Current practices in reading instruction

The aim of the present study was to examine the amount of reading texts, reading exercises and reading skills covered by reading instructors in ESL college classrooms at each college level. Subjects of the present study consisted of 12 instructors (3 instructors per level) who taught reading in Fall 2000 and Spring 2001. Since students usually mark texts, do exercises and take notes on their textbooks, 3 reading textbooks per instructor were collected from students in levels 1-4. Each book was examined page by page. The number of units, number of reading selections, number of reading skills and number of reading exercises taught in each textbook were calculated. It was found that the typical instructor taught 50% of the reading selections in Interactions I and Interactions II, 33% of the reading selections in Mosaic I and 20% of the reading selections in Mosaic II. In Addition, the typical instructor taught 62% of the reading and vocabulary skills and 50% of the testing skills in Interactions I. In Interactions II, the typical instructor taught 50% of the reading skills, vocabulary, and testing and study skills. In Mosaic I, the typical instructor taught 33% of the reading skills, 40% of the vocabulary skills, 55% of the testing and study skills. In Mosaic II, the typical instructor taught 25% of the reading, vocabulary, testing and study skills. A detailed report of the findings will be given. Results will be discussed in the light of issues affecting student achievement in ESL such as the amount of time allocated to reading instruction and the relationship between the amount of material covered and reading achievement.

Prof. Reima Al-jarf
King Saud University
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

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