Readiness of College Students in Taiwan to Read to Learn from Texts in English

| January 1, 2010
Title
Readiness of College Students in Taiwan to Read to Learn from Texts in English

Keywords: content area reading, English reading ability, reading grade equivalents, EFL college students

Authors
Tzung-yu Cheng
China Medical University, Taiwan

Wendy L. Bowcher
Sun Yat-sen University, China

Bio Data
Tzung-yu Cheng is an associate professor at China Medical University in Taiwan where he teaches courses in critical reading and academic reading. His current research interest includes content area reading, reading assessment, and the sociology of language learning and teaching.

Abstract
In Taiwan, college teachers require their students to study scholarly works in English. Over the past five years, universities in Taiwan have been proposing that college content courses be instructed only in English. It is relevant, therefore, that this method of instruction be subject to scrutiny with regard to the field of teaching English as a second language. To evaluate students cognitive reading readiness for college English texts, two groups of college freshmen in Taiwan, representing the upper 1.765% and approximately the upper 25% respectively were sampled among the Taiwanese college freshmen majoring in sciences and engineering. These students were administered the Gates-MacGinitie Reading Tests – the Fourth Edition, Level
7/9, Form S. The results indicated that 77.67% of the participants in the upper 1.765% group scored below Grade 10 and 82.35% of the participants in the next upper 25%
group scored below Grade 7. When using this measurement, efficacy of reading to learn from texts in the EFL context is questionable.

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See pages: 24-49

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Category: Teaching Articles, Volume 41