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ERIC Number: ED518878
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 168
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1242-0823-7
Attention and L2 Learners' Segmentation of Complex Sentences
Hagiwara, Akiko
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The University of Iowa
The main objective of the current study is to investigate L2 Japanese learners' ability to segment complex sentences from aural input. Elementary- and early intermediate-level L2 learners in general have not developed the ability to use syntactic cues to interpret the meaning of sentences they hear. In the case of Japanese, recognition of inflectional morphemes is crucial for the accurate segmentation of complex sentences, as they signal the end of each clause. However, recognition of inflectional morphemes was found to be challenging for low-proficiency learners because they are often fused in natural speech; thus, they are low in salience. To assist L2 learners in finding meaningful chunks, namely clauses within a complex sentence, the current study attempted to focus their attention on inflectional morphemes in aural input. During the experiment, learners were asked to repeat complex sentences as accurately as possible. Half of the stimuli were accompanied by pictures that corresponded to the activities described in the complex sentences. The study hypothesized that visualized chunks would reduce L2 learners' cognitive load and enable them to pay closer attention to syntactic elements; thus, learners would reconstruct complex sentences better with pictorial information support. It was also hypothesized that the ability to reconstruct elements that are low in salience would account for L2 learners' receptive proficiency. The results revealed that L2 learners' reconstruction of complex sentences improved significantly with the support of visualized chunks. However, it became evident that learners' reconstruction of an inflectional morpheme to which they had not been fully exposed in class did not improve with the pictorial support. Such a tendency was particularly obvious when the inflectional morpheme was located in a sentence-internal position. Additionally, the study found that L2 learners' ability to reconstruct an inflectional morpheme declined when it was devoid of communicative value. In terms of receptive proficiency, the results indicate that L2 learners' ability to reconstruct syntactic elements that are low in salience is a reliable predictor of their receptive proficiency. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A