Graphic Organizers: Mind Maps as a tool to enhance Reading Comprehension skills
Universidad de Huelva
Reading comprehension in L2 is perhaps the skill whose requirements have changed most and most rapidly due to the demand of the information society. Readers not only need to interpret words and sentences in articles or books: sometimes they have to make a meaning out of disconnected pieces of information in pouring messages on websites, and social networks. The purpose of the present study is to explore the possibilities of mind-mapping techniques in order to foster the reading comprehension abilities in students of English as L2 by working under the assumption that the latter can be improved when apparently loose pieces of written information are connected by means of images and lines. The experiment in the project involved a total of 84 participants of two consecutive academic levels: first and second year of post-compulsory secondary education. Different sessions and two parallel procedures were scheduled in order to provide us with contrasting data that could be systematized numerically. Even though the sessions that could be scheduled were limited in number, the analysis of the data suggests some noticeable improvement in the reading comprehension abilities in most participants and some perception of progress in a majority of them. Their positive feedback, suggests that sustained work in this field could improve their reading comprehension skills in a significant way.