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Online Reading Strategies at Work: What Teachers Think and What Students Do
ARTICLE

ReCALL Volume 25, Number 3, ISSN 0958-3440

Abstract

This study designed and developed a web-based reading strategy training program and investigated students' use of its features and EFL teachers' and students' perceptions of the program. The recent proliferation of online reading materials has made information easily available to L2 readers; however, L2 readers' ability to deal with them requires the development of specific reading strategies. The researcher therefore constructed a web-based strategy training program on the basis of L2 reading strategy research and pedagogy. The program offers four types of reading strategy functions (Global, Problem-solving, Support, and Socio-affective) through 15 strategy buttons: Keyword, Preview, Prediction, Outline, Summary, Semantic Mapping, Pronunciation, Speed Reading, Dictionary, Translation, Grammar, Highlight, Notebook, Music Box, and My Questions. Forty college teachers and thirty-two EFL students in Taiwan were invited to use and evaluate this program. The researcher tracked students' use of the functions, and teachers and students completed a survey and written reflections that documented their perceptions of the program. Both groups gave positive feedback on the program's user-friendly interface design and the effectiveness of its strategy function keys for enhancing reading comprehension and motivating learning. They also thought highly of the site's extensive offerings of reading opportunities supported by effective reading aids and a computerized classroom management system, features not available in large traditional classes. There was, however, a gap between what teachers thought and what students did. The teachers thought highly of Global strategies, whereas students regarded Support strategies as more useful. The low-proficiency group's heavy use of Support strategies explained this gap. The high-proficiency group's more frequent use of Global strategies echoed teachers' preference for teaching Global strategies. This connection suggests that teachers should provide more explicit training to encourage all students to use Global strategies for overall textual understanding.

Citation

Huang, H.C. (2013). Online Reading Strategies at Work: What Teachers Think and What Students Do. ReCALL, 25(3), 340-358. Retrieved June 9, 2023 from .

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