Volume 18 Number 3

University Level Second Language Readers’ Online Reading and Comprehension Strategies
Jaehan Park, Indiana University
Jaeseok Yang, Indiana University
Yi Chin Hsieh, Indiana University

With the growing prevalence of Web 2.0 technologies and use of online resources in their classrooms, language learners have increasing exposure to online texts. In this study we attempted to understand how university level second language (L2) readers construct meaning when reading online. We investigated L2 readers’ information-seeking strategies and decision-making processes as they read online. Seven participants were asked to read two online texts and answer comprehension questions. Observation, think-aloud protocols, and interviews were our main sources of data. Through careful thematic coding analysis, we were able to characterize L2 readers’ processes of constructing meaning while reading online using Internet resources. The findings indicate that L2 readers employ considerable prior knowledge of the structure of both offline and online resources to aid their online reading. Also, they follow a recursive pattern of self-regulated reading strategies when they construct meanings. Some themes highlighted by the study include L2 readers’ online knowledge construction, their demonstration of cognitive flexibility, and the emergence of new literacy skills.

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