Article published in:Leerderskenmerken: Individuele verschillen in het leren van talen.
[Toegepaste Taalwetenschap in Artikelen 37] 1990
► pp. 51–58
Verschillen Tussen Leerlingen ten Aanzien Van Woordverwerving en Leesstrategieen
Within the larger framework of a project on Mixed Ability Teaching, a qualitative experiment was carried out with respect to the individual differences between pupils of very different ability ranges, when learning French. This experiment was meant to gain insight into the nature of the differences concerning vocabulary learning and reading strategies. 69 pupils (12-15 year) pupils of very different ability ranges (but being educated together) were presented with a variety of vocabulary learning and reading tasks. They worked individually or in pairs and were requested to think aloud. The following tasks were used: 1) while reading a story, guessing the meaning of unknown words from the context, 2) after having read a story, memorizing the meaning of unknown words by means of vocabulary cards, 3) intensive reading of a relatively difficult illustrated story, 4) recalling the meaning of new words incidentally acquired (or not), while reading a story, 5) doing an exercise, involving different reading strategies. The analysis of the protocol records focused on the causes of the differences between weak and strong pupils. The differences which were found could be related to two relevant general strategies: guessing the meaning of an unknown word from the context and analyzing the word form of an unknown word. The main results were the following: 1) the attention of weak pupils tends to be exclusively drawn by one source of information; weak pupils are not able to integrate information from different sources (advance knowledge, text, word forms, context, illustrations, cues), 2) weak pupils take no account whatsoever of the sentence structure, 3) weak pupils have difficulties in generalizing from a new word to an already known word (in the target language or in the mother tongue). The article concludes with some implications for foreign language teaching.
Published online: 24 March 2014