Common Shortcomings In Reading

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An important aspect of teacher development is providing learners with guidance and necessary tools in becoming accomplished language learners. Understanding common shortcomings allow teachers to increase learners´ reading proficiency through correct instruction. This entails identifying common weaknesses and taking advantage of them by producing effective instructional material. As the fundamental characteristics of informational texts can lead to comprehension failure and few have addressed common structural and syntactic features affecting understanding, it is necessary to draw together previously identified issues and recent developments regarding the complex structural characteristics of perplexing sentences to evaluate the effect they…show more content…
However, reading is a complex process and complicated further by the specificities and complex sentence structures of informational texts vastly affecting their readability, especially when reading in a second language as it often presents additional challenges for L2 learners to overcome. As learners progress, they are exposed more frequently to academically written texts, informational texts, for the purpose of preparing them for future studies at higher academic levels. However, the informational characteristics of academic language differ considerably from informal narrative conventions (Hyland, 2003). New text-level features may cause problems as word order, longer sentences, density, subordination, and conjunctions influence the reading process and overall comprehension of what is being conveyed (Scott & Balthazar, 2010). For this reason, it is important to identify syntactic difficulties as a specific language weakness and introduce alternative teaching methods in order to strengthen learners´ literacy in reading complicated…show more content…
Milton (2009) points out that research on the effects of grammar is mostly carried out by grammatical researchers who are more interested in grammar than vocabulary learning, while vocabulary researchers focus their attention specifically on vocabulary. Generally, or as Grabe (2009) mentions, the role of grammar is not a common topic in books which deal with aspects of reading. A possible consequence of its insignificance may be demonstrated in the fact that teachers and researchers rarely discuss the need to connect grammar instruction with increasing comprehension. Mainly because there is little acknowledgment of how grammar per se strengthens comprehension (Fender, 2001; Grabe 2005, 2009). Yet multiple structural characteristics of complex sentences are known to cause difficulty in understanding. A striking feature of complex sentences is their distinctiveness in containing an independent clause and at least one dependent (subordinate) clause. While an independent clause has the ability to stand alone as a sentence, a subordinate clause cannot, e.g. adverbial, adjectival, and nominal. However, when long-distance dependencies are added by way of center-embedding a relative clause into a sentence (e.g. interrupting the main clause and verb) the complexity level is increased to the extent of misconception or comprehension failure. Other fundamental characteristics defining
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