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THE IMPORTANCE OF COHESIVE TEXTS HOW CONNECTIVES AFFECT STUDENTS’ TEXT PROCESSING AND MENTAL REPRESENTATION Gerdineke van Silfhout (UU)

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Presentatie over: "THE IMPORTANCE OF COHESIVE TEXTS HOW CONNECTIVES AFFECT STUDENTS’ TEXT PROCESSING AND MENTAL REPRESENTATION Gerdineke van Silfhout (UU)"— Transcript van de presentatie:

1 THE IMPORTANCE OF COHESIVE TEXTS HOW CONNECTIVES AFFECT STUDENTS’ TEXT PROCESSING AND MENTAL REPRESENTATION Gerdineke van Silfhout (UU)

2 INTRODUCTION -Text comprehension -Definition -Properties -Coherence -Accessibility -Applicability -Coherence and cohesion: -Need for establishing coherence relations -Use of coherence markers -Make conceptual coherence relations explicit

3 INTRODUCTION -Fragment (1) Een bad met warm water was er alleen voor de rijke mensen, omdat het moeilijk was om aan warm water te komen. “A bath with hot water was only for rich people, because it was difficult to get hot water.” -Fragment (2) Een bad met warm water was er alleen voor de rijke mensen. Ø Het was moeilijk om aan warm water te komen. “A bath with hot water was only for rich people. Ø It was difficult to get hot water.”

4 INTRODUCTION -Interactions between reader and text variables -ChildrenB asic reading skills -TeenagersHigher-order skills -Importance of using ‘guiding’ text features -For readers with a lack of higher-order skills -Use of coherence markers

5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS & HYPOTHESES -Research question 1 Does the presence of connectives influence text processing and text comprehension of students in secondary education? -Focus on the on-line reading processes and the off-line text comprehension -Hypothesis 1 Coherence is easier to establish when texts contain coherence markers -Shorter on-line processing times -Better comprehension scores

6 RESEARCH QUESTIONS & HYPOTHESES (2) -Research question 2 Do less-skilled readers in secondary education benefit more from connectives than more-skilled readers? -Opposite findings -Linderholm et al., Land, Hypothesis 2 The effects of connectives are larger for less-skilled readers than for more-skilled readers -Less skilled readers have fewer integrating and inferencing skills

7 RESEARCH QUESTIONS & HYPOTHESES (3) -Research question 3 Are connectives more beneficial in expository texts than in narrative texts? -Differences in structure and content -No specific hypothesis for text genre

8 METHOD -141 students:53 vwo and 88 vmbo -Different school levels -Reading proficiency -All participants read 4 texts -Narrative text with connectives -Narrative text without connectives -Expository text with connectives -Expository text without connectives

9 METHOD (2) -Narratives (600 words) -Characters -Direct speech, dialogues, conflicts, spatial and temporal settings Die nacht kan Annette niet slapen. Ze wil Nicolas graag helpen, maar ze weet niet hoe. De volgende dag gaat Anette met een mand vol eten naar de boerderij van Nicolas. Daar ziet ze door het raam Leon, Nicolas’ vader, aan de eettafel zitten. Zijn haar is vies en hij heeft bijna geen kleding aan. Anette aarzelt om naar binnen te gaan. ‘Goedendag, meneer Debar’, zegt ze flinker dan ze zich voelt. “That night, Annette cannot sleep. She really wants to help Nicolas, but she does not know how. The next day, Annette goes to Nicolas’ farm with a basket full of food. Through the window she sees Leon, Nicolas’ father, sitting at the dining table. His hair is dirty and he is wearing almost no clothes. Annette hesitates to go inside. ‘Good day, mister Debar’, she says bolder than she feels.”

10 METHOD (3) -Expository texts (300 words) -Abstract/unfamiliar content -Processes, mechanisms, functions, relations between components Een voedselketen begint altijd met een groene plant. Een plant maakt zijn voedsel zelf. We noemen een plant een producent. De groene planten maken glucose en zetmeel van water en koolstofdioxide. “A food chain always starts with a green plant. A plant makes its own food. We call a plant a producer. The green plants make glucose and starch out of water and carbon dioxide.”

11 METHOD (4) -Presence of connectives -Additive Maar eigen baas zijn heeft ook nadelen. Allereerst moet je de administratie bijhouden. Daarnaast moet je allerlei verzekeringen regelen. Bovendien moet je je eigen pensioen opbouwen voor later. “But being your own boss also has its disadvantages. First, you have to keep accounts. In addition you have to arrange all kinds of insurances. Moreover, you have to contribute towards your pension.” -Temporal Ze heeft hem twee jaar geleden ontmoet, toen ze met haar vader meeging op een inspectietocht bij de pachtboeren. “She met him two years ago, when she joined her father on an inspection ride to the tenant farmers” -Causal Maar eigen baas zijn heeft ook nadelen, want je moet echt alles zelf doen. “But being your own boss also has its disadvantages, because you really have to do everything yourself.”

12 OFF-LINE ANALYSES -Bridging inference questions Causal: William is surprised when he sees Kofi, the black boy, for the first time. Why? Additive: To be an entrepreneur has great advantages. Which two major advantages were mentioned in the text?

13 OFF-LINE ANALYSES (2) -Sorting tasks / temporal order tasks

14 RESULTS OFF-LINE DATA -Multi-level model with fixed factors ‘coherence marking’ and ‘reading proficiency’ -For both tasks: main effect of reading proficiency (p <.001) -For inference questions: a main effect of connectives (p <.001) -For sorting tasks: no effects of connectives (p =.10)

15 ON-LINE ANALYSES -Eyetracking data -3 or 4 regions -The explicit condition “A plant makes its own food. [That’s why] 0 [we call] 1 [a plant] 2 [a producer.] 3 ” - The implicit condition “A plant makes its own food. [We call] 1 [a plant] 2 [a producer.] 3 ” -Different processing times per region -First pass reading time -Re-reading -Occurrence of re-reading -Re-reading duration -Total reading time

16 RESULTS ON-LINE DATA -Overall effect reading proficiency for each region, for each processing time (p <.001) and for re-reading occurrence at region 1 (p =.001) -Main effects of coherence marking at region 1 in the first-pass reading time (p <.001) and in the total reading time (p =.003)

17 RESULTS ON-LINE DATA (2) -Effects of coherence marking in re-reading occurrence (region 1 and region 2: p ≤.002) -Effects of coherence marking in re-reading duration (region 1: p =.007)

18 DISCUSSION -Connectives present -More regressions from the first region to previous information -Shorter re-reading times -Faster processing of subsequent information -Connective absent -Readers have to establish the coherence relations on the basis of the propositions -More regressions from region 2 -Longer reading times (first pass, re-reading & total reading times) -Lower scores on inference questions

19 DISCUSSION (2) -Connectives do not lead to better answers on sorting tasks -Operationalization sorting tasks -No effects of connectives on global text comprehension -Effects of connectives apply to both expository and narrative texts -Expository texts require more inferencing activities -Students have also difficulties with making inferences in narrative texts

20 CONCLUSION -Connectives influence cognitive processing of less- experienced readers in secondary education, regardless of reading proficiency and text genre -A combination of on-line and off-line measures -Relation between reading processes and text comprehension


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