The Reading Skills of Malaysian ELS Malay Students: Focus on the Knowledge of Linguistic Cues

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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
Stream: Curriculum and Pedagogy; Student Learning, Learner Experiences, Learner Diversity
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Abdul Halim Ibrahim

Senior Lecturer, English Language Department
Faculty of Languages, University Pendidikan Sultan Idris

Tg Malim, Perak, Malaysia

Abdul Halim Ibrahim has been teaching Enlish as a second language for about 30 years. His area of expertise is in second language aquisition and development and has conducted many studies especially on language development and reading skills among Malay learners. He also writes on pedagogical grammar, reading and writing skills. Currently he is teaching TESL at University Pendidikan Sultan Idris.

Dr Mariam Mohamed Nor

Head of Laguage Department, Department of English Language
Faculty of Languages, University Pendidikan Sulatn Idris

Tg Malim, Perak, Malaysia

The writer had her TESL training at Sultan Idris Training College in 1976, and in 1989 from the same college, she obtained her Diploma in TESL. Then, she pursued a TESL degree course at University Pertanian Malaysia in 1993, Master of Arts in English at The Malaysia National University in 1998, and her doctorate at the University of Malaya in 2005. Currently, she is a TESL lecturer and head of the English department, at University Pendidikan Sultan Idris.

Ref: L08P0160