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Title:The Effects of Cultural Orientation and Bilingualism on Inferential Comprehension
Author(s):Vahid-Ekbatani, Glayol
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Secondary
Abstract:The primary purpose of this study was to (1) determine the effect of references to an unfamiliar culture on the process of drawing inferences and (2) to compare and contrast inferencing ability of Iranian students with American students with similar academic background. A secondary purpose of the study was to examine if reading in a second language impedes the process of inferencing. To achieve these objectives, three passages, each followed by five literal and eight inferential questions, were given to each of three groups. These passages were: a neutral passage, a passage biased toward Iranian culture, and a passage biased toward American culture. The American subjects and one group of Iranian subjects read all three passages in their native language; the second group of Iranians read the passages in English.
The data, as analyzed by ANOVA and a series of planned comparisons, indicated a significant superiority in the inferencing behavior of American subjects over Iranians in reading culturally neutral passage. In reading the American biased passage, Americans again outperformed Iranians. The difference was even larger when the passage was read in English which is the second language to Iranians. In reading the Iranian biased passage, however, there was a significant superiority in Iranian subject performance.
In view of the results of the experiments, it was concluded that, (1) Iranians draw less inferences from a given text than Americans with similar academic background; (2) references to an unfamiliar culture in a text impede drawing inferences from that text; (3) language becomes more of an impeding factor in drawing inferences when it is compounded with cultural unfamiliarity.
Issue Date:1981
Description:109 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1981.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8129573
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-12
Date Deposited:1981

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