Theory and Practice in Language Studies, Vol 2, No 11 (2012), 2422-2429, Nov 2012
doi:10.4304/tpls.2.11.2422-2429

The Role of Semantic Mapping as a While-reading Activity in Improving Reading Comprehension Ability of the Iranian University Students in General English (GE) Courses

Mohammad Reza Mozayan, Ali Mohammad Fazilatfar, Anahita Khosravi, Jafar Askari

Abstract


Of the four important skills in any second language pedagogy, reading comprehension is of paramount importance for students in the Iranian universities. A decision was therefore made to check the students' skill and ability in reading comprehension on the basis of 'semantic mapping' task inYazd Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences. In this quasi-experimental study, six general-English classes in Shahid Sadoughi University were assigned randomly to 3 control and 3 experimental groups. Students were studying in Family Health, Environmental Health, and Nursing fields. A pretest and posttest was held and the students were compared both at the beginning and at the end of the study. Data were then analyzed through ANOVA and paired-test via SPSS software. The findings revealed no statistically significant relationship between the two techniques. However, 'semantic mapping' technique, in terms of the mean score, proved more effective for Nursing students (M=6.25) compared with the students of Environmental Health (M=2.60) and Family Health (M=4.62). The results of this study are in line with a similar study carried out with medical and dental students (2006) in which the semantic mapping group enjoyed significantly higher reading comprehension ability than the relevant control group at the end of the study. (Note that the Nursing students in Iranian universities have a better position compared with Health-group students but a lower position compared with Medical and Dental students) This study suggests that the higher proficiency level of the learners is the more they may benefit from semantic mapping technique as a while-reading activity.


Keywords


reading comprehension; traditional; semantic mapping

References


 

[1] Alderson, J. Ch. (2000). Assessing Reading. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511732935 [2] Brown, H.D. (2000). Principles of Language Learning and Teaching Longman: Pearson Education Co.  [3] Brown, H.D. (2001). Teaching by Principles: An Interactive Approach to Language Pedagogy (2nd Ed). Longman: Pearson Education Co.  [4] Carter, R. & Nunan, D. (Eds.). (2001). The Cambridge Guide to Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511667206 [5] Cook, V. (2001). Second Language Learning and Language Teaching. London: Edvard Arnold. [6] Ellis, G. and B. Sinclair. (1989). Learning to Learn English: A course in learner training. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. [7] Ellis, R. and G. Barkhuizen. (2005). Analyzing Learner Language. Oxford: Oxford University Press. [8] Ellis, R. (2008). The Study of Second Language Acquisition. Oxford: Oxford University Press. [9] Gerami, M. H. & Gareh Baighlou, B. (2011). Language Learning Strategies Used by Successful and Unsuccessful Iranian EFL Students.  [10] Griffiths, C. (2007). Language Learning Strategies: Students' and Teachers' Perceptions. ElT Journal 61(2), 91-99.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/elt/ccm001 [11] Grab, W. (2002). Reading in a Second Language. In R. B. Kaplan (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Applied Linguistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Inc. [12] Griffiths, C. (2007). Language Learning Strategies: Student's and Teachre's Perceptions. ElT Journal 61(2), 91-99
http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/elt/ccm001 [13] Harmer, J. (2007). The Practice of English Language Teaching. England: Pearson Education Limited. [14] Hadley, A.O. (2003). Teaching Language in Context. USA: Heinle & Heinle Publishers. [15] Hedge, T. (2000). Teaching and Learning in the Language Classroom. Oxford: Oxford University Press. [16] Johnson, K. (2001). An Introduction to Foreign Language Learning and Teaching. Longman: Pearson Education.  [17] Kaplan, R. B. (Ed.). (2002). The Oxford Handbook of Applied Linguistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press. [18] Lightbown, P.M. & Spada, N. (2003). How Languages Are Learned (8th ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. [19] Mirhassani, S. A. & Akhlaghi, M. (2009). The Effect of Word Association Tasks Through the Use of Semantic Mapping on Reading Comprehension Proficiency among Iranian High School Students. Roshd EFL, 91, 40-46. [20] Mozayan, M.R. (2006). The Effect of Semantic Mapping on the Improvement of ESP reading Comprehension Ability of Iranian Students. Paper Presented at the First National ESP/EAF Conference. Iran. Tehran.
PMid:16639428 [21] Nunan, D. (1999). Second Language Teaching & Learning. USA: Heinle & Heinle Publishers.
PMCid:1377941 [22] Nuttall, C. (1996). Teaching Reading Skills in a Foreign Language. Oxford: MacMillan Publishers. [23] Oxford, R. (1990). Language Learning Strategies: What Every Teacher Should Know. Boston: Heinle & Heinle. [24] Oxford, R. (1991). What Every Teacher Should Know (2nd ed.). New York: Newbury House. [25] Perfetti, C. A. (1994). "Psycholinguistics and Reading Ability." In M.A. Grenbacher (Ed.) Handbook of Psycholinguistics. San Diego: Academic Press. [26] Richards, J. C. & Renandy A.J. (Eds.). (2002). Methodology in language Teaching. UK: Cambridge University Press.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511667190 [27] Richards, J. C. & Schmidt, R. (2002). Dictionary of Language Teaching &Applied Linguistics (3rd ed.). Longman: Pearson Education Limited.  [28] Rose, K. R. & Kasper, G. (Eds.). (2001). Pragmatics in Language Teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139524797 [29] Schmitt, N. (Ed.) (2002). An Introduction to Applied Linguistics. London: Oxford University Press. [30] Scrivener, J. (2011). Learning English: The Essential Guide to English Language Teaching. (3rd Ed.).Oxford: MacMillan Education. [31] Wallace, C. (2001). Reading. In R. Carter & D. Nunan (Eds.) (2001). Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. UK: Cambridge University Press.  [32] Widdowson, H. G. (2003). Defining Issues in English Language Teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


Full Text: PDF


Theory and Practice in Language Studies (TPLS, ISSN 1799-2591)

Copyright @ 2006-2014 by ACADEMY PUBLISHER – All rights reserved.