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|Faculty of Social Sciences Journal Articles
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|The impact of Linguistic knowledge on Learner Strategy Deployment
|Learner strategy deployment
|Razi O & Grenfell M (2012) The impact of Linguistic knowledge on Learner Strategy Deployment. Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences, 47, pp. 818-822. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2012.06.741
|It is generally accepted that linguistic knowledge is a key element in the comprehension of reading of texts in a second language (L2). Research on the ‘threshold level' argues that learners need to reach to a certain level of L2 proficiency in order to be able to understand printed text. However, it is still not clear when and how learners reach the threshold level and, when they do, which reading skills are sensitive to this proficiency. It is argued that Strategy Based Instruction (SBI) may provide beginning level students with tools to cope with challenges of reading. However, although learners are able to use learner strategies as guiding mechanisms while reading, a lack of linguistic knowledge can short-circuit the deployment of such. This paper presents extracts from think-aloud protocols that were conducted as part of a quasi-experimental study carried out with 12-year-old secondary school students in Cyprus. Strategy deployment was analysed in terms of order, complexity and simplicity, symbiotic relationships and sophistication. The findings show that learners, despite their weak linguistic knowledge, were able to use certain strategies to cope with difficulties. Nevertheless, examples are also offered which suggest that weak linguistic knowledge can sometimes get in the way of successful strategy deployment; thus providing evidence to support the threshold hypothesis. It is argued that SBI can offer a guiding mechanism for beginner level students' language learning. Such students can use strategies as tools to cope with the challenges of reading texts. However, a certain level of proficiency is necessary if students are to be able to draw on these strategies.
|© 2012 Published by Elsevier Ltd. Selection and/or peer review under responsibility of Prof. Dr. Hüseyin Uzunboylu; Open access under CC BY-NC-ND license.
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