Teachers' perceptions of strategy training in reading instruction
Item Usage Stats
Reading strategies are processes used by a learner to enhance reading and to overcome comprehension failures. In order to better help students overcome such difficulties, training in reading strategies is necessary. Only with the appropriate use of materials and techniques, can reading strategies be best taught to students. The objective of this study was to investigate teachers’ perceptions of strategy training in their reading instruction at Eastern Mediterranean University, School of Foreign Languages (EMU SFL). Additionally, the study attempted to explore what reading strategies teachers teach, how they decide which strategies to teach, and how they make use of the materials to teach reading strategies. The findings of the study might contribute to the design of the reading materials in terms of more effective usage of reading strategies. A questionnaire was administered to the 46 teachers who taught at the intermediate level during the third module of the 2001-2002 academic year in EMU SFL and 33 of them returned the questionnaire. The questionnaire consisted of five parts, reflecting the different research questions. The aim of the questionnaire was to gather a general picture of the perceptions of the teachers towards reading strategies and their presentation through the materials. After the analysis of the questionnaire, semi-structured interviews were conducted in order to gather more in-depth information about the teachers’ teaching practices, reading strategies, and how they make use of the reading materials both in the Headway course book and the intermediate pack with six participants. Data collected through the questionnaire were analysed through quantitative methods by employing descriptive statistics, such as frequencies and percentages. In order to support the results and see the distribution of answers for each question, chisquare values were also calculated using the Statistical Packages for Social Sciences (SPSS). Data collected through the interviews were analysed by using cross sectional and non-cross sectional categorization. Through cross sectional categorization, teachers’ responses were categorized under the heading of three phases of reading instruction, and through non-cross sectional categorization, unexpected themes within the individual participants were analysed separately and interpreted by the researcher. The data results revealed that the majority of teachers at EMU SFL are somewhat familiar with the concept of reading strategies. The results show that teachers use the materials in the Headway course book and the intermediate pack to teach certain reading strategies. According to the results, all the teachers teach prereading strategies, and they rely on the activities designed for the reading materials to teach while-reading strategies. However, teachers are likely to neglect the use of post-reading strategies as they claim there are few such activities in the materials and students are easily bored with them. Apart from the reading strategies taught, some teachers mentioned some materials that are culturally unfamiliar to students. Therefore, they claim that it is difficult for them to use some strategies as well as to adapt the materials. Some teachers mentioned the issue of training for teachers so that they could be more aware of the use of reading strategies other than skimming, scanning, and guessing meaning from the context.