Main Article Content
Pre-reading activities, pedagogic strategy, instructional practices, prior knowledge.
Reading is one of the fundamental skills in language learning and all English Second Language (ESL) learners need to acquire it in order to master the language. ESL learners, however, face numerous problems that need effective strategies to overcome so as to improve reading comprehension. Previous studies have shown that pre-reading activities are facilitative pedagogic strategies that activate readers’ prior knowledge, hence comprehension of new text. Thus, the purpose of this quasi-experimental study was to establish if there was a significant influence of pre-reading activities as pedagogical strategies on the nature of instructional practices in reading comprehension classrooms in Kenya. The study objectives were to establish differences in teaching and learning processes between pre-teaching vocabulary classrooms and those not exposed to any pre-reading activities; and, examine differences in teaching and learning processes in brainstorming classrooms and those not exposed to any pre-reading activities. The study was underpinned by Reading Comprehension as a Socio-cognitive Processing Model by Ruddell and Ruddell; and Reading Comprehension as Transactional-Socio-Psycholinguistic Model by Goodman. These models respectively propose that through the influence of the language teacher on the readers, and the individual transactions between a reader and the text, meaning is constructed. The study used a quasi-experimental group design. Purposive sampling was used to select 7 schools, 21 ESL classrooms, and 21 teachers of English. Data were collected using pre-teaching sessions and an observation checklist. These data were analyzed using content and deductive thematic analyses. Appropriate themes were generated and presented as narrations in line with the respective objectives of the study. Results of data analysis showed that the differences in instructional practices between vocabulary pre-teaching, brainstorming, and control classrooms were significant. The study concluded that teachers need to use such pedagogic strategies as pre-teaching vocabulary and/or brainstorming before exposing the learners to a reading text to enhance comprehension. The study therefore, recommended that English language teachers, the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development, language educators, and the Ministry of Education advocate for the use of pre-reading activities as a pedagogic strategy to facilitate reading comprehension.
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