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A constant comparative analysis of hypertext based e-text support: Attributes that assist English language learners' reading comprehension

, Northern Illinois University, United States

Northern Illinois University . Awarded


Technology has long been a popular means of teaching and learning English as a second language and there is an abundance of research to that effect. To my knowledge, however, none has been conducted specifically on the effect on reading comprehension of English language learners or second language learners reading independently with hypertext based e-text. The purpose of this study was to explore the nature and extent of the utilization of technology in the form of electronic text reading to improve English language learners' reading comprehension. The focus of this examination of qualitative research was on e-text attributes, not on the e-text devices; which factors are important to consider; and how e-text features assist with reading comprehension. Thus, the research question: What does qualitative research reveal about the attributes of electronic-text tools that enhance, contribute to, and/or facilitate reading comprehension skills of English language learners? I examined the effects of utilization of hypertext enabled e-text on the reading comprehension of ELL/ESL students. A comprehensive search of empirical studies from refereed/peer-reviewed journals led to a selection of fifteen empirical studies. These documents were examined utilizing an extensive constant comparative analysis of attributes specified in each e-text study. Generally, using hypertext-enabled e-texts, ELLs were able to interact with the electronic text, construct knowledge, and thus improve reading comprehension. More than half the studies reported significant positive findings regarding electronic text reading. Also, participants interviewed in the research studies clearly enjoyed reading in a digital format with access to electronic aids and wished for more of the same. Discussion on teacher/student roles, teacher guidelines, and key e-text features (advantages and disadvantages) are provided.


Navas de Rentas, N. A constant comparative analysis of hypertext based e-text support: Attributes that assist English language learners' reading comprehension. Ph.D. thesis, Northern Illinois University. Retrieved April 18, 2019 from .

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