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Running head: IMPROVING READING COMPREHENSION

Improving reading comprehension: Examining the role of authentic texts with vocabulary tasks Rachel Cleary Monterey Institute of International Studies May 16, 2010

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IMPROVING READING COMPREHENSION Abstract Research indicates the importance of using authentic texts in developing L2 reading comprehension and the role of vocabulary knowledge in understanding texts. Limited research has been done on the effects of combining authentic texts with vocabulary teaching. This study will examine the effect of a new reading program that combines authentic texts with vocabulary tasks in an English for Specific Purposes (ESP) course. All 40 participants are advanced L1 Arabic engineering students. A multiple choice pre-test and post test will be given to an experimental and control group. During treatment participants will read authentic texts and complete vocabulary tasks. An independent samples t-test will be used to look for statistically significant differences between the means of the scores between groups. Results will be used to determine if this reading program would benefit students in ESP courses who have a need to improve their reading comprehension. (Word count 145)

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IMPROVING READING COMPREHENSION Students of engineering around the globe access research and textbooks primarily in English. As early as 1957 two-thirds of engineering literature was available only in English, but twothirds of practicing engineers were unable to read English (Pritchard & Nasr, 2004). Students and professionals of scientific fields are required to read and make use of research reports, textbooks, and journals in English. Recent research has indicated that both a strong knowledge of vocabulary and exposure to authentic texts are important in improving reading comprehension (Chia, Johnson, Chia, & Olive, 1999; Kaewpet, 2009; Pritchard & Nasr, 2004; Qian, 1999, 2008). In a survey of the communicative needs of engineering students in Thailand, Kaewpet (2009) concludes that more emphasis should be placed on reading in ³communicative events´ (p. 276). However, students reach the university level having had limited or no exposure to authentic texts, and find themselves suddenly required to read and comprehend complex materials (Kaewpet). Some universities have begun to redesign their English language programs to better meet the needs of students pursuing scientific degrees, and in particular have addressed the issue of reading comprehension and academic success (Mudraya, 2006; Chia, et al, 1999; Pritchard & Nasr, 2004). The purpose of this study is to investigate the use of authentic texts with vocabulary tasks in an ESP course for the purpose of developing reading comprehension.

Background Recent research has emphasized the important connection between vocabulary knowledge and reading comprehension, as well as the benefits of exposing students to authentic texts and materials (Mudraya, 2006; Qian 1999, 2008). The following will discuss the results of current and past research in the area of ESP by first looking at the relationship between

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IMPROVING READING COMPREHENSION vocabulary knowledge and level of reading comprehension, and followed by a discussion of findings on the use of authentic texts in ESP courses. Craik and Lockhart¶s (1972) Depth/Levels of Processing Hypothesis states that the more involvement a student has with new vocabulary, the more likely they are to retain and recall that word at a later time. In 2001, Hulstijn and Laufer redefined this hypotheses arguing that the process of learning new vocabulary has three distinct levels; need, search, and evaluation. Need refers to the reason that a student wants to know the meaning of a word, and is usually related to the necessity of the student to understand a larger passage. Search refers to the method a student uses to find the definition of a word. This can include looking up the word in the dictionary or determining the meaning from context. Finally, evaluation is the processing of assessing the appropriateness and role of a certain word in a context (Schmitt, 2008). Hulstijn and Laufer¶s (2001) research concluded that the more effective tasks for learning vocabulary include; deducing meaning of the word from its original context, and reading followed by vocabulary exercises. They also concluded that the more need, search, and evaluation required by a task, the more effective the task was in improving student vocabulary knowledge. Qian (1999) found a high positive correlation between depth of vocabulary knowledge, and academic reading comprehension level. He outlines what he calls the breadth and depth of vocabulary knowledge, with the former referring to the number of words that a learner knows, and the latter to the learner¶s ability to understand the different aspects of the words, and the ability to apply them in different contexts (Qian, p. 283). Aspects pertaining to the depth of word knowledge include pronunciation and spelling, register, and meaning, including the polysemy of words, and their synonyms and antonyms. He concludes from his study that vocabulary should not be taught in isolation, and that reading comprehension is parallel to the

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IMPROVING READING COMPREHENSION depth of vocabulary knowledge (Qian). Another study conducted by Qian (2008) further compares the presentation of vocabulary in isolation to the presentation of vocabulary in context. This research was conducted through the use of a reading comprehension test that was administered to international students from a university level intensive ESL program in Canada. Qian (2008) examined the relationship between discreet point vocabulary (DV), contextualized vocabulary (CV) and reading comprehension (RC). The study, which used two portions of the TOEFL exam to assess participants, found that there was a ³fairly strong correlation´ (p.11) among all three variable, the correlation between CV and RC the strongest suggesting that vocabulary knowledge is an effective indicator of reading comprehension. Specifically the study supports the teaching of vocabulary in context, as opposed to traditional word lists, as vocabulary presented in context is most indicative of high performance in completing reading comprehension tasks, and most reflects the way in which language is used in real life contexts. In her research on a corpus of technical vocabulary specific to the field of engineering, Mudraya (2006) further indicates the benefits of the use of vocabulary instruction in ESP courses. Her analysis found that a significant number of the vocabulary terms were scientific and that, while used infrequently in general writing, they occur frequently in scientific disciplines. She argues that evidence suggests that many errors made by English language learners come from misuse of vocabulary and that providing vocabulary instruction embedded in discourse will improve learner¶s knowledge of English. Mudraya¶s (2006) research further supports Qian¶s (1999, 2008) findings on the importance of depth of vocabulary knowledge in reading comprehension. In some ELL (English Language Learning) situations, the learner¶s primary exposure to English vocabulary has been through the grammar translation method, as was the case for

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IMPROVING READING COMPREHENSION medical students in Taiwan (Chia et al, 1999) where texts were simply translated word for word with no emphasis on context. Qian (1999, 2008) found a significant correlation between vocabulary presented in context and reading comprehension, suggesting that the grammar translation method is not the most effective focus for students reading complex materials, such as textbooks and research studies. A number of studies on the needs of learners in technical ESP courses have found that the ability to read textbooks and journals is of greatest importance (Chia et al., 1999; Pritchard & Nasr, 2004; Kaewpet, 2009; Mudraya, 2006). Kaewpet (2009) identified 33 real life communicative events used by Thai engineering students and professionals. Communicative events included reading textbooks, manuals, and writing reports. She found that while all four language skills were employed during these events, the skill most emphasized was reading. Kaewpet (2009) adapted four communicative tasks, including reading textbooks and manuals, in designing a technical ESP course for engineering students, and field professionals. She chose to adapt the tasks that were identified as being the most necessary for success in academic and professional settings. The tasks required students to identify language patterns, correct pronunciation of discipline specific vocabulary and obligated them to demonstrate comprehension (Kaewpet, 2009). The field of English for Specific Purposes (ESP) has grown considerably to accommodate the needs of professionals in scientific disciplines such as engineering. Chia et al. (1999), who assessed the English language needs of medical students in Taiwan, argues that universities that offer scientific programs primarily in English should make similar investigations into the needs of their students in order to improve ESP programs. Kaewpet (2009) also reached a similar conclusion after her research of engineering students in Thailand. While research has indicated

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IMPROVING READING COMPREHENSION that the incorporation of vocabulary instruction and authentic texts into ESP courses will better equip students for success in their academic careers, little research has been done regarding the best way to use authentic materials, or the specific types of vocabulary activities that will most benefit students. The following study will seek to answer this question by examining the extent to which a new reading program that uses authentic texts with vocabulary tasks can improve L2 reading comprehension. Methods Introduction This study will examine the extent to which a new reading program using authentic texts with vocabulary tasks in an English for Specific Purposes (ESP) course will improve reading comprehension. The following sections will outline the design of the study, the participants involved, explain the materials and instruments used, the procedures followed, and finally explain how the data will be analyzed.

Design and variables This is a quantitative, quasi experimental study with a pre-test/post-test design. A legitimate comparison group is used, and a treatment is given. The pre-test will ensure that all participants in both the experimental group and the control group have a similar level of English proficiency. A new reading program will serve as the independent variable in this study. The program will utilize authentic texts in combination with vocabulary tasks to measure their effect on reading comprehension. Authentic texts are defined in this study as texts that have not been altered or simplified in any way for English language learners and are designed for native

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IMPROVING READING COMPREHENSION speakers. Vocabulary tasks are defined as any activity that focuses on the form, meaning, or use of target vocabulary in given authentic texts and passages. The dependent variable in this study is level of L2 reading comprehension. Reading comprehension will be evaluated by a pre-test and a post-test. Test questions will be designed to assess overall reading comprehension as well as a set of specific skills adapted from a list developed by Pritchard & Nasr (2004) in their study on reading comprehension in Egyptian engineering students. This study will focus on five of the skills presented in the list because they were identified by the faculty at Mut¶ah University in Jordan as being essential for student success. The skills to be evaluated in this study are; skimming a text, scanning a text, ability to locate explicit and implicit information, ability to recognize synonyms in context, and ability to summarize and draw conclusions about a text. A pre-test will be used to determine level of reading comprehension at the start of the new program, and they will be re-tested at the end of the semester to determine their level of reading comprehension after receiving the treatment.

Participants The participants will be from two independent and pre-established ESP classes at Mut'ah University in Mu¶tah, Jordan. All participants are L1 Arabic speakers. One class will receive the treatment, and the other will serve as the control group. The students are all upperclassman from the department of engineering, ages 20-23 and have an advanced level of English proficiency. Each class has about the same number of students (n= 21, n=19), and there is approximately the same number of male and female participants (24F:16M). This difference is due to the higher number of female students enrolled in the engineering program. Group A

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IMPROVING READING COMPREHENSION (n=21, 13F/8M) will serve as the control group, Group B (n=19, 11F/8M) be the experimental group.

Materials and instruments Both the experimental group and the control group course will be taught by the same instructor. The instructor is an American Peace Corps Volunteer living in Jordan and working at Mut'ah University. Prior to the start of the course, the teacher will be given all materials and instructed how to use them properly. To ensure that the materials are being presented in the way intended by the researcher, the first two sessions, and that final session, of both the experimental group and the control group will be videotaped and viewed by the researcher. The video camera will be placed in the back corner of the room, in order to be as minimally invasive as possible. Students will be told that the course is being videotaped. The researcher has taught at this university in the past, and is familiar with the instructor, the general procedures of the university, and the European languages department. During the first class session of the semester students will fill out biographical information about their previous experiences in learning English, and their experience with, and interest in, reading (See Appendix A). Each week of the semester (a total of 8 sessions), students will be given an authentic text to read (See Appendix B and C for example texts). After reading the texts, the students will be given a follow-up vocabulary task (See Appendix D and E for example tasks). The tasks will be designed to facilitate student understanding of the reading material by drawing attention to aspects of the vocabulary used. Tasks will include skimming the text for main points, scanning

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IMPROVING READING COMPREHENSION for explicit information, defining synonyms, and discussing the form, meaning, and use of vocabulary in different contexts. There will be a pre-test (see Appendix G) given in the first class of the semester, and a posttest (See Appendix H) given in the final class session of the semester. The pre and post tests will use a combination of short answer, fill in the blanks, and multiple choice questions. The texts will be selected by the researcher and will be chosen based on their applicability to the participants¶ program of study. All vocabulary tasks, as well as the pre-test, and post-test will be written by the researcher. An internal consistency reliability test will be used to determine the reliability and equivalency of the texts and activities.

Procedures The treatment will take place over a ten week semester, including the administration of the pre-test and post-test which will be given in the first class and last class, respectively. The treatment will be administered for the intervening eight weeks. Both the control and experimental group will take the pre-test and post-test and eight total treatment sessions will take place. The students will be told that they are participating in a research study, but will not be told the topic of the study or whether they are in the control or experimental group, as this may result in experimental treatment diffusion or control group rivalry. Each class will meet once a week for two hours. During each class session the experimental group will spend 45 minutes reading an authentic text and completing a follow-up vocabulary task. The control group class will be taught exactly as it has been in past semesters to ensure that a new teaching style or different materials does not affect the results of the study.

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IMPROVING READING COMPREHENSION The instructor will introduce the text to the class, and each student will read the same material. Students will read the text and complete the activity independently. At the end of the activity, the class will discuss the text and compare answers with the instructor and classmates. The materials will be collected by the instructor at the end of each class session and reviewed and marked by the instructor for accuracy. The materials will be returned to the students the following week. Student participation in the activities will account for 5% of their final grade. At the end of the semester a post-test will be administered. The post test will be a mixture of short answer, multiple choice and fill in the blank, and will be directed at assessing the following reading comprehension skills; skimming, scanning, understanding explicit and implicit information, recognizing synonyms, and summarizing. An internal consistency reliability test will be administered to ensure that the pre-test, and post-test are assessing the same skills, and are the same level of difficulty.

Data Collecting and Coding The data collected will be the results of the pre-test given at the beginning of the semester and the post-test given at the end of the semester. The answers to the test will be counted as correct or incorrect. The total number of correct answers will be used to determine the participants¶ score, and will be coded on an interval scale. Answers that are accurate or acceptable will be counted as correct, and answers that are inaccurate or unacceptable will be counted as incorrect. The tests will be graded by both the researcher, and the instructor to ensure interrater reliability.

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IMPROVING READING COMPREHENSION The vocabulary tasks that follow the authentic text will be collected and graded by the instructor and will be returned to the student for informational and correctional purposes. This information will not be used to tabulate scores for the results of the study. Biographical data will be collected from all of the participants. This information will be used to analyze any outlier scores in the pre-test or post-test, and could also be useful in doing followup research or analyzing individual test scores.

Analyses The goal of the study is to test whether the implementation of a new reading program that focuses on the use of authentic texts in combination with vocabulary tasks will improve overall L2 reading comprehension. The independent variable (IV) is the new reading program, and has one level. The IV will be operationalized through the use of authentic texts with vocabulary tasks in an ESP course. The dependent variable is L2 reading comprehension, which will be measured by scores on a pre-test and post-test, and will assess the ability of the participants to skim, scan, find explicit and implicit information, recognize synonyms, and summarize. For descriptive statistics, variances will be run to determine the means and standard deviations of the scores. Inferential statistics will include an independent samples t-test to compare the mean scores of the pre-test and post-test to look for statistically significant differences in the means between the control and experimental group for both the overall scores, and also the five identified skills of reading comprehension; skimming, scanning, understanding explicit and implicit information, recognizing synonyms, and summarizing. An independent samples t-test was chosen because the study is looking at the difference in means of two groups and one variable. The alpha level will be set at >.05 because the study is exploratory.

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IMPROVING READING COMPREHENSION Research Design Table Research Question To what extent can the use of authentic texts with vocabulary tasks in an ESP course improve L2 reading comprehension? Null Hypothesis The use of authentic texts with vocabulary tasks in an ESP course will not result in statistically significant differences in the mean scores on a pre-test and post-test of L2 reading comprehension. Values Level of IV Analysis Measurement Or DV Group A Group B Experimental group Control group IV Mean, SD Independ ent samples t-test

Construct

Variables

Measures

Type of Instruction

New Reading Program\ Traditional ESP course

Authentic Texts Vocabulary Tasks

Reading Level of L2 Comprehension reading comprehens ion

Score on a multiple choice/short answer pretest/post-test

0: Incorrect 1: Correct

Skim Scan Implicit/Expl icit info Synonyms Summarize

DV

Discussion There are a few noted limitations to this study. First, because the researcher is no longer living in Jordan, she cannot be physically present for the study. The researcher entrusted a teacher known to her to give the course, and will be monitoring the study through video recorded lessons, as well as weekly updates from the teacher which can be done through e-mail, or Skype. Additionally, the first two classes, and the last class, including the administration of the pre-test and the post-test will be videotaped so the researcher can ensure that the study is being conducted properly. The same instructor is being used for both the control and experimental group to ensure that a difference in teaching style is not a variable in the new reading program.

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IMPROVING READING COMPREHENSION Differential selection is another possible threat to validity as convenience sampling will be used to select participants as opposed to the preferred random sampling. Using a convenience sample makes sense for this study because the researcher wants to analyze the effectiveness of the reading program in a classroom context that is targeted towards a specific group of students. Further, attrition could be a potential issue because of the participants¶ demanding school schedule. Since the study will take place over a ten week period of time, students may feel this is too long and lose interest. While the course is a non-credit course, students are given a certificate of participation at the end of the course only if they attend and participate in all classes. Students who miss either the first or last class where the pre-test/post-test will be administered will have their data thrown out. Also, students who miss more than one of the eight treatment sessions will also have their data thrown out. Biographical data will be collected from each of the participants on the first day of the study to assess individual differences that may impact the results of the reading program. If any of the participants state that they read exclusively in English outside of class for pleasure, their data will not be used. However, the researcher does not anticipate this to be a problem, as conservative cultural and religious values restrict pleasure reading. The researcher has taken great care to ensure that despite the above discussed limitations, the study is still viable. Through careful planning measures, potential threats to validity have been addressed and where possible controlled for.

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IMPROVING READING COMPREHENSION References Blair Rubber Company Manual (2010). Repairs to rubber lined equipment: repair procedures. Section 16. Retrieved from http://www.blairrubber.com/manual/PDF_Docs/Sec16_Repair_Procedures/Repair_Proce dures.pdf Bourzac, K. (2010). Self-powered flexible electronics touch-responsive nano-generator films could power touch screens. Technology Review. Retrieved from http://technologyreview.com/computing/25219/page1/ Bourzac, K. (2010). Brain interfaces made of silk: Gentler, softer electrodes wrap around the folds of the brain to take higher-resolution measurements. Technology Review. Retrieved from http://technologyreview.com/biomedicine/25154/page1/ Chia, H.U, Johnson, J., Chia, H.L., & Olive, F. (1999). English for college students in Taiwan: A study of perceptions of English needs in a medical context. English for Specific Purposes. 18(2), 107-119. Craik, F.I.M., & Lockhart, R.S. (1972). Levels of processing: A framework for memory research. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 11, 671-684. de la Fuente, M. (2006). Classroom L2 vocabulary acquisition: investigating the role of pedagogical tasks and form-focused instruction. Language Teaching Research. 10(3), 263-296. Hulstijn, J.H. & Laufer, B. (2001). Some empirical evidence for the involvement load hypothesis in vocabulary acquisition. Language Learning, 51, 3, (539-558). Kaewpet, C. (2009). Communication needs of Thai civil engineering students. English for Specific Purposes. 28(4), 266-278. Makey, A & Gass, S. (2005). Second language research: methodology and design. Routledge: New York

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IMPROVING READING COMPREHENSION Mudraya, O. (2006). Engineering English: A lexical frequency instructional model. English for Specific Purposes. 25(2), 235-256. Nation, I.S.P. (2001). Learning vocabulary in another language. Cambridg: Cambridge University Press. Pritchard, R.M.O, & Nasr, A. (2004). Improving reading performance among Egyptian engineering students: principles and practice. English for Specific Purposes. 23(4), 425445. Qian, D. (2008). From single words to passages: contextual effects on predictive power of vocabulary measures for assessing reading performance. Language Assessment Quarterly. 5(1), 1-19. Qian, D. (1999). Assessing the roles of depth and breadth of vocabulary knowledge in reading comprehension. The Canadian Modern Language Review. 56(2), 283-304. Schmitt, N. (2008). Instructed second language vocabulary learning. Language Teaching Research. 12(3), 329-364

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IMPROVING READING COMPREHENSION Appendix A Bio-Data Sheet (Adapted from Mackey & Gas, 2005) Name________________________ Age ____ Gender: ____M _____F Languages Spoken Other than English and Arabic _____________________________________ How many years have you been studying English? _____________________________________ Where have you studied English before? ____________________________________________ Have you studied English grammar before? Yes No No

Have you taken an English reading course before? Yes

Estimate how many hours you spend studying English outside of class: ________ What are your reasons for taking this course? ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ Do you ever read for pleasure? Yes No

If yes, how often? _______________________________________________________________ How many hours a week do you read?_______________________________________________ In what language do you primarily read? Arabic English Other_____________

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IMPROVING READING COMPREHENSION Appendix B Sample Authentic Text 1 Friday, April 30, 2010 Self-Powered Flexible Electronics: Touch-responsive nano-generator films could power touch screens. By Katherine Bourzac Touch-screen computing is all the rage, appearing in countless smart phones, laptops, and tablet computers. Now researchers at Samsung and Sungkyunkwan University in Korea have come up with a way to capture power when a touch screen flexes under a user's touch. The researchers have integrated flexible, transparent electrodes with an energy-scavenging material to make a film that could provide supplementary power for portable electronics. The film can be printed over large areas using roll-to-roll processes, but are at least five years from the market. The screens take advantage of the piezoelectric effect--the tendency of some materials to generate an electrical potential when they're mechanically stressed. Materials scientists are developing devices that use nanoscale piezoelectronics to scavenge mechanical energy, such as the vibrations caused by footsteps. But the field is young, and some major challenges remain. The power output of a single piezoelectric nanowire is quite small (around a picowatt), so harvesting significant power requires integrating many wires into a large array; materials scientists are still experimenting with how to engineer these screens to make larger devices. Samsung's experimental device sandwiches piezoelectric nanorods between highly conductive graphene electrodes on top of flexible plastic sheets. The group's aim is to replace the rigid and power-consuming electrodes and sensors used on the front of today's touch-screen displays with a flexible touch-sensor system that powers itself. Ultimately, this setup might generate enough power to help run the display and other parts of the device functions. Rolling up such a screen, for instance, could help recharge its batteries. "The flexibility and rollability of the nano-generators gives us unique application areas such as wireless power sources for future foldable, stretchable, and wearable electronics systems," says Sang-Woo Kim, professor of materials science and engineering at Sungkyunkwan University. Kim led the research with Jae-Young Choi, a researcher at Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology. The same group previously put nano-generators on indium tin oxide electrodes. This transparent, conductive material is used to make the electrodes on today's displays, but it is inflexible. To make the new nano-generators, the researchers start by growing graphene--a single-atomthick carbon material that's highly conductive, transparent, and stretchy--on top of a silicon substrate, using chemical vapor deposition. Next, through an etching process developed by the group last year, the graphene is released from the silicon; and the graphene is removed by rolling a sheet of plastic over the surface. The graphene-plastic substrate is then submerged in a

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IMPROVING READING COMPREHENSION chemical bath containing a zinc reactant and heated, causing a dense lawn of zinc-oxide nanorods to grow on its surface. Finally, the device is topped off with another sheet of graphene on plastic. In a paper published this month in the journal Advanced Materials, the Samsung researchers describe several small prototype devices made this way. Pressing the screen induces a local change in electrical potential across the nanowires that can be used to sense the location of, for example, a finger, as in a conventional touch screen. The material can generate about 20 nanowatts per square centimeter. Kim says the group has subsequently made more powerful devices about 200 centimeters squared. These produce about a microwatt per square centimeter. Kim says this is enough for a self-powered touch sensor and "indicates we can realize selfpowered flexible portable devices without any help of additional power sources such as batteries in the near future." "It's pretty impressive to integrate all these things in a foldable, macroscale device," says Michael McAlpine, professor of mechanical engineering at Princeton University. He notes that the potential of zinc oxide nanowires as a piezoelectric sensing material and nanoscale power source was previously demonstrated by Georgia Tech materials scientist Zhong Lin Wang. But integrating these materials over a large area with a flexible, transparent electrode opens up new applications, says McAlpine. The methods used to make the nano-generators are compatible with large-scale manufacturing, according to Kim. His group is working to boost the power output of the films--the main obstacle is the quality of the electrodes. One possible solution is to improve the connection between the nanowires and the electrodes by eliminating flaws in the structure of the graphene. The Korean group is also experimenting with adding small amounts of impurities to the material, a process called doping, to improve its conductivity. Copyright Technology Review 2010.

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IMPROVING READING COMPREHENSION Appendix C Sample Authentic Text 2

Section 16: Repair Procedures

REPAIRS TO RUBBER LINED EQUIPMENT
Even in the best run and maintained manufacturing operation, it is inevitable that, at some time, a rubber lined piece of equipment will require repair. To cover such eventualities, proper repair practices are described on the following pages. While repairs are necessary, they can vary from a tiny blister or crack to a major replacement of panels or an entire lining. When a major repair or complete relining is necessary, and the equipment is not too large for shipment, the best procedure is to remove it and send it to a tank lining shop. If it is too large for shipping, experienced tank lining applicators can do the work at your plant. In either case, years of life can be added to the rubber lined equipment through proper repair. The method of repair is generally dictated by the type of the original lining, extent of repair, intended service and the facilities available. For these reasons, there are no standard methods of repair; especially when considering field jobs. The only repairs that can be presumed to be equal to the original lining are those made with the same stock used in the original lining and given a full cure. Rubber lined equipment should be repaired with the same type of lining as was used for the original installation. On occasion, it is not always possible to recure the vessel in the same original manner. When this is the case, alternate methods must be used. Such alternate methods are often satisfactory for the intended service and may be justified by cost and time consideration. In this repair section there are step-by-step procedures for different repairs. Basically, there are three types of repairs: A. Rubber-to-Rubber B. Rubber-to-Metal and Adjacent Rubber Tie C. Rubber-to-Metal similar to (B) except metal requires replacement.

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IMPROVING READING COMPREHENSION Appendix D Sample Vocabulary Task 1

Directions: In one or two paragraphs, answer the following questions about each of the bolded terms in the passage. Refer back to the full text if necessary. This excerpt is the third paragraph in the article.

Questions: 1) What is the lexical category of the word in this sentence? 2) In what other contexts have you seen this word? 3) Why do you think the author chose to use this term? 4) What is a synonym you could use to replace the word?

Samsung's experimental device sandwiches piezoelectric nanorods between highly conductive graphene electrodes on top of flexible plastic sheets. The group's aim is to replace the rigid and power-consuming electrodes and sensors used on the front of today's touch-screen displays with a flexible touch-sensor system that powers itself. Ultimately, this setup might generate enough power to help run the display and other parts of the device functions. Rolling up such a screen, for instance, could help recharge its batteries.

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IMPROVING READING COMPREHENSION Appendix E Sample Vocabulary Task 2 Now researchers at Samsung and Sungkyunkwan University in Korea have come up with a way to capture power when a touch screen flexes under a user's touch. The researchers have integrated flexible, transparent electrodes with an energy-scavenging material to make a film that could provide supplementary power for portable electronics. The film can be printed over large areas using roll-to-roll processes, but are at least five years from the market. The screens take advantage of the piezoelectric effect--the tendency of some materials to generate an electrical potential when they're mechanically stressed. Materials scientists are developing devices that use nanoscale piezoelectronics to scavenge mechanical energy, such as the vibrations caused by footsteps. But the field is young, and some major challenges remain. The power output of a single piezoelectric nanowire is quite small (around a picowatt), so harvesting significant power requires integrating many wires into a large array; materials scientists are still experimenting with how to engineer these screens to make larger devices.

Directions: Circle the correct definition of each bolded term. Use clues from the paragraph to help you infer how the word is being used in this article.

1. Energy-scavenging a. To gather power from other sources b. To cleanse thoroughly c. A type of flexible material d. A type of researcher

2. Supplementary a. A type of electrode b. Additional c. Portable d. A type of film

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IMPROVING READING COMPREHENSION

3. Picowatt a. Circling a nanowire b. A unit of measurement c. A type of piezoelectric nanowire d. A subfield of engineering

4. Harvesting a. To gather or collect crops b. A large amount of electrical power c. A type of material d. To collect or generate 5. Engineer a. A person who works in the field of engineering b. A type of experiment c. To design or create d. A new type of flexible screen

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IMPROVING READING COMPREHENSION Appendix F Sample Pre-Test Text and Questions Directions: Read the following passage carefully, and then answer each of the questions below.
May/June 2010 Implantable Electronics: Dissolvable devices make better medical implants. By Katherine Bourzac

This article is part of an annual list of what we believe are the 10 most important emerging technologies. See the full list here. The next generation of implantable medical devices will rely on a high-tech material forged not in the foundry but in the belly of a worm. Tufts University biomedical engineer Fiorenzo Omenetto is using silk as the basis for implantable optical and electronic devices that will act like a combination vital-sign monitor, blood test, imaging center, and pharmacy--and will safely break down when no longer needed. Implanted electronics could provide a clearer picture of what's going on inside the body to help monitor chronic diseases or progress after surgery, but biocompatibility issues restrict their use. Many materials commonly used in electronics cause immune reactions when implanted. And in most cases today's implantable devices must be surgically replaced or removed at some point, so it's only worth using an implant for critical devices such as pacemakers. Silk, however, is biodegradable and soft; it carries light like optical glass; and while it can't be made into a transistor or an electrical wire, it can serve as a mechanical support for arrays of electrically active devices, allowing them to sit right on top of biological tissues without causing irritation. Depending on how it's processed, silk can be made to break down inside the body almost instantly or to persist for years. And it can be used to store delicate molecules like enzymes for a long time. Omenetto began working with silk three years ago, when David Kaplan, a biomedical engineer across the hall, asked for help making the material into complex scaffolds for growing new tissues. He boils silkworm cocoons and purifies the resulting solution to create his master ingredient, a water-based solution of the silk protein called fibroin. This solution can be poured into molds to make structures whose features are as small as 10 nanometers across. Omenetto has molded it into a wide variety of optical devices, such as lenses, mirrors, prisms, and optical fibers, all of which could be used to direct light to and from biosensors implanted in the body. Mixing antibodies or enzymes into the silk solution before molding it results in devices that could someday be used to sense low concentrations of just about any biological molecule, from glucose to tumor markers. Collaborating with Kaplan and materials scientist John Rogers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Omenetto has produced implants that combine silk with flexible silicon

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IMPROVING READING COMPREHENSION electronics. For instance, the group has used silk films to hold in place arrays of tiny silicon transistors and LEDs--a possible basis for implantable devices that will help identify the concentration of disease markers. The researchers have shown that the devices function fine in small animals, with no evidence of scarring or immune response. The silk dissolves, leaving behind a small amount of silicon and other materials used in the circuits. Another device uses silk as a substrate for a metal electrode mesh designed to replace spike-like electrodes used on the surface of the brain to diagnose and treat conditions such as epilepsy. When doused with saline solution, the silk wraps the mesh around the surface of the brain (even tucking it into the creases), helping the electrodes measure neural activity more precisely. The silk-based electrodes will probably be the first of the group's devices to be tested in people, perhaps in two to three years. Omenetto sees other possibilities further in the future: for example, a silk optical fiber could transmit light from an LED array to an implanted silk sensor, which would change color to indicate that a cancer has come back. The device might then release a precisely calibrated dose of a drug. A second silk fiber could transmit that information to the surface of the patient's skin, where the output might be read by a cell phone. All the components for making such things exist, Omenetto says. Once the pieces are brought together, a little silk will help save lives. Copyright Technology Review 2010.

Answer the following questions about the artlce you just read. 1. In two or three sentences, explain the main idea of the article.

2. A water-based solution of the silk protein called fibroin can be poured into molds to make structures whose features are as small as ___________________________.

3. When doused with saline solution, the silk wraps the mesh around the surface of the brain. Which of the following is NOT an acceptable synonym for the word µdoused¶? a. Drench b. Saturate c. Quench

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IMPROVING READING COMPREHENSION d. Saturate

4. What are some future implications or possible applications of implantable electronics?

5. What aspects of silk make it a good alternative to current implantable electronics?

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IMPROVING READING COMPREHENSION Appendix G Sample Post-Test Text and Questions Directions: Read the following passage carefully, and then answer each of the questions below.
Monday, April 19, 2010 Brain Interfaces Made of Silk: Gentler, softer electrodes wrap around the folds of the brain to take higher-resolution measurements. By Katherine Bourzac

Doctors can put arrays of electrodes on the surface of the brain to pinpoint the source of epileptic seizures; patients can use such electrodes to control a computer cursor. But it's still not safe to leave these devices in the brain over the long term, and that's a quality that needs to be developed before researchers can develop better brain-computer interfaces. Now a group of researchers is building biocompatible electronics on thin, flexible substrates. The group hopes to create neural interfaces that take higher-resolution measurements than what's available today without irritating or scarring brain tissue. "Biocompatibility is a major challenge for new generations of medical implants," says Brian Litt, professor of neurology and bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School. "We wanted to make devices that are ultrathin and can be inserted into the brain through small holes in the skull, and be made out of materials that are biocompatible," he says. Litt is working with researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign who are building highperformance flexible electronics from silicon and other conventional materials on substrates of biodegradable, mechanically strong silk films provided by researchers at Tufts University. This week in the journal Nature Materials, the team reports using a silk electrode device to measure electrical activity from the surface of the brain in cats. Silk is mechanically strong--that means the films can be rolled up and inserted through a small hole in the skull--yet can dissolve into harmless biomolecules over time. When it's placed on brain tissue and wetted with saline, a silk film will shrink-wrap around the surface of the brain, bringing electrodes with it into the wrinkles of the tissue. Conventional surface electrode arrays can't reach these crevices, which make up a large amount of the brain's surface area. "A device like this would completely open up new avenues in all of neuroscience and clinical applications," says Gerwin Schalk, a researcher at the Wadsworth Center in Albany, NY, who is not affiliated with the silk electrode group. "What I foresee is placing a silk-based device all around the brain and getting a continuous image of brain function for weeks, months, or years, at high spatial and temporal resolution." The advantage of surface electrodes over implanted ones is that they don't cause scarring, says Andrew Schwartz, professor of neurobiology at the University of Pittsburgh. In 2008, Schwartz demonstrated that a monkey with an electrode in its brain can control a prosthetic arm to feed

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IMPROVING READING COMPREHENSION itself. "This design is even better because it has a relatively small feature size and is flexible--it could make these implants less traumatic," he says. "What would really be nice is if you could amplify the signal near where you pick it up to reduce noise, and multiplex the signal to cut down on the number of wires needed," says Schwartz. The silk electronics researchers say this is their next step, and one of the major promises of the technology. They've already demonstrated thin, flexible silicon transistor arrays built on silk, and tested them in animals--just not in the brain yet. Schwartz says other groups have recognized the importance of multiplexing and signal amplification, but have been working with rigid circuit boards that are not as biocompatible. Adding these active components would reduce the number of wires needed in these implants, which today require one wire per sensor. And active devices could respond to brain activity to provide electrical stimuli, or release drugs. (One of the collaborators on the silk project, David Kaplan at Tufts University, has demonstrated that silk devices implanted in the brain in small animals can deliver anti-epilepsy drugs.) Adding transistors to the electronics is currently a design challenge, says John Rogers, professor of materials science and engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The electrode-array design his group found to be most compatible with brain tissue is a mesh--solid sheets won't wrap around brain tissue as effectively. And adding silicon transistors to the mesh is more difficult than doing so on a solid substrate. Still, says Rogers, all the major pieces are in place and just need to be integrated. With further development and testing to prove the devices are safe, says Rogers, "we hope this will be the foundation for new higher quality brain-machine interfaces." Copyright Technology Review 2010. Answer the following questions about the article you just read:

1. In two or three sentences explain the main point of the article.

2. What is a main concern engineers and doctors have at this time about currently available electrode implants?

3. One of the collaborators on the silk project, David Kaplan at Tufts University, has demonstrated that silk devices implanted in the brain in small animals can deliver ____________________________________________.

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IMPROVING READING COMPREHENSION 4. With further development and testing to prove the devices are safe, says Rogers, "we hope this will be the foundation for new higher quality brain-machine interfaces." Which of the following is NOT an acceptable synonym for µfoundation¶? a. b. c. d. Beginning Organization Groundwork Basis

5. Why is silk an ideal material for developing new electrode implants? List two reasons stated in the article.

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