EFL ACADEMIC READING ISSUES: MANAGING READING RATE/SPEED FRUSTRATION AND COMPREHENDING TEXTS
An issue that until recently has been “irrelevant” for me personally and for many other English teachers, is the issue of reading rate/speed. I presumably believe that most teachers have never thought of this issue because of limited time for classroom instruction or simply because as teachers, the level of reading and preparation for classroom instruction is usually plenty. EFL academic reading however, involves reading different materials in different subjects and courses and being able to “interact” with them. The issue of interacting with books and texts depends a great deal on the level of comprehension. At university studies, students are overloaded with different materials and deadlines that are in fact frustrating. Students are obliged to read “thick books” in different academic subjects and courses and are over-flooded with known and unknown terminology, both scientific and professional in the specific field of study. They now must get the most out of books and must perfectly understand course books in order to pass exams and gain overall success. For such reasons, students either learn to read faster or don’t read at all. According to Anderson (1999) “knowing how to read more efficiently and adjusting reading speed to reading task are critical to this success. (1999:56). Therefore, “increasing students’ reading rates makes them able to devote greater cognitive capacity to comprehension skills” (1999:54). The study aims at testing students’ overall comprehension skills using timed-reading activities and questionnaires over a period of 4 weeks (12 instruction hours). It will be conducted with 3 and 4 year students of the English department during their English reading instruction classes. Other matters of study will be students’ anxiety, frustration, previous experience with reading, motivation etc.
International Burch University