Text Structure Instruction in Saudi High School Reading Textbooks

A checklist consisting of the general and specific narrative and expository text structure skills was constructed and used to analyze and classify all the reading questions that follow the narrative and expository texts in junior and senior high school reading textbooks used in girls’ schools. Analysis of the reading questions has indicated that of a total of 1282 questions in all twelve reading textbooks, only 35 questions were allocated to text structure: 23 questions covered narrative texts and 12 covered expository texts. Only 6 questions were allocated to recognizing the protagonist, one question for identifying the story theme, 16 questions for inferring the moral of the story, 2 questions for identifying the organizational pattern of a text, and 10 summarization questions. Recognizing the setting and plot of a story, sentence topic, main idea, place of the main idea in a paragraph, paragraph type, paragraph structure, supporting details, thesis statement, the introductory paragraph, concluding paragraph, the diferent organizational patterns and text structure signals were not covered by the reading questions in any of the reading textbooks at any grade level. In other words, junior and senior high school female students do not receive much instruction in narrative and expository text structures. Some recommendations for more text structure instruction were given.

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

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