|Institution:||University of Otago|
|Keywords:||reading; reading comprehension; group discussion; first language; second language; textual genres; response recall|
|Full text PDF:||http://hdl.handle.net/10523/5673|
Because learners evidently access and utilise their first language (L1) throughout the second language (L2) learning process (Cook, 1992), there is no logical reason why they should avoid its use (Cook, 2001). This realisation, combined with acceptance of the beneficial effects of collaborative group discussions in language learning and reading comprehension (Finlay & Faulkner, 2005), suggests that L1 group discussions may benefit L2 readers. This paper reports on a study that compared the effects of L1/L2 group discussions on L2 reading comprehension. Three groups of L1 Japanese participants read four texts before producing written recalls. Group 1 responded in writing without discussion. Group 2 discussed the texts in their L2 (English), with group 3 discussing the texts in their L1 (Japanese). The findings show that participants in group 3 (L1 discussion group), used more higher order processing and reading strategies than participants in groups 1 and 2 did, and exhibited greater comprehension of the texts overall, suggesting that L1 group discussions have a positive effect on learners’ reading comprehension.