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Research into Explicit Reading Strategy Training - Essay Example

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Research into Explicit Reading Strategy Training-while demonstrating the importance of metacognitive pedagogical applications among second language learners- shows statistical discrepancies in identifying exact levels of transferable validity. …
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Research into Explicit Reading Strategy Training (ERST) -- while demonstrating the importance of metacognitive pedagogical applications among second language learners -- shows statistical discrepancies in identifying exact levels of transferable validity. The researcher claims that the statistical analyses give more accurate and broader insight than a narrative form can can offer, yet a meta-analytic study into the efficiency of ERST used, "'only direct and indirect strategies'since social strategies have not been manipulated as independent variables in experimental L2 studies." (Taylor, A., Stevens, J.R. and Asher, J.W. 2006, p. 215) Table 3 illustrates the elements tested for, and Table 4 demonstrates their relevance to metacognitive pedagogy, but noticeably absent are any variables that account for pragmatic or strategic competence. Although the study claims to not be able to identify the social strategies at use in the cognitive reading process as an independent variable, the conflicting results of the statistical data point to its existence. When explaining the varying data, the research cites Nikolov (1999), who claims that age can be a determining factor in the receptivity of ERST teaching methods, yet offers no physiological evidence for such a claim. A pragmatic interpretation of the psychological data would support the claim that it's not the physical age of the participants, but the more developed degrees of pragmatic knowledge that the older learners have accumulated that makes them more or less susceptible to ERST training.
A similar instance occurs when considering threshold values and the affects of L1 reading ability and L2 language proficiency on language learners. Carrell (1991) conducted a study on English speakers learning Spanish and Spanish speakers learning English and discovered that the most beneficial strategies for learning conflicted among the groups. "'for the Spanish first language speakers, first language reading ability had the greatest predictive power while for the English first language speakers, the second language proficiency was the greatest predictor." (p. 175) Even though both groups held basic structural elements of grammar knowledge, the meta-research indicates that the results differ because the Spanish speakers may have had more proficiency in the second language than English speakers. In either case, the malleability of the threshold level is apparent. If the research is applying that the threshold is proportionally connected to L2 proficiency, can it even be considered a 'threshold'' Read More
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