A case study of a school in Zimbabwe: Investigating challenges faced by rural O-level students and strategies used by teachers in the English Reading- comprehension classes.

PhD Thesis

Kanyoka, Maxwell Obediah 2018. A case study of a school in Zimbabwe: Investigating challenges faced by rural O-level students and strategies used by teachers in the English Reading- comprehension classes. PhD Thesis https://doi.org/10.48773/93q45
AuthorsKanyoka, Maxwell Obediah
TypePhD Thesis

The purpose of this study is to determine the challenges O-level students face and other factors that contribute to poor reading-comprehension and it further seeks to establish the strategies that teachers employ in teaching reading-comprehension to O-level students. This study applied the qualitative case study methodology at a rural secondary school in Zimbabwe with twenty-nine participants purposively sampled. The students were first given two texts to read; one narrative and the other expository to provide information about the strategies they use to comprehend texts using a think aloud protocol to determine the challenges they face before, during and after reading narrative or expository texts. Further, the researcher conducted observation as a nonparticipant observer, semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions (FGD) and documentary evidence from class and exams’ records about students’ work. The results of the study reveal that O-level students face challenges in reading comprehension as they are unable to approach written texts actively to interact meaningfully with texts and are incapable of setting specific goals for reading hence
face challenges with word meanings, resulting in them unable to make connections with new vocabulary. When reading-comprehension gets difficult, students are only able to monitor their reading-comprehension using the clarifying strategy, which is only one of the monitoring strategies used to repair reading-comprehension failure. The main conclusion about students is that they lack vocabulary synonym-language to handle reading-comprehension tasks; they have not been availed reading materials to expand their vocabulary through extensive reading. Findings indicate that teachers are contradictory in their use of strategies that help students activate their prior knowledge and they use less effective methods such as lecturing and testing. They do not make use of the Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) approaches to
process-teach reading-comprehension. Therefore, the researcher recommends a reflection upon current reading-comprehension teaching methods so as to improve instruction and that the government should buy textbooks and library books for students and reduce class sizes. Teachers also should conduct a formative assessment to improve teaching and draw up detailed schemes and organise school training days and also acquire old magazines and newspapers to provide students’ extra reading material and give timely feedback to inform and monitor student progressin reading-comprehension.

Keywordschallenges faced by students; Strategies used by teachers
PublisherUniversity of Derby
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.48773/93q45
Web address (URL)hdl:10545/623193
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Output statusUnpublished
Publication process dates
Deposited06 Dec 2018, 11:25
Publication datesMay 2018
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