Analysis of practices for teaching and evaluating reading across the curriculum at a public university in Colombia
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Hernández Fajardo, Aldemar Arturo
Reading as well as L2 reading is a primary skill that university students need to develop for having access to relevant information related to their academic context. Nevertheless, learners may experience some reading difficulties due to the complexity of the reading materials managed in tertiary education. Hence, this project becomes significant since it is important to reflect on the teaching processes that are carried out in universities in order to improve students’ reading comprehension. This qualitative research project was developed in a public university in Colombia, specifically in two subjects areas of the Food Engineering program. The main objective of the study was to describe how L2 reading was taught and evaluated across the curriculum. Data was gathered through the implementation of observations, teachers and students’ interviews along with the analysis of documents. Results revealed that there is a big discrepancy between the L2 reading teaching methodologies in the two areas analyzed. For instance, the genres of the texts used in both subjects differed in great manner one from the other, using exclusively narrative texts in the English subject and research academic articles in the microbiology area. Findings also indicated that adequate scaffolding needs to be provided to students at the different moments of the teaching and learning cycle in order to foster reading skills and comprehension of texts.