Learning from expository text in L2 reading: Memory for casual relations and L2 reading proficiency

Date
2017-10
Authors
Hosoda, Masaya
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University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center
Center for Language & Technology
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29
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2
Starting Page
245
Ending Page
263
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Abstract
This study explored the relation between second-language (L2) readers’ memory for causal relations and their learning outcomes from expository text. Japanese students of English as a foreign language (EFL) with high and low L2 reading proficiency read an expository text. They completed a causal question and a problem-solving test as measures of memory for causal relations and learning from the text, respectively. It was found that memory for causal relations contributed to text learning in high-proficiency readers, but not in low-proficiency readers. The quantitative and qualitative analysis of causal question answers revealed that low-proficiency readers recalled fewer causal relations and made more incorrect inferences than high-proficiency ones. Additionally, low-proficiency readers tended to perform the problem solving using inappropriate causal sequences and irrelevant information. These findings suggest that low-proficiency readers struggled with processes at both textbase and situation-model levels; consequently, they failed to learn causal relations in the text as knowledge.
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L2 reading, expository text, situation models, causal relations, learning from text, L2 reading proficiency
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