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Title:Lexical and grammatical knowledge in second language reading and listening comprehension
Author(s):Mecartty, Frances Hortensia
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Lee, James F.
Department / Program:Spanish, Italian and Portuguese
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Language and Literature
Language, Modern
Abstract:The relationship between learners' knowledge of linguistic factors and comprehension are investigated in this study. Two research questions are addressed: (1) what is the relationship of lexical and grammatical knowledge to foreign language comprehension? and (2) do lexical and grammatical knowledge play the same or different roles for reading vs. listening comprehension?
One hundred and fifty-four subjects in their final semester of basic Spanish language study participated in the study. In order to investigate the relationship of lexical knowledge on language comprehension subjects performed two assessment tasks: (a) a word-meaning association task and (b) an antonym task. To investigate the relationship of grammatical knowledge on language comprehension subjects performed two assessment tasks: (a) a grammaticality judgement task and (b) a sentence completion multiple choice task. Comprehension was assessed through multiple choice questions on main ideas and supporting ideas of two expository passages. Subjects completed either the listening or reading comprehension task but not both. Seventy-seven subjects completed the listening comprehension and an equal number completed the reading comprehension test.
The results showed significant correlations between lexical and grammatical knowledge with reading comprehension. However, only lexical knowledge was significantly correlated to listening comprehension. Grammatical knowledge was not significantly correlated with listening comprehension. When entered into the regression model lexical knowledge, accounted for the total percentage of variance (29%), in reading comprehension. Grammatical knowledge was non-significant. In listening comprehension lexical knowledge accounted for 12% of the variance in listening while grammatical knowledge was non-significant. These results suggests both similarities and differences between reading and listening comprehension.
It is suggested that: (a) lexical development be fostered in the classroom; (b) the teaching of comprehension be approached from a holistic perspective; and (c) instruction in listening should be an integral part of the classroom independent of instruction in reading.
Issue Date:1994
Rights Information:Copyright 1994 Mecartty, Frances Hortensia
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9503269
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9503269

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