Proficiency as a variable in Gulf EFL students’ employment of reading strategies

Date
2016-10
Authors
Endley, Martin J.
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University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center
Center for Language & Technology
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28
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2
Starting Page
183
Ending Page
223
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Abstract
This paper reports a study of the reading strategies used by twelve Arabic-speaking undergraduates at a major Gulf university when reading texts in English. The procedure employed was a think-aloud protocol followed by semi-structured interview. Three research questions were addressed: (a) What are the primary comprehension problems encountered by students attending an English-speaking university in the Gulf region when reading academic texts in English? (b) What reading strategies do the students actually employ in order to solve their reading problems? (c) To what extent can the demographic variable of English reading proficiency be used to reliably predict the students’ use of reading strategies in English? Results revealed that while the participants were already in possession of a repertoire strategies, they often failed to use them effectively. This was especially the case with the lower-proficiency readers. The implications of these findings are briefly discussed.
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Arabic EFL learners, reading comprehension problems, reading strategies, think aloud-protocol
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