Strategies for Teaching English as a Second Language

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Before delving into the results directly related to the research questions, it is important to establish that the participants were all successful readers by analyzing how well the participants performed on the reading task. First, all of the participants scored high on their orals summaries. Although each participant chose to highlight different details, they all successfully reported the main ideas and arguments of the article. In addition to the high scores on the summaries, the participants did not find the article to be difficult to read. They were asked to rank the difficulty of the article on a likert scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being most difficult. The average rank for all 4 participants was 4.75 with a standard deviation of 0.65.
Question 1: The first question this study aimed to address was what reading strategies or skills do successful graduate ESL students use. Overall, the participants in this study used a variety of reading strategies to extract meaning from the text they read. In many cases the participants were unaware that they were using a defined reading strategy. For example, every participant monitored for understanding by comparing what they were reading with information they had read before, but none of the participants reported having learned the strategy in a reading course nor knew the term “monitoring.” Also of note is that the strategies the participants claimed to use the most or found the most useful were typically strategies aimed at comprehension and main ideas (top-down strategies) of the text itself, whereas bottom-up strategies related to vocabulary or grammar were less represented overall.
The most commonly used bottom-up strategy was using context clues to understand th...

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