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ERIC Number: ED546325
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 275
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2676-2722-3
The Reading Comprehension Strategies of Second Language Learners: A Spanish-English Study
Acosta Caballero, Karen Anelice
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Kansas.
Reading comprehension of school-aged students is an important topic of research; however, research on the reading comprehension of adult foreign/second language learners whose first language is English is limited, especially studies investigating the reading comprehension strategies that readers of different proficiency levels use when they approach a text in the target language. The present study investigated the reading comprehension strategies that English-speaking college students enrolled in beginner, intermediate, and advanced Spanish language classes at a major university in the Midwest used to comprehend a text in their second language. The purpose of the study was to determine which reading comprehension strategies students of different levels used, whether they employed their first language when reading the Spanish text, and whether the frequency with which they used these strategies was related to their proficiency in Spanish. A mixed methods study was conducted. Forty-five students performed think-aloud protocols while reading the same expository text. The think alouds were transcribed and the strategies were identified through a qualitative coding of the transcriptions. The qualitative data were then quantified in order to determine the total number of strategies as well as the frequency with which participants used them within and across proficiency levels. The results indicate that, regardless of their proficiency level, readers tend to use the same reading comprehension strategies when approaching a text in their second language. Specifically, the most commonly used strategies were focusing on monitoring, vocabulary, decoding, inferencing, paraphrasing, translating, and searching for cognates. However, there is a qualitative difference in the way in which these strategies are used by readers of low, middle, and high-proficiency in Spanish. Findings also revealed that readers of all levels use their first language when reading in their second language. In addition, no statistically significant difference was found in the frequency with which readers of different levels used reading comprehension strategies, with the exception of decoding and searching for cognates. Other findings and implications are also discussed. [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:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A