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Keywords:

  • second language reading;
  • reading strategies;
  • reading Chinese as a foreign language;
  • bottom-up and top-down strategies;
  • metacognitive and cognitive strategies;
  • Chinese

Abstract: Minimal research has been conducted in reading Chinese as a second/ foreign language (CSI/CFL). In an effort to further the understanding of the reading process, this study, utilizing think aloud and retelling procedures, focuses on the identification of strategies that American university students applied to read Chinese texts (narrative and argumentative), and the difficulties encountered when processing texts for meaning. Also it examines whether Bernhardt's constructivist model can account for the reading process of the CFL learners at the intermediate proficiency level. The results show that the CFL readers employed bottom-up and top-down processing strategies, that their difficulties were pertinent to vocabulary, orthography, grammar, and background knowledge, and that Bernhardt's reading model could account for the reading process of CFL learners with minor modification.