Can Cognitive Strategies be Incorporated in a Critical Reading Course?

Nizar Kamal Ibrahim


This study examined the effect of training in cognitive reading strategies in the context of critical literacy. Thirty students enrolled in a critical analysis course at a Lebanese university participated in the study. For three months, the participants received instruction based on a critical literacy model during which they were trained in summarizing, paraphrasing, using key words and discourse markers to find details and guessing meaning from context so that they comprehend the texts and read them critically. The Mixed Research Method was used in the study. In the quantitative part, the One-group, Posttest Pretest design was employed. For qualitative data, all the participants filled out a questionnaire. Eleven participants were interviewed, before which they filled out a survey. Also some class interaction was documented. The study also examined how students engaged texts critically, but this data was not presented in this report, which only discusses the results related to the targeted reading strategies. Statistical analysis showed a significant improvement in paraphrasing and summarizing but not in answering detail questions and guessing meaning from context. The qualitative data revealed interesting insights into why students did well in the first two strategies and badly in the last two ones.

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