The Journal of Academic Social Science Studies, vol.6, no.4, pp.23-33, 2013 (Refereed Journals of Other Institutions)
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It’s seen that the concept of ‘globalization’ will mostly come out and be discussed in 21st century. With the globalization the world become a small city in many areas; technological developments make the world trade easier, scientific developments display the necessity of the change in the competition or the wars among the countries. The world humans’ collective living styles make the importance of foreign language wider. In Turkey there were various steps until today in the area of teaching foreign language, the fundamental development has carried on since 1997. With the 8 year compulsory education in primary schools, foreign language teaching, although it is not official, has gone down to kindergarten.
While there are various discussions about foreign language teaching, one of the most discussed subject is the beginning age of foreign language teaching. Scientists seem to be separated in this subject; the one that defends foreign language education has to begin from the early ages and the one that defends foreign language education has to begin after the consciousness of native language. In whatever way it occurs, a relationship is supposed between native language skills and foreign language skill, because the common point is language and the same skills are expected in both.
This study investigates the effects of native language reading skills on learned second language with the aim of defining whether native language skills effects second language teaching. This study aims to determine B and C level prepatory students’ in The School Of Foreign Languages reading skills in native language whether effect foreign language reading. Through this aim the answers of the following questions are searched:
1. Is there a meningful relation between second language English learners’ reading skills in native language and learned language reading skills?
2. Do reading skills in native language and learned language vary according to students’ gender, departments and levels?
The study is modelled as relational survey method and the universe of the study is the students of Erciyes University -The School Of Foreign Languages in the 2009-2010 and 2011 -2012 academic year. In the study with 2017 participants, reading texts in two languages and questions related to these texts are given to students, and then the students are asked to answer these questions. Then the relation between the marks is investigated through the variables in the second section. The data is loaded to SPSS 16 packed program. For descriptive analysis percentage, frequency, average and for the range between the variables variance analysis and t-test is used. By the statistical analysis, a relation between the students’ Turkish reading success and English reading success is determined and the said relation is meaningful. Students’ reading success in both two languages are not related their gender, faculty and level.
In order to find the answer of how the students can be more successful in learned foreign language, researchers have done different studies on reading skills. In these studies the relation between native language reading and second language reading skills are highlightened. But unfortunately, in Turkey the studies about the transfer of reading skills from native language to second language are little or no. In this study, whether there is a meaningful relation between English learners’ native language reading skills and second language reading skills and whether comprehensive reading success in both languages vary according to gender, department and levels are investigated.
In our study a relation between students Turkish reading skills and English reading skills is found, this relation is statistically meaningful. While this result parallels to the research of Pichette, Segalowitz and Connors (2003) and August (2006), it is different from the research of Carson, Carrell, Silberstein, Kroll and Kuehn (1990). Carson and the others (1990) found a relation between native language reading skills and second language reading skills, but they came the conclusion that this relation is not perfect. Pichette, Segalowitz and Connors (2003) and August (2006)’s research results support the transfer of reading skill from native language to second language.
In data analysis results in students reading comprehensive success in both languages whether vary according to gender, department and level, the reading comprehensive success in both languages according to gender variable is not meaningful. At the same way, students’ English reading comprehensive success do not vary according to their verbal or mathematical departments. But students’ in mathematical department Turkish reading comprehensive marks are higher than verbal department students’ marks. As expected, their English level according to C level is higher and B level students’ reading comprehensive success are higher than C level students’ marks. This situation concludes a relation between students’ level and their English reading comprehensive success. .
Students’ success or failure in learned language whether resulted from native language success or the techniques and methods in second language learning can be a different research topic. Because the substance or absence of a relation between two languages can be derived from the two languages learning environments, learning styles, strategies and methods.
If language learning is accepted as an entire work, the effects of basic language skills; reading, writing, speaking and listening to target (learned) language have to be searched both separately and as a whole.