Improving Vocabulary and Comprehension Skills in Esl Students Through Language Proficiency, Critical Thinking and Study Skills

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IMPROVING VOCABULARY AND COMPREHENSION SKILLS IN ESL STUDENTS THROUGH LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY, CRITICAL THINKING AND STUDY SKILLS CHAPTER 1

Introduction

This paper proposes a research study that will test and determine the effects of language proficiency, critical thinking, and study skills approach on improving the vocabulary and comprehension skills in English as Second Language (ESL) students. The aim of this paper is to determine and examine the specific advantages and disadvantages of the three approaches mentioned. The purpose of this study is to build new theories in ESL learning and to further contribute on knowledge about ESL learning and teaching.

Statement of the Problem

Currently in the United States, there is great impetus for ESL programs because of the continuous increase of non-English speaking immigrants in the country since the latter 1990s (Schmidt, 2001; Kuntz, 2003; August, 2003). Immigrants who cannot speak fluent English cannot contribute much to the American society because of their limited capacity to comprehend and communicate with the American people. The effort made by the government to ensure that these immigrants develop the will to learn English is through a constitutional amendment that English is the official language and the state requirements that citizens need to possess proficient English skills (Kuntz, 2003). As a result, there are now many types of ESL programs being implemented by different schools. Improving the vocabulary and comprehension of students are ESL teaching strategies that are usually approached with language proficiency improvements, critical thinking, and study skills. However, such ESL programs are still misunderstood and are not yet proven effective (Zen, 2001). Zen (2001), with a number of actual cases reviewed, concluded that ESL education fails because the programs hold no standards or clearly or clearly defined expectations for their learners. Furthermore, Zen (2001) emphasized that...
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