The Development of Young Learners’ Reading Comprehension Skills

Abstract

Based on my experience as a student and as a student teacher of English in Emirati government schools, I have found that the teaching of reading skills is often overlooked in schools. Part of my study in the Bachelor of Education program at the Higher Colleges of Technology was to be able to identify issues and concerns in the field of teaching English in UAE schools during my Teaching Practice placements. I have noted a great variety in the ways in which learners learn to read in English, and in their success at doing it. Students are rarely encouraged to read, and seldom have opportunities to read. A student can’t really know how successful a reader he/she is because of the lack of practice, lack of attention from the teacher, and the use of inappropriate strategies in the teaching of reading.

Because of these observations, I decided to conduct a study into the teaching of reading in a primary school for girls located in Ras Al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates. The study was conducted over the sixteen weeks of my final year Teaching Practice and Internship. In particular, I was interested in investigating the use of the KW- L reading comprehension strategy (What you know; What you want to know; What you learnt) that was first initiated by Donna Ogle (1986).

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