Factors Contributing to Low Performance in English Reading Comprehension in Selected Secondary Schools of Lusaka District
Keywords: Reading comprehension, poor reading, poor performance, post reading, independent reading, loud reading, comprehension text, reading ability, intensive reading, extensive reading.
AbstractThis article investigated factors contributing to low performance in English reading comprehension among Grade 8 pupils in three selected secondary schools of Lusaka District of Zambia. The study employed the descriptive research design under qualitative mode of inquiry to gather information from (27) participants who were selected using typical case and convenient sampling. Data was collected through comprehension lesson observation, interviews, and focus group discussion with in-service teachers and learners. Content analysis was used to analyse data by categorizing similar content, coded themes, and key words to emerging threads. The findings of the study revealed that there were multiple factors contributing to low performance in reading comprehension which included lack of knowledge by some teachers on the procedure for teaching reading comprehension and therefore, taught poorly. Some pupils had challenges reading comprehension text due to illiteracy, lack of understanding, limited fluency, aliteracy, low reading culture, limited vocabulary, poor motivation, limited reading time in class against long passages, inappropriate teaching methods by the teacher and lack of learning and teaching materials. In order to improve on the challenges in reading comprehension, the study recommended that schools should have frequent Continuous Professional Developments on how to teach comprehension. Teachers should also make sure that teaching and learning materials are relevant to the grade levels. Appropriate teaching methods should also be used for comprehension lessons to promote quality and effective teaching and learning. The Ministry of Education should build libraries in schools to support the reading culture and schools should have a reading hour every day of the week.