Reading strategies and approaches to learning of bilingual primary school pupils

Zhenhui Rao, Peter Yongqi Gu, Lawrence Jun Zhang, Guangwei Hu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


The research reported here investigated primary school pupils’ use of reading strategies. The study differed from most of the previous studies on reading strategies in that (1) the participants were young bilinguals in multicultural Singapore; (2) the data were examined within the Student Approaches to Learning (SAL) framework developed by John Biggs (1993). Analyses of think-aloud data revealed that successful pupils made more frequent use of deep-level processing strategies (e.g. inferencing, prediction, reconstruction, questioning of the text) while less successful pupils more often deployed surface-level processing strategies (e.g. paraphrasing, re-reading, questioning the meaning of a word or phrase). The findings suggest that children’s reading efficacy is affected by their use of learning strategies and that teachers should integrate the training of deep level reading strategies into their reading instruction. They should direct their pupils’ attention towards the intentional content of the reading material (what is signified) rather than towards learning the text itself (the sign) in their actual teaching practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-262
Number of pages20
JournalLanguage Awareness
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Bilinguals
  • Deep approach
  • Reading strategies
  • Surface approach
  • Young learners

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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