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Title: Developing foreign language reading skills : how the interplay of phonological and orthographic information impacts on the language processing and decoding skills of learners of French to key stage 4
Author: Ingram, Elaine Barbara
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2013
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Twelve aspects of the communicative language teaching approach which have placed FL reading skills development in English at discordance with L1 and L2 reading research findings and models of memory and word recognition are identified. Cognitive aspects of reading, which are not developed implicitly, are highlighted. The impact of curricular change on FL reading development since 1995 is considered in relation to theoretical models of memory and word recognition and L1 literacy development. Decoding sub-processes are identified through Goodman's (1968) model of L1 Levels of Reading Proficiency, and the teacher's role in promoting deep structure-building in the L2 mental lexicon is considered. River's (1968) Six Stage FL Reading Training Programme is re-visited in the light of the new research understandings. The crucial role of phonology and word form knowledge in FL reading development emerges unequivocally from this literature and is the focus of the empirical research reported here. The function of 'hearing' words during L1 and FL silent reading is compared. Respondents confirmed this to be 'normal' classroom reading behaviour, promoting comprehension and reader engagement with narrative L1 reading, and linked with word-level comprehension when reading in French. Inability to 'hear' words when reading in French was linked with perceptions of text difficulty. The need for helping learners to 'hear' the sound of FL print through explicit teaching of sound-spelling links and oral reading tasks is demonstrated. Rapid sight vocabulary growth, too, is vital. A Flash Card Vocabulary Presentation Task demonstrate that failure to present the written form during oral presentation of new vocabularly leads learners to form incorrect mental representations, as shown through respondents' invented spellings. Those who failed to make semantic and orthographic associations with prior L1 and L2 linguistic representations in which working memory span limitations effects were evident. Contrastingly, when phonological, orthographic, semantic and syntactical associations were made, prior knowledge was used to construe sensible 'guesses' at spelling, indicating strong structure-building in the mental lexicon. Respondent expressed a strong preference for seeing spellings during the oral presentation phase. The findings show that knowledge of the interrelationships of sounds and writing in the target language impacts on vocabulary acquisition, spelling, word recognition and reading comprehension. This supports the guiding principles of the Key Stage 3 Framework (DfES, 2003). An outline pedagogical framework for FL reading development in Key Stage 4 in England is proposed based on the research literature and empirical research findings.
Supervisor: Grenfell, Michael ; Mitchell, Rosamond Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: LB1603 Secondary Education. High schools