ERIC Number: ED132845
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1976-Jul
Reference Count: 0
Toward a Theory of Second Language Reading.
Eskey, David E.
An adequate description of the total reading process would have to deal with reading in at least three dimensions comprising three different sets of relationships. A model of the process might well take the form of three concentric spheres: an outer, sociolinguistic shell in which text and reader respectively could be related to a particular universe of texts and a particular society of readers; an intermediate, linguistic sphere in which the texts could be related to the functions and forms of a given human language, and the reader to his functional knowledge of that language; and an inner, psycholinguistic core where text and reader come together in the mind of a single human being. Thus the focus narrows, as the spheres become smaller and increasingly specific, from a culture, to a language, to the reader himself. Approaching second-language reading in this way means a willingness to draw on work from many fields. At the broadest level the two disciplines are sociolinguistics and ethnomethodology; at the linguistic level, structural linguistics and certain kinds of discourse analysis; and at the basic level, information theory and the study of the psycholinguistic behavior of individual second language readers. This paper is a first attempt to provide at least a framework for such a theory. Better theories of language are an absolute necessity for the teacher of second language reading. (Author/CFM)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at Conference on Second Language Learning and Teaching (Oswego, New York, July 16, 1976)