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Chinese L1 Schoolchildren Reading in English: The Effects of Rhetorical Patterns

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Title:Chinese L1 Schoolchildren Reading in English: The Effects of Rhetorical Patterns
Authors:Sharp, Alastair
Keywords:rhetorical organization
Hong Kong Chinese
text analysis
text structure
Date Issued:Oct 2002
Publisher:University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center
Center for Language & Technology
Abstract:Reading comprehension can be seen as a process dependent on the interaction of 'top-down' and 'bottom-up' processes. An important, but neglected, feature of this process concerns the effects of rhetorical organization. This article describes an experiment in which four rhetorically different texts, with identical subject matter, were read by 490 Hong Kong Chinese school children (mean age 14.1), studying in English (their L2). Comprehension was measured by a cloze procedure and by recall protocols. One way ANOVA was used to investigate the effects of different texts on the test scores. The results showed a clear difference in comprehension between the text types and suggest that pedagogical support to increase awareness of rhetorical patterns would be beneficial.
Appears in Collections: Volume 14, No. 2

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