DIRECTED READING THINKING ACTIVITY (DRTA): AN EFFECTIVE STRATEGY TO DEVELOP READING COMPREHENSION
NERIZZA S. CATACUTAN
Children nowadays are hooked in playing on line games and in updating their social media accounts by posting pictures, quotes or their thoughts and feelings. Wherever you may go, you will see them with their cellular phones, i-pad or laptop.
Most probably, parents and teachers would agree with me when I say that one of the effects of too much exposure of school children to gadgets is lack of interest on reading books. Very few children engage themselves in reading. Even when the teacher asks the pupils to read a story during their Reading class it is observed that the pupils show boredom in reading the selections or are observed of having difficulty understanding the story because they are not used to doing it. In this case, it is important for the teacher to find ways on how to make the pupils read with comprehension.
One of the strategies in Reading which was proven to be effective by researches is the Directed Reading Thinking Activity or DRTA. It was associated with Directed Reading Activity developed by Stauffer in 1969. The DRTA is a strategy that guides students in asking questions about a text, making predictions, and then reading to confirm or refute their predictions. It provides the teacher an opportunity to guide students to think like good readers do by anticipating, predicting, and then confirming and modifying their ideas with the story. DRTA is mostly used with fiction, but it can be used successfully with nonfiction too. It is intended to develop students’ability to read critically and reflectively. The directed reading thinking activity attempts to equip readers with the ability to determine the purposes of reading, the ability to extract, comprehend, and assimilate information, the ability to make predictions to examine reading materials based on the purposes of reading, the ability to pass judgments, and finally the ability to make decisions based upon information gleaned from reading.
According to Allen in 2004, the value of directed reading thinking activity is to make predictions before reading each section. Requiring students to make predictions encourage the use of context clues and establishes a purpose for reading. This cycle requires students to use their background knowledge to set purposes for reading and develop their questioning ability. Verifying predictions while reading extends thoughts and promotes interactive learning. The power of the directed reading thinking activity strategy increases when the teacher guides students to check their predictions after r eadi ng.
Teachers in English and Filipino may use this strategy to develop skills in inferring or predicting outcomes. Many studies have proven the effectiveness of this strategy in enhancing the reading comprehension skills of the pupils because through DRTA, they are able to set purposes, make predictions, read silently, and verify predictions, re-read the selection of purposes specified by the teacher, and respond to evaluations and enrichment activities.
The author is Teacher III at Lourdes Northwest Elementary School