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FACTORS AFFECTING THE READING COMPREHENSION OF

SELECTED ACCS STUDENTS


OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MAKATI
SCHOOL YEAR 2012-2013

An
ACTION RESEARCH
Project

Requirement of:
Dr. Amelia P. Paje

Submitted by:
Jennifer Ramos Umali
MAED-IMD

INTRODUCTION
Reading means many things to many people. It can be one of the most
rewarding, preoccupation of the individual his horizons and making it
possible to partake of means accumulated experience and achievements
through the ages. It also plays a vital role in ones success in school.
Reading is one of the most important skills in English than an individual must
need to master. It is a toll subject for it is prerequisite of all learning areas. It
serves as a gateway to every student to learn the different subject because
students have a difficulty in reading, he may encounter also difficulties in all
subject areas.
Comprehension is reading with understanding. It is decoding meaning from
the printed text not only in single words or sentences but also of the
interrelationships among the sentences in discourse.
One of the concerns of ACCS students of University of Makati is how to
improve their reading speed comprehension skills which is a basic
requirement when they enter the call center industry. It is necessary
therefore for the teachers to provide as many opportunities as possible to
enhance and teach these students the skills or strategies they will need to
improve their reading comprehension.

There

are

some

studies

made

on

the

factors

that

affect

reading

comprehension. But most of these studies focused on the primary and


secondary levels problems on reading comprehension and only few could
have

probably

investigated

on

the

factors

that

affect

the

reading

comprehension of the students on the tertiary level especially those who are
enrolled on Business Communication.
These made the researcher investigate on what are some factors that affects
students reading comprehension. This will help on determining on how to
improve their reading skills that would qualify the students in what the BPO
industry needs.

Background of the Study


The area of focus for my action research is improving Reading
Comprehension by identifying the Factors that affect Reading comprehension
of the selected ACCS students. Without the solid foundation of reading skill
the researcher feels the students will struggle hard throughout their
schooling and adult life. By learning the best comprehension strategies and
how to best teach these strategies to the students, the researcher hopes to
provide the solid foundation needed to succeed. The researcher concludes
that the students score decreases because of the students attitude towards
reading.

Review of Related Literature


Reading is one of the four macro skills taught in an English language
classroom, which requires a response from the reader through summarizing
the main facts based on what was read (Zintz&Maggart, 1986, in Blay et.al,
2009).Reading is not just extracting meaning from the text but a process of
connecting to the information given by the text. Reading in this sense, is a
communication between the reader and the text (Grabe, 1988in Villanueva,
2006). Reading is essential to life. And reading with comprehension is the
chief justification why we read, understanding what the text is all about
(Lastrella, 2010).Reading comprehension is a complex balance between
recognizing printed symbols and interpreting the meaning behind the
symbols (Dennis, 2011).
There is a growing body of evidence supporting the concept that a
readers background knowledge about what he is reading is one of the most
critical factors in determining whether a student will understand what he is
reading or not (Hirsch,E.D. (2006); Kamhi, A.,(2007). To continue to make
progress in learning, as well as fuel self concept and motivation, students
should participate in regular classroom experiences appropriate to their
cognitive and maturational levels, including interesting and cognitively
challenging books presented orally or on tape (Worthy, 1996).

According to Worthy (1996), it is not sufficient to provide books that


are geared solely to a students instructional reading level. When reading
level is solely considered, below level basal readers are generally used for
instructing struggling readers. Reading such baby books often makes
struggling readers feel more defeated. Focusing on student interests in
selecting reading materials may be more beneficial in promoting reading
success than a focus on level. It turns out that interest is far more significant
than readability. When students have strong interest in what they read, they
can frequently transcend their reading level (Worthy, 1996).
Many educators and researchers consider interest to be an essential
factor in all learning (Hidi, 1990; Schiefele, 1991). Students who do not enjoy
typical school texts often fail to engage in reading, and may develop a
lifelong aversion to reading. Even if they are not initially struggling readers,
reluctant readers tend to gradually lose some academic ground, because
wide Journal of Inquiry & Action in Education, 3(2), 2010reading is related to
increases in general knowledge and reading comprehension (Williamson &
Williamson, 1988).
High challenge academic tasks invite students to expend the maximum
level of effort and encourage students to value the processes of learning. As
a result, motivation researchers view high challenge tasks as most beneficial
for promoting learning and motivation (Miller, 2003).
Teachers promote motivation when they provide students with
opportunities to assume increasingly higher levels of responsibility for their

learning. Moreover, a challenging task often requires students to use prior


knowledge and construct an understanding of a topic. This practice increases
the personal meaning that students attach to an activity, therefore
increasing the likelihood of becoming engaged in an activity (Miller, 2003).
During school, students interact and work alongside peers and adults.
These social perceptions and relationships are related to and predictive of
school-related outcomes (Patrick, Knee, Canevello, & Lonsbary, 2007).
For an individual to survive in todays world, it is a requirement for
him/her to know how to read with understanding. He/she should be capable
of understanding simple text such as transportation documents which
includes travel directions and road instructions, bills and contracts. The
effect of not being able to comprehend could be disastrous (e.g. instructions
on a bottle of medicine or chemical warnings) (Lastrella, 2010).With the
ability to comprehend a text, people are able not only to live safely and
productively, but also to continue to develop socially, emotionally and
intellectually.

Likewise, reading is a very significant language skill for a

student. Since they are subject to a continuous flow of information, they


need to prepare themselves for the demands that reading in school and in
the bigger society places on them. Reading also has been a segment of the
entrance test in most colleges and universities. But there are cases by which
students

fail

during

the

entrance

examination

because

of

lack

of

comprehension (Yale, 2011 in Lastrella, 2010).Maggart and Zintz (1970) in


Marquez (2008) state that comprehension is the major purpose of reading-

without comprehension, reading is a meaningless activity regardless of age


or ability of the reader. There are levels of reading comprehension, namely:
literal level (reading the lines), inferential or interpretive level (reading
between the lines) and the critical level (reading beyond the lines (Romero,
1987 in Marquez, 2008).
Some

studies

comprehension)

of

have
the

shown

students

that
is

the

affected

performance
by

several

(reading
factors.

Rizardo&Tabuno, (1998)in Marquez (2008)in their study on the reading


comprehension of Fourth year high school students of Iligan, made the
following

conclusions:1.

Parents

monthly

income

and

educational

attainments have contributed to the reading performance of the student. 2.


The kind of materials that the respondents read enhanced their ability to
comprehend a text 3. The respondents attitude towards reading differed
from each other 4. The availability of reading materials at home and in
school and the students curiosity to learn enhanced their reading
comprehension. Educational researchers have also focused on the teachers
behavior that should be effective in promoting students motivation (Brophy,
1986 in Marquez, 2008).
In the local context, Mante (2009) in Ilustre (2011) sought to identify
factors that affected Filipino bilingual high school students reading
comprehension in English. The objective of her paper was twofold; first was
to determine and measure the participants' dimensions of motivation to

read, and second was to identify the relationships between the participants
motivation to read in English, their reading comprehension and their use of
meta-cognitive reading strategies when reading in the same language.
Results were not conclusive as to whether reading motivation or use of metacognitive reading strategies affects reading comprehension more for there
was no single predictor of the reading test scores. On the contrary, Anderson
(1994) as cited in Lastrella (2010) presented that the recall of information in
a text is affected by the readers schemata and explains that a reader
comprehends a message when he is able to bring to mind a schema that
gives account of the objects and events described in the message. Moreover,
Wilson (1972) in Marquez (2008) stated that the lack of educational
opportunity and reading materials among poor families contribute to the
performance and competence of the learner. Educational attainment of the
parents of the respondents also matter. Students whose parents have higher
educational background perform well than those whose parents only attained
elementary or high school education. This is because the former are able to
provide more learning experiences that are essential to the development of
the students reading skills and other aspects as well (Lardizabal, 1981 in
Marquez, 2008).
In a country like Nigeria, it was found in 1985 that secondary pupils
poor learning characteristics, which were identified in terms of attitudes,
enthusiasm, self-concept as well as study habits, are caused by their
disadvantage when their parents have a lower education. Furthermore, more

than lower socio-economic status groups in Nigeria mostly fall into the low or
the non-educated groups (Ezewu, et.al, 1981 in Omoregbe, 2010). Parental
educational level in known as a factor positively related to childrens
academic achievement. And the educational level of parents is greatly
connected to the educational attainment of their children (Grissmer, et.al in
Omoregbe, 2010).Reading comprehension too lies on the students interest
in reading. Reluctant readers tend to gradually lose some academic ground,
because wide reading is related to increases in general knowledge and
reading comprehension p.31-32 (Williamson, 1988 in Seitz, 2010). Kukuyo
(1989) as cited by Tubio (2004) in Marquez (2008), noted that the students
might interact if they are interested with the topic and make comprehension
possible because of the interest that they have. This interest and attitude are
determined through hobbies and experiences that the reader had in order to
motivate him to read (Edorot, 1998 in Marquez, 2008). Furthermore, in the
study made by Kelcey (2010), results suggest that schools should be
associated with differences in teachers knowledge. By comparing teachers
with similar personal and school backgrounds, results showed that measured
knowledge is significantly associated with students achievement in reading
comprehension.

Objectives of the Study


This study aims to determine the main factor, among the three factors,
that affects the reading comprehension of selected Business Communication
students of the University of Makati S.Y 2012-2013. The following variables
were used in this study: mothers educational attainment; students attitudes
towards reading; and the perception of the students towards their teachers
competency in teaching reading. Finding revealed that all the factors
mentioned can all be contributing factor that would affect the learners
reading comprehension.
Statement of the Problem
The main problem of this study is to determine the Factors Affecting
the Reading Comprehension of Selected Business Communication Students
of the University of Makati S.Y 2012-2013. Specifically, this study aims to
answer to the following questions:
1. What is the level of the reading comprehension of the students in terms of
their test scores?
2. Is there a significant difference in the reading comprehension of the
students when categorized in terms of the following?
3.1 mothers educational attainment
3.2 attitudes of the students towards reading; and,
3.3 perceptions of the students regarding their teachers Competence
in teaching reading

HYPOTHESIS
There is no significant difference (Ho) in the reading comprehension of the students when
categorized in terms of the following: mothers educational attainment; attitudes of the students
towards reading; and, perception of the students regarding their teachers competence in
teaching reading.

METHODOLOGY

Research Design
The researcher used the descriptive type of research in this study. Descriptive research is
a research design in which events are recorded, described, interpreted, analyzed and compared.
Its objective is to describe systematically a situation, condition or area of interest factually and
accurately. Descriptive designs include observation, surveys and interviews, standardized tests,
and case studies (Castillo, 2002).

Research Instrument
The researcher uses a survey-questionnaire needed for this study which is divided into
two parts. First is the checklist that was used to gather information about the personal
information of the respondents and their mother`s educational attainment. The second part is
composed of questions that determined the perception of the students on their Teachers

competence in teaching reading. And lastly, is a 7-item test that measures the reading
comprehension of the students.

Data Gathering Procedure


The researcher surveyed 30 selected students from Associate in Contact Center Servicing
or ACCS course. Only those students who were present on February 15, 2013 at around 12:45
p.m. were given the survey questionnaire since majority of them were inside the classroom and
waiting for their professor to arrive.

Scoring Procedure and Categorization of Variable

A. Perception of the Student of the student on the Competence of the Teacher in Teaching
Reading
The range of value and grouping of the class intervals considered in this study for the
perception of the student on their teachers competence in teaching reading are presented below
(Marquez, 2008)
Range of Value

Description

3.25-4.00

Very Competent

Grouping

Competent
2.50-3.24
1.75-2.49

Competent
Moderately Competent
Less Competent

1-1.74

Less Competent

B. Attitude of student towards reading


Range Value

Description

3.25-4.00

Very Desirable
Desirable

2.50-3.24

Desirable

1.75-2.49

Less Desirable
Less Desirable

1-1.74

Undesirable

C. Reading Comprehension of the Students


Range of Values

Description

5-8

Very Satisfactory

0-4

Satisfactory

Statistical Treatment
The following treatments were used in this study:

Descriptive Statistics such as Percentage, arithmetic mean, and weighted mean were used to
describe the distribution of data and to determine the evaluation of the respondents on the
different variables given in this study.

Statistical Tools/Formula

Descriptive Statistics
%
1.1 Percentage:
x

1.2 Arithmetic Mean:

wx
1.3 Weighted Mean

f
100
n

x
n

wx
w

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

PART I
1. Personal Information of the Respondents
a. Respondents Profile.
There are twenty four (24) females and six (6) male respondents for a total of thirty (30).
b. Twenty-seven (27) of the age respondents are in age between 17-21 years old and 24 to
35 years old.
c. Out of thirty (30) respondents, 29 of t hem are single and there was one married
respondents.
PART II

Attitudes of Students towards Reading

The researchers able to find out the different factors that affect the reading
comprehension. One of the strategies conducted by the researcher was to use descriptive
questionnaire for the possible answer using checklist method in order to answer different
questions.
There are thirty (30) respondents/students to be chosen randomly to answer survey
questionnaire based on their desired understanding /perceptions.
One of the factors possible identify by the researcher that affects the reading
comprehension of the students was the mother`s educational attainment. At the very beginning of
the children`s learning, mother was the their first teacher. It would be difficult to teach their
children if even their mothers may have a problem about their educational attainment, the same
reason why most of them cannot provide their children a proper learning and understanding.
Based on the data gathered about on the educational attainments of every respondents
mother, four (4) of them achieve there education in primary level, sixteen (16) of them had their
studies in secondary level, and there are only ten (10) who were able continue their studies in
college/tertiary level.

Educational Level
Primary
Secondary
Tertiary
Total

Numbers of mother`s Last School Attended


4
16
10
30

Mother`s Educational Attainment

Primary
Secondary
Tertiary

In this study the respondents were able to answer two sets of questionnaire (1) Attitudes
of students towards reading and (2) their perceptions on their teacher`s competency in teaching
reading. With this question the researcher found out that Eighty-three percent (83%) of the
respondents said they agree that English was very important language in studying., fifty (50%)
percent on them on the other hand said its constant or neutral and that English reading
comprehension test are too difficult and forty percent (40%) of them disagree and that they get
nervous when there is a reading comprehension test in school.
Most of Asian countries like Philippines where the medium of instruction for
communication is English. In school, it was one of the curriculums to be mandated in delivering

the lessons in such a way that it is also considered a skill to be developed by the learner. Having
this skill and strategies in reading with comprehension can be used as a tool for understanding
ideas, information and other facts that could help one person intellectual capacity.
With this thirteen (13) respondents or 43% percent said they disagree that they dont have
the skills and strategies on reading with comprehension test, but eighty percent (80%) or 24
respondents agreed that reading strategies would improve their reading comprehension in
English and fifty-eight percent (58%) of them said that having high score on reading
comprehension test are very important.
On the other hand about the perception of the students on their teacher`s competency in
reading, based on their answers on this question given there are only forty percent (40%) of them
says that they agree that their teacher discusses the subject matter in reading and fifty-eight
percent (58%) says they strongly agree that their teacher had enough knowledge on the subject
their teaching.
A communication skill was a very concrete tool on how the teacher delivers the lesson
properly and accurately. The teachers ability in communicating their ideas to learners was very
important, in this study, about sixty-two percent (62%) of the respondents agreed that their
teacher has a good way of teaching communication. In terms of teaching or asking some of the
question about the subject they teach, the teacher was able to pronounce it very well and they
discusses the lessons using conspicuous visual aids and presentation and about twenty-five
percent (25%) of them said that they agreed that their teacher used this to motivate the
perception of every student . Fifty percent (50%) of them said that the teacher clarifies the
reading problems when the students were asked to some of the complex question.
On the other hand, almost seventy-five percent (75%) of the respondents strongly agree
that the teacher give corrections to mispronounced words and seventy-five percent (75%) of
them said their teachers responded immediately if there are some clarifications.

Conclusion

The researcher have come up with the following conclusions :(Ezewu (1981) is precise in
mentioning that parents, specifically mothers educational levels known was one of the factors
that positively related to childrens academic achievement. This is clearly supported by the
results of the respondents scores in the comprehension test. Some of the respondents who failed
in the test are those whose parents had only attained primary and intermediate education. If
parents have good educational background, they would be able to guide their children and help
them in their academic difficulties particularly in reading. The attitude of students towards
reading is also an influencing factor that affects their reading comprehension performance. Most
likely, students would be able to understand the text if they are interested with what they are
reading and if reading is really one of their interests or hobbies and according to Kukuyo (1989),
students might interact if they are interested in the topic and make comprehension possible
because of the interest that they have. Therefore, comprehension takes place if the willingness
and the desire of the students, to understand the text are present. Teachers competency in
teaching reading is also a contributing factor. Teachers knowledge in teaching reading plays an
important factor in students learning. Competent teachers would result an efficient learners.
Therefore students must be able to practice comprehension to be able to pass the basic
requirement of the industry.

References
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second language reading comprehension among fourth grade Filipino students.
Philippine ESL Journal vol. 2, Feb. 2009
Lastrella, S. (2010).Reading difficulties of first year students in the university of
Makati S.Y. 2010-2011. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Philippine
Normal University.
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Seitz, L. 2010. Student attitudes toward reading: A Case Study. Journal of Inquiry &
Action in Education 3(2),. Buffalo state college
Wang, D. (2009). Factors affecting the comprehension of global and local main idea.
Journal of College Reading and Learning.Magazine

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Published Doctoral Thesis, Philippines: National Library
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