|dc.description.abstract||Upon entering tertiary education students have to undergo development with regard to the
way in which information is gathered, processed and produced because the academic
context (secondary environment) is different to the primary context in so many ways.
Students have to acquire the identity or discourse of the secondary environment, in other
words they must learn how to behave, interact, believe, speak, read and write in an
academic way (Gee, 1996:viii). When students have acquired the identity of the secondary
environment they are well on their way to a successful academic career. The choice has been made to focus on one component of identity, namely reading, and specifically academic reading. The latter concept is defined as the process to accept, reject and synthesize incoming information from various sources – the guiding principle in this process is the aim of theorizing. It was found that comprehension of the semantics and function of conjunction markers played an important role in the academic reading process. And that the cloze test is a good method to teach comprehension of conjunction markers. The aim of the current study is to establish whether the use of cloze tests, focused on conjunction markers, will improve academic reading comprehension, within the framework of academic literacy. The empirical research was conducted amongst first year students at the North-West University, Vaal Triangle Campus. Participants were selected using the following criteria: they had AGLA111 and they were first year students during 2008-2010. As basis for this research a pretest-posttest control group experimental design was used. The nature of this research is quantitative and a null-hypothesis (H0) was formulated: cloze tests as a teaching method will not improve reading comprehension. Six sets of data were used for this investigation: the January 2008 results, the June 2008 results, the January 2009 results, the June 2009 results, the January 2010 results and the June 2010 results. These sets of data were compared using independent t-tests to establish whether the means were statistically significant. The sets of data were compared looking at - the TAG as a whole and - only the questions that involved conjunction markers. The test in January is written before students commence with their studies and the test in June is written after they have received intervention by way of the academic literacy module. The only intervention in 2008 was the standard academic literacy module – this group serves as the control group. During 2009, besides the standard intervention, students underwent five weeks of cloze tests with conjunction markers as focus – this was the pilot study. The experimental group which had standard intervention as well as nine weeks of cloze tests, was the group of 2010. The results of the experiment show that the effect size was big with regard to the results of the TAG as a whole and medium with regards to the questions that involve conjunction markers. The results were statistically significant in both cases and the mean of the post tests were higher in each event. The finding is that cloze test training focussed on conjunction markers is a good method for improving academic reading comprehension, but more research is still necessary.||en_US