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ERIC Number: EJ1098442
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 36
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 53
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: EISSN-1938-9809
Adult Second Language Reading in the USA: The Effects of Readers' Gender and Test Method
Brantmeier, Cindy
Forum on Public Policy Online, v2006 n1 Fall 2006
Bernhardt (2003) claims that half of the variance in second language (L2) reading is accounted for by first language literacy (20%) and second language knowledge (30%), and that one of the central goals of current L2 reading research should be to investigate the 50% of variance that remains unexplained. Part of this variance takes consists of passage content or background knowledge, and as the reader develops, proficiency presides over passage content. In an attempt to further examine factors involved in the remaining variance, Brantmeier (2002; 2003a, 2003b, 2003c, 2003d; 2004a) conducted a series of studies that include readers' gender as an interacting variable. Results add additional meaning to Bernhardt's (1991) conclusion that background knowledge by itself does not predict comprehension. As proficiency increases, the influence of both background knowledge and readers' gender decrease, or disappear completely. Brantmeier's findings reveal that the interaction of readers' gender and passage content does play a role at the intermediate levels of Spanish language instruction, but not at the advanced stages. The series of studies identifies gender as a moderator of both conceptual and practical importance for the intermediate levels of L2 language instruction at the university. In the present study, reanalysis of data from prior studies was conducted, and findings indicate gender differences in comprehension may be a function of the type of assessment used at the intermediate level. In four studies that utilized the same set of texts across levels of language instruction, the multiple choice test method was inconsistent by gender, and the written recall was consistent by gender with females outperforming males at the intermediate levels of instruction. In addition, findings may indicate a tendency toward readers' gender presiding over topic familiarity on written recall, and topic familiarity presiding over readers' gender on multiple choice at the intermediate levels.
Oxford Round Table. 406 West Florida Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801. Tel: 217-344-0237; Fax: 217-344-6963; e-mail: editor@forumonpublicpolicy.com; Web site: http://www.forumonpublicpolicy.com
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Costa Rica; United States