The Interactive Strategic Discussion (ISD) Approach to Improving Taiwanese EFL College Students’ Reading Comprehension

By Fu-Yuan Shen.

Published by The International Journal of Literacies

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Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: October 9, 2015 $US5.00

This study investigated the application of Interactive Strategic Discussion (ISD) to enabling EFL college students’ high-level comprehension of text. The ISD approach was implemented to teach freshmen how to understand and interpret literary texts, in comparison with the basal control approach. Participants (N = 80) in this study were all freshmen, attending a public university on the eastern coast of Taiwan. Reading comprehension measures, including three standardized tests and two theme essays, were created to examine students’ reading comprehension performance. The results indicated that there was no significant difference on the factual comprehension of lesson texts. However, for interpretative comprehension and theme-related essays, the ISD students scored significantly higher than the basal control students did. For the six-week follow-up of beyond-lesson-text comprehension assessment, a modest superior result was found in favor of the experimental group. Besides, the results of exit questionnaire also showed that a majority of the students either agreed or strongly agreed that ISD was an engaging and beneficial activity to improve their reading comprehension as well as English language proficiency. Taken as whole, findings of the present study support growing evidence for the importance of discussion-based instruction to reading comprehension.
Keywords: ESL reading instruction, Interactive Strategic Discussion (ISD), high-level comprehension

Keywords: ESL Reading Instruction, Interactive Strategic Discussion (ISD), High-level Comprehension Introduction

The International Journal of Literacies, Volume 22, Issue 4, December 2015, pp.45-62. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: October 9, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 756.745KB)).

Dr. Fu-Yuan Shen

Associate Professor, Department of English, National Taitung University, Taitung City, Taiwan