Academic discourse comprehension in Spanish and English Accessing disciplinary domains

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Psychodiscursive skills allowing university students to comprehend academic texts are considered to be essential. Besides, in countries where English is not the mother tongue, university students must also develop the ability to comprehend academic texts written in such language. As a result, reading comprehension of academic texts written in English and in Spanish has become a focus of investigation for Chilean researchers, bringing up questions such as: how much do university students comprehend when facing an academic text? Is there any relation between levels of comprehension and the knowledge students have about the genre they have to read? Can reading skills be transferred to a process developed in a second language? Approaching some of these questions, in this chapter we examine the comprehension process executed by undergraduate university students when facing disciplinary texts written in English and in Spanish. The students belonged to an Industrial Chemistry programme. We focused on the level of comprehension these students achieved when facing an academic Text written in English and also on the way that level of comprehension was predicted by the participants' English proficiency level, their degree of insertion into the disciplinary community, and their reading skills in Spanish.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAcademic and Professional Discourse Genres in Spanish
EditorsGiovanni Parodi
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9789027288257
StatePublished - 2010

Publication series

NameStudies in Corpus Linguistics
ISSN (Print)1388-0373


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