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Volume :9 Issue : 35 1989      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

The Alleviation of Reading Comprehension Problems of ESP Arab Students: A Case Study

Auther : Mufeeq Doushaq

In this study, the researcher intended to investigate the reading comprehension problems of Jordanian university students both in Arabic and in English and to pinpoint the most important areas of difficulty that might influence their reading both on the fluency level (speed) and the efficiency level. Therefore the students performance on four reading comprehension passages (two in Arabic and two in English) was compared and the fluency (speed) was checked against the average speed of two groups: group one consisted of native speakers of the language concerned, and group two consisted of three judges who estimated the time required by students to finish the tasks.

The findings of the research proved that the subjects of the experiment (a random sample of 45 first year students) were categorized as slow readers in comparison with both native speakers of English and Arabic and With the judges estimated time. They needed 219% of the time required to finish the tasks by native speakers (postgraduates) and 133.3% of the time estimated by the judges. According to the re-searcher's observations and discussions with the students, one of the main reasons responsible for this type of weakness is the students' habit of reading word by word despite the purpose of reading stated in the tasks.

Another important finding is that students linguistic competence did not play a significant role in dif ferentiating between the students' reading comprehension ability. In other words, the achievement of the linguistically less experienced group (G-1) and the more experienced group (G-2) did not differ significantly Consequently, the researcher would claim that most of the students problems are reading problems rather than linguistic problems. But there is one crucial reservation: the readers must have at least passed the threshold in the FL. Generally speaking, students' interaction with the texts, especially texts given to test students ability to locate specific information, was not adequate.

Finally, the present research asserts to a large extent the claims of some researchers that good reading habits in the native language if transferred to the FL can positively affect the reader's efficiency in that FL and vice-versa.

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