English Reading Strategies and their Impact on Students' Performance in Reading Comprehension

Research Article

In Pakistan, English is taught as a compulsory subject from grade one to graduate level. It has been given the status of official language and is considered a symbol of status. In all official correspondence English language is used and it opens up the avenues to have access to high-ranking civil service jobs. Research studies have revealed that students feel difficulty in reading, speaking and writing English at Secondary school level in Pakistan and they were found to be poor readers and receive lower grades in English language. Keeping in view the importance of learning English for students, this study was designed with the purposes to explore the strategies the students adopt for learning Reading English and to determine the effect of these adopted strategies on students' reading comprehension performance at secondary school level. Learning strategies are the basic techniques used for learning English in Pakistan. A survey was conducted to identify learning strategies used by the learners and their impact on reading comprehension performance of the learners. A sample comprising of 359 students was selected using stratified random sampling technique from amongst the Higher Secondary Schools and intermediate colleges located in district Naushahro Feroze Sindh Pakistan. Data for the study were collected through Questionnaire, interview protocol and reading comprehension test. The results indicated that students use variety of reading learning strategies including reading aloud, silent reading, summarizing the reading texts, outlining grammatical structures and patterns contained in the reading texts, answering simple questions, looking for the meaning of new vocabulary and translating English texts in their mother language. However, the use of these strategies by the students is not on a regular, systematic and need based. The analysis of the data revealed that learning strategies adopted by students for reading English were strongly correlated with their performance in reading comprehension. It was further found that students of urban area (mean score= 45.80) performed significantly better than their peers in rural areas (mean score= 39.16). However, while applying t-test of significance no significant difference in the performance of male and female learners (mean score: 42.07 & 42.89) was detected. Additionally, students' performance in answering questions, summarizing, reading aloud, learning grammatical patterns, translating, looking for the meaning of vocabulary and learning spellings was satisfactory but their performance in analyzing, paraphrasing, precising during reading was poor. The conclusion drawn is that students use different strategies for reading and that these adopted strategies have an effect on their reading comprehension. In terms of gender, there was no significant difference on use of strategies and impact on their reading performance, while students in urban area perform better than their peer in rural areas

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