A Study on the Use of Cognitive Reading Strategies by ELT Students

| August 5, 2006
A Study on the Use of Cognitive Reading Strategies by ELT Students

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Yesim Ozek
Yeditepe University, Turkey

Muharrem Civelek
Dicle University, Turkey

Bio Data
Yesim Ozek works as a lecturer in English Language Education Department at Yeditepe University. She obtained her MSc in TESOL from Stirling University in 1996 and her PhD in Education from Exeter University in 2000. She has presented papers extensively about foreign language motivation at a number of international conferences. She is currently conducting some research and projects in teacher training and professional development of language teachers.

Muharrem Civelek is an instructor in the ELT Department at Dicle University. He obtained his MSc from Dicle University in 2002. He has carried out research related to cognitive reading strategies and presented on this in a number of international conferences. He is currently working on research to determine students’ cognitive reading strategy use at university level.

This study aims to find out which reading strategies are generally employed by ELT students while reading a text, and which reading strategies are needed to be developed to understand the text better, and therefore, to continue academic studies successfully. The population of this study was composed of the 1st and 4th year students in ELT Department at Dicle University. Two different methods were used to collect data. In the first part, a self-report questionnaire consisting of 25 items was administered to 185 students. In the second part, Think-Aloud Protocol was conducted with 23 subjects. Reading strategies were evaluated under three headings: pre-reading, while-reading, and post-reading in both parts. The results of TAPs analysis revealed that the students used only one strategy namely, “relating the title to the text content” in the pre-reading phase. As for the while-reading phase, the most effectively employed strategies were: using the dictionary parsimoniously, guessing the meaning of a word from the context, skipping some unkown words, thinking-aloud during reading, and assimilating the text with the background knowledge. However, none of the post-reading strategies were found to be used by the participants. The data collected from the questionnaire was analysed statistically. The results of the analysis indicated that there were some significant differences on the effective use of cognitive reading strategies with regard to students’ gender, age, and proficiency in reading, school source, and duration in learning English


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Category: Teaching Articles, Volume 14