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ERIC Number: EJ1023670
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0957-1736
A Model for Describing, Analysing and Investigating Cultural Understanding in EFL Reading Settings
Porto, Melina
Language Learning Journal, v41 n3 p284-296 2013
This article describes a model used to explore cultural understanding in English as a foreign language reading in a developing country, namely Argentina. The model is designed to investigate, analyse and describe EFL readers' processes of cultural understanding in a specific context. Cultural understanding in reading is typically investigated using inappropriate theoretical rationales framed, for instance, within static and essentialist notions of culture and identity. The model used here rests on a notion of comprehension based on levels of understanding rather than on recall of textual content. It emphasises the centrality of cultural understanding as a fluid process in a continuum of cultural familiarity and unfamiliarity within a dynamic conception of culture. Instead of a free recall protocol, a reading response task and a visual representation task are the two key instruments which require readers to exploit a text in order to rewrite it from an alternative perspective. The investigation shows that during the reading process, participants moved back and forth among the six levels specified in the model, indicating that the process of cultural understanding is not composed of independent and discrete elements, processes or stages but is fluid and complex. Furthermore, the investigation reveals the presence of an affective dimension throughout the different levels. This needs further research which might be pursued with the help of the visual representation task. This tool is also appropriate for developing the imaginative and emotional dimension of cultural understanding through reading.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Argentina
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A