ERIC Number: ED228848
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Does the EFL Reader Need Reading Strategies More Than Language? Some Experimental Evidence.
Laufer, Batia; Sim, D. D.
A study was designed to investigate a problem of university level second language (L2) reading comprehension courses, namely, whether to treat reading as a problem of language or of reading strategies. The subjects were six undergraduates who had completed a standard English as a Foreign Language (EFL) reading comprehension course, and a control group of six teachers, non-native speakers of English, working in fields unrelated to language teaching. Three passages from a text on anthropology were used to test the following reading strategies: skimming for key words and phrases, finding the implication, distinguishing between main and peripheral points, recognizing the author's intent, and contextual guessing. Students were interviewed individually after they had studied the passages without the aid of dictionaries. Students who had difficulties with a passage were given a native language Hebrew translation of the passage. Data indicate that the ability to use reading strategies in Hebrew did not transfer to English. Generally, the control group subjects were able to apply reading strategies in L2. This indicates that good reading ability is primarily a function of language competence. Data also suggest that without sufficient lexical knowledge students make inferences drawn from their own common sense, opinions, or biases. (AMH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (New York, NY, November 25-27, 1982).