Malaysian ESL Students’ Use of Reading Strategies

By Parilah M. Shah, Aminuddin Yusof, Ahmad Khuzaimi M. Hanafiah, Khaleel Bader Al-Bataineh, Mee Nee, Ong, Abdul Malik Ahmad and Ahmad Iskandar Haron.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

For the English as a Second Language (ESL) students, reading is an essential activity for obtaining information. Studies have indicated that readers spontaneously used reading strategies in the process of comprehending text (Pritchard, 1990). Previous investigations also discovered that the use of appropriate strategies could enhance reading comprehension (Olsen & Gee, 1991). Most educators lack the knowledge of what their students do while attempting to comprehend reading materials; very often, they are unaware whether or not their students do employ reading strategies. Based on this rationale, a study was conducted to investigate on the ESL students’ use of reading strategies at the Malaysian secondary schools. They were requested to read a piece of reading material, and then were asked to respond to questionnaires concerning reading strategies such as supervising strategies, support strategies, paraphrase strategies, and strategies for establishing coherence in text. It was found that the subjects utilized a variety of strategies to understand the text. Some strategies were preferred and used more frequently than others. The results would make a positive contribution to the field of applied linguistics because policy makers, education planners and educators would gain more insight on ESL students’ reading process and activity. This investigation suggests that the relevant educational bodies would need to incorporate a more systematic reading strategy instruction into the English language curriculum content so that the students could be trained to use more effective reading strategies.

Keywords: Reading Strategies

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp.269-276. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 524.539KB).

Dr. Parilah M. Shah

Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Education, National University of Malaysia, Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia

Dr. Parilah M. Shah is a senior lecturer at the Faculty of Education, National University of Malaysia. She obtained her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut, USA. Her research interests are second language acquisition, reading, teaching of English to speakers of other languages, and bilingual-bicultural education. She has presented several papers at both the national and international levels and has several publications in areas related to second language acquisition and learning.

Dr. Aminuddin Yusof

Director, Sports Academy, Putra University of Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

Dr. Aminuddin Yusof is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Educational Studies, Putra University of Malaysia. In 2003, he was seconded for service at the university’s Sports Academy. Dr. Aminuddin Yusof received his tertiary education in the United States; his B.A. from Wilmington College, his M.A. from University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, and his Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut. His areas of expertise are Sport Management, Sport Tourism, and Sport and Tourism Communication. He has several research publications that have been presented both locally and internationally.

Ahmad Khuzaimi M. Hanafiah

Teacher, UNITI College, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia

Ahmad Khuzaimi M. Hanafiah is an English language teacher at UNITI College, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia. He has taught Science for seven years and has been teaching the English language for ten years. He is interested in conducting research on second language teaching and learning, reading in a foreign language and language attitudes.

Khaleel Bader Al-Bataineh

Doctoral Candidate, Faculty of Education, National University of Malaysia, Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia

Khaleel Bader Al-Bataineh is pursuing a doctoral degree in Teaching of English as a Second Language (TESL) at National University of Malaysia. He received his B.A. in English Language from Yarmouk University, Jordan. He obtained his Advanced Diploma in Education and M.A. in English Language from Amman Arab University. He has two years experience as an English Language Instructor at Qordoba College in Jordan.

Mee Nee, Ong

Lecturer, INTEC, MARA University of Technology (UiTM), Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia

Ong Mee Nee is currently attached to INTEC, MARA University of Technology (UiTM), Malaysia. She is teaching English Language and Research Methods to the government sponsored Australia and New Zealand bound students in UiTM. Prior to this, she taught at various schools and colleges in Malaysia for twelve years. Her fields of interest include pedagogy, syntax, IELTS (International English Language Testing System) and SSABSA ESLS (Senior Secondary Assessment Board of South Australia English as a Second Language Studies).

Abdul Malik Ahmad

Lecturer, Bengkalis Polytechnic, Bengkalis, Indonesia

Abdul Malik Ahmad is a senior English language lecturer at Bengkalis Polytechnic, Indonesia. He has been teaching the English language at various tertiary institutions in this country for more than ten years. He is interested in conducting research on language learning strategies and the teaching of English for Specific Purposes.

Ahmad Iskandar Haron

Teacher, Melaka, Malaysia

Ahmad Iskandar Haron has been teaching English as a second language in Malaysian secondary schools for twenty-four years. He is the master trainer for English Teaching of Mathematics and Science (ETeMS) program in the state of Melaka in Malaysia. He is also the head examiner of the writing component for Malaysian University English Test in this state. In 2003, he received an Innovative Teacher Award. One of his research interests is teaching methodology in applied linguistics.


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