Analysis of the Real Situation of Teaching Reading Comprehension to First Year Students at the Department of English Language and Literature at Al-Zaytoonah Private University of Jordan

  •  Basel Al-Sheikh Hussein    


There is a trend in teaching foreign languages that advocates the prime importance of teaching reading as a receptive skill before the other productive skills (listening, speaking, and writing).There is also an increasing feeling among teachers and educators that reading should receive a considerable amount of attention in teaching a foreign language.
Reading is an essential skill for students not only because it is a source of pleasure and getting information but also because it helps them widen and deepen their knowledge of language. Reading in this sense is not the mere mouthing of words and decoding of every word in every sentence. It is rather the activity that enables the students to go deeper and deeper to get the meaning which is intended by the author. It is the activity that depends largely on comprehension. Accordingly, developing reading comprehension is one of the great aims of teaching English. It is reading comprehension that enables students to pursue their studies and to meet their interests in all fields of knowledge. Thus, reading comprehension should receive more emphasis throughout the teaching process.
The importance of this study is to help students realize that they are literary readers and their attempts to go beyond the literal meaning are very limited.
Moreover, this study attempts to make students aware of the fact that reading comprehension is a process of thinking, evaluating, judging, imagining, and problem solving.
The study yields that:
1) First year students lack many important reading comprehension skills which they should have in order to understand fully a piece of writing.
2) The textbook adopted in teaching reading comprehension is mainly designed to help create readers to whom the absorbing of the literal meaning of a piece of writing is the ultimate aim of reading comprehension courses.
3) Little attention is given to teaching other important reading comprehension skills like the inferential and critical ones.

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