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Chapter 1

THE PROBLEM AND ITS BACKGROUND

This chapter includes the purpose and background of the study,

conceptual framework, and theoretical framework, statement of the problem,

hypothesis, scope and limitation and definition of terms.

Background and Purpose of the Study

Reading comprehension is a crucial instrument for communication and

gathering information. It is an important tool that guides education and open

doors that allow imagination and creativity to flow.

The ability to see and understand written or printed language is called

reading. People who cannot read are said to be illiterate, or unlettered. The

ability to read is one of the foundation skills in all industrialized societies. In such

societies written language is the chief means of transmitting culture and the

benefits of the civilization from one generation to another.1

Reading is a means of language acquisition, of communication, and of

sharing information and ideas. Like all language, it is a complex interaction

between the text and the reader which is shaped by the readers prior knowledge,

experiences, attitude and language community which is culturally and socially

situated. The reading process requires continuous practices, development and

refinement.2

One of the importance of reading is, it develops mind. The mind is the

muscle that needs exercise. Understanding the written word is one way the mind
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grows in its ability. Teaching young reader to read helps them develop their

language skills. It also helps them learn to listen. Reading helps children (and

adults) focus on what someone else is communicating. 3

Moreover, it is fundamental in developing a good self-image. Non-readers

or poor-readers often have low opinions of themselves and their abilities. Many

times they feel as if the world is against them.4

Because they could not read and understand the material, they perform

poorly in other subject. Also, non-readers or poor readers tend to feel isolated

and weak.

The study of Escaborte on the reading abilities and study habits of the

students revealed that students with good study habits have an excellent reading

performance and those students with poor study habits have poor reading

performance.5

Through reading, students learn to think. Books and other reading

materials are not only record conversation. They have certain order and

structures that give students sense of sequence.6

Thus, students learn to organize the disordered information that the text

have given. They arrange their thoughts in different ways, students learn to relate

different ideas while reading.

Oliver Wendell Holmes described reading as reasoning. He believes that

the power and speed of reading can adequately explain the act of reading. Power

of reading means the power to read, comprehend and apply relatively difficult
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textbook material. It includes the ability to grasp the central thought and the

details to get an idea that is expressed in several sentences and to interpret

content and draw inferences, all from single texts paragraphs. Speed of reading

denotes comprehension rate on fiction and factual materials. 7

Moreover, it plays a crucial role in persons overall state of well-being. A

child who falls to read at an acceptance level is bound to encountered difficulties

in performing school related tasks and may eventually be unable to reach full

potential.8

Through reading, the students develop their language skills. It helps the

students to listen and enhance their communication skills that lead them to

perform well in school.

Article XIV, Section 1, of the Philippine Constitution


states that: The state shall protect and promote the right of
all citizens to quality education at all levels, and shall take
appropriate steps to make such education accessible to all.
In addition, based on R.A. No. 10533 also known as The
Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013, Section II states
that: Develop productive and responsible citizens equipped
with the essential competencies, skills and values for both
life-long learning and employment.9
The legal basis of the study aimed to let every students develop or explore

their skills which is reading. Enhanced skills as reading could also be a way for

the students to perform well in school.

The basic aspects of reading, such as word recognition, phonetics and

fluency, can be mastered in just a few years. However, throughout this process

reading comprehension must be emphasized. Students may be able to

eloquently repeat the words they see on a page all day, but without reading
4

comprehension skills, theyre unable to fully understand the content, predict what

will happen next, recognize characters, gain insight or understanding to build

upon, or relate what theyre reading to their own lifes experience. 10

The students may be able to sound the word out, but that the extent of

their ability. They have no skills to grasp the concept and idea of the written text.

Whether to learn new knowledge discover a new skill, or for pure pleasure of

reading, Reading comprehension is necessary.11

Based on Harris and Hodges of 1995, Comprehension is defined as

intentional thinking during which meaning is constructed through interaction

between text and reader. Thus, readers derive meaning from text when they

engage in intentional, problem solving thinking process. 12

When readers actively relate the ideas of the text to their own knowledge

and experiences, and construct mental representations in memory,

comprehension is truly enhanced.

In addition, as defined by Grabe of 1991, it is a combination of

identification and interpretation skills. More than just reinforcement of oral

communication, fluent reading is done when new information interacts with

previous knowledge. As important as previous schemata are, unknown

vocabulary can leave a reader at a loss of what to do. 13

According to McDonough and Shaw, becoming a fluent reader involves

finding connections to ones own life and making new information part of ones

own knowledge. The development of principled flexible skills that can be applied
5

to different reading tasks is one of the most effective things from a reading

class.14

Based on Perfetti, Marron and Folz of 1996, the factors that contribute to

reading comprehension are divided into two general areas: processes that

involve decoding, working memory, inference-making and comprehension

monitoring, and knowledge factors that include word meanings and domain

knowledge related to the content of what is being read. 15

These factors provide a framework for thinking about current trends in

reading comprehension instructional research. Based on Pressley of 2000, much

of the research over the past several years has focused on the teaching of

specific comprehension strategies that reflect those used by good readers. 16

Because text comprehension, in part, relies on proficient decoding, the

relation between childrens listening and reading comprehension grows stronger

as they grow older and more fluent.

According to Carlisle and Rice (2003), reading and listening

comprehension grow more similar by about fifth grade compared to earlier grade

for both good and poor readers. Good word readers are able to read a lot. The

consequences of reading well include maximal exposure to new words and

phrases, opportunities to read different types of texts, and practice monitoring

ones understanding. 17

In contrast, based on Baker & Wigfried of 1999, poor word readers remain

at the mercy of their word reading difficulties. As a result of not reading, they fail
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to learn many new words, do not develop proficiency in understanding texts, and

often learn to dislike reading.18

In addition, poor reading skill is manifested with poor comprehension and

wrong pronunciations, among other problems. If no proper intervention is

administered early, it could affect the academic, social, and psychological

development of the child.19

On the other hand, Good Readers can understand the individual

sentences and the organizational structure of a piece of writing. They can

comprehend ideas, follow arguments, and detect implications. They know most

of the words in the text already, but they can also determine the meaning of

many of the unfamiliar words from the context- failing this, they can use their

dictionary effectively to do so. In summary, good readers can extract from the

writing, what is important for the particular task they are employed in, and they

can do it quickly.20

Educational researchers have also found a strong correlation between

reading vocabulary knowledge. In other words, students who have vocabulary

are usually good readers. This is not very surprising, since the best way to

acquire a large vocabulary is to read extensively, and if you read extensively you

are likely to be or become a good reader.21

Reading comprehension is important tool that guides education and open

doors that allow imagination and creativity to flow.


7

With regards to poor comprehension, the SUHAY (Strengthening

Underperformers and Handling Alleviation to Youth) project is an extension

program of the College of Education of University of Rizal System-Morong which

helps the researchers in facilitating the learning of their respondents as well as

improving their level of comprehension in reading.

From the research on the comprehension and metacognition strategies,

as summarized in the reading comprehension handbook on reading, skilled

comprehenders use metacognitive strategies significantly more often than less

skilled readers. Less skilled comprehenders were significantly less likely to make

inferences from text even with the equal background knowledge.

This supports the notion that comprehension requires flexible

simultaneous consideration of multiple elements. The extent to which children

slow down their reading on encountering inconsistent is a significant predictor of

comprehension.22

Everyone-parents and politicians has an opinion on whats important in

reading instruction. Often the debate centers on phonics. Some people believe

that phonics is the most important factor because students need to be able to

decode the words theyre reading, but others consider phonics to be less

important than comprehension because the purpose of reading is to make

meaning from text.23


8

This study supported the facts stated above and it was conducted for the

reasons that it will help the Grade 8 Underachievers to enhance their knowledge

in terms of reading comprehension and it served as a great experience and

preparation of the researchers for their student teaching next semester.

Theoretical Framework

This study is anchored on Lev Vygotskys Sociocultural Theory which

places emphasis on two concepts, the zone of proximal development and

scaffolding. The zone of proximal development, commonly referred to as ZPD, is

an important principle of Vygotskys work. ZPD is defined as the range of tasks

that a child can perform with the help and guidance of others but cannot yet

perform independently.

Within the zone of proximal development there are two levels. The first

level is the Actual Development Level. This is the upper limit of tasks that one

can perform independently. The second level is the Level of Potential

Development. This is the upper limit of tasks that one can perform with the

assistance of a more competent individual. Vygotsky viewed the zone of proximal

development as the area where the most sensitive instruction or guidance should

occur. This would allow the child to develop skills to use on his or her own to

develop higher mental functions.

Scaffolding is the second concept of focus. Scaffolding is directly related

to zone of proximal development. It is the support mechanism that helps a

learner successfully perform a task within his or her ZPD.


9

In this study, the researchers act as the scaffolding wherein during the

tutorial sessions, they served as guide to the Grade 8 Underachievers to develop

their level of comprehension using the enrichment activities and the instructional

materials and to enhance the knowledge of the respondents.

Conceptual Framework

This study entitled, Reading Comprehension of Grade 8 Students of

Morong National High School, used the Coombs System Approach that consists

of three frames namely; the input, process and output, where the students were

involved in the process of the study.

The first frame or the input frame includes the topics about the reading

comprehension and education, and this includes The Singa, Bumboat Cruise on

the Singapore River, The Changing Morals of Korean Students and selection for

the pre-test and post-test.

The second frame or the process frame includes the development of the

selection for the pre-test and post-test, determining the level of reading

comprehension of the Grade 8 Underachievers, execution of pre-test and post-

test and lastly, the computation, analysis and interpretation of data.

The third frame or the output frame includes the Reading Comprehension

of Grade 8 Students of Morong National High School determined.

The feedback line states continuous process evolving in each frame

presented in the study. This explains that whatever the result is, it will go back

from the start for further improvement to achieve the objectives of the study.
10

INPUT PROCESS OUTPUT


Topics about the Development of the Reading

level of reading selection for pre-test Comprehension of

comprehension and and post-test Grade 8 students


Determining the level
education. of Morong National
The Singa of reading
Bumboat Cruise on High School
comprehension of
the Singapore River determined.
The Changing the Grade 8

Morals of Korean Underachievers


Execution of pre-test
Students
Selection for the pre- and post-test
Computation,
test and post-test.
analysis and

interpretation of data

FEEDBACK

Figure 1

Conceptual Model Showing the Reading Comprehension of Grade 8 Students of


Morong National High School
11

Statement of the Problem

The study determined the reading comprehension of Grade 8 students of

Morong National High School.

Specifically, it sought answers to the following questions:

1. What is the level of comprehension in reading of the Grade 8

Underachievers in terms of pre-test and post-test results with respect to

the following topics:


1.1 The Singa;
1.2 Bumboat Cruise on the Singapore River; and
1.3 The Changing Morals of Korean Students?
2. Is there a significant difference on the level of comprehension in reading of

the Grade 8 Underachievers in terms of pre-test and post-test results with

respect to the following topics:


2.1 The Singa;
2.2 Bumboat Cruise on the Singapore River; and
2.3 The Changing Morals of Korean Students?
3. What are the difficulties encountered by the Grade 8 Underachievers in

terms of reading comprehension?

Hypothesis

This study tested the null hypothesis that there is no significant difference

between the level of comprehension in reading of the Grade 8 Underachievers of

Morong National High School in terms of pre-test and post-test results.

Scope and Limitation

This study utilized the experimental method of research. The study

focused on determining the reading comprehension of the Grade 8


12

Underachievers of Morong National High School. The respondents were consist

of selected Grade 8 students in Morong National High School who are having a

low performance in class, specifically in English subject. The study was

conducted on January 14, 2016 after the principal signed the letter and ended on

March 11, 2016. The main reason for conducting the study was it would help the

Grade 8 Underachievers to enhance their knowledge in terms of reading

comprehension.

To determine the respondents reading comprehension, the researchers

conducted tutorial sessions involving the 3 rd quarter lessons in English and a

researchers made test was administered and consisted of questions and

activities. The questionnaire has two components. Part 1 is a pre-test which will

determine the respondents familiarization with the assigned topic to be

discussed on the tutorial sessions. Part 2 is a post-test that will determine the

outcome or the competence of the respondents in reading comprehension after

the tutorial sessions were held.

Definition of Terms
13

The following terms were defined conceptually and operationally for a

clearer understanding of the study.

Comprehension. In this study the term refers the ability of the

underachievers to understand the meaning of text or an idea.

Decoding. This term refers to the ability to use visual, syntactic or

semantic cues to make meaning from words and sentences. 24

Inference. This refers to the idea thats drawn from evidence and

reasoning.

Grade 8 Underachievers. As used in the study, this term refers to students

who have a weighted average of below 75 during the first and second quarter

and they are categorized by their teachers in English subject as Underachievers.

Intervention. This refers to care provided to improve the situation.

Metacognition. This refers to the higher thinking that enables, analysis,

and control of ones cognitive process.25

Phonics. This refers to the one approach to reading instruction that

teaches students the principles of letter-sound relationships, how to sound out

words, and exceptions to the principle. 26

Post-test. In this study, this term refers to a test given to the

underachievers after the discussion of the selected topics in reading

comprehension and the enrichment activities.


14

Pre-test. As used in the study, this term refers to a test given to the

underachievers before the discussion of the selected topics in reading

comprehension.

Schema. This refers to the readers background knowledge.

Trends. This refers to the pattern of gradual change in a condition, output

or process.
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Notes

1
Reading "Compton's of Britannica" Vol. 20
2
Evangeline DS. Herrera et al. The Level of Reading Comprehension
Skills of Grade III Pupils Exposed to Audio-Visual Materials and Printed
Materials: A Vomparative Analysis, Undergraduate Thesis, Morong Rizal,
2013.
3
Learn to Read
www.learn-to-read-prine-george.com/why-is-reading-important.html
4
Learn to Read
5
Janine DV. Baustista et. al "The Factors Affecting The Levels of
Comprehension of Fourth Year High School Students in San Guillermo
National High School" Undergraduate Thesis, Morong Rizal, 2011.
6
Janine DV. Baustista et. al.
7
Jenny C. Apanon et. al Levels of Reading Comprehension in
Selected Literary Pieces of Junior Students in San Roque National High
School Undergraduate Thesis, Morong, Rizal, 2011.
8
Gilda M. Vargas et. al The Level of Comprehension of Grade Three
Pupils of Darangan Elementary School Using Story Telling Approach
Undergraduate Thesis, Morong, Rizal, 2012.

9
Jose N. Nolledo, Philippine Constitution, Article XIV, Section 1, 1987.
10
Jenny C. Apanon et.al
11
"Education Corner" http://www.educationcorner.com/reading-
comprehension.html
12
"Reading Rockets" www.readingrockets.org/helping/target/phonics
13
The Reading Matrix www.readingmatrix.com/article/landry
14
The Reading Matrix
15
Education.com, Inc.
www.education.com/reference/article/current-issues-reading-
comprehension/July20,2010
16
Education.com, Inc.
17
Education.com, Inc.
18
Education.com, Inc.
16

19
"Social Science Research Network"
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2282646
20
"Frankfurt International School"
http://esl.fis.edu/parents/advice/read.htm
21
"Frankfurt International School"
22
Granted, and..." https://grantwiggins.wordpress.com/2015/03/26/on-
reading-part-4-research-on-the-comprehension-strategies-a-closer-look/
23
"Education.com" http://www.education.com/reference/article/current-
issues-reading-comprehension/
24
"ASCD" www.ascd.org/publications/books/103316/chapters/phonics-
and-decoding.aspx
25
"Dictionary.com" www.dictionary.com/browse/metacognition
26
Reading Rockets www.readingrockets.org/helping/target/phoenicss