Building Causally Coherent Mental Representations and Learning From Expository Texts Among Japanese EFL Readers
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This study examined whether (a) EFL learners can build a mental representation of an expository text that represents causal relations among text ideas and (b) building a causally coherent representation leads to learning from the text. In the experiment, three groups of Japanese university students at different English reading proficiency levels (i.e., advanced, upper-intermediate, and lower-intermediate) read an expository text and took an immediate recall test. To assess the learning outcomes from text reading, participants also answered a why-question test a week later in which they were asked to explain the causal sequences of a scientific phenomenon described in the expository text. The results indicated that causally important text ideas were represented in the participants' memory regardless of their proficiency, but linking those ideas based on causal relations was difficult especially for lower-intermediate learners. In addition, maintaining a causal linkage of text ideas in long-term memory promoted learning performances. This research suggested that good expository comprehension and learning depend on the degree of learners' involvement in explanation-based reasoning.
- Jacet journal
Jacet journal (59), 131-150, 2015
Japan Association of College English Teachers