Explicit reading strategy instruction or daily use of strategies? Studying the teaching of reading comprehension through naturalistic classroom observation in English L2

Research paper by Lisbeth M. Brevik

Indexed on: 07 May '19Published on: 07 May '19Published in: Reading and Writing


Research suggests that developing deep understanding of text requires sustained emphasis on reading comprehension instruction and scaffolded strategy practices. However, although research has shown explicit teaching of reading comprehension strategies to be effective, we know little about whether strategy instruction and use are part of “daily life” in classrooms (Pearson, & Cervetti, 2017). The present study analyses 60 video recorded English as a second language (L2) lessons in seven lower secondary schools in Norway, across two school years (9th and 10th grade) based on The Protocol for Language Arts Teaching Observation. The article investigates the types of text-based reading comprehension instruction and strategy use that goes on in these classrooms. Key findings show that teachers engage their students in reading comprehension instruction of narrative and expository texts more than half the time, offering guided strategy practice based on student needs, and encouraging daily use of known reading comprehension strategies, instead of explicitly teaching new ones. These are powerful examples of successful reading comprehension instruction, and show that when English teachers prioritise reading comprehension instruction, they use authentic L2 texts to develop and scaffold critical literacy and metadiscursive awareness.