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ERIC Number: ED513084
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 264
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1092-3742-9
Individual Differences and Text Genre in L2 French Reading Comprehension
Foss, Julie A.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Michigan State University
Reading in another language (L2) is a complex, multidimensional process dependent upon both reader-based and text-based factors. The purpose of this study was to investigate the roles of reader-based individual difference variables and of the text-based variable of genre in reading comprehension in French. The sample included 153 adult learners enrolled in beginning, intermediate and advanced level university French courses. Structural equation modeling results provided support for a model in which L1 reading ability and L2 proficiency positively influenced L2 reading (recall) comprehension, metacognitive knowledge positively influenced L1 reading ability and L2 proficiency, L2 contact positively influenced L2 proficiency, motivation positively influenced L2 proficiency, L2 contact and study habits (motivational intensity), and anxiety positively influenced study habits. This model accounted for 73% of variance in L2 reading comprehension. A comparison of models for narrative and expository comprehension showed that L2 proficiency contributed significantly less to comprehension of the narrative genre than to the expository genre. Furthermore, recall comprehension scores for narrative texts were significantly higher than scores for expository texts. Factorial analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed a significant main effect of genre on comprehension, as well as a significant main effect for text. A significant interaction of genre and text with learner level was also present. While differences in comprehension scores by genre were significant at all three levels of French study, genre effects were more robust among intermediate and advanced learners than among beginners, and different patterns of comprehension for each text existed between the advanced learners and the intermediate and beginning learners. An additional aim of the study was to assess readers' affective reactions to reading each genre in the L2 and to reading the experimental passages. Factorial ANOVA showed significantly greater levels of enjoyment, greater comprehensibility and less anxiety for the narrative genre in general, as well as for the narrative experimental texts. Whereas no significant differences in perceptions of the utility of the narrative and expository genres in general existed, participants found the two expository experimental texts more useful to read than the narrative passages. Reactions to each genre and to the experimental texts varied significantly by learner level, with advanced learners reacting more positively to both genres as well as to the experimental texts than beginning and intermediate students. A significant interaction between all categories of affective reactions and text, however, revealed considerable variability in reactions to each of the four texts. Participant comments suggested that factors such as personal engagement with the topic, text organization, salience of details, and word and sentence-level features also affected their reading experience. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A