Syntactic Enhancement: Bootstrapping for Second Language Reading

Volume 18
Issue 4
Youngmin Park
This paper aimed to identify factors that inhibit effective second language (L2) reading and to suggest technology-enhanced reading designed for providing L2 readers with bootstrapping resources. To this end, this paper also addresses the importance of syntactic and prosodic awareness in L2 reading, drawing on L2 reading theories and a number of empirical studies from a body of research related to L2 development. Syntactic and prosodic awareness contribute to L2 reading development as they are highly associated with uent and accurate reading abilities. However, it is challenging for L2 learners to acquire syntactic and prosodic knowledge due to limited cognitive capacities related to L2 learning, limited prior linguistic knowledge that is usually gained from oral communication, and linguistic differences between native languages and a target language. Addressing these challenges, this paper reviews a potentially useful technological tool of text presentation technology that may help increase syntactic awareness. Although empirical studies that tested the usefulness of technology- enhanced reading tools produced mixed results, their findings imply a viable alternative way of reading and call for future research to validate it.
Keywords: bootstrapping, syntactic awareness, prosodic awareness, syntactic enhancement, second language, visual-syntactic text formatting.