SCET Journal 2020/2021

Language Matters »

“For Fun” or “For Study”: A Case Study of a Bilingual Speaker’s Reading Process

Shuang Du and Yang Wang

Qiao is a fourth-grade child at a bilingual im- mersion school in a Southeastern city in the United States. She has had 50% of her instruction in English and 50% in Chinese Mandarin. Qiao and the other bilingual children at her school are expected to read proficiently in both English and Chinese based on the curriculum requirements. However, Qiao’s teacher shared that many of her students struggled with reading Chinese text and often relied on Chinese pin- yin – the phonetic system – to read the texts. There- fore, the first author of this article worked with Qiao and helped her explore her bilingual reading process. The purpose of this case study (Stake, 1994) was to analyze the bilingual reader’s English and Chi- nese readings and to better understand the bilingual reader’s reading processes. The research questions were: What is Qiao’s reading view? And how does she respond to reading in English and Chinese? Following an explanation of our research process, we provide implications for teachers who work with bilingual speakers. Goodman (1967) argued that reading is a process that involves both thoughts and language. This so- cio-psycholinguistic model clarifies that reading is a process bound by specific contexts (Gopal & Singh, 2020). Reading is a transaction between the reader, text, and context, and readers make connections when reading, creating their own meanings (Rosen- blatt, 1993). Goodman developed miscue analysis to provide insights for educators and teachers about a read- er’s reading process. The term “miscue” describes responses in the reading process that do not match an expected response (Goodman et al., 2005). All readers made miscues when they read, regardless of proficiency, and “miscues” are not equal to “errors” (Goodman & Marek, 1996). Goodman et al. (2005) stated that reading miscue analysis is a scientific realism, and researchers and educators can learn from these reading miscues. Reading miscue analy- Theoretical Framework and Literature Review

sis is a crucial tool for readers and educators (Moore & Giles, 2005). Lack of familiarity with the content, different perspectives, and other factors can make readers miscue when they read, but miscues are windows, showing how readers understand texts and why they understand texts in that way (Goodman et al., 2005). Cognitive strategies and linguistics under- standing are used to analyze the reading miscues as readers use the graphophonic system, the syntactic system, and the semantic system to construct and support their reading (Goodman et al., 2005). Also, in-depth explorations of a transactional, socio-psy- cholinguistics theory support the observations and analysis (Goodman et al., 2005). This particular study focused on an English/Chi- nese speaker. Different from English, the Chinese language is logographic, and Chinese text is often printed with characters. The phonetic system of pinyin plays an essential role for emergent readers to read in Chinese. However, the phonological aware- ness skills do not always contribute to reading devel- opment in Chinese (Wei et al., 2014). Proficient Chi- nese readers often read texts printed without pinyin. Chinese readers need to rely on lexical knowledge to parse characters into words (Gu & Li, 2015). Reading in L2 is also a process of meaning con- struction, readers’ life experiences, and many other factors that may affect how they understand and read texts (Goodman et al., 2005). The L1, readers’ backgrounds, and many other factors all influence the reading process in L2. A growing number of studies (Wang, 2020; Wang & Arslan-Ari, 2021; Wang & Gilles, 2017) used miscue analysis to learn more about the reading processes of English/ Chinese bilingual readers. The researchers analyzed the mis- cues and retellings of the bilingual readers’ reading in both languages. These studies found that bilingual readers read more effectively, and they control and balance the cueing systems when they read in L1; however, they tended to rely more on the sound and graphic similarities and rely less on the semantic and syntactic systems when they read in L2. Even though miscue analysis has been developed for many years,




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