||Narrow Reading: Effects on reading speed and learner perspectives
||Department of English
||The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of narrow reading (NR) on reading fluency. The author aims to fill a gap in existing literature in which there is very little on NR, and only a single inquiry about its effects on reading rate. Specifically, this study explores the following questions: Does a NR treatment have any significant effects on the reading rates of university EFL learners? What are participant perspectives toward NR? A total of 39 second-year university students participated in the treatments for four weeks. All of the participants were non-English majors enrolled in Tamkang University. The group read three sets of thematically related running news stories. The texts were controlled for reading level and analyzed for lexical features. Data from each treatment was analyzed separately. The results for all three data sets consistently showed significant gains in reading speed, regardless of topic. Additionally, gains appeared to be sustained even when reading difficulty slightly increased. Semi-structured interviews reflected a general learner perception that NR was beneficial, particularly for reading speed, and that it could be a select activity, but only if the topic is of interest. Thus, the author concludes that NR may be a highly effective means of enhancing reading fluency.
||Table of Contents
Table of Contents…………………...……………………………………………………………..v
List of Tables……………………………………………………………………………………..ix
List of Figures……………………………………………………………………………………..x
Chapter 1 Introduction 1
1.1 Research Background and Issues 1
1.1.1 Fluency 1
1.1.2 Definition of narrow reading 3
1.2 Purpose of the Study 3
1.3 Research Questions 4
1.4 Significance of the study 4
Chapter 2 Literature Review 6
2.1 L1 Reading Fluency 6
2.1.1 Automaticity 6
2.1.2 Repeated reading 13
2.1.3 Timed reading 18
2.2 L2 Reading Fluency 20
2.2.1 Automaticity 20
2.2.2 Automaticity and reading rate 24
2.2.3 Repeated reading 31
2.2.4 Timed reading 34
2.2.5 Narrow reading: vocabulary acquisition 38
2.2.6 Narrow reading and corpus analysis 41
2.2.7 Narrow reading experimental studies 46
Chapter 3 Method 52
3.1 Basic Parameters 52
3.1.1 Participant characteristics 52
3.1.2 Participant proficiency level 52
3.1.3 Settings 53
3.2 Research Design 54
3.2.1 Materials 54
3.2.2 Procedures 63
3.2.3 Data analysis 65
3.2.4 Learner perspectives 66
Chapter 4 Results 67
4.1 General Descriptives of Reading Rates and Comprehension 67
4.1.1 Set 1 67
4.1.2 Set 2 68
4.1.3 Set 3 69
4.2 Tests for Significance 70
4.2.1 Set 1 70
4.2.2 Set 2 73
4.2.3 Set 3 75
4.3 Learner Perspectives toward NR 78
4.3.1 Reading difficulty 79
4.3.2 Word recognition 82
4.3.3 NR as a practice 84
Chapter 5 Discussion 87
5.1 Reading Materials 87
5.2 Vocabulary Load 88
5.3 Reading Difficulty 89
5.4 Measured Effects 90
5.4.1 Reading rate 90
5.4.2 Participant views 90
5.5 Conclusion 93
5.5.2 Pedagogical implications 94
5.5.3 Limitations of the study 96
5.5.4 Suggestions for future research 98
Appendix A: Lexical Profile of Set 1 113
Appendix B: Lexical Profile of Set 2 132
Appendix C: Lexical Profile of Set 3 154
Appendix D: Semi-structured interview questions 177
Appendix E: Semi-structured interview full transcript 178
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