Reading in a Foreign Language
Volume 14, Number 1, April 2002
ISSN 1539-0578

Abstracts

Possible Effects Of Strategy Instruction on L1 and L2 Reading
Reyhan Salataci and Ayse Akyel

The present study investigates the reading strategies of Turkish EFL students in Turkish and English and the possible effects of reading instruction on reading in Turkish and English. The study addresses the following questions: a) Does strategy instruction in EFL reading affect EFL reading strategies and reading comprehension in English? b) Does strategy instruction in EFL reading affect reading strategies in Turkish? The participants consisted of 8 Turkish students enrolled in a pre-intermediate level class of a one-year intensive English course offered at a Turkish-medium technical university. The data came from think-aloud protocols, observation, a background questionnaire, a semi-structured interview and the reading component of the PET (the Preliminary English Test). The results indicated that strategy instruction had a positive effect on both Turkish and English reading strategies and reading comprehension in English.
Keywords: reading strategies, comparison of L1 and L2, reading instruction, strategy instruction, reading comprehension, Turkish reading

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Reassessing Readers' Comprehension Monitoring
Yu-Fen Yang

For the past three decades, most metacognitive studies in the research field of reading have focused on how metacognition functions best in specific, successful strategies, instead of investigating how comprehension monitoring can be developed. This results in knowing what metacognitive strategies to use and how they are used, but still does not account for their successful and automatic utilization. The internalization of metacognitive competency therefore seems to deserve further investigation. The present study aims at reassessing both proficient and less-proficient readers' comprehension monitoring. The findings of this study show, first of all, that proficient readers displayed more competency in monitoring their on-going thinking process since they tended to monitor their reading process all the time in order to compensate for words that had not been previously decoded. Secondly, the proficient readers employed higher levels of comprehension monitoring which included internal and external consistency (Baker, 1985, 1996). Thirdly, comprehension monitoring can be developed by interaction with a knowledgeable person. Teacher intervention enhanced the less-proficient readers' development of comprehension monitoring by providing them with basic language knowledge as a resource for comprehension monitoring and integrating sporadic information. Finally, the present study suggests that comprehension monitoring is no less significant than reading strategies. Comprehension monitoring can only become possible when there is something available to be monitored (Perfetti, Maureen, & Foltz, 1996). Instruction of basic language knowledge, therefore, should come before that of comprehension monitoring.
Keywords: comprehension monitoring, metacognitive strategies, reading processes, compensation

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Transfer Effects of Repeated EFL Reading on Reading New Passages: A Preliminary Investigation
Etsuo Taguchi and Greta J. Gorsuch

In English as a foreign language (EFL) contexts, there has been a growing recognition that reading provides important opportunities for second language (L2) development in second language learners (Day & Bamford, 1998). This is particularly true in EFL settings in which sources of L2 input are limited (Gebhard, 1996). However, EFL learners face a number of problems effectively utilizing reading as a venue for L2 development. One of the more salient problems is that EFL learners' reading rates may be slow, indicating that they are reading laboriously word by word (Coady, 1979). Mikulecky (1990) suggests that L2 readers are trapped in a feeling of security, in that they believe reading every word leads to better understanding of the text meaning. Unfortunately, such slow reading may discourage learners from practicing reading. It is clear that methods that help students learn to read faster and with better comprehension may encourage students to read more and more fully utilize opportunities for growth in the L2 through reading. This study focuses on one such method -- repeated reading (RR) -- and its use with nine first year Japanese university EFL students of beginner to intermediate English proficiency.
Keywords: repeated reading, reading transfer, reading rates, reading fluency, reading comprehension

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Extensive Reading and Language Learning: A Diary Study of a Beginning Learner of Japanese
Ching Yin Leung

Motivated by the continued growth of research on extensive reading as well as the positive results from a variety of studies (e.g., Bell, 2001; Camiciottoli, 2001; Elley & Mangubhai, 1983; Mason & Krashen, 1997; Nash & Yuan, 1992; Renandya, Rajan, & Jacobs, 1999; Tse, 1996; Walker, 1997), an investigation was conducted on the impact of extensive reading on an adult's self-study of Japanese over a 20-week period. Data were collected from multiple sources, including a learner diary, audio-recordings from several private tutorial sessions, and vocabulary tests. The results of this study show that extensive reading can enhance vocabulary acquisition and reading comprehension, and promote a positive attitude toward reading. The challenges that the learner encountered during the extensive reading process and how they were dealt with are also addressed.
Keywords: extensive reading, Japanese as a foreign language, self-instruction, vocabulary acquisition, vocabulary, affect

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