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Article: Bottom-up or top-down processing as a discriminator of L2 listening performance

TitleBottom-up or top-down processing as a discriminator of L2 listening performance
Authors
Issue Date1998
PublisherOxford University Press. The Journal's web site is located at http://applij.oxfordjournals.org/
Citation
Applied Linguistics, 1998, v. 19 n. 4, p. 432-451 How to Cite?
AbstractStudies in reading comprehension and listening comprehension have investigated the processing skills used by skilled and less-skilled readers/listeners. Some of these studies observe that skilled readers/listeners are those who are better able to engage in top-down processing whereas others maintain that they are better able to engage in bottom-up processing. This study investigates the kind of processing skill that is more important in discriminating the performance of L2 learners on listening test items in large-scale public examinations in Hong Kong over a period of seven years. Two variables were investigated: the schema type of the aural text and the question type. Two types of schema were identified: the first type is referred to as the 'non-matching' schema type in which the schema activated by the initial linguistic input is not congruent with the subsequent linguistic input. Candidates need to be able to process the incoming linguistic cues rapidly and accurately, and to revise their developing schema accordingly in order to get the correct answer. The second type is referred to as the 'matching' schema type in which the schema activated by the initial linguistic input is congruent with the subsequent linguistic input. Hence candidates could rely on top-down processing to get the correct answer. Two types of questions were also identified. The first type is 'global' questions which required candidates to understand the text as a whole and to draw conclusions or inferences. Hence, candidates need to process all the key linguistic cues rapidly and accurately in order to get the correct answer. The second type is 'local' questions which only required candidates to pick out specific details. Hence, even if candidates failed to process some linguistic cues, they would still be able to get the correct answer. The mean criterion scores for the correct answers, which indicate the performance of the candidates who chose these answers in the entire paper, were compared for schema type and question type using a series of paired t-tests. The results showed that 'non-matching' items yield significantly higher mean criterion scores than 'matching' items irrespective of question type, suggesting that bottom-up processing was more important than top-down processing in discriminating the listening performance of L2 learners on test items.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/72107
ISSN
2015 Impact Factor: 3.25
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 1.749
References

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorTsui, ABMen_HK
dc.contributor.authorFullilove, Jen_HK
dc.date.accessioned2010-09-06T06:38:31Z-
dc.date.available2010-09-06T06:38:31Z-
dc.date.issued1998en_HK
dc.identifier.citationApplied Linguistics, 1998, v. 19 n. 4, p. 432-451en_HK
dc.identifier.issn0142-6001en_HK
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/72107-
dc.description.abstractStudies in reading comprehension and listening comprehension have investigated the processing skills used by skilled and less-skilled readers/listeners. Some of these studies observe that skilled readers/listeners are those who are better able to engage in top-down processing whereas others maintain that they are better able to engage in bottom-up processing. This study investigates the kind of processing skill that is more important in discriminating the performance of L2 learners on listening test items in large-scale public examinations in Hong Kong over a period of seven years. Two variables were investigated: the schema type of the aural text and the question type. Two types of schema were identified: the first type is referred to as the 'non-matching' schema type in which the schema activated by the initial linguistic input is not congruent with the subsequent linguistic input. Candidates need to be able to process the incoming linguistic cues rapidly and accurately, and to revise their developing schema accordingly in order to get the correct answer. The second type is referred to as the 'matching' schema type in which the schema activated by the initial linguistic input is congruent with the subsequent linguistic input. Hence candidates could rely on top-down processing to get the correct answer. Two types of questions were also identified. The first type is 'global' questions which required candidates to understand the text as a whole and to draw conclusions or inferences. Hence, candidates need to process all the key linguistic cues rapidly and accurately in order to get the correct answer. The second type is 'local' questions which only required candidates to pick out specific details. Hence, even if candidates failed to process some linguistic cues, they would still be able to get the correct answer. The mean criterion scores for the correct answers, which indicate the performance of the candidates who chose these answers in the entire paper, were compared for schema type and question type using a series of paired t-tests. The results showed that 'non-matching' items yield significantly higher mean criterion scores than 'matching' items irrespective of question type, suggesting that bottom-up processing was more important than top-down processing in discriminating the listening performance of L2 learners on test items.en_HK
dc.languageengen_HK
dc.publisherOxford University Press. The Journal's web site is located at http://applij.oxfordjournals.org/en_HK
dc.relation.ispartofApplied Linguisticsen_HK
dc.rightsApplied Linguistics. Copyright © Oxford University Press.en_HK
dc.titleBottom-up or top-down processing as a discriminator of L2 listening performanceen_HK
dc.typeArticleen_HK
dc.identifier.openurlhttp://library.hku.hk:4550/resserv?sid=HKU:IR&issn=0142-6001&volume=19/4&spage=432&epage=451&date=1998&atitle=Bottom-up+or+top-down+processing+as+a+discriminator+of+L2+listening+performanceen_HK
dc.identifier.emailTsui, ABM: bmtsui@hkucc.hku.hken_HK
dc.identifier.authorityTsui, ABM=rp00062en_HK
dc.description.naturelink_to_subscribed_fulltext-
dc.identifier.doi10.1093/applin/19.4.432-
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-0038938089en_HK
dc.identifier.hkuros43448en_HK
dc.relation.referenceshttp://www.scopus.com/mlt/select.url?eid=2-s2.0-0038938089&selection=ref&src=s&origin=recordpageen_HK
dc.identifier.volume19en_HK
dc.identifier.issue4en_HK
dc.identifier.spage432en_HK
dc.identifier.epage451en_HK
dc.publisher.placeUnited Kingdomen_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridTsui, ABM=7006812714en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridFullilove, J=7801475067en_HK

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