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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 6 Discussion

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The purpose of this study was to examine the interaction among background knowledge, grammatical knowledge and strategic competence in affecting ESPAR. This chapter discusses results regarding: 1) the factorial structures of the four scales (i.e., the Medical and Nursing Knowledge Test, the Grammatical Knowledge Test, the Medical and Nursing English Reading Test, and the Strategic Competence Questionnaire), 2) the interaction among background knowledge, grammatical knowledge and strategic competence in affecting ESPAR, and 3) the interaction among grammatical knowledge, background knowledge and specific strategic processes (i.e., planning, monitoring, evaluating, comprehending, memory and retrieving) in affecting ESPAR. All these results were conceptualized and unified into a comprehensive system labeled as the Triple-Decker Model.

This section addresses answers to the first major research question:

1. What are the factorial structures of the Medical and Nursing Knowledge Test, Grammatical Knowledge Test, Medical and Nursing English Reading Test, and Strategic Competence Questionnaire tasks?

The discussion will be based on results produced by three types of analyses: i) bifactor - M2PL/MGRM performed on item-level data, ii) ratios derived to weigh the bifactor-M2PL/MGRM scores to formulate composites, and iii) CFAs on these composites. Type i) results provided a detailed menu regarding the traits measured by each scale that were ←169 | 170→deconstructed into different independent traits: a primary (or common) trait and several domain-specific traits. Type ii) results showed the appropriate portions taken out of each trait to formulate the composites within each scale. These ratios revealed the relative importance of...

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