Technology-enhanced reading environments

Youngmin Park, Binbin Zheng, Joshua Lawrence, Mark Warschauer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Although we live in a globalized information society where the ability to read in English is more important than ever before, many learners of English as a second or foreign language still struggle with this important skill. This chapter presents an overview of research on computer-supported reading. We first present the major components of reading, including word decoding, language comprehension and text interpretation, and summarize research on computerassisted reading in each of these areas. We then hone in on two examples of recent approaches to the use of digital media to support second language reading. In the first example, we introduce visual-syntactic text formatting (VSTF), which presents texts in a cascaded version that helps compensate for limitations in explicit or implicit syntactic knowledge among second language learners. Empirical studies in classroom settings demonstrate the effectiveness of this syntactically cued text formatting on reading comprehension, retention and proficiency. The second example, capitalizing on the interactive and collaborative nature of blogs, demonstrates the benefits of sociocultural learning in support of reading. Both quantitative and qualitative analysis of fifth-grade students’ blog posts reveals that online communication not only engages English learners, but also helps them develop text interpretation abilities by enriching cognitive skills and students’ sense of audience and authorship. We conclude by discussing directions for future research, drawing on a typology that identifies eleven types of digital resources that can be used to enhance reading comprehension.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationContemporary Computer-Assisted Language Learning
PublisherBloomsbury Publishing Plc.
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781441134509
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes


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