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Zhang, L. J., Gu, P. Y., & Hu, G. (2005, April). Acquiring literacy skills in ESL: Singaporean children’s use of reading strategies in learning to read in English. Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the International Society for Language Studies (ISLS 2005), Quebec, Canada.
Singapore has adopted English for education, social functions and governance since independence in 1965. As the medium of instruction in the education system, English has been highly regarded as a crucial linguistic and economic capital in children's academic and social life. However, the fact is that the majority of students still learn English as a second language (ESL). How these students ESL, especially ESL reading, for academic success, has become a concern for us. Against such a background, this paper reports on part of a larger
study that investigated the reading strategies used by primary school pupils. The participants were 18 primary 4 to 6 pupils from three schools. Data were collected from top and bottom proficiency pupils at each of the three grades in each school, who read two texts at each level. Grounded in an information-processing theory and based on successful experiences of scholars using think-aloud, we asked the pupils to read and report what they were thinking while reading. The think-aloud protocols were recorded, transcribed verbatim, coded, and
analyzed. Patterns of reading strategies by proficiency and grade level were presented, where differences in strategy use were exemplified with specific case studies. Implications for strategy-based instruction were also discussed.
This paper was presented at the Annual Conference of the International Society for Language Studies, held in Quebec, Canada from 18 - 20 Apr 2005
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