Chinese Literacy-Learning Strategy Impact on English Reading Development: A Case Study of Taiwanese Learners of English

| January 1, 2010
Title
Chinese Literacy-Learning Strategy Impact on English Reading Development: A Case Study of Taiwanese Learners of English

Keywords: Chinese learners of English, TEFL, ESL, TESOL, Literacy, Literacy learning

Authors
Clay Williams
University of Arizona, USA

Bio Data
Clay Williams is a PhD candidate in the Second Language Acquisition and Teaching (SLAT) department at the University of Arizona. He previously received a Master of
Second Language Teaching from Utah State University. He has taught in the Taiwanese secondary and tertiary educational systems for 4 years. His research interests include cross-script L2 literacy acquisition, L2 orthography pedagogical methods, and language teacher training.

Abstract
While recent research has demonstrated that L1 literacy aids L2 literacy acquisition, in the case of varying scripts, not all L1 literacy skills can be successfully applied to the L2 domain. While most students will eventually identify more efficient L2 learning strategies on their own, struggling students may fall behind and eventually give up on L2 learning if they are not explicitly taught how to access the L2 script. In this case study, a group of low English reading proficiency Taiwanese university students was given a reading skills intervention wherein they were explicitly taught the skills to access phonological information in alphabetic script. The results found an almost across-the-board increase in reading proficiency, and a substantial number of students demonstrated improved writing ability as well. Students also self-reported improved attitudes towards English as a subject. The author calls for more in-depth study of low English proficiency Chinese readers, to determine whether they may be helped by giving them targeted instruction in decoding phonological information from alphabetic script — which may be a non-intuitive skill for Chinese L1 learners of English.

[private]

See pages: 3-23

Download PDF

[/private]

Category: Teaching Articles, Volume 41