The Development of an Academic Reading Strategies Pedagogical Model for ESL Adult Learners

By Faizah Abd. Majid.

Published by The Learner Collection

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

This is a qualitative case study which was designed to investigate the influence of adult learners’ characteristics (self-concept, experience and time perspective) on their choice and use of the academic reading strategies (ARS). The case study was conducted over 19 weeks, involving 24 academic reading texts. Three instruments; student diaries, participant observations and think aloud protocols were used to triangulate the data collection. The constant comparative method was used in the data analysis. Cohen Kappa’s (1960) test of agreement was conducted in the middle of the data analysis and a comfortable value of .93 was obtained allowing the researcher to proceed. Besides confirming earlier findings and several theories in the literature, it has also contributed new findings with special reference to the influence of the adult learners’ characteristics on their ARS. While the less proficient readers were found to be ignorant of the potentials of their characteristics as adult learners, the proficient readers were found to manipulate their characteristics to the advantage of their academic reading. First, unlike the less proficient readers who were prone to ‘studenthood’ (Rogers, 2002), the proficient readers were prone to ‘adulthood’ (Knowles, 1990). This led them to be more self-directing which resulted in their more effective use of the metacognitive strategies. Second, while the less proficient readers were unable to make useful frame of references and had formed bad habits from their past experiences, the proficient readers were able to make meaningful connections between the content and their experiences. Consequently, they were able to read at decontextualized as well as contextualized levels. Finally, unlike the less proficient readers who were extrinsically-driven, the proficient readers were intrinsically-driven which enabled them to transfer their learning outside formal learning boundaries. Based on these findings, the study has proposed a pedagogical model, S+AIRS which is also generalisable to the needs of any adult reading programmes.

Keywords: Academic Reading Strategies, English as a Second Language (ESL), Adult Learners

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp.203-210. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 590.880KB).

Assoc. Prof. Faizah Abd. Majid

Head of Postgraduate Programmes, Postgraduate Department, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia

Faizah is a lecturer at the Education Faculty of Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia. She has been teaching the English language for 15 years and has been seriously involved with the tertiary students for the past 11 years. She has keen interests in TESL and how adult learners learn the English language. This interests has led her into conducting various research on the adult learners’ language learning strategies. She has also experiences in presenting at both local and international conferences. She has written several articles and published a few in the local and international proceedings and journals.

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