Unskilled L1 readers and L2 readers at even fairly advanced levels, tend to pay more attention to decoding written text than to activating and using background knowledge (Bernhardt, 1991; Nassaji, 2002). If they do use higher-order comprehension strategies, they tend to use them less proficiently and less frequently (Ruddell & Unrau, 1994), with resultant misinferencing and miscomprehension. Metacognitive strategy training increases students’ motivation to read, develops successful reading strategies, encourages textual engagement and re-reading of difficult texts, and improves comprehension and learning (Paris et al.1991; Perez, 1993; Hunt, 1996; Stanovich, 2000; Alfassi, 2005; Eilers & Pinkley, 2006). L2 students are scaffolded while they learn to access their already-acquired L1 higher-level receptive processing skills and prior knowledge to compensate for problems in second language reception, as proposed in Bernhardt’s (2005) compensatory model for L2 reading.
Narrative film is a valuable medium for training students to become effective readers. Reading shares receptive processes with listening and observation (Nunan, 1997; Urquhart & Weir, 1998; Ellis, 2003: Vandergrift, 2003) and film reception (Persson, 1998; Magliano et al. 2001). Narratives are basic elements in people’s lives (Green & Brock, 2000) and are relatively easy to process (Graesser et al., 2003). They evoke affective responses to the characters and situations presented in the texts (Green & Brock, 2000; Radvansky et al., 2005) thereby enhancing learning, recall, comprehension and interpretation (Glenberg et al., 1987; Allbritton & Gerrig, 1991; Gernsbacher et al. 1992; Kneepkens & Zwaan, 1994; Zwaan, 1999; Miall & Kuiken, 2003; Hakemulder, 2004). Carefully-selected narratives provide accessible text (Graesser et al., 1991) and evoke situational interest (Schraw & Lehman, 2001). Narrative film shares these characteristics with written narratives (Green & Brock, 2000).
|Keywords:||Reading, Learning, Comprehension, Narrative, Film, Metacognitive Processing, Coherence, Engagement, Inference, Interest, Meaning, Postdiction, Reception, Selective Attention, Strategy|
Lecturer, Linguistics Programme, English Department, University of Otago, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand
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