PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENT OF THE READING SKILLS OF THE LINGUISTIC ENGLISH-IMMERSION STUDENTS, UNIVERSITY OF ILORIN, NIGERIA
The Linguistic Immersion Program of the University of Ilorin is an adequately prepared English learning platform equipped with all the essentialities required towards effective productive and receptive skills of non-English speakers. Hence, the enrolment of the 37 Francophone students whose reading skills were analyzed at 3 different stages. The study aims at ascertaining whether the learner’s mother tongue enhances or inhibits their reading skills in English; investigate the types of difficulties encountered during reading using Ha and H1 as correspondences; and to examine the strategies used by the students in reading. Top-down theory which gave the students the opportunity to rely on their background knowledge and experiences while learning English language was adopted. Background knowledge helped in understanding the similarities and differences between both languages while reading. This study concluded that the significant improvement in the reading skills of the students at the end of the Immersion Programme is sufficient proof that reading can be developed through continuous practice. The study recommended that language teachers should encourage students to be more involved in the art of reading.
Keywords: productive skills, receptive skills, Linguistics Immersion Programme, Top-down theory, language transfer.
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