Effective second-language reading transition: From learner-specific to generic instructional models

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5 Scopus citations


This study examines two questions involving students in a transitional bilingual education program learning to read in a second language. The first question deals with the impact of second-language (L2) text structure on comprehension processes, while the second deals with the level of oral language proficiency necessary to comprehend L2 texts. Findings demonstrate that comprehension “errors” begin at the word level and expand to the sentence level (or beyond) in order for the reader to make meaning from the texts. Oral language proficiency proved to be an inadequate measure in determining “correct” comprehension of L2 texts. A generic processor or whole group model of instruction is inadequate in meeting L2 readers' needs because the generic processor perspective assumes that L2 learners come to school with similar linguistic backgrounds, experiences, and cultural perspectives. The focus of transition instruction should be on individual learning needs, assessed in a manner that enables the teacher to determine the cultural, linguistic, and cognitive interplay between the text and the reader. Knowing students and their families, along with their instructional needs, will enable teachers to help L2 learners move towards a generic processor model with more success.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)171-205
Number of pages35
JournalBilingual Research Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


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