Developing EFL Reading Skills through English Dictionary at the Higher Secondary Level in Sahiwal District, Pakistan

Fahmida Rao, Dr. Muhammad Babar Jamil, Muhammad Iqbal


As the language of tertiary education, English enjoys considerable importance in Pakistan. For the Pakistani ESL learners, navigating academia successfully is contingent upon advanced proficiency in L2 skills. In turn, academic success translates into better jobs and employability for the learners. In particular, literature reports a key nexus between effective L2 reading and academic success. With the language of classroom instruction, materials, texts, assessments and academic discourse being English, proficiency in L2 reading means that Pakistani ESL learners who are able to read effectively are also likely to process information and convey their ideas, whether in speech or writing, effectively. However, research suggests that Pakistani ESL learners have poor L2 reading skills which ultimately affects their access to higher education and better career prospects. Against this backdrop, the present experimental study was designed to help selected Pakistani  higher secondary school learners learn to make strategic use of the dictionary for comprehending English texts more effectively. Analysis of pre-test and post-test data from the control and experimental groups of participants found that the learners in the experimental group made significant improvements in reading and comprehension of L2 texts, with their post test scores improving by 90% when compared against their baseline performance.

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