Maintaining the Coherence of Situation Models in EFL Reading : Evidence From Eye Movements
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This study involved two eye-tracking experiments that investigated whether and how Japanese EFL learners maintain coherent text comprehension (i.e., a situation model). The participants' eye movements were recorded while reading narratives each of which included an inconsistency between a description of a character (e.g., a vegetarian) and a subsequent action of his or hers (e.g., ordering a cheeseburger). In Experiment 1, these inconsistent statements were separated by only a single intervening sentence, so as to examine the maintenance of local coherence of situation models. The results showed that inconsistency increased initial processing time of the sentence describing the characters' action; furthermore, it caused more participants to look back to the earlier description of the character. Experiment 2 manipulated the distance between inconsistent statements (1 vs. 4 sentences) to examine the maintenance of both local and global coherence of situation models. The results indicated that local inconsistency induced more look-backs, but that there was no such effect in the global condition, thus indicating the difficulty of maintaining global coherence of situation models. These results are discussed in light of the cognitive process involved in construction of coherent situation models during EFL reading.
- Jacet journal
Jacet journal (60), 37-55, 2016
Japan Association of College English Teachers