Students Low Performance in Reading Comprehension


The primary purpose of the current action research project is to improve reading comprehension in Al Murajeb School since students are not performing it well. I have come to note that significant problems to their failure are the following: inability to decode/miss understanding, inability to memorize what they have read, and failure to analyze vocabulary well. In addition, I can deduce that low thinking and the use of the first language is the major problem since most of the students have to translate English into the first language before answering the question.


After analyzing the cause of the failure, I can recommend the following to improve their reading comprehension ability. First, the school should engage the government/federal state so that they provide a conducive learning environment to the students by donating books and necessary materials which can improve students reading skills. Second, I can advise the parents to promote a reading culture in their homes, and I will be giving an assignment to gauge whether they are improving in the particular area. I will advise the school fraternity to introduce an open reading section to enhance their reading skills, and I will ask the school to add English as an official language to improve their decoding skills. Lastly, the students should impose a ban on using the first language in the school environment.

Following the above recommendations, I am quite sure that reading comprehension will improve and benefit the school. Therefore, the school will be able to graduate students who are well-equipped with English skills and the language barrier will not be a stumbling block in communication.

Chapter 1: Choosing and Stating the Problem Which Leads to Students Underperforming in Reading the Comprehension

The main issue which resulted in students underperformance in reading comprehension was that they often used the first language.

Use of the mother tongue can lead to a poor attitude towards learning English which can result in poor comprehension skills since there will be a significant loss of interest. Besides, the use of the first language can hamper students thinking capacity since they know too much of local vocabulary as long as they are in a comfort zone.

Mother tongue tenses and grammar tend to differ from English since the sentence organization and formulae are not the same. Such a discrepancy can lead to the students failure since they frequently translate English into the first language before answering the question. While marking the assessment, I was able to note that there were grammatical errors and direct translation leading to lower scores.

Their pronunciations using the first language tend to differ with the way we pronounce English words which attributes to students failure in reading the comprehension hence scoring poor grades in that particular assessment.

Use of the first language continuously will lead to the poor ability to memorize English. Thus, while reading English, you will find that it will be hard to pronounce certain vocabulary since the retention capacity will diminish. As we know, repetition is the mother of retention.

The way we decode information from the primary language is different from the way we decode information in English. Consequently, there are large differences in decoding, and one will find that students tend to translate English into primary language, but they do not since there will be a missing information resulting to a different meaning. Students will experience total failure in decoding comprehensions and poor organization and interpretation of written English.

The main hindrance which I was able to deduce from the assessment test was the continuous use of primary language or mother tongue in Al Murajeb School which has an adverse impact on students during comprehension reading session. The major drawback in using primary language is the inability of decoding information, poor memorizing skills, failure to analyze vocabulary and grammar. Besides, it leads to poor organization and interpretation of the written message and inadequate thinking capacity.

Chapter2: Gathering Data How Students are Performing Lowly in Reading English Comprehension Comparing it with Reading Comprehension Using Primary Language/Mother Tongue.

From the data below I can deduce that most of the students passed the primary language reading test compared to reading English comprehension.

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The main reasons are the following: interpretation and construction of the message sentences may be different, the students may directly translate to the primary language while answering the questions. Students may tend to use their first language rather than English. Lastly, since using primary language as a source of communication in the way they pronounce their words may be different to the way English words are pronounced.

Students name

Reading English comprehension

Reading primary language


































Chapter 3: Designing Action Plan


The primary objectives after assessing and analyzing the data above will be:

Improving reading English comprehension to a mean grade of 60%

Trying to mobilize the head teacher concerning the matter that since students are well conversant with primary/first language they should try and make English a priority and be used in school more often compared to primary language

I will try to mobilize the principal to introduce open reading during free time to improve their reading skills

I will try to mobilize the government/federal state to provide a conducive learning environment by offering materials and books which students can read to improve in the particular area. In addition, educating them on the importance of having English as mandatory language (through a meeting) and making it an official language. (Davis, 1968)

I will engage the parents to know their role in ensuring that their kids are well conversant with language by making sure that they speak English at home and do their homework which I assign them.


To improve English in Al Murajeb School I will do the following activities:

As their teacher of English, I will be giving assignments to the students when they are going home to assess them regularly and note improvements.

I will ask the head teacher to permit me to introduce an open reading segment during free time. Therefore, I will be able to gauge the students individual progress while attending my regular teaching hour lessons.

I will organize a meeting with the parents to inform them of the roles and responsibilities in ensuring that their children can understand the English language.

I will organize a meeting with the government official to provide conducive learning materials in time

During learning sessions, I will ensure that there is an oral session to gauge if the students are pronouncing the words correctly and can identify vocabulary in the extract and know their meanings.

I will try to encourage the school principal to make English as an official language as opposed to the primary language which will enable the students to formulate correct sentences and improve their pronunciations skills thus the end product would be promoting reading and talking skills as well.

I will encourage students to watch educational television and listen to radio programs to enable them improve their communication skills

I will convince the administration to provide time for students to engage in plays and acts to help them exercise more on their communication skills.


The following will be required to improve the performance of low-performing students:

I will ensure that the government donates English textbooks, journals, and important story books which will enable smooth learning of the students

As a teacher, I will make sure that necessary gadgets, such as charts and models, are available for illustration when students are unable to understand.


I will plan before the new semester begins. For instance, I will try to mobilize the relevant government officials to make resources available to students before beginning their course work. I will mobilize the parents during school meetings to ensure that they understand their roles during the next semester. Besides, I will often communicate with the principal on emerging issues about improving English when the need arises. As a teacher, I will ensure that I do not miss lectures to have adequate time with the students to improve their reading skills.

Chapter 4: Implementation of the Plan

The implementation plan is of a great importance since it ensures that the students develop on reading English comprehension. The following will be implemented:

As soon as the school re-opens, the English language will be used as an official language from the beginning of the semester so that the students adapt to it.

In the start of the semester, informal reading classes are created to improve students reading skills and correct pronunciations of the words.

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Usually, the role of a teacher is to assess how students are learning so that every time they go home they carry an assignment. It will help the students to improve their memorizing, thinking, organizing, and interpreting of written messages skills. Lastly, it will enhance their decoding skills/understanding skills.

I will try to encourage the principal to provide more materials needed for learning during the semester which will make learning efficient thus resulting to increased know-how in reading comprehension (Beatty, 1975).

I have been stressing on the need to improve reading English comprehension. However, the school should allocate time for mother tongue use as well which will help to preserve the culture and traditions.

Chapter 5: Evaluation of the Plan

The main goal of writing the current action research program is to improve reading English comprehension compared to primary language learned by the students of the school.

The main objectives are to instill hope in all students in the school so that learning English comprehension skills is do-able by prioritizing it the school at the expense of the primary language.

I obtained my data from the last end of semester examinations from both the language departments (English and primary language).

The most frequent questions I asked myself were Will they be able to overturn the last semester examination too much-improved results in this upcoming semester? Will the participant have a better attitude towards reading English comprehension? How will reading English comprehension impact the primary language? How will it affect the local citizens who are not learning reading English comprehension skills?

Methods of data collection I used are through examining students reading abilities during the examination period. The major drawback of the research is that there will be less usage of the primary language since we are prioritizing reading English comprehension.


In conclusion, the major cause of students failing in reading English comprehension is the use of major languages. I do believe that the recommendations I have stated above will boost the overall mean grade of the school since I believe that practice makes perfect.

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