Reading in a Foreign Language    ISSN 1539-0578
Volume 23, Number 2, October 2011

Driven to read: Enthusiastic readers in a Japanese high school's extensive reading program
Patrick B. Judge

The paper reports on a long-term, multi-case study examining the motivations of avid readers in an extensive reading program at a private Japanese high school. Using an ethnographic approach to case study research, the project explores nine participants—their motivations for reading and what English study means for them. The two and a half year study finds strong similarities between the participants such as a love of literacy and a desire for autonomy. The findings call for greater consideration of non-cognitive factors such as affect and personal attributes in motivation research. This study adds to a growing body of qualitative literature focused on L2 reading motivation.


back to table of contents | pdf

The effects of embedded and elaborative interrogation questions on L2 reading comprehension
Cindy Brantmeier, Aimee Callender, & Mark McDaniel

With 97 advanced second language (L2) learners of Spanish, the present study utilized domain specific texts to examine the effects of embedded “what” questions and elaborative “why” questions on reading comprehension. Participants read two different vignettes, either with or without the adjuncts, from a social psychology textbook, and then completed a written recall, multiple-choice items, and a topic familiarity questionnaire. Results revealed no significant effects of inserted adjunct questions for recall and multiple choice items. Mean recall scores for both the embedded and elaborative questions were almost the same for each passage, whereas the mean recall score for the version without adjuncts was lower. Results are discussed in light of previous research and suggestions for more research of this nature are offered.
back to table of contents | pdf


Beginning students' perceptions of effective activities for Chinese character recognition
Jing Wang & Christine H. Leland

This study investigates what beginning learners of Chinese perceive as helpful in learning to recognize characters. Thirteen English-speaking participants in a beginning Chinese class answered journal questions and completed a survey over one semester at a large Midwestern university. Findings suggest that participants perceived the usefulness of different ways of learning: (a) Studying characters individually strongly facilitated the learning of Chinese orthography and also helped with meaning and pronunciation; (b) using characters in context strongly supported the learning of meaning and pronunciation; (c) practicing characters through cooperative learning created a good learning environment, provided support and facilitated meaningful interaction for learners. Participants thought it was helpful to focus on individual characters for orthography and use characters in context for meaning.


back to table of contents | pdf

About RFL | Table of Contents | Past Issues | Supplement Issues | Subscribe | Editorial Board | Submissions | Contact RFL