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Reading Comprehension Essay

Despite the vast, growing and active educational reforms continuously being modified and implemented in today’s Philippine Educational System such as MTB – MLE and K+12 education curriculum, there are still 6. 2 million Filipino youth who does not receive proper and formal education in the classroom, which includes the Out – of – school children and youth. Specifically, according to the 2010 Annual Poverty Indicators Survey (APIS) of the National Statistics Office (NSO) released November 2011, one out of eight Filipinos aged between 6 and 24 is an out- of- school youth(OSY).

Current estimates further indicate that 7. 8 million Filipinos or 16. 2% of the population are not functionally literate. About 3. 9 million of them are out of school youth. The Philippine government defines an out –of- school youth (OSY) as someone who is not attending formal education and/or not gainfully employed in the case of youth 18 to 24 years old who have not finished college or even a technical vocational course. The government further explains that the primary reasons for these out of school youth for not attending school is poverty and lack of personal interest.

On the other hand, out- of- school youth are vulnerable people who have special needs too. Nobody can deny the hard fact that education is still an extremely important factor for bringing change in the lives of these individuals. It has universally been recognized as the most powerful instrument and pre – requisite for gearing up the socio – economic development of a nation. This is why investment in education is considered to be so vital for human resource development and enhancement of the quality of manpower.

In the history of humankind, there is an established fact that a certain level of literacy in population is an essential pre – requisite for precipitating the process of development in a country. It is emphasized therefore that the most active part in the socio – economic development of any country or region always consists of the adolescents. Moreover, many people have a misleading impression of the abilities and capacities of “out – of – school youth”.

It is generally assumed that this group needs to re – do and re – learn the most basic literacy skills. Hence, they are marginalized and ostracized. In fact, out – of- school youths do have some experience of learning within the formal system. In addition, many of them have gained rich learning experiences from their environment and culture. Thus, basic literacy does not necessarily mean teaching literacy in its most basic forms. However, the acquired skills and knowledge need to be recognized, tapped into and enhanced.

Out- of- school youths may have failed to complete their education in the formal system due to various reasons, such as socio – economic or health issues, urbanization, teacher – teaching factors or curriculum problems but UNESCO still has enumerated and emphasized the basic literacy for out – of- school youth development which involves the acquisition of the basic skills needed to cope with the complex and technological world, including IT and computer skills, communication skills – listening, speaking, reading, writing, viewing, critical thinking and many others.

Moreover, developing the literacy of OSY’s is a complex process, which involves enhancing the knowledge and capacities that they have gained over the years and providing them with access to challenging learning opportunities. The Philippines through the initiative of the Bureau of Alternative Learning System formerly called the Bureau of Non – formal Education (BNFE) is responsible for contributing to the improvement of the poor including the out – of school youth and drop outs through literacy and continuing education programs.

Its aim is to focused basic services to the more disadvantaged sections of the population to improve their welfare and contribute to human resource development. This was done to respond to the need of a more systematic and flexible approach in reaching all types of learners outside the formal school system. The Alternative Learning System (ALS) is a parallel learning system that provides a viable alternative to existing formal education instruction. It encompasses both non – formal and informal sources of knowledge and skills.

Certification of learning for out – of –school youth and adults , aged 15 years and over, who are unable to gain from the formal school system and who have dropped out of formal elementary and secondary education , is ensured through the Alternative Learning System Accreditation and the Equivalency (ALS A &E) System. The system of certification is done through successful completion of the ALS and A & E test at two learning levels – elementary and secondary. Those who pass the test have to undergo counseling to explore their oppurtunities, be it a return to the formal school system or the option to enter the world of work.

(UNESCO Bangkok, 2009). The ALS eSkwela program has five main learning strands: Communication skills, critical thinking and problem solving, sustainable use of resources and productivity, development of self and a sense of community, and expanding one’s world vision. Since ALS is a module-based learning system, students come in on a set time and choose a module to read. A quiz is given after each module to test their learning. Instead of teachers, facilitators are always present to answer any questions and sometimes lecturers would discuss a certain module.

Apart from the major aim and objective of the system, the ALS Project was conceived to respond to many grassroots learning needs and at the same time fulfill the following key social development objectives of EFA: •Functional Literacy: Current estimates indicate that there are 7. 8 million Filipinos or 16. 2% of the population who are not functionally literate. About 3. 9 million of them are out of school youth. •Family Literacy: Many parents want to develop functional reading, writing and numeracy skills and knowledge so that they can help their children do their homework.

•Community Participation: • Continuing Education: Many people who have obtained literacy skills and want to continue learning should be given the means and tools to return to formal schooling or go on learning on their own. •Empowerment: Out-of-school youth and adults living in economically depressed communities need to develop communication, problem solving, critical thinking, and learning-to-learn skills and competencies which will directly help them raise their standard of living and improve their quality of life.

Functional basic education should empower them with better health practices, better food, increased income, improved family life, more direct civic and community participation and more opportunities for wider life choices. It is noted that the ALS learning modules constructed by SEAMEO Innotech experts are freely chosen, used and read by the students. It is true therefore that through the skill called reading, any idea or module given to them are enlightened.

On the other hand, observations show that are still many problems and issues encountered along the Reading performance and proficiency of the out – of – School Youth which includes vocabulary, comprehension, study skills and others. Even the (UIS, 2011) stated a very alarming issue that seven hundred and seventy-five million adults all over the world cannot read. Many of these OSY’s too are unemployed, underemployed adn lacks basic English language literacy skills specially reading and writing.

In addition, UNESCO also emphasized that the basic English literacy skills development is too considered as a means of widening the experiences of learners and allowing them to communicate effectively in their everyday life as well as in their future lives as responsible citizens and professionals. Accordingly, woven into the framework of the basic English Literacy skills is also the development of critical thinking skills. Thinking critically would mean grasping the complexity of the world and questioning how others think in order to clarify and improve one’s own understanding.

Although, schools and learning institutions clearly neglect the development of critical thinking, there is much evidence to show that students’ reading and writing abilities are linked to their ability to question facts and information. Literacy is briefly defined as the “ability to read and write”. When we think of literacy, we think of reading. But being able to read does not mean someone is necessarily a literate person. In the 21st century, literacy encompasses the skills youth and adults need to be functional in the society, including numeracy and reading and writing skills.

Most learning is dependent to reading. As the learner advances in the educational ladder, more complex reading skills are required of him. Effective reading requires from an individual the ability to locate keywords in a sentence, locate the topic sentence in a paragraph and understand and interpret what is read. Reading, therefore is an important skill a child must developed in order to cope to the very fast, changing and difficulties the world offers. Of many skills it is cited that it is one of the first skill a literate person must acquire.

Likewise, there were many studies and projects that responded to the many goals of ALS and UNESCO in general, specifically along the communication skills strands. One of which is the Project EASE. This study made use of a Reading Comprehension and writing composition test to assess the basic communication skills of the students. Unfortunately, there were only few qualifiers for the said program the rest did not qualify. Most of the non – qualifiers came from the lower sections where the pressure to earn was much stronger.

The non – qualifier was given another chance. They were administered with an alternative cloze type of comprehension test carefully made by the SEAMEO Innotech experts. The program such as EASE was pronounced. (add facts) Another is a study on the Attributes of High School Student – qualifiers in the Accreditation and Equivalency Program (AEP) which was done as Basis for a proposed Action Program by Rarang in (1999). The study made use of the public high school students in the fourth congressional district of Pangasinan during the school year 1997 – 1998.

The study was done for the purpose of creating appropriate action programs that could increase the probability of prospective PEPT examinees to qualify for promotion or year level acceleration. The result of the study revealed that out of the 86 respondents who took the 1997 PEPT only four qualified for the acceleration or promotion to the next higher level in high school. Furthermore, the research made use of the Descriptive Method with a pre and post enrollment attributes of the student – qualifier in the AEP as data gathering instrument.

It was found out that there was more male drop – outs that females and their dropping age ranged from 13 to 17 years old and that before the respondents dropped out from school, the last level they completed was Grade VI. The findings of the study also revealed that the main reason for the learners dropping out is due to financial difficulty. They also vary in their performance in the last year level they attended with 89. 13% as the highest average grade and the lowest grade at 68. 25%.

More so, the study discovered that the contributory factor in the acceleration and promotion of the students to the next level are their reading activities done during their free time like reading magazines, newspapers, books, pocketbooks and even their old notes. Accordingly, reading is the most important factor in achieving promotion and acceleration.

Many reading researches have shown that learners and OSY’s reading skills literacy performance is always at risks. Firstly, in the second Readership Survey made by SWS survey commissioned by NBDB floated all over the Philippines revealed that reading has slightly declined in our country.

Only 92 percent of the 1,200 respondents say that they read, down to two percent from the first Readership survey done in 2003. In the literacy field, comprehension is primarily identified as the goal of (Duke & Pearson, 2002; Duke, Pearson, Strachan, & Billman, 2011). While many agrees comprehension is of utmost importance, many still argue that in this many classroom context, focusing on students’ fluency did not limit students’ development as readers, particularly for those who were asked to read aloud.

The findings of this study also pointed out the importance of teachers examining the learners own perceptions about reading and reading instruction (Edwards, Martin, Protacio, & Razali,2010). Furthermore, (Biancarosa & Snow, 2006; Joftus, 2002) exclaimed that even among students who do graduate from highschool, inadequate reading skills are a key impediment to success in postsecondary education (American Diploma Project, 2004).

Students who struggle with reading of ten lack the prerequisites to take academically challenging coursework that could lead to more wide reading and thus exposure to advanced vocabulary and content ideas (Au, 2000). The 2006 report by ACT, Inc. , Reading Between the Lines: What the ACT Reveals About College Readiness in Reading, describes even more troubling trends. Only 51% of students who took the ACT test in 2004 were ready for college-level reading demands (ACT, Inc. , 2006).

The reading skill levels of the out-of-school youth population have remained low, especially in comparison to the rising skill demands of employers. Although this report cannot summarize the changing qualifications, a number of indicators suggest a serious shortfall between the skills of out-of-school youth and job requirements. Dropouts and other out-of-school youth are reported to be unable to attain basic levels of math and reading proficiency are certainly much higher.

White Paper further explains that young people leaving the educational system at 16, or more likely 19, must at least have the requisite literacy and communication skills to be employable and to be effective in life.

Since reading is linked to writing, students write about what they read. Young and adults who are behind in reading and writing simply have not had as much experience reading and writing as young adults who are proficient readers and writers. Moreover, out – of- school youth who are behind have also not leaned the strategies that proficient readers and writers use to understand text and communicate their ideas in writing. This means that explicitly the strategies that proficient readers and writers use and providing guided practice are the keys to improving these skills.

It has been proven that Out – of- school youth possess a broad repertoire of knowledge and skills that simply needs to be recognized, tapped into and enhanced in order for their abilities to improve. Indeed, there is a need to place a greater emphasis on developing and enhancing quality English language literacy skills training, programs and instructional materials for Out – of – School youth development. The conception of the ALS program or the Alternative Learning System is a great endeavor that caters to the needs and improvement of Out –of-School youth in the City Schools Division of Dagupan City.

The ALS DEpED Dagupan City Division is one with the government in the active fulfillment of its task to reach and educate the OSY’s in the City. In fact, there have been many OSY’s who benefited from the program. Latest report says that ALS students in Region I show positive interest in this endeavor. Dagupan City Schools Division is composed of five Districts. From all over the city, there have been many Out – of –school youth coming from the 31 barangays of the city who enrolled in the said program.

With the initiative of teachers and volunteers who facilitates the program, the actual teaching and learning is collectively done with the help of the module based learning materials. Furthermore, in the case study conducted by the Accreditation and Equivalency System of the Non – Formal Education Project clearly encourages service providers like educational institutions to identify and make use of variety of enriching materials both print and non – print in addition to the prescribed NFE and A & E Learning modules provided by the SEAMEO – INNOTECH.

With the encouragement of the BNFE or the ALS calling to different service providers to respond and create instructional materials that the OSY’s can benefit, the researcher will study on the present Reading Comprehension Skills Levels of the Dagupeno OSY’s particularly on the Reading Comprehensions Skills Level of the ALS students presently registered and attending the regular Eskwela ALS program in the City schools division of Dagupan during the calendar year 2013– 2014 and envisions to create a Self – Learning Reading Material that will better improve and enhance the Reading Comprehension and in general proficiency of the ALS learners.

STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM This study aims to analyze the Reading Comprehension Skills Level of ALS students in the city schools division of Dagupan. Specifically, it will answer the following questions: 1. What is the performance of the ALS students in the reading Comprehension Test in terms of the: a. Total scores they will obtain from the Reading Comprehension Test? b. Specific scores they will obtained in the following reading Comprehension levels: Literal Reorganizational Inferential Evaluational Appreciational? 2.

What is the extent of performance of the ALS students in the reading Comprehension test in terms of: a. Total scores they will obtain from the Reading Comprehension Test? scores they will obtained in the following reading Comprehension levels: Literal Reorganizational Inferential Evaluational Appreciational? 3. What instructional material will be proposed to address the reading comprehension inadequacies of the ALS students? SUBJECTS The subjects of the study will be the ALS students of the city schools division of Dagupan enrolled in the five districts of the division.

There is a total of 447 ALS students in the division and they will be randomly selected from among the districts of the division. The respondents of the study will be elementary drop – outs, secondary drop – outs, non- passer of previous ALS A&E Test/s, Learners/Completers of the ALS programs and Youth and adult drop – outs. RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS/ Assumptions The study will be anchored on the following assumptions: 1. The total test scores and the scores in the specific skills areas of the ALS students will reflect their reading comprehension performance. 2.

The ALS students’ responses to the items in the test must truthful and accurate SCOPE AND DELIMITATION The study will be conducted to determine the reading comprehension performance and skills of the ALS students of the city schools division of Dagupan during the S. Y. 2013 – 2014. The respondents of the study will be elementary drop – outs, secondary drop – outs, non- passer of previous ALS A&E Test/s, Learners/Completers of the ALS programs and Youth and adult drop – outs in general. A constructed Reading Comprehension Test will be used as instrument in gathering data pertinent to the study.

The Reading Comprehension test will be carefully validated, tabulated and interpreted to arrive at accurate and precise results that will help as basis for the creation of a self- learning reading material for ALS students. Definition of Terms The following terms are carefully defined in the context of the study to provide a common understanding and frame of reference between the researcher and the readers: Reading both a process and a product and it involves bringing the individual’s entire life experiences and thinking patterns to understand what the writer has written (Aukerman, 1981).

Reading Comprehension refers to the ability to understand text read by means of constructing meaning with the use of some clues in the text and the schema or background knowledge of the reader about the text. Reading Comprehension Abilities, also referred to as reading comprehension skills, refer to the five(5) reading levels (Toffelson, as cited by Tuvera, 1993) of reading comprehension, which include (1) Literal Level;(2) Reorganizational Level; (3) Inferential Level; (4) Evaluational Level; and (5) Appreciational Level. Specific Comprehension Skills refers to the specific skills that make up the different reading levels.

Literal level of reading refers to the reading level that enables the students to recognized and/or recall details, main ideas, sequences, comparison, cause and effect relationships, character traits and recall author’s organization and explicitly stated information in the reading selection (Toffelson, as cited by Tuvera, 1993). Reorganizational level of reading refers to the reading level that enables the student to classify or group, outline or specify, summarize and synthesize text that has been read (Toffelson, as cited by Tuvera, 1993).

Inferential Level of reading refers to the reading level that enables the student to infer supporting details which require the making of a hypothesis on an information that might have been included in the text; infer the main idea; infer a sequence which requires the student to make a hypothesis about what might have occurred in addition to the already explicitly stated events and making a hypothesis in events beyond completion of the text.

Other skills also included are inferring, comparison, cause and effect relationships, charater traits, author’s organization, figurative language and predicting outcomes (Toffelson, as cited by Tuvera, 1993). Evaluational level of reading refers to the reading level that enables the student to make a judgment of reality and fantasy and judgment between fact and opinion (Toffelson, as cited by Tuvera, 1993). Appreciational level of Reading refers to the reading level that enables the student to have emotional response to the text and determine an author’s purpose, mood, tone and point of vies (Toffelson, as cited by Tuvera, 1993).

Performance is defined as a manner of functioning: the manner in which something or someone or somebody functions, operates, or behaves (Microsoft Encarta 2006. 1993 – 2005 Microsoft Corporation). In this study, it refers to the number of correct answers of the ALS students an all the specific levels of the reading comprehension test to reflect the students’ reading comprehension abilities. Extent of Performance refers to the reading comprehension abilities of the students based on a scale of scores to describe the level of reading comprehension of the ALS students.

The scale will consists of three (3) levels: High , for scores equivalent to 75 percent – 100 percent; Moderate, for scores equivalent to 50 percent – 74 percent; and Low, for scores equivalent to at most 49 percent of the total point and of their points in the different specific reading comprehension skills areas. Total Scores obtained refers to the raw scores of the students which will correspond to the number of the correct answers of the ALS students in the reading comprehension test.

Specific scores obtained refers to the raw scores of the learners in the different specific skill areas which correspond to the number of correct answers of the students in the specific skill areas. Self – Learning Reading Activities are activities involving processes which will enhance the reading performance and improve the five levels of reading comprehension of the ALS students . It also encourages students to gain more interest in reading with the aid of the designated activities.

Analysis refers to the process of categorizing the performance of the students in the reading comprehension test in its totality and in the specific reading skills according to the extent of their performance. Out – of School Youth ALS ALS Learners ALS Implementers Conceptual Framework The objective of all readers should be comprehension of what they read. Comprehension is understanding. Understanding involves abilities to explain, interpret, apply, have perspective, empathize, and have self – knowledge (Wiggins and Mctighe,1998).

Reading is both a process and a product ant it involves bringing the individual’s entire life experiences and thinking patterns to understand what the writer has written (Aukerman, 1981). When good decoders have problems with comprehension, they need help in developing language proficiency and listening comprehension. Teachers can help them develop the corresponding skills by combining vocabulary and comprehension strategy instruction with encouragement to enhance their reading of different materials Dymock, 1993). Reading comprehension can be effected by background knowledge.

This concept is proved that when readers possess rich prior knowledge about the topic of a reading material, they often understand the reading material better than readers with low prior knowledge. That said, readers couldn’t always relate their world knowledge to the content of a text because they are not able to, even when they possess knowledge relevant to the information it presents. Often, they do not make inferences based on prior knowledge unless the inference are absolutely demanded to make sense of the text (Mckoon % Ratcliff, 1992).

The study is anchored on the core concept that reading difficulties encountered by learners can be addressed by an appropriate learning material in the form of a self – learning reading material which will address their difficulties to be assessed using the reading comprehension test. Research Paradigm Figure 1. Paradigm of the study Figure 1 above illustrates the prerequisites in the development of a Self – Learning Reading Materail to improve the reading comprehension ability of ALS learners in the city schools division of Dagupan. CHAPTER II Review of Related Literature and Studies.

This chapter presents studies and literature which are seen to be significant that can give light to the completion and conduct of the research. FOREIGN Educational research has become a global enterprise, with researchers recognizing the need to be aware of educational practices in other countries. Burbules (2002) notes that this international context makes possible the sharing of knowledge and experience gained in relation to reform and evaluation in different countries. Recent studies show that seven hundred and seventy-five million adults cannot read (UIS, 2011).

According to the study conducted by Glewwe and Kremer, (2006 ) a major factor in the poor reading problem is the poor quality of public schools in developing countries. Many peoples understanding of the educational production function, however, is still limited. Providing resources to schools with no other inputs rarely improves overall student performance and that if resources are paired with a larger array of inputs, students’ test scores do improve, he exclaimed. Unfortunately, the exact kind of additional support is necessary to make additional resources effective.

For reading in particular, a number of studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of large comprehensive changes. Banerjee et al. (2007) studies an Indian remedial education program. The intervention itself causes students’ reading skills to improve, but because the intervention changes the educational environment along multiple dimensions – additional teachers, new pedagogical methods, new curriculum, changes to organization of the classroom, and additional resources – it is impossible to identify which components are necessary.

In addition, a Case Study of Reading Instruction in a Philippine Classroom was also conducted by Protacio and Sarroub, (2013) where the reading practices in a public and high-achieving 6th grade English classroom in the Philippines were used as subjects of the study. The study utilized a four resources model, the different roles that students assume in this classroom was also clearly discussed. The students in the class are describe mainly as code breakers and text users and have limited opportunities to assume the other two roles of the four resources model.

The study also provides a different view of reading, specifically a view of a culture of reading wherein higher status is given to oral reading performance rather than comprehension. The results of the study further revealed that reading is perceived as an oral performance activity by Filipino students because reading aloud is used frequently to negotiate the lack of resources in Philippine public schools. Comprehension does not matter as much to these students; rather, they are concerned with how they are perceived as oral readers in English, which is their second language.

The case study findings provide a different view of reading, specifically a view of a culture of reading wherein higher status is given to oral performance rather than comprehension or fluency. The data also reveals that the predominant emphasis on oral performance satisfies only two roles or family of practices in the “four resources model of reading”: code breakers and text users. All of the students in the pilot section were not afforded opportunities by the teacher to fully engage with the four resources, as the class focused mostly on oral recitation as the main indicator for reading well.

Students in this class infrequently assumed the role of meaning-makers and text analysts (Luke & Freebody, 1999; Underwood, Yoo, & Pearson, 2007). Instead, both students and teacher privileged correct pronunciation and reading correctly aloud—getting the accent right determined who the best students were in the class. Though, Philippine literacy scholars have commented on the emphasis on performance and reading aloud. Maminta (1982) discusses how reading as a subject was relegated to the background as the curriculum emphasized speech improvement with most of the class time being spent on pattern drills, mimicry, and memorization.

Even though Maminta’s article focuses on speech improvement as being the emphasis three decades ago, it seems that it still characterizes classroom practice in the Philippines today. In the pilot section, the students themselves seemed to be the ones placing the emphasis on speech improvement. In the literacy field, comprehension is primarily identified as the goal of reading (Duke & Pearson, 2002; Duke, Pearson, Strachan, & Billman, 2011). While many agrees that comprehension is of utmost importance, many still argues that in this classroom context, focusing on students’ fluency did not limit students’ development as readers, particularly for those who were asked to read aloud.

What we do feel strongly about is the importance of providing all students opportunities to assume the role of readers in this classroom by giving all students a chance to read aloud in class. However, we noticed that, sadly, this was not the case. The findings of this study also point to the importance of teachers examining their own perceptions about reading and reading instruction (Edwards, Martin, Protacio, & Razali,2010).

Moreover, Reading fluency is the point at which beginning readers rely less on the phonemic decoding to recognize individual words and begin to recognize whole words, allowing for an increase in reading speed and comprehension. Meyer and Felton (1999), for example, define fluency as “the ability to read connected text rapidly, smoothly, effortlessly, and automatically with little conscious attention to the mechanics of reading, such as decoding. ” Also, a study on the Effective Reading Programs for Middle and High School synthesized by Slavin, Cheung, Groff and Lake was published in 2009.

This is a collection of many reading programs that systematically reviewed research on the achievement outcomes of four types of approaches to improving the reading of middle and high school students: specifically on the (1 ) reading curricula, (2) mixed-method models (methods that combine large and small-group instruction with computer activities), (3) computer-assisted instruction, and (4) instructional-process programs (methods that focus on providing teachers with extensive professional development to implement specific instructional methods).

The collective synthesized study found out that students who enter high school with poor literacy skills face long odds against graduating and going on to postsecondary education or satisfying careers. The study conducted by Joftus and Maddox-Dolan (2003).


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