Investigativas en Educación ISSN electrónico: 1409-4703

Effects of scaffolded intensive reading on students’ reading comprehension performance

Henry Sevilla Morales



Abstract: This research sought to explore the connection between a small-group intensive reading comprehension project and students’ performance in two sample English national exit exams (ENEEs) developed by the Ministry of Public Education, Costa Rica. The data were gathered from an intervention plan that combined the theoretical principles of schema theory, scaffolded reading comprehension, and intensive reading. The study adopts an action-research approach and uses a mixed design that combines quantitative and qualitative data in the analysis and interpretation of results. Participants included twelve students from a public high school in the Western Area of Costa Rica who needed special preparation for the ENEE, which narrows the research scope down to this population only. The data collection techniques included two sample ENEEs, field notes, and research artifacts. Findings reveal positive effects of scaffolded reading comprehension on student ENEE performance, but also they warn that generalizations to larger populations are not possible. The study yields implications at theoretical and practical levels, and it calls for further investigation as a way to tackle the limitations identified.

Palabras clave

educational strategies; scaffolded reading; intensive reading; English national exam; estrategias educativas; lectura en andamiaje; lectura intensiva; prueba nacional de inglés

Texto completo:



Acuña, Elian, and Campos, Rodrigo. (October, 2015). Interactive Reding: A Method to Enhance EFL Learners’ Reading Habits. Proceedings of the II Congreso de Lingüística Aplicada CONLAUNA, Pérez Zeledón, Costa Rica.

Alyousef, Hesham Suleiman. (2005). Teaching Reading Comprehension to ESL/EFL Learners. The Reading Matrix, 5(2), 143-154.

Anders, Patricia. (2002). Toward an Understanding of the Development of Reading Comprehension Instruction Across the Grade Levels. In C.M. Roller (Ed.), A Collection of Papers from the Reading Research 2001 Conference (pp. 111-132). Chicago, IL: International Reading Association, Inc.

Attarzadeh, Mohammad. (2011). The effect of Scaffolding on Reading Comprehension of Various Text Modes on Iranian EFL Learners with Different Proficiency Levels. Scientific International Journal, 8(2), 4-29.

Bula, Olmedo. (2015). Action Research: Fostering Students’ Oral Production in the EFL Class. Revista de Lenguas Modernas, (23), 349-363.

Bula, Olmedo. (2010). The Use of Recast in the EFL Classroom through Action Research Approach. Revista de Lenguas Modernas, (13), 225-240.

Coon, Megon, Ferrell, Ken, and Kevin Klott. (2014). English Bachillerato Prep Course. A Guide to Preparing Students for the Ministry of Public Education’s Graduation Exam. Retrieved from

Choo, Tan Ooi Leng, Eng, Tan Kok, and Ahmad, Norlida. (2011). Effects of Reciprocal Teaching Strategies on Reading Comprehension. The Reading Matrix 11(2), 140-149. Retrieved from

Córdoba, Patricia, Coto, Rossina and Marlene Ramírez. (2005). La enseñanza del inglés en Costa Rica y la destreza auditiva en el aula desde una perspectiva histórica. Revista Actualidades Investigativas en Educación, 5(2), 1-12. Retrieved from

Derry, Sharon. (1996). Cognitive Schema Theory in the Constructivist Debate. Educational Psychologist, 31(3/4), 163-174.

Díaz-Ducca, Jenaro. (2015). Working with Documentaries in the EFL Classroom: Successful Strategies for Decreasing Anxiety during Oral Tests. Revista de Lenguas Modernas, (23), 235-252.

Ebrahimi, Nabi, and Rahimi, Ali. (2013). Towards a more efficient EFL reading comprehension classroom environment: The role of content and critical reading. Apples — Journal of Applied Studies, 7(2), 1-15.

Efron, Sara, and Ravid, Ruth. (2013). Action Research in Education: A Practical Guide. New York: Guilford Publications.

Erten, İsmail, and Razi, Salim. (2009). The effects of cultural familiarity on reading comprehension. Reading in a Foreign Language, 21(1), 60-77.

Font, Alberto. (June 02, 2014). Costa Rica’s month-long teachers’ strike comes to an end. The Tico Times. Retrieved from:

Latorre, Antonio. (2014). La investigación-acción: Conocer y cambiar la práctica educativa. Barcelona, España: Editorial Graó.

McLaughlin, Maureen, and Overturf, Brenda. (2013). The Common Core: Teaching Students in Grades 6-12 to Meet the Reading Standards. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

Ministerio de Educación Pública (MEP), Costa Rica. (2014). English Syllabus for Diversified Education. San José, Costa Rica: MEP.

Novotny, Kathryn. (2011). Reading Comprehension in the Secondary Classroom (In partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Reading). Minnesota State University, Mankato, USA.

Otárola, Cindy, and Valverde, Marigen. (2013). Nurturing Literacy Development throught Constructivist Strategies in EFL Sixth Graders: The Case of Villareal School (Tesis para optar por el grado de licenciatura en Ciencias de la Educación con Énfasis en la Enseñanza del Inglés para I y II Ciclo). Universidad Estatal a Distancia, San José, Costa Rica.

Ramírez, Jimmy. (2013). English Made Easy: Bachillerato. San José, Costa Rica: Grupo Dinatext S.A.

Rhea, Anisa, and Nancy Baenen. (2007). Project IRIS: intensive reading intervention study, a three-year follow-up. Retrieved from

Richards, Jack, and Lockhart, Charles. (1994). Reflective Teaching in Second Language Classrooms. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.

Roberts, Amy. (1999). Taming the monsters: practical intimacies in a third grade costa rican classroom. In Educational Action Research, 7(3) 345-363. DOI: 10.1080/09650799900200093

Sevilla, Henry and Gamboa, Roy. (October, 2015). Student Self-evaluation and Autonomy Development in EFL Learning. Proceedings of the II Congreso de Linguística Aplicada CONLAUNA, Pérez Zeledón, Costa Rica.

Shen, Yanxia. (2008). An Exploration of Schema Theory in Intensive Reading. English Language Teaching, 1(2), 104-107.

Trinity Western University Counseling Center. (n.d.). Intensive Reading Techniques. Retrieved from

Willis, Arlette. (2014). Reading Comprehension Research and Testing in the U.S.: Undercurrents of Race, Class, and Power in the Struggle for Meaning. New York: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Zainuddin, Hanizah, Yahya, Noorchaya, Morales-Jones, Carmen and Ariza, Eileen. (2011). Fundamentals of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages in K-12 Mainstream Classrooms. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall Hunt Publishing Co.

Enlaces refback

  • No hay ningún enlace refback.

© 2017 Universidad de Costa Rica. Para ver más detalles sobre la distribución de los artículos en este sitio visite el aviso legal. Este sitio es desarrollado por UCRIndex y Open Journal Systems. ¿Desea cosechar nuestros metadatos? dirección OAI-PMH: