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ERIC Number: ED165486
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977-Dec
Pages: 7
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Going Beyond the Signal: Strategies in Comprehension.
Marks, Sonia
Australian Review of Applied Linguistics, v1 n1 Dec 1977
This paper reviews some of the strategies the receiver uses in the process of comprehending a message in a foreign language and discusses some of the ways in which the listener/reader goes beyond the actual physical form of the message during this process. The role of guessing is discussed in the context of the following theories: the signal-detection theory, information theory, an analysis-by-synthesis theory of perception and linguistic theory. The signal-detection theory implies that a process of decision-making is involved in comprehension. Information theory yields a definition of information as "the reduction of uncertainty." An analysis-by-synthesis theory of perception attributes to the perceiver an ability to predict and check "what goes with what." Finally, experiments in linguistic theory show that recall of sentences is meaning-preserving. Of particular interest is the work of Bever in listeninq and Schlesinger in the readinq process. Their studies focus attention on anticipation as a strategy for comprehension, a finding consistent with an analysis-by-synthesis theory of perception. Although most experimental work has concentrated on the perceiver's ability to decode or anticipate the signal, many studies demonstrate the subjects' capacity to compound information which can be inferred from the information they are given. In conclusion, the implications of this discussion for the language teaching situation are indicated. (Author/AMH)
Publication Type: Journal Articles
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: N/A