Benchmarking Year Five Students’ Reading Abilities

  •  Chang Kuan Lim    
  •  Lin Siew Eng    
  •  Abdul Rashid Mohamed    


Reading and understanding a written text is one of the most important skills in English learning.This study attempts to benchmark Year Five students’ reading abilities of fifteen rural schools in a district in Malaysia. The objectives of this study are to develop a set of standardised written reading comprehension and a set of indicators to inform ESL teachers about the exact ability of the students. A sample of 788 primary school students from the rural areas was involved in this study. The instrument utilised in this study was a set of standardised written reading comprehension test which was developed in line with Malaysian English Language Syllabus (2003), the revised Barrett’s Taxonomy of Reading Comprehension (Day & Park, 2005) and the revised Bloom’s Taxonomy (Anderson et al. 2001). The set of standardised written reading comprehension questions consists of 50 multiple-choice questions at elementary, intermediate and advanced levels. The findings show that many Malay respondents were categorised at ‘below expectations’ and female students perform better than male students. Finally, the researcher suggested several recommendations.

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