Implementing collaborative strategic reading (CSR) in an EFL context in Taiwan
thesisposted on 22.02.2010, 11:00 by Yen-Chi Fan
The purposes of this study are to investigate the impact of Collaborative Strategic Reading (CSR) on Taiwanese university students’ reading comprehension, explore the process of how they collaborate for text comprehension, and examine their perspectives of the CSR intervention. The participants were 110 students from two intact classes who had low-intermediate to intermediate level of English. This study adopted a mixed-method design and multiple types of data were collected including a standardised reading measure pre-test and post-test, the participants’ responses to a questionnaire survey, field notes, transcription data of group discussions during CSR, and group interviews. The statistical results did not confirm CSR to be more effective than the traditional teacher-led reading approach which focuses on vocabulary and grammar teaching in improving the students’ reading comprehension scores. However, the findings indicated that CSR had a positive effect on the Taiwanese university learners’ reading comprehension particularly in relation to the comprehension questions on getting the main idea and finding the supporting details. A detailed analysis of qualitative data suggested that the learners with relatively homogenous English ability provided collaborative scaffolding for text comprehension through co-construction, elaboration, appeal for assistance, corrective feedback and prompts. The findings also illustrated that limited vocabulary was the key to comprehension obstacles for the EFL university learners. Although they demonstrated some degree of interactively strategic reading behaviours, dictionary consultation and translation were the most frequently used strategies to deal with the text impediments. On the whole, the participants had a positive attitude towards CSR. They acknowledged the beneficial impact of CSR on their English learning and the feasibility of CSR in the university setting. However, problems and dilemmas were also identified. Some pedagogical implications for English instruction at university level in Taiwan are provided and suggestions for future research to further validate the impact and effectiveness of CSR are proposed at the end of this study.