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Examining the Interaction among Components of English for Specific Purposes Ability in Reading

The Triple-Decker Model

Series:

Yuyang Cai

The book presents the Triple-Decker Model that describes the interactive mechanism among key constituents of English for Specific Purposes Ability (ESPA): language knowledge, strategic competence and background knowledge (nursing knowledge).

First, the model reveals that ESPA constituents can be assigned to three groups according to their roles in determining ESPA in reading: automators (language knowledge and background knowledge) that respond most directly, assistants (the cognitive aspect of strategic competence) that come to assist when automators are insufficient or boggle down, and regulators (the metacognitive aspect of strategic competence) that supervise all cognitive activities. Second, the model demonstrates the effect of strategic competence and background knowledge on ESPA fluctuated with the continuous increase of language knowledge.

The book also demonstrates the use of two innovative analytical techniques: composite scores based on bifactor multidimensional item response theory for scoring ESP reading tests and the multi-layered-moderation analysis (MLMA) for detecting linear and nonlinear moderation relations.

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Chapter 5 Main Results: Interaction among ESPA Components

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The purpose of this chapter was to investigate the relationships among background knowledge, language knowledge, strategic competence and ESPAR. To this end, three separate but closely related treatments were performed. First, a series of CFAs were performed on the composites obtained in the previous chapter to establish the structural validity of using these composites as valid indicators of background knowledge, grammatical knowledge, strategic competence and ESPAR. Second, various SEMs were performed to explore the interaction (mediation and moderation) among background knowledge, grammatical knowledge and strategic competence in explaining ESPAR, with a focused attention on the quadratic moderation of grammatical on background knowledge and strategic competence. The third treatment also tapped into the interaction among background knowledge, grammatical knowledge, strategic competence in affecting ESPAR, but with an emphasis on the interaction among specific elements of strategic competence and other two major ESPA components (i.e., background knowledge and grammatical knowledge) in affecting ESPAR.

To examine the validity of using the composites to represent their corresponding underlying constructs — background knowledge (or medical and nursing knowledge), grammatical knowledge, ESPAR (or medical and nursing reading ability) and strategic competence — a series of CFAs were performed on the MNKT, GKT, MNRCT and SCQ composites. ←127 | 128→First, the structural validity for the MNKT, MNRCT and SCQ composites were examined one by one by performing CFAs on each set of the composites, with modifications made where necessary. Afterwards, a full measurement model was formed by putting these three tested measurement models together with the untested...

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