Vol. 3. No. 3 A-1 September 1998
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Data-collecting on Reading-writing Strategies: A Comparison of Instruments: A Case Study

Adina Levine and Thea Reves
Bar-Ilan University, Israel



The paper reports on an attempt to compare two data- collecting instruments, Think-aloud Protocols and Strategies Questionnaires, applied to capture reading/writing strategies.

The subjects were immigrant speakers of linguistically different heritage languages, Russian and Amharic (L1), and thus represented two ethnic groups, who went through the process of both acquiring the official language of their new homeland (L2 = Hebrew) and learning the language of international communication (FL = English). The two data-collecting instruments, Think-aloud Protocols and Strategies Questionnaires, were compared with regard to the way in which the subjects reflected on their reading/writing performance and were thus validated against each other. Background and Attitudes Questionnaires were administered to gather information on the subjects' linguistic, cultural and educational backgrounds.

The study addressed the following questions:

  1. To what extent do Think-aloud Protocols and Strategies Questionnaires provide similar or different information about reading and writing strategies?
  2. To what extent do specific subject-related factors (language proficiency, educational and cultural background, language attitudes and motivation,) account for the similarities and the differences between the information provided by the two instruments?

    The study was set up as a case study; by virtue of its ethnographic character it offers some interesting insights into the differential representation of individual strategies employed in the reading/writing processes. Its limited scope, however, allows only for tentative suggestions and not for generalizable conclusions.

Keywords: reading, strategies, comprehension, ESL, vocabulary

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