Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

The Effect of Using Timed Reading and Genre-Based Reading on Intermediate Efl Language Learners' Reading Comprehension

Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

The Effect of Using Timed Reading and Genre-Based Reading on Intermediate Efl Language Learners' Reading Comprehension

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

Nowadays Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) plays a significant role in many countries around the world. Teaching a language is a complicated process since every language consists of four main skills, including reading, writing, speaking and listening, and some sub-skills, including grammar, pronunciation and vocabulary. One essential skill is reading, and it has always been taken into account as one of the most influential skills which is now even more important than before due to the large amount of information in every specific area of study.

By knowing the importance of reading, a question may arise: How can teachers improve the language learners' reading skill? To answer this question, a research study can be conducted. A good way of finding an effective technique for improving the language learners' reading comprehension is to select two critical techniques in order to compare their effects on the language learners' reading comprehension.

Genre-based reading can make the process of reading easier. In other words, language learners need to construct meaning while reading a text; therefore, having adequate knowledge regarding the genre of a text can facilitate this process. It works as 'textual schemata', and it limits the 'meaning-potential' of a specific text (O'Sullivan, et al, 1994). In other words, having knowledge about the genre o f a text is likely to play a significant role in enhancing the reading comprehension. Fowler (1989) has pointed out that "readers learn genres gradually, usually through unconscious familiarization." (p. 215) Thus, teachers can employ this technique to improve the learners' reading comprehension.

Timed reading is an activity which is usually used to increase reading speed (Nation, 2007). Timed reading activity involves reading of passages with equal length and equal word difficulty. This type of activity is usually done over a period of weeks or months with the purpose of increasing the reading speed. It is likely that the growth of reading speed can affect the level of reading comprehension. Thus, this study tries to discover whether genre-based reading or timed activity reading is more beneficial for improving the language learners' reading comprehension skill.

2. Statement of the problem

One of the most fundamental skills in learning a foreign language is reading. Research studies regarding English as a foreign language (EFL) reading comprehension is related to the feasible ways to increase reading comprehension. Accordingly, genre-based instruction is believed to be an effective approach and activity in reading comprehension. And on the other hand, timed reading activity is likely to enhance reading comprehension of language learners. Improving all of the four skills of a language is of great importance. However, reading is an important skill for successful learning. Therefore, in many teaching situations, reading is considered as a fundamental skill. Alderson (1984) pointed out that

In many parts of the world a reading knowledge of a foreign language is often important to academic studies, professional success, and personal development. This is particularly true of English as so much professional, technical and scientific literature is published in English. (p. 1)

Accordingly, it is crucial to discover an effective technique to enhance the language learners' reading comprehension skill.

3. Literature review

Learning to read in a foreign language is surely a demanding task. "It implies interaction between the reader and the text, a degree of knowledge of the world and determined topics, some knowledge of the target language and also the interpretation of the writer's message which can vary from reader to reader." (Fuenzalida, 2010, p. 4) "In the reading process, the reader is an active participant, constructing meaning from clues found in printed text." (Shafiei Ebrahimi, 2012, p. 195) In other words, the active role of the reader constructs the meaning from the text. …

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