The Impact of the Retelling Technique on Chinese Students’ English Reading Comprehension

| June 24, 2010
The Impact of the Retelling Technique on Chinese Students English Reading Comprehension

Keywords: comprehension instruction; contextual information; general concepts; reading comprehension; retelling technique

Lu-Fang Lin
National Taiwan Ocean University, Taiwan

Bio Data
Lu-Fang Lin received a Ph. D. degree in 2004 at Department of Curriculum and Instruction, University of Victoria, B.C., Canada. She currently is an assistant professor in the Institute of Applied English, National Taiwan Ocean University, Taiwan. She is presently involved in research into English reading comprehending instruction and Multimedia English teaching and learning.

Little research has been done on whether the retelling technique can enhance English comprehension among L2 readers. This study examined the impact of the retelling technique on English reading comprehension for 126 Chinese students from a Taiwanese university. Sixty five students were assigned to the experimental group and 61 to the control group. Both groups received the same learning content, but the technique differed; the experimental group had the retelling technique, while the control group had conventional techniques. All participants took reading comprehension pre- and post-tests, as well as a reading comprehension strategy questionnaire. The experimental group also wrote self-reports to describe their perceptions of using the retelling technique. The results show that retelling significantly improved the participants text comprehension at the level of overall meaning. It also helped them to learn general concepts during reading and to retain a synopsis of the story in their memory after reading. The participants using retelling could distinguish better than control participants between overall and specific ideas. They also performed better in drawing connections between pieces of information introduced at different parts of the text. However, retelling did not improve the ability of participants to remember details of expository texts. Based on these results, the study makes recommendations to integrate retelling in L2 reading comprehension instruction.

See pages: 163-191

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Category: Main Editions, Volume 12 Issue 2