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A Masters Thesis ABSTRACT Title: Developing Reading Skills for EFL Learners Reading habits, difficulties and effective

strategies need to be analyzed in EFL classrooms since a lot of problems are encountered by both EFL learners and instructors. This study examines Indian EFL learners reading habits, strategies and difficulties in the English schools and colleges.

The study adopted a naturalistic enquiry approach. In this type of research, the researcher tries not to intervene in the research setting and does not seek to control naturally occurring events. It involves the collection of data through a comprehensive strategy of methodological triangulation, which includes student questionnaires, teacher structured interviews and classroom observations. The

study was carried out with 300 EFL learners and 12 EFL teachers. The study considered several research questions. The first research question was

concerned with the Indian EFL learners reading habits. The study revealed that the majority of the learners are not habitual readers in either their first or second languages. The second research question dealt with the reading strategies the participants apply. The learners reported that they were familiar with most reading strategies but had difficulties in reading comprehension, which indicates that they are not consciously and effectively applying the necessary strategies to it. They also expressed the need for teacher assistance in this respect.

The third research question concerned the learners opinion about the significance of reading as a skill as opposed to other skills. The findings indicated that the importance of the reading skill is not appreciated sufficiently by the learners. The fourth research question was related to the learners awareness of the importance of the reading skills and strategies. The study demonstrated that although some of the learners are not applying particular reading skills and strategies, they are aware that if introduced these skills would be useful.

The final research question focused on difficulties encountered by the learners related to reading skills and strategies. The study revealed that they have difficulties over unknown vocabulary, and are weak at answering complex questions which require inferencing skills, interpreting the passage and recognizing context clues. They are also weak at differentiating fact from opinion and separating relevant information from irrelevant. This thesis mainly finds out the reasons for failure of Indian natives in comprehending the paragraphs in English news paper or English

books, whereas the same pupils are capable of efficient perception of paragraphs in their own mother tongue. Though they spend many years of their studies in English, yet they are restricted to only a limited vocabulary because of their poor reading habits.