A Case for Improved Reading Instruction for Academic English Reading Proficiency

Glenn Ole Hellekjær

Sammendrag


This article presents a study of the academic reading proficiency in English of 217 senior level Norwegian upper secondary school students who upon graduation are considered qualified for higher education. Testing with an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic Reading Module revealed that two thirds of the 178 respondents with ordinary EFL courses did not achieve the equivalent of the IELTS Band 6 score minimum that is usually required for admission to British and Australian universities. In comparison, two thirds of a sample of 39 respondents with a single, sheltered Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) subject achieved a Band 6 score or better. Closer analysis indicates that the poor test scores can be attributed to weaknesses in current English as a Foreign Language (EFL) instruction where reading is neglected, where students do not learn to adjust how they read to reading purpose, and where they do not learn how to handle unfamiliar words to avoid disrupting the reading process. The article ends with suggestions on how to improve EFL instruction, in Norway and elsewhere.

Emneord (Nøkkelord)


content and language integrated learning, CLIL, content based instruction, CBS

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5617/adno.1022

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ISSN 1504-9922