The Reading Skills of Malaysian ELS Malay Students: Focus on the Knowledge of Linguistic Cues
This study seeks to: create a bench-mark for ESL Malay students reading comprehension proficiency at the primary and secondary school level; identify the main factors that influence how much a student gains in reading achievement during a year of school; investigate the reasons as to why some students achieve high levels in reading while others do not and fail to read efficiently; find out what teachers do to increase their students’ linguistic cues automatic recognition and reading achievement of what they read, whenever they read; document what teachers have done to increase ESL students’ reading achievement and to suggest what teachers can do to increase students’ reading achievement. The reading tests were conducted using Miller’s (1995) Reading Assessment Techniques. There were six tests including: vocabulary tests, reading tests (word and parsing identification miscues), and reading comprehension tests. Participants were 1989 students and 360 teachers from both rural and urban schools in Perak and Terengganu, Malaysia. Findings from the current study showed that majority of the students were able to recognize linguistic cues at word level only, had problems recognizing phrases and clauses and faced difficulties in processing sentences especially complex sentences and discourse. Hence, majority of the students (Standard 5, Form 1, 2 and 4) were reading below the readability level of the school textbooks provided.
Keywords: Reading Skills, SLA, FLA, Linguistic Cues
Abdul Halim Ibrahim
Senior Lecturer, English Language Department
Dr Mariam Mohamed Nor
Head of Laguage Department, Department of English Language