Reading comprehension and vocabulary development in orthographically complex languages during study abroad

Date
2006-01-01
Authors
Dewey, Dan P.
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Publisher
Thompson & Heinle
Abstract
This paper reviews research on the acquisition of reading skills and vocabulary knowledge during study abroad, focusing specifically on findings in Japanese and other orthographically complex languages. Studies suggest that, both for alphabetic and ideographic languages, (1) learners can achieve significant growth in reading proficiency during study abroad (in particular, in Japan), (2) learners tend to become more confident in their reading skills during study abroad, (3) vocabulary development during study abroad is largely evident in the form of passive knowledge, (4) intensive domestic immersion can lead to gains equal to (and in some cases greater than) gains made through study abroad in reading and vocabulary development, and (5) individual differences are greater in study abroad than in at-home settings.Studies in Japanese indicated that the following can contribute positively to vocabulary gains:(1) amount of writing in the second language, (2) time spent speaking with native-speaker friends, and (3) various types of attention. Implications are discussed and programmatic suggestions are given.
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Citation
Dewey, D.P. (2006). Reading comprehension and vocabulary development in orthographically complex languages during study abroad. The American Association of University Supervisors, Coordinators and Directors of Foreign Languages Programs (AAUSC), 72-83. http://hdl.handle.net/102015/69632
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