The Use of Think-Aloud in Assisting Reading Comprehension among Primary School Students

  • Amelia Shoon Wan Chin Universiti Malaysia Sarawak
  • Kartini Abdul Ghani Universiti Malaysia Sarawak


Reading strategies are seldom taught to students despite their importance in aiding reading comprehension. This study aimed to examine the effectiveness of the think-aloud strategy and investigate primary school students' perception of using the think-aloud strategy in assisting their reading comprehension. Twenty-seven primary school students were introduced and trained to use the think-aloud strategy through teacher-modelling and reciprocal think-aloud with comprehension passages related to the relevant English curriculum. Questionnaires and interview sessions were conducted to gather information on how the students perceive the use of think-aloud in reading comprehension. Findings revealed that students have positive perceptions towards using think-aloud as a reading strategy in their reading comprehension and were keen on using the strategy in their future reading.



Aarnoutse, C., & Schellings, G. (2003). Learning Reading Strategies by Triggering Reading Motivation Educational Studies, 29 (4), 387-409.

AD-Heisat M.A.A., Mohammed, S., Sharmella, K.A., & Issa, J.H. (2009). The Use of Reading Strategies in Developing Students' Reading Competency among Primary School Teachers in Malaysia. European Journal of Social Sciences, 12(2), 310-319.

Afflerbach, P., Pearson P.D., & Paris, S.G. (2008). Clarifying Differences Between Reading Skills and Reading Strategies. The Reading Teacher, 61(5), 364-373.

Alyousef, H.S. (2005). Teaching Reading Comprehension to ESL/EFL Learners. The Reading Matrix, 5(2),143-154.

Alzu'bi, M. (2019). The Impact of Think-Aloud on EFL Students' Reading Comprehension. Retrieved from'_Reading_Comprehension

Al Seyabi, F., & Tuzlukova, V. (2015). Investigating EFL Reading Problems and Strategies in Post-BasicSchools and University Foundation Programmes: A Study in the Omani Context. Malaysian Journal of ELT Research, 11(2), 35-51.

Baumann, J.F., Jones, L.A., & Seifert-Kessell, N. (1993). Using think-aloud to enhance children's comprehension monitoring abilities. The Reading Teacher, 47(3), pp.184-193.

BERNAMA (2017, April 21). Kadar literasi rakyat Malaysia masih pada tahap 55 peratus - KP

Perpustakaan Negara. Retrieved from

Best, R.M., Floyd, R.G., & McNamara, D.S. (2008). Differential Competencies Contributing to Children's Comprehension of Narrative and Expository Texts. Reading Psychology, 29(2), 137-164.

Bohn-Gettler, C.M., & Kendeou, P. (2014). The Interplay of Reader Goals, Working Memory, and Tex Structure During Reading. Contemporary Education Psychology, 39(3), pp.206-219.

Bojovic, M. (2010). Reading Skills and Reading Comprehension in English for Specific Purposes. The International Language Conference on The Importance of Learning Professional Foreign Languages for Communication between Cultures 2010, (September 2010), 1-5.

Carioli, S., & Peru, A. (2016). The Think-Aloud approach: A Promising Tool for Online Reading Comprehension. Journal of Media Literacy Education, 8(1), 49-61.

Carioli, S., & Peru, A. (2019). Teaching online reading strategies using the Think Aloud technique. Evidence from an experimental study. Italian Journal of Educational Technology, 27(3), 279-293

Chen, L.L., Maarof, N., & Yunus M.M. (2016). Factors Affecting ESL Reading Comprehension of Malaysian Secondary School Students. International Conference on Education, 542-547.

Dara, D. (2019). Investigating English Reading Comprehension Problems of Cambodian High Schoo Students. American International Journal of Social Science, 8(3), 52-56.

Davey, B. (1983). Think-aloud - Modeling the cognitive processes of reading comprehension. Journal of Reading, 27(1), pp. 44-47.

Ditzel, S.N. (2010). Metacognitive Reading Strategies Can Improve Self-Regulation. Journal of College Reading and Learning, 40(2), 45-63.

Fawcett, G. (1993). Using Students as Think Aloud Models. Reading Research and Instruction, 33(2), pp.95-104.

Hirsch, E.D. (2003). Reading comprehension requires knowledge - of words and the world. Scientific insights into the fourth-grade slump and the Nation's stagnant comprehension scores. American Educator, 27(1), 10-29.

Jafarigohar, M., Soleimani, H., & Soleimani, Z. (2013). The Effects of Reciprocal Teaching vs ThinkAloud on Reading Comprehension of Pre-Intermediate Students in Iran. International Journal of English and Education, 2(1).

Jahandar, S., Khodabandehlou, M., Seyedi, G., Mousavi, R., & Abadi, D. (2012). The Think-aloud Method in EFL Reading Comprehension. International Journal of Scientific & Engineering Research, 3(9), 1-9.

Khalifa, A.A.H.A.S., Ahmed, A.O.A., & Ismael, E.A.A. (2020). EFL Teachers' Beliefs and Actual Classroom Practices of Teaching Reading Strategies. International Journal of Science, Engineering and Technology Research (IJSETR), 9(4).

Kirby, J.R. (2007). Reading Comprehension: Its Nature and Development. Encyclopaedia of Language and Literacy Development, pp 1-8. Retrieved from

KPM (2019). Pelaporan Pentaksiran Sekolah Rendah (PPSR 2019). Retrieved from

Kymes, A. (2005). Teaching online comprehension strategies using think-aloud. Retrieved from

Leipzig, D.H. (January 2001). What is reading? WETA. Retrieved from

McKeown, R.G., & Gentilucci, J.L. (2007). Think-Aloud Strategy: Metacognitive development and monitoring comprehension in the middle school second-language classroom. International Reading Association, pp.136-147.

Migyanka, J.M., Policastro, C., & Lui, G. (2005). Using a Think-Aloud with Diverse Students: Three Primary Grade Students Experience Chrysanthemum. Early Childhood Education Journal, 33(3), pp. 171- 177.

Mohammed, Q. & Rashid, R.A. (2019). The Sources of Reading Comprehension Difficulties Among Saudi EFL Learners. Trends in Social Sciences, 1(1), 7-16.

Nation, K. (2019). Children's reading difficulties, language, and reflections on the simple view of reading. Australian Journal of Learning Difficulties, 24(1), p.47-73.

Ortlieb, E., & Norris, M. (2012). Using the Think-Aloud Strategy to Bolster Reading Comprehension of Science Concepts. Current Issues in Education, 15(1), 1-8

Oster, L. (2001). Using the think-aloud for reading instruction. The Reading Teacher, 55(1), pp.64-69.

Pardo, L.S. (2004). What every teacher needs to know about comprehension. International Reading Association, 272-280.

Pariona, A. (2017, August 1). The most popular official languages of the world. Retrieved from

Raihan, M.A. (2011). 'Think-aloud' Techniques used in Metacognition to Enhance Self-regulated Learning.Journal of Educational Research, 25(2),125-160.Sawe, B.E. (2019, June 7). What is the most spoken language in the world? Retrieved from

Seng, G.H. (2007). The Effects of Think-Aloud in a Collaborative Environment to Improve Comprehensionof L2 Texts. The Reading Matrix, 7(2), 29-45

Seng, G.H. (2009). Using Think-aloud While Reading: What do students think about it? English LanguageJournal, 3, 125-142.

Shehu, I. (2015). Reading Comprehension Problems Encountered by Foreign Language Students, Case Study: Albania, Croatia. Academic Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies, 4(1), 91-96

Singhal, M. (2001). Reading Proficiency, Reading Strategies, Metacognitive Awareness and L2 Readers. The Reading Matrix, 1(1).

Smith, L.A. (2006). Think-Aloud Mysteries: Using structured sentence-by-sentence text passages to teach comprehension strategies. International Reading Association, 59, (8),764-773.

Snowling, M.J., & Hulme, C. (2011, March). Evidence-based interventions for reading and language difficulties: Creating a virtuous circle. British Journal of Educational Psychology,8, 1-23

Sönmez, Y., & Sulak, S.E. (2018). The Effect of the Thinking-aloud Strategy on the Reading Comprehension Skills of 4th Grade Primary School Students. Universal Journal of Educational Research,6(1). 168-172.

Stevens, K.C. (1980). The Effect of Background Knowledge on The Reading Comprehension of Ninth Graders. Journal of Reading Behavior, 12 (2), 151-154.

Think-alouds. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Walker, B.J., (2005). Thinking aloud: Struggling readers often require more than a model. International Reading Association, 58(7), 688-692.

Yazdanpanah, K. (2007). The Effect of Background Knowledge and Reading Comprehension Test Items on Male and Female Performance. The Reading Matrix, 7(2), 64-80

Ys, S.B., Nasir, C., & Rohiman, C.L.N. (2018). Using the Think-Aloud Method in Teaching Reading Comprehension. Studies in English Language and Education, 5(1),148-158.

How to Cite
Chin, A. S. W., & Ghani, K. A. (2021). The Use of Think-Aloud in Assisting Reading Comprehension among Primary School Students. Journal of Cognitive Sciences and Human Development, 7(1), 11-32.