Annual Review of Applied Linguistics



RESEARCH IN TEACHING LANGUAGE SKILLS

3. RESEARCH ON TEACHING READING


William Grabe 

Abstract

This chapter builds on prior reviews of reading theory, research, and assessment published in the Annual Review of Applied Linguistics and uses them and additional current research to develop a set of 10 instructional implications for second language reading. The review draws upon both L1 and L2 research to demonstrate support for instructional approaches that (1) ensure fluency in word recognition; (2) emphasize the learning of vocabulary; (3) activate background knowledge; (4) ensure acquisition of linguistic knowledge and general comprehension; (5) teach recognition of text structures and discourse organization; (6) promote development of strategic readers rather than mechanical application of strategy checklists; (7) build reading fluency and rate; (8) promote extensive reading; (9) develop intrinsic motivation for reading; and (10) contribute to a coherent curriculum for student learning. There is empirical support for each of these implications, although at the same time, additional research related to many is needed to further identify aspects of effective L2 reading instruction in particular settings. While further research alone does not guarantee improved reading pedagogy, it provides one means of identifying specific aspects of reading abilities and testing alternative instructional practices and is thus a crucial component in the search for more effective outcomes.



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