What does the reading comprehension and reading strategy use profile of the Grade11 ESL learners portray? Do learners in the experimental group who received strategic reading instruction attain statistically and practically significantly higher scores on the reading comprehension test and do they differ significantly in terms of their use of reading strategies?
How readers extract meaning from a text has long been a focus of attention because the process of extracting meaning gives learners invaluable information about readers’ cognitive processes during reading (Salataci & Akyel 2002).
In addition, studies conducted on reading instruction and reading strategies indicate that strategy instruction with a focus on comprehension monitoring can help less skilled readers overcome their difficulties in reading (Franco-Fuenmayor, Kandel-Cisco & Padron 2008; Salataci & Akyel 2002; Pretorius 2002; Grabe & Stoller 2002; Granville 2001; Anderson 1999).
In addition, Oxford (1990) points out that it appears that successful language students have the ability to orchestrate and combine particular types of strategies in effective ways according to their own learning needs.
The literature on strategy instruction has shown that there are two different approaches to teaching reading strategies.
These are explicit instruction and implicit instruction.
Moreover, reading is the cornerstone of instruction for all learners regardless of their ability level because it sets the foundation for future progress and success in virtually all other facets of life (Scott 2010; Luckner & Handley 2008).
However, poor reading comprehension is cited as a fundamental feature of academic underperformance in South Africa (Pretorius 2002; Granville 2001; Dreyer 1998).
In recent years, there has been an increased focus on reading instruction in primary, secondary and higher education (Lei 2010).
The literature has shown that comprehension strategy instruction, including multiple reading strategies, have been justified in being beneficial to helping learners become strategic readers and improve their reading comprehension (Klapwijk 2012; Medina 2011; Fan 2010; Antoniou & Souvignier 2007) .