ERIC Number: ED266434
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Dec
Reference Count: 0
Effects of English/Spanish Language Pattern Differences on ESL Learners' Comprehension of English Text.
Stone, Ruth J.; Kinzer, Charles K.
A study examined whether language patterns found in English, which differed from those in Spanish, would have a significant effect on English as a second language (ESL) learners' comprehension while reading English text. Average fifth grade readers were randomly assigned to either an initial Spanish speaking group (N=18) or an initial English speaking group (N=18). Nine stories were developed for the study, three for each of three different language pattern categories: similar, moderately similar, and dissimilar. Measures included two categories: students' retelling scores, a rating scale designed to provide information on learners' perceptions of story difficulty; and four comprehension questions on each story that was read. Students also read each story orally, providing a miscue score. Students in both groups read three stories, one with each language pattern. On the retelling measures the lowest scores were found on stories that were most dissimiliar from students' initial language. Oral reading errors increased as language pattern similarity decreased. Yet, on literal comprehension questions, students attained the highest scores on dissimilar passages. The results support the contention that texts violating readers' expectations about language patterns while reading can have disruptive effects. However, the fact that the comprehension question scores did not concur with the retelling scores implies that further investigation is needed. (HTH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Reading Conference (35th, San Diego, CA, December 3-7, 1985).