Literary Embodiment on the Levels of Comprehension in the “Balak”
This study claimed that the local poem, known as “Balak” contained aspects that could be used in teaching reading and in assessing the reading comprehension level of students. This study used a descriptive-interpretive type of research. It is anchored on Reader-Response Criticism facilitated through focus-group discussion, and duly validated through investigator triangulation. Ten collected local poems (“Balak”) were analyzed using Barrett’s five levels of comprehension: literal, reorganization, inference, evaluation, and appreciation. It was found out that the ten “Balak” could be used as a tool for reading and assessing reading comprehension because it contained embodiments of the different levels of reading comprehension. Each “Balak” comprised contents fitted to the level and experience of the learners as manifested in how they connected and related with the ideas, emotions as well as situations portrayed in the text. It was also found out that in terms of reading comprehension level, the respondents were proficient in the literal level, beginning level in both the reorganization and inference levels, developing in the evaluation level, and proficient in the appreciation level. The ten “Balak” contained embodiments on the levels of reading comprehension which could be used as teaching tools in reading, more activities in the reorganization and inferential levels were to be emphasized. Based on the findings of the study, the following recommendations were formulated. Teachers should apply contextualization and localization in the teaching-learning process. They should also be aware that local literary pieces were good sources to develop students' reading abilities. It could be used as springboards for teaching strategies, reading comprehension assessment, and activities that encourage discussions and stimulate imaginative responses leading to well-rounded and interesting student interactions.
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