x of the L2 that they are trying to decode (Grabe, 2005). Yet another perhaps less obvious challenge facing students, a challenge directly related to both vocabulary and syntax, is the different registers of written text with which students must contend (cf Miller, 2011). (Duffy, 2002; Duke & Pearson, 2002; Palinscar, 2003 ; Pressley, 2002b) argue that there is virtually universal agreement that scaffolding plays an essential and vital role in fostering comprehension (cf Clark and Grave, 2004).
Maybin, Mercer, and Steirer, (1992) point that ”recent interest in talk and
learning in the classroom has encouraged a new metaphorical use for the term
“scaffolding’. This term is increasingly used to describe certain kinds of support
which receive in their interaction with parents, teachers and other ‘mentors’ as they move towards new skills, concepts or levels of understanding ”(p.186)
Rose et al (2003) are the belief that “Scaffolding support enables learners to
successfully practice complex skills and as they become independently competent, scaffolding is gradually withdrawn. However, through the use of scaffolding strategies a teacher can support learners to read far more complex texts than they normally could on their own. This supported practice allows learners to develop reading skills that they can then use independently”.
Urkhalter (1995), Combs (1996) and Steward (1996) for example argued that in recent years, there have been many and varied successful applications of the Vygotskian concept of the zone of proximal development (ZPD) to the area of literacy learning (Leong, 1998). The term ‘scaffolding’ was coined by Wood, Bruner, and Ross (1976) to specify the types of assistance that make it possible for learners to function at higher levels of their zones of proximal development(Leong, 1998). According to Bruner, the “scaffolds” provided by a teacher do not make the task itself easier, but rather make it possible for a learner to complete the task with support ( cf, Bodrova and Leong, 1998).
1.7 Limitations and Delimitations of the Study
Due to the inherent property of the research, the present study encountered a
number of limitations which can pose restrictions on the interpretation and generalization of its findings. On the other hand, a delimitation was imposed by the researcher to narrow down the scope of the study.
1.7.1 Limitations of the study
Firstly, some participants did not attend the classes regularly, so they did not receive the treatment adequately. Therefore, their performance on the test might be unrelated to the effect of treatment.
Secondly, as the female teachers must teach female students in the intermediate and advanced level, so the participants were only female, thus the findings of the study might not be generalizable to male members of the opulation.
Thirdly, as the researcher could not select or displace the students the groups were intact.
Fourthly, the researcher worked on the accessible population, the language learners at Jihad Institute did not have the chance and possibility to select the sample from a variety of language schools to increase the generalizability of the finding.
1.7.2. Delimitations of the study
In this study the researcher applied some specific model of scaffolding; Scaffolding reading comprehension proposed by Dansie (2001). Empirical studies by Methe and Hintze (2003), Pluck et al. (1984), Wheldall and Entwhistle (1988), and Widdowson et al. (1996) demonstrated unanimously that when the teacher models reading for the students, the students’ reading ability naturally increases. These studies adopted the reversal design, whereby the teacher stopped modeling for a period of time and then modeled again after that period of time. The pupils’ reading correlated positively and directly with the teacher’s action (Cf.Loh, 2009). It has other models provided by different authors like Kearn (2001) as gathering information, defining the problem, setting a goal, selecting strategy, evaluation, iteration (cf, Hu 2006).
Moreover it has a variety of strategies that suggested by different authors, for example Tharp (1993, p.272) outlines seven strategies that can be used by teachers to assist learning ;these strategies are modeling; contingency management; instructing; questioning; cognitive structuring; task structuring; feedback.(cf. Waller, 2002).
In addition to these models and strategies that can be provided by the teacher
, some tools can play the role of scaffolding. “In addition to human being , artifacts, such as book, video, computer program, can also serves as means to supporting leaning. With the advance of technology and their application to education, there are more and more interests in the use of technology, including
computer-based technologies, to scaffold student learning.”(Hu, 2006). Due to the advantages of modeling and experience of the researcher in conducting it, she used this model for this study.
The researcher chose intermediate level to narrow down her research. The researcher believes that intermediate level is an optimal level for learning new strategies, and they need to learn how to read more than other levels.
Review of the Related Literature
2.1. Reading Comprehension
Simply put, reading comprehension is the act of understanding what you are reading. “Reading comprehension is an intentional, active, interactive process that occurs before, during and after a person reads a particular piece of writing”. (Brummitt-Yale, 2008 p.2).
Brummit-Yale, (2008) states that “there are two elements that make up the process of reading comprehension: vocabulary knowledge and text comprehension. In order to understand a text the reader must be able to comprehend the vocabulary used in the piece of writing. If the individual words don’t make the sense then the overall story will not either”(p.2)
Moreover, Text comprehension is much more complex and varied than vocabulary knowledge. Readers use many different text comprehension strategies like monitoring for understanding, answering and generating questions, and summarizing to develop reading comprehension” (Brummitt-Yale, 2008 p.3).
Papalia (2006) also believes that “Reading comprehension entails more than knowledge of vocabulary and syntax. It also requires ability to perceive the exact nature of the passage being communicated-a deeper form of understanding sometimes called ‘reading between the lines’. Students must learn to detect mood and intentions as well as factual detail” (p.74).
Similarly, Konza (2011) says that, “The culminating goal of reading is comprehension. Comprehension will not occur if children do not have an adequate understanding of the vocabulary in the text; the relevant background knowledge; familiarity with the semantic and syntactic structures that help predict relationships between words; and the verbal reasoning ability to help ‘read between the lines’. Comprehension requires engagement with the text at a deeper level, and an array of skills that go far beyond simple word recognition” (p.6).
To develop comprehension, children need to develop:
* Background knowledge about many topics,
* extensive oral and print vocabularies,
* understandings about how the English language works,
* understandings about how print works. For example reading goes from left to right,
* knowledge of various kinds of texts,
* various purposes for reading,
* strategies for constructing meaning from text, and for problem solving when meaning breaks down. (Leipzing, 2001).
Papalia (2006) lists some successful strategies for comprehension of reading passages as:
1) Reading the title
and drawing inferences;
2) Reading around words that you do not know;
3) Making use of all available information in the paragraph to comprehend unfamiliar words;
4) Guessing the meaning of unfamiliar words from the context;
5) Identifying the grammatical function of an unfamiliar word before guessing its meaning;
6) Skipping unfamiliar words that are inconsequential to the meaning of the total phrase or paragraph;
7) Looking for cognates;
8) Examining the illustrations and using information contained in them when decoding;
9) Circling back purposefully in the text to check the meaning.(p.72)
Tenant (2001) mentions that ”at the basic level reading is the recognition of words. From simple recognition of the individual letters and how these letters form a particular word to what each word means not just on an individual level, but as part of a text”.
Cziko, Greenleaf, Hurwitz, and Schoenback (2000) see reading as a kind of problem solving by saying: “Reading is not a straightforward process of lifting the words off the page. It is a complex process of problem solving in which the reader works to make sense of a text not just from the words and sentences on the page but also from the ideas, memories, and knowledge evoked by those words and sentences” (p.1).
Mitchell (2003) indicates that reading may be defined as an individual’s total inter-relationship with symbolic information. Reading is a communication process requiring a series of skills. As such reading is a thinking process rather than an exercise in eye movements. Effective reading requires a logical sequence of thinking or thought patterns, and these thought patterns require practice to set them into the mind.
Alyousef (2005) defines reading in this way: “Reading can be seen as an “interactive” process between a reader and a text which leads to automaticity (or reading fluency). In this process, the reader interacts dynamically with the text as he/she tries to elicit the meaning and where various kinds of knowledge are being used: linguistic or systemic knowledge (through bottom-up processing) as well as schematic knowledge (through top-down processing)” (p.144).
Similarly Hughes (2007) says that reading is a complex interaction between the text, the reader, and the purposes for reading, which are shaped by the reader’s prior knowledge and experiences, the reader’s knowledge about reading and writing language and the reader’s language community which is culturally and socially situated.
Leipzing (2001) asserts that reading is making meaning from print. It requires that we:
* identify the words in print- a process called word recognition,
* construct an understanding from them- a process called comprehension
* coordinate identifying words and making meaning so that reading is automatic and accurate- an achievement called fluency (p.1).
These three processes are complex, and each is important.
2.2.1. Models of Reading
The attempts to describe different perspectives on the process of reading have resulted in various models and views of reading. The bottom-up model (Gough, 1972), the top-down model (Goodman, 1967), and the interactive model (Stanovich, 1980) are mostly discussed in the literature on reading (cf. Hajiahmadi, 2012).
There are various models of reading but the primary ones are bottom-up, top-down and interactive. Tolistefl (2007) believes that we can divide the different models of reading processes into two broad categories; the linear models, i.e. the bottom-up and the top-down, and the interactive model.
Incidentally, these three types of models are characteristic not only of the reading process but of the descriptions of most of the tasks and phenomena that cognitive psychologists typically investigate (Hajiahmadi, 2012).
18.104.22.168. Bottom-up Models
Nunan (1999) says that the bottom-up model views reading “as a process of decoding written symbols into their aural equivalents in a linear fashion. Thus, one first discriminates each letter as it is encountered, sounds these out, matching the written symbols with