Teaching Reading to EFL Freshman Students with Mind Mapping Software
JRSP-ELT Vol. 5, Issue 24, March 2021
12 Pages Posted: 15 Apr 2021
Date Written: April 1, 2021
Freshman students learning English as foreign language have problems in comprehending English texts such as inability to identify main ideas, paragraph topics, supporting details and the organizational structure of a text. They have difficulty writing a summary or making an outline of the main ideas and important supporting details in a single, or multiple paragraphs. Numerous studies in the literature have shown the positive effects of using mind maps in teaching and learning a variety of subjects. Since many EFL instructors are unfamiliar with mind maps and mind-mapping software, this study proposes the integration of mind maps in reading instruction and the utilization of mind-mapping software to help the students relate a central idea or topic in a text to related subtopics or details, help them understand the organizational structure of a text, identify the text structure type (classification, chronology, enumeration, compare contrast and others) and locate signaling devices. Making reading mind maps using the mind-mapping software begins with a word or image that symbolizes the topic of the reading text in the middle of the screen. While reading the text paragraph by paragraph, main branches are added for each paragraph topic. Sub-branches are added for each important detail related to a particular topic (main branch). Colors are used for the main and minor branches. Constructing reading mind maps can be used as a reading or a post-reading activity. Reading test results showed that the mind-mapping software was effective in enhancing reading comprehension among EFL freshman students. The students also had positive attitudes towards mind mapping and reading English texts. Students found the mind mapping software to be fun and helpful in comprehending and organizing ideas in a text. The study recommends the integration of mind-mapping software in other language skills courses offered by the college.
Keywords: Concept Mapping, EFL Reading, Free Mind, Mind Mapping, Reading Comprehension
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