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Title: Reading in English for academic purposes (EAP) : the effect of background knowledge, with special reference to schema-directed processes
Author: Alvarez-de-Galicia, Maria Guadalupe
ISNI:       0000 0001 3418 7000
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1990
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It is my belief that the present study adds to the accumulated knowledge on EAP reading, and that in fact, some of its findings may be relevant not only to EAP reading but to L2 reading in general. The findings of the study provide supporting evidence for the advisability of maintaining or promoting EAP reading courses given that reading in one's own discipline has been shown to counterbalance to a significant extent the difficulties of reading in a foreign language. The findings of the interpretative analysis suggest however, that the beneficial effects of previous knowledge of topic do not necessarily obliterate the influence of 'lower-level' linguistic difficulties. Thus, we also conclude that ways to circumvent such influence need to be contemplated for the implementation of EAP reading courses. In other words, the characteristic nature of EAP reading as processing of a deficiently known code should not be underestimated. The second conclusion that can be drawn from the study concerns the relevancy of converging methodologies 239 of research.1 Whenever possible, EAP reading research should involve both a quantitative and a qualitative approach to data analysis. "As indicated by the findings of this study the use of only one of these approaches may lead to a partial picture or to premature conclusions of the results obtained. If we are interested in clarifying the EAP reading phenomenon we will need the complementary contributions that both kinds of methodology are capable of providing. With regard to the theoretical approach that was adopted, it is my contention that the notion of schema has a place in L2 reading research. The summaries obtained from the experiment showed how previous knowledge of topic made the readers label something as part of a certain schema and how this previous knowledge also provided the necessary details to elaborate on the interpretations that had been generated. In other words, knowledge schemata 'filter and shape'² comprehension in EAP reading just as much or perhaps more than they do in other instances of discourse comprehension.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Foriegn language study skill