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THE EFFECTS OF RECIPROCAL TEACHING ON ENGLISH READING - page 118 / 233

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Scaffolding and explicit instruction.

The students in the reciprocal teaching group improved their reading

comprehension and metacognitive strategies following the teacher’s scaffolding. They

reached a high level of ability with the help of the teacher (Pressley, 2002; Rogoff, 1990;

Pearson & Fielding, 1991; and Graves & Graves, 2003). In reciprocal teaching, the

teachers support their students’ development through explicit instruction. This type of

instruction transfers the metacognitive strategies from the teacher to the students. (Vacca

& Vacca, 1989). Explicit instruction helps students understand the rationale behind the

use of the four main strategies. It shows them what to do, as well as why, how, and when

to do it. In other words, explicit instruction helps them internalize the four main strategies

and increase their metacognitive awareness. It also assists them in developing

independent strategies for coping with reading comprehension breakdown (Vacca &

Vacca, 1989).

In this study, the teacher discussed what the four key strategies are and why they

are important. Following this, she demonstrated how and when to use them. Then, the

students practiced each of them as the teacher modeled a mixture of the four strategies

and the procedure of reciprocal teaching, showing what strategies to use, and how and

when to use them in the reading passage. She then transferred the leading role to the

students, something that helped them to be less dependent on her (Maloch, 2002). Finally,

the students worked in cooperative groups in which they were able to apply the four main

strategies; this helped them master the self-monitoring strategies (Dewitz, Carr &

Patbery, 1987). As a result, they were able to internalize the strategies and take

responsibility for their own reading.

Regarding the dialogues between the leader and the other members of the working

groups, the participants in the experimental group knew the roles they had to play and

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