The effects of instruction on questioning strategies on reading comprehension of ESL students

Elba Luz Rios-Pardo, Fordham University


This study combines a quasi-experimental and descriptive design to test the effectiveness of the Question-Answer Relationships (QAR) and the Question-Generation (QG) strategies in the development of reading comprehension of ESL ninth graders. Reading comprehension is assessed through the inclusion of main ideas, details, and inferences in pre- and posttest oral retellings performed individually by subjects. Eighty students' performances (40 high and 40 low ESL ninth graders) were randomly selected and assigned to either one of two question categories, assuring participation of both levels in each treatment condition. Two experienced ESL teachers trained by the investigator provided a 13-day treatment using each strategy. The treatment consisted of instruction in three question categories (Text Explicit, Text Implicit, and Scriptally Implicit), practice in the identification of questions asked by the teacher within the question categories (QAR treatment), the generation and identification of the students' own questions (QG treatment), and individual recorded oral retellings performed daily. Oral retellings and students' categorization of questions were collected and analyzed during the 4th, the 8th, and the 13th days of treatment and identified as Base, Check, and Final data. Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) and chi-square tests were performed on data collected on pre- and posttests in question categorization in each treatment. Although there were no significant differences between treatment conditions, both treatments had positive effects on the students' comprehension. Significant differences were found in details which favored the low reading achievers in each strategy treatment. High reading achievers in the Question-Answer Relationship (QAR) strategy outperformed the high reading achievers in Question Generation (QG). The QAR strategy was more effective for high reading achievers. Low reading achievers in QG outperformed the QAR low reading subjects. QG was more effective for low reading achievers. Teaching students different types of questions and their textual sources seems to help students process ideas more effectively. The exposure of high and low reading achievers to different question categories develops awareness of the text content.

Subject Area

Literacy|Reading instruction|Language arts

Recommended Citation

Rios-Pardo, Elba Luz, "The effects of instruction on questioning strategies on reading comprehension of ESL students" (1995). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9530957.