including classes of a large size, limited reading strategies, and the methods of teaching
reading comprehension in Thai classrooms (Chandavimol, 1998; Mejang, 2004). For
example, Ratanakul (1998) stated that a Thai reading classroom counts about 50 students,
so in such a large class the teacher cannot interact with each student and learners have
little opportunity for a consultation with the teacher about their reading difficulties and
for assistance with their specific reading problems.
In addition, the findings from Ratanakul’s study have revealed that Thai students do
not know how to solve problems when struggling with difficult texts, or when lacking
background knowledge. They do not know how to work through their reading difficulties
to get the full meaning from the reading texts. These struggling students might not be
aware of these difficulties, they might lack the proper repertoire of reading strategies, and
they might not know how to apply reading strategies effectively to improve their reading
comprehension. They were never exposed to systematic training in reading strategies.
According to studies from Chandavimol (1998) and Mejang (2004), all this contributes in
making the learners uninterested in reading in English.
Most importantly, the method of teaching English reading comprehension in the
Thai classrooms is based on translation from English into Thai instead of based on a
reading process which would help the readers construct meaning from a text. This
traditional instruction has failed to develop Thai students’ abilities to comprehend English
texts or to interpret them meaningfully (Chandavimol, 1998; Soonthornmanee, 2002)
because reading is more than just a receptive skill through which the readers learn new
words and translate sentences or a whole text word by word into their native language. It is
thus essential to clarify the reading process and its nature, what reading is, and how
proficient readers engage in the reading process and comprehend a text so that a full