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Reading in your first and second language. On the use of prior knowledge when processing fictional texts at school

Anna Lyngfelt
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Anna Lyngfelt: University of Gothenburg, Sweden

Social Sciences and Education Research Review, 2017, vol. 4, issue 2, 78-99

Abstract: This study, which is grounded on a sociocultural framework (Lantolf 2000, Säljö 2000), seeks to determine whether giving L2 pupils the opportunity to use fictional texts that correspond with their prior knowledge makes a difference in developing text response and to identify and discuss any difference found. The use and processing of L1 teaching materials were expected to increase pupil motivation and enhance L2 skills (DeFazio 1997; Cummins 2001). Twelve third-year pupils contributed 24 texts in L2 (Swedish). The results indicate that the use of texts in the pupils' first language does make a difference to L2 acquisition. When pupils were able to use their prior knowledge, their texts became more than twice as long, more elaborated and more independent. L2 pupils seem to belong to the group who display distinct differences between the language skills they demonstrate in the classroom and the knowledge they possess through prior knowledge.

Keywords: education; communicative competence; linguistic diversity; language ability; bilingualism (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I21 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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