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GRAMMAR AWARENESS, VOCABULARY SKILLS AND READING COMPREHENSION

OF JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS OF ARTURO JUGO

NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL

JENKY E. ESTORNINOS

CHAPTER I

Introduction of the Study

Chapter 1 is made up of five parts, namely: (1) Background

and Theoretical Framework of the Study, (2) Statement of the

Problem and the Hypotheses, (3) Significance of the Study, (4)

Definition of Terms, and (5) Delimitation of the Study.

Part One, Background and Theoretical Framework of the Study,

presents introduction, discusses the rationale for conducting the

investigation, and presents the theoretical framework, which

serves as the studys frame of reference.


Part Two, Statement of the Problem and the Hypotheses, gives

the main problem and the specific questions the study seeks for an

answer. It also presents the hypotheses to be tested.

Part Three, Significance of the study, provides explanations

on what benefit each stakeholder will have on the research results.

Part Four, Definition of Terms, gives the meaning of the

important terms used in the study conceptually and operationally.

Part Five, Delimitation of the Study, Sets the Scope of the

research in terms of research design, participants, sample size

and sampling procedures, locale, data gathering instruments, and

statistical tools employed in the analysis of data.

Background and Theoretical Framework of the Study

Language is an astonishing faculty: humans are the only animal

able to communicate complex and abstract ideas, which may be

distant in time or place, to express their emotions, needs,

culture, identity, and creativity, in social interaction, using

fully formed grammatical systems. The invention of writing,

sometime before five and a half thousand years ago, allows us to


see language as a spatial concept as well as a temporal one, and

the invention of the printing-press has permitted the wide-spread

distribution of numerous identical texts on a massive scale.

Written language permits us to look at the form of language as

well as its meaning, not just the physical shape of the writing

system, but the order of words and their morphology: writing makes

linguistic structure visible to the eye and its durability means

we can go back and reread what we have read or written (Kemp C.

2001).

Just as we normally look through a window to see the view, we

normally look through language to understand the meaning. But we

can also look at the glass itself, which may be cracked or

distorted - we can focus on the form of language rather than its

meaning, which has the effect of making language structures that

are normally transparent, opaque (Cazden 1976).

Developing English language skills, particularly reading and

its associated skills, is undeniably difficult at times especially

to second language learners in the Philippines. One instance to

prove this was the result of the National Achievement Test (NAT)
in 2012, which showed that Grade 3 students got a Mean Percentage

Score of 54.42% in English Reading Comprehension (George Lucas,

2015) as cited by Palasan, A. (2017) in her study. The data suggest

that young Filipino learners find it difficult to understand

English texts. Thus, in the Philippines, teaching English,

particularly developing vocabulary, grammar and reading

comprehension among young learners, is a great challenge among

elementary teachers.

The previous data implies that improving English instruction

must be a priority. In that issue, various studies have addressed

problems of low performance in grammar, limited vocabulary, and

poor reading comprehension (Nejad & Mahmoodi-Shahrebabaki, 2015);

(Taheri, 2014). However, research on the solutions to these

problems seem to receive less attention as well. Without doubt,

teachers have to carry the burden of looking for effective

strategies to alleviate problems in students' performance in

English. This issue actually calls for further research to identify

effective teaching approach that would ameliorate learners'

English skills.
Knowledge of strategies is important because the greater

awareness you have of what you are doing, if you are conscious of

the processes underlying the learning that you are involved in,

then the more effective learning will be. According to Nunan,

(1991) as stated by Palasan, A.(2017) showed that learners taught

the strategies underlying their learning are more highly motivated

than those who are not. He also found that not all learners

automatically know which strategies work best for them. For this

reason, explicit strategy training, coupled with thinking about

how one goes about learning, and experimenting with different

strategies, can lead to effective learning.

(Oxford, 1990), one of the leading teachers and researchers

in the language learning strategies field, argues that strategies

are important for two reasons. In the first place, "strategies are

tools for active, self-directed involvement, which is essential

for developing communicative competence". Secondly, learners who

have developed appropriate learning strategies have greater self-

confidence and learn more effectively. According to Oxford, as

cited by Palasan, A. (2017), language learning strategies


contribute to the main goal, communicative competence, allow

learners to become more self-directed, expand the role of teachers,

are problem-oriented, are specific actions taken by the learner,

involve many actions taken by the learner, not just the cognitive,

support learning both directly and indirectly, are not always

observable, are often conscious, can be taught, are flexible, and

are influenced by a variety of factors.

The researcher finds it imperative that teachers develop and

enrich their instructional methods and teaching techniques to

cater to the needs of the learners. In this attempt to improve the

learning of pupils, this study was chosen and was conducted to

find out the effectiveness of Cognitive Academic Language Learning

Approach (CALLA) improving grammar, vocabulary, and reading

comprehension skills of fifth grade pupils of Mindanao State

University-Integrated Laboratory School (Palasan, A. 2017).

Reading Comprehension

Reading is basic to all learning, both in learning in general and

in acquisition of languages. Society is highly dependent on


knowledge and information. There is a constant overflow of

information from numerous sources; the traditional: books,

newspapers and magazines, and more modern, digital sources (Brten

& Strms 2007:168). It is vital to be able to navigate in these

sources and search out what is needed. This requires multiple

skills, as the ability to navigate in the text overflow, to read

multi-medially, digitally, and intertextually, in addition to the

mere comprehension of the written text and its words, phrases,

structure, and genres. In a knowledge society it is necessary to

acquire the ability to understand, integrate, and combine

information from multiple sources (ibid). Evidently, the

requirements for readers today are enormous. Putting letters and

words together to form words, phrases, and sentences is what

reading is all about, but one must also comprehend what is learned

to fully understand a text one has to interact with the text and

add meaning to it. Elin Jorde Hanse 2016 states that reading

comprehension is to make meaning of what we read. Vivian Cook

further claims that reading occurs in context, and that the meaning

of a text is derived from the previous knowledge stored in the


readers mind and the processes through which the reader tackles

it (2008:121). This shows that it is not enough to decode the

letters and words, one has to add knowledge and meaning to what is

read. But how to make meaning of what is read, and how can teachers

help students comprehend what they read? Being a teacher is

complex and many-sided, and unpredictability is high. Teachers

have to make their teaching both interesting and relevant for their

students. In order to reach the students and actually teach them

something, it is vital to teach in a relevant manner, opening up

for student participation, and consider all the different

individuals in the classroom. For the students to be able to read

with comprehension, the teacher has to inspire the students and

make them realize the relevance and benefits of reading. Teachers

have to reflect upon many aspects, as needs, motivations,

characteristics, and resources of their learners to be able to

meet their learners in the best possible manner (Council of Europe,

n.d.).

Reading is a complicated skill that demands considerable time and

practice to develop (Lundahl 1998:175). The ability to read


involves more than merely decoding a text. In addition to the

practical skill of putting letters together, turning them into

words, one is also supposed to understand what is read: one has to

combine decoding; the ability of putting words together, with

comprehension; the result of interpreting linguistic elements

(ibid). Philip B. Gough and William Tunmer (1986) explain reading

comprehension as the formula: Decoding (D) x Language

Comprehension (LC) = Reading Comprehension (RC). (www1). The

multiplication relates to the fact that everything that is done to

facilitate reading will multiply the result, in addition to

alluding to that if one of the elements is missing, the result

will be zero. Hence, if there is no understanding of what is read,

there is no actual reading; there is no reading comprehension.

When this first goal of reading is achieved, one has to add further

elements to the reading process in order to become a proficient

reader. The next steps on the way to full reading ability are

motivation, empathy, and metacognitive ability (Kverndokken

2012:28). When a reader manages all these elements, he/she reads

with high proficiency. According to Ivar Brten & Helge Strms,


reading is often described as an interactive process, where

comprehension is a result of joint efforts from the author and the

reader (2007:196). The author has to formulate the content so

that it is interpretable, whereas the reader must mobilize the

skills and knowledge needed to comprehend the text a joint

venture. However, the reader is the one most likely to spoil the

process; fail to understand, give in, and stop reading. Hence, the

reader is considered to be the one most responsible for gaining

comprehension. This questions the interactivity of reading (ibid).

Reading strategies and learning strategies are tightly

intertwined, and what is considered vital in learning processes is

further applicable to reading comprehension (Roe 2014:84). Hence,

many researchers refer to the two concepts as one and the same

(ibid.). If one fails to understand the content of texts or tasks,

learning and fulfilling of tasks will be difficult, if not

impossible. As the students grow older, the requirements for

reading with accuracy and proficiency steadily increase. In lower

secondary, the subjects become harder than in elementary school,

and the amount of theory to be read is vast. This is further


fortified in higher education. Nowadays, many students face

several years of higher education, and good reading strategies are

essential (Roe 2014:88). To be able to read with fluency and

accuracy and to understand what is read is essential in all

learning. Louise Rosenblatt argues that comprehension is a result

of a transaction between the reader and the text, and explains

reading a text as: an event involving a particular individual

and a particular text, happening at a particular time, under

particular circumstances, in a particular social and cultural

setting, and as part of the ongoing life of the individual and the

group (1985:100, in Lundahl 1998:194). This quote portrays

well the full challenge of reading, and it shows the immense

variety of elements that are vital in understanding texts.

Ying Guo (2008) Since the late 1970s, many educators and

researchers have agreed that reading is a language-based skill

(Frost, 1998; Mattingly, 1972; Vellutino, 1979; Vellutino,

Fletcher, Snowling & Scanlon, 2004) and involves cognitive

processes (Ehri, 1995). Therefore, reading ability is determined

by many factors of language skills. In first language (L1)


research, there is ample evidence that vocabulary knowledge

accounts for the largest percent of variance in reading

comprehension (Davis, 1944). Similarly, second language (L2)

research has highlighted the importance of vocabulary knowledge.

Carlisle, Beeman, Davis, and Spharim (1999) suggested that L2

vocabulary knowledge made a unique contribution to L2 reading

comprehension for primary-level struggling Latina/o readers.

Besides vocabulary knowledge, syntactic awareness, generally

conceptualized as the understanding of rules of grammar and

sentence structure, plays a very important role in reading

comprehension for native speakers (Bowey, 1986; Dreher & Zenge,

1990; Tunmer, Nesdale & Wright, 1987). The importance of syntactic

awareness in reading comprehension also has been established by

Carlisle et al. (1999) in L2 reading research.

Whether in L1 or L2, reading is considered a cognitive

enterprise that entails three components including reader, text

and activity (Flavell 1979; Snow & Sweet 2001). Thus, readers must

utilize metacognitive awareness and invoke the conscious use of

reading strategies, in order to comprehend text successfully.


According to Auerbach and Paxton (1997), metacognitive awareness

is defined as the process entailing knowledge of strategies for

processing texts, the ability to monitor comprehension, and the

ability to adjust strategies as need (pp. 204-241). Within the

domain of L1 reading research, recent trends have led to an

increasing emphasis on the role of metacognitive awareness of ones

cognitive and motivational processes while reading (Pressley,

2000; Pressley & Afflerbach, 1995). Indeed, many researchers have

agreed that awareness and monitoring of ones comprehension

processes are critically important in predicting reading

comprehension. Similarly in the L2 research, many researchers have

established the role of metacognitive awareness in reading

comprehension (Barnett, 1988; Carrell, Pharis & Liberto, 1989;

Chamot, 1987).

The line of reading research about the unique contribution of

vocabulary knowledge, syntactic awareness, and metacognitive

awareness to explaining reading comprehension was conducted

primarily with native English speaking populations to examine

which reading skill components contribute to reading comprehension


in L1 with children and adults (Davis, 1944; Dreher & Zenge, 1990;

Pressley, 2000; Pressley & Afflerbach, 1995; Tunmer, Nesdale &

Wright, 1987). The respective roles of vocabulary knowledge,

syntactic awareness, and metacognitive awareness in predicting

native speakers reading comprehension have been well documented

in factor analysis, correlational studies, and experimental

evidence. By contrast, fewer studies have documented the role of

these components in the reading comprehension of English language

learners (ELLs). While there may be some similarities between

native speakers and ELLs in the arena of which skills predict

reading comprehension (Proctor, Carlo, August, & Snow, 2005), the

unique contributions of L2 vocabulary knowledge, syntactic

awareness, and metacognitive awareness to predicting L2 reading

comprehension remains largely undeveloped in the literature. In

order to fill this void, the present study seeks to investigate

the role of vocabulary knowledge, syntactic awareness and

metacognitive awareness in reading comprehension with adult

English language learners.

The conceptual framework of the study is shown in figure


1. As can see from the figure, the independent variables

Grammar Awareness and Vocabulary Skills may affect the

dependent variable Reading Comprehension.

Grammar Awareness

Reading Comprehension of
Junior High School
students of Arturo Jugo
National High School
Vocabulary Skills

Figure 1. A schematic diagram showing the relationship that


exists between the respondents reading comprehension and their
grammar awareness and vocabulary skills.

Statement of the Problem

This study sought to ascertain the grammar awareness and

vocabulary skills in relation to reading comprehension of Junior

high school students Of Arturo Jugo National High School, Dao,

Capiz for the school year 2017-2018.

More specifically, it attempted to provide answers to the

following questions:
1. What is the level of grammar awareness of Junior high school

students?

2. What is the level of vocabulary skills of Junior high school

students?

3. What is the level of reading comprehension of Junior high

school students?

4. Is there a significant difference in the reading

comprehension of Junior high school students when they

grouped in terms of their level of grammar awareness?

5. Is there a significant difference in the reading

comprehension of Junior high school students when they

grouped in terms of their level of vocabulary skills?

6. Are there significant relationships among grammar awareness,

vocabulary skills and reading comprehension of Junior high

school students?

The following hypotheses were tested:

1. There is no significant difference in the reading

comprehension of Junior high school students when they

grouped in terms of their level of grammar awareness.

2. There is no difference in the reading comprehension of

Junior high school students when they grouped in terms of

their level of vocabulary skills.


3. There are no significant relationships among grammar

awareness, vocabulary skills and reading comprehension of

Junior high school students.

Significance of the study

This would generate information about the Junior high school

students grammar awareness, vocabulary skills, and reading

comprehension, which may be beneficial to the following.

Students. The findings may be valuable to the students since the

study provides basis for better understanding of how grammar

awareness and vocabulary skills significantly correlated to

reading comprehension. And such understanding and awareness may

motivate them to find effective ways on how reading comprehension

may improve using grammar awareness and vocabulary skills.

Consequently, this awareness and understanding may also sustain

them not only in their present status but more significantly in

their future success. Finally, as a result they would give more

premium on the importance and necessity of reading comprehension

in their everyday lives and in their chosen career in the future.

Teachers. Likewise, this study provides valuable information to

English teachers since they will get deeper understanding of


diversity of learning of their students, they be informed of the

importance of incorporating grammar awareness as well as

vocabulary skills into teaching and learning to improve reading

comprehension of students and go hand in hand are necessary in

bringing about a successful learners, in an education setting and

also to bring about successful members of society. This study could

enable them to gain insights into a variety of ways to help

students, reading skills and employ strategies that consider

students individual differences in teaching the kind of skills

effectively. This study could also give English teachers an idea

on how to offer remedial reading instructions.

School Administrator and English Supervisors. The result of the

study would be a basis in assessing the instructional program and

policies of the school in teaching and learning process in reading

ability of learners; hence they may also identify necessary support

for students so that the learners may benefit from the programs

and policies they may offer. School Administrators may be inspired

to become aware and knowledgeable on the relevance of grammar

awareness and vocabulary skills to the reading comprehension of

the learners and they may able to come up with the new strategy in

putting remedial reading instruction for the learners.

Parents. The results would be useful to the parents/guardians of

junior students. The parents could understand the importance of


cultivating the grammar awareness and the vocabulary ability of

their children in order for the child to have a wider understanding

towards text and they may also accept their responsibility of

teaching them necessary skills to give them better chance to use

their genetically given intellectual potential. Being aware of

their childrens level of understanding, parents may be prompted

on how they could help their children overcome their difficulties

if they have able to gain positive outlook towards reading

comprehension.

Future researchers. The findings obtained in the present

study would serve as a baseline data for similar studies in the

future.

Definition of Terms

The following key terms that will be used in this study were

defined conceptually and operationally to provide a term

reference and understanding of the study.

Grammar Awareness- an explicit knowledge about the grammatical

attributes of language. ( merriam Webster 2012 )


In this study grammar awareness referred to the scores of

students in the test indicating their knowledge about

grammatical rules.

Vocabulary skill the ability to recognize the meaning of the

words in language. (Merriam- Webster 2012)

In this study, vocabulary skills referred to the scores of the

respondents in the given test indicating their ability to

identify the meaning of the given words.

Reading comprehension level or understanding of a text or

message.

In this study, reading comprehension referred to the scores of

the respondents in the given test indicating the way they

understand the given test.

Delimitation of the Study

This survey-correlational research will be conducted to

ascertain the grammar awareness, vocabulary Skills, and the


Reading comprehension. The respondents will be the selected Junior

Students of Arturo Jugo National high School, Dao, Capiz, for the

school year 2017-2018. The instrument needed for data gathering of

the study is composing of three parts namely:

The dependent variable in this study was Reading Comprehension of

junior high school students and the independent variables were

grammar awareness and vocabulary skills. The statistical tools

will be used as follows,

(mam indi q d kabalo , huhu )