Developing Reading Skills of the New Generation Students

Kriaučiūnienė, Roma; Mažuolienė, Zita
January 2017
Studies about Language / Kalbu Studijos;2017, Issue 30, p105
Academic Journal
The article focuses on the issues of reading of foreign language students at contemporary universities. The age of information, rapid development of IT have affected reading preferences and reading skills of our students. In this ubiquitous multimodal digital environment our students' reading preferences have been shifting: digital rather than printed text reading has become an everyday reality. Therefore, a new kind of literacy is required - the ability to read multimodal texts, the latter having an impact on reading. This raises a very important question for educators: What particular reading skills do our students have to acquire in order to fully comprehend multimodal texts? Moreover, in order to understand the meaning of specific professional texts read in English or any other foreign language, the reader requires linguistic as well as specific professional knowledge and particular (cognitive, metacognitive) reading skills, or in other words, disciplinary literacy is required. Consequently, this raises new requirements for university teachers - to teach New Generation foreign language (FL) students the reading skills necessary for understanding the meaning, critical assessment and evaluation of professional texts in a foreign language. Thus, the aim of the article is to establish what particular reading skills students need and have to acquire in order to understand the meaning of specific professional texts read in the English or any other foreign language. The aim is specified by the following research questions: what kind of texts (digital or printed) are preferred by New Generation FL students and what reading strategies are employed by students learning English as a second language? The research was carried out at Vilnius University in 2016. The analysis of students' reading strategies made it possible to conclude that their reading skills need to be developed more in the process of teaching/ learning foreign languages.


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