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L2 reading and hypertext: A study of lexical glosses and comprehension among intermediate learners of French

, The University of Arizona, United States

The University of Arizona . Awarded


The focus of investigation in this study was the online reading behavior of intermediate learners of French as they read a hypertext with L1 and L2 lexical glosses and their comprehension. By design, access to the L2 translations was constrained by access to the L1 gloss information first. This prescribed path of support was meant to maximize target language input, and to prompt cognitive and metacognitive processes toward the goal of increased comprehension. Comprehension was measured through multiple choice and recall tasks, and questionnaires were used to gather demographic data and learner perceptual variables. The study provides evidence that comprehension is increased with access to the hypertext glosses among readers who accessed both French and English language glosses, regardless of prior ability. Accessing only French glosses was not linked to greater comprehension, and no access to glosses reduced a comprehension factor score. Prior ability, as measured by a standardized FL placement exam, was not related to gloss access or time on task. L2 readers’ preference for L1 language glosses in also reaffirmed to some extent, though French language glosses seem to have some appeal. Gender also played a role in the extent to which the text was enjoyed by L2 readers, and there is suggestive evidence for the roles of background schema and formal schema based on a qualitative analysis of recall. Questionnaire data reveal insights on readers’ perceptions of FLL, reading, their abilities, and reading online, findings which are related in a variety of ways to other factors in this study. Pedagogical implications are considered, as well as directions for future research.


Cooledge, S.L. L2 reading and hypertext: A study of lexical glosses and comprehension among intermediate learners of French. Ph.D. thesis, The University of Arizona. Retrieved October 21, 2019 from .

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