II. Review of Related Literature and Studies
Reciprocal Teaching refers to an instructional activity in which students become the teacher in small group reading sessions. Teachers model, then help students learn to guide group discussions using four strategies: summarizing, question generating, clarifying and predicting. Once students have learned the strategies, they take turns assuming the role of teacher in leading a dialogue about what has been read (Wikipedia).
A reciprocal approach provides students with four specific reading strategies that are actively and consciously used to support comprehension: Questioning, Clarifying, Summarizing, and Predicting. Palincsar (1986) believes the purpose of reciprocal teaching is to facilitate a group effort between teacher and students as well as among students in the task of bringing meaning to the text.
Approaching the problem from the perspective of Cognitive Strategy Instruction (Slater & Horstman, 2002), reciprocal teaching attempts to train students in specific and discrete strategies to prevent cognitive failure during reading. Palincsar and Brown (1984) identified four basic strategies that may help students recognize and react to signs of comprehension breakdown: Questioning, Clarifying, Summarizing, and Predicting.
This means Reciprocal Teaching is one teaching strategy which focuses on the ability of the students to lead a small group during class discussions or reading sessions using the four basic strategies which were mentioned.
Reciprocal teaching is best represented as a dialogue between teachers and students in which participants take turns assuming the role of teacher. (Annemarie Sullivan Palincsar)
Students are being taught and guided to act as the teacher during discussions with the teacher only facilitating and observing the class.
The concept of reciprocal teaching was first developed by Palincsar and Brown in 1986. As previously mentioned, reciprocal teaching was developed as a technique to help teachers bridge the gap for students who demonstrated a discrepancy between decoding skills and comprehension skills (Palincsar, Ransom, & Derber, 1989).
Reciprocal teaching utilizes the strategy of prediction, whereby students predict before reading, and then use those predictions during reading to check if they are correct (Stricklin, 2011). Reciprocal teaching is made up of four components: predicting, clarifying, questioning, and comprehension. In 2005, Oczkus coined the phrase the “fab four” to describe the processes involved with reciprocal teaching (Stricklin, 2011). Students then move on to clarifying things they do not understand by asking the instructor questions, or having the teacher ask questions during reading, in order to clarify difficult sections of text or point out areas where students should pay particular attention. After the text is read, questions are asked of a student or group of students to enhance retention and check how much was learned. Finally, comprehension is achieved by engaging the students in a summary of either a page or the entire text selection of what they just read (Stricklin, 2011). The teacher supports the students by rephrasing or elaborating on their answers, statements, and questions.
Reciprocal teaching begins with the students and teacher reading a short piece of text together. In the beginning stages, the teacher models the “Fab Four” strategies required by reciprocal teaching, and teacher and students share in conversation to come to a mutual agreement about the text (Williams, 2011). The teacher then specifically and explicitly models his or her thinking processes out loud, using each of the four reading strategies. Students follow the teacher’s model with their own strategies, also verbalizing their thought processes for the other students to hear.
Reciprocal teaching is an amalgamation of reading strategies that effective readers are thought to use. As stated by Pilonieta and Medina in their article “Reciprocal Teaching for the Primary Grades: We Can Do It, Too!”, previous research conducted by Kincade and Beach (1996) indicates that proficient readers use specific comprehension strategies in their reading tasks, while poor readers do not (Pilonieta & Medina, 2009). Proficient readers have well-practiced decoding and comprehension skills which allow them to proceed through texts somewhat automatically until some sort of triggering event alerts them to a comprehension failure (Palincsar & Brown, 1984).
Over time, the teacher models less and less frequently as students become more adept and confident with the strategies. Eventually, responsibility for leading the small-group discussions of the text and the strategies is handed over to the students. This gives the teacher or reading tutor the opportunity to diagnose strengths, weaknesses, misconceptions, and to provide follow-up as needed.
According to Duffy (1993), comprehension is the goal of all communication. In the expressive language modes of speaking and writing, comprehension means understanding the message well enough to compose it clearly. In the receptive language mode of listening and reading, comprehension means interpreting the message accurately enough to understand its meaning. Consequently, reading instruction focuses on reading meaning in text.
Comprehension is said to be one of the important things that must be observed and facilitated well inside a classroom. The study of applying Reciprocal Teaching during classroom discussions and reading sessions will help make students’ comprehension better.
Isenberg (1990) define reading as a creative and personal engagement with a text and a unique transaction that involves particular backgrounds and experiences. Reading literature or literary reading can be taken to mean as processing on comprehension.
With the help of Reciprocal Teaching during class discussions and reading sessions, Isenberg’s definition of comprehension will be properly observed.
Webster’s New International Dictionary (1998) defines comprehension as the act of grasping the meaning significance, a nature of idea with the intellect and specifies “understanding” as the closest meaning.
As students read through some texts, understanding of what they are decoding is a mere fact to be enhanced by applying Reciprocal Teaching.
Arias (1999) during her lecture at National Reading Seminar stated that for years, teachers had been concerned with the end product of reading passage. The end product is assessed by series of questions after reading because most teachers consider that comprehension involves answering that may or may not really been teaching how to comprehend. They have been fact testing comprehension rather than teaching.
Comprehension is also said to be a measure of how the students grasped well the meaning embedded on a passage that has been read.
According to Bruner (1990), understanding the basic relationship in the structure of the subject matter that involves in knowledge structure to one another will enable learners to remember the materials and better to transfer this knowledge to new learning situation.
This states that student’s performance depends on how well they understand the lessons, the instructions or even the reading passage given to them and student’s understanding may be affected by using one of the teaching strategies like Reciprocal Teaching.
Kibler (1990) stated that performance is an objective and must be written terms of what students are expected to do, not what the teacher has to do. In as much as the student learning is the purpose of instructional objectives have to be written in terms of observable student performance.
Student’s performance is said to be the standard expectation of what the students must do during academic activities inside or outside the classroom especially during reading sessions.
Ornstein (1992) stated that most effective teacher differences among his students according to him, the teacher would develop stereotype perception of the students is likely to have harmful effect on them. He said that those teachers who understand that differences exist and adopt realistic methods and context accordingly would have the most positive effect on students.
Ornstein defines student’s performance as various ways off how each students act and respond during classroom activities or reading sessions which teachers should accept and help each students improve their own ways of behaving during class.
Epanchin, et.al (1994) suggested that students should be grouped to improve students’ performance in the classroom through teaching method. The author also suggested that the teacher who facilitates students in group work promote learning and achievements among students.
Student’s performance is also said to be affected by the teaching strategy used and by how the teacher facilitates the learning inside the classroom. Thus, the strategy used during reading sessions is also important.
A study done by Elizabeth Foster and Becky Rotoloni of The University of Georgia shows that predicting helps a student to be more involved in a story.
Most children make casual predictions in the course of their lives. When students use the skill of predicting in reading, it helps them to realize the value of picture and word clues. It also helps them to develop higher level thinking about what is going on in the story. The students are becoming more confident and eager to take part in class discussions because they are gaining a better understanding of how the reading process works. The students have become more comfortable identifying things that they do not understand and seeking clarification to deepen their understanding. They are also becoming more and more comfortable sharing things that they do not know as well as things that they do know.
Reciprocal Teaching was applied so that readers who did not understand how to do this before watch the teacher model the strategy, practice with scaffolding, and gradually begin to internalize the process for themselves.
A study about the Reading Comprehension Research Undertaken With Students Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing done by John L. Lucknerv C. Michele Handley published in American Annals of the Deaf, Volume 153, Number 1, Spring 2008, pp. 6-36 has proven that given the unacceptably low educational outcomes attained by individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing and the increasing importance of print literacy for succeeding in contemporary society there is an urgent need to increase the quantity and improve the quality of research undertaken in the field of deaf education.
This study is related to the current study that both want to come up with an effective strategy to make comprehension better.
Researchers of Research-Based Reading Comprehension Instruction Focus on Reading Strategies- Perfection Learning Corporation have found that good readers are active or strategic readers who use a variety of comprehension strategies before, during, and after reading a text.
This study shows a result of that which is like the four basic components of Reciprocal Teaching applied to reading comprehension- predicting, summarizing, clarifying and questioning.
The National Reading Panel’s synthesis (NICHD, 2000) of comprehension research studies indicates explicit or formal instruction in the application of a multiple-strategy method has been shown to be highly effective in enhancing understanding- Comprehension monitoring, Cooperative learning, Use of graphic and semantic organizers, Question answering, Question generation, Story structure, Summarization.
Thus, this study also focuses on the strategy which is more effective to be used in reading comprehension just like how Reciprocal Teaching is used and applied to it.
A study about the Academic Performance of College Students: Influence of Time Spent Studying and Working done by Sarath A. Nonis and Gail I. Hudson at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, Arkansas has proven that students with high ability who also spend more time studying are the ones who are most likely to excel and other variables such as optimism and self-efficacy are likely to influence academic performance of the students.
Student’s performance is influenced by how much time he spend for studying, his optimism and his self- efficacy which are the things that teachers should also give focus to each student as it may affect not only the student’s performance but also the student’s comprehension during class sessions.
Another study which is the Analysis of Students’ Performance in Junior Secondary School in Bayelsa State of Nigeria done by Agnes Ebi Maliki, Anthony Ntol Ngban and Julie E. Ibu had shown that if an examinee has a favourable attitude towards a particular subject, then this will reflect in his performance in that subject.
This study takes the teacher’s strategy of making the students attitude toward a certain subject important as it affects the performance of the students.