Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A psychometric study of reading processes in L2 acquisition: Deploying deep processing to push learners' discourse towards syntactic processing-based constructions
by Manuel, Carlos J., Ph.D., Illinois State University, 2009, 365; 3388934
Abstract (Summary)

This study assesses reading processes and/or strategies needed to deploy deep processing that could push learners towards syntactic-based constructions in L2 classrooms. Research has found L2 acquisition to present varying degrees of success and/or fossilization (Bley-Vroman 1989, Birdsong 1992 and Sharwood Smith 1994). For example, learners have been found to engage mostly in local semantic processing, resulting in various degrees of reading difficulties. In addition, the main language theories seem to present a discontinuity of knowledge and practices. So, while following a cognitive-functionalist perspective, this study first reinterprets tenets from other approaches in ways that are compatible with its framework. This results in a comprehensive approach, which focuses simultaneously on cognitive and socio-affective factors.

Next, this study predicts that deep processing, which involves the integration and reconstruction of information, presents better conditions for language processing, for work towards syntactic processing and overall language acquisition than shallow processing, because the integration of knowledge aids the deployment of attention, noticing and control. In order to test its predictions, the study mainly uses a gist production task. The subjects, who are Thai L2 learners of English, are subdivided into treatments of differentiated depths of processing, order of production and language predisposition levels. The data are analyzed qualitatively and quantitatively. Quantitative analysis includes t-tests, correlations and an ANOVA.

The results show that working under deep processing conditions in general outperforms shallow conditions irrespective of the participants' affective levels or order of production. The study then concludes that internal or cognitive processing factors take precedence over external, socio-affective or procedural factors.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Smith, K. Aaron
School: Illinois State University
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: DAI-A 71/01, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Bilingual education, Linguistics, Literacy, Reading instruction, Cognitive psychology
Keywords: Affective factors, Cognitive factors, Deep processing, L2 reading, Reading, Second language acquisition, Syntactic processing
Publication Number: 3388934
ISBN: 9781109560091
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