The professional reader and the text: insights from L2 research

J.M. Ulijn, F. Salager-Meyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


This paper provides an overview of recent research related to the reading process, where this is of particular relevance to Reading for Professional Purposes (RPP), a term which refers to any reading activity carried out for purposes connected with work or study (academic or professional) whether in the first language (L1) or in a foreign language (L2). Key elements of the professional reading process are highlighted, with specific reference to the role of background knowledge and schema theory and to the controversial issue of whether reading in a first and a second language is a linguistic or a reading problem. Findings from a variety of relevant research areas are considered, including the process of inferencing, the concepts of coherence and cohesion, the structure of professional texts, reading strategies used by scientists when reading professional literature, the role of culture in professional text structuring and the concept of reader-responsible vs. writer-responsible languages. The review concludes by examining some limitations inherent in applying theories and models of reading to RPP.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-95
JournalJournal of Research in Reading
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1998

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