A Critical Analysis of Reading Comprehension Questions in Grade 12 English Textbook: with particular reference to literary texts

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Berhanu Matthews

Abstract

The impetus for this study emerged from the problem in comprehension questions this re- searcher observed in the preparatory school English textbooks. The main objective of the paper is to examine the nature of this problem with reference to comprehension questions in the textbook in relation to the types of questions recommended in the literature on the subject. The intention is to find out whether the comprehension questions are organized in such a way as to facilitate continuous and communicative learning that can promote students' intellectual and linguistic skills. In order to achieve this objective, the paper has used evaluation as its basic method. Primary data used to substantiate the arguments in the paper were drawn from comprehension questions based on literary reading materials presented in student's English textbook for grade 12. Then, the current state of comprehen- sion questions has been described and evaluated in view of the categories and structures of comprehension questions proposed by Davies and Stratton(1981}. The results have shown that the comprehension questions provided in the textbook under investigation are predom- inantly fact questions. The finding in the paper is that fact questions should not be used as ends in themselves because they are usually limited to identification of textual facts and do not provide a potential for extended reflection and discussion required for the development of intellectual and linguistic skills in students. On the basis of the findings, the paper has also practically demonstrated these theoretical considerations by presenting a proposed questioning model that  can be more realistic and closer to the experiences of curriculum designers, teachers

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