New Perspectives in Science Education

Edition 13

Accepted Abstracts

Information sequencing as a strategy for science texts analysis

Marta Tryzna, Gulf University for Science and Technology (Kuwait)


Reading comprehension is a complex process requiring the synthesis of linguistic skills (phonological, morphological, syntactic, semantic, orthographic) as well as world knowledge and metacognitive strategies in order to integrate multiple strands of information and features of a text on order to construct meaning. For students at all levels, the construction and communication of meaning is a critical goal of education (Israel & Duffy 2009), particularly at tertiary level where learning takes place through comprehension and production of texts. Many effective reading comprehension strategies have been proposed (Pressley 2006), including those for ESL learners (Anderson 2003).  Strategies typically involve combining skills-based and metacognitive approaches in the context of highly motivating environments where text comprehension serves a pedagogical purpose (Çakıcı 2017). The present study evaluates the effectiveness of using information sequencing patterns in scientific texts to  facilitate the reading comprehension process. The participants are undergraduates (N=72) from various majors at an English-medium private university in Kuwait (native language Arabic). The study follows a pretest-posttest design, with one experimental and one control group. The intervention between the pre- and posttest involves explicit training of the experimental group to recognize and apply information sequencing patterns used in science texts, which are different from the IMRD model. All participants are asked to use four metacognitive strategies (inferring, clarifying, questioning, summarizing) in reading multiple documents and in Internet and hypertext reading. The English proficiency level and reading speed are controlled for. Both groups complete a questionnaire to evaluate the strategies used during the comprehension process. The results can enhance pedagogical approaches to the construction and communication of meaning based on scientific information, which can benefit all students, particularly those with English as a second language. The study allows the reconceptualization of the construction of symbolic meaning as one of the most important competencies that students can master (Pressley & Gaskins 2006) and supports a view of reading comprehension as a dynamic, multidimensional process.

Keywords Reading comprehension strategies, science texts, teaching methods 

1. Anderson, N. J. (2003). Teaching Reading. In D. Nunan (Eds.), Practical English Language Teaching (pp. 67-86). New York: McGraw Hill Publishers.
2. Çakıcı, D. (2017). An overview of metacognitive strategies in reading comprehension skill. The Journal of Academic Social Science Studies, 57, 67-82.
3. Israel, S.E., & Duffy, G.G. (Eds.). (2009). Handbook of Research on Reading Comprehension (1st ed.). Routledge.
4. Pressley, M. (2006). Reading instruction that works: The case for balanced teaching (3rd ed.). Guilford Press.
5. Pressley, M. & Gaskins, I.W. (2006) Metacognitively competent reading comprehension is constructively responsive reading: how can such reading be developed in students? Metacognition Learning 1: 99–113.

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