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ERIC Number: EJ859587
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Oct
Pages: 25
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 52
ISSN: ISSN-1539-0578
Academic English Reading Proficiency at the University Level: A Norwegian Case Study
Hellekjaer, Glenn Ole
Reading in a Foreign Language, v21 n2 p198-222 Oct 2009
In this paper the academic English reading proficiency of 578 Norwegian university students was quantitatively examined. Self-assessment items were used to measure reading proficiency in Norwegian and English and validated using an International English Language Testing System Academic Reading Module. The study found that about 30% of the respondents had serious difficulties reading English, while an additional 44% found it more difficult than reading in their first language. The main problems encountered were unfamiliar vocabulary and slow reading, while extracurricular readers and respondents who were able to guess word meanings from context had higher reading scores. Poor language proficiency was a problem for many, to the extent that they fell below the linguistic threshold level. The study showed that, contrary to expectations, Norwegian EFL instruction at upper-secondary schools fails to develop the academic English reading proficiency needed for higher education. (Contains 4 tables.)
Reading in a Foreign Language. National Foreign Language Resource Center, 1859 East-West Road #106, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI 96822. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Norway