Exploiting keywords in a DDL approach to the comprehension of news texts by lower-level students

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This study describes the influence of an explicit focus on keywords in news texts for classroom activities on reading comprehension of news items. The general objective was to examine whether exploiting keywords through various tasks can aid learners in subsequent decoding of information in a text. The specific objective was to conduct a study with business English students at B1 level in which electronic data-driven learning (DDL) is compared with more conventional paper-based activities. The experimental DDL group exploited KWIC concordances of news keywords, while the other group read and answered reading comprehension exercises targeting the same items. Pre-tests and post-tests were used to compare the progress of the two groups, while direct observation, logs and questionnaires provided further insight. From the test results and the participants’ feedback, DDL activities focusing on news keywords seem to work favorably for the students’ comprehension of news.


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