The Comparison of Two Different Text Processing Skills to Enhance EFL Reading Comprehension: Summarizing vs Listing the Main Points

Abstract

As a global skill, reading is a cognitive activity including both surface and deep processing on its core, and developing reading comprehension is an important aspect of EFL as it requires the use of macro-level processing based on schema activation. The present study investigated the efficiency of two different text processing skills of reading comprehension; namely, “summarizing” and “listing the main points in a text”. The main assumption was that as a depth processing skill, summary writing requires macro level processing steps including selection of the main ideas, understanding the logical connections among them, and spending more mental effort and more involvement while reading, which promotes better comprehension. The participants of the study were second-year Turkish EFL university students (N=40) from the same proficiency level at the Department of English Language Teaching. They were divided into two groups randomly and read an argumentative essay. The first group wrote a summary, while the other group made a list of the main points after reading the essay. Then, they were given the same multiple-choice and open-ended reading comprehension items in order to examine if there were any significant differences regarding their comprehension level. The findings revealed that summary writing condition really promoted the overall reading comprehension and success of the language learners better. The findings have certain implications for the fields of Language Education and Applied Linguistics, as they can guide EFL teachers in designing their reading comprehension activities.



Author Information
Ayse Dilek Demirtas, Hacettepe University, Turkey

Paper Information
Conference: ACEID2015
Stream: Languages education and applied linguistics (ESL/TESL/TEFL)

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