The underlying foundations for the critical analysis set forth in this article concern post- structural theories which see the text as an open intertwining of positions and layers of meaning. In this sense, Lodge (2000), on discussing Iser’s reader response theory, states that “the text is open to infinity: no reader, no subject, no science can arrest the text” (p. 151). These theories see meaning as a convergence of text and reader which creates indeterminacy because the text has “gaps” or “blanks” that the reader has to fill. In fact, Iser (2000) explains that sentences are connected in such a way that they create correlations and subtle connections from which meaning may be construed (pp. 193- 194). This does not mean that all meanings are possible, because the reader has to accept certain givens that create a “world” within a text, but it is the reader who establishes the “interrelations between past, present and future, [which] actually causes the text to reveal its potential multiplicity of connections” (Iser, 2000, p. 192). This means that the reading process “always involves viewing the text through a perspective that is continually on the move” (Iser, 2000, p. 194). This forces the reader to experience a reality — a world — which is different from his/her own.
The explicit instruction on readingstrategies also met the objectives as the group of students became aware of how they could apply them systematically to help them deal with the academic tasks that they were facing not only in the English class but in content areas; visualizing, skimming, scanning, organizing, comparing and contrasting information more efficiently taking the written information as a whole, locating and differentiating relevant information to interpret, analyze and evaluate what was being read. All these aspects were identified as key elements to be tackled in the research proposal and the improvement was tangible in the group by the thorough completion of the activities presented in the different sessions and the post test that showed how the group had overcome the difficulties they were having before being provided with the explicit instruction on readingstrategies.
20 Ann Brown (1987) distinguishes between knowledge about cognition, and regulation of cognition. Knowledge about cognition can be “stable but fallible or late developing;” (p.67) information that human thinkers have about their own cognitive processes, which usually remains relatively consistent within individuals. Regulation, on the other hand, can be “relatively unstable, rarely stable, and age independent,” (p.68). Regulation of cognition refers to the activities used to regulate and oversee learning. One may show self-regulatory behavior in one situation but not in another, and a child may show self- regulatory behavior where an adult does not. Regulation may be also affected by patterns of arousal (anxiety, fear, interest) and self-concept (self-esteem, self-efficacy). These processes include planning activities (predicting outcomes, scheduling strategies and various forms of vicarious trial and error, etc.) prior to undertaking a problem; monitoring activities (monitoring, testing, revising, and re-scheduling one’s strategies for learning) during learning; and checking outcomes (evaluating the outcome of any strategic actions against criteria of efficiency and effectiveness) at the end (Brown et al 1983).
"Online virtual environments increase popularity of social networks in the future as a means of proving students the experience of interacting in which a virtual world". Baker, Wentz, & Woods, M (2009) this quotation was taken from the previous study, and specifically that sentence makes a real change in XXI century education. The online environment is something that is present in the world and has to be taken seriously because that is what is going to replace the traditional methods still used, taking into account this social networks are just a new experience, not just for students, teacher also have to deal with this and adapt their methodologies to the virtual world where the experience online plays and important role in the way in which knowledge is presented.
(e.g., the readingcomprehension subtests of the Gates-MacGinitie ReadingTest [GMRT], the Nelson-Denny Reading Ability Test and the Scholastic Aptitude Test [SAT]) have a similar structure: a variety of texts that should be read silently, followed by multiple- choice questions that tap a range of abilities such as recalling specifi c information, making inferences, identifying the main idea or detecting the authors’ tone. These abilities, which have a marked correspondence with the taxonomies’ comprehension types, are assumed to be part of one single dimension called readingcomprehension (Cook, Eignor, Steinberg, Sawaki, & Cline, 2009; Ozuru, Rowe, O’Reilly, & McNamara, 2008). Empirical evidence for a one-dimensional structure, using confi rmatory analysis, has been provided for the GMRT (Cook et al., 2009) and for the SAT subtests (Dorans & Lawrence, 1999). Given the theoretical and structural similarities between TCL and the referred tests, a single dimension is expected to fi t the data.
Seale (1999) asserts that data triangulation involves using diverse sources of data. Thus, specifically, triangulation seeks out instances of a phenomenon in several settings, at different points in time or space. This is why the researcher used a range of evidence collected with the research instruments in order to have instances of the perception students had when using RSs in their reading process. This, in turn, meant that the meaning could be clarified by identifying different ways the phenomenon was perceived at different times during the research. Data was analyzed and the results were found to be similar, which confirmed and validated the findings based on the three data sources. This matched Craig's (2009) assertion, namely that triangulation occurs when multiple forms of data show similar results when analyzed, thereby confirming the researcher’s findings.
The philosophy of education which supported this pedagogical intervention is Meaningful Learning (ML) this theory was worked by Ausubel (1961) where it proposes mainly the retention of verbal information through the reception of data and knowledge. According to this theory, the school learning is giving by presenting to the students what they are going to learn. As was explained before, students are only asked to understand the material and incorporate it in their cognitive structure so that learners can reproduce it, related it or solved future situations. Learning is truly meaningful when students can relate new information to the topics they already know through authentic material. But if teachers want this to happen, it is necessary the material used to have a meaning by itself and should be potentially meaningful for the student too, as they will make an effort to relate new information, signifying what they know. In consequence, an interaction is produced that modifies not only knowledge but the cognitive structure of individuals taking into account that normal teaching processes can lead students to have both significant and memoristic knowledge.
factor some external criteria (e.g., academic achievement problems, motivational problems, lower-level comprehension components, comprehension monitoring, etc). Also, metacognitive questions asking for the interest or motivation in the topic might help to understand the meaning of the specifi c factors. Although the bifactor model showed better fi t than the higher-order model, this usually happens where there are slight miss-specifi cations in the model (e.g., ignoring the existence of cross-loadings or error covariances; see Murray & Johnson, 2013). It is not clear which of the two, bifactor or higher-order models, better describes human cognitive abilities, and this is not a question of statistical relative fi t, but rather of substantiating theories. ECOMPLEC.Sec is not an exception. Thus, as this is the fi rst approximation of ECOMPLEC. Sec validation, other studies will provide more evidence to improve this study.
After students made their predictions and activated their previous knowledge, they get ready to look for general information or main ideas in the text. In this way, they start to skim. Skimming involves looking over the text to get a general idea of the topic. Readers activate their prior knowledge on a given topic that provide the connections between their inferences and new information provided by the text. The reader moves his eyes quickly over sentences to understand main ideas through pictures, titles, subtitles, headings, subheadings, etc. Harmer (2007) highlights the importance of skimming as a strategy when states that it builds reader’s confidence and understanding without reading every word in the text.
● Predicting: For students to be good readers, they should set and objective in order to have motivation and a purpose for reading. Based on students’ experiences and previous knowledge about certain topics, students are able to make predictions about future events and situations that might happen, formulating ideas while reading (Block & Israel, 2005). This strategy also allows for more student interaction, which increases student interest and improves their understanding of the text (Oczkus, 2003). It is important to compare the outcome in the actual text with the prediction process as it will lead the learner to improve his understanding. If students are not given a chance to make predictions, if will be difficult to improve the readingcomprehension. (Duke & Pearson, 2002). There are some activities in order to predict information such as using the pictures, the table of contents, the titles in the book, the keywords presented at the beginning, using a diagram or graphic, making predictions about certain specific parts of the book and sharing with classmates the ideas in order to compare and evaluate predictions.
It is relevant to mention that, the cognate words are not directly learned, those are recognized in determined contexts, because the L1 and the L2 are connected. This is, in a certain sense, a psychological process. According to Chacón Beltrán R (2006) the recognition of cognates does not seem to be a natural phenomenon among second language learners. Nagy, Garcia, Durgunoĝlu & Bhatt (1993) concluded that the implementation of instructions in the use of cognates could be helpful to support learners in the recognition of cognates that are present in L2 texts. In the same study, the researchers gave the participants written instructions about what cognates were, asking them to circle the cognates they found in four reading passages. The previous information means that if a learner receives enough instruction to use and recognize true, false or non-cognates, they may have more opportunities to figure out the meaning of English texts. However, Holmes & Ramos (1993) argued that the recognition of cognates is a spontaneous strategy which should not be taught. In contrast, Nagy (1988) and Nagy et al (1993) pointed out that a notable number of English language learners, neither recognize nor use cognates when reading texts in a spontaneous way and for that reason cognate recognition must be explicitly.
This study has shown the relevance of QAR combined with ICTs to impact students’ readingcomprehension. However, findings in the readingcomprehensiontest demonstrated that the content of the reading that students should face must be meaningful for them. In other words, students must have background knowledge about the topic in order to be familiarized and tackle comprehension questions efficiently. Even when students know the type of question they face, readingcomprehension tests must be carefully designed lest students feel frustrated by the lack of knowledge of a topic, or vocabulary. Additionally, findings showed that QAR strategy requires the development of several reading subskills. In that sense, students must be aware of such skills needed to answer certain questions and, however beneficial to go beyond lower levels of thinking, training those skills entails time.
There are four skills in English that students need to acquire in order to have a good performance of the language and be able to communicate effectively while managing themselves into a second language acquisition. Therefore, these skills development have different complexity according to students’ age and level. These skills also have different components as well, which make their acquisition and performance possible. The amount of time given to each skill is a matter of importance in order to acquire them. The mastering of these skills is not an easy task for students or teachers to get, but with the correct strategies applied it is possible to do.
Secondly, Castilleja, G. (2012) mentions a second after reading strategy and calls it Underline and Define Vocabulary on the Spot. She considers that if in a test a word is underlined, a student will be asked in one way or another to define it. Because many words have multiple meanings, students must define the word as soon as they encounter it. In other words, the right definition is used, based on the context in which the word is used. She cites Vacca and Vacca (2007), “vocabulary knowledge is strongly related to text comprehension,” and good readers “try to determine meaning of unfamiliar words and concepts in the text” (pp. 16, 17). According to this fact, students should use context clues to infer the meanings of new words, and their definitions should be written in the margin so the students can refer to their notes when asked.
It is widely assumed that each reader can develop individual readingstrategiesor the ones they find useful. Nevertheless, a good reader is one who is able to achieve a balance between comprehension (end) and the reading process (means) by using the adopted strategies. Consequently, a poor reader will need to change his/her readingcomprehensionstrategies to overcome deficiencies. For that reason, the role of the teacher is to come up with the necessary set of strategies to increase students’ awareness and love for reading, as well as the improvement of their reading skills to overcome reading difficulties. The English teachers should be familiar and capable of selecting those most appropriate strategies to meet their students´ needs, due to the fact that EFL learners need to identify and simultaneously understand the importance of the language (Lee L. , 2002).
In Colombian public high schools, the development of the reading skill is a good starting point that will, without doubt, positively influence the other language skills. Readingcomprehension has been seen as a weakness students have accordingly to both external test results and academic performance during high school classes (Quiroga, 2010; Lopez & Giraldo, 2011; Cárdenas & Hernández, 2011). The results of “Pruebas Saber” in 2010 show a low/average reading proficiency of Colombian 11th grade-student population (Lopez & Giraldo, 2011) and the results of “Pruebas PISA” in 2009 show a score of 52 in readingcomprehension (Cárdenas & Hernández, 2011). Therefore, it is necessary to provide students with a range of strategies that help them overcome readingcomprehension problems so that they can acquire the needed abilities to analyze, infer, and make meaning as efficiently as possible.
An important step to improve the quality of PST was the development of a certification exam (CE) to control the admission to the profession. The first examinations were held in 2008 and they tested candidate’s translation skills in 1 language direction at a time (FL to Dutch or Dutch to FL). The exam was a summative evaluation of two competences: (i) the comprehension of written messages in the source language and (ii) the reproduction of written messages in the target language, both at the C1-level of the Common European Framework of Reference from Languages (CEFR). Thus, focused on measuring transfer skills, the exam did not test other translator competencies such as complying with a code of ethics. The evaluation was carried out anonymously by two evaluators, if available, to increase the evaluation’s objectivity. However, for some less common languages, it was difficult to find a competent person in the language combination with Dutch. As a result, the evaluation was carried out by one evaluator. The evaluation procedure consisted of two readings. During the first reading the compliance with the features of a text written at the level C1 of the CEFR was estimated. Furthermore, the target text was checked for omissions and general intelligibility. Once a candidate passed the first reading, a second reading was carried out. Following aspects were evaluated: accuracy, correct register and transfer of information, grammar, cohesion, coherence and technical aspects (spelling, accents, punctuation, conversion of dates, names). The result was expressed by means of three categories: fail, pass or excellent. The candidates who passed the exam were allowed to enter the Flemish Register of the Certified Interpreters and Translators (Decreet, 2013), managed by Agentschap Integratie en Inburgering.
In order to address this critical view, methodologists worldwide have advocated the adoption of strategy-based approaches to teaching FL language skills, where students are encouraged to actively engage in the learning process (Çelik, 2014: 724) or where teach- ing is oriented towards “teaching learners how to learn” (Brown, 2000: 130). This active involvement in the learning process provides a focus for instruction in learning strategies (Chamot, 2009) where particular emphasis is put on instructing learners to use metacognitive strategies. Metacognitive strategies, which are described by Brown (2000: 124) as “executive function strategies that involve planning for learning, thinking about the learning process as it is taking place, monitoring of one’s production orcomprehension, and evaluating learning”, are considered essential for successful language learning (Oxford, 1990). More precisely, this refers to a teaching–learning context where the use of metacognitive strategies enables students to become confident and autonomous learners of English (Gough, 2009), to develop skills and confidence in learning, to reflect on what they do, why they do it and to improve their practical skills (Thornbury, 2006).
The analysis of our sample has shown that the participants in this study are weak to moderate users of the readingstrategies listed in the SORS questionnaire. The extent of their reliance on global readingstrategies suggests a holistic, broad approach to reading, whereby the readers focus on the purpose of their reading by guessing the content, relying on their own knowledge, and considering the context. At the same time, the readers also exhibit a strong awareness of the fact that the (exam-like) tasks require careful reading: they rely on the problem solving strategies of re-reading, paying attention to demanding sections, adjusting the speed of reading, and staying focused. Especially significant is the finding on re-reading, since it ranks as the most frequently used problem solving strategy, and the second most- used reading strategy overall, which contradicts the established view that students consider re-reading to be overly time-consuming (Garner and Alexander, as reported in Mokhtari and Reichard, 2002: 255). Furthermore, the statements pertaining to support strategies show that skills such as note-taking, paraphrasing, using reference materials, asking yourself questions about the text, translating, and underlining are not employed very frequently.
34 Based on these findings it is possible to answer our first research question: Does the training on ReadingStrategies affect readingcomprehension skills? We can say that the training on readingstrategies caused a positive effect on the participant’s readingcomprehension skills. However, this improvement reflected in the post-test results was not significant in its gains, since the results of the pretest were also high. The latter cannot be explained with the data that we collected with our instruments; nevertheless, (maybe it was caused because in spite of what we thought at the beginning regarding the level of reading skills of the participant that she had poor reading skills because of the results of her regular reading tests at school), the fact of she enrolling voluntarily in the reading workshop made her change her attitude and be more motivated. Because the intervention was a voluntary action, the participant felt motivated since it was an activity without pressures and she could select what she wanted to read (Krashen, 2004). Reader’s Motivation is important in the process of reading since it is through it that reading development may exist. How we adopt and develop reading has to do with how motivated readers feel (McGeown, 2013).