Date of Award

5-1-2017

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Applied Linguistics

First Advisor

Martin, Katherine

Abstract

This study focuses on English instruction in Senegal, where English is taught as a foreign language (EFL) in middle schools and high schools. It investigates the reading comprehension strategies and tools used by Senegalese EFL instructors to meet national English education standards. It also compares them to best practices for teaching EFL reading comprehension. 54 Senegalese teachers completed a survey asking questions about their reading classes, their approaches to teaching reading comprehension, and their teacher training and professional development. The findings revealed that the surveyed teachers had strong educational backgrounds and were aware of basic reading comprehension concepts and strategies. However, some of the reading strategies widely recognized as most beneficial for EFL instruction are not widely used or widely known in Senegal because teachers are not well trained with them. Observations are made about the overall patterns of teacher strengths and weaknesses, and recommendations are given to the Senegalese government, teachers, and education officials about reading comprehension in EFL instruction. The study contributes to existing literature by shedding light on some of the aspects that make L1 reading different from L2 reading, reviewing the problems facing Senegalese EFL education, and depicting the prevailing instructional environment in this context. It also traces important educational changes that have impacted the country, from budget pressures to the recruitment of contract teachers and large classes.

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