Improving the teaching of reading comprehension in English as a foreign language classroom in Karachi

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (M. Ed.)


Institute for Educational Development, Karachi


In most Urdu medium public schools of Pakistan English language teachers use Grammar Translation Method to teach English, consequently, affecting students' language learning in term of skills like speaking, reading, writing and listening' Recognizing this as an indication of the teachers’ unawareness of the innovative language teaching strategies, this study was planned how English language teachers could be helped in order to improve the teaching of Reading Comprehension (RC) in public schools in a multilingual context of Karachi, Pakistan. Qualitative approach using collaborative action research within the cyclic process of observe, reflect, act, and plan was used to study the situation. One English language teacher from a public school was exposed to different Reading Comprehension strategies like, pre-, while and post-reading activities such as guessing, predicting, skimming, scanning, vocabulary and comprehension questions. Data were collected through reflective journals, pre- and post-intervention interviews, informal discussions, classroom observations and field notes' In addition, four randomly selected students' works from the teacher's class were collected to look at the effectiveness of teaching from perspective of students' learning. The study revealed that the teacher was using GTM method without engaging students in Reading Comprehension process through different Reading Strategies (RS) such as predicting, guessing, skimming, and scanning, etc. The action helped the teacher to improve Teaching of Reading Comprehension (TRC); was able to develop lesson plans, learnt to implement the new strategies and to some extent improved reflective practices. Similarly, the action enhanced students' RC, developed motivation and interest and helped to deeply understand the problem from different dimensions; interconnectivity of different factors like, system of examination, family background of the students', school's context, etc., relating to the TRC process while working in the natural environment and inform the policy management. The findings of the study imply that in order to improve the TRC in EFL context teachers' critical engagement in different professional programs inside and outside the school is necessary.

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