Assessing the Importance of Reading Compression Skills to the EFL Learners: Immersion Program at the University of Buea
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Reading in a foreign language is considered one of the most challenging and difficult tasks that most EFL learners face. Due to the complexity of the skills, many students do not read for the: ear of not being able to achieve comprehension. This explains why these students do not take English reading seriously as they cannot read other materials like magazines, storybooks, and so on, out of school milieu. That is, reading for pleasure greatly improves the students reading skills. That is why the main purpose of this research is to make the learners aware of the fact that English reading is a very important skill to them and also the fact that, English is a global language. This work consists of 5 chapters and examines the reading syllabus and reading materials used, and at the end of the paper, some functional measures are suggested.
Over the last part of the twentieth century, English has emerged and it seems as the re-eminent language for international communication. The English language has four components, which are; reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Reading is the most relevant of the four language skills and is very important to the English as a foreign language EFL learners. At the university or in school, these learners always have different materials such as textbooks, articles, and stories. Reading is more beneficial to the EEL learners during studies because it enables them to acquire many things about the language and understanding different subject areas. For this reason, it is more important for EFL learners to have adequate ability to read text materials not for pleasure, but also for comprehension. Therefore, EFL learners need to acquire comprehension in reading through applying appropriate and effective reading strategies.
Background of the study
English and French are two official languages that came into Cameroon since 1^61 when Britain and France shared the country into two unequal parts after defeating German}’. These two colonial masters impose their languages in the newly acquired territory r::r. in the areas of education and administration. Therefore, English and French became the official languages of Cameroon after the reunification in 1961. As a result of this, the English language is a foreign language to the French-speaking Cameroonians who studied French as a second language, while French became a foreign language to the English- speaking Cameroonian with English as their second language. Even though English and French may be the first language to some Cameroonian, the facts remain that they cannot be as fluent as the native speakers of that language.
Reading models are broadly classified into two categories, that is, the process models and the componential models. While the process models attempt to describe the actual process of reading as a cognitive activity operating in real-time according to temporal >equence(weir and yan 2000), the componential models focus on what component to be involved in their reading process (urguhait and weir, 1998).
As oppose to process models, componential models attempt to model the reading ability rather than the reading process, and to understand reading as a set of theoretically Leal separable constituents (berhnaidt 1991, coadyl979) and is the most readily available form of comprehensible input especially in places where there is hardly any contact with the target language.
is important to know that reading is of great importance to the EFL learners. Anderson salted that the mastery of reading skills could help the EFL learners achieve success ‘. English language but also in other content base classes where English proficiency: Reading plays a crucial role in the overall development of language skills and even success for decades (Cochran, 1993).
For the EFL learners, reading is the most important of the four is seen as an important medium that helps learners not only to explain their but also to improve their grammar. When learners read, they are introduced to words and contexts in which the words are used. Through this, learners are open to a variety of vocabulary and expressions. It also helps to improve writing; there is a link between reading and writing. Basically, the more you read, the better .. and the better you understand. Reading also creates and sustains motivation to
Statement of the problem
Countries have been developed and research extensively carried out on the importance of comprehension skills to EFL learners. This issue laid us to provide the evidence needed to intensify the use of reading comprehension in school in general and for the EFL learners in particular. It is necessary to see what progress the learners made in terms of skill and general proficiency.
Aim of the study
The aim of this research is to assess the progress made by students of the Immersion program at the University of Buea in reading comprehension.
Objectives of the study
The objectives of this study are:
-To describe the language use of the student.
-To describe their reading comprehension skill at the end of the Immersion Program.
-To analyze the progress made in their overall proficiency score.
-To analyze the implication of the findings for English Language teaching.