Title

The effects of an English teacher's teaching methods on students' reading comprehension skills

Date of Award

8-1-2005

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Master of Education (M. Ed.)

Department

Institute for Educational Development, Karachi

Abstract

In Pakistan, English is taught as a second or foreign language in the government schools with minimal opportunities to practice it both in and outside the school. Teachers still use traditional ways for teaching reading. They are not familiar with the latest ways and appropriate trends of teaching reading in ESL/EFL contexts. This affects students' comprehension skills. They still struggle to understand the text even after reaching the higher grades. In this situation, English language classrooms could be the only place for practising language skills. Teachers can provide ample opportunities to their students if they know how to teach reading comprehension. This study was conducted to explore the effects of an English language teacher's teaching methods/strategies on students' reading comprehension skills, and to gain insights from it, in order to improve my own understanding of teaching of reading comprehension in English. It means that after observing the teacher's existing teaching reading methods/strategies and interviewing the teacher and the students, I improved my own understanding of teaching reading comprehension in English. It would help me in teaching reading comprehension in my own context. This study was conducted in a private school with an English language teacher and grade six students, especially with three students as the focus group. Interviews, classroom observations, document analysis and post-lesson discussions were used as data collection methods. Ongoing and summative data analysis was used to analyze the data. The research location was chosen keeping in view the socio-economic status and language similarities in the teaching and learning of English in the context where the research problem occurred. It was found that the methods which the teacher used for teaching reading comprehension were effective for improving students' reading comprehension skills as students were able to use reading comprehension skills such as; skimming, scanning, predicting, and summarizing to comprehend the text. However, it was difficult to claim that all students used these strategies because assessing reading comprehension is a very complicated process. But observing the teacher and students closely and their responses to the tasks, it could be said that these methods were useful for teaching reading comprehension.

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