Teaching EFL reading in Senegal: Current practices and recommendations

Research Article

Teaching EFL reading in Senegal: Current practices and recommendations

DOI: 10.2989/16073614.2023.2226705
Author(s): Mohamadou Bachir Kane Southern Illinois University Carbondale, USA , Katherine I. Martin Southern Illinois University Carbondale, USA


Reading comprehension involves understanding and interpreting information in written texts and constitutes a minimum academic ‘threshold’ that impacts broader education. Developing strong reading skills is particularly challenging for non-native readers because of the dual need for strong linguistic skills and efficient strategy use. This study focused on teaching English reading in Senegal, where most students are non-native speakers of the language and often perform poorly on national reading examinations, suggesting that how English reading is taught needs improvement grounded in best practices. 54 Senegalese EFL teachers completed an online survey eliciting their backgrounds and training, classroom profiles, knowledge and frequency of use of instructional practices and beliefs about the effectiveness of and rationale for various practices. Teachers were aware of most basic strategies, but many lacked familiarity with concepts associated with modern (cognitive) approaches to reading. Though some effective techniques were widely used, teachers’ reasons for using them did not always align with research, suggesting that teachers may misunderstand them. The article concludes with recommendations for improving EFL teacher training and instruction, such as a greater focus on interactive questioning and activities with an instructional (not assessment) focus that are applicable in Senegal and other developing nations.

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