n Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies - An investigation into the classroom strategies employed for reading comprehension ability in secondary schools in Kisumu North, Kisumu County, Kenya

Volume 5, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 2141-6990
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Learners of English as a second language (L2) experience difficulties understanding what they read in terms of language and cultural settings. Effective comprehension is vital to the learner as it enhances performance not only in English, but also the other subjects offered in the school curriculum. This can be achieved when learners engage in reading strategies that will enable them activate relevant background knowledge. This study, guided by the schema theory was therefore carried out to investigate classroom strategies employed for reading comprehension ability. The objectives of the study were to investigate if learners employed reading strategies in the language classroom to enhance reading comprehension ability and establish if they activate background knowledge in the reading process. The study used a mixed method research design. Two hundred and fifty six form three secondary school learners were sampled through systematic random sampling from a population of 855 from all the 16 secondary schools at the time of study (2011) in Kisumu North Sub County. Data was collected by means of classroom observation and a students' questionnaire and this limited the findings to be generalized to other learners with similar characteristics. Data analysis revealed that learners did not employ appropriate reading strategies thus not activating background knowledge which hindered effective comprehension. From the analysis and interpretation of the findings, the study concluded that reading strategies had significant influence on activating background knowledge for effective comprehension. The study recommends that instruction on reading strategies should be given to learners throughout the reading process in order to enable them activate relevant background knowledge. This study will provide insights to teachers and students on the significance of always using reading strategies to activate background knowledge as this will result to reading with a purpose hence effective comprehension.

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