Collaborative Strategic Reading with University EFL Learners

The present study was an attempt to probe into the feasibility and effectiveness of a reading instructional approach called MCSR - Modified Collaborative Strategic Reading. Based on a pretest-posttest design, MCSR was implemented with 42 university-level EFL freshmen. They met once a week and received EFL reading instruction according to MCSR for 90 minutes over six weeks. A researcher-developed reading comprehension test was group-administered at pretest and posttest. Upon completion of the study, students' perceptions regarding MCSR were also evaluated by means of an Opinionnaire®. Quantitative results indicated that participating students did not demonstrate significant gains in reading comprehension skills. However, qualitative evaluation revealed that students did have positive attitudes towards MCSR. Overall, the conclusion was that EFL students' strong preference for communicative and cooperative activities runs counter to the popular thinking that disapproves group work due to students' long-standing conventional learning tradition. Keywords: Reading comprehension, reading strategy instruction, cooperative learning.

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