Reference WPCEHD_13_07 (Published as vol. 10, nº 2)

TITLE: “Reading comprehension through group work activities in EFL classroom: An action research report”

Abstract

This classroom action research approaches the issue of reading skill based on the role of group work in classroom. Group work is one of the major activities of generating ideas of any written piece of text. It facilitates EFL learners to read in social perspective, which makes their learning more diverse and informative. Though, classroom activities should reach learner’s need and understanding, this action research is performed to make a change of classroom activities. It is seen that group work works better in the classroom and is capable to make learners conscious and understanding which is of course in an interesting and free environment. It also facilitates learners to be more interactive and socialized in the classroom.

Keywords: Group work, Social, Comprehension, Reading skill, Learning, EFL.

 

2 pensamientos en “Reference WPCEHD_13_07 (Published as vol. 10, nº 2)

  1. REVIEW 1:
    This article requires, first, a thorough style review.

    Secondly, the paper should justify in a much more detailed manner why the authors frame this research as an action-research study. Considering that action-research methodologies have a transformative intention, I don’t see how the experience that is presented can be described as action-research. As it is presented, is seems more like a quasi-experimental study.

    Thirdly, the paper should specify the two texts used in the study and the pre-test and post-tests methods, as well as the way in which the results of these two tests were evaluated. Was there inter-rater agreement? What was the procedure to judge some responses as valid and some as not?

    Fourthly, it is not clear what students were discussing in groups? Did they discuss the text? Did they discuss the answers to the questions? Were the texts matched in terms of their difficulty? And if they were, how was this done? Did the students first read silently and then discuss in groups?

    Finally, was there an individual task comparable to the group discussion? To be able to say that group discussion leads to better understanding of the text it is necessary to have the students previously complete individual tasks, involving work with the materials for a duration similar to the group discussion.

    In short, the article requires a review of the presentation style and a thorough methodological revision that ensures that the results that are presented are due to the benefits of group work and not to the general effect of investing time on reflecting about texts.

  2. REVIEW 2

    The subject is interesting because group work (cooperative or collaborative work) is a teaching and learning strategy often used in classrooms with positive results. However, the text presented for review has several inconsistencies that will be addressed, therefore it will be necessary to restructure the content of the article:

    It is necessary to clarify the difference between the studies mentioned by the authors as “ESL” (referring to the teaching of English as a second language) and the investigations the authors made about “EFL” (which refer to the English as a foreign language), because in the article is lost the relevance of research on the second type os situation (EFL) is lost.

    The authors define collaborative learning but need to define what group work is for them (in the research) and how it was carried out. The article attempts to mention the work in small groups they undertook and the benefits that that entails, but fails to describe in detail what kind of activities were carried out in those small groups and for what purposes.

    As it is presented as an action-research study (so called by the authors of the article), we would need to identify the role played by teacher interactions with students and what transformations were generated by these actions on the understanding of texts. To what extent can the authors report on the scope of the transformations? The authors of the article intended to report both qualitative and quantitative results, but only the latter are the privileged over others.

    It is necessary to justify the choice of items to assess the understanding of the text. The authors delve more widely into the pre-test than the implementation of the post-test, it is important that they explain more carefully the post-test choices and the type of data that it sheds. For example, on page 7 they do not say what are the changes that students showed in their reading skills and they would need to describe them to better understand the impact of action research. Additionally, post-test and pre-test questions are open, so they need to the explain how they were coded because it is not clear what was expected as responses.

    In relation to these same instruments, page 5 mentions that “Appendex A” is the pre-test and the “Appendex B” post-test. However in the annexes, both are described as pre-test, being that the type of text that is evaluated is different. It is also necessary to specify the context in which these tests were administered as well as the instructions that were given out to students, since this is something that influences greatly the outcomes of an action-research project.
    There are wording problems that make the thread of ideas get lost and confuse the reader between the claims of the authors and the theoretical references that are cited, or some ideas are too loose.

    In the Keywords there is a reference to “Social” but is not clear to what it makes refers since inside the article it is not mentioned.

    Finally, text comprehension is a rather broad topic whith tmultiple theoretical references and different approaches. It would be advisable that the authors work through this bibliography to situate at least what other author highlight when they present the conception they have of “reading for text comprehension” and the importance that it has to consider this as well as for the analysis of the data.

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