Reading comprehension is highly valued since it is viewed as an important skill for students to learn languages and gain knowledge. Therefore, enhancing students’ reading comprehension becomes one of the most important issues for English teachers over the past few years.
The present study aimed to investigate the effectiveness of reading strategies through Task-Based Language Teaching (TBLT) on ninth graders’ reading comprehension performance and their classroom participation. 27 ninth-graders from a junior high school in Taipei were selected as participants for the action research. The tasks were designed for an eighty-minute reading lesson, six lessons in total. Based on the TBLT framework suggested by Willis (1996), each lesson was divided into three steps, consisting of pre-reading, while-reading and post-reading. Four specific strategies (finding out the topic sentence of each paragraph, finding out the logical order of the article, answering the question based on an article, and summarizing) were adopted to teach via a TBLT approach. The results of this study indicate that students who were taught reading strategies through TBLT had better classroom participation, and their reading comprehension was also more effective. Based on the data analyses, the major finding of the study were summarized as follows:
1.The reading tasks can improve students’ linguistic, content, and formal schema to enhance
their reading comprehension.
2. With this instruction, students are capable of reading English articles with reading strategies to enhance their reading comprehension.
3. The reading strategies had positive effects on students’ reading comprehension achievement.
4. Heterogeneous grouping had positive effects on group discussion.
5. Most of the students had positive responses toward the strategy instruction.
6. This instruction is highly recommended for the students who have positive learning attitude and better social skills.
7. With the implementation of this instruction, the instructor has an improvement on pedagogical knowledge and becomes more open-minded.
At last, according to the results of the study, some suggestions and pedagogical implications were made for the directions of the future researches on reading comprehension.