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Factors impacting on reading difficulties of the students at the College of Micronesia

Marisa Estrada Suhm, University of Massachusetts Amherst


“Why are the students at the College of Micronesia having problems understanding their academic texts and materials?” That is the question that this study explores through extensive interviews with professors and students, and more than 400 reading proficiency tests. This study finds that Micronesian students have difficulties with several aspects of reading, and that there are a multitude of factors that contribute to the problem. Those factors fall into the following areas: language, educational background, culture, motivation, learning and reading strategies of the students; and the teaching methodologies, institutional policies and sociopolitical conditions of the school. The study concludes by recommending to the faculty to directly teach metacognitive reading strategies in all areas of instruction, to adapt the content, language and level of the materials to the educational and cultural characteristics of the students, and to adapt methodologies to the Micronesian learning style. The new role of college instructors should not be to impart a list of foreign facts, but to serve as a bridge between the culture and academic background of the students and the culture and content of their textbooks. Seen from this perspective reading for Micronesians will become an active interaction between their world and the world of the writer, and no longer an oppressive memorization of meaningless facts.

Subject Area

Literacy|Reading instruction|Higher education|Educational psychology

Recommended Citation

Suhm, Marisa Estrada, "Factors impacting on reading difficulties of the students at the College of Micronesia" (1999). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI9920654.