The Empirical Study of Grade Three Students on Reading Obstacles
|School||Shandong Normal University|
|Keywords||senior high students English reading comprehension readingobstacles teaching countermeasures|
In China, English is learned as a foreign language, and English is increasinglyhighly valued by students. As an important language technique, readingcomprehension is both the learning aim and method for EFL learners. Readingteaching is always the key factor of senior high English teaching. Both the NewCurricular Standards for senior high and College Entrance Examination require thedevelopment of students’ reading competence and the improvement of readingteaching in senior high. But the obvious reading obstacles encountered by senior highstudents made us reflect our reading teaching more.Based on the analysis of the research results from other experts and researchers,the author first investigated220Grade Three students on their English readingobstacles in Zouping No.1middle school in the form of questionnaire; after gettingthe results of the questionnaire, the author analyzed three sets of readingcomprehension exercises in the pilot examinations of Grade three through the resultratio in order to further prove the results of the questionnaire and finally, the authordrew up the interview questions according to the above results and investigated thecauses of students’ reading obstacles by interviewing six English teachers from GradeThree and six students participating in answering the questionnaire at randomseparately. After that work, the writer used statistics software SPSS to count andanalyze the data collected from the questionnaire, and arranges and analyses the notesof interview. Finally the writer gave different advice on English reading to senior highEnglish teachers and students referring to the above survey and interview results.The major findings of this thesis are as follows:1. English reading obstacles of senior high students can be divided into twocategories: linguistic obstacles and nonlinguistic obstacles. The linguistic obstaclesincluding vocabulary, syntax, discourse, stand first three in the obstacles senior highstudents meet in English reading comprehension, for instance,88.6%of the studentsthink their small vocabulary affects their understanding of the text most;87.6%of allthe students can’t make clear the structure of ellipsis, inversion, emphasis and subjunctive mood; and75.2%of all the students can understand the general idea ofthe text when they read but can not analyze the logical relationship of the sentences inthe text. The following are four nonlinguistic obstacles: background knowledge,feeling for the language, reading strategies and reading purpose. About82.4%of allstudents find background knowledge is a great difficulty for their reading;73.3%think that feeling for the language is a reading obstacle which is hard for them toimprove; more than71.9%students can’t apply reading strategies to reading practiceor are not familiar with them or even not hear of them;70.5%of all students don’thave a clear aim or just want to finish their homework assigned by their Englishteachers when they read. While cognitive psychology which belongs to nonlinguisticobstacles, including intellective elements like attention and memory andnon-intellective elements like interest and motivation are the two reading obstaclesaffecting students least, especially the relationship between teachers and students(only13.3%of all students think it is a problem).2. The obstacles in senior students’ English reading comprehension are caused bythe status quo and its disadvantages of senior English reading teaching and seniorstudents’ English reading learning. For example, the partially application of newreading teaching concepts, misunderstanding of NEMT, attaching too muchimportance to language knowledge and ignoring the input of background knowledge,the syntax knowledge and the practice of students’ reading skills are mistakes ofEnglish reading teaching while small vocabulary caused by wrong belief of languagelearning, failure of complex sentence-analysis due to lack of grammatical knowledge,short of practice of text structure analysis, ignoring the input of more text, and badhabit of English reading are mistakes of English reading learning.3. The thesis thus gives advice on English reading to English teachers in fouraspects:1. Improve reading teaching concepts by learning the New CurricularStandards;2. Strengthen the input of text type and background knowledge by learningschema theory;3. Shift review concepts to more reading skills practice and to makelanguage knowledge more systematic;4.Pay more attention to non-intelligentelements and develop students’ interest in English. This thesis also gives advice on reading comprehension to students in5aspects:1. Enlarge vocabulary through activeattitude and scientific methods and pave way to reading comprehension;2.Consolidate the basis of grammar beginning with understanding the five basic simplesentence patterns to solve the problem of understanding sentences;3. Break throughthe difficulty on text and text type by learning more syntax knowledge to make theparagraph easier to understand;4. Input more background knowledge for deepunderstanding of the whole passage;5. Learn and practice reading skills and readingstrategies to make reading fast and correct.In order to make this thesis more convincing, the writer not only applied relativereading and language learning and teaching theories but also reflected andsummarized the experience and lessons of years of English reading teaching practice.Through the data collecting and analyzing from questionnaire, interview and otherforms on senior high students reading comprehension difficulties, the writer givesvaluable advice on reading comprehension to both senior high English teachers fortheir reading teaching and students for their reading learning according to the surveyresults, hoping to give help to English reading teaching for English teachers andstudents in senior high.