Project without external funding

The Interaction of Learning Strategies and Interest in the Foreign Language Reading Process: a multitrait-multimethod research project


Project Details
Project duration: 09/199412/1997


Abstract
Growing multiculturalism and globalization and the resulting competing mechanisms on the one hand and the growing personal, political, economic and cultural intricate linkings on the other hand, offer new challenges to young people starting their vocational career. Thus a change in the perspectives of teaching, learning and reading is necessary. On the one hand, there is a growing relevance as to a greater spreading of other languages in order to fulfill the demands of the Maastricht Treaty of a unified Europe: the growing geographic mobility has also to be faced by a growing adequate lingual mobility. On the other hand, the fostering of motivated, self-determined and autonomous thinking and learning becomes more and more important: this is true for human beings of all nations worldwide. Qualifications are not only mediated by school alone: learners have to commit themselves to a lifelong learning process. This implies that a basic knowledge as to the use of learning fostering cognitive, metacognitive and socio-affective strategies is needed.The empirical study on the interaction of interest and learning strategies in the foreign language reading process is based on the pre-conditions described above. It aims at examining the role of learning strategies and interests in text comprehension processes, particularly in the field of learning English as a second/foreign language in secondary schools in Germany. In addition to the main study conducted in Germany a comparative qualitative study was carried out in San Francisco, USA and in Taipei, Taiwan. The US data can be referred to as expert group data and can thus give some deeper insight into the subject matter.The main perspectives of this research are: a) to study the relevance of learning strategies, and interest in the L2-reading process b) to find empirical evidence as to the constructs of interest, learning strategies and reading comprehension through quantitative methods, c) to form subgroups by precise criteria resulting from quantitative/qualitative research findings d) to select learners for the qualitative research; e) to confront selected learners with different text types in a setting according to Piaget's clinical method; f) to relate qualitative results to quantitative results: compare learners' "declarative knowledge" on learning strategies and interest with their actual procedures in the reading process. The research is based on the assumption that reading is an active meaning construction process in which the reader relates perceptions to cognitive representations in his/her memory and thereby constructs meaning (Ruddell & Unrau 1994).


Publications
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Last updated on 2017-11-07 at 14:37