LINGUIST List 14.96

Mon Jan 13 2003

Diss: Applied Ling: Hyde "A Comparison of..."

Editor for this issue: Karolina Owczarzak <>


  1. c-ihyde, Applied Ling: Hyde "A Comparison of the Effect..."

Message 1: Applied Ling: Hyde "A Comparison of the Effect..."

Date: Sun, 12 Jan 2003 16:00:37 +0000
From: c-ihyde <>
Subject: Applied Ling: Hyde "A Comparison of the Effect..."

New Dissertation Abstract

Institution: University of Surrey
Program: Department of Linguistic, Cultural and International Studies
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2002

Author: Chad Lawrence Hyde 

Dissertation Title: 
A Comparison of the Effect of Two Types of Pre-Reading Vocabulary
Lists on Learner Reading Comprehension: Glossed Difficult Words
vs. Key Cohesive Lexical Chains

Dissertation URL:

Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics

Dissertation Director 1: Jonathan Charteris-Black
Dissertation Director 2: Glenn Fulcher

Dissertation Abstract: 

There is a renewed and growing recognition that the state of the
learner's lexicon plays an essential role in reading comprehension and
problems. An increasing amount of research is being done on the
interaction of lexical knowledge, background knowledge, and general
reading strategies, and on investigating lexical means of improving
reading comprehension. The traditional method of doing this is to
provide readers with glosses of low-frequency words. In contrast to
this, the focus of this study is a method which has received little
attention in the research literature: providing readers with
significant lexically cohesive chains in a text. These chains contain
key topic-related words, and it is proposed that providing such a list
as an advance organizer would help set up a schematic framework or
topic macrostructure in the reader's mind and result in greater
overall comprehension than the more traditional method. To test this,
a short narrative English text containing a list of either glossed
low-frequency words or key cohesive chains was given to two groups of
Japanese university students, with a third group as
control. Comprehension was measured by immediate recall
protocol. Contrary to expectations, results show the effect of glosses
on mean recall was significantly and substantially better than the
effect of cohesive chains. However, analysis of the recall pattern for
the cohesive chains group indicates that while the overall mean recall
score was nearly identical to that of the control, recall patterns
were not. Major ideas were recalled considerably better than by the
control group, while non-major ideas were recalled considerably less
well. It is therefore suggested that the poor overall recall
performance of the cohesive chains group may be due to lack of
familiarity with cohesive links, and further research is recommended
before firm conclusions are drawn as to their effect on learners'
reading comprehension.
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