Korean College Students Reading Strategies vs Native English Teachers Teaching Reading Strategies

Topics: Linguistics, English language, Language acquisition Pages: 83 (28606 words) Published: February 13, 2013
1. INTRODUCTION

Korean universities take a variety of different approaches to ensure college students obtain a strong level of English proficiency during their education. This is why many university English classes use authentic literature written for native English speakers. There are a variety of used resources; journal articles, research reports, thesis, online catalogues, databases, and internet materials. The number of English professors and universities that prefer to use authentic material is increasing.

Reading authentic English text can be a burden for EFL learners. Kern (1994) mentioned that understanding texts written in a foreign language is a significant challenge for most students. To understand texts,a majority of readers not only translate a foreign language into their mother tongue, but also use translation to grasp the whole meaning of the content, and content related to their prior knowledge.

When learners encounter authentictext, they tend to take the text for granted, not questioning the text or thinking about it in other ways. Many college students have previously been taught to read in order to solve the question without understanding the deeper meaning of the textand what influences the writer.

In English education in Korea, reading is regarded as decoding the meaning of a written text to get knowledge and information. Thus, it is natural that reading activities in English textbooks focus on just getting information and grasping the content of the textbooks. That is why instructions from the teacher, reading strategies, and the classroom English reading textbook play important roles in training the learner how to read critically and gaining a full comprehension of what they read.

Many studies in second or foreign language reading have investigated how second or foreign language readers deal with texts when reading in the target language (Block, 1996; Sheorey&Mokhtari, 2001). Meanwhile, the cognitive processes involved in reading comprehension in a second or foreign language are equivalent to those in the first language (Cummins, 1994), though constructing meaning in the second language is more demanding. While second language (L2) readers may think cognitively in reading, they generally face more difficulties in L2 reading because of their lack of grammar knowledge, limited vocabulary, or different cultural backgrounds, all of which impede comprehension. Many researchers like Chesla (1998), Cunningham and Stavonich (1997), Eskey (2005), and Hudson (2007) are interested the cognitive ocessesinvolved in reading comprehension, and have conducted a lot of research on effective reading lessons, reading materials, and students’ reading attitude. Ko (2005)found that students need to employ certain kinds of strategies in order to improve their reading skills: (1) They need to improve reading through extensive reading; (2) they need to find interesting content for motivation; (3) they need to enhance content knowledge in various areas; (4) they are willing to improve their spoken skills; (5) they want to improve their general writing skills; and (6) they need to increase their vocabulary knowledge. In this research, I will analyze whether Ko’s (2005) strategies and activities that teachers think are effective can be applied to gain reading comprehension. Reading strategies are referred to as the mental operations that are involved when readers approach a text effectively and make sense of what they read as well as what they do when they are lost while reading (Barnett, 1998; Block, 1986). As a part of helping readers to better comprehend L2 texts, some techniques or skills associated with reading proficiency have been examined. Many researchers have been making experiments about reading strategies. Some of these reading strategies range from skimming, scanning, contextual guessing, activating schemata, and identifying text structure, all of which are considered to be effective in enhancing...

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