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1.1     Background to the Study

Reading is one of the four basic skills in language learning. Reading provides learners with a source of comprehensible input and serves to facilitate communicative fluency in other language skills. Reading is about understanding of a text. It is a complex activity that involves both perception and thought of a reader.  Reading simply means attainment of language, sharing of information, communicating and comprehending it the right way. Reading is an individual activity and has to be done alone for better comprehension. It consists of two related processes: word recognition and comprehension (Daura, 2014).Furthermore, reading ability has always been viewed as critical to academic success. According to Chastain (1980) Reading is a receptive and decoding skill in which the reader receives the writer’s message and tries to recreate the writer’s message to the extent possible. The reading goal is to read for meaning or to recreate the writer’s meaning. By definition, reading involves comprehension. When readers do not comprehend, they have not read (ibid, p. 217). 

Scholars of reading believe that reading is a dynamic process which varied from reader to reader and from text to text and that the key factor in understanding this process is the interaction between readers and text variables( Farzaneh & Nejadansari, 2014).

According to Alderson (2000),reader’s knowledge constitutes one highly significant reader variable in reading process. The nature of the knowledge brought to the reading process by the reader affects the way the text is processed and understood. Moreover, the reader’s linguistic knowledge, especially, vocabulary size and metalingustics knowledge are important factors. Schema theory has been developed in order to determine to what extend readers’ knowledge affects what they understand. In addition, according to Bernhardt and Kamil (1995), the transfer of reading ability from L1 to L2 must be considered in this regard. The reader’s motivation for reading constitutes another significant reader variable. When it comes to text variables, the major one is known to be the language of the text. Many aspects of text, including text content, text type, text organization, and sentence structures might help facilitate or complicate the reading process.

Reading is an interactive process, it is important to understand those interactive factors that contribute to learners’ development of effective reading, strategies and desire to read. In other words, it is important to understand the context in which reading occurs. While we recognize the difficulty of considering in isolation factors that exist as part of a broad context.

Farzaneh and Nejadansari (2014), conceive that theories of reading have undergone dramatic change in recent years. And that reading is no longer seen as primarily a receptive process of text to reader. Instead, it is regarded as an interactive process between the reader and text. To bring about effective reading comprehension therefore, Farzaneh and Nejadansari (2014) explain that a taxonomy of different type of reading comprehension is developed based on the ideas of Pearson and Comperelt (1994) and Nuttal (1996). This taxonomy includes six different types of comprehensions which are thought to help students to become interactive readers. They are literal comprehension, recognition, inference, prediction, question or evaluation and response.

Investigation into the English Language curriculum have shown that reading comprehension is expected to be thought in such a way that it emphasized what learners can do with the language rather than using the forms of the language. Thus reading appears as a component of general second language proficiency, but only in the perspective of the whole picture of interactive language teaching.

In secondary school, the teacher of English language must help students to develop the skills of reading, writing and comprehension to the stage where they can make effective use of them in working life or in their further education. 

Moreover, a student needs the ability to comprehend effectively to be able to give correct response to whatever question he/she is asked. Reading comprehension and understandings are interconnected. Even though, reading can be done for different purposes, it is generally believed that the main aim of reading is to comprehend ideas in the texts being given either in English Language or other subjects (Raghad, 2009).  Petty (2004) explains that we learn by doing, and research shows that active learning is much better recalled, enjoyed and understood and reading is viewed as combination of bottom up and top-down processing, which start from the reader to the text and interactive approach provides that a reader has a varieties of knowledge sources he can use in comprehending the message of a texts, it is therefore important to teach those interactive strategies that will develop comprehension abilities of the students.

According to Brown (2001), researchers have found that competent readers are those who actively and interactively construct meaning through an integrated process, in which they interact with words, integrating new information with preexisting knowledge structure. They are self-motivated and self-directed; they use Meta -cognitive process to monitor their comprehension by questioning, reviewing, revising, predicting and re-reading. On this note, the study examines the effect of Interactive Approach in teaching reading comprehension in terms of three levels of comprehension (Predicting, questioning, and summarizing) among students in some senior secondary schools in Zaria Local Government Area. 

1.2 Statement of the Problem

In Nigeria, English language is one of the core subjects in the primary and Secondary School Curriculum.  According to the syllabus for English Language Curriculum Development Council CDC, (1999), teaching of four core skills: Listening, reading, speaking and writing; is necessary in each key stage. It is however points out by Oyetunde (2009) in Yusuf (2014),that most teacher-training institutions in Nigeria are not adequately equipped and oriented to prepare teachers meaningfully for reading instruction at the primary and secondary level. English language teachers use different methods to teach reading comprehension.

Researchers commonly recognize that lack of reading strategy knowledge accounts, to a large extent, for secondary schools poor reading ability and the instruction to train the students to be aware of and effectively use reading strategies rarely happens during English reading classes in most secondary schools. It seems that secondary school teachers assume that their students know reading strategies and thus use them to read English text effectively. Therefore, the teachers just assign the reading materials; have the students read them and asses their reading comprehension performance. The poor reading teaching like this can lead to students’ failure in reading comprehension. As stated by Ekwall and Shanker (1998), more than ninety percent of learners’ reading failure could be blamed on poor teaching. This is in line with the observational studies by Durkin (1978-79) Pressley and Wharton-McDonald (1997) which found that teachers regularly assigned reading tasks to their students and then tested their reading comprehension, but rarely taught the reading strategies needed by their students. To address this problem, they suggest that an effective reading strategy instruction must be urgently carried out to promote learners ‘reading ability.

As noted  by Pressley (2000), some teachers were of the opinion that ‘Read, read, read’ approach helps students to comprehend text without any major difficulty; however, their approach does not assist students in constructing meaning from text while some teachers realize that instructional practices may enhance students’ reading achievement and so they teach reading strategies in lessons. Pressley (2000) further explains that, it is disappointing that some students are not able learn the strategies or do not know how to apply appropriate strategies when they read. Besides given a lot of reading activities and comprehension instructional frame work available, it is challenging to choose an appropriate one that will suits students’ needs.

Aspatore (2005) contends that a lot of students are failing examinations due to their inability to comprehend effectively the instruction, questions as well as the contents of whatever material they are using in learning.

 Reading comprehension is a difficult task that cuts across all language skills. According to Ekwall & Shanker (1998), most students find it difficult to comprehend effectively the instruction, questions and materials, especially the transitional students; that is, students moving from the lower level to the upper level of secondary school which may be one of the  factors  contributing to the mass failure of students in English  Language especially at WASSCE  and SSCE examination. Yusuf (2014) states that poor teaching methodology has been identified as the main cause of students’ reading failure. Yusuf(204) reveals that  investigation of the curriculum in teacher training colleges in Nigeria have shown that reading methodology is either ignored completely or poorly taught. Even though the cognitive views of reading emphasized the interactive nature of reading and constructive nature of comprehension (Druner, 1993; Binkley & Linnakyla, 1997) in Daura (2014). Also

Lasley and Ornstein (2000), explain that there seems to be a move towards allowing students to be more actively involved in the teaching and learning of reading comprehension and the only way to make learners a shareholder in their learning is for teacher to become more of a facilitator of the process of learning, providing guidance for learners.

In another development, researchers like Oyetunde (2009), Yusuf (2013) have equally shown that providing opportunities for students to interact during reading comprehension lesson can promote comprehension. It is on this note that this study is sets  to assess the Effects of the Interactive Approach on Reading Comprehension and

Attitudes of students in the Senior Secondary School.


 1.3      Objectives of the Study

The objective of this study is to assess the effects of the Interactive Approach in enhancing the level of students in reading comprehension. The specific objectives are


  1. Find out the effect of Interactive Approach in determining students’ predictive responses to passage in reading comprehension. ii.Determine the effect of Interactive Approach in establishing questioning strategies for answering reading comprehension questions. iii.To elucidate the effect of Interactive Approach toward enhancing students’ ability to summarize ideas in a comprehension passage.

iv.To examine the effect of Interactive Approach on the Attitude of students in senior secondary.

1.4         Research Questions

This study presents and answers the following questions:

  1. What is the role of Interactive Approach in determining students’ predictive responses

to passages?

  1. What is the role of Interactive Approach in establishing questioning strategies for answering reading comprehension questions?
  • How does Interactive Approach help in enhancing students’ ability to summarize ideas in a comprehension passage?
  1. What is the effect of Interactive Approach on the attitude of students in senior secondary when thought reading comprehension using Interactive Approach?

1.5 Research Hypotheses 

To conduct an unbiased study of the problem, the following null hypotheses were used for the study and tested at P≤ 0.05.

H01: There is no significant difference in the predictive response of students taught reading comprehension using Interactive Approach and those taught using non Interactive Approach.

H02: There is no significant effect of Interactive Approach in enhancing questioning strategies for answering reading comprehension questions by students taught using Interactive Approach and those taught using non Interactive Approach.

H03: There is no significant difference in the summary ability of students taught reading comprehension using Interactive Approach and those taught using non Interactive Approach. 

H04: There is no significant effect of Interactive Approach on the attitudes of students taught reading comprehension using Interactive Approach and those taught using non Interactive Approach.

1.6 Significance of the Study

The study may equip teachers on varieties of interactive teaching activities that can be used in teaching reading comprehension and which may help in enhancing the students’ comprehension competence, thereby helping in reducing the problem of mass failure of students in examinations, especially at WASSCE and SSCE examination.

To the curriculum planner at the school and board level who plan the syllabus and schemes, it may serve as a road map on the right method and approaches of teaching Reading Compression to be included in their curriculum when planning, thereby bring about the effective teaching and learning of comprehension.

To students, the use of Interactive Approach in teaching and learning, especially in  reading comprehension, which is relevant not only in English language   but also in other subjects, may make learning purposeful and more interesting due to the interaction at various levels.

The study may enables teachers to extend their range of group and interactive teaching techniques to support their learners’ comprehension skill, to develop a plan for interactive activities when planning the lesson, to create idea for Interactive group activities and effective questioning techniques to be used in  teaching reading


This study may be of help to book writers by giving them insight on the different types of interactive comprehension activities to be included in their books. It may also help them in using appropriate questioning techniques that will bring about effective teaching of comprehension that may help students to respond to the comprehension questions and used English in real communicative situation.


1.7 Basic Assumptions

        It is assumed that when Interactive Approach is used in teaching reading comprehension, it can help students to: predict answers to the comprehension questions; establish questioning strategies; enhance students’ ability to summarize passage as well as bring about their positive attitude towards learning of English language in general and reading comprehension in particular in senior secondary.

1.8  Scope and Delimitation of the Study

This study is limited to the effect of Interactive Approach on Attitude and Reading Comprehension of SS1 students in public schools in Zaria local government only. This research is limited to only public secondary schools because information on private secondary schools is not assessable. Also the aspect of Interactive activities that the work is focusing on are predictive, questioning and summary.


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