cohort developed more strategic awareness, and appeared to use a wider range of strategies when reading in other situations. The results also show that, in the process of learning to use reading strategies, EFL learners with higher reading proficiency are more efficient at manipulating strategies than those with lower reading proficiency. Overall, the results of this study support the effectiveness of activating metacognitive awareness and of explicit instruction in reading strategy use.
Advisor: Sweetnam Evans, Moyra; Taylor, John
Degree Name: Doctor of Philosophy
Degree Discipline: Linguistics programme, Department of English
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: strategies-based instruction; reading strategies; metacognitive awareness; explicit strategy training; EFL reading; L2 reading; strategic awareness
Research Type: Thesis