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Reading skill among Malaysian ESL lower secondary students: which girls and which boys are achieving and underachieving?

Badrasawi, Kamal J I and Abu Kassim, Noor Lide (2020) Reading skill among Malaysian ESL lower secondary students: which girls and which boys are achieving and underachieving? IUM Journal of Educational Studies, 8 (2). pp. 88-111. ISSN 2289-8085

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Abstract

The literature on educational achievement has shown consistently that boys are underachieving. They are disengaged with learning, and their dropout rates in schools are higher than those for girls. Although the problem of underachievement and disengagement with learning is largely associated with boys, not all boys are underachieving or disengaged with learning, and not all girls are achieving and engaged with learning. There is also strong evidence to suggest that differences within gender are more significant than the difference between gender. Recent research findings have shown that educational performance is highly influenced by sociodemographic factors such as school location, race or ethnicity, socio-economic status, and parents’ education. Given that reading is a critical literacy skill for academic achievement and English is an important second language in Malaysia, this study sought to identify groups of Malaysian lower secondary students who are at risk of underachieving in English reading skill. A sample of 944 Malaysian ESL Form 1, 2 and 3 students, randomly selected from nationaltype schools, participated in the study. A test of English reading skill, consisting of 60 multiplechoice items was used. The Rasch Model analysis as well as selected descriptive statistics were used to answer the research questions. The results showed that students’ performance in English reading differed from one group to another, implying that gender did not exclusively influence student performance. Based on the findings, more sound and informed decisions on students’ performance in English reading skill and the most effective teaching methods can be made. Qualitative investigation of the factors behind high or low performance among these groups of students is also needed to further understand the influence of these factors on achievement and underachievement .

Item Type: Article (Journal)
Additional Information: 7538/88564
Uncontrolled Keywords: English reading skill, Rasch Model, demographic factors, underachievement
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Kulliyyahs/Centres/Divisions/Institutes (Can select more than one option. Press CONTROL button): Kulliyyah of Education
Depositing User: Dr. K J Badrasawi
Date Deposited: 23 Feb 2021 12:27
Last Modified: 23 Feb 2021 12:27
URI: http://irep.iium.edu.my/id/eprint/88564

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