Improving comprehension through higher readability level materials

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Arts in Language and Literature Major in English


College of Liberal Arts



Thesis Adviser

Gonzalez, Andrew FSC

Defense Panel Chair

Bautista, Ma. Lourdes

Defense Panel Member

Reyes, Flordeliza
Carreon, Edwina
Luzares, Casilda


This study conducted at De La Salle University applied one aspect of Krashen's Natural Approach and i + 1 Theory in improving reading comprehension. The theory has been called i + 1 because Krashen believes that learning in a second language is more successful when input to learners is in the form of sentence structures beyond their present level of competence. It has been applied successfully in the area of language among college level students in California but it has never been tried yet in the area of reading. It aimed to find out whether reading instruction using texts whose readability level is higher than the reading level of the students can improve comprehension. Thus, it tried to determine in which areas of comprehension and levels of text comprehension skills can be improved by applying Krashen's i + 1 hypothesis. The research used a non-equivalent control group design, a quasi-experimental design which is similar to the pretest-posttest control group design except for the lack of randomization in selecting the subjects. This study was conducted among two groups of college freshmen with reading level of Grade 11, 11 years of formal schooling, and IQ mean scores of 96.67 and 92.17. Krashen's Natural Approach was used for both groups with the difference that the experimental group used texts with readability levels higher than their grade level while the control group used texts appropriate to their level.
The instruments used to gather data were parallel forms of a SAT-type test and a cloze test using texts with Readability Levels 11, 12, and College. The statistical analysis employed the Student's T-test, and Analysis of Variance combined with Regression, or Ancova to filter out the difference between the two groups' IQ scores. The results indicate that the experimental group posted higher gains in the college level texts in the areas of getting the main idea, making inferences, and predicting outcomes and implications. The control group did better in distinguishing between fact and opinion and getting the meaning of a word from context in the lower level texts. Based on the findings of this experiment, it may be concluded that using Krashen's Natural Approach and higher level readability materials conditions students to comprehend these texts better than if they would be limited to texts within their reading levels only.

Abstract Format




Accession Number


Shelf Location

Archives, The Learning Commons, 12F Henry Sy Sr. Hall

Physical Description

334 leaves ; 28 cm.


Reading comprehension.

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