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THE EFFECTS OF RECIPROCAL TEACHING ON ENGLISH READING - page 16 / 233

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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

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