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Title:Augmenting Reading Comprehension Skills of Efl University Level Students (Esl, Syntax)
Author(s):Schmidt, Kenneth P.
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Reading
Abstract:The purpose of this study was to see the effect of teaching certain syntactic rules and semantic constraints of the English language to university level EFL students as part of their coursework. The method also involved trying to have the students transfer their first language reading skills to their reading in a second language. By using these already developed skills, plus teaching selected syntactic rules and semantic constraints, the students would be able to read and comprehend a second language without necessarily having to speak the language.
Two groups of students participated in the study. The control group received a traditional grammar-translation approach. The experimental group received instruction on syntactic rules, semantic constraints and reading skills. Both groups were tested using the InterAmerican Reading Test to measure each group's reading comprehension, and an Objectives Test to see whether the syntactic rules and semantic constraints were learned.
Each group was further divided into High and Low groups using their College Entrance Examination Board score to see if low academic achievers would make higher gains with the method than the high academic achievers.
A significant difference was found between the experimental and control groups at the end of the study when each group's gain score was considered. A significant difference was also found when the groups were divided into High and Low academic achievers. The High group improved significantly more on the InterAmerican Reading Test than the Low academic group. However a 2-way analysis of variance showed no significant differences between the Experimental High group and the Control High group.
The findings suggest that if students are taught certain syntactic rules and semantic constraints along with certain reading skills their reading comprehension in English as a foreign language will improve. The findings also seem to indicate that high academic achievers will improve their reading comprehension in EFL no matter what the method of instruction.
Issue Date:1985
Description:83 p.
Thesis (Educat.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1985.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8521874
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1985

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