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Suppressing and Revising Incorrect Predictive Inferences in EFL Reading : An Empirical Study Using the Meaningfulness Judgment Task and Sentence Recognition Task

  • NAHATAME Shingo
    Graduate School, University of Tsukuba:The Japan Society for the Promotion of Science

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  • EFL読解における誤った予期的推論の抑制と修正 : 有意味性判断課題と文再認課題を用いた検討


Studies have shown that L2 learners make predictions about what might be written in the subsequent context (i.e., activate preditive inferences) during reading. However, learners do not always activate appropriate predictive inferences that are consistent with the subsequent context. Thus, the present study was conducted to examine how EFL readers deal with initially activated inferences when they are disconfirmed by the subsequent context, taking into consideration the methodological issues of previous studies. In the experiment, 43 Japanese university students read several short narratives designed to elicit an inference about the predicted event or to disconfirm the activated inference. Immediately after reading each passage, participants performed the meaningfulness judgment task (MJT) to a target sentence describing the predicted event. They also engaged in the sentence recognition task (SRT) to target sentences after reading all the passages. The response times of the MJT demonstrated that the activation of predictive inferences was not suppressed immediately after reading the context disconfirming the inferences. In contrast, the results of the SRT revealed that readers partially revised the disconfirmed inferences in their text memory. These results suggested that EFL teachers should pay attention to not only students' predictions in text reading, but also the suppression and revision of their predictions.


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