AN ANALYSIS OF THE EFL READING COMPREHENSION CURRICULUM DESIGN: A COMPARATIVE STUDY
Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (MALAYSIA)
The goal of the Malaysian EFL secondary reading curriculum is to prepare students for the reading skills that they need to have at the university level. The purpose of the current study was to compare if the designs of two EFL Malaysian secondary reading curricular are in conformant to the curriculum goal. The instruments were the government mandated EFL textbooks for two high school grade-levels. The data were collected via document review using manifest content analysis. Passages in the textbooks under study were selected based on the purpose of the passages. Only passages that are provided for reading comprehension purpose were included in the study. The passages were analyzed in terms of the types and length with regards to the types and length of texts that are frequently encountered at the university level. Based on the review of past studies, the types of passages were analyzed in terms of either narrative or expository texts. The length of passages was analyzed using Leslie and Caldwell’s (2004; 2006) Qualitative Reading Inventory (QRI 3 & 4). The findings indicate that the majority of reading comprehension passages in both textbooks is narrative rather than expository. Regardless of text types, the majority of passages are also not at grade-level. Hence, in terms of curriculum design for reading comprehension passages, based on the evidence in this study, it is concluded that the design of both curricular is only partially preparing students for reading in content areas at the university level. With regards to the curriculum goal to prepare students for reading in English at the university level, such design of the Malaysian EFL reading curriculum in terms of reading comprehension materials may enable to partially achieve the curriculum goal.