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A Fundamental Study on the Effects of Pictures in Language (L2 English) Education (2)

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  • 外国語教育における画像の効果に関する基礎的研究2
  • ガイコクゴ キョウイク ニ オケル ガゾウ ノ コウカ ニ カンスル キソテキ

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Abstract

In order to develop effective courseware of L2 English language using pictures in micro-computers, the effects of pictures should be empirically investigated. Last year, I conducted an experiment trying to clarify the learning effects of pictures. The results of the experiment showed that pictures helped reading comprehension and that pictures, particularly photographs, were effective for L2 English reading. Based on these results, this study aimed to investigate the relationship between the two primary elements of pictures, that is, construction (pictures containing background information in prose vs. ones giving fragmentary information) and location (pictures seen before the prose passage was read vs. those viewed after the prose was read) and the two types of questions in reading comprehension, that is, factual questions and inferential questions. Moreover, this study aimed to clarify the relationship between pictures and learner characteristics, namely, cognitive styles (field dependence/independence), and individual learner differences. This is because these factors are of great importantance in considering individual differences between learners, especially when students learn using microcomputers. Before the experiment, the prose passage, "A Strange Shopping Center" was selected from an English textbook for junior high school students. The passage consisted of about 300 words. Two black-and-white pitures used in the textbook were chosen. Four types of learning materials were prepared by combining the elements of picture construction and location. The experiment was conducted in June of 1989 with 145 junior high school studets in Niigata Prefecture, who were divided into four groups using the four different types, of learning materials. As a pretest, the results of their mid-term English examinations were used. The subjects first answered the Embedded Figures Test (consisting of 25 items) - this judged students' cognitive style. Secondly, they read the passage; this is followed by a posttest, which was actually a comprehension test. It consisted of twelve factual questions and eight inferential questions. About two weeks later, the subjects took a retention test, the items of which were the same as those on the posttest, although the order of the items were mixed up. After the experiment, ANOVA was conducted on the points of the pretest; no significant difference was found. Consequently, the four groups proved to be comparable which allowed us to use the results in an analysis of post and retention tests. Secondly, ANOVA was applied to the results of the post test. The results proved that significant interaction took place (5% for inferential questions only) between the location x construction and the construction x cognitive style. Thirdly ANOVA was conducted on the results of the retention test. This showed that the main effect of construction was significant at a 5% level on factual items. From these results, it was found that: 1) field independents could utilize pictorial information more effectively than field dependents; 2) on factual questions, presenting pictures after the passage was more effective than presenting them to students before the passage.

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