Elementary School Teachers' Perception on Reading Underachievers and Teaching Experiences in South Korea

Submitted by: Hyunseok Seo
Abstract: This study investigated the concept of reading underachievers perceived by elementary school teachers and their teaching status in South Korea. The inquiry questions of this study are as follows. 1)What are the characteristics of ‘poor reading’ and ‘reading underachiever’ perceived by teachers? 2)How are the actual conditions of teaching ‘reading underachievers’perceived by school teachers? 3)What are the challenges and needs faced by teachers with teaching reading underachievers? 4)What are the ways to support for reading teachers? The research was conducted in about 100 incumbent elementary school teachers to investigate the status and tendency of their perception of reading underachiever teaching in school. A mobile survey was performed for a week from July 20 to 25, 2018 by using Google Drive.
In this study elementary school teachers indicated that most important under-achievement of their students is basic reading and writing ability. They perceive reading poor children are those who cannot read loudly, those who have poor vocabulary, lack of reading ability to check facts, or who do not read to find meaning. And they have found that there are 1-2 poor readers in their class. More than 80% of the teachers volunteered to teach reading underachievers, who were detected in their classrooms. But, only 40(41.2%) respondents participated in vocational training. And the respondents teaching reading underachievers were less likely to participate in training than those teaching no reading underachiever: 27.1% and 55.1%, respectively (χ2=7.855, p<.01). And there was no statistically significant difference found in satisfaction with training related to reading underachiever teaching, the respondents teaching reading underachievers scored an average of 3.78 and those teaching no reading underachiever scored an average of 3.85 for training satisfaction. That is, the respondents teaching reading underachievers were less satisfied with the training than those teaching no reading underachiever. The results of this study indicate that the appropriate support is not provided to teachers who directly teach to reading underachievers. And Teachers were unable to spell out the exact names of reading diagnostic tools, it can be presumed that they have scant information or knowledge about teaching reading underachievers.

Keywords : elementary school teacher, reading underachiever, development of teachers' expertise, reading diagnostic tool, teacher training