Review Essay: Strategy Use and Think-aloud Protocols: How L2-Learners Process Text Comprehension Tasks in a Foreign Language

Lena Heine


In this book Nicola WÜRFFEL contributes to research on task-based learning material for learners of a foreign language. In an exploratory investigation she analyses the think-aloud protocols of six English-speaking learners of German as a foreign language, produced while working with self-study material with Internet support. The goal of the study was to show how the acquisition of reading competence takes place, with special attention paid to problem-solving strategies. As a main outcome of the study, the author presents a taxonomy of strategies for problem-solving performances specific to Internet courses. This can serve as a starting point for future research on second language acquisition. Through detailed analyses of the learners' performances, the author is also able to generate hypotheses about learners' capabilities in using Internet-based material for self-study and the needs they have in this regard, e.g. in terms of feedback. Nicola WÜRFFEL presents a carefully delineated and performed project, which nevertheless shows some methodological deficits: the think-aloud method is not implemented in a consistent way, and this reduces the quality of the data.
URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0604305


Internet-based self-study; reading competence; task-based language learning; reading strategies in foreign language contexts; think-aloud protocols


Copyright (c) 2006 Lena Heine

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