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Title: Problems of understanding science and technology textbooks in English for first year students at the University of Petroleum and Minerals in Saudi Arabia
Author: Foley, J. A.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3471 8369
Awarding Body: Institute of Education, University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 1979
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The purpose of this study was to assess the English Language Program for first year students entering the University of Petroleum and Minerals in Saudi Arabia with particular reference to the reading of their textbooks, covering the years 1974-78. First the problems of reading science and technological textbooks are discussed; reading in English as a foreign or second language; then the methods used to assess readability and the readers' understanding of the text. Cloze Procedure is suggested as a suitable tool for such an assessment. Next the English Language Program and assessment procedures actually in use at the University of Petroleum and Minerals are considered, together with the opinions of the teachers. Two investigations are undertaken. The first investigation: was to determine whether the first year students could use two basic textbooks with any instructional gain. The conclusion is that the majority of students have serious difficulties in reading some of the easiest passages to be found in the textbooks. The second investigation: considers procedures that might be used to develop the strategies of successful reading with regard to their immediate requirements for science and technical material. The main conclusions drawn from this investigation are that the students have not reached the threshold level of reading in English required for first year students in science and technology. The main reasons for this seem to be that they are trying to operate with a level of English which is inadequate not only for the 'higher order' of reading skills required in academic work, but also at the 'intermediate' level of reading skills (utilising natural redundancy in a text) to gain access to the message. An additional factor particularly relevant in science and technical material is that perceptual efficiency has to be exercised.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available