The Study of English Learners Synthesizing Process While Reading

| March 25, 2008
The Study of English Learners Synthesizing Process While Reading

Keywords: English learners; synthesizing information; culturally familiar and unfamiliar topics; cross-cultural prior knowledge

Lu-Fang Lin
National Taiwan Ocean University

Bio Data

Lu-Fang Lin received a Ph. D. degree from the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, University of Victoria, B.C., Canada. She is currently an assistant professor in the Foreign Language Teaching and Research Center, National Taiwan Ocean University, Taiwan. She is involved in research into English teaching in the EFL context and English reading comprehending instruction.

This research investigated how English learners could retell two types of passages with culturally familiar and unfamiliar topics. The oral retelling was used to measure the fourteen teenage participants reading comprehension of twelve English passages with Chinese and non-Chinese topics. The participants retelling protocols were categorized into ways of synthesizing information. The research firstly examined whether there was difference of English learners ways of synthesizing information between the two types of passages. The results showed that there was no significant difference between the participants approach for the Chinese and non-Chinese topic passages. The participants appear to have displayed awareness of the macrostructure in a text and then combined some micro-propositions in the text to make a synthesized statement over culturally familiar and unfamiliar topic passages. Secondly, synthesizing information was classified by function and by strategy to explain how English learners utilized the synthesizing process to comprehend an English passage on Chinese versus non-Chinese topics. Thirdly, the process of how the participants utilized prior knowledge to produce synthesizing information was explained. In the last section of the paper, the researcher presented some recommendations for classroom practice in an effort to help language teachers apply the results of the study to the actual instructional contexts.

See page 205-227

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Category: Main Editions, Volume 10 Issue 1