Improving reading skills in Al Ahsa

How to improve the reading skills in learning English language at Hajir intermediate school in al ahsa city.

Table of contents page No.

1- Abstract 1

2- Introduction 1

3- Literature review 2-3

4- Significance of the research 3

5- Research question 4

6- Research methodology 4

7- Ethical consideration 5

8- Limitation of the research 5

9- Expected results 5

10- References 6-7

Abstract

In this research I am going to investigate how we can improve our reading skills in order to be able to learn English. Our students suffer from different difficulties in reading English. This due to several reasons, the most important one is the new words which students don’t know. These new words are obstacles to students to complete reading English. This research is trying to help us to get rid of this problem by some methods. As mentioned this research tries to answer the question how can we encourage our students to read in English without fearing of any mistakes. In this research I will use the cooperative learning strategy to overcome this problem, there are going to be some interviews and pre-posttest to make sure of the levels of the students. The collected data which I collected from the interviews and pre-posttest will be analyses in different ways to get accurate results.

Introduction

“Reading is one of the important skills for students to expand their knowledge of language, cultures and the world”.

Reading is highly regarded skill which we have to be master. Tradition methods in teaching reading English were teacher centered. Today educationalists’ opinions about effective teaching have shifted from teacher centeredness to learner centeredness (Richard- Rodger 2001) the research is an attempt to find out how does cooperative learning improve skills by using this strategy we can improve the students’ understanding and knowing of new words and thus they can continue reading English without any shyness or fear. The result of this study may contribute to make reading easier for intermediate students.

The strategy of cooperative teaching which a lot of scientist advised use to use today in teaching in concentrate on the students which gives the opportunity to involve in the learning process. The main object of this research is to assess the effects of cooperative learning on reading skills of the students

Literature review

This research investigates the effect of using cooperative learning strategies on improving reading skill to intermediate students

Cooperative Learning

Cooperative learning is a set of teaching strategies used to promote face-to-face interaction among students and help them reach specific learning and interpersonal goals in structured groups (Johnson & Johnson, 1994; Slavin, 1997).

Cooperative learning requires students to engage in group activities that increase learning and adds other important dimensions. The positive outcomes include academic gains, improved race relations and increased personal and social development (Brown & Ciuffetelli, 2009).

Tsay& Miranda (2010) observed that students who fully participate in group activities, exhibit collaborative behaviors, provide constructive feedback, and cooperate with their groups have a higher likelihood of receiving higher test scores and course grades at the end of the semester. Cooperative learning is an active pedagogy that fosters higher academic achievement.

McGroarly (1993) asserts that Cooperative groups increase opportunities for students to produce and comprehend language and to obtain modeling and feedback from their peers.

Reading comprehension is measured by three types of recall scores: recall scores for common ideas, main ideas, and non-main ideas of a text. Reading comprehension usually refers to the amount of understanding readers have when they read the text. That is, it represents how well readers understand the implicit and explicit meaning of the contents of the text they read (Sung-Hyun, 2003).

The more effortlessly students can recognize words, the more attention they can devote to comprehension. The more time students spend in reading, the better their reading rate is (O’Connor et al., 2007). Becoming a good reader requires practice in reading and constant exposure to text (Pressley& Block, 2002).

The literature review indicates that a major cause of poor reading comprehension skills is curricular deficiencies and ineffective teaching models. The social context influences what one reads, how one reads, and why one reads (Whitaker et al., 2004). It is important, therefore, that teachers address this issue by making reading relevant to students and establishing a purpose for reading a text.

Kagan and Kagan (1994) have shown that students acquire social skills with cooperative learning. They state that when cooperative learning is used, students learn to understand, respect, and support one another. In addition, other studies in the field have shown that cooperative learning improves students’ self-esteem, enables them to establish positive interpersonal relationships, and fosters positive interdependence (Johnson & Johnson, 1992).

Qin, S. Johnson, D. W. & Johnson, R. T. (1995) assert “Cooperative efforts result in better preference in problem solving than competitive efforts do. This is true at all grade level, for both linguistic and non-linguistic problems, and regardless of whatever a problem has a clearly defined operation and solution or operations and solutions that are less clear or are ill defined”. Liao (2009) states that the success of cooperative learning in promoting student reading comprehension can attribute to the cognitive processes of cooperative learning. Group discussions facilitate student reading comprehension by fostering a supportive learning atmosphere, which provides more opportunities for explanation, logical inference, and debates to elaborate student understanding of reading materials, and makes ideas concrete.

Stahl (1995) noted that cooperative learning encourages students to

interact, ask and answer questions, solve problems, and make decisions. Stahl (1995) also stated that because it improves academic skills of students in language arts such as synthesizing, generalizing, summarizing, drawing conclusions, and determining relevant and irrelevant ideas, cooperative learning activities may be useful in teaching reading.

Significance of study

Because there is a lack of researches in the field of improving reading skill, the results of this research may contribute to the literature in this area. This research may also contribute to improve the reading courses which held in intermediate classes. This research may help teachers who are interested in this field. The teachers who haven’t used the cooperative learning may be have the chance to use it in your classes after seeing that carefully designed cooperative learning activities.

Research question

What are the effects of cooperative learning strategies on students’ level in reading English?

– What is the students behavior towards cooperative learning?

Research Methodology

This study investigated the effects of cooperative learning activities on improving reading skill.

In these section participants, instruments (tools) used to conduct the study, date collection procedures and data analysis will be discussed in detail.

Participants

The participants were divided into two groups. Students in both groups were in intermediate stage. There were 40 students in both groups; the teacher who will carry out cooperative learning strategies in the reading class was chosen taught reading class of the same year. He had no previous experience in carrying out cooperative learning strategies. Before applying the strategies he attended a one day workshop.

Instruments

– Pre- test

It was prepared before applied the cooperative learning strategies.

Students are given this test before the teacher uses the cooperative learning strategies.

– Post-test

It was held after using the cooperative learning strategies.

Each test was arranged into 10 items of multiple choices taken from student’s English book. Both of the two groups were given the tests.

Interviews

Interviews were made with teacher and 5 students randomly chosen students from the group which used the cooperative learning. The purpose was to collect information about the effects of the use of cooperative learning strategies.

Interviews were recorded. Written notes were taken by the researcher.

Ethical consideration

I’m going to take permission from the educational department and from the students to do this research. Students’ names are not important.

Limitation of the study

There are several limitations should be considered. The limitations were related to the participants, the time of the research and the material of the course.

The first limitation was the time of the course. Although a five-week was planned with the teacher. He could only use the strategies for three weeks. Another limitation of the research was the participants. There were just two groups, having more than two groups in this research may provide more reliable results.

Expected results

The aim of the research was to decide the effects of cooperative learning strategies on students’ reading skill. The interviews data suggested positive changes in students’ reading skills after a three-week exposure to cooperative learning activities. This research may be considered as a small step to encourage students to play an active role in learning process. Another aim was to decide the effect of cooperative learning on students’ behavior towards the cooperative learning.

References

1- Davoudi, Amir Hoseyn Mohammad, and Babak Mahinpo. ‘Kagan Cooperative Learning Model: The Bridge To Foreign Language Learning In The Third Millennium’. TPLS 2.6 (2012): n. pag. Web.

2- Deutsch, M. ‘An Experimental Study Of The Effects Of Co-Operation And Competition Upon Group Process’. Human Relations 2.3 (1949): 199-231. Web.

3- Deutsch, M. ‘An Experimental Study Of The Effects Of Co-Operation And Competition Upon Group Process’. Human Relations 2.3 (1949): 199-231. Web.

4- Dougherty, S. M. ‘K. Lems, L. D. Miller, And T. M. Soro, Teaching Reading To English Language Learners: Insights From Linguistics’. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy 11.4 (2011): 504-508. Web.

5- ‘Editorial Board’. Endocrinology 156.5 (2015): 2C-2C. Web.

6- Gwyn-Paquette, Caroline, and François Tochon. ‘The Role Of Reflective Conversations And Feedback In Helping Preserve Teachers Learn To Use Cooperative Activities In Their Second Language Classrooms’. Canadian Modern Language Review 59.4 (2003): 503-546. Web.

7- Oakhill, Jane V. Kate Cain. Assessment of comprehension in reading, The

Psychological Assessment of Reading. John R. Beech and Chris Singleton. London: Routledge. 1997.

8- Paris, Dr. Scott. Developing Comprehension Skills.

http://media.wix.com/ugd/37184e_2c198e440de641efab7a9f78e2be47c

3.pdf Accessed on February 9th, 2014.

9- Scott, John Anthony, and Kenneth A. Bruffee. ‘Collaborative Learning: Higher Education, Interdependence, And The Authority Of Knowledge’. The History Teacher 33.2 (2000): 267. Web.

10- Siriphanich, Panatda. Using Mind Mapping Technique to Improve Reading Comprehension Ability of Thai EFL University Students. The 2nd

International Conference on Humanities and Social Sciences April 10th,

2010 Faculty of Liberal Arts, Prince of Songkla University.

11- Sharan, Shlomo. ‘Differentiating Methods Of Cooperative Learning In Research And Practice’. Asia Pacific Journal of Education 22.1 (2002): 106-116. Web.

12- Slavin, Robert E., and Eileen Oickle. ‘Effects Of Cooperative Learning Teams On Student Achievement And Race Relations: Treatment By Race Interactions’. Sociology of Education 54.3 (1981): 174. Web.

10-Slavin, R.E. (1985). An introduction to cooperative learning research. In R. Slavin, S. Sharan, S. Kagan, R. H. Lazarowitz, C. Webb, & Schmuck (Eds.), Learning to co-operate, co-operating to learn (pp. 5-15). New York: Plenum Press.

13- ‘The Comparative Effect Of Using Competitive And Cooperative Learning On The Reading Comprehension Of Introvert And Extrovert EFL Learners’. Advances in Language and Literary Studies 5.4 (2014): n. page. Web.

14- Wicaksono, Rachel. ‘Research Perspectives On Teaching And Learning English In Turkey: Policies And Practices. Yaseminbayyurt And Yeşimbaktaş-Çetinkaya (Eds.). Frankfurt Am Main: Peter Lang, 2012, 312 Pp.’. World English 33.1 (2014): 153-155. Web.

15- Zamel, Vivian. ‘Teaching Composition In The ESL Classroom: What We Can Learn From Research In The Teaching Of English’. TESOL Quarterly 10.1 (1976): 67. Web.

16- Englishclub.com.,. ‘English club’. N.p., 2015. Web. 28 Oct. 2015.

17- Wikipedia,. ‘Cooperative Learning’. N.p., 2015. Web. 28 Oct. 2015.

18- Cooperative Learning Institute,. ‘Cooperative Learning Institute’. N.p., 2015. Web. 28 Oct. 2015.

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