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Text analysis and reader interaction

TEFL methods articles, (1992) Text analysis and reader interaction. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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EFL teachers from the Brazilian public sector have often experienced difficulties in efficiently accessing the relevant information from articles published in 'English Teaching Forum'. This study attempts to investigate these difficulties from both 'text-analytical' and 'reader-based' perspectives and begins with a brief profile of the teachers concerned. An analytical framework incorporating elements from several approaches, specifically those of Hoey (1973) and Swales (1990) is used to highlight the organisational features from a selection of 'Forum' articles. It is then hypothesised that certain clause-relational macropatterns will facilitate access and be focused upon by 'successful' readers; in contrast, writer 'justification' moves are seen as potential barriers to efficient comprehension. A sample of FL methods articles written by Brazilians and published in Portuguese is then analysed and the same set of analytical parameters are found to be valid for describing their organisational features. A review of processing models of text comprehension and related FL reading research is made following the second 'reader-based' perspective. A set of criteria regarding the processing strategies of 'successful' and 'less-skilled' FL readers is established. Verbal report methodologies are argued as a suitable means of testing both the text-analytical hypotheses and the reader processing criteria. Various types of field work carried out in the collection of verbal report data from Brazilian EFL teachers reading 'Forum' articles are then described. Groups of 'successful' and 'problematic' readers are defined according to the processing strategies revealed in the verbal reports. Although there are substantial variations in the individual strategies of individual readers, and evidence of the influence of text informativity, the 'successful' processing consistently included focusing on the clause-relational macro signals; in contrast, there was little evidence of activation of the same text features by the 'problematic' readers. Finally suggestions are made for including FL methods articles, text-analytical elements, and verbal reporting on INSED-TEFL courses in Brazil.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:1992
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:16 Nov 2012 10:55

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