An investigation of foreign language students’ conceptualisations of literary reading
This study investigates how first-year post-secondary students conceptualise and judge their strategic behaviour in relation to reading foreign language literary texts. The questionnaire used to collect data is structured around four important metacognitive aspects of reading: what readers believe they are able to do (Confidence), how readers conceive efficient reading in a foreign language (Effectiveness) and what readers believe makes reading difficult (Difficulty), as well as how readers believe they are able to overcome reading difficulties (Repair). In addition to providing information on conceptualisations of key areas of reading, a contrastive investigation of self-assessed proficient readers and self-assessed less proficient readers is carried out in order to elicit possible differences between the two groups.The results obtained show that the large majority of the surveyed students are able to envision reading as a cohesive and constructive activity. Most of them report they are able to incorporate bottom-up and top-down strategic behaviour in their conceptions of foreign language reading. However, students appear to be mostly concerned with lexical difficulties which are naturally perceived by them as the major impediment to reading comprehension. As for possible conceptual differences between self-assessed proficient and less proficient students, results suggest that they are minimal. In fact, the only area where a significant discrepancy between the two groups appears is confidence.
Published online: 01 January 1999
Baker, L. and A.L. Brown
Padron, Y.N. and H. C. Waxman