1.1 Research Background
With the development of our society and the increasing level of internationalization,reading English books has been widely approved by schools,families,and society as aneffective way to enlighten the mind,improve English proficiency,and enhanceintercultural communication skills.Concepts such as picture book reading and gradedreading have become popular in the research and practice of English reading instructionin primary and secondary schools.As a supplement and extension of textbook reading,it is necessary to carry out the whole book reading teaching to expand students’readingquantity and enrich their reading experience.
The concept of“whole book reading teaching”comes from Chinese.Krashen(2004),the prominent linguist,has also pointed out the importance of book reading forstudents to improve their reading skills in the book:The power of reading:insights fromthe research.Generally speaking,whole book reading is the reading of a completebooklet as opposed to the reading of short chapters,which requires holistic planning anddesign(Zhang Jinxiu,2019).Perfetti(2003)states that the cognitive processes ofreading in English and East Asian languages are essentially similar.Therefore,English reading is well-positioned to enrich students’reading experiences by drawing on theconcept of whole book reading in Chinese.Therefore,English reading can absolutelydraw on the whole book reading concept of language subjects to enrich students'readingexperience.At the same time,in recent years,domestic publishers have introduceddifferent series of English bridging books or original books,which also providepowerful resources for primary and secondary schools to carry out whole book readingteaching.
1.2 Research Purpose and Significance
Scaffolding instruction arises from constructivism,which itself has a scientifictheoretical system and an important guiding role in educational teaching practice.Applying scaffolding instruction theory in English whole book reading teaching injunior high schools can enrich the theory system of scaffolding instruction and beconducive to improving the effectiveness of whole book reading teaching.
Theoretically,this research is guided by scaffolding instruction theory and based on constructivism and zone of proximal development theory.It advocates thedevelopment of students’ability of independent learning and collaborative learning inteaching,which is highly compatible with the concept of English core competencies Itis consistent with the idea of“whole book reading teaching”which advocatescultivating students'good reading habits and improving the ability to read whole books.The application of scaffolding instruction in whole book reading teaching providescertain theoretical guidance and practical reference for whole book reading teaching.
Chapter TwoLiterature Review
2.1 Related Concepts
The related concepts of this thesis contain reading literacy,whole book reading andscaffolding instruction,which can make clear the essential concepts mentioned in thestudy.
2.1.1 Definition of Reading Literacy
The concept of reading literacy was first introduced in 1997 by the Organizationfor Economic Co-operation and Development(OPCD)and the Program forInternational Student Assessmentm(PISA),of which reading literacy was one of themain areas tested.PISA also defined them as“the development of knowledge andpotential for achieving personal goals,participating in social activities and theunderstanding,use,reflection and active engagement with texts”(OECD,2013).Therefore,reading literacy,in a literal sense,involved not only the activity of“reading”but also the academic and moral qualities of a person.
Based on international reading assessment programs,different scholars in Chinaand abroad also defined the connotation of reading literacy.Sulganova Tamasova(2016)argued that reading literacy was the result of a competency process in which learners could acquire reading knowledge,skills,and abilities.At the end of the last century,Warwick Elley(1992)summarized the first definition of reading literacy based on anEnglish reading experiment:“reading literacy is the ability to understand and usewritten language that is personally valuable or socially desirable.”
2 Theoretical Foundations
Scaffolding instruction is a teaching method developed on the basis of the theoryof Vygotsky,which originates from the theory of“zone of proximal development”(ZPD).Therefore,this thesis selects the theory of ZPD and constructivism as theoreticalfoundations to expound the feasibility of using scaffolding instruction in the whole bookreading.At the same time,as a part of the whole language learning approach,wholebook reading is supported by whole language theory.
2.2.1 Zone of Proximal Development
In the 1930s,Vygotsky first introduced the concept of“zone of proximaldevelopment”(ZPD)into psychological research.The theory of ZPD is a crucialguideline for education and teaching practice.It refers to the gap between a child’sexisting level of development to solve problems independently and his or her potentiallevel of development to solve problems under adult guidance or in cooperation withcompetent peers(Raymond,2000).
In other words,teachers should not only consider the existing level of students,butalso arrange the teaching content with a certain degree of difficulty,and this difficultycan be solved by students through their own efforts,so that students can cross thecurrent level and reach a higher level(Pressley,2002).If the difficulty of the content istoo much beyond the students’existing level,the students will not be able to understandand solve the problems,and the teaching will lose its meaning and the students will beafraid of it(Xu Meina,2010).Therefore,teachers should have a clear understanding oftheir students’developmental stages and the kinds of problems they face,so that theteachers can teach the students in advance and guide their development,and connect thedistance between their existing level and higher level.Each student’s knowledge,learning ability and receptivity are different and each student’s ZPD is also different.Moreover,ZPD is a dynamic concept that changes as the learner’s ability increases.Therefore,the teachers need to understand and grasp the situation of each student asmuch as possible,update the situation,and use it as a basis to adjust their teaching(Wang Yuanshuai,2014).
Chapter Three Methodology...............................24
3.1 Research Questions.................................24
3.2 Research Participants...........................24
Chapter Four Results and Discussion........................38
4.1 Results and Discussion of Tests.......................38
4.1.1 Results and Analysis of Pre-test between EC and CC.............................38
4.1.2 Results and Analysis of Post-test between EC and CC............................39
Chapter Five Conclusion...................53
5.1 Major Findings...................................53
Chapter FourResults and Discussion
4.1 Results and Discussion of Tests
In order to answer the second research question“What is the impact of theapplying of scaffolding instruction in whole book reading teaching on students’Englishreading literacy?”Students in both classes are required to finish the pre-test andpost-test.The results and discussion of the pre-test and post-test are presented andanalyzed in this part.
4.1.1 Results and Analysis of Pre-test between EC and CC
The results of the pre-test are analyzed to ascertain the initial level of two classes.The full grade of the pre-test is 50 points.Here are the results(see Table 4.1).
As shown in Table 4.1,there is little difference in mean value between the twoclasses.The mean value of EC is 35.35 and CC is 35.91,and the gap is only 0.56,whichindicates that the difference in mean value between CC and CC is not apparent.And thestudents in the experimental class of English reading grades is slightly lower than the control class.To make the data more statistically significant,the author conductsindependent sample test in EC and CC to verify whether there is a significant differencebetween the two groups.Here are the results.
5.1 Major Findings of this Study
The scaffolding instruction is guided by the zone of proximal developmenttheory and constructivism theory.And it is applied to English whole book readingteaching of the students in Grade 7 of junior high schools by means of questionnaires,interviews and tests.Therefore,the following three conclusions are drawn accordingto the research results.
First and foremost,for the first research question,according to the results of thepre-questionnaire,it can be drawn that the students’reading interests are at a mediumlevel,and it is not difficult for them to accept the whole book reading activities.However,the research data show that most of the students still have some difficultiesin whole book reading such as the lack of scientific book selection,the lack of readingstrategies,the incorrect reading attitude and the low reading frequency and quantity.Therefore,it is of great importance to the researcher to carry out the application ofscaffolding instruction in the whole book reading teaching to help them improve theirEnglish reading ability.
Second,for the second research question,the students’reading ability andreading character make much progress through the application of scaffoldinginstruction in whole book reading teaching.According to the independent sample test results about the pre-test of EC and CC,their average scores are relatively similar.Moreover,the mean value of CC is even slightly higher than that of EC.However,after the experiment,the mean value of EC is apparently higher than that of CC.Alsothrough paired sample test for each group,there is a significant difference in EC.These results prove that the reading ability of EC has been improved after theexperiment.