Научная статья на тему 'Vocabulary strategies to Bridge the Gap from learning to read to reading to learn'

Vocabulary strategies to Bridge the Gap from learning to read to reading to learn Текст научной статьи по специальности «Языкознание и литературоведение»

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VOCABULARY TEACHING STRATEGIES / READING COMPREHENSION / SEMANTIC MAPPING / MORPHOLOGICAL ANALYSIS

Аннотация научной статьи по языкознанию и литературоведению, автор научной работы — Alakawi Kholood Moustafa

The present study offers a solution to students’ difficulties in reading by examining the effect of two instructional strategies for teaching reading: semantic mapping and morphological analysis, using multimedia as a vehicle for achieving the desired goals. Technology in the present study incorporates fun, meaningful resources that enhance the experimental group students’ vocabulary, and allow the reading instructor to assess the students’ progress in reading. 58 EFL university students enrolled in the first year of the English Department at Al-Imam University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia participated in the present study. They were chosen randomly and were divided into two groups; an experimental group and a control one. Each group had 29 participants aged between twenty and twenty one years old. A pre-test was applied to check out their standard in comprehending the reading texts before the inauguration of the experiment. During the time of the experiment, the control group was taught by the traditional method which focuses on relying on their memorization of long lists of vocabulary, rote learning, reading aloud, repetition and the translation of the new vocabulary. Participants of the experimental group were taught by semantic mapping and morphological analysis that focus on the comprehension of the key vocabulary and concepts included in the reading texts. The experimental group only was taught in the reading classes by implementing the semantic mapping and morphological analysis strategies while the control group was taught by the traditional previously mentioned way. The post-test was applied on both groups of the study at the end of the experiment to check out the students’ reading comprehension standard. The experiment lasted for three months’ time during the first semester of the year 2015. The findings revealed that teaching reading by semantic mapping and morphological analysis strategies improved experimental group students’ comprehension of the reading texts.

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Текст научной работы на тему «Vocabulary strategies to Bridge the Gap from learning to read to reading to learn»

National Research University Higher School of Economics Journal of Language & Education Volume 3, Issue 4, 2017

Alakawi, K. (2017). Vocabulary Strategies to Bridge the Gap from Learning to Read to Reading to Learn. Journal of Language and Education, 3(4), 60-72. doi:10.17323/2411-7390-2017-3-4-60-72

Vocabulary Strategies to Bridge the Gap from Learning to Read to Reading to Learn

Kholood Moustafa Alakawi

Al-Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Kholood Moustafa Alakawi, English Department, Al-Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University, P.O. Box 5701 Othman Ibn Affan St., Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 11432. E-mail: dr.khlood2010@yahoo.com

The present study offers a solution to students' difficulties in reading by examining the effect of two instructional strategies for teaching reading: semantic mapping and morphological analysis, using multimedia as a vehicle for achieving the desired goals. Technology in the present study incorporates fun, meaningful resources that enhance the experimental group students' vocabulary, and allow the reading instructor to assess the students' progress in reading. 58 EFL university students enrolled in the first year of the English Department at Al-Imam University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia participated in the present study. They were chosen randomly and were divided into two groups; an experimental group and a control one. Each group had 29 participants aged between twenty and twenty one years old. A pre-test was applied to check out their standard in comprehending the reading texts before the inauguration of the experiment. During the time of the experiment, the control group was taught by the traditional method which focuses on relying on their memorization of long lists of vocabulary, rote learning, reading aloud, repetition and the translation of the new vocabulary. Participants of the experimental group were taught by semantic mapping and morphological analysis that focus on the comprehension of the key vocabulary and concepts included in the reading texts. The experimental group only was taught in the reading classes by implementing the semantic mapping and morphological analysis strategies while the control group was taught by the traditional previously mentioned way. The post-test was applied on both groups of the study at the end of the experiment to check out the students' reading comprehension standard. The experiment lasted for three months' time during the first semester of the year 2015. The findings revealed that teaching reading by semantic mapping and morphological analysis strategies improved experimental group students' comprehension of the reading texts.

Keywords: vocabulary teaching strategies, reading comprehension, semantic mapping, morphological analysis

In our age of information explosion, the need is urgent to teach our students not only to read lines but also to read between the lines to understand the hidden meanings and implied messages. This is a very challenging task as it requires investigation into the strategies that help the teacher to fulfill this crucial task.

Teaching reading effectively implies implementing effective strategies that tend to enhance students' enthusiasm for learning, develop students' skills, foster critical and creative thinking, keep students engaged inside the classroom, encourage interaction and participation, and create a comfortable learning

environment with less anxiety (Alqahtani, 2015; Buis, 2004; Middleton, 2011; Yan, 2008). These desired goals can be achieved by implementing two suggested strategies for comprehending the reading texts: semantic mapping and morphological analysis strategies. To this end, the present study investigates the impact of using two vocabulary teaching strategies on developing students' reading comprehension.

Thus it focuses on two dimensions: the first investigates the field of vocabulary strategies while the second focuses on the reading comprehension; what it entails and how to develop it.

Baleghizadeh and Naeim (2011) and Muhtar

This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

(2010) and Sadeghi and Taghavi (2014) clarified that the semantic mapping strategy improves students' reading skills as they learn to brainstorm a topic by thinking about words related to a certain concept. Moreover, they learn to classify words under their appropriate concepts, which lead to improving their reading comprehension skills

As for the morphological analysis strategy, many previous studies in this field illustrate that it fosters the students' skills in analyzing, recalling, decoding, and breaking down complex words into their parts, so their comprehension of the reading texts is improved (Bellomo, 2009; Hickey & Lewis, 2013; Mahdalena, et al., 2015; Roth, 2014).

Regarding the second dimension, Jarolimek (as cited in Muhtar, 2010), illustrates that the comprehension of a reading passage implies "(1) Getting the literal meaning or general understanding of what is being communicated, (2) Understanding and remembering facts and details that support the idea, (3) Recognizing and remembering the sequence of ideas or event presented, (4) Following directions in the reading texts" (p. 8).

Furthermore, Chou (2011) and Basaraba, et al, (2013) confirmed that when readers infer something, they base their conclusion on information that is implied, but not explicitly stated in the text they read. Readers make inferences from clues within a reading text that lead them to draw certain conclusions.

To take this issue a step forward, Tennent (2015) emphasized the idea by clarifying that if a student does not know the meanings of a sufficient proportion of the words in the text, comprehension is impossible. In addition, Rasinski & Brassell (2008) asserted that good vocabulary knowledge enables good comprehension. Thus, the vital teaching strategy that the reading teacher implements in his or her class is what makes the difference. Buis (2004) confirmed that teachers need to be aware of the vocabulary strategies and apply them successfully during instruction as they help words to stick in their students' minds and constitute their background which leads to a more comprehension of the various reading texts.

To shed light on the problem of teaching reading, Richardson (2010) clarified that there are many studies concerning vocabulary learning strategies of learners, but there is not much research on vocabulary teaching strategies, relatively.

The present study is an attempt to investigate the impact of implementing two instructional vocabulary strategies: semantic mapping and morphological analysis on developing students' comprehension of the reading texts.

Definition of terms. Semantic Mapping Strategy.

The present study adopts the definition of Estes

(1999) who defined semantic mapping as "a strategy for graphically representing concepts. Semantic maps portray the schematic relations that compose a concept. It assumes that there are multiple relations between a concept and the knowledge that is associated with it" (p. 1).

The semantic mapping strategy is an important strategy that facilitates the reading comprehension process. When students learn to think and categorize words under a certain concept, they start to remember the meaning of the words.

Morphological Analysis Strategy

The present study adopts the definition of Roth (2014) who defined it as "a strategy that helps students learn vocabulary by parsing words for familiar morphemes to infer the word's meaning" (p. 1).

Reading comprehension is "a process of information search involving interaction between reader and text, of actively constructing a meaningful representation of the writer's written message, and of building a representation of text meaning" (Dechant, 1991 p. 341).

Statement of the Problem

Many female Saudi students majoring in English at Al-Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud University in Riyadh complain about their inability to comprehend the reading texts which are covered in their reading lectures. That is due to their limited vocabulary, which stands against their comprehension of the reading texts. Moreover, their final exams results of the reading courses prove these students' weakness in reading and their inability to comprehend the reading texts.

In addition, interviews with the reading course instructors confirm their students'weakness in reading. Thinking of the reasons behind this phenomena regarding students' weakness in comprehending the reading texts, Al-Darayseh (2014) stated that "Unknown words hinder students from understanding the reading texts" (p. 1110).

On the other hand, those university students complain about the boring, ineffective, and traditional methods of teaching reading by which they are taught and attribute the weakness in comprehending the reading texts to those ineffective methods of teaching reading. In best cases, they clarified that they memorized long lists of vocabulary with their Arabic equivalents to help them comprehend the reading texts. They expressed their wish to learn these vocabulary lists in a more active and enjoyable ways and noted that these boring and ineffective methods applied for teaching reading resulted in their inability to remember the vocabulary taught in class which

undoubtedly led to their weakness in comprehending the reading texts.

It can be concluded that despite the importance of vocabulary teaching strategies, many teachers still adopt the traditional methods while teaching vocabulary by their relying on forcing their students to memorize long lists of vocabulary with their Arabic equivalents, and ordering them to read aloud the texts in class and rely on rote learning. Moreover, these procedures made the teaching process tedious, ineffective.

Al-Darayseh (2014) and Alqahtani (2015) emphasized the need for a research which investigates the effectiveness of vocabulary teaching strategies to determine the effective ones that might contribute to the development of students' vocabulary and the improvement of their reading comprehension. The present study is an attempt to achieve these desired goals.

In sum, teaching vocabulary cannot be left to chance; the present study investigates the effectiveness of implementing semantic mapping and morphological awareness strategies while teaching reading to examine their effect on enhancing students' reading comprehension.

Research Questions

The main question of the study is:

What is the effect of semantic mapping and morphological analysis strategies on enhancing students' comprehension of the reading texts?

The following sub questions can be derived from the main question:

Does morphological analysis strategy enhance students' comprehension of the reading texts?

To examine the effect of the morphological analysis strategy on enhancing the experimental group students' comprehension skills, the researcher derived the following sub question from the previous question:

• Is there a statistically significant difference between the mean scores of the pre-test and posttest of the experimental group morphological awareness test?

• Does the semantic mapping strategy enhance students' comprehension of the reading texts ?

To examine the effect of the semantic mapping strategy more on enhancing the experimental group students' comprehension skills, the researcher derived the following sub question from the previous question:

Is there a statistically significant difference between the mean scores of the pre-test and posttest of the experimental group semantic mapping awareness test?

Vocabulary Teaching Strategies

Teaching strategies has been defined differently. Blachowicz and Watts-Taff (2005) noted that teaching strategies are the plan by which teachers design their teaching.

Richardson (2010) takes it to a deeper level when he asserted that teaching strategies refer to those procedures whose aim is to get learners to review lexical items. Tennent (2015) defined it as being a complex educational behavior of a teacher in using methods, techniques, tools, disciplines, and communications in order to achieve the desired goals.

It is worth mentioning teaching strategies should be implemented while teaching as they tend to enhance students' enthusiasm for learning, develop students' skills, foster critical and creative thinking, keep students engaged inside the classroom, encourage interaction and participation, and create a comfortable environment with less anxiety (Middleton, 2011; Rasinski & Brassell, 2008).

Teaching strategies involve more than merely giving boring lectures as the task of the teacher who implement the teaching strategies becomes directing students to achieve certain educational aims and involving these students in the educational process in accordance with the strategies that suit them (Muhtar, 2010; Naeimi & Foo, 2013).

As for teaching vocabulary, the strategies used in this respect imply adopting techniques to help students acquire vocabulary. Tennent (2015) asserted that teachers who teach vocabulary must be knowledgeable of the necessary word learning and vocabulary strategies, and implement them during instruction.

Also, Sadeghi and Taghavi (2014) and Richardson (2010) confirmed that if language teachers can understand more about vocabulary teaching strategies and the suitable ways to teach vocabulary to a particular level of students, they definitely enhance the learning effectiveness of their students.

To this end, two recommended vocabulary teaching strategies are investigated to determine their impact on improving students' comprehension of the reading texts.

The semantic mapping strategy

The semantic mapping strategy is an important strategy that facilitates the reading comprehension process. When students learn to think and categorize words under a certain concept, they start to remember the meaning of the words (Baleghizadeh & Naeim, 2011; Basaraba et al., 2013).

Muhtar (2010) clarified semantic mapping is a strategy for representing concepts. Semantic maps sketches the schematic relations that compose

a concept and assumes that there are multiple relations between a concept and the knowledge that it represents. Moreover, Baleghizadeh and Naeim (2011) clarified that "semantic mapping is introduced as a vocabulary presentation technique, which is believed to help learners remember words better as they see the connections among them in a map" (p. 11). In addition, Muhtar (2010) sketches it out as being beneficial for "... introducing the important vocabulary in a selection to be read. It shows students how the terms are interrelated. Teachers can use semantic mapping to activate and tap student's background knowledge. Also, it can be a helpful reference for students to use in clarifying confusing points as they are reading" (p. 4).

Similarly, Sadeghi and Taghavi (2014) confirmed that "semantic mapping as a teaching technique helps students to increase comprehension because of its multiple advantages in reading comprehension" (p. 12).

To implement this strategy in the reading classes, the reading teachers should present the main concepts included in the reading texts. Their students are instructed to list a number of words related to each concept by referring back to their previous knowledge. The teacher who implements semantic mapping strategy chooses a concept and writes it in the middle of the blackboard to be in front of students. Then, s/ he circles this concept. After that, the teacher asks the students to think about words that are related to this concept. All the students' responses are listed under this concept. The teacher works with students to categorize some of the words under a certain subheading (Baleghizadeh & Naeim, 2011; Muhtar, 2010; Sadeghi & Taghavi, 2014).

This way, semantic mapping helps students to brainstorm, recall, and categorize words in their attempts to comprehend the reading texts.

The morphological analysis strategy

This strategy is closely linked to reading comprehension. When students are taught the basic morphemes, roots, and affixes, the process of understanding vocabulary meaning is facilitated (Hickey & Lewis, 2013; Mahdalena, et al., 2015; Roth, 2014).

Bellomo (2009) analyzed it more clarifying that "Morphological, or structural, analysis is the process of breaking down morphologically complex words into their constituent morphemes (word meaning parts)" (p. 45). He noted that the word (worker) is comprised of two meaning units; the base is the word work, and the inclusion of (er), which conveys the meaning of an agent (person or thing).

According to him, the key to comprehend a reading text relies on understanding the key vocabulary it includes.

Mahdalena, Nurweni, and Suparman (2015) asserted that "morphological analysis may turn to be one of the most fruitful strategies to uncover the meaning of new words for promoting learners' vocabulary knowledge and reading abilities" (p. 4).

To this end, a deeper investigation in the field of «morphological analysis» is discussed in the following part to shed light on the different types of morphemes since they constitute the tools by which the morphological analysis strategy can be implemented in the present study.

They are as follows:

a. Free morphemes

Hickey and Lewis (2013) defined a free morpheme as "a morpheme that can be used alone, as a word, without additional affixes" (p. 80). For example, in the word "rewrite," the free morpheme is "write." It can stand alone and can be independent.

b. Bound morphemes

Hickey and Lewis (2013) defined a bound morpheme as "a morpheme that cannot stand on its own. It must be attached to other morphemes to construct a word" (p. 80). For example, in the word "rewrite," the bound morpheme is "re." It cannot be independent. Bound morphemes give meaning to words.

This takes as to the following part about the types of bound morphemes:

I. Inflectional morphemes

Hickey and Lewis (2013) defined an inflectional morpheme as "a bound morpheme that adjusts the meaning of a root word without changing its part of speech, such as pluralizing nouns or changing verb tense. Furthermore, inflectional morphemes do not change the base meaning of the word" (p. 80).

II. Derivational morphemes

Hickey and Lewis (2013) defined a derivational morpheme as "a bound morpheme that adjusts the meaning of the root word. Re- in rewrite is a derivational morpheme, as is -ness, in happiness" (p. 80).

In sum, since the instructors who teach reading seek to improve their students' comprehension of the reading texts, it is crucial that they rely on the morphological analysis strategy while teaching reading. In this respect, Mahdalena, Nurweni, and Suparman (2015) asserted that there is a positive relationship between morphological analysis and reading comprehension; the students who are more aware of morphology in complex words tend to be better readers.

The following part investigates this issue.

Vocabulary teaching strategies and reading comprehension

Many researchers have investigated the relationship between vocabulary and other skills in

general and with reading comprehension in particular. Blachowicz, Fisher, and Watts-Taff (2005) agreed that "one area of particular significance to the curriculum is that of vocabulary and reading comprehension" (p. 1). Vocabulary teaching strategies have a meaningful impact on reading comprehension, as they enhance learners' reading comprehension skills (Alqahtani, 2015; Anjomshoa, & Zamanian, 2014).

Al Oahtani (2015) defined vocabulary as the number of words that are necessary for us to communicate and convey meaning and Wilkins (as cited in ^etin, 2009) noted that "Without grammar very little can be conveyed, without vocabulary nothing can be conveyed...You will see most improvement if you learn more words and expressions. You can say very little with grammar, but you can say almost anything with words" (p. 73).

In short, both vocabulary and grammar are necessary in the process of comprehending reading texts. Thus, the instructional strategies adopting them are recommended to be implemented in the reading classes.

Reading comprehension is regarded this way as a hierarchical structure which is based on certain levels of understanding. In this respect, Richardson (2010) stated that "Comprehension is an integral part of learning; it is also a multifaceted process with many levels of understanding" (p. 3).

The following is an illustration of the levels of reading comprehension.

Literal comprehension

Davis (2006) defined literal comprehension as "the lowest level of understanding. It involves reading the lines, or reading and understanding exactly what is on the page. Students may give back facts or details directly from the passages as they read" (p. 65). In doing so "The reader has the access to the surface details of the text, and can recall details which have been directly related" (Tennent, 2015, p. 28).

Interpretive comprehension.

Davis (2006) defined interpretive comprehension as "the second highest level of understanding, requires students to read between the lines. At this level, students must explain figurative language, define terms and answer interpretative or inferential questions" (p. 65).

Critical comprehension.

Davis (2006) stated that "critical comprehension requires a high level of understanding. The students must judge the passage they have read. The critical level is one of the two highest of the levels of understanding; it requires students to read beyond the lines" (p. 66).

Based on the previous definitions, reading comprehension implies hierarchal levels where

readers can end up with the level in which s/he makes judgments and reads not only the lines but also between lines.

The main aim of the present study is to investigate the effectiveness of implementing the morphological analysis strategy and semantic mapping strategy on developing the university students' reading comprehension.

The present study was constrained by the following limitations:

1. The present study was limited only on 58 female Saudi students who were studying in the Reading Course of the Preparatory Year in the College of Languages and Translation at Al-Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University.

2. This study was conducted in the second semester of the year 1436-1437 H., which lasted for three months' time.

3. This study was limited to implementing semantic mapping and morphological analysis strategies in teaching reading to examine their effect on the Saudi female university students reading comprehension.

Methodology

The present study examined the effect of adopting the semantic mapping strategy and morphological analysis one on enhancing the Saudi female university students' reading comprehension.

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It tended to show the students' ability to comprehend multi-morphemic words and semantics while reading adopting an experimental design.

Participants

A quasi-experimental design was conducted on 58 female students who were distributed into two groups: an experimental group and a control one. They were all enrolled in the first year of the English Department at Al-Imam Mohamed Ibn Saud University, Riyadh, KSA. They aged between 20 and 21 years old. They were taught reading by the traditional way which focuses on memorization of long lists of vocabulary, rote learning and reading aloud, repetition and the translation of the new vocabulary.

Design of the Study

1. Reviewing the literature and previous studies in the field of morphological analysis strategy, semantic mapping strategy and reading comprehension.

2. Preparing the tools of the present study.

3. Applying the pre-posttest on the sample of the study; experimental and control (see Appendix 1).

4. Conducting the experiment on the experimental group student only in their reading lectures.

Being the coordinator of the skills courses, I had the chance to meet the skills teachers, discuss with them

their problems and how to overcome the difficulties they face while teaching. This gave me the chance to train the experimental group teacher to teach in her reading class by adopting the morphological analysis strategy and the semantic mapping one. Moreover, I attended the reading lectures with her and gave her my comments regarding her performance and how to improve it while adopting the suggested strategies for teaching reading.

5. Applying the pre-post test on the sample of the study after the experiment.

6. Analyzing and calculating the results.

7. Discussing the results and writing the conclusion and the pedagogical implications.

The tools

The same test is used before the inauguration of the experiment of the study and also after it to determine the effect of the semantic mapping and morphological analysis strategies, implemented in the experiment, on enhancing the students' comprehension of the reading texts.

The pre- posttest consisted of three sections: the morphological awareness test, and the reading comprehension passages test and the semantic mapping test. The pre-posttest was designed to assess the students' awareness of morphological analysis and semantic mapping and their effect on the experimental group students' reading comprehension.

The first section is the morphological awareness test. It was divided into three parts: derivational, decomposition, and prefix morphological awareness tests. The derivational and decomposition tasks were based on those used by Carlisle (2010). They were designed to measure students' awareness of the relationships of base and derived words.

In the decomposition test, students were asked to decompose derived words to finish sentences. The decomposition task consisted of ten test items and 2 practice items. In contrast, in the derivational test, the students were directed to produce derived words to complete sentences. This assessment also consisted of ten test items and two practice items.

The third task of the first section is the prefix morphological awareness task. It was applied to assess the students' awareness of prefixed words. It was prepared by the researcher to match the students' age and level. It was designed to assess students' awareness of prefix forms by asking students to choose the correct meaning of the bold words.

The second section, the reading comprehension passage test, was prepared by the researcher. The test is composed of three short passages differing in difficulty, followed by multiple-choice questions to assess the students' reading comprehension skills.

Both the experimental and the control groups

were asked to read the passages silently then, choose the correct answer in the questions that follow the passages.

The pre- posttest was designed to determine if the students improved in the following comprehension skills: guessing the meaning of unknown vocabulary from context, applying the skim-and-scan technique, and identifying the most common prefixes and suffixes. The test was comprised of 15 multiple-choice questions. Each question involved four-options for the students to choose one right answer from them.

The third section was designed to determine if the students' comprehension improved by implementing the semantic mapping strategy. This section consisted of ten items and required the students to fill in the blanks with the suitable word that completes the meaning of the sentence.

Validity of the test

The pre- posttest was validated by TEFL specialists in Al-Imam University, Riyadh and Alexandria University, Egypt. The test items were modified according to their feedback and comments.

Reliability of the test

The reliability of the pre- posttest was computed by using the test-retest method. The researcher applied the pre-posttest on a pilot sample of forty students. After two weeks, the researcher applied the pre- and post-tests on the same sample. The next step was the computation of the correlation between the scores of students on the two applications. For the morphological awareness test, the correlation coefficient (reliability coefficient) (r) was (0.87), which indicated an accepted value of reliability. For the semantic mapping test, the correlation coefficient (reliability coefficient) (r) was (0.88), which indicated an accepted value of reliability. As for the reading comprehension test, the correlation coefficient (reliability coefficient) (r) was (0.92) which indicated an accepted value of reliability.

Data Collection and Analysis

The data was obtained from the pre- and posttest of morphological awareness, semantic mapping and reading comprehension skills.

The study adopted many statistical procedures to examine the effects of morphological awareness and semantic mapping on students' reading comprehension skills of Saudi female university students. The Statistical Package for the Social Science (SPSS) was used in analyzing the collected data. The independent sample t-test and the paired sample t-test showed the differences between the experimental and control groups. Furthermore, it was used to compare the differences of the mean scores between the pre- and posttests of the experimental group to assert the effectiveness of the suggested teaching strategies on enhancing the experimental group sample comprehension skills.

Results

To answer the main question of the study: What is the effect of the suggested vocabulary teaching strategies on enhancing students' comprehension of the reading texts?

The independent samples T-test of the significance of the difference between the average of the pre-test scores in the reading comprehension skills test of both the experimental and control groups was calculated. The following Table illustrates the results

Table 1

Results of the pre-test

Group

.. Standard T

N Mean , . ,, , Df.

deviation Value

Sig

Control

29 3.04

0.78

Experimental 29 2.79 0.99 Note. Sig when Sig. (2-tailed) < 0.05

0.96 44

No

significance

The researcher examined statistically the difference between the mean score of the experimental group and their peers of the control group in the morphological awareness post-test. The following table illustrates the results.

Table 3

Independent samples T- test of morphological awareness post-test

Group

Measure N Mean Standard T Df. Sig.

deviation Value

Control

Post- 29 8.7 test

3.1 15.33 44 0.01

Experimental

Post- 29 22.2 test

2.8

The null hypothesis indicates that there was no significant difference between the experimental group and their peer of the control group in the pre-test. The previous table reveals no statistically significant difference between the mean scores of both groups: T = 0.96 and P = no sign. Thus, there was homogeneity between the experimental and control groups in the pre-measure of the test before the experiment.

After applying the experiment, which is teaching the experimental group reading by implementing semantic mapping and morphological analysis strategies while teaching the control group reading by the traditional way previously mentioned, the posttest was applied on both groups of the study.

The independent sample T-test for the significance of the difference between the averages of the post-test scores of both groups of the study was calculated.

Table 2 indicates the results of the experimental group students and their peers of the control one in the post- test.

Table 2

Results of the post-test

Table 3 indicates that the total of the mean scores of the experimental group's morphological awareness post-test was (M = 22.2), whereas the total of the mean scores of the control group's morphological awareness post-test was (M = 8.7). The statistically significance difference was not only at 0.05 but it showed significance difference at 0.01 level of significance. Thus, there was a significant difference between the total sums of the mean scores of both groups in favor of the experimental group. Therefore, the morphological analysis strategy significantly enhanced the experimental group students' morphological awareness which indicates the improvement of their comprehension.

Research sub-question 1.1: Is there a statistically significant difference between the mean scores of the pre-test and post-test of the experimental group's morphological awareness?

To answer this question it was hypothesized that there is no statistically significant difference at the p = .05 level of significance between the mean scores of the pre-test and the post-test of the experimental group's morphological awareness.

A paired sample t- test was computed to analyze this hypothesis (see Table 4).

Table 4

Paired-samples T-test for the significant differences between pre-test and post-test in the morphological

Standard Group N Mean deviation T Value Sig awareness of the experimental group

Measure Standard T N Mean , . ,, , Df. deviation Value Sig

Control 29 2.45 1.22 7.59 44 .01

Experimental 29 5.54 1.5 Pre test 29 2.33 1.4 - 178 23 0.01

Note. Sig when Sig. (2-tailed) < 0.05. Post test 29 5.66 0.86

Table 2 indicates there was a statistically significant difference between the scores of the experimental and their peers of the control group in the post- test in favor of the experimental group: T = 7.59 and P = 0.01. To answer the first sub-question 1- Does morphological analysis strategy enhance students' comprehension of the reading texts?

Note. Sig when Sig. (2-tailed) < 0.05.

The previous table clarifies that the two-tailed p (sig. value) is 0.01. This means there was a significant difference between the pre- and post-measures of the test. The results revealed that the experimental group performed significantly better on the morphological analysis posttest measure than the pretest measure

after the implementation of the experiment on them. To examine statistically the second sub-question 1- Does the semantic mapping strategy enhance students' comprehension of the reading texts?

The researcher examined statistically the difference between the mean score of the experimental group and their peers of the control group in the semantic mapping awareness post-test. The following Table 5 illustrates the results.

Table 5

Independent samples T- test of semantic mapping awareness post-test

Group Measure N Mean Standard Deviation T Value Df. Sig.

Control Post- test 29 8.1 3.2

Experimental Post- test 29 21.8 2.8 15.31 43 0.01

Table 6 reveals that the experimental groups' pre-test mean score was M = 3.5, whereas their posttest score was M=8.5. The results depict a significant difference between the pre and post- semantic mapping test. Thus, the students performed significantly better on the post-test measure than they did on the pre-test

measure.

Table 5 indicates that the total of the mean scores of the experimental group's semantic mapping awareness post-test was (M = 21.8), whereas the total of the mean scores of the control group's semantic mapping awareness post-test was (M = 8.1). The statistically significance difference was not only at 0.05 but it showed significance difference at 0.01 level of significance. Thus, there was a significant difference between the total of the mean scores of both groups in favor of the experimental group. Therefore, the semantic mapping strategy significantly raised the experimental group students' semantic mapping awareness.

Research sub-question 1.2: Is there a statistically significant difference between the mean scores of the pre-test and post-test of the experimental group students' semantic mapping awareness?

To answer this question, it was hypothesized that there is no statistically significant difference at the .05 level of significance between the mean scores of the pre-test and post-test of the experimental group's semantic mapping awareness test.

A paired sample t-test was conducted to measure the students' semantic mapping awareness after the experiment. See (Table 6).

Table 6 of paired-samples T-test for the significance in the difference between the pre and post measures in the averages (mean) scores of the experimental group students' semantic mapping awareness.

Table 6

The experimental group students' semantic mapping awareness

Measure N Mean Standard Deviation T Value Df. Sig

Pre test 29 3.5 2.2 23 0.01

Post test 29 3.8 1.41

Discussion

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The main findings of the present study can be

summarized in the following points:

1. There was no statically significant difference between the experimental and their peers of the control group in pre-test of reading comprehension which proved that the standard of the two groups of the study in their reading was similar before the inauguration of the experiment of the study.

2. The experimental group outperforming the control group in the post- test of reading which proved that teaching reading implementing semantic mapping and morphological analysis strategies had positive effects on enhancing the experimental group students' comprehension of the reading texts.

3. Improvement in students' morphological knowledge and semantics lead to a more comprehension of the reading texts.

Pedagogical Implications

1. It is recommended that EFL teachers adopt the morphological analysis strategy and the semantic mapping one while teaching reading.

2. Students should be given more opportunities to explore and analyze the new vocabulary in the reading texts whether inside or outside the reading classes.

3. Teachers should train their students to examine the functions of various word parts (e.g., suffixes, prefixes, and the root of words) while reading inside and outside the reading classes.

4. There should be trainings for the EFL teachers on how to teach reading adopting the morphological analysis and semantic mapping strategies to enhance their students' comprehension of the reading texts.

5. Encouraging students to read extra materials implementing the morphological analysis and semantic mapping strategies while reading to comprehend these materials even outside the classroom and without the help of their teachers.

Conclusion

The present study proved that adopting semantic mapping and morphological analysis strategies by innovative teachers can lead to enhancing learners' vocabulary, and consequently the comprehension of the reading texts in a world marked by printings.

It also proved that teaching reading cannot be left to chance as it was evident that vocabulary instruction directly improves students' comprehension, so it should be implemented tactfully while teaching reading to improve students' comprehension of what they read.

By teaching reading implementing semantic mapping and morphological analysis strategies, we-as teachers- train our students to read not only in the class but also outside it. Moreover, we equip them with ways to increase their vocabulary retention and ultimately their comprehension of what they read in the time of information explosion. Thus, as Gale Johnson (2009) confirmed "When it comes to words, every person is destined to be a lifelong learner" (p. 9).

Thus, by teaching reading implementing semantic mapping and morphological analysis strategies, teachers achieve an essential goal in EFL/ESL pedagogy.

In sum, the findings of the present study proved that the more the teaching strategies are refined, the better the educational goals are achieved.

References

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Blachowicz, C., Fisher, P., & Watts-Taff, S. (2005). Integrated vocabulary instruction: Meeting the needs of diverse learners in grades K-5. Retrieved from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED489512.pdf

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Muhtar, K. (2010). Improving students' reading comprehension through semantic mapping strategy

(UnpublishedMaster's thesis).Retrievedfromhttp:// eprints.uns.ac.id/2679/1/175762701201109371.pdf Naeimi, M., & Foo, T. (2013). The study of direct vocabulary learning strategies in reading comprehension: The case of Iranian context. Advances in English Linguistics, 2(1), 95-98. Rasinski, D. T., & Brassell, D. D. (2008). Comprehension that works: Taking students beyond ordinary understanding to deep comprehension, grades K-6. Huntington Beach, CA: Teacher Created Materials Pub.

Richardson, N. (2010). Guided reading strategies for reading comprehension (Unpublished Master's thesis). Retrieved from http://reflectivepractitioner. pbworks.com/f/Richardson Capstone to pdf Roth, D. (2014). Morphological analysis as a vocabulary strategy in post-secondary reading: Literature review

and annotated bibliography. Retrieved from https:// grammarteaching.wordpress.com Sadeghi, K., & Taghavi, E. (2014). The relationship between semantic mapping instruction, reading comprehension and recall ofIranian undergraduates reading English texts. MEXTESOL Journal, 38(1), 1-13. Retrieved from http://www.mextesol.net/ journal/index.php?page=journal&id_article=504 Schano, L. (2015). The influence of morphological knowledge on L2 reading comprehension. Retrieved from http://www.lli.ulaval.ca/fileadmin/llt/

fichiers/recherche/revue_LL/vol35/Lisa_Schano. pdf

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Appendix The Pre-post test

Test of Morphological comprehension skills

Structure and reading

Section 1: Morphological Awareness Test

Part 1: Derivational Morphological Awareness Test (adapted from Carlisle, 2000). Add the suitable suffix to the given words below to complete the sentences:

Example: a. Farm. My uncle is a farmer..

b. Help. My sister is always helpful.

1. warm

2. teach

3. permit

4. profit

5. appear

6. express

7. four

8. remark

9. protect

10. perform

He chose the jacket for its_

Hewasaverygood_

Father refused to give______

Selling lemonade in summer is_ He cared about his

The cyclist came in_

The speed of the car was_

She wore glasses for_

Tonight is the last_

Part 2: Decomposition Morphological Awareness Test (adapted from Carlisle, 2000) Decompose the root from the following words and complete the sentences: Example: a. Driver. Children are too young to drive.

b. Improvement. My teacher wants my spelling to improve.

1. Growth.

2. Dryer.

3. Runner.

4. Width.

5. Density.

6. Discussion.

7. Famous.

8. Description.

9. Fifth

10. Election.

She wanted her plant to_

Put the wash out to_

How fast can she

The mouthoftheriveris very_

The smoke in the room was very_ The friends have a lot to ________

The actor would achieve much The picture is hard to _________

The boy counted from one to_ Which person did they_______

Part 3: Prefix Morphological Awareness Test

Choose the sentence that gives the correct meaning of the bold words

1. The newspaper is published biweekly.

a. The newspaper is published twice a week.

b. The newspaper is published twice a month.

c. The newspaper is published once a week.

2. This handwriting is impossible to read.

a. It is very untidy.

b. It is completely readable.

c. It is very tidy.

3. He took off his clothes

a. He got dressed.

b. He got undressed.

c. He puts on his clothes.

4. It is against the law, isn't it?

a. It is legal.

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b. It is illegal.

c. It is allowed.

5. I am sorry that I misread your note.

a. I did not read the note correctly.

b. I read the note correctly.

c. It is completely readable.

6. We preview books before publishing.

a. We do not read books before publishing.

b. We read books after publishing.

c. We read books before publishing.

7. She can never wait for five minutes.

a. She is very patient.

b. She is very impatient.

c. She is calm.

Section 2: Reading Comprehension Passages

In this section, you will read several passages. Each passage is followed by questions about the reading material.

You are to choose the one best answer marked A, B, C, or D.

Passage 1

It's really interesting to take a trip to some mysterious locations that still baffle archaeologists to this day. Spectacular places like Easter Island in the South Pacific and Stonehenge in England hold extraordinary, impressive, ancient structures created by prehistoric civilizations. Scientists can only speculate as to how they were made.

One example is the Moai of Easter Island in the South Pacific. Easter Island is one of the most isolated places on earth and is famous for the large intriguing statues which were carved by ancient people to bear

OK is a common

resemblance to human heads. Archaeological research indicates that Easter Island was first inhabited by Polynesians. Scientists believe that these early inhabitants carved the island's Moai—believed to be religious symbols—from volcanic rock, and then pulled them to their different locations

Another example of mysterious location is Stonehenge. This ancient English site is a collection of large stones arranged in two circles-one inside the other. Research suggests that it may have been designed and built by an ancient religious group for one of two purposes: either as a sacred temple or as an observatory to study the sky. Scientists believe that the enormous stones were transported from places around the country to their present site. Engineers estimate that approximately 600 people were needed to transport each stone from its point of origin. Scientists consider this a remarkable feat in that time that is not accounted significant regarding today's equipment.

Choose the single best answer marked A, B, C, or D.

1. The ............... between the two structures was

remarkable.

a. resembling

b. resemblance

c. resemble

d. resembled

2. Elderly people easily become socially..............

a. isolation

b. isolated

c. isolate

d. isolationism

3. What is meant by the word prehistoric civilization?

a. those who lived in the period of time in history before information was written down

b. those who lived in the period of time in history when information was written down

c. those who live in the modern age

d. those who lived in the Middle Ages

4. The best title for this passage is:

a. Mystery Tours

b. Spectacular Civilization

c. Spectacular Places

d. Easter Island

5. What is meant by the word intriguing?

a. shocking

b. interesting

c. boring

d. tiring

Passage 2

Read the following passage then choose the right answer:

Today we went to the movies; before the movies began we watched many previews. There was a multicolour bird in the movie. The bird got into trouble. He would always misbehave. He would easily bored and express their frustration in a variety of ways. In addition to screaming, other indications of boredom include biting, fits of jealousy, feather-picking, overeating, refusing to eat and destroying objects within reach. He would attack the furniture, woodwork, telephone cord, computer keyboards or any other object she can sink her beak into. He would tell his friends things that were untrue. He always turned in work that was incomplete. His teacher would make him redo his incomplete work. His nonfiction books were often overdue. The bird was never thankful to anyone who helped him.

Multi-coloured bird is social creature, and he need to be included in the activities of the human flock. Bonding with a favourite human is important. You are the master of the flock, and it's up to you to set boundaries and provide opportunities for exercise, play and mental stimulation. Isolation can turn a potentially wonderful pet bird into either a screeching, biting menace or a quiet, obsessed feather picker.

1. What is meant by the word multicolored?

a. having many different colors

b. having only one color

c. having only two different colors

d. having no colors

2. I was.......................to make any sort of progress

at all.

a. thanks

b. thankful

c. thankfulness

d. thankfully

3. What does he refer to in line 3?

a. teacher

b. actor

c. bird

d. producer

4.What is meant by the word incomplete?

a. not completely finished

b. completely finished

c. all the work has been completed.

d. the work is finished

5. It can be concluded from the passage that

a. multicolored bird behaved very well

b. multicolored bird complete his works

c. multicolored bird always tell the truth

d. multicolored bird always got in trouble. Passage 3

Read the following passage then choose the right answer:

In the West, a bath is a place one goes to cleanse the body. In Japan, one goes there to cleanse the soul. The Japanese Bath delves into the aesthetic of bathing Japanese style and the innate beauty of the steps surrounding the process. The book includes sixty full-color photos that guide you how to create a Japanese bath in your own home.

Enjoying a Japanese bath is an unique cultural experience. For first timers it may be a little intimidating, but once you get used to it, the Japanese bath often becomes an addiction; relaxing, healing, and regenerating its followers.

For the Japanese, a bath is not just a way to get clean. It is also a way to relax and recover from a stressful day. In Japan, in fact, people like to take very long, hot baths. While they are in the bathtub, they like to listen to music or read books. However, reading in the bathtub can be a problem sometimes, as water and books do not get along very well. With this problem in mind, a Japanese company has begun selling special "bath" books.

1. What does recover mean?

a. to become stressed after a hot bath

b. to get sick after a hot bath

c. to get tired after hard work

d. to feel better after hard work

2. The word "stressful" means:

a. a situation that makes you worry a lot

b. a situation that makes you relax

c. a situation that makes you calm

d. a situation that makes you happy

3. The prefix "re" in the word recovers means:

a. not

b. again

c. the opposite of

d. between

4. Who wants to sell a special " bath" books

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a. A American company.

b. A Japanese company.

c. A British company

d. A Chinese company.

5. The best title for this passage is:

a. Japanese Bath

b. Chinese bath

c. Japanese house

d. American bath

Section Three (15 marks)

Fill in the blanks with a suitable word that completes the meaning.

1- ...... is not just taking care of kids, it is love

and patience.

2- His...............to walk after his accident made

him feel depressed.

3- Norton is a...............program that keeps the

computer safe.

4- They were talking about education. I enjoyed listening to their...............

5- The ............... forced them to practice

exercises.

6- We have to...............the oven before putting

the cake.

7- I want to sleep. I'll...........of the light.

8- She is an...............person. She always obeys

her father.

9- He was in the intensive care. He must be very.......

10- He is very rude. He always..................his sister.

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