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Research report

The impact of the explicit teaching of reading strategies

Reading motivation in teenagers tends to decline steadily from the end of elementary school until the end of secondary school. Decreased motivation leads to reduced reading pleasure and a lower reading rate, which hinders the development of reading proficiency. To develop teenagers' reading ability, many studies have shown the effectiveness of explicit teaching of reading strategies for developing student motivation and proficiency.

Only teachers who often taught reading strategies cause changes among their students.

Our research project aimed to study the impact of teacher training in explicit reading strategy instruction on the practices of secondary French teachers and on student motivation, strategy use and reading learning.

Teachers in the experimental group who used explicit instruction on a regular basis saw their students develop a greater sense of self-efficacy and use more comprehension strategies, although their reading scores did not outperform those of the control group. While a single posttest reading assessment did not reveal any impact of this improvement on reading performance, our study shows explicit instruction to have an impact on the central variables in reading learning.

These results highlight the importance of motivation in teachers who engage in a project to change their teaching practices: only teachers who often taught reading strategies caused changes in reading strategy use among their students. Thus, the implementation of explicit teaching in a school environment does not automatically imply an improvement in student attitude and learning if the teachers' practices do not significantly change.


Main researcher: Érick Falardeau, Université Laval

Original title: L'impact d'une démarche d'enseignement explicite des stratégies de lecture sur la compétence et la motivation d'élèves du secondaire

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