An Assessment of Students’ Reading Ability in Higher Institution: A Case Study of Asela College of Teacher Education, Asela, Oromia, Ethiopia
Keywords:Reading ability, Strategies, Accuracy, Automaticity, Reading Speed
Prompted by increased concern about the problems of education quality, this study was carried out to investigate the reading ability of English major students of Asela College of Teacher Education (ACTE). To achieve this objective, third year English major students of the College were purposively selected. Both quantitative and qualitative data were obtained from the respondents through Reading Achievement Tests, Strategies and Reading Ability Questionnaire and Structured Retrospective Interview. The study mainly focused on the students’ ability to identify the main ideas and details, explicitly stated and implied information, the purpose and the tone of authors in five different reading genres: dialogues, directions, article, essays, and poems. The overall result of the study showed that 91.3% of ACTE students were “frustrational readers” and exclusively limited to bottom-up approaches to reading. In other words they answered the test questions below 70% correctly in reading comprehension tests. Moreover, almost half of the students could not answer above 50% in the comprehension questions. Therefore, the prescriptions for the solution to the problem lies in bringing about improvement in the students’ reading ability to identify the main ideas and details, explicitly stated and implied information, the purpose and the tone of authors in different reading genres: dialogues, articles, essays, directions and poem.
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