Spanish/English bilinguals' strategies for finding bias in historical texts

Date
2014-01-01
Authors
Orlovsky, Theresa
Major Professor
Advisor
Tammy Slater
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Altmetrics
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English
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English
Abstract

This study investigates the literacy resources and strategies Spanish/English bilinguals use to detect bias in a propaganda text. Drawing upon previous work done in history literacy by Schleppegrell, Achugar, and Oteiza (2004), this study presented participants with a propaganda text from Nazi Germany which criticizes Albert Einstein. Without knowing the context of the article, participants responded to discussion questions which investigated whether participants could detect the bias, what literacy strategies the participants used to find the bias, and whether and how the participants perceived differences between reading the text in their first (L1) and second languages (L2). Overall, the participants had difficulty correctly identifying the bias, and in general, most found the text easier to read and the bias easier to detect in their L1. This study makes a case for including the L1 in the instruction of history and the need for explicit instruction about critical reading strategies, especially for detecting bias in historical texts.

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