Enhancing EFL Freshman Students' Reading Skills with Inspirational Quotes

Main Article Content

Reima Al-Jarf

Abstract

Introduction: Many ESL college students have reading comprehension problems in English, such as difficulty understanding ideas explicitly or implicitly stated in a text, making inferences, and inferring meanings of difficult words from context.

Aims: The article proposes the integration of inspirational quotes in the teaching of English to EFL college students as a supplement to in-class instruction and the textbook, and shows the advantages of integrating inspirational quotes in reading instruction.

Materials, Tasks, and Instructional Phases: The article shows the sources of inspirational quotes; criteria for selecting inspirational quotes; reading skills that can be developed with inspirational quotes (literal, inferential, critical comprehension and appreciation; decoding, using phonic, morphological, semantic, and syntactic clues; deriving word meaning from context; understanding certain grammatical structures such as idioms, ellipsis and participial phrases; locating anaphoric relationships and making inferences). The instructor can use a Facebook page, an online course, or an online discussion forum to post the inspirational quotes and tasks. Reading instruction with inspirational quotes goes through three phases: (i) Before reading an inspirational quote, the instructor introduces the inspirational quote, gives a vocabulary overview and pre-questions, and sets goals for the tasks. (ii) While reading an inspirational quote, the students read for the general topic, pay attention to specific vocabulary, imagery and figures of speech, and use contextual clues to infer the meaning of difficult words. (iii) After reading an inspirational quote, the students discuss answers, summarize or retell the topic orally, comment on it, give their impression and the moral or lesson learnt. The instructor serves as a facilitator. She guides the students, encourages them, and gives feedback on weaknesses and areas of improvement.

Reflections and Recommendation: Students’ responses to a questionnaire-survey revealed positive attitudes towards practicing reading with inspirational quotes. They found them beneficial in promoting their reading skills. Recommendations for creating an inspirational quote repository are given.

Keywords:
Inspirational quotes, figurative language, reading comprehension, appreciation skills, text analysis.

Article Details

How to Cite
Al-Jarf, R. (2021). Enhancing EFL Freshman Students’ Reading Skills with Inspirational Quotes. Asian Research Journal of Arts & Social Sciences, 13(4), 1-11. https://doi.org/10.9734/arjass/2021/v13i430219
Section
Original Research Article

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