Site Loader

With
two fixed factors, presence of questions and structured text, we tested for an interaction
between these factors on the comprehension measure for each of the passages. There was a
significant interaction for the second passage, p
= .001; for the first
passage, an interaction did not occur. Because there was an interaction for
the second passage, a one-way ANOVA with pair-wise comparisons was conducted to
determine the differences between the four groups. Simple effects indicated that
when strategy questions were inserted within well-structured text that presented
cause/effect at the paragraph level, the proportion of correct
statements (full cause/effect statements with an appropriate structural clue
word) was
significantly higher than when the passages were well-structured only (p
< .001), contained ISQs only (p < .001), or provided neither well-structured text or ISQs (p < .001). At the sentence level of cause/effect complexity, again when ISQs were presented within well-structured text, the proportion of correct statements (full cause/effect statements with an appropriate structural clue word) was significantly higher than when the passages were well-structured only (p = .01), contained ISQs only (p = .02), or provided either well-structured text or ISQs (p < .001).   Discussion and Conclusion      The purpose of this research was to explore how ISQs and structured text influence Iranian EFL pre-intermediate' comprehension of expository general studies passages of different levels of cause/effect complexity. We investigated whether participants would comprehend the passages better when strategy questions were inserted within the text than when the strategy questions were not present. We also investigated whether participants would comprehend the passages better when the text was well-structured to more clearly represent the cause/effect text structure than when it was in its less-structured.      The question of how ISQs and well-structured text, in combination, influence comprehension was examined. The literature suggests that both ISQs (E. Kintsch, 2005) and well-structured texts (Williams, 2004) improve comprehension. Results from study indicated that when cause/effect was presented at the sentence level, EFL learners performed best when both ISQs and well-structured were present; however, they also performed better when just ISQs were present or when the text was well-structured only than when neither factor was present. Alternatively, when cause effect was presented at the paragraph level, EFL learners performed best when both ISQs and well-structured were present; however, their performance was similar when just ISQs were present or when the text was well-structured only to their performance when neither factor was present. There was an interaction effect of ISQs and structured text when cause/effect was presented at the paragraph level, but not when cause/effect was presented at the sentence level. Since research has shown that well-structured expository text improves comprehension (Williams et al., 2004), and that inserted questions improve comprehension (Kintsch, 2005), this research expected to find that both factors would be independently effective. This was the case when the cause/effect structure was presented at the sentence level and at the paragraph level. This research also expected to find that in combination the two factors together would be even more effective than either factor alone.   Limitation and structural implication of the study      In this research, only one text structure (cause/effect), out of the five text structures (description, sequence, compare/contrast, problem/solution, and cause/effect) identified by Meyer (1985) as representative of expository text, was investigated. The moderating effect that reading ability may have on the effectiveness of ISQs, structured text, and cause/effect complexity is another factor that should be investigated in future studies. Finally, the participants sample was limited. All of the participants were from pre-intermediate within two language institutions in Dezful. It cannot be stated with assurance that the sample is representative of pre-intermediate learners from other institutions or other locations.      The results of this research indicate that strategy questions inserted within well-structured text have a positive impact on elementary participants' comprehension of expository materials that present varying levels of text structure complexity. Too often, students are faced with texts that are poorly structured. The writing is not organized in a discernible way, does not contain signals that indicate specific informational structures, and fails to follow a structure that is recognizable to the reader (Chambliss, 1994). Providing students with a well-structured text that includes structural signals, such as ISQs, presents them with an established informational structure that they can follow. Inserting strategy questions within a well-structured text alerts students to an understanding of how a text is structured. Accompanied with explicit instruction in how to use this knowledge to recognize the important information in the text, there is a potential for improving student comprehension. That a student might not be able to expand his or her knowledge of the world because s/he does not have the necessary tools to comprehend informational texts is unthinkable. We have to come up with ways to put unlimited information in the hands of our kids in a way that keeps them asking for more.

Post Author: admin