Civil engineering students’ English language lexico-grammatical competence formation in reading
The current study compared two instructional approaches to supporting reading comprehension and lexico-grammatical competence in instruction of English for Specific Purposes for Civil Engineering students. The first instructional approach was structured according to students’ content domain knowledge, using sketch construction technical drawings and information, and included simultaneous learning of different language structures in each content topic. The second instructional approach was systematically structured according to language domains and included step by step mastering of various language topics. Both instructional approaches incorporated principles of a communicative-cognitive approach, such as informational transfer and reflection as a metacognitive strategy. The samples of reflection tasks exemplify the reflection principle to showcase students’ robust metacognitive awareness. Over 6 months, students completed assignments which embedded the use of one of the instructional approaches in the spotlight of above mentioned principles. Results demonstrated the efficiency of the content domain approach over that of the language domain approach. Thus, the content domain approach, which is conceptually similar to interleaved practice, fosters lexico-grammatical competence acquisition in reading on the basis of the sketch construction project.
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