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Evaluating EFL students’ reading comprehension skills with reference to the Department of English at Zawia University, Libya

Mohamed, S (2016) Evaluating EFL students’ reading comprehension skills with reference to the Department of English at Zawia University, Libya. Doctoral thesis, Liverpool John Moores University.

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Abstract

This study investigated the main challenges that faced Libyan students in reading comprehension within the English language programme at Zawia University, Libya, through the perceptions of lecturers and students at the Department of English. This study also evaluated the current teaching practices of reading comprehension at the Department of English at Zawia University. It also identified the key causal factors that contributed to the students' inadequate reading comprehension performance.
Reading comprehension as a research topic has been extensively researched and it is still of current interest. The key literature in this study is polarised around two streams. The first stream presents different aspects of reading: definitions, importance, complexity, purposes of reading, types of reading and approaches to reading. The second stream is related to various issues about the three main components of the reading comprehension module: learners, teachers and reading material.
The philosophical paradigm underpinning this study is predominantly positivist; thus, eight hundred questionnaires were distributed to reach as many students as possible in order to find out the answer to an inquiry through numerical evidence. After distributing the questionnaires, semi-structured interviews were conducted to gauge the lecturers’ viewpoints about the teaching and learning of reading comprehension. Four hundred and forty nine students filled up the questionnaires, which were analysed using SPSS while seven lecturers participated in the interviews that were analysed through content analysis.

Findings revealed that students at the Department of English at Zawia University lack the reading skills and the culture of reading and face difficulties in English reading comprehension. Many lecturers are not aware of reading skills and they teach reading comprehension in a traditional way with over-emphasis on decoding and accuracy. The insufficient learning environment at the department has a negative impact on the process of learning and teaching because of the lack of facilities and library resources, overcrowded classes, and limited time allocated to reading classes.
This study has added a theoretical contribution through expanding the literature, which brings about academic benefits for future researchers in education in the Arab world, particularly in Libya. Future researchers can use the conceptual model for reading comprehension that is designed by the researcher to investigate what factors influence this process.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: READING, COMPREHENSION, SKILLS, STUDENTS, LIBYA
Subjects: L Education > LC Special aspects of education
P Language and Literature > PE English
Divisions: Liverpool Business School
Date Deposited: 25 Oct 2016 09:10
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2016 09:10
Supervisors: Menacere, Karim and Foster, Scott
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/4418

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