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A Cognitive Study on the Functions of Note-taking and the Content of Notes Taken in a Context of Chinese EFL Learners

刘永灿  
【摘要】:This thesis reports a research on L2 note-taking in a context of Chinese EFL learners. It contains two studies. Study I evaluates the effect of the functions of note-taking (encoding and external storage function) and time of testing (immediate and delayed testing) on post- lecture recognition of genera! and specific information while study II examines the relationship between the content of notes and the learners?recognition performance. 92 advanced Chinese EFL learners were randomly divided into three parallel groups (group 1: 28, group 2: 32, group 3: 32) and were required to listen to a 19-minute taped lecture. Group I listened to the lecture without taking notes; group 2 listened, took notes, but was precluded from reviewing the notes; group 3 listened, did note-taking and was allowed to review the notes afterwards. All groups were evaluated on their immediate and delayed performance of a 30-item multiple-choice test based on general (15 items) and specific (15 items) information respectively. The subjects?test scores were subjected to quantitative analysis in Study I. Specifically both multivariate and univariate analysis of variance under the repeated measure statistical package were used to analyze the data. In contrast, Study II was devoted to the qualitative analysis of what learners had noted down with the techniques of correlation and regression. The subjects?draft notes were collected and coded upon three indices measuring the content of notes. They are: a) the content-word score, b) the words-in- full-spelling score and c) the notation score. The data collected were correlated with the subjects?recognition test performance. In addition, we also attempted to predict the recognition performance on the indices by regression analysis. In Study I, we have found that the effect of reviewing the notes taken (the external storage function of note-taking) is significant on recognition of specific information in both times of testing, which is in contrast with its insignificant effect on recognition of general information in both tests. As regards the effect of the very act of taking notes (the encoding function of note-taking), no significant effect has been found in any condition in either test. The results indicate that a) the very act of taking notes (encoding function) alone may not be useful for remembering process, b) the benefit of note-taking may accrue from having the opportunity of reviewing the notes taken (external storage function), and c) the effect of reviewing, if there is any, is only reflected on recognition of specific information other than that of general information. In Study II, those who achieved more on the delayed recognition of specific information in group 3 (T2spe3) tended to take down more content words and less complete words as evidenced by the positive flvalue earned by content word and the negative fivalue carried by full spelling. The two indices measuring the content of notes can jointly predict 81.3 percent of T2spe3. The results indicate that a) learners should take down more content words when required to recall specific information, and b) as it might be a lost cause to note down more words in full spelling within a certain period of time, establishment of a personalized shorthand system through sufficient pre-training is greatly desired. The findings of the present study are enlightening in guiding both LI and L2


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