Why exposure to prosody should precede the teaching of reading

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Meredith Anne Stephens, East Shikoku Institute of Socio-Arts and Science



Japanese students of EFL typically demonstrate superior reading comprehension to oral skills. This is a reflection of an examination system weighted in favour of reading comprehension skills (see Garant, 2000). However attaining reading comprehension skills without an oral foundation is burdensome (Watanabe, 2002) and typically requires considerable memorization. Studies of first language acquisition indicate the formative role of prosody in developing reading comprehension. (Fox, 2010, Whalley & Hansen, 2006).  Japanese EFL learners would benefit from increased exposure to prosody in order to develop reading comprehension more efficiently.