Online Reading Support: A Study of Second Language Learners

Jaehan Park
Jaeseok Yang
Sang Jai Choi
Yi Chin Hsieh
22nd SLED Presentation
 The effective use of reading strategies to help L2 paper-
based reading comprehension. (Anderson, 1991; Cohen, 1998; Oxford, 1990)
 The emergence of new literacy with new technologies (Leu et
al., 2004)
 What new reading strategies L2 readers use when reading
online text. What the information seeking strategies they
use in order to locate and comprehend the target text. (Coiro
& Dobler, 2007).
Theoretical framework
1. Reading as a process of active meaning
construction (Beach, 1993; Langer, Bartolome, Vasquez, & Lucas, 1990;
NICHD, 2000)
2. Knowledge acquired in L1 as resources for L2
reading comprehension (Fitzgerald, 1995; Langer et al., 1990)
3. New literacies (Leu et al., 2004)
Literature review
 Sheorey and Mokhtari (2001)
 Support strategies as “support mechanisms intended to
aid the reader in comprehending the text such as using a
dictionary, taking notes, or underlining or highlighting
the text to better comprehend it.” ( p.3).
Literature review
 Anderson (2003)
 ESL students employed relatively more support
strategies than native speakers.
 Sheorey and Mokhtari (2001)
 Native speakers with high-reading-ability also regarded
support reading strategies as more valuable than those
with low-reading-ability.
Literature review
 Huang et al (2008)
 The use of support strategies played a key role in
strategy use and contributed to most of the
comprehension gains in L2 online reading.
 Coiro and Dobler (2007)
 Internet-based supporting tools for reading
comprehension demonstrate the unique types of
support strategies in online reading, in comparison with
paper-based reading.
Research Questions
What kind of online resources international students
at IU use to support their online reading
comprehension? And Why?
2. How do the participants find necessary support
using the online resources?
Participants (online survey)
Male, 112,
179, 62%
Participants (online survey)
Participants (in-depth study)
8 International Graduate Students (except one Chemist)
• Born and educated outside the United States
• Finished their undergraduate study
in their home countries
• English is their second language.
• Advanced reader in both L1 and L2
TOEFL (94 or above)
Participants (in-depth study)
8 International Graduate Students (except one Chemist)
• Advanced in their technology use
• Nationality
6 from South Korea
1 from Taiwan and 1 from China
• Major
3 MBA students
3 Education majors
2 Science majors (1 Chemist & 1 Biologist)
Online Survey Study
Online Survey
• Online survey data about online reading support
strategies and online services
• Developed with consultation with the faculty supervisor
based on the literature review
• Validated via pilot tests.
• Incentive for participation – local restaurant certificate
In-depth Study
Revised Coiro and Dobler’s (2007) study
Pre-study Questionnaire
• Demographic information
• Level of English reading proficiency
• Technology skill
In-depth Study
Pre-reading Interview
• Pre-existing knowledge about topics (cloud computing
& global warming)
• Modeling
Think-Aloud Protocol
Online Reading Support
 Incentives
Restaurant certificates
In-depth Study
Think-Aloud Protocol
• Revised version of Coiro and Dobler
• Pilot Tests
Think-aloud protocol
Recording Technology
Reading Comprehension Questions
Interview Questions
• Observation & Interview Training
In-depth Study
• Two texts & 9 Questions under each text
Main Idea
Reading Comprehension
• CamStudio
Sound and Video Data
• Windows Recorder
Whole voice data of interview and observation
In-depth Study
Post-reading Interview
• Open-ended Questions
• 2 purposes
Clarifying questions about observation and think-aloud
Personal perception about online reading
In-depth Study
Member Checking
• When data transcription is completed,
• Researcher met the participants again.
• Check for accuracy and seek confirmation and further
illumination of the observation and interview data
What kind of online resources international students at
IU use to support their online reading comprehension?
And Why?
From in-depth study
Google and Google in participants’ L1
• It categorizes the results by frequency
Wikipedia and Wikipedia in participants’ L1
• Detailed, comprehensive information
Naver, Naver encyclopedia
• Provides results from a multiple categories
Naver Jishikin (Q&A)
• Contextualized/personalized and accumulated
information and knowledge
Personal blogs
• Personalized knowledge /experience and opinions
Google dictionary
• Free of image-dense design
Naver dictioary
• Corpus lookup
Yahoo dictionary
• Word comparisons, related-words
Dr. Eye
• Synonyms, antonyms, sample sentences
• Word by word translator.
Iciba dictionary
• Abundant sample sentences and collocations
From online Survey
fast, easy navigation
its simplicity
user-friendly layout
large database
Learning-enhancing features:
• many links that help me understand
idiom or technical terms
• online dictionary
• translation tool: translate from and to
different languages
• extensive and precise information
easy to access and navigation
user-friendly layout
clear easy interface
large database
Learning-enhancing features:
abundant information and references
detailed, comprehensive information
illustrated texts
embedded links
Inter-related topics & detailed description
possibility to check the same information in
another languages
Easy to access
Learning-enhancing features:
sample sentences
Synonyms and thesaurus
Many examples and references
more nuance differences between
the word and its synonym(s)
“save function”—create "words to
learn” list
Other websites
Merriam-Webster online
Google translator
Huffing-ton post
Free (A Turkish dictionary)
Oxford English Dictionary
Urban dictionary
Google books
2. How do the participants find necessary support
using the online resources?
(1) Multiple resources & Verification
multiple websites
different web pages on the screen simultaneously
Ex. Kim opened Naver and Google at the same time on the screen.
L1 & L2 Triangulation
Multimedia resources
Youtube & images
“It’s really helpful to use Google images to understand the
meaning of English words. Sometimes, it’s even better to see
the pictures, rather than reading the definition in the
dictionary.” (Feng)
 (2) Knowledge about characteristics of websites they visit
“Google dictionary has simple interface and free of image-dense design
that help them locate unfamiliar words fast. Dr. Eye provides the
functions of simultaneous translator that translates every word for
readers as the mouse goes.” (Feng)
(3) Content-specific website
Westlaw – legal topic (online survey)
Wolfram Online – math & physics (online survey)
PubMed—Medicine (Jun)
searching strategies
The function of “Ctrl+F”
“Because there is lots of information. If I read them all, I
will be lost again. The only thing I need is definition of it”
Utilizing the “sorting” feature of a website
Ex. Jun typed English in Google, and when the results
were pulled out, he clicked on the “only show results in
Chinese” on the left navigation bar so that only Chinese
results are presented.
New Framework Suggested
 3 pilot testers
 Participants
 Lexical Support
Online dictionaries
 Content Support
Web searching
Five domains of New literacies (Leu et al., 2004)
Online Dictionary Use
Common features of online dictionaries:
• English-Korean or English-Chinese translation
• English-English translation
• pronunciation
• sample sentences
• synonyms, antonyms
• Encyclopedia
• Explanations from multiple websites
highlighted features of each dictionary
 Google dictionary: The simple interface design
decreases visual noise, and it also runs faster without
overloaded visuals.
 Naver dictionary: It provides corpus lookup where
users can see where the word is used in a wide range of
different documented materials.
 Dr. Eye: It does word by word translation while users
are reading, and its Grammar Focus is fairly beneficial
for English learners who are learning writing.
 Iciba dictionary: It shows satisfyingly abundant sample
sentences and collocations that offer rich input for
language learners.
 Yahoo dictionary: It provides users with words that are
similar to the word they are looking up, which allows
users to make comparisons between those seemingly
confusing words. The presence of related words in
Yahoo dictionary also gives it some credits. It also has
the word by word translation function with the use of
Mini Pen.
 Depth of vocabulary--Hudson (2007)
 Multiple meanings of a word
 Concept behind the meanings
Limitation & Future Research
 Compartmentalization
 Collaborative study with Human Computer Interaction
 Participants
 From east Asian nations
 Advanced learners
Should we teach second language students to use online
reading support?
Explicit instruction (Chamot, 2005)
Peer modeling & reciprocal teaching (Coiro et al., 2008)
The End
Thank you!

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