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英语硕士论文:场独立/场依存认知风格和工作记忆对英语阅读理解的影响研究

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ChapterⅠ Introduction

 
1.1 Research background
Reading, as one of four basic skills in English study, plays an extremely important role inEnglish learning and in our daily life. EFL learners are able to acquire new words, understandforeign culture and enhance language sense through reading a lot. Reading comprehension, as acomplex cognitive activity, is a reading process where readers can construct the meaning ofversion by means of the interaction between the reader and the message in a text.Most previous researches and studies laid emphasis on teaching methods or language itself,but ignored learners’ individual differences, which exist in the process of learning foreignlanguage especially in reading comprehension. For example, EFL learners have the same Englishteacher, study the same contents and sit in the same classroom, but their proficiency of readingcomprehension is totally different. Consequently, learners’ individual differences can account forthis phenomenon. In other words, reading comprehension is obviously affected by individualdifferences.As for individual differences, scholars could not reach an agreement on specific terms ofindividual differences. However, there are some fundamental factors: sex, age, beliefs, languageaptitude, personality, learning strategies, cognitive styles and affective factors, which are admittedby most scholars. Above all, cognitive styles are key ingredient in the process of second languageacquisition. “Cognitive style refers to individuals’preferred ways of processing: ie. of perceiving,conceptualizing, organizing and recalling information”(Saville-Troike 2005: 87). In 1962, Witkincame up with the concept of cognitive style. FI cognitive style and FD cognitive style are twoprincipal aspects of cognitive styles. Although there exist many previous research findings aboutthe correlation between English reading comprehension and FI/FD cognitive styles at home andbroad, there is no consensus on the correlation between them for college students.
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1.2 Research purpose
This study mainly explores the correlation between reading comprehension performance,working memory capacity and FI/FD cognitive style and the interaction between working memoryand FI/FD cognitive styles. In addition, some efforts are made to find factors that affect FI/FDcognitive styles. All subjects chosen from Taiyuan Institute of Technology participate in three tests:English reading comprehension test, group embedded figures test and reading span test. This studyemploys Independent samples t-test, Pearson correlation analysis, and Multi-way ANOVA toanalyze all data collected from these questionnaires and tests.
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ChapterⅡ Literature Review
 
This chapter is composed of three parts: part one introduces definitions and categories ofcognitive style; part two illustrates definitions, characteristics, influential factors, measurementsand related studies of FI/FD cognitive style at home and abroad; part three presents definitions,functions, models, measures as well as related studies of working memory at home and abroad.
 
2.1 Cognitive style
Cognitive style is a psychological concept, also known as cognitive model and refers to thehabitual way individuals perceive and remember information, or employ preferred way to solveproblems. As for the definition of cognitive style, many versions were put forward in previousfindings.Allport (1937) proposed a “concept life style” in his masterpiece and he thought “it’s atypical or habitual mode of solving problems, thinking, perceiving and remembering”. He wasthe first one to use the cognitive style. Messick (1984) thought cognitive style referred to theself-consistency processing information around the inherent personality traits. Ellis (1985) definedcognitive style as the mode in which people perceived, organized and memorized information.Tennant (1988) pointed that cognitive style referred to an individuals’ characteristics as well as anapproach to organize and process information. Miller (1987) claimed that cognitive style washabitual behavior as individuals understood, retrieved and processed information. According toGrigerenko, Sternberg (1995) claimed that cognitive style referred to a bridge, which put twoentirely different fields--cognition and personality together. Renzulli and Smith (1978) termedcognitive style as“the self-consistent modes of functioning that a person perform in theirperceptual intellectual activities”.
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2.2 Field-dependent/field-independent cognitive style
Previous findings about the definition of field-dependent/field-independent cognitive styleare stated as follows. According to social psychologist Herman Witkin(1977), FI/FD cognitivestyles has been regarded as “the extent to which a person perceives part of a field as discrete fromthe surrounding field as a whole, rather than embedded..., Or, to put it into everyday terms, theextent to which a person perceives analytically”. According to Wen Qiufang(1996), FI/FDcognitive styles were the different characteristics of EFL learners when learners distinguished therelationship between objects and the different functions which organized the amorphous situationsand reconstructed problems about the cognition.Jonassen & Grabowski(1993) stated that FI/FD cognitive styles, also known asglobal/analytical thinking, referred to the way in which individuals perceived and processedinformation. “It is also associated with the extent to which the surrounding framework domainsthe perception of items within it, to which the surrounding organized field influence a person’sperception of items in it, to which a person perceives part of the field as a discrete form, to whichthe organizations of the prevailing field determines the perception of its components, or to which aperson perceives analytically”.From what has been stated above, when it comes to finding a simple figure in complex formswith similar lines and size, FI learners can easily find out the embedded figure and are almostuninfluenced by the background or environment. Just the opposite, FD learners are affected by theexternal cues and ignore the simple figure embedded in complex forms. FI learners are likely toanalyze concrete details while FD learners always view a situation as a whole. Thus these twotypes view the field from different perspectives.
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Chapter Ⅲ Methodology....22
3.1 Research questions...........22
3.2 Participants.....22
3.3 Instruments.....22
3.4 Procedures and data analysis of the study........... 25
Chapter Ⅳ Results and Discussion......27
4.1 FI/FD cognitive style, WM capacity and readingachievement.........27
4.2 the correlation between FI/FD cognitive styles andreading achievement.... 33
4.3  the correlation between working memory capacity andreading achievement.... 35
4.4 Analysis and discussion of the interaction between..... 37
ChapterⅤ Conclusion........41
5.1 Major findings.........41
5.2 Pedagogical implication............42
5.3 Limitations and suggestions......43
 
Chapter Ⅳ Results and Discussion
 
In this chapter, after collecting all tests, the author presents detailed results and furtherdiscussion in respond to three research questions stated in chapter three. This chapter composes oftwo sections: the first section focuses on the general situation of GEFT, WM capacity and readingtest scores as well as relevant discussion is stated in details. Descriptive analysis and Independentsamples t-test are applied to analyze the data mentioned in chapter three; the second sectionreveals the correlation between learners’ FI/FD cognitive styles and reading achievement as wellas working memory capacity and reading achievement respectively. What’s more, the interactionbetween working memory capacity and FI/FD cognitive styles on reading achievement isillustrated specifically. Further discussion based on the results is also elaborated. Pearsoncorrelation analysis and Multi-way ANOVA are used to explore the relation among thesevariables.
 
4.1 The overall situation of FI/FD cognitive style, WM capacity andreading achievement
GEFT is used to examine participants’ FI/FD cognitive styles. Based on Table 4.1, theminimum of GEFT score is 28 points while the maximum of it attains 117 points. The full mark ofGEFT is 122 points and the mean score is 78.47.According to the GFET scores, the author divides 68 valid participants into two groups. If thescore of a participant is higher than the mean, he would be regarded as FI style while if the scoreis lower than the mean, he would be deemed as FD learner. It has been shown that there are 37 FIlearners and 31 FD learners according to their scores of GEFT. In the Table 4.1, standard deviation(Std.deviation) is used to quantify the amount of variation or dispersion of a set of data values.A standard deviation close to 0 indicates the data points tend to be very close to the mean, while ahigh standard deviation indicates that the data points are spread out over a range of values. Thevalue of Std.deviation of GEFT mentioned in the above table is 21.055. In other words, thereexists a big difference on GEFT scores among participants.
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Conclusion
 
In this chapter, major findings are presented of this study at the first part, and in the next twoparts pedagogical implications, limitations as well as suggestions are showed for the further study.This study focuses on three research questions. The first question is to analyze whether thereis a correlation between learner’s FI/FD cognitive style and their EFL reading achievement or notand what the correlation is. Do gender, family background and major exist significant differenceamong the learners in the field of FI/FD cognitive style? The second question is to study thecorrelation between learners’ working memory capacity and EFL reading achievement. The thirdquestion is does working memory capacity interact with cognitive style in influencing learners’EFL reading achievement? Some major findings of these research questions are briefly stated asfollows:In the first place, the mean score of FI learners’ GEFT is much higher than those FD learners,which indicate FI learners score higher than FD learners on the basis of descriptive statistics.What’s more, the statistics of Pearson correlation analysis show FI/FD cognitive styles correlatesignificantly and positively with college students’ comprehension performance on reading test butthe degree of correlation between FI type and FD type is totally different according to the researchresults. The author also investigates whether there exist differences among gender, familybackground and major in the field of cognitive styles. As for gender and family background,independent sample t-test statistics indicate that there is no significant difference between malesand females, villages and towns respectively. For major difference, there is significant differencebetween arts students and science students. Arts students show more FD inclination while sciencestudent present more FI inclination.
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Reference documents (omitted) 

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论文关键字:英语硕士论文 场独立/场依存 工作记忆 英语阅读理解