Learning to read in a foreign language can be a difficult task for some students. For at-risk students, for example, students with learning disabilities, the process can be arduous and painstaking. This study explored and compared the reading strategies, preferred foreign language learning styles, perceived foreign language strategy use, actual strategy use and metacognitive awareness of at-risk students in a Modified Foreign Language Program (MFLP) of postsecondary Spanish with those of non at-risk students in a non-MFLP.
This study followed a mixed-method design consisting of two parts. In the first part, preferred learning style and perceived strategy use data were collected via the Learning Style Survey and Survey of Reading Strategies. The second part of the study consisted of 11 case studies based on semi-structured interviews and think-aloud protocols in which the participants completed a reading task in the target language.
The major findings for part one are: MFLP and non-MFLP students did not differ in terms of their preferences for sensory/perceptual stimuli. Both groups had a significant preference for Visual over Auditory and Tactile/Kinesthetic stimuli. MFLP and non-MFLP students did not differ significantly in their perceived use of foreign language reading strategies. Both groups indicated a statistically significant preference for the use of cognitive (PROB) strategies, then metacognitive (GLOB) strategies followed by support (SUP) strategies. The relationship between preferred learning style and perceived GLOB strategy use was significant only for the MFLP group.
The second part of the study consisted of a think-aloud protocol. The major findings are: Both groups used strategies that were in line with their preferred learning style. The MFLP participants, however, relied much more heavily on the use of visual input to help extract meaning from unknown context. While both groups reported a high use of PROB, only the non-MFLP students used them with any regularity during the reading task. The MFLP group relied heavily on the use of support strategies (e.g. dictionary) to extract unknown meaning during the reading task. Non-MFLP students combined metacognitive strategies with cognitive strategies far more frequently than MFLP students.
|Commitee:||Coronel-Molina, Serafin, Mikulecky, Larry, Shin, Sunyoung|
|Department:||School of Education|
|School Location:||United States -- Indiana|
|Source:||DAI-A 74/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Foreign Language, Special education|
|Keywords:||Learning styles, Metacognitive awareness, Modified Foreign Language Program, Reading, Spanish as a foreign language, Think-aloud task|
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