How EFL Readers Understand the Protagonist, Causal, and Intentional Links of Narratives: An Eye-Tracking Study

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  • 英語学習者の物語文読解における登場人物、因果性、意図性のつながりの理解:視線計測による検証


<p>  This stydy explored how Japanese students learning English as a foreign language (EFL) understand the protagonist, causal, and intentional links between sentences during narrative reading employing an eye-tracking technique. Forty Japanese undergraduates read narrative texts, each of which contained a target sentence (e.g., Patricia ordered a cup of coffee) that was either consistent or inconsistent with a preceding context sentence (e.g., Patricia was a coffee lover or Patricia did not like bitter drinks), in terms of either of the protagonist, causality, or intentionality dimensions. The participants' eye movements during reading were recorded. Analyses of eye movement data showed that regardless of the dimensions, the participants immediately noticed inconsistencies between sentences, when encountered, during reading. In addition, the participants reprocessed the target sentences to resolve protagonist and intentional inconsistencies, whereas such a process was not observed for causal inconsistencies. Finally, inconsistencies did not affect the number of participants who looked back to the context sentences. These resuIts indicate that although the three types of links are important and understandable to EFL readers, they are different in terms of processes through which they were understood.</p>


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