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Promoting reading comprehension and reading motivation in Chinese secondary education poor readers

Lin Wu (UGent)
(2022)
Author
Promoter
(UGent) and (UGent)
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Abstract
There is a challenge for the disadvantaged schools in the educational systems in countries of Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) as well as the disadvantaged schools in China to overcome “educational poverty” in reading (European Commission, 2019, p. 7). The percentage of low achievers was 21.7% in OECD countries in 2018, which is higher than the Education and Training 2020 benchmark – an underachievement rate of less than 15% (European Commission, 2019; OECD, 2019). Similarly, Wang (2011) found that, in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, a relatively rich region, more than 20.0% of secondary students struggle with reading comprehension, although Chinese students in developed areas did well in international reading assessment, such as the Program for International Student Assessment (OECD, 2019). Therefore, it is urgent to innovate traditional reading teaching to tackle this “educational poverty” in reading in secondary schools. Available evidence indicates that reading strategy instruction could be a promising innovative approach to students’ successful reading (e.g., Lai et al., 2014; Rogiers et al., 2020). However, relatively little evidence can be found about to what extent reading strategy instruction could cultivate poor readers at secondary schools in mainland China. In Chapter 1 of this doctoral dissertation, the present research elaboratesconcepts and theories related to reading strategy instruction, reading comprehension, reading motivation, and metacognitive awareness of reading strategies (MARS) and brings forwards a conceptual framework for the empirical studies in Chapters 2 to 5. This framework focuses on students’ master and use of reading strategies, and on teachers’ reading strategy instruction, which is hypothesized to directly improve students’ reading comprehension, reading motivation, and metacognitive awareness of reading strategies, and indirectly improve students’ reading comprehension mediated by their reading motivation and metacognitive awareness of reading strategies. The framework also stresses the important role of key sociocultural factors associated with reading comprehension. In the present research, the reading strategies, which were adapted from McEwan’s (2004, 2007) and McEwan-Adkins and Burnett’s (2013) strategy framework of seven strategies, included (a) setting reading goals, (b) vocabulary recognition, (c) scanning text, (d) identifying the main idea, (e) searching-selecting, (f) summarizing, and (g) predicting. Based on prior studies and the conceptual framework, four general research questions were proposed to guide the present research: 1. What is the validity and reliability of a Chinese version of the Metacognitive Awareness of Reading Strategy Inventory (MARSI–CN)? 2. What are the key individual and social factors associated with reading comprehension in Chinese secondary school students? 3. What are the effects of reading strategy instruction on poor readers’ reading comprehension, reading motivation, and MARS in Chinese secondary schools, considering the mediation of MARS and reading motivation on the relation between reading strategy instruction and reading comprehension? 4. What are the differential effects of reading strategy instruction following the principle of gradual release of responsibility (GRR; Fisher & Frey, 2021; Pearson & Gallagher, 1983; Webb et al., 2019) on reading comprehension and reading motivation for poor, intermediate, and good readers in Chinese secondary schools? First, a reliable and valid scale (i.e., MARSI–CN) was developed through the processes of forward translation, backward translation, and adaptation of the Metacognitive Awareness of Reading Strategies Inventory, which was originally created by Mokhtari and Reichard (2002), and was further validated among 2,119 Chinese secondary school students. A three-factor structure of the MARSI–CN resulted from the exploratory factor analysis, and the consecutive confirmatory factor analysis confirmed the three-factor structure and reflected good fit indices (χ /df = 1.613, RMSEA = .035, TLI = .959, GFI = .960, CFI = .966). Internal consistency estimates of the questionnaire were satisfactory. Test-retest reliability was also high (r = .91, p < .01). Second, the present research developed a multilevel comprehensive model which shows critical individual, family, and school correlates of reading comprehension with a random sample of 1,322 Chinese secondary school students. Based on descriptive statistics calculated with SPSS and multilevel model analysis with HLM, the results showed that significant student individual correlates of reading comprehension included student’s gender, autonomous reading motivation (ARM), controlled reading motivation, MARS, significant family correlate contained household income, and that significant school correlates comprised teacher’s qualification and experience. Noticeably, the results indicated that students’ MARS and ARM were the two most powerful correlates of reading comprehension among the significant correlates. Furthermore, teacher’s qualification and experience moderated the relation between MARS and reading comprehension. Third, using a pretest-posttest control group experimental design, the present research examined the effects of Chinese reading strategy instruction among poor readers in grades 7 and 8 in mainland China. A sample of 342 poor readers from five Chinese secondary schools participated in the intervention study. Students in the experimental condition received explicit teaching of reading strategies, whereas those in the control condition took regular classes. Results showed that the students in the experimental classes significantly outperformed those in the control classes not only in reading comprehension but also in ARM and MARS. No significant effects could be found on their controlled reading motivation. Furthermore, ARM and MARS partially mediated the effects of this instruction on reading comprehension. Hence, reading strategy instruction can be an effective approach to help poor readers to improve their reading performance, with ARM and MARS acting as mediators. Finally, the present research explored whether explicit teaching of reading strategies following the principle of GRR improves students’ Chinese reading comprehension and ARM and whether good, intermediate, and poor secondary-school readers enrolled in mainland China all benefit from the intervention. A 2 2 crossover experiment was set up, involving 1,688 Chinese secondary school students from 30 classes, which were randomly assigned to one of two conditions. Students in the experimental condition received reading strategy instruction following the GRR principle for 18 class periods, while students in the control condition received conventional reading instruction during the same time period. This study collected data on the basis of pretest, posttest, and follow-up test. The results indicated that reading strategy instruction based on the GRR principle significantly improved students’ Chinese reading comprehension and ARM. However, this teaching approach affected good, intermediate, and poor readers in different degrees. In particular, poor readers seemed to make greater progress in both reading comprehension and ARM, as compared to the intermediate and good readers. In general, this research provides evidence that reading strategy instruction could help to deal with the “educational poverty” in reading in secondary schools: It can improve poor secondary-school readers’ reading comprehension and ARM besides MARS. In particular, given the sizable proportion of poor readers in disadvantaged secondary schools in mainland China, the GRR-directed reading strategy instruction can be a promising practice, because it can promote their reading comprehension and reading motivation by creating a supportive, inclusive, and motivating learning environment, thereby significantly reducing the number of poor readers.
Keywords
reading, motivation, intervention, cognitive strategy instruction

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Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

MLA
Wu, Lin. Promoting Reading Comprehension and Reading Motivation in Chinese Secondary Education Poor Readers. Ghent University. Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, 2022.
APA
Wu, L. (2022). Promoting reading comprehension and reading motivation in Chinese secondary education poor readers. Ghent University. Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Ghent, Belgium.
Chicago author-date
Wu, Lin. 2022. “Promoting Reading Comprehension and Reading Motivation in Chinese Secondary Education Poor Readers.” Ghent, Belgium: Ghent University. Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Wu, Lin. 2022. “Promoting Reading Comprehension and Reading Motivation in Chinese Secondary Education Poor Readers.” Ghent, Belgium: Ghent University. Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences.
Vancouver
1.
Wu L. Promoting reading comprehension and reading motivation in Chinese secondary education poor readers. [Ghent, Belgium]: Ghent University. Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences; 2022.
IEEE
[1]
L. Wu, “Promoting reading comprehension and reading motivation in Chinese secondary education poor readers,” Ghent University. Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Ghent, Belgium, 2022.
@phdthesis{8747577,
  abstract     = {{There is a challenge for the disadvantaged schools in the educational systems in
countries of Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) as well as
the disadvantaged schools in China to overcome “educational poverty” in reading (European
Commission, 2019, p. 7). The percentage of low achievers was 21.7% in OECD countries in
2018, which is higher than the Education and Training 2020 benchmark – an
underachievement rate of less than 15% (European Commission, 2019; OECD, 2019).
Similarly, Wang (2011) found that, in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, a relatively rich region,
more than 20.0% of secondary students struggle with reading comprehension, although
Chinese students in developed areas did well in international reading assessment, such as the
Program for International Student Assessment (OECD, 2019). Therefore, it is urgent to
innovate traditional reading teaching to tackle this “educational poverty” in reading in
secondary schools.
Available evidence indicates that reading strategy instruction could be a promising
innovative approach to students’ successful reading (e.g., Lai et al., 2014; Rogiers et al.,
2020). However, relatively little evidence can be found about to what extent reading strategy
instruction could cultivate poor readers at secondary schools in mainland China. In Chapter 1
of this doctoral dissertation, the present research elaboratesconcepts and theories related to
reading strategy instruction, reading comprehension, reading motivation, and metacognitive
awareness of reading strategies (MARS) and brings forwards a conceptual framework for the
empirical studies in Chapters 2 to 5. This framework focuses on students’ master and use of
reading strategies, and on teachers’ reading strategy instruction, which is hypothesized to
directly improve students’ reading comprehension, reading motivation, and metacognitive
awareness of reading strategies, and indirectly improve students’ reading comprehension
mediated by their reading motivation and metacognitive awareness of reading strategies. The
framework also stresses the important role of key sociocultural factors associated with
reading comprehension. In the present research, the reading strategies, which were adapted
from McEwan’s (2004, 2007) and McEwan-Adkins and Burnett’s (2013) strategy framework
of seven strategies, included (a) setting reading goals, (b) vocabulary recognition, (c)
scanning text, (d) identifying the main idea, (e) searching-selecting, (f) summarizing, and (g)
predicting. Based on prior studies and the conceptual framework, four general research
questions were proposed to guide the present research:
1. What is the validity and reliability of a Chinese version of the Metacognitive
Awareness of Reading Strategy Inventory (MARSI–CN)?
2. What are the key individual and social factors associated with reading
comprehension in Chinese secondary school students?
3. What are the effects of reading strategy instruction on poor readers’ reading
comprehension, reading motivation, and MARS in Chinese secondary schools,
considering the mediation of MARS and reading motivation on the relation
between reading strategy instruction and reading comprehension?
4. What are the differential effects of reading strategy instruction following the
principle of gradual release of responsibility (GRR; Fisher & Frey, 2021; Pearson &
Gallagher, 1983; Webb et al., 2019) on reading comprehension and reading
motivation for poor, intermediate, and good readers in Chinese secondary schools?
First, a reliable and valid scale (i.e., MARSI–CN) was developed through the processes
of forward translation, backward translation, and adaptation of the Metacognitive Awareness
of Reading Strategies Inventory, which was originally created by Mokhtari and Reichard
(2002), and was further validated among 2,119 Chinese secondary school students. A
three-factor structure of the MARSI–CN resulted from the exploratory factor analysis, and
the consecutive confirmatory factor analysis confirmed the three-factor structure and
reflected good fit indices (χ /df = 1.613, RMSEA = .035, TLI = .959, GFI = .960, CFI = .966).
Internal consistency estimates of the questionnaire were satisfactory. Test-retest reliability
was also high (r = .91, p < .01).
Second, the present research developed a multilevel comprehensive model which shows
critical individual, family, and school correlates of reading comprehension with a random
sample of 1,322 Chinese secondary school students. Based on descriptive statistics calculated
with SPSS and multilevel model analysis with HLM, the results showed that significant
student individual correlates of reading comprehension included student’s gender,
autonomous reading motivation (ARM), controlled reading motivation, MARS, significant
family correlate contained household income, and that significant school correlates
comprised teacher’s qualification and experience. Noticeably, the results indicated that
students’ MARS and ARM were the two most powerful correlates of reading comprehension
among the significant correlates. Furthermore, teacher’s qualification and experience
moderated the relation between MARS and reading comprehension.
Third, using a pretest-posttest control group experimental design, the present research
examined the effects of Chinese reading strategy instruction among poor readers in grades 7
and 8 in mainland China. A sample of 342 poor readers from five Chinese secondary schools
participated in the intervention study. Students in the experimental condition received explicit
teaching of reading strategies, whereas those in the control condition took regular classes.
Results showed that the students in the experimental classes significantly outperformed those
in the control classes not only in reading comprehension but also in ARM and MARS. No
significant effects could be found on their controlled reading motivation. Furthermore, ARM
and MARS partially mediated the effects of this instruction on reading comprehension.
Hence, reading strategy instruction can be an effective approach to help poor readers to
improve their reading performance, with ARM and MARS acting as mediators.
Finally, the present research explored whether explicit teaching of reading strategies
following the principle of GRR improves students’ Chinese reading comprehension and ARM
and whether good, intermediate, and poor secondary-school readers enrolled in mainland
China all benefit from the intervention. A 2 2 crossover experiment was set up, involving
1,688 Chinese secondary school students from 30 classes, which were randomly assigned to
one of two conditions. Students in the experimental condition received reading strategy
instruction following the GRR principle for 18 class periods, while students in the control
condition received conventional reading instruction during the same time period. This study
collected data on the basis of pretest, posttest, and follow-up test. The results indicated that
reading strategy instruction based on the GRR principle significantly improved students’
Chinese reading comprehension and ARM. However, this teaching approach affected good,
intermediate, and poor readers in different degrees. In particular, poor readers seemed to
make greater progress in both reading comprehension and ARM, as compared to the
intermediate and good readers.
In general, this research provides evidence that reading strategy instruction could help
to deal with the “educational poverty” in reading in secondary schools: It can improve poor
secondary-school readers’ reading comprehension and ARM besides MARS. In particular,
given the sizable proportion of poor readers in disadvantaged secondary schools in mainland
China, the GRR-directed reading strategy instruction can be a promising practice, because it
can promote their reading comprehension and reading motivation by creating a supportive,
inclusive, and motivating learning environment, thereby significantly reducing the number of
poor readers.}},
  author       = {{Wu, Lin}},
  keywords     = {{reading,motivation,intervention,cognitive strategy instruction}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  pages        = {{X, 311}},
  publisher    = {{Ghent University. Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences}},
  school       = {{Ghent University}},
  title        = {{Promoting reading comprehension and reading motivation in Chinese secondary education poor readers}},
  year         = {{2022}},
}