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Language as Information

Proceedings from the CALS Conference 2012

Edited By Anita Peti-Stantic and Mateusz Milan Stanojevic

This volume contains twelve papers presented at the 26 th International Conference of the Croatian Applied Linguistics Society, which was held at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Zagreb in 2012. The articles deal with the way in which information appears in language, specifically with the relationship between meaning and structure, and the way it is constructed by language users, particularly in foreign language learning and teaching situations. All the articles illustrate the claim that investigating language and its information value hinges on language structure, meaning and sociocognitive factors. The analysis of one cannot be complete without analyzing the other two, based on a functional perspective.

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L1/L2 reading as information processing. Renata Šamo

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L1/L2 reading as information processing Renata Šamo Abstract Viewing the (non-)native reader as an information processor and/or a skilful deci- sion-maker, the author tries to provide insights into effective use of the reader’s knowledge at both levels (local and global), with special emphasis on processing strategies and their role in assigning meaning to linguistic units such as letters, words, paragraphs, sentences, etc. In the first part of the paper the most relevant reading theories and models, based on information processing (Gough, Rumelhart, Stanovich, Perfetti, Kintsch, McClelland, Coltheart, etc), are briefly presented. The overview is followed by a study that focuses on reading ability through the use of strategies (supervising, support, paraphrase and strategies for establishing coherence in the text). The strategic reading behaviour of Croatian EFL learners shows that successful readers use a wider range of strategies than their less successful reader peers, mostly tending to identify and remember important information as well as to monitor and evaluate their reading. In other words, they seem to be constructively responsive to the reading material clearly indicating that reading is a process of con- struction and integration. The paper seeks to contribute to a better understanding of reading from the information/cognitive processing viewpoints, since this construct has not been extensively researched in Croatia in this way. 1. Information processing and strategy use One of the main information processing approaches to reading, generally known as the bottom-up model, was proposed by Gough (1972). It depicts reading as a mechanical process in which...

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