Glosses, comprehension, and strategy use

Date
2005-10
Authors
Ko, Myong Hee
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Publisher
University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center
Center for Language & Technology
Volume
17
Number/Issue
2
Starting Page
125
Ending Page
143
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Abstract
This study, using both qualitative and quantitative measures, investigates how different types of gloss conditions affect Korean college students' reading comprehension. One hundred and six undergraduates at a university in Korea participated in the study. Twelve were assigned to think aloud, and the rest (ninety-four) took part in the main study only. They read the material under one of three conditions: no gloss, Korean gloss (L1 glossing), and English gloss (L2 glossing). After reading, they were asked to take a multiple-choice reading comprehension test and to answer a questionnaire. The results of the quantitative analyses indicated that only the second language (L2) gloss condition significantly affected students' reading comprehension. However, the think-aloud protocols revealed that both types of glossing made their reading comprehension smoother and faster than was possible for those who read without glosses. In other words, even first language (L1) glosses enabled them to comprehend more easily while reading, although statistics did not indicate a significant difference between the no gloss and L1 gloss conditions. When surveyed, learners showed their preference for glosses in the margin: more than 62% of the learners favored L2 glosses for their reading material.
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Keywords
gloss, strategy, reading comprehension, think-aloud, Korean glosses, English glosses
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