Date of Award

1997

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Education Honours

Faculty

Faculty of Education

First Advisor

John Tingay

Second Advisor

Bernie Hild

Abstract

Technology has had a huge impact on pedagogy and this impact is increasing with more educationally sound computer software becoming available. CD-ROM storybooks are an example of such software, and this study was an attempt to discover how beneficial these computerised books are, to the reading strategies of English as a second language (ESL) learners. The subjects of this study were eight ESL learners from grades 3 and 4 of primary school (five female and three male). Four subjects were born in Australia, and the remaining four were born overseas. However, all subjects were exposed to a language other than English, in the home environment. First languages represented in this study were Serbo-Croat, Macedonian, French, Vietnamese, Cantonese and Egyptian. The research consists of eight individual case studies in which each subject was required to read narratives from both CD-ROM storybooks and traditional books. The Data were collected through observations and field notes; checklists; audio recordings; retells of narratives; and miscue analyses. Data were then analysed to isolate and compare reading strategies that were used in both media, and similarities and differences were noted. Results indicated that during the reading of CD-ROM storybooks, ESL learners demonstrated more fluency and expression; increased levels of metacognition; an increased repertoire of reading strategies; and more use of the semantic cues in the text. Some strategies and behaviours were observed transferring from the reading of CD-ROM storybooks to the reading of traditional books later in the study. Benefits from CD-ROM storybooks were also found to be more substantial for those readers who needed support during reading. The more proficient readers required little support and rarely accessed assistance from the CD-ROM storybook. It was thus concluded that benefits to reading strategies were negligible, if learners did not access the "help" facilities of the CD-ROM storybook.

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