Impacts of the Problem-based Learning Pedagogy on English Learners’ Reading Comprehension, Strategy Use, and Active Learning Attitudes

Lu-Fang Lin


This study investigated whether an English reading course integrated with the problem-based learning approach could foster foreign language learners’ reading comprehension ability, strategy use, and their active learning attitudes. The pedagogy was featured with the small group scaffolding. Two intact English classes in a Taiwanese university were randomly assigned to the experimental and control treatment conditions. The experimental group received problem-based learning instruction, whereas the control group did not. The reading comprehension pre- and post-tests and the English active learning questionnaire were employed to collect the data. The Independent Samples t test yielded a significant difference between the 2 groups in the total score of the reading comprehension post-test, indicating that the PBL approach significantly improved the participants’ reading comprehension ability, and the PBL participants’ strategy use for identifying the subject matter and supportive details was better than that of their counterparts. The t-test results of the questionnaire showed that the PBL participants exhibited a significantly higher degree of active English learning attitude than the non-PBL participants in terms of motivation intensity and desire to learn English. There was a significantly positive correlation between reading comprehension ability and English learning attitude. Finally, instructional recommendations are presented.

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Journal of Education and Training Studies  ISSN 2324-805X (Print)   ISSN 2324-8068 (Online)

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