Universidad de Granada. Ciencias de la Educación (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2009 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Pages: 6830-6839
ISBN: 978-84-613-2953-3
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain
The process of convergence in which the Spanish University is immersed, the European Higher Education Area (EHEA), implies a series of modifications and deep changes at different levels. The EHEA means a new insight on the teaching-learning process at a university level, by focusing on the change of the educational paradigm that is taking place in education, in a broad sense, as a result of the characteristics of the new society of knowledge and learning.

This way, now more than ever, the University must prepare the students properly to live in the new society of knowledge and to face the new challenges that may arise from it.

Comprehensive reading of texts is one of the most frequent and required activities in the university field.
Specialized articles, theoretical handbooks or investigation reports are frequently used in their daily academic tasks; therefore, comprehensive reading at this level is an essential cognitive activity that enables plenty of learning processes which are related to the acquisition of disciplinary contents and to the development of cognitive skills. (Oliveira y Santos, 2006).

Specifically, in the university field reading means a main source of information, for that reason, a quick and precise reader owns a key instrument to enter the world of academic contents (De Brito y Angeli, 2005).
Nowadays, complaints from university teachers about their students are more and more frequent. These complaints refer to the lack of basic reading and orthography skills, as well as their difficulties for the comprehension and interpretation of written information. These difficulties turn out as: certain limitations for generalizing or transferring learned knowledge to other contexts, and difficulties for interpreting and creating new knowledge. Faults in these skills interfere, to a great extent, with the rhythm of work of the students, and therefore, they mean a handicap that should be made known to both students and professors, with the aim of finding a solution where both parts may be implied.

In spite of these faults, there are not many studies that focus on this level of education, since most of these studies have been mainly carried out in primary and secondary levels of education, being few those who analyze the matter of higher education.
This study is aimed to know the possible difficulties in reading comprehension of 203 freshman students (54 men and 149 women) from the different specialities of Education in the areas of Childhood and Primary Education, Education for Special Needs, Physical Education, English as a Foreign Language, Speech and Ear Education, Social and Musical Education, and Pedagogy Degree.

To assess reading using an instrument developed ad hoc (Gonzalez, 2007), following recommendations for the development of interpretative reading comprehension tests (Gómez-Villalba, Pérez, González, Hoyos y Cañado, 2000) that includes a compression test a second reading and vocabulary.
The results have shown that a high percentage of them have problems in this area. To conclude, it is suggested that they should be trained in order to solve these faults, prevent the academic failure and increase the quality of education.