Mikarimin. Revista Científica Multidisciplinaria ISSN 2528-7842 METHODOLOGICAL PROPOSAL FOR ENHANCING ENGLISH READING COMPREHENSION © Centro de Investigación y Desarrollo. Universidad Regional Autónoma de Los Andes - Extensión Santo Domingo. Ecuador. 83 METHODOLOGICAL PROPOSAL FOR ENHANCING READING COMPREHENSION FOR ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS METHODOLOGICAL PROPOSAL FOR ENHANCING ENGLISH READING COMPREHENSION AUTORES: Karina Luzdelia Mendoza Bravo1 María Dolores Chávez Loor2 Carlos Humberto Chancay Cedeño3 DIRECCIÓN PARA CORRESPONDENCIA: klmendoza@utm.edu.ec Fecha de recepción: miércoles 21-dic-2019 Fecha de aceptación: 28-feb-2020 ABSTRACT This study aims to develop a methodological proposal to develop reading comprehension in university students by encourage them to read not just in the classroom but also outside. The literature review showed that a positive attitude toward reading through different text become a motivation for students because the text is based on their interests. When learners create a long-lasting motivation according to the text, the reader will have many kinds of attention getting a tremendous impact on reading development. In addition, offering a varying of opportunities to the students permit they stay active in the reading process. In conclusion, reading comprehension is a vital skill for university students which must be developed during the learning process of English as a foreign language. It also becomes more interesting when the text is related to their interest to call their attention in the classroom. KEYWORDS: reading comprehension; methodological proposal; foreign language; motivation. PROPUESTA METODOLÓGICA PARA MEJORAR LA COMPRENSIÓN DE LECTURA PARA APRENDICES DE IDIOMA INGLÉS RESUMEN Este estudio tiene como objetivo presentar una propuesta pedagógica para desarrollar la comprensión lectora en estudiantes universitarios alentándolos a leer no solo en el aula sino también fuera de ella. La revisión de la literatura mostró que una actitud positiva hacia la lectura a través de diferentes textos se convierte en una motivación para los estudiantes porque estos se basan en sus intereses. Cuando los alumnos crean una motivación duradera de acuerdo con el texto, el lector tendrá muchos tipos de atención y y, por ende, un mejor desarrollo de la lectura. Además, los procesos de lectura ofrecen una variedad de oportunidades a los estudiantes que les permite mantenerse activos mientras leen. En conclusión, la comprensión lectora es una habilidad vital para los estudiantes universitarios que debe desarrollarse durante el proceso de aprendizaje 1 Doctor en Ciencias Pedagógicas. Profesor Titular a Tiempo Completo. Facultad de Filosofía, Letras y Ciencias de la Educación. Universidad Técnica de Manabí. Portoviejo. Ecuador. 2 Doctor en Ciencias Pedagógicas. Profesor Titular a Tiempo Completo. Facultad de Filosofía, Letras y Ciencias de la Educación. Universidad Técnica de Manabí. Portoviejo. Ecuador. E-mail: mdchavez@utm.edu.ec 3 Doctor en Educación. Profesor Titular a Tiempo Completo. Facultad de Filosofía, Letras y Ciencias de la Educación. Universidad Técnica de Manabí. Portoviejo. Ecuador. E-mail: cchancay@utm.edu.ec
Karina Luzdelia Mendoza Bravo, María Dolores Chávez Loor, Carlos Humberto Chancay Cedeño 84 Revista Mikarimin. Publicación cuatrimestral. Vol. VI, Año 2020, No. 1 (Enero-Abril) del inglés como lengua extranjera. También, la lectura comprensiva se vuelve más amena cuando las lecturas están relacionadas con los intereses del lector, lo cual permite una mayor motivación para leer. PALABRAS CLAVE: comprensión lectora; propuesta metodológica; idioma extranjero; motivación. INTRODUCTION The need to develop reading comprehension quickly and naturally increased throughout the 20th century, becoming a necessity for education and most professions (Bamford & Day, 2004). In the 21st century, great amazement in globalization is influencing different spheres in society, including the economy, culture, politics, science, technology and education, and any other sphere (Carrell & Carson, 1997). It indicates that people have to have more preparation to insert themselves and be competent in the academic world. Thus, reading comprehension has become an indispensable tool in all areas of knowledge for the contribution that it provides to the development of the professional competences. Furthermore, reading comprehension is a skill developed during the learning of a language. Reading is one of the four skill developed by learning in the process of language acquisition (Scrivener, 2011). It demands an hour of practising through reading practices to reach the standard proposed by the Common European Framework of Reference Language (CEFRL). Besides, the reading process represents a motivational issue that English Foreign Language Teachers (EFLT) need to apply to encourage their students to practise this skill (Escudero, 2013). Moreover, the practising of reading skill not just must happen in the classroom but also outside. Thus, learners are in contact with a text they want to read according to their interests. Comprehension is the result of the reader's processing of a text. In essence, it is the process by which the reader constructs meaning by interacting with the text, which is why the way this skill is taught in class is so important to learn the English language (Grellet, 1981). The concept of understanding is, therefore associated with an adequate reading in which the reader can independently and correctly identify the main idea that the writer is trying to convey. Teachers' classroom experience has shown that many teachers use texts only as a way to expose students to language forms, not to attend to the development of comprehension skills (Nikou, Bonyadi, & Bakhshalinezhad, 2015). Although all language skills bring benefits to the language learning process, for instance, reading tends to stand out for a large number of advantages it generates, while contributing to the assimilation of other skills: listening, writing and producing orally (Nation, 2004). In other words, a person who frequently reads in English assimilates a large number of units of language, improving oral and written production. On the other hand, the audiovisual information that circulates on the web makes reading take second place in students. It brings with it a disinterest in reading and a mechanical understanding of the text (Infanti, 2012). Added to this is the poor acquisition of vocabulary and the decrease in the ability to understand words in the context of reading. Nation (2004) states that this problem is increasing in countries due to the misuse of technologies. Despite the relevance of the development of reading comprehension, the preparation of teachers to face this process pedagogically is scarce (Fernando-Gómez, 2012). For this reason, teacher training would contribute to the application of strategies that allow students to improve reading levels.
Mikarimin. Revista Científica Multidisciplinaria ISSN 2528-7842 METHODOLOGICAL PROPOSAL FOR ENHANCING ENGLISH READING COMPREHENSION © Centro de Investigación y Desarrollo. Universidad Regional Autónoma de Los Andes - Extensión Santo Domingo. Ecuador. 85 The investigations carried out by Blachowicz and Ogle (2008); Grellet (1981); Jager Adam (2018) suggest that teachers' concepts of what it is to learn to read, as well as the activities carried out in the classrooms, do not include aspects related to reading comprehension. In other words, it indicates that a vision of reading predominates among teachers, in which comprehension is associated with decoding the text and extracting the meaning of the words (Burns & Richards, 2009; Richards & Renandya, 2002). With this, the reader assumes the role of a liability which only receives the information read. In the late 1970s, interactive and transactional understanding models derived from psycholinguistics and cognitive psychology challenged the theory of reading-comprehension as a set of skills (Blachowicz & Ogle, 2008). However, the effects of this challenge do not seem to have been felt in the classroom. Both Spanish and foreign language teachers seem to retain an approach to teaching reading in which the first level is word knowledge (Stutz, Schaffner, & Schiefele, 2016). The second comprehension and the third the evaluation and assimilation of content, ignoring the advances in the field of understanding that show new models of understanding and approach to the text. Reading comprehension strategies used by teachers are focused on the analysis of texts for exposing the students to a linguistics structure with taking in consideration the understanding of the message of the text and without the appropriate development of reading skills (Harmer, 2007). It means that new methodological strategies are needed to support EFLT to be updated with the lasted trend about how to develop reading comprehension in their learners. Reading comprehension also brings some benefits for enhancing the learning of a language. One of them is the vocabulary acquisition. Reading provides a wide range of vocabulary expressed in different contexts according to the thematic of the text (Gower, Phillips, & Steve, 2007; Hedge, 2000; Hedgscock & Ferris, 2009). It also represents real vocabulary for learners in real contexts where deeply comprehension is part of the process for understanding the text (Blachowicz & Ogle, 2008). On the other hand, teachers have to active the previous information students could have about the reading. It motivates talking about reading and also critical thinking. Through reading texts, controversial topics can be generated to encourage discussion among students and, therefore, deepen reading comprehension and connect it with the context of the students (Jager Adam, 2018). These types of activities respond to a reconstructive, participatory and dynamic pedagogical model. Likewise, this process contributes to the development of critical thinking. METHODOLOGY This study aims to develop a methodological proposal for enhancing reading comprehension motivation in students who are learning English as a foreign language. For the validation process, eight experts in the field of teaching English as foreign language helped wit their observations to give feedback to the methodological proposal by giving their opinions and a quantitative score with a Linkert scale (strongly agree, disagree, undecided, agree and strongly agree). Pedagogical proposal The following part represents the steps developed for applying the methodological proposal in university students at Universidad Técnica de Manabí. First, it is essential to highlight that comprehension is the result of the reader's processing of a text. In essence, it is the process by which the reader constructs meaning by interacting with the text, which is why the way this skill is taught in class is so important to learn the English language. The concept of understanding is,
Karina Luzdelia Mendoza Bravo, María Dolores Chávez Loor, Carlos Humberto Chancay Cedeño 86 Revista Mikarimin. Publicación cuatrimestral. Vol. VI, Año 2020, No. 1 (Enero-Abril) therefore associated with an active reading in which the reader can independently and correctly identify the main idea that the writer is trying to convey. The trend in recent years is to give greater importance to cognitive activities that are developed through the mastery of linguistic skills, in this case reading (Scrivener, 2011; Ur, 2010). This process includes oral language, the relation of concepts and words, how a particular textual construction is heard when reading aloud, and how ideas are written. This process is based on a constructive theory to strengthen the learning of the language. These recent trends are based on constructivist theories, the acquisition of a foreign language. Short-term memory is significant in the reading process because it allows us to remember the necessary data while still receiving information and then process it as a whole. With short-term memory, the essential thing is remembered at the moment (Jager Adam, 2018; Wang, Yang, Wei, Chang, & Zhou, 2017). In contrast, in long-term memory, the specific information of the text being understood is stored. The memory is, therefore activated by the reading process. How a subject approaches the text is also another element that allows determining how much the psychological processes of the individual influence cognitive processes. In this case, the positive and stimulating motivation towards the text and the subject that it develops will have a direct impact on how much knowledge that subject will acquire in the reading process and in the retention in their memory for some time to integrate it into general knowledge that students already own. Objective: to develop comprehensive reading skills in university students of English language through active techniques. Characterization The present methodological proposal is characterized by the benefit of learning the English language as a foreign language. For this, it is necessary to create, maintain, and improve the reading strategies that students have to access the text. Among the benefits that reading comprehension in English brings to the process of learning a foreign language, the following can be highlighted: Acquire vocabulary on a wide variety of topics and assimilate the meaning of words in context. Activate prior knowledge and use it to understand the text presented to them. Adopt fluency in the language concerning reading comprehension. Fun, entertainment and motivation to continue learning the language. Premises or requirements: To carry it out, it must have premises or conditions, such as: Teachers with adequate preparation: the relevance that teachers must have when training is necessary; Aware that the teaching-learning process is continually changing and that they must be updated continuously. Students with at least a basic level of English: this premise becomes essential, in that when developing reading comprehension, students must already be familiar with the
Mikarimin. Revista Científica Multidisciplinaria ISSN 2528-7842 METHODOLOGICAL PROPOSAL FOR ENHANCING ENGLISH READING COMPREHENSION © Centro de Investigación y Desarrollo. Universidad Regional Autónoma de Los Andes - Extensión Santo Domingo. Ecuador. 87 foreign language, in this case, English, beforehand avoid that they feel a barrier when discovering their own knowledge. Texts with authenticity: this refers to emphasizing so that the texts have meaning in their daily lives, texts from a real-world, from real contexts and that contains an original language. Equipped classroom, according to current demands: in this globalized world, it would be unfortunate not to take advantage of the tools available to achieve the motivation and constant interaction of students, in addition to being able to achieve a better approach with communities and teaching-learning processes of English-speaking countries. Conception: This methodology has been conceived in 4 stages, under the functional-structural systemic approach proposed by Rivera, Forteza, and Rivera (2006). These authors propose the following steps: 1. Previous recognition of the student's interest in the subject of reading. 2. Activation of the reading process in the pre-reading phase. 3. Application of the reading process during reading. 4. Strengthening of the topics and their storage in memory in the post-reading phase. In this methodological proposal, which is emphasized in the conditions in which this process occurs. Thus, each can be specified as follows: Structuring of the stages of the methodological proposal Stage 1: Previous recognition of the student's interest in the subject of reading. Objective: to determine the level of motivation and previous interest of the student towards the subject of reading. This stage can be done as a diagnosis before starting the course by brainstorming ideas that reflect an interest in the topic to be read. It can also be done at the end of each class specifying the student's interest in a specific topic that will be studied in the next class. Another possibility of knowing the student's interest in the subject of reading is to relate it according to the stage of development, that is, determine books for young people and others for adults. Here the sociocultural context played an important role because the teacher would select the reading book that most closely resembles the context of the students. For example, in the first unit, the idea of the beauty of Western culture is expressed and the girl who is observed is white with white clothes and a toy that looks like a Barbie, this situation could be perfectly replaced by a photo of a girl from Portoviejo or from Ecuador that shows the native beauty features with the colours of the region and the culture that characterizes Ecuadorians, including the objects that a boy or girl play with and that also puts them in a position to participate and comment. This process allows teaching-learning to be more representative of both students and teachers. Besides, at this stage, the teacher can detect the difficulties and potential of the students before starting the class. With this, it is sought that the teacher takes a series of assumed possibilities from recognizing the student's zone of proximal development. For this, a diagnosis can be made through questions that determine the motivation of the student to read. Here are some of them:
Karina Luzdelia Mendoza Bravo, María Dolores Chávez Loor, Carlos Humberto Chancay Cedeño 88 Revista Mikarimin. Publicación cuatrimestral. Vol. VI, Año 2020, No. 1 (Enero-Abril) What does the text teach students? Is the topic meaningful to students? Can it promote the professional and study preparation of students? What activities can motivate them to approach the text with their previous knowledge? Can the idea be understood by students who have low levels of knowledge acquisition? This stage is of great importance because through it the level of motivation of the students is diagnosed, for it, three actions are carried out: (1) the elaboration of the instruments for the diagnosis, (2) the application of the instrument and (3) analysis of results. Stage 2: Activation of the reading process in the pre-reading phase. Objective: to activate the potential of the students regarding the reading process in the pre-reading phase. Before reading, the text to be read must be previously motivated to involve all the students in the text analysis process. In this stage, the student will be given the general idea of the content of the material. They will be given the objectives that they want to achieve at the end with the topic covered in the reading. They will be given the different work guides with the essential questions if there is any modification to the student text. They will be shown how to answer them. Finally, global questions that demonstrate whether the student understood how to carry out the reading activity, that is, check to understand, will be analyzed. Among the techniques that can be used at this stage, we can mention those of corporal expression, relaxation, those of disinhibition by the use of the foreign language and those of cooperation or properly those of understanding some meaning. All of them can be carried out as preparatory activities to motivate students and face reading comprehension pleasantly and enjoyably. For this reason, the following activities are carried out here, among others: Exercises for the prior analysis of vocabulary in cases where new words hinder text comprehension. Brainstorm from a keyword related to the text. Interview between students on representative issues of the text. Speculation on the subject of the text, based on the title and a photo or illustration. Communicative exchange of anticipation of the text content. In addition, three actions can be applied to complement the process: (1) adapt motivational dynamics oriented to the activity to be carried out, (2) activate the reading process through motivation with the use of participatory techniques and (3) assess the potentialities to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the students in the process through an in-depth interview. Stage 3: Application of the reading process during reading. Objective: to guide teachers regarding the treatment to be given to the use of participatory techniques during the English language teaching-learning process for the development of reading comprehension.

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