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Effects of textual enhancement and topic familiarity on Korean EFL students' reading comprehension and learning of passive form

by Sang Ki Lee
Language Learning ()

Abstract

This quasi-experimental study attempts to incorporate grammatical elements into meaning-focused reading classes by attracting learner attention to form with mini- mal interruption to meaning comprehension. Two hundred fifty-nine Korean English as a foreign language students underwent four different treatments—involving textual enhancement and topic familiarity conditions. The responses of the students were com- pared with respect to (a) their ability to identify and correct English passive errors and (b) their degree of reading comprehension. The results revealed that textual enhance- ment aided the learning of the target formswhile having unfavorable effects on meaning comprehension. Topic familiarity, by contrast, aided the students’ comprehension but was ineffective in terms of their learning of form. I discuss the findings in light of the theoretical relationship between acquisition and comprehension and conclude with implications for meaning-oriented lessons.

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