The Impact of Contextual Clue Selection on Inference

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

Khorasgan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Khorasgan, Iran.

Abstract

Linguistic information can be conveyed in the form of speech and written text, but it is the content of the message that is ultimately essential for higher-level processes in language comprehension, such as making inferences and associations between text information and knowledge about the world. Linguistically, inference is the shovel that allows receivers to dig meaning out from the text with selecting different embedded contextual clues. Naturally, people with different world experiences infer similar contextual situations differently. Lack of contextual knowledge of the target language can present an obstacle to comprehension (Anderson & Lynch, 2003). This paper tries to investigate how true contextual clue selection from the text can influence listener’s inference. In the present study 60 male and female teenagers (13-19) and 60 male and female young adults (20-26) were selected randomly based on Oxford Placement Test (OPT). During the study two fiction and two non-fiction passages were read to the participants in the experimental and control groups respectively and they were given scores according to Lexile’s Score (LS)[1] based on their correct inference and logical thinking ability. In general the results show that participants’ clue selection based on their personal schematic references and background knowledge differ between teenagers and young adults and influence inference and listening comprehension.



[1]- This is a framework for reading and listening which matches the appropriate score to each text based on degree of difficulty of text and each text was given a Lexile score from zero to four.

Keywords


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