The relationship between reading strategies and reading comprehension: effects of text-structure strategy instruction on English language learners

The relationship between reading strategies and reading comprehension: effects of text-structure strategy instruction on English language learners

First Author: zhihong xu -- TAMU
Additional authors/chairs: 
Kay Wijekumar; Hua Liang
Keywords: Adult Literacy, Comprehension, Intervention, Text structure, Bilingualism
Abstract / Summary: 

Purpose
The current study compared reading comprehension outcomes for Chinese English learners (ELs) using the Intelligent Tutoring System for the Structure Strategy (ITSS) to a business as usual control group. Mediation analysis was used to study whether the transformation of Chinese ELs’ reading strategies affected their reading comprehension.
Method
Two hundred and seven Chinese college students were randomly assigned to ITSS and control groups. The ITSS group received 40 minutes of intervention a week for 10 weeks, and the control group followed a business-as-usual instruction. All students were assessed on the College English Test (CET-4) and the adapted form of Survey of Reading Strategies (SORS) as a pretest and posttest. We performed t-tests, multiple regressions, and multivariate multiple regressions to analyze the compare the intervention and control group performance and calculated the mediation effect controlling for students’ prior language proficiency.
Results
Chinese ELs using the ITSS intervention had a moderate effect on reading comprehension (p<0.001, d=0.43). After the intervention, Chinese ELLs reported using more higher-order reading strategies (p<0.01) and lower-order reading strategies (p<0.05) than the control group students. However, the mediation effect due to the change in reading strategies was -.107, and not statistically significant (p = 0.401).
Conclusions
These results show that the ITSS intervention had a medium effect on Chinese ELs’ reading comprehension skills. Furthermore, Chinese ELs in this study reported using more comprehension strategies after using the ITSS. The preliminary results are promising and further research is warranted to generalize the findings and examine mediation effects.