Students’ Abilities and Difficulties in Comprehending English Reading Texts at Secondary Schools; An Effect of Phonemic Awareness


  • Edi Firman Universitas Pendidikan Mandalika
  • Haerazi Haerazi Universitas Pendidikan Mandalika
  • Sadaf Dehghani Allameh Mohades University



Reading Difficulties, Teaching Reading, English Texts


Reading comprehension in the EFL context requires abilities not only linguistic competences but also reading strategies. The timely acquisition of this competence has a crucial effect for language learners. Unfortunately, most language learners in all level have low skills and high difficulties to acquire reading skills. This study aims to explore students’ abilities and difficulties in comprehending English reading texts as secondary level. This study is categorized as qualitative study consisting of three main data gathering methods: semi-structured interviews, classroom observations, and group discussions. The data collected then are analyzed in stages, namely data condensation, data display, and data conclusion. Based on the result of analysis, this study showed that students have low reading achievement at secondary level. The low achievement is affected by some reading difficulties such as low reading exercises, unwilling to read out loud, low reading skills, low vocabulary, low phonemic awareness, low reading strategies, and low grammatical competence. For further studies, reading exercises and phonemic awareness in reading activities should be paid intention with giving students with various reading texts to train them comprehend EFL texts.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Haerazi Haerazi, Universitas Pendidikan Mandalika

English Language Education

Senior Lecturer at Master of English Language Education

Faculty of Culture, Management, and Business

Sadaf Dehghani, Allameh Mohades University

2Economics and Administrative Science, Allameh Mohades University, Iran

St: Mazandaran, Nur city, Iran


Akyol, H., & Boyaci-Altinay*, Y. (2019). Reading Difficulty and its Remediation: A Case Study. European Journal of Educational Research, 8(4), 1269–1286.

Akyol, H, & Kayabasi Ketenoglu, Z. E. (2018). Improving the reading skills of a students with reading difficulties: An action research. Education and Science / Egitim ve Bilim, 43(193), 143-158.

Ambarini, R., Sumardiyani, L., & Wardoyo, S. (2018). PACA (Predicting And Confirming Activity) Reading Strategies to Promote Students’ Teaching Strategy in TEFL 1 Class. Celt: A Journal of Culture, English Language Teaching & Literature, 18(1), 47 - 63. doi:

Bati?, J. (2019). Reading Picture Books in Preschool and Lower Grades of Primary School. Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal.

Begum, F. U., & Hamzah, M. H. B. (2018). The Relationship Between Self-Efficacy on Teaching Reading Comprehension Skills among Secondary Schools Teachers in Telangana State, India. JEES (Journal of English Educators Society), 3(2), 197–204.

Cain, M. J. (2010). Linguistics, psychology and the scientific study of language. Dialectica,64 (3), 385-404.

Can, ?., & Öztürk, G. (2019). Determination of pre-service science teachers’ attitudes towards reading science texts. International Journal of Evaluation and Research in Education (IJERE), 8(1), 181.

Chaudhry, A. S., & Al-Adwani, A. (2019). Reading Practices of EFL Students: A Survey of Kuwaiti College Students. English Language Teaching, 12(5), 130.

Cooney, A., Darcy, E., & Casey, D. (2018). Integrating reading and writing: supporting students' writing from source, Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice, 15(5). Available at:

Creswell, J. W., & Creswell, J. D. (2018). Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches (Fifth Edition). In Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling (Vol. 53, Issue 9). Los Angeles: Sage Publication.

Danuwijaya, A. A. (2018). Item Analysis of Reading Comprehension Test for Post-Graduate Students. English Review: Journal of English Education, 7(1), 29.

Dewle, M. M. (2018). How Phase theory can be used to improve reading comprehension in children. International Journal of Language Teaching and Education, 2(2), 97–102.

Haerazi, H., Prayati, Z., & Vikasari, R. M. (2019). Practicing Contextual Teaching and Learning (CTL) Approach to Improve Students’ Reading Comprehension in Relation to Motivation. English Review: Journal of English Education, 8(1), 139.

Khan, R., Radzuan, N., Shahbaz, M., Ibrahim, A., & Mustafa, G. (2018). The Role of Vocabulary Knowledge in Speaking Development of Saudi EFL Learners. Arab World English Journal, 9(1), 406–418.

Kho, S. F.-C., Ramanair, J., & Pandian, A. (2021). Students’ Vocabulary Learning Strategies of Discovery and Consolidation in Malaysian Primary School English Language Classrooms. Pertanika Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities, 29(2).

Miles, M. B., Huberman, A. M., & Saldana, J. (2016). Quantitative Data Analysis: A Methods Sourcebook (Third). Los Angeles: Sage Publication.

Misbah, N. H., Mohamad, M., Yunus, M. M., & Ya’acob, A. (2017). Identifying the Factors Contributing to Students’ Difficulties in the English Language Learning. Creative Education, 08(13), 1999–2008.

Naderi, S., Akrami, A., & Reza, I. (2018). EFL Learners’ Reading Comprehension Development through MALL: Telegram Groups in Focus. International Journal of Instruction, 11(2), 339–350.

Nation, I. (2006). How Large a Vocabulary is Needed For Reading and Listening? The Canadian Modern Language Review, 63(1), 59–82.

Nayan, S., & Krishnasamy, H. N. (2015). A Preliminary Study on Vocabulary Learning Strategies Used by the Students from the Faculty of Accountancy. International Journal of Languages, Literature and Linguistics, 1(1), 10–14.

Rahmawati, E. Y. (2018). Analysis of Students’ English Reading Comprehension through KWL (Know-Want-Learn) Learning Strategies. International Journal of Language Teaching and Education, 2(3), 238–247.

Rawian, R. M., Mokhtar, A. A., & Yahaya, M. F. (2018). A Disclosure of Reading Rate and Its Effect on Comprehension in Second Language Learning Context. JEES (Journal of English Educators Society), 3(1), 1–12.

Rohmah, H. (2018). The Implementation of Herringbone Technique in Reading Comprehension at Second Semester of Non-English Department. Celt: A Journal of Culture, English Language Teaching & Literature, 18(1), 59.

Sari, M., & R. Abdulrahman, T. (2019). Discovery Learning (DL) Strategy on Students Reading Comprehension in Report Text. Lingua, 15(2), 19–26.

Schmidtke, D., & Moro, A. L. (2021). Determinants of Word?Reading Development in English Learner University Students: A Longitudinal Eye Movement Study. Reading Research Quarterly, 56(4), 819–854.

Sparks, R. L. (2019). Why reading is a challenge for U.S. L2 learners: The impact of cognitive, ecological, and psychological factors in L2 comprehension. Foreign Language Annals, 52(4), 727–743.

Sumekto, D. R. (2018). Investigating the Influence of Think-Pair-Share Approach toward Students’ Reading Achievement. Lingua Cultura, 12(2), 195.

Surtantini, R. (2019). Reading Comprehension Question Levels in Grade X English Students’ Book in Light of the Issues of Curriculum Policy in Indonesia. PAROLE: Journal of Linguistics and Education, 9(1), 44.

Syafii, M. L. (2018). Using Online Short Stories to Improve the Reading Comprehension Ability. Register Journal, 11(2), 168.

Thamrin, N. R., & Agustin, S. (2019). Conceptual Variations on Reading Comprehension Through Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTs) Strategy. English Review: Journal of English Education, 7(2), 93.

Ulfiati, L. (2018). EFL Reading Comprehension Assessment: Some Grassroots’ Voices. International Journal of Language Teaching and Education, 2(3), 315–324.

Yang, F.-Y., Chang, C.-C., Chen, L.-L., & Chen, Y.-C. (2016). Exploring learners’ beliefs about science reading and scientific epistemic beliefs, and their relations with science text understanding. International Journal of Science Education, 38(10), 1591–1606.

Wiles, J. L., Allen, R., & Butler, R. (2016). Owning my thoughts was difficult: Encouraging students to read and write critically in a tertiary qualitative research methods course, Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice, 13(1), 2016. Available at:

Zulpan, Z. (2018). Total Physical Response (TPR): Its Effect on Students’ Achievement in Reading Procedure Text. JEES (Journal of English Educators Society), 3(2), 205–214.




How to Cite

Firman, E., Haerazi, H., & Dehghani, S. . (2021). Students’ Abilities and Difficulties in Comprehending English Reading Texts at Secondary Schools; An Effect of Phonemic Awareness. Journal of Language and Literature Studies, 1(2), 57–65.




Most read articles by the same author(s)