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THE EFFECTS OF TEXT FAMILIARITY ON THE READING COMPREHENSION STRATEGIES OF THREE ARABIC-SPEAKING READERS: A CASE STUDY

Abstract

The study reported here was undertaken to obtain data on the types of reading strategies adult second language (L2) learners use on familiar and less familiar texts. The study addressed the following questions: 1) How does degree of text familiarity affect reading comprehension? 2) What kind of reading strategies do adult Arabic-speaking learners use in reading various L2 (English) texts? 3) What effect does prior knowledge and text familiarity have on the use of reading strategies? 4) Does strategy use vary on familiar texts versus less familiar texts? 5) How does strategy use vary according to text familiarity? This study focuses on three adult learners of English currently attending a southwestern university. Results of the Reading Tasks, Think Aloud Protocols, and a Reading Strategy Inventory suggest that prior knowledge does lead to improvements in comprehension and recall. Results also suggest that readers use different strategies on less familiar tex1s than on more familiar texts. Furthermore, the findings of this particular study showed that while readers were aware of what strategies to use, and made attempts to use them, they often used them ineffectively on less familiar texts. Results are discussed in terms of implications for reading instruction and future research.

How to Cite

Singhal, M., (1997) “THE EFFECTS OF TEXT FAMILIARITY ON THE READING COMPREHENSION STRATEGIES OF THREE ARABIC-SPEAKING READERS: A CASE STUDY”, Journal of Second Language Acquisition and Teaching 5, p.73-85.

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Meena Singhal (University of Arizona)

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