Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

The Effect of Using Focused Tasks through Input Flooding on Reading Comprehension Skill of Iranian High School Students

Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

The Effect of Using Focused Tasks through Input Flooding on Reading Comprehension Skill of Iranian High School Students

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

Nowadays, most researchers of a second or a foreign language pay special attention to the activity of reading, believing that reading is one of the most important skills for ESL/EFL learners (Grabe and Stoller, 2001; Lynch & Hudson, 1991). As Eskey (2005) has pointed out, many EFL students rarely need to speak the language in their day-to-day lives but many need to read it in order to "access the wealth of information" (p. 563), recorded exclusively in English.

When the issue turns to second language (L2) reading, the role of grammar becomes more complex. For one, L2 reading differs from L1 reading in that L2 readers "start to read in the second language before achieving the kind of grammatical maturity and the level of oral vocabulary that L1 readers attain before they begin to read" (Shiotsu, 2009, p. 16). Thus, L2 learners must learn how phrases are constructed and cases are assigned to the constructed phrases in a new language (Koda, 2007). Grammar constitutes a crucial concept of the language and it is a device for constructing and expressing meaning without which, effective communication would be impossible (Crivos & Luchini, 2012).

The effectiveness of teaching grammar and the necessity of learning grammar for L2 learners is now a well-established fact in Second Language Acquisition (Borg & Burns, Celce- Murcia, Cullen, Davies, Ellis, Fotos, Sheen, as cited in Abbasian Boroujeni, 2012) which has led to reconsideration of the role of grammar in L2 classroom.

The non-interventionist focus on meanings' problem, which helped learners to become fluent, but was insufficient to ensure capable levels of accuracy, led to the introduction of a viable third option by Long (1991) called focus on form which attempts to capture the strengths of an analytic approach while dealing with its limitations. Long (1991) defined it as follows: 'focus on form... overtly draws students' attention to linguistic elements as they arise incidentally in lessons whose overriding focus is on meaning or communication' (p. 45-46). Hence, both teacher and learners are engaged in language use communicatively. However, occasion arise when the learners choose to focus on form.

From this perspective, reading-based focus-on-form activities are especially suitable for many EFL situations because of the traditional emphasis on comprehension and translation skills (Fotos, 1998). Reading material can be modified by highlighting, so that the target structure becomes salient while the learners are reading for meaning (Fotos, 1998).

Ellis, Basturkmen and Loewen (2002) distinguished two types of focus on form: planned focus on form and incidental focus on form. The linguistic elements to be focused are pre-determined in planned focus on form. Planned focus on form involves the use of communicative tasks designed to elicit the use of particular linguistic structure in a meaning-based context. The teacher decides in advance what forms should be focused on.

2. Review of the Related Literature

2.1Second/Foreign Language Reading

Second language reading differs from first language reading in that L2 readers "start to read in the second language before achieving the kind of grammatical maturing and the level of oral vocabulary that L1 readers attain before they begin to read" (Shiotsu, 2009, p.16). Different people use the term "reading" in different ways. However, no one single definition tells the complexity inherent in the ability to read (Grabe, 2002). Janzen (2007) observes that reading is "crucial to the academic achievement of second language learners" (p. 707).

When learners read a text, their main goal is to comprehend its meaning. So comprehension is the ultimate goal of all reading; that is, the ability to understand a text underlies all reading tasks. Thus, main-idea comprehension should be at the core of all reading instruction (Grabe and Stoller 2013).

Grabe (2009) and Berhardt (2011) indicated that reading comprehension instruction is an essential part of reading instruction. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.