strategy. Students are taught to first identify the most important person, thing or place in a section of text. The students should then brainstorm to establish the most important idea of the passage and then rephrase that idea in ten words or less. They learn to elicit the main idea while filtering out unnecessary details (Vaughn, ibid).
After the students have read the text, they engage in wrap-up. In this process, the students identify questions about the text from a set of question stems that were adapted from Rosenshine and Meister (1992). These questions should identify the significant ideas from the entire text and promote understanding and transfer of the material. The students may answer these questions in their group or pose them to the entire class (Vaughn et al., 2001, ibid).
After instruction in the strategy is complete and students feel comfortable working in pairs or as a class with the CSR formula, the students are then formed into heterogeneous groups of four or five. In their cooperative groups the students are required to perform two tasks. First, they must complete the assigned expository reading task. Second, they must ensure that all the members of their group also complete the task. The students work with shared goals in cooperative groups to maximize their learning as well as the learning of the members of their group (Klingner, ibid).
CSR uses the preceding guidelines to provide meaningful roles for each student in the group. Before students assume their role for CSR they should have time to practice the expectations associated with that role. CSR suggests six roles: leader, clunk expert, gist expert, encourager, announcer and timekeeper. Of those six, leader, clunk expert and gist expert are essential; the other three can be combined. Each of the roles has a cue card and specific responsibilities that are described in the following paragraph (Klingner& Vaughn, 1998).
Additionally, being the leader of the classroom can be regarded as the first role students can assume in collaborative strategic reading classroom. The leader guides the group in the four CSR strategies, prompts the group members when to do their jobs and helps the group stay on task. The announcer calls on group members to read or share an idea, ensures that all group members have an opportunity to share and reminds the group that one person at a time may speak. The clunk expert asks the group if they have any clunks helps the group figure out the clunks and summarizes the meaning of each clunk so they can write it in their learning logs. The gist expert works with the group to decide on the best gist and assists the group in writing it in their learning logs. The encourager lets the group members know when they have worked together well or how they helped each other to learn. Finally, the timekeeper sets the timer for each portion of the CSR and then lets the group know when to begin (Klingner& Vaughn, 1998; Klingner et al., 2001).
In general, in the present study, collaborative strategic reading has been used to aid in students’ comprehension of reading text.
2.6.2 Collaborative Strategic Reading Training
Because teachers have a limited amount of time to teach reading, it is critical that the time they do have available is well designed to ensure knowledge and understanding of their text. This can be accomplished more effectively with the use of explicit strategy instruction to monitor and act on improving reading comprehension (Vaughn, Chard, Bryant, Coleman, Tyler, Linan-Thompson &Kouzekanani, 2000).
As Katims and Harmon (2000) believe, cognitive strategies that help students in processing text-based information can be taught to students. Through strategy instruction, students can be empowered to take control of their own learning through a series of steps to organize, retain and express content knowledge. Furthermore, according to Day &Elksnin (1994, as cited in Standish, 2005), as teachers consider introducing strategies to students in the content area classroom, it is vital that students not only understand the strategy being taught, but also know how the strategy can be used to approach, complete or modify a literacy task. Students must see a connection between the demands of expository text and the need to use the strategy that they have learned. The ultimate success of the implementation of a strategy is when students can modify the strategy to improve their learning.
After strategies came into vogue, some researchers focused their attention on doing some research on whether there is any significant difference in students’ performance when teachers present content area texts strategically and effectively or not.
By considering the above discussion, the recent study makes use of a cognitive strategy, Collaborative Strategic Reading, which was implemented to increase EFL learners’ comprehension of general reading texts. This method of teaching was designed to teach learners how to activate and refine their reading comprehension skills as they work collaboratively with defined roles to engage in meaningful contexts with conceptual ideas from reading text.
Regarding the procedure common to read based on collaborative strategic reading, the following is the model used for the purpose of this study:
a) Professional development and teacher support. Teachers are trained by the researchers to implement CSR in their treatment classes and are provided procedures for continuing with “business as usual” in their control classes. Teachers are provided an initial training in CSR during a 3-day (6 hours per day) professional development on implementing the treatment practices. This training is provided by the same research team.
The professional development focused on: (a) an overview of the study; (b) a careful description of an experimental study, including the importance of adhering to “business as usual” in control classes and implementing instructional practices in treatment classes; (c) critical features of the intervention practices and how to teach them to students; and (d) how to use collaborative groups within the CSR model. Each teacher is provided with all necessary materials to implement the treatment, including sample lessons, examples of reading materials, and overheads.
In addition, the researcher will provide in-class support and coaching. Research supports person activities included modeling how to teach CSR strategies and demonstrating “think aloud” practices, side-by-side teaching, and teacher observation with feedback.
Furthermore, depending on their needs, teachers should request on-site modelingof lesson components, help in finding reading materials, or various other types of additional support throughout the duration of the intervention.
b) Description of the treatment intervention. Students in the treatment classes will receive the intervention during their regularly scheduled classes. Teachers are asked to implement the intervention for 50 minutes a day, 2 days a week. Teachers also report on the percentage of class time they will spend doing a variety of language activities (e.g., phonics, reading comprehension, reading/fluency, and writing), components of reading comprehension (e.g., brainstorming, main idea, summarization), and grouping configurations (e.g., whole class, small group, partner, one-to-one).
Thus, all students will have ample opportunities to improve reading comprehension from within the given curriculum regardless of randomized assignment to treatment or control classes.
c) Collaborative Strategic Reading. The CSR intervention is comprised of four comprehension strategies that are used before, during, and after reading with the goal of increasing student text engagement and reading comprehension.
In this study, we asked teachers to use expository passages for a minimum of 50% of CSR lessons. In addition, we asked teachers to model each strategy to students through extensive use of think-aloud with time for guided practice of each s
trategy with multiple opportunities for providing feedback to students. If students struggled with mastering the use of a particular strategy, teachers were instructed to implement short lessons to provide practice and review. Finally, teachers were taught to prepare a text for practicing CSR strategies by dividing the passage into three or four short sections of connected and coherent information. Following is a description of each CSR strategy.
Before reading a given passage, students are asked to engage in the first strategy-previewing. The previewing strategy encompasses four activities to build and activate prior knowledge and to motivate students’ interest about the passage topic. First, the teacher introduces the passage topic and pre-teaches any proper nouns or specialized vocabulary that may be difficult for almost all students in the class. Second, students brainstorm what they already know about the topic. Third, students are taught to preview the passage and attend to text features such as headings and graphics to learn as much as possible in a very short period of time. Finally, students predict what they think they will learn from the passage. Students record their brainstormed ideas and predictions on their learning log.
During reading, students are guided to read the first section of the passage. As they read, students engage in the second and third strategies: Click and Clunk and Get the Gist. The Click and Clunk strategy is designed to help students identify breakdowns in understanding and then resolve the misunderstandings using a series of “fix up” strategies. As students read the first section, students are instructed to identify “clunks,” or breakdowns in understanding, and record them on their learning logs. After reading the section, students return to the clunks and use the following “fix up” strategies to find the meaning of the word in its context: (1) Re-read the sentence without the word -think about what word meaning would make sense. (2) Re-read the sentences before and after the clunk, looking for clues to determine the word meaning. (3) Identify key elements in the word (e.g., prefixes, suffixes, a known word part). (4) Identify word parts that may aid in understanding.
Also during reading, students are instructed to use a practice called “Get the Gist,” which is similar to writing the main idea. Students are taught to restate in their own words the most important point of a section of reading as a way of making sure they understood what they read and remembered what they learned.
After reading, students engage in the final review strategy that encompasses question generation (Raphael, 1982) and summative statement writing. The goal of question generation is to improve students’ knowledge, understanding, and memory of the passage read. Students are taught to write three levels of questions. “Right there” questions are those with answers that can be found in one sentence. These questions help students remember facts and focus on the most important information. “Think and search” questions are more difficult to write and require students to remember several events or facts from different sections of the passage in order to answer the question. These questions help students synthesize information from the passage. “Author and you” questions require inference on the students’ part. Students are taught to use facts from the passage to make inferential conclusions. Students generate and answer each type of question on their learning logs. Finally, students are taught to write in their learning logs a summative statement that includes the most important ideas from the passage. Students are also asked to use the text to justify why these were identified as the most important ideas to remember.
Collaborative grouping: After students develop proficiency using the strategies (4-6 weeks), the