An investigation of explicit strategy instruction on EFL reading of undergraduate English majors in Thailand
SubjectsQ330 English as a second language
English as a Second Language
English as an Additional Language
English for academic purposes
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AbstractAs academic and professional knowledge is available around the world through publications in English, the ability to read in English is now widely seen as an essential basic skill for university graduates in countries, like Thailand, where English is a foreign language. However, students often fail to reach a level of reading ability that allows them to read these publications with confidence. It is important that instruction in Reading skills should be improved. It has been claimed that instruction in the use of reading strategies is helpful in improving the reading skills of EFL learners. Research has suggested that explicit instruction can be particularly valuable. This thesis investigates the reading strategies used by Thai university students and investigates whether a short course based on explicit reading strategy instruction can be effective in encouraging the use of strategies and improving reading skills for Thai university students. Based on a literature review on Reading strategy instruction, a framework was developed and applied in the adaptation of a set of materials for use in providing English major Thai university students with explicit instruction in the use of reading strategies. The following research questions were investigated: What are the reading strategies that Thai undergraduate English major students employ in the EFL reading process? Does reading strategy instruction affect students’ use of reading strategies in English? How much improvement do the students show on measures of reading performance after receiving a programme of reading strategy instruction? In a quasi-experimental research design, one class of fifteen students, the Experimental group, was given a twelve-week course in Reading that included explicit instruction in reading strategies while a second group of thirteen students (matched for background characteristics), the Control group, was given a parallel course that did not include explicit strategy instruction. Both quantitative and qualitative comparisons were made. Students were given reading tests and responded to questionnaires about their use of strategies at the beginning and end of their courses. They were also interviewed and performed think-aloud verbal protocols in which they reported in their use of reading strategies as they carried out reading tasks. Participants in the Experimental group reported using a wider range of strategies than those in the Control group following instruction and generally made greater improvements in their reading test scores. The findings support the value of explicit instruction in reading strategies for Thai university students. However, concerns remain about Thai students reliance on translation and slow, careful reading even following instruction in more strategic approaches.
CitationKhaokaew, B. (2012) 'An investigation of explicit strategy instruction on EFL reading of undergraduate English majors in Thailand' PhD thesis. University of Bedfordshire
PublisherUniversity of Bedfordshire
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionA thesis submitted to the University of Bedfordshire in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy
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