This study aims to assess the effects of context-use training on foreign language reading comprehension. The purpose of context-use training is to enable learners to increase their understanding of a text by making inferences on the basis of both their background knowledge and the specific textual information itself. The central question is whether or not a training programme in the use of context lead to better results than a control programme that does not include the teaching of context-use strategies. The study reports on the results of two groups of students: a group of learners of Spanish at beginner level and a group of learners of English at intermediate level.
The data revealed no conclusive evidence that the training programme in the use of context led to better results than the control programme. Results did indicate however that the effect of the training programme was different for individual school classes and even for individual learners. It turned out that the success of the training programme depended on a variety of factors. These factors include students’ linguistic proficiency and motivation, and situational variables such as teaching materials, timetabling and teacher characteristics.
This book is of interest to foreign language researchers and foreign language teachers.