Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

Emp Students' Use of Reading Strategies and the Impact of Strategy Instruction on Medical Text Comprehension

Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

Emp Students' Use of Reading Strategies and the Impact of Strategy Instruction on Medical Text Comprehension

Article excerpt


Reading is one of the pillars of language learning that plays a key role in successful academic performances. To become proficient readers in ESP, learners should know how to tackle expository texts. The present study aimed at broadening our knowledge of the types of reading strategy used by EMP learners and the effectiveness of reading strategies instruction as regards developing reading comprehension. Moreover, the differences between high and low proficient readers were analyzed in light of patterns of strategy use and effectiveness of strategy instruction. In a comparative quasi-experimental design, forty learners of nursing, and lab students from Jahrom University of medical sciences participated in the study. Learners responding to a reading strategy survey also went through a reading strategy instruction course. To compare learners' performances, their reading achievements were assessed through pre-, postand delay tests. Descriptive statistics, chi-square, independent and pair samples f-test were applied to analyze learners' reading attainments. The results revealed that EMP learners mostly and significantly employed skimming and scanning strategies. To a lesser extent, they used discourse markers to comprehend medical texts. More proficient readers showed significantly higher rates of using skimming and scanning as compared with less proficient readers. However, differences in the use of discourse markers were not significant. Furthermore, findings indicated that learners in both high and low groups performed meaningfully better in their postand delay tests after reading strategy instruction as compared with their pre-tests performance. The findings highlight the noteworthy effect of reading strategy instruction on learners' reading comprehension.

Keywords: patterns of strategy use, reading comprehension, reading strategy instruction

1. Introduction

Reading is of utmost necessity for learning because it is the basis for all knowledge. Foreign language learning which entails both knowledge accumulation and skill development is an endeavor that supports this necessity quite clearly. Learning to read in a foreign language is a difficult task and the most important and critical skills for second language (L2) students to achieve academic success. In other words, it is a kind of interaction between the reader and the text which implies a degree of knowledge of the world, topics and target language.

Readers often encounter problems in reading a text and understanding the intended meaning. In fact, there are many factors that affect efficacy in the reading of a text in a second language of which one of the most important ones is lack of using appropriate reading strategies (Hsu, 2006). In general, research on language learning strategies started in the 1970s. However, empirical investigations cm reading strategies use and its relationship to successful and unsuccessful second language readers have been carried out more recently (Jafari & Shokrpour, 2012; Rokhsari, 2012). Research studies in second language contexts have demonstrated that strategy use is different in more and less proficient readers. That is, more proficient readers use different types of strategies in different ways. From another point of view, it is found that using reading strategies facilitates reading comprehension and helps learners become more proficient and autonomous readers (Booth & Swartz, 2004).

The problem of how to develop reading comprehension proficiency is one of the main concerns for learners of English as a foreign language and English teachers in Iran since reading is the major classroom activity in the public language education. In addition, it is an unquestionable fact that English plays a vital and prominent role in higher education in academic settings especially in medicine. Medical group students have to read medical textbooks and professional journals which are mostly written in English. …

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