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postgraduate thesis: The lexical inferencing of Chinese learners of English as a foreign language

TitleThe lexical inferencing of Chinese learners of English as a foreign language
Authors
Issue Date2011
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Yin, Z. [尹照春]. (2011). The lexical inferencing of Chinese learners of English as a foreign language. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b4775292
AbstractThe primary purpose of this study is to explore the lexical inferencing of Chinese learners of English as foreign language in terms of the intent, the clue use, the procedure, the processing type, the adaptability, and the success of lexical inferencing as well as the subsequent lexical knowledge acquisition. All together 781 Chinese EFL learners at four stages of English learning (senior secondary year-2, tertiary beginning, tertiary middle, and tertiary final) participated in this study. 726 respondents answered a questionnaire of lexical strategies to unknown words in reading and clue use in lexical inferencing. 55 participants thought aloud the process of inferring the meaning of 12 target words while reading an article, and reported their knowledge of target words in a surprise test one week after the think-aloud activity. Data collected from the questionnaire were analyzed quantitatively to rank various lexical strategies and types of clue use. The think-aloud protocols of lexical inferencing were analyzed qualitatively to identify the type and amount of clue use, the event sequence of lexical inferencing, the processing type & adaptability, and the outcome of lexical inferencing. Their subsequent knowledge of target words was coded and analyzed. All these items of lexical inferencing also were processed quantitatively to explore the overall view of Chinese EFL learners‘ lexical inferencing, and the similarities & differences of learners at different stages. The findings reveal that Chinese EFL learners frequently used a number of lexical strategies, and lexical inferencing was the most frequently used. They used various types of clues, especially sentence meaning, morphology, and discourse meaning in their lexical inferencing. Some features of clue use, such as abundant imagined morphological clue and L1 grammar clue, revealed the impact of the Chinese language. There were also some variations in the clue use of learners at different stages. The results of this study show that major lexical inferencing procedure was ‘Guess > Accept’ at senior secondary stage and ‘Guess > Evaluate > Accept’ at three tertiary stages. There was an obvious upward shift of processing type from the ‘pure top processing’ of senior secondary to more advanced processing of tertiary stages. The overall adaptability of Chinese EFL learners‘ lexical inferencing was not high. There was an increasing tendency of high adaptability from the stage of senior secondary to tertiary final. The findings show that one fourth of lexical inferencing outcomes were ?Correct‘, while one third were ?Partially Correct‘. There was an increase tendency of ‘Correct‘ or ?Partially correct’ inferences and vocabulary knowledge acquisition from senior secondary stage to tertiary final stage. Measurable vocabulary knowledge was acquired in lexical inferencing. Further explorations reveal that Chinese EFL learners‘ procedural & declarative knowledge might potentially explain the performances of their lexical inferencing. This study culminates with some pedagogical implications for vocabulary learning and reading, and some suggestions for further research on lexical inferencing.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectEnglish language - Study and teaching - Chinese speakers.
Second language acquisition.
Inference.
Dept/ProgramEducation

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorYin, Zhaochun.-
dc.contributor.author尹照春.-
dc.date.issued2011-
dc.identifier.citationYin, Z. [尹照春]. (2011). The lexical inferencing of Chinese learners of English as a foreign language. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b4775292-
dc.description.abstractThe primary purpose of this study is to explore the lexical inferencing of Chinese learners of English as foreign language in terms of the intent, the clue use, the procedure, the processing type, the adaptability, and the success of lexical inferencing as well as the subsequent lexical knowledge acquisition. All together 781 Chinese EFL learners at four stages of English learning (senior secondary year-2, tertiary beginning, tertiary middle, and tertiary final) participated in this study. 726 respondents answered a questionnaire of lexical strategies to unknown words in reading and clue use in lexical inferencing. 55 participants thought aloud the process of inferring the meaning of 12 target words while reading an article, and reported their knowledge of target words in a surprise test one week after the think-aloud activity. Data collected from the questionnaire were analyzed quantitatively to rank various lexical strategies and types of clue use. The think-aloud protocols of lexical inferencing were analyzed qualitatively to identify the type and amount of clue use, the event sequence of lexical inferencing, the processing type & adaptability, and the outcome of lexical inferencing. Their subsequent knowledge of target words was coded and analyzed. All these items of lexical inferencing also were processed quantitatively to explore the overall view of Chinese EFL learners‘ lexical inferencing, and the similarities & differences of learners at different stages. The findings reveal that Chinese EFL learners frequently used a number of lexical strategies, and lexical inferencing was the most frequently used. They used various types of clues, especially sentence meaning, morphology, and discourse meaning in their lexical inferencing. Some features of clue use, such as abundant imagined morphological clue and L1 grammar clue, revealed the impact of the Chinese language. There were also some variations in the clue use of learners at different stages. The results of this study show that major lexical inferencing procedure was ‘Guess > Accept’ at senior secondary stage and ‘Guess > Evaluate > Accept’ at three tertiary stages. There was an obvious upward shift of processing type from the ‘pure top processing’ of senior secondary to more advanced processing of tertiary stages. The overall adaptability of Chinese EFL learners‘ lexical inferencing was not high. There was an increasing tendency of high adaptability from the stage of senior secondary to tertiary final. The findings show that one fourth of lexical inferencing outcomes were ?Correct‘, while one third were ?Partially Correct‘. There was an increase tendency of ‘Correct‘ or ?Partially correct’ inferences and vocabulary knowledge acquisition from senior secondary stage to tertiary final stage. Measurable vocabulary knowledge was acquired in lexical inferencing. Further explorations reveal that Chinese EFL learners‘ procedural & declarative knowledge might potentially explain the performances of their lexical inferencing. This study culminates with some pedagogical implications for vocabulary learning and reading, and some suggestions for further research on lexical inferencing.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.source.urihttp://hub.hku.hk/bib/B47752920-
dc.subject.lcshEnglish language - Study and teaching - Chinese speakers.-
dc.subject.lcshSecond language acquisition.-
dc.subject.lcshInference.-
dc.titleThe lexical inferencing of Chinese learners of English as a foreign language-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb4775292-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineEducation-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b4775292-
dc.date.hkucongregation2012-

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