Volume 33, No. 1

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    The coverage comprehension model, its importance to pedagogy and research, and threats to the validity with which it is operationalized
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2021-04-15) McLean, Stuart
    When learners can comprehend 98% or more of the tokens within a text, the lexical difficulty of the text is unlikely to inhibit reading comprehension (Schmitt et al., 2011). This phenomenon will be referred to as the Coverage Comprehension Model (CCM). The CCM is present in countless articles that describe the percentage of tokens necessary to comprehend reading materials (e.g., Nation, 2006). Further, numerous studies operationalize the CCM to provide evidence that participants were able to comprehend reading materials (e.g., Feng & Webb, 2020) by estimating (a) the lexical difficulty of a text and (b) the lexical mastery level of a learner. However, the validity with which the CCM is operationalized is limited by the following four assumptions; (a) 26 out of 30 words on a levels test is an appropriate threshold for mastery of a 1,000-word band; (b) the word counting unit used when estimating the lexical difficulty of a text and the lexical ability of a learner is appropriate for the target learners; (c) the item format used in levels tests can appropriately capture the type of vocabulary knowledge necessary when reading; and (d) the number of items on a vocabulary levels test accurately represents the difficulty of the 1,000-word band. This paper applies the findings of research to evaluate the validity of the first two assumptions, and concludes that the validity with which the CCM is operationalized in research is limited.
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    Online extensive reading in EAP courses
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2021-04-15) Zhou, Jing ; Day, Richard R.
    Extensive reading (ER) has been shown to be an effective approach in helping second language (L2) students learn to read the target language. Of particular interest is how L2 learners in English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses that included ER would react to ER since ER involves L2 learners reading easy, interesting books that they select themselves. We examined the reactions of 57 EAP university students to ER. The study was conducted longitudinally for two semesters in Fall 2017 and Spring 2018, where two groups of learners read online books for ten and twelve weeks respectively. We used the Xreading Library, an online subscription-based graded-reader library that allows students unlimited access to more than 1000 books on their computers, tablets or mobile devices. We gathered both quantitative and qualitative data to determine the extent to which online ER affected the learners’ attitudes toward reading in English, their academic reading, and English proficiency in general and their instructor’ reactions to Xreading. The study revealed that L2 learners’ reading attitudes were significantly improved after reading graded readers online. The results also suggested that, in general, the learners felt that their reading rates, vocabulary, grammar, comprehension, writing and speaking were all improved through online ER. Though learners perceived the effects of online ER on their academic reading differently, the instructors held positive attitudes toward online ER.
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    Text difficulty in extensive reading: Reading comprehension and reading motivation
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2021-04-15) Yang, Ya-Han ; Chu, Hsi-Chin ; Tseng, Wen-Ta
    This study investigates the effects of the text difficulty of extensive reading materials on the reading comprehension and reading motivation of English as a foreign language (EFL) vocational high school students in Taiwan. Two experimental groups were assigned, on an individual basis, to read graded readers at either one level below (‘i-1’) or one level beyond (‘i+1’) their current level, while a control group followed their regular curriculum. The results showed that after treatment, the ‘i-1’ group improved their overall comprehension and the subset of literal comprehension. They also outperformed the ‘i+1’ group on the same measures. For reading motivation, the ‘i+1’ group’s overall motivation was promoted. Both groups enhanced their reading engagement, while only the ‘i-1’ group inhibited reading avoidance. Moreover, the ‘i+1’ group outperformed the ‘i-1’ group in the perception of self-efficacy. Overall, the ‘i-1’ level yielded better effects on reading comprehension; the ‘i+1’ level, on reading motivation.
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    Reading performance and perceptions of Lao EFL pre-service teachers following a culture of thinking implementation
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2021-04-15) Phonekeo, Say ; Macalister, John
    A culture of thinking (CoT) is defined as “a place where a group’s collective as well as individual thinking is valued, visible, and actively promoted as the regular, day-to-day experience of all group members” (Ritchhart et al., 2011, p. 219). This study aimed to determine the effects of a CoT implementation on Lao English as a foreign language (EFL) pre-service teachers’ reading comprehension development and to investigate their perceptions towards the CoT-based reading instruction. To achieve the objectives, two intact classes of year three EFL pre-service teachers were randomly assigned to implementation and control conditions and measured with pre-, post- and delayed post-reading tests. Focus group interviews were also conducted to obtain in-depth insights into their perceptions of the CoT-based learning. The findings revealed that the implementation class outperformed the control class in terms of reading comprehension development and had a strong effect size (Cohen’s d = 1.0183). In the focus group interviews, pre-service teachers generally expressed positive views towards the CoT-based reading instruction.
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    Unassisted repeated reading: Exploring the effects of intensity, treatment duration, background knowledge, individual variation, and text variation on reading rate
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2021-04-15) Lynn, Ethan M.
    Two groups of English as a second language students engaged in a fourteen-week repeated reading (RR) treatment: (1) a 3x group (n = 16), which engaged in three readings per session, and (2) a 5x group (n = 15), which engaged in five readings per session. Reading rate and background knowledge were measured at five points to assess the effect of treatment length as well. Results from a mixed effects repeated measures ANCOVA model showed that neither treatment group nor treatment length had a significant effect on reading rate, but background knowledge did. The model also revealed that the fixed effects (e.g., treatment, duration, and background knowledge) explained 8.1% of the variation in reading rates (R2 = .081). The random effects of individual variation and text variation explained 0.9% (R2 = .009) and 0.3% (R2 = .003) of variance in reading rate respectively, meaning the entire model could explain 9.3% of the variation (R2 = .093). It was concluded that reading three times per session was more efficient than reading five times per session, and background knowledge is a variable that must be controlled for in reading studies