Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

The Effect of Shadow-Reading on Recall of Lexical Items

Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

The Effect of Shadow-Reading on Recall of Lexical Items

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

We learn language by producing it and this is a standing based on Swain's output theory. Considering Swain's output theory, many researchers have focused on the role that production can play in second/foreign language acquisition (e.g. Adams, 2003; Izumi, 2002; Hanaoka & Izumi, 2012; Storch, 2008). Furthermore, in many studies, scholars tried to find appropriate ways with which learners could take control over their own learning. However, many of the studies remain ineffective as teachers encounter wide range of learners around the world with their own unique social, psychological and cultural characteristics. This enforces teachers to find new ways of teaching and elaborate more on the mechanism of learning. For instance, Thwaites (2014) conducted a research and based on the results achieved, he proposed an iterative approach to promote learners' learning. He asserts that many techniques might fall under the umbrella of "learning to write", a strategy firstly used by Manchon (2011) in which writing is considered to be playing a major role in language learning in general. Thwaites (2014) however asserts that "learning to write" is just the point of departure. He maintains that learning just starts when learners finish their writing tasks and try to compare their own writing with the original text. According to Thwaites (2014, p. 143), model texts (which are used when learners are provided with jigsaw tasks or some information from a story, and they are required to write a story and at last they compare their own writing with that original text or the reformulated text by an expert) and reformulations set in motion a process of analysis and reflection upon language. Thwaites makes use of "affordance" adopted from ecological approach to learning to refer to the process of analysis and reflection upon language, helping learners to deepen their awareness of the state of their L2 productive capacity. According to Thwaites, "affordance" offers new and unique possibilities for growth and development (2014, p. 134).

Considering Thwaites's view towards using process oriented writing to promote language learning, there seems to be some deficiencies at work. While Thwaites's (2014) concluding point in his approach towards leaning enhancement, is the matter of ecological affordances, he ignores the environmental factors which affect leaning including peers, experts and language classroom. One of these critical elements is the peer with his/her help in the tough process of learning becomes facilitated. Peers and experts can provide aid to learners' achievement as soil and light provide necessary conditions for the plant to grow. However, the mechanism through which this cooperation among learners can be actualized is an open area to research.

Due to paucity of empirical evidence in this regard, the current study examined the effect of shadow-reading strategy within the frame of Vygotskyan sociocultural theory. Vygotskyan approach to learning states that any knowledge and capacity in regulated activity appear always at first social level and only later it can be understood as psychological and intrapersonal level. According to Ortega (2009, p. 217):

Socioculturalism goes beyond social constructivism by positing that reality is not only a matter of interpretive construction but that is also radically collective and social, appropriated and transformed through relational knowledge. In other words, the individual mind finds the source of learning in social communities, learning is available in historical and social processes and emerges among agents in a given context. Only processes, events and activities are real, whereas structures and patterns are epiphenomenal to those processes. Thus reality is always processual and social and emerges anew each time and again out of specific interactions with the world, the word and others, always in situated contexts.

Shadow-reading is a classroom activity in which learners assist each other in reading an L2 text through interactive reading, repeating and summarizing (Guerrero & Commander, 2013). …

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