Effects of Using of SQRs Strategies in Teaching Reading Comprehension in Secondary Schools
Effects of Using of SQRs Strategies in Teaching Reading Comprehension in Secondary Schools
No nation can develop higher than the heights of its educational level. In Nigeria today, no other social service has attracted so much public discussion as education. This is because society and government have come to realize that the nation’s overall development is inextricably tied to its educational development. One fundamental element in education is reading. No student or learner can excel in his academic endeavours without the ability to read. This is because it is believed that reading comes before the ability to write.
Reading is very important in the life of any literate person. It is a very easy means of expanding knowledge and gathering ideas about the world in which we live in. Reading comprehension is a complex process that has been understood and explained in a number of ways. The RAND Reading Study Group (2002) stated that reading comprehension is the process of simultaneously extracting and constructing meaning through interaction and involvement with written language. Duke (2003: 11) added “navigation” and “critique” to her definition because she believed that readers actually move through the text, finding their way, evaluating the accuracy of the text to see if it fits their personal agenda, and finally arriving at a self-selected location. A common definition for teachers might be that reading comprehension is a process in which readers construct meaning by interacting with text through the combination of prior knowledge and previous experience, information in the text, and the stance the reader takes in relationship to the text. As these different definitions demonstrate, there are many interpretations of what it means to comprehend text.
1.1. Background to the Study
Over the years, there has have grave concern by educators and stake holders in the rate of failure of students in both the external and internal examination i.e. WAEC, NECO, NABTEB etc. The WAEC Chief Examiner report from 2009-2015 further confirms that there is poor performance of students in English which is seen more in the composition writing aspect of the examinations over the years. The examiner pointed some of the errors to include errors of grammar, punctuation, tenses and spellings that made them to lose whole marks. They ascribed the problem to lack of consistent practice in reading and writing as well as inadequate teaching methods employed by teachers in the secondary schools.
Al Emami (2009) stated that reading comprehension is a complex task that depends on many different automatic and strategic cognitive processes. She also appended that reading fluency, the ability to read with speed and proper expression, is a critical skill for comprehension. It can be noticed the high status reading occupies and captures among the other learning skills. Pardo (2004) defines comprehension as “a process in which readers construct meaning by interacting with text through the combination of prior knowledge and previous experience, information in the text, and the stance the reader takes in relationship to the text ” (p. 272).
The reading ability is the most important component of English performance, particularly in an academic setting (Huckin, Haynes, & Coady, 2003). To promote students’ reading competence, Successful students or readers should apply several reading strategies, such as recognizing text structure, posing questions, reflecting on behavior or the process, skimming, scanning, semantic mapping , monitoring comprehension, organizing graphs, taking notes, and rereading (Sung, Chang, & Huang,2008; Yang, 2006).
The term teaching method refers to the general principles, pedagogy and management strategies used for classroom instruction. Your choice of teaching method depends on what fits you — your educational philosophy, classroom demographic, subject area(s) and school mission statement.
An approach is a way of looking at teaching and learning. Underlying any language teaching approach is a theoretical view of what language is, and of how it can be learnt. An approach gives rise to methods, the way of teaching something, which use classroom activities or techniques to help learners learn. Learners in the modern language classroom often learn through techniques drawn from a variety of methods/approaches in what has been labelled an ‘eclectic approach’. Teachers select techniques from various approaches according to the different needs of their learners. Most course books mix methods and techniques in this way.
It is of importance to note that varieties of language teaching methods exists, which include grammar translation method, Gouini series, the direct method, oral approach and situational situation etc. However, over the years, researchers and linguists in a quest for an adequate and comprehensive method of teaching language have come to a conclusion that there are still areas left out that are not considered. It is in the light of this that the researcher has seen the need of evaluating the effect of using SQ3Rs in the teaching of reading comprehension to learners in secondary schools.
Pearson and Gallagher (2003) determined that proficient readers incorporate strategies to aid their comprehension. The strategies used by readers allow the readers to interact with their texts and better interpret its meaning. Forgan and Mangrum (2009) add, “If you want your students to read textual materials effectively and efficiently, you must teach the appropriate study skills and study strategies”. Many researchers point out that research on comprehension strategies took on greater importance. They stated that comprehension strategies help the learners to understand both spoken and written passages more effectively.
Eze (2016) stated that several reading comprehension strategies provide clear guidelines to help students learn and practice techniques that imitate the behaviors of highly proficient readers such as SQ3R, 3R, and KWL strategies.
In the last three decades, reading learning strategies have become widely used across different grade levels and subject areas. Using reading strategies with college students enhances their learning motivation, knowledge retention, understanding and proficiency.
Robinson (1961, p.1) in Eze (2016) claimed that, Contrary to the opinion of many students, the way to achieve effective study is not by more study or more determined concentration, but by changing the quality of the study method. Acting on his belief that students needed an effective study skill method, Robinson (1961) created the SQ3R reading strategies.
SQ3R is a meaningful reading method in which students practice different reading strategies (Huber, 2004). The SQ3R process is complex, and the knowledge constructed during this process is comprehensive and varied. Novice and intermediate learners must expend more cognitive and behavioral effort in operating and managing the process and knowledge before they become experienced and superior. Their effort may impede reading comprehension when learners are unfamiliar with this method.
SQ3R is an effective reading strategy; it remains the most popular method among teachers. SQ3R provides useful examples for poor readers to improve, and gives meaning and purpose to reading. SQ3R techniques, such as skimming, questioning and summarizing, have also been proven to enhance reading comprehension and may foster in students a familiarity with such techniques.
According to Eze, Robinson cautions that this is a process that needs to be practiced before it can be perfected. However, once the reader has worked through outstanding issues, the reader should be able to read at a quicker pace, identify the important ideas, and retain information.
In the light of the above discussion, this research seeks to examine the effects of using SQ3Rs in teaching reading comprehension in selected secondary schools in Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau State.
1.2. Statement of the Problem
Over the years, researchers and educational stakeholders have beamed their search light on the causes of poor performance of students in English language at the junior and senior secondary school levels. Most of the time, the blame has been pushed to the curriculum planners, the government, parents, students and other lingering factors. The present researcher has discovered that these problems boil down to teaching methods and strategies adopted by teachers and language skill in question.
The problem identified by the researcher is poor performance of students in reading comprehension in secondary schools especially in the external examination. The researcher has discovered that the problem of this massive failure is as a result of teaching methods used in the teaching and learning of reading comprehension.
Every student is entitled to the understanding of what his or her teacher is teaching. Often times, when a student is taught in the class, he tends to forget about what he has just learnt within a short period of time. This has been to some extent attributed to the teaching methods and instructional materials used in the course of the lesson. Instructional materials that accompany the teaching methods are very important for the proper understanding of the subject being taught. They can either enhance the teaching-learning process or they can mar it.
To this extent, the researcher has decided to determine the effects of using the SQ3R method on students’ performances in reading comprehension in Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau.
1.3. Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of this study is to determine the effects of using SQ3Rs as a method of instruction in the teaching and learning of reading comprehension in secondary schools.
Other purposes of the study include:
i. To make a comparism between those exposed to SQ3Rs as a method of teaching and those who are not.
ii. To determine whether teachers use SQ3Rs in the teaching and learning of reading comprehension in secondary schools in Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau State.
iii. To evaluate the existing methods of instruction in teaching reading comprehension in secondary schools in Jos North Local Government Area.
1.4. Research Questions
In order to serve as a guide to the researcher, the researcher postulated some questions which adequate answers will be provided for by the end of the research. These questions include:
i. To what extent is the difference in performance between students exposed to SQ3Rs method and those who are not?
ii. How often do teachers use SQ3Rs in the teaching and learning of reading comprehension?
iii. What are the existing methods of instruction in teaching reading comprehension in secondary schools?
1.5. Significance of the Study
The significance of this study cannot be overemphasized. The study will of benefit to the curriculum planners, the government, the teachers and the students as well.
The curriculum planners will benefit in this study in such a way that they will structure the learning experiences and incorporate relevant teaching methods that will aid in the teaching and learning of reading comprehension in secondary schools.
To the teachers, they will get to know the importance of using certain approaches like the SQ3R in the teaching of reading comprehension. Therefore, they will come to terms with the fact that using a suitable teaching method should also be accompanied by relevant instructional materials.
Government will benefit from this research work in the sense that they will know the areas in which they are lacking. This include areas like poor funding, inadequate books in the libraries etc.
Students as the centre of this research are those who will benefit most from this research. this is because they will be taught with the right teaching method which will enhance their performance in reading comprehension, especially those who are preparing for their WAEC.
1.6. Scope/Delimitation of the Study
Every research has an area of coverage. This research seeks to find out the effects of using the SQ3R method on students’ performances in reading comprehension in Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau. Though the research is limited to some selected secondary schools in Jos North Local Government Area, the findings might be generic. This is to say that the findings can be generalized to other parts of the country.
1.7. Operational Definition of Terms
Reading: This is the ability to interpret a written or printed works and to make meaning out of them. It is also the process of identifying and understanding the meaning of the characters and words in written or printed materials.
Comprehension Passage: This is an exercise consisting of a set of questions on a short text (passage) designed to test students’ understanding.
Students: These are group of learners who are in a class and are willing to learn.
Effects: This is a change in the state of being which is as a result of a phenomenon.
SQ3R: It is an abbreviation to help one remember the steps and to make reference to it simpler. The acronym SQ3R stands for the following:
S – survey
Q – question
R-1 – read
R-2 – recite or recall
R3 – review
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- Chapter 1 to 5
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- Preview Table of contents, abstract and chapter 1 below
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