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The 7th Annual Graduate Student Forum at the 41 st Annual TESOL Convention EFL College Student Comprehension Strategies Olga M. Galarraga Sánchez Universidad.

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Presentation on theme: "The 7th Annual Graduate Student Forum at the 41 st Annual TESOL Convention EFL College Student Comprehension Strategies Olga M. Galarraga Sánchez Universidad."— Presentation transcript:

1 The 7th Annual Graduate Student Forum at the 41 st Annual TESOL Convention EFL College Student Comprehension Strategies Olga M. Galarraga Sánchez Universidad Metropolitana Caracas, Venezuela March 20, 2007

2 EFL College Student Comprehension Strategies Abstract This research in progress proposes an explanatory-descriptive study in order to observe the kind of comprehension strategies used by Spanish speaking EFL college students in a Venezuelan university. The study aims at inferring if these comprehension strategies are somehow related to the level of proficiency in the target language. Olga Galarraga Universidad Metropolitana Caracas, Venezuela March 20, 2007

3 EFL College Student Comprehension Strategies Generic problem area With the exclusive use of meaning-focused activities in language classrooms (Communicative Approach), there appears a strong tendency not to focus on linguistic forms and a consequent downplaying of the status of grammar teaching (Nassaji, 2000). It seems that L2 learners have the tendency to privilege the meaning over the form. A totally message-based approach seems inadequate for the development of an accurate knowledge of language. Olga Galarraga Universidad Metropolitana Caracas, Venezuela March 20, 2007

4 EFL College Student Comprehension Strategies Statement of the problem It is the intention of the researchers to make an exploratory-descriptive research in order to observe what comprehension strategies are used by both beginners and advanced students when processing input in English as L2 (FL), within an academic context. Objectives 1. Identify what kind of comprehension strategy both beginners and advanced students use to process input in English as L2 (FL). 2. Determine if beginners favor a specific kind of comprehension strategy based on their pragmatic knowledge of English as L2 (FL) over their morphosyntactic knowledge of English as L2 (FL). 3. Determine if advanced students favor a specific kind of comprehension strategy based on their morphosyntactic knowledge of English as L2 (FL) over their pragmatic knowledge of English as L2 (FL). Olga Galarraga Universidad Metropolitana Caracas, Venezuela March 20, 2007

5 EFL College Student Comprehension Strategies Significance of the problem It would be very important to know if comprehension of the input in English as L2 (FL) is derived from mastering a kind of morphosyntactic knowledge – for example, VanPatten & Cadierno´s (1993) pedagogical model (form-meaning connection), and not from a different or exclusive kind of knowledge (world knowledge), say pragmatic skills – on one hand. On the other hand, if individual differences are somehow related to the level of proficiency in the L2 (FL). These facts would not only have pedagogical implications on learners’ performance itself, but also on the teaching methodology of English as L2 (FL). Olga Galarraga Universidad Metropolitana Caracas, Venezuela March 20, 2007

6 EFL College Student Comprehension Strategies Research questions 1. Is there any difference between beginners and advanced students when processing input in English as L2 (FL)? If so, 2. Do beginners favor a specific kind of comprehension strategy? 3. Do advanced students favor a specific kind of comprehension strategy? Olga Galarraga Universidad Metropolitana Caracas, Venezuela March 20, 2007

7 EFL College Student Comprehension Strategies Olga Galarraga Universidad Metropolitana Caracas, Venezuela March 20, 2007 H 0 : No differences between beginners and advanced English as L2 (FL) learners comprehension strategies are observed H 1 : Differences between beginners and advanced English as L2 (FL) learners comprehension strategies are observed If H1, then H 2a : it is observed that pragmatic comprehension strategies are privileged by beginners H 2b : it is observed that morphosyntactic comprehension strategies are privileged by advanced learners H 2b0 : it is not observed that morphosyntactic comprehension strategies are privileged by advanced learners H 2a0 : it is not observed that pragmatic comprehension strategies are privileged by beginners Hypotheses

8 EFL College Student Comprehension Strategies Literature review SLA relies on cognitive theories of learning Olga Galarraga Universidad Metropolitana Caracas, Venezuela March 20, 2007 Lee & VanPatten (1998) Long & Richards, Robinson (2001) Nassaji (2000) Skehan (1996) VanPatten & Cadierno (1993) VanPatten, William & Rott (2004)

9 EFL College Student Comprehension Strategies Related research Author Type of Study Language Grammar Structure(s) Olga Galarraga Universidad Metropolitana Caracas, Venezuela March 20, 2007 VanPatten & Cadierno, 1993 Experimental (3 groups) Native English L2 Spanish Word order and object pronouns Cadierno, 1995Experimental (3 groups) Native English L2 Spanish Spanish preterit (past) tense Cheng, 1995Experimental (3 groups) Native English L2 Spanish “Ser, Estar” copular verbs in Spanish Farley, 2001aNative English L2 Spanish Spanish subjunctive with noun clauses Buck, 2000Native Spanish L2 English Present Continuous vs. Present Progressive VanPatten & Wong (in press) Experimental (3 groups) Native English L2 French Causative (faire causatif) Benati (2001)Experimental (3 groups) Native English L2 Italian Italian future tense

10 EFL College Student Comprehension Strategies Olga Galarraga Universidad Metropolitana Caracas, Venezuela March 20, 2007 V 1 : learner's proficiency level in the L2 (FL) (beginning & advanced) V 2 : types of strategies Method (Independent variables) PragmaticMorphosyntactic Meaning inference from contextual clues Grammatical item (derivations, inflexions) recognition/use. Lexical item direct translationFunctors recognition/use Lexical similarity setting between L1 & L2 Non-canonical word order recognition/use (English modifiers) L1 (Spanish) SVO canonical word order use to determine the subject Subject-verb agreement recognition/use Role assignation (agent) to the first noun phrase of the sentence Subordinated clause processing Other(s)

11 EFL College Student Comprehension Strategies Olga Galarraga Universidad Metropolitana Caracas, Venezuela March 20, 2007 The frequency observed when using each type of comprehension strategies in relation to the learner's proficiency level. Statistics and materials: Frequency (f) to measure the occurrence of each type of strategy will be determined through the application of a reading comprehension test along with a verbal protocol procedure. Method Dependent variable:

12 EFL College Student Comprehension Strategies Olga Galarraga Universidad Metropolitana Caracas, Venezuela March 20, 2007 Native Spanish 1st. year college students learning English as L2 (FL). Sample: Learners from the basic and advanced levels of the English program at Universidad Metropolitana, Caracas, Venezuela. At least five (5) per level. Method Subjects:

13 EFL College Student Comprehension Strategies Olga Galarraga Universidad Metropolitana Caracas, Venezuela March 20, 2007 Method Instruments: 1.TOEFL® practice model reading comprehension t est; (standardized instrument, fully-proven data collection device) 2. “Think-aloud procedure” and retrospective observation

14 EFL College Student Comprehension Strategies Olga Galarraga Universidad Metropolitana Caracas, Venezuela March 20, 2007 “… the researcher is often interested in finding out how frequently certain language elements … and speech acts are used by different types of language learners in different contexts.” Seliger & Shohamy, 1998 Thank you.


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