Reading in a Foreign Language    ISSN 1539-0578
Volume 25, Number 2, October 2013

Task-induced strategic processing in L2 text comprehension
Yukie Horiba

Strategic text processing was investigated for English as a foreign language learners who processed and recalled a text when they read for expression, for image, and for critique. The results indicated that, although the amount of content recall (i.e., products of comprehension) was similar, the relative contributions of second language (L2) proficiency and general comprehension skill differed between task conditions (Experiment 1). Think-alouds produced during reading (i.e., processes of comprehension) indicated that the amount of resource allocation to word analysis, reaction and evaluation, and self-monitoring differed between task conditions (Experiment 2). Thus, task instructions may induce strategic L2 text processing, where L2 proficiency and general comprehension skill intervene in the comprehension processes differently depending on the reading goal.

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Improving reading rates and comprehension through timed repeated reading
Anna C-S Chang & Sonia Millett

Thirteen English as a foreign language students read 26 passages during a 13-week period. Each passage was read five times, and students answered comprehension questions after the first and the fifth reading. Another 13 students read the same number of passages but without repetition and only answered the comprehension questions once. All students were tested based on two practiced texts and one unpracticed text before and after the intervention. The results of reading rates showed that the repeated reading students increased 47 words and 45 words per minute in the practiced and unpracticed texts respectively, but the non-repeated students increased 13 and 7 words only. The comprehension levels of the repeated reading students improved 19% and 17% for the practiced and unpracticed texts, but this was 5% and 3% for the non-repeated reading students. Possible reasons for the higher gains compared to previous studies are discussed.


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Factors underlying second language reading motivation of adult EAP students
Reiko Komiyama

Characteristics of English for Academic Purposes students’ second language (L2) motivation were examined by identifying underlying motivational factors. Using the motivation constructs created by first language reading researchers, a survey was developed and administered to 2,018 students from 53 English language programs in the U.S. Survey responses were analyzed through exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses. Results indicate that a five-factor structure was best for interpreting the data, accounting for approximately 44% of the total variance. The identified factors included one intrinsically-oriented factor (Intrinsic Motivation) and four extrinsically-oriented factors (Drive to Excel, Academic Compliance, Test Compliance, Social Sharing). The results support the multidimensional nature of L2 reading motivation and the importance of intrinsic motivation in explaining L2 reading motivation.


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Reading as a social interactive process: The impact of shadow-reading in L2 classrooms
Millie Commander & Maria C. M. de Guerrero

Unlike research in reading which focuses on data from individuals reading independently, this study identified second language (L2) college students’ reading processes that occurred within dyadic peer interactions during shadow-reading, a collaborative procedure based on repetition and summarizing. Also, written retellings (immediate and delayed) were collected to assess the impact of shadow-reading on comprehension and retention. The qualitative analysis of the data was based on the collaborative talk that occurred as partners either attempted to resolve language-related problems in the text or discussed idea-related situations. This analysis revealed comprehension-enabling and comprehension-building processes. The quantitative analysis was based on a numerical assessment of the retellings of the shadow-reading participants and of another group, who read the text individually, without shadow-reading. The shadow-reading group performed significantly better in both conditions, immediate (p < .037) and delayed (p < .004). The pedagogical implications of the use of shadowing in L2 classrooms are discussed.


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L2 extensive reading and flow: Clarifying the relationship
Cheryl Kirchhoff

Among foreign language educators interest in extensive reading is growing along with questions about learner motivation to read. Maintaining learner motivation over long periods of time is influenced by many variables suggesting that multiple means of stimulating motivation is needed. The psychological theory of flow has been suggested to influence motivation and engagement in reading. This study examined Japanese learners of English in extensive reading classes to see if they perceived to experiencing flow, the conditions that enabled flow, and if experiencing flow influenced their motivation to spend more time reading. The findings showed that these learners often perceived to experiencing flow while reading graded readers, however, greater frequency of flow-like experiences did not correlate with greater amounts of time spent reading.


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A case study of extensive reading with an unmotivated L2 reader
Eunseok Ro

Extensive reading is gaining credibility as an effective way of boosting students’ affect especially in an English as a Foreign Language (EFL) context where access to a second language (L2) input is minimal. This study uses a pattern-matching, single case study research design to examine an adult reader’s motivation and anxiety shifts towards second language reading. Motivation and anxiety were measured through three self-reported questionnaires, three interviews, and observations in 24 extensive reading sessions over an 8-week period. A total of 174 minutes of interviews were audio-taped, transcribed, and analyzed through content analysis. Results suggest that pleasure reading lowered the participant’s fears while increasing motivation towards second language reading. Moreover, the contributing factors for anxiety reduction (confidence, comfort or ease, and enjoyment) and motivation enhancement (convenience or accessibility, satisfaction, comfort or ease, enjoyment, and usefulness) as well as the pedagogical implications for teaching unmotivated readers are discussed.


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Effective extensive reading outside the classroom: A large-scale experiment
Thomas Robb & Makimi Kano

We report on a large-scale implementation of extensive reading (ER) in a university setting in Japan where all students were required to read outside class time as part of their course requirement. A pre/posttest comparison between the 2009 cohort of students who read outside of class and the 2008 cohort who did no outside reading shows that the implementation of ER resulted in highly significant gains. A plug-in module for Moodle called “MoodleReader” was used to hold the students accountable for their reading. A new distinction between replacement ER and additive ER is introduced.


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Effects of extensive reading on reading attitudes in a foreign language
Junko Yamashita

Extensive reading (ER) is an instructional option steadily gaining support and recognition in second language (L2) reading pedagogy. Even though many attempts have been made to unravel the impact of ER on L2 development, there is a paucity of investigation into the affective domains of reading. The current study helps fill this gap by examining the effect of ER on L2 reading attitude. Participants were 61 undergraduates learning English as a foreign language at a Japanese university. Five attitudinal variables were measured using a 22-item questionnaire scored on a Likert scale in the categories of Comfort, Anxiety, Intellectual Value, Practical Value, and Linguistic Value. After the removal of Linguistic Value because of a ceiling effect, the result showed increases in Comfort and Intellectual Value and a decrease in Anxiety, with no effect on Practical Value. Implications for research and pedagogy are discussed.


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The reader-text-writer interaction: L2 Japanese learners' response toward graded readers
Mitsue Tabata-Sandom

This paper reports on two projects which investigated graded readers (GRs) as meaningful input for learners of Japanese as a foreign language (JFL). Project One examined the intentions of six writers of Japanese GRs. A focus group interview demonstrated that the writers had a genuine communicative intent in the writing process. Project Two investigated how fourteen learners of JFL responded to the GRs produced by these writers. Most participants welcomed lexical simplification in the GRs and their think-aloud protocols indicated that they experienced an effortless reading process with the GRs. This implies that GRs can be productive reading materials for JFL reading fluency development. In the affective domain, the less proficient participants tended to react favourably to the writers’ communicative intent, whereas advanced participants demonstrated negative perceptions toward reading the GRs. The paper argues that the potential of GRs as meaningful input for learners of JFL is maximized when their efficacy is explicitly taught.


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