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Revista signos

versión On-line ISSN 0718-0934

Resumen

IBANEZ, Romualdo. Comprehension of academic texts written in English: Relation between level of comprehension achieved and variables involved. Rev. signos [online]. 2008, vol.41, n.67, pp.203-229. ISSN 0718-0934.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0718-09342008000200008.

Nowadays, it is considered essential for university students to have psycho-discursive skills that allow them comprehend disciplinary texts successfully. However, as English has become a lingua franca, not only in the fields of international trading and technology development, but also in research and education, in countries where English is not the mother tongue, university students must also develop the ability to comprehend disciplinary texts written in English. Approaching this phenomenon, in this investigation, we examined the process of comprehension carried out by university students when facing disciplinary texts written in English. The students (n= 112) belonged to the Industrial Chemistry program, at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Chile. We focused on the level of comprehension these students achieved when facing a disciplinary text written in English and also on the way that level of comprehension was predicted by the participants’ English proficiency level, their degree of insertion in the disciplinary community, and their reading skill. We carried out a correlational study, which showed that the relation between the level of comprehension the students achieved and each of the variables considered does not represent a high positive correlation. However, through the analysis we carried out, we could state that the variable that best predicts the level of comprehension of an academic text written in English corresponds to English proficiency level, followed by degree of insertion in the disciplinary community, and, at the end, reading skill.

Palabras clave : Written discourse comprehension; academia discourse; English for academic purpose.

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