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On EFL Reading Strategy Use by Technical College Students

Author: ZhangFang
Tutor: HuJian
School: Anhui University
Course: English Language and Literature
Keywords: reading strategy technical college students text type think-aloud
CLC: H319
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2011
Downloads: 23
Quote: 0
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Abstract


During the past decades, researchers both home and abroad have conducted large-scale, multi-perspective studies on reading strategies and made great achievements. In order to have an all-round understanding about students’reading strategy use and implement more effective strategy instruction, researchers have been exploring into various factors that affect reading strategy use, including physical, affective and other about-the-reader factors. The subjects therefore, contain many different types of English learners. However, when emphasizing the individual differences between readers, researchers have not paid much attention to the factors out of readers. Students of technical colleges, an important part of the present higher education in China, are also neglected. Since technical college students encounter new problems in the reading process, it is necessary to investigate the reading strategy use by them, describing the overall features and finding out the possible affecting factors.The present study aims to find out the strategy use by technical college students and probes into both the internal and external factors affecting strategy use. It is intended to answer the following research questions:1. What strategies do technical college students use and how do they use them in the reading processes?2. How do the internal and external factors affect the reading strategy use of technical college students?(1) Does technical college students’use of reading strategies differ with gender difference?(2) Does technical college students’use of reading strategies vary with the students’language proficiency?(3) What are the possible effects that text type has on technical college students’ strategy use in the reading processes? Based on Oxford’s (1990) classification of language learning strategies and the researcher’s personal experience, a questionnaire was designed, including 30 strategy items of three categories:cognitive, metacognitive and social/affective. The questionnaire was then given to 82 non-English majors of Anhui Technical College of Electrical Engineering and data were collected. Then six students were selected from the proficient group and asked to read a narration and an exposition in succession through thinking aloud.With descriptive statistical analysis, t-test, Pearson correlation analysis and nonparametric test performed by SPSS 17.0 and qualitative analysis about the think-aloud data, the study results indicate the following:1. Students at technical colleges do use strategies in their EFL reading. According to the frequency, cognitive strategies come first, followed by metacognitive and social/affective strategies.2. The effects that internal and external factors have on technical college students’use of reading strategies are different:(1) There is no significant difference between male and female students.(2) There are significant differences between the proficient and less proficient students.(3) Text type can affect the reading strategy use and reading model to some extent. Interactive model is often followed in reading a narration and bottom-up model is often involved in reading an exposition.The findings of the present study can serve as the direct and reliable reference for teaching. They are helpful for teachers to have a better understanding about the general situation about the students’learning. In addition, teachers have realized that neither strategy instruction nor linguistic knowledge teaching can be done in isolation. The research also encourages teachers to change methods flexibly for the enhancement of English teaching effects.

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CLC: > Language, writing > FOREIGN > English > Language teaching
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