Reading Practices Of EFL Yemeni Students: Recommendations For The 21st Century

Hazita Azman, Abdullah Mohammad Bhooth, Kemboja Ismail


This paper investigates the reading practices of forty-five second year EFL Yemeni undergraduate students using the Four Resources Model of multiliteracy practices. The Four Resources Model of multiliteracy practices organizes reading practices into four key practices: code breaking, text participating, text uses and text analysing levels. Quantitative and qualitative methods, designed based on the Four Resources Model constructs, were used to collect data from a sample of students studying English as a Foreign Language at a university in Yemen. Quantitative data was collected through a questionnaire, while qualitative data was gathered using semi-structured interviews guided by the research objectives. The findings reveal that Yemeni students were medium users of the code breaker and text user practices whereas the meaning making and text analysis practices were reported to be used in low usage. On the whole, these early findings suggest that the reading practices and reading abilities of the Yemeni students are still limited even at the tertiary level and have not developed fully with regard to reading in English. This paper reports in detail, the use of the Four Resources Model as a tool to determine reading efficacy while examining the aforementioned findings. Discussion is put forward on the implications for teaching of reading and its approaches in a Yemeni context, especially in view of the students’ reading needs at the tertiary level in Yemen.


EFL reading practices; Four Resources Model; Multiliteracy Framework; tertiary academic literacies; Arab EFL learners

Full Text:



Abdulhameed, A. (2012). Instructional Strategies for Teaching Reading: A training programe for In-service English language Teachers in Yemen. The E-teacher scholarship program. University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Al-Brashdi, B. (2003). Reading in English as a foreign language: problems and strategies. Language Center Forum. Vol. 8, 1-14

Al-Mehwari, W. S. (2005). The problems of English language Teaching in English departments of Faculties of Education. (Unpublished master thesis in Education), Aden University.

Al-Mekhlafi, A. G. (1995). Background knowledge and success in L2 reading comprehension. (Unpublished MA thesis), Arizona State University.

Al-Refa'ai, O. Y. (2001). A study of the Reasons of Students’ low Academic Achievement in English Language at Aden College of Education, Aden University, Yemen. Magazine of Aden College of Education, 3.

Al-Tamimi, N. O. (2007). The effect of direct reading strategy instruction on students’ reading comprehension, metacognitive strategy awareness, and reading attitudes among eleventh grade students in Yemen. . (PhD Unpublished PhD Thesis), Universiti Sains Malaysia.

Albadri, M. A. (2001). Reading comprehension with the medical context: Problems and solutions. (MA Unpublished MA Thesis), Aden University.

Ali, S.E. (2007). Problems and Prospects of English. South Asian Language Review. Vol. 17(2), 39-48.

Alwalass, B. A. (2000). Reading skills and strategies: A study of undergraduate speakers of Arabic learning English at Sana’a University. (Unpublished PhD Thesis), Jawaharlal Nehru University. , New Delhi.

Anstèy, M, & Bull, G. (2006). Teaching and learning Multiliteracies: changing times, changing literacies. Kensington Gardens: International Reading Associationand Australian Literacy Educators’ Association.

Azzan, H. N. (2001). Reading comprehension monitoring strategies by Yemeni undergraduate English majors: An exploratory study. Unpublished PhD Thesis. Dr. Babasaheb

Ambedkar Marthwada University. Aurangabad.

Ba-Matraf, B. (1997). A study of the techniques used for teaching basic English reading comprehension skills in three girls secondary schools in Sana’a: a case study. (Unpublished MA Thesis), Sana'a University.

Balfakeh, S.A.D. (1999). Developing final- year secondary school pupils’ reading comprehension: a discourse analysis perspectives. (MA Unpublished MA Thesis), Aden University.

Bataineh, R. F., Thabet, S. S., & Bataineh, R. F. (2008). Obstacles of using communicative techniques in Yemeni EFL classes. Lagos Papers in English Studies. Vol. 3, 14-27.

Cheng, L., & Wang, H. (2004). Understanding professional challenges faced by Chinese teachers of English. TESL-EJ. Vol. 7(4), 1-14.

Coiro, J. (2003). Exploring literacy on the internet: reading comprehension on the internet: expanding our understanding of reading comprehension to encompass new literacies. The Reading Teacher. Vol. 56(5), 458-464.

Coiro, J., & Dobler, E. (2007). Exploring the online reading comprehension strategies used by sixth‐grade skilled readers to search for and locate information on the Internet. Reading Research Quarterly. Vol. 42(2), 214-257.

Cope, B., & Kalantzis, M. (2009). “Multiliteracies”: new literacies, new learning. Pedagogies: An International Journal. Vol. 4(3), 164-195.

Creswell, J. W., & Clark, V. L. P. (2007). Designing and conducting mixed methods research: Wiley Online Library.

Creswell, J.W. (2008). Educational research: planning, conducting, and evaluating quantitative and (3rd ed ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.

Fareh, S. (2010). Challenges of teaching English in the Arab world: Why can’t EFL programs deliver as expected? Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences. Vol. 2(2), 3600-3604.

Foster, A. (2004). A nonlinear model of information‐seeking behavior. Journal of the American Society For Information Science And Technology. Vol. 55(3), 228-237.

Freebody, P., & Luke, A. (1990). Literacies programs: debates and demands in cultural context. Prospect: An Australian Journal of TESOL. Vol. 5(3), 7-16.

Goss, B. (1999). Challenges of Learning English in Japan. Intercultural Communication Studies. Vol. 8, 145-148.

Habtoor, H. A. (2004). The reading problems faced by the learners of english as a second/ foreign language: a case study of students of the dept. Of english in the college of education. (Unpublished PhDThesis), Aden University, Shabwa, Yemen.

Hazita Azman. (2009). English in 1-Malaysia: a paradox in rural pluri-literacy practices AKADEMIKA. Vol. 76, 27-41.

Healy, A. (2008). Expanding student capacities: learning by design pedagogy. In A.H. Healy (Ed.), Multiliteracies and diversity in education: new pedagogies for expanding landscapes (pp. 2-29): Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Hoepfl, M.C. (1997). Choosing qualitative research: a primer for technology education researchers. Journal of Technology Education. Vol. 9(1), 47-63.

Internet World Statistics. (2010).

Johns, R. (2010). Likert items and scales. Survey Question Bank: Methods Fact Sheet, 1.

Kalantzis, M., & Cope, B. (2005). Learning by design: Common Ground.

Khan, I. A. (2012). Teaching and learning of English: An exploratory study of difficulties and strategies. British Journal of Social Sciences. Vol. 1(1), 76-93.

Koo, Yew Lie. (2008). Language, Culture and Literacy: Meaning-making in Global Contexts. UniversitiKebangsaan Malaysia.

Koo, Yew Lie, Wong, Fook Fei, & Kemboja Ismail. (2012). Students’ critical consciousness through critical literacy awareness. GEMA Online® Journal of Language Studies. Vol. 12(2), 727-743.

Lankshear, C., & Knobel, M. (2006). New literacies: Everyday practices and classroom learning: McGraw-Hill International.

Ludwig, C. (2003). Making sense of literacy. Newsletter of the Australian Literacy Educators’ Association.

Luke, A. , & Freebody, P. (1999). Further notes on the four resource model. Retrieved September 22, 2012 from

Maxwell, J. A. (1998). Designing a qualitative study. Handbook of applied social research methods. SAGE Publisher.

McDowall, S. (2011). Literacy teaching and learning for the21st century: Bridging the theory to practice gap. . . Practical research for education. Vol. 44,47-56.

Ministry of Education. (2008). The development of education in the republic of Yemen: The national report presented to the 48th session of the international conference on education, Geneva, 25-28 November 2008. Retrieved October 10, 2012, from

Mourtaga, K.R. (2006). Some reading problems of Arab EFL students. Journal of Al-Aqsa University. Vol. 10(2), 75-91.

MyRead. (2002). MyRead [electronic resource] : strategies for teaching reading in the middle years. Canberra Commonwealth Department of Education, Science & Training.

Nabil, A., & Patil, N. V. (2012). English Language Teaching In Yemen: Importance and Challenges. International Journal of Social Science Tomorrow. Vol. 1(5), 1-8.

New South Wales Department of Education and Training (NSW DET). (2009). An introduction to quality literacy teaching.: Sydney NSW: NSW DET.

New London Group. (1996). A Pedagogy of Multiliteracies: Designing Social Futures. Harvard Educational Review. Vol. 66(1), 60-92.

Oxford, R. L. (1990). Language learning strategies: What every teacher should know. Boston: Heinle & Heinle

Pawar, M. (2004). Data collecting methods and experiences: A guide for social researchers: New Dawn Press (IL).

Shaddock, A., Haren, R., & Vervoorn, J. (2006). The ACT Learning Difficulties Project. In F. a. A. Tony S. and Chris K. with contributions by Peter, S (Ed.). Teaching and Learning Strategies for Students with Learning Difficulties and Disabilities. Commonwealth of Australia.

Stolovitch, H. D., Keeps, E. J., & Pershing, J. (2006). Handbook of human performance technology: Principles, practices, and potential. Pfeiffer.

Tsang, K. K. (2012). The use of midpoint on Likert Scale: The implications for educational research. Hong Kong Teachers’ Centre Journal. Vol. 11, 121-130.

van Haren, R. (2005). AATE's Submission to the National Inquiry into the Teaching of Literacy. English in Australia. Vol. 143, 14-35.

Yar Mohamed, S. Y. (1992). Strategies of Reading as Communication. (PhD Thesis), University of London.


  • There are currently no refbacks.




eISSN : 2550-2131

ISSN : 1675-8021