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Reading Authentic Text in the Hypermedia Environment: The Effects of Question Glosses on Comprehension Processes of Inte...


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READING AUTHENTIC TEXT IN THE HYPERMEDIA ENVIRONMENT: THE EFFECTS OF QUESTION GLOSSES ON COMPREHENSION PROCESSES OF INTERMEDIATE LEARNERS OF GERMAN AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE By CHRISTINA OVERSTREET A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2006

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Copyright 2006 Christina Overstreet

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iii ACKNOWLEDGMENTS It would be impossible to in clude all those who contribu ted in one way or another to the successful completion of this dissertation. However, my special thanks go to all of my committee members, Candace Harper, Ther esa Antes, Diana Boxer, Colleen Swain, and Keith Bullivant, who converged from different fields to offer their patient support and guidance. I am particularly grateful to Candace Harper and Theresa Antes for being willing to work together and with me from the inception of this project to its completion. I thank them for the high level of scholars hip and integrity they brought to the process and for their invaluable feedback and advice. My special and heartf elt thanks also go to Franz Futterknecht for allowing me to use hi s online reading course for my research project and lending me his unwavering support as a colleague and friend. I thank Judy Shoaf, the director of the language labs at th e University of Florida. She and her staff helped set up and carry out th e data collection during the Fa ll 2003 semester. I am very grateful for Perihan Savas, who stood by my side during the entire data collection procedure. Exceptional recognition goes to Pabel Ma rtin, for creating and setting up the hypermedia environment that enabled me to te st the effects of gl ossing on participants reading comprehension. Also, I thank E unice Johnson, who collaborated with me to develop the guidelines and templates for the an alysis of the recall protocols. I cannot imagine how I would have survived the 2004 season of hurricanes a nd hardships without her encouragement and her faith that God w ould indeed provide whatever I needed.

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iv My heartfelt thanks go to those students and professionals in the field of foreign language education who pre-read and translat ed texts, counted t housands of propositions, transcribed interviews, and identified idea units and inferences. I th ank the participants of this study for persevering through nine week s of intense reading. I am very grateful that they were willing to sc hedule time in the Lab each week rather than reading in the comfort of their own homes. Finally, thanks go to Geri Nikolova and Joaquim Camps for their help with the data analysis, graphs, and statistical procedures. And last, but not least, I thank my family and close personal friends who share my life. I thank them for their love and unde rstanding, their encour agement, and their willingness to listen to me and to bear with me. I also wish to remember my late husband, Herbert Overstreet, with whom I began this journey. It is because of his memory and the life we shared that I look to a bright future of both professional and personal fulfillment. I dedicate this dissertati on to our grandchildren: Joshua Overstreet, Jonathan Drabot, Justin Drabot, Fe licia Drabot, Roxana Drabot, and Nathanael Mitchell Overstreet.

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v TABLE OF CONTENTS ACKNOWLEDGMENTS.................................................................................................iii LIST OF TABLES...........................................................................................................viii LIST OF FIGURES...........................................................................................................ix ABSTRACT.........................................................................................................................x CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION...........................................................................................................1 L2 Reading Instruction in Undergraduate Programs......................................................2 Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) at the University Level......................6 2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE........................................................................................10 CALL and L2 Reading..................................................................................................10 Activity Theory.............................................................................................................13 Theoretical Models of L2 Reading...............................................................................15 Bottom-up, Top-down, and Interactive Processing..................................................16 Compensatory Processing.........................................................................................17 L1 Literacy and L2 Reading.....................................................................................19 Background Knowledge................................................................................................20 Schema Theory and Mental Model Construction.........................................................21 The Role of Glossing in L2 Reading Instruction..........................................................24 Glossing in the Hypermedia Environment....................................................................26 Text-Specific Approaches to Online Reading Instruction........................................28 Metacognitive Glossing............................................................................................35 Design Issues............................................................................................................36 Research Focus.........................................................................................................37 3 METHODOLOGY........................................................................................................39 Participants................................................................................................................... .39 Materials...................................................................................................................... .41 Selection of Texts.....................................................................................................41 Description of Texts..................................................................................................43 Creating a Template for the Reading Activity..........................................................45 Question Glosses.......................................................................................................46

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vi Data Collection.............................................................................................................48 Multimedia Lab Setting............................................................................................49 Data Collection Procedure........................................................................................50 Analysis of Recall Protocols.........................................................................................53 Detailed Propositional Analysis................................................................................54 Idea Unit Analysis.....................................................................................................55 Analysis of Think Aloud Prot ocols: Causal Inferences and Look-Ups (Quantitative)57 4 RESULTS..................................................................................................................... .59 Research Question 1.....................................................................................................59 Results of Propositional Anal ysis of Recall Protocols.............................................60 Results of Idea Unit Analysis of Recall Protocols....................................................61 Results of Proposition and Idea Unit Analyses for Texts 2-7...................................63 Statistical Test Results for Recall Protocols.............................................................65 Results of Quantitative Analys is of Think-Aloud Protocols....................................66 Research Question 2.....................................................................................................71 Comprehension Processes and Monitoring: S1, S4, and S7.....................................74 Comprehension Processes a nd Monitoring: S3, S6, S8............................................78 Comprehension Processes a nd Monitoring: S2 and S5............................................81 Research Question 3.....................................................................................................85 5 DISCUSSION................................................................................................................93 6 CONCLUSION S........................................................................................................... 99 Number of Subjects.......................................................................................................99 Technology Improvements.........................................................................................100 Implications for Pedagogy..........................................................................................101 Future Research..........................................................................................................102 APPENDIX A PRE-STUDY QUESTIONNAIRE.............................................................................104 B DESCRIPTION OF TEXTS.......................................................................................107 C SAMPLE TEXT SCREENS.......................................................................................108 D POST-STUDY QUESTIONNAIRE...........................................................................112 E PROPOSITIONAL ANALYSIS GUI DELINES AND TEXT SAMPLES................114 F IDEA UNIT ANALYSIS AND TEXT TEMPLATES...............................................120 G READING SAMPLE..................................................................................................128

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vii H RESULTS OF POST-STUDY QUESTIONNAIRE..................................................144 REFERENCES................................................................................................................145 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH...........................................................................................159

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viii LIST OF TABLES Table page 3-1. Schedule for Reading in the Multimedia Lab............................................................. 51 3-2. Group I and II Altern ating Conditions Q and NQ...................................................... 52 4-1. Percentages of Propositions Recalled........................................................................60 4-2. Percentages of Idea Units Recalled...........................................................................62 4-3. Raw Scores and P-Values for Pr oposition and Idea Unit Scores (Q and NQ) ........... 65 4-4. Look-ups (L) and Causal Inferences (CI) in Q* and NQ.......................................... 66 4-5. Combined Quantitative Data for Recalls and Think-Aloud Protocols....................... 68 4-6. Individual Readers Historie s and Post-Study Questionnaire Results....................... 72 4-7. Readers View of Question Glosses.......................................................................... 73 4-8. Readers View of Cultural Links................................................................................ 74 4-9. Readers Combined Quantitative Re sults for Text 1 (D1) and Text 8 (D2)..............87 H-1. Post-Study Qu estionnaire Results...........................................................................144

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ix LIST OF FIGURES Figure ............................................................................................................................. page 4-1. Individual Student Propositional Comprehension in Q and NQ .................................61 4-2. Individual Student Idea Un it Comprehension in Q and NQ.......................................62 4-3. Individual Student Proposition and Idea Unit Scores in Q and NQ...........................63 4-4. Percentages of Propositions for Texts 2-7 in Q and NQ............................................64 4-5. Idea Unit Comprehension Scores for Texts 2-7 in Q and NQ....................................64 4-6. Total Number of Look-ups a nd Causal Inferences by Texts......................................67

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x Abstract of Dissertation Pres ented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy READING AUTHENTIC TEXT IN TH E HYPERMEDIA ENVIRONMENT: THE EFFECTS OF QUESTION GLOSSES ON COMPREHENSION PROCESSES OF INTERMEDIATE LEARNERS OF GERMAN AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE By Christina Overstreet May 2006 Chair: Candace Harper Cochair: Theresa Antes Major Department: Teaching a nd Learning This study examined to what extent a nd how question glosses in the hypermedia environment enabled intermediate learners of German as a foreign language to go beyond the surface and textbase level and construc t a situation model of a text based on appropriate cultural background knowledge. Ques tion glosses are interspersed questions that function to prompt the reader to eith er activate pre-existing knowledge or to become aware of a cultural difference or knowle dge gap and avoid mi sreading a text. A misreading is defined as an instance when th e reader constructs a mental model that contradicts explicitly stated information as well as the unseen in a text. Eight participants read eight text s over a period of eight weeks. Data collection combined immediate recall and think-aloud protocols, preand post-study questionnaires, as well as exit interviews after each reading. Two groups of readers alternated between reading texts with and without question glosses, while holding all other vari ables constant: access

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xi to external and internal dict ionaries, and multimedia hyperlin ks (geographical, historical, cultural information). Recall protocols yielded two different types of comprehension scores. The propositional scores established how efficien tly readers recognized words and pieces of information at the surface leve l of a text. It was found that question glosses improved the recall of propositions for some readers who lacked lower-level processing skills, but made no difference for readers who demonstr ated a higher degree of automaticity in lower-level processing. In c ontrast, the weighted idea unit analysis indicates to what extent participants constructe d coherent textbase models of a text. Five participants recalled more main and supporting ideas when reading a text with than without question glosses. By combining the results of the quantitative analysis of the recall and thinkaloud protocols, a connection between the per centage of idea units and the number of look-ups and causal inferences emerged. Qu estion glosses usually triggered more lookups, and more look-ups resulted in higher idea unit scores and a higher number of causal inferences. Readers who struggled with bottom-up processing gene rated more causal inferences and fewer misreadings than the more fluent readers. Furthermore, the qualitative analysis of the think-aloud protoc ols revealed that over time question glosses provided assistance and training for most readers with regard to higher-level processing skills.

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1 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Truly understanding any text, and particularly a text written for a discourse community other than ones own, requires bo th general topic know ledge and culturally bound knowledge. The reader must become aw are of systems of thinking and knowledge structures different from her/his own and de velop the cognitive framework to make sense of the new information in foreign texts. This study examines the effects of question glosses as comprehension aids for intermediate learners of German as a foreign language (FL) in the hypermedia environment. Qu estion glosses are interspersed questions intended to prompt the reader to either activ ate appropriate pre-exis ting knowledge or to become aware of a cultural difference or knowledge gap, and to look up relevant background information. These prompts are not meant to lead the reader to a certain interpretation of the text, but rather to em power her/him to independently interact with authentic target language text and avoid misreading it. The new National Standards in Foreign Language Learning in the 21st Century [NSiFLE] (U.S. Department of Education, 1999 ) addresses the central importance of the appropriate cultural interpreta tion of meanings that occur in written or spoken forms where there is no recourse to the active negotiation of meaning with the writer or speaker (p. 36). According to Standard 1.2 on interpretive comm unication, it is crucial that we distinguish between the notion of reading or listening comprehension as understanding a text with an American mindset (p. 36) and the cultural interpretation of a text. Interpretation implies th e ability to read (or listen ) between the lines (p. 36).

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2 The five goal areas of Communication, Cu ltures, Connections, Comparisons, and Communities (known collectively as the Five Cs as set forth by the new standards), are represented by five interconnect ed circles, signifying that all of them ought to be part of the language learning process for all students and at all levels. Standards 2.1. and 2.2. about Cultures state that stude nts must demonstrate an understanding of the relationship among the practices (patterns of social intera ctions) and perspectives (meanings, attitudes, values, ideas) and products (books tools, foods, laws, music, games) and perspectives of the target language culture (pp. 49, 50). For example, along with learning the appropriate phrases for intera cting with native Germans and knowing the geographical and historical facts about Germany, L2 l earners must also develop understandings of why or why not somethi ng is important (Bernhardt & Kamil, 1998, p. 43). Clearly, while linguistic competence is necessary for understanding a foreign text, it is not in itself sufficient. In order to ach ieve the Five Cs, L2 reading instruction must receive greater attention than in the past a nd find a way to help readers develop cultural understanding. L2 Reading Instruction in Undergraduate Programs L2 reading may well be at th e heart of the language and culture dilemma. It is possible that a student who has completed beginning and intermediate college-level courses is capable of decoding what is wr itten on the page in black and white about people, places, and events, but lacks the training and the resources to read between the lines. Experts agree that introductory FL courses do not adequately prepare university students to read, understand, and participate in meaningful discussions about authentic target language literary and cultural texts (Bernhardt, 1994 ; Bretz, 1990; Friedman, 1992; Kramsch, 1985, 1993; Schulz, 1983; Swaffar et al., 1991). However, in advanced-level

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3 courses, we expect FL stude nts to apply the li nguistic knowledge acqui red in previous language courses to critically read and understand lengthy ta rget language texts. That rarely happens. Often the teaching of literature turns into a massive process of explanation by the teacher or even of translation (C ollie & Slater, 1987, p. 7). In Reading for Meaning: An Integrated Approach to Language Learning, Swaffar et al. (1991) outlined a curricular shift in undergraduate programs of American universities from culturally neut ral dialogues to authentic texts, from the discrete practice of grammar rules to an integrative use of grammar linked to meaning, and from vocabulary lists to be memorized to vocabular y understood and cued in the L2 context (p. 12). At the same time, the authors make th e point that while new curricula may reflect current theory and research, new concepts are not easily realized in practice. Many textbooks for learning a second language (L2) at the beginninga nd intermediate-levels still promote the idea that mastery of textual vocabulary and structures is requisite for reading and thus subvert inter active processing (p. 30). Rath er than training students to become active participants in the construction of meaning, instructional materials and practices often encourage word-for-word r eading and surface translation behavior. Accordingly, students read simplified texts on simplistic topics and answer questions about explicitly stated information in the text. The emphasis is not on making sense of the text as a whole, but rather on produci ng grammatically correct answers to discrete questions about isolated fact s in the reading. Bernhardt and Kamil (1998) argue that although current introductory FL textbooks are fu ll of cultural items and facts, they do not and should not be expected to provi de the kind of cultural backdrop (p. 43) necessary for L2 learners to unders tand the why behind the facts.

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4 Higher education has institutionalized the separation of language and culture in education. Although the language teaching profession has come a long way towards recognizing and exposing the divide as a false dichotomy, it is still deeply en trenched in our institutions of higher learning. In the 1960s and 70s, basic language training was seen as remedial work, while scholarly training began in the upper-level literature courses (Swaffar et al., 1991, p. 6). This di sparity between language and culture learning is still visible in many FL language and lite rature departments today. While graduate students and non-tenured faculty teach the language courses, pr ofessors of literature teach the advanced-level content courses. The sepa ration of language and cu lture is evident in classroom practices as well as in the text books used in beginning and intermediate German language courses. The issues addres sed in the dialogues and so-called cultural readings frequently operate in a cultural no mans land. Rather th an addressing cultural differences, authors of textbooks often follo w a melting pot strategy in which cultural otherness is absorbed to the point that it fits into a seemingly universal cultural scheme in which nothing is really foreign. For example, students of German in the United States are taught that they attend Klassen, although the German univers ity does not use the term Klasse for any university level course. Without gaining access to the cultural dimension of the meaning of words like Schule Universitt Studium and Student American students wrongly equate German and American institutions. As a result, students coming from a traditional language program ma y produce grammatically correct German sentences, but what they say does not make sense outside their German classroom in the United States. In introductory literature courses, the problem is further compounded by an approach to reading that posits that meaning doe s not reside in the te xt but rather in the

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5 reader. Reader-response theory (Fish, 1980, 1994, 1995) dismisses the idea of authorial intent as well as historical context. It focuses primarily on the reading process and the readers experience as she/he reads a particul ar literary work. Th e reader provides the content by projecting her/his ow n understanding or cultura lly determined assumptions onto the text. Thus, the text functions primar ily as a mirror reflecting its reader. Clearly, one of the problems of the reader-response theo ry is its failure to account for the potential of a text to expand the readers understanding of the world. Language is never used outside a specific cu ltural and historical context. In order to avoid misreading a text, one cannot ignor e the author and the time and society in which she/he wrote. Language is both an expression of an indi viduals thoughts and the values of a community, both text and context (Kramsch, 1993, p. 10). Schleiermacher (1998) argued that every utte rance is to be understood only via the whole life to which it belongs, i.e., because every utterance can only be recognized as a moment of the life of the language-user . and every langua ge-user can only be understood via their nationality and their era (p. 9). In the face of dwindling enrollments and in an attempt to make FL learning a more intellectual enterprise, German language and literature departments are reinventing themselves as cultural studies department s, with a greater emphasis on the study of culture at the undergraduate level (Schneid er & von der Emde, 2000). Culture courses are frequently cross-listed with other departments to attract more students. Consequently, these courses are often taught in English. Ho wever, a cultural studie s curriculum that is not integrated into the language-learning pro cess from the beginning runs the risk of reproducing the same damaging institutional sp lit between so-called content courses and language learning (Schneider & von der Emde, 2000, p. 18). Also, German language

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6 departments throughout the United States ar e re-examining the intermediate level curriculum (Rava, 2001) in order to stem the tide of dropouts. It is widely recognized among L2 professionals that there must be a renewed commitment to help intermediatelevel students acquire the necessary cultural fr amework that will enable them to engage with authentic target langua ge text at a deeper level. Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) at the University Level The new national standards require that L2 students should have access to a range of technologies to help them strengt hen linguistic skills, establish interactions with peers, and learn about contemporary culture and everyda y life in the target country (U.S. Department of Education, 1999, p. 35). Many FL professionals are recognizing and making use of certain inherent features of the World Wide Web (WWW) that are consistent with current language learning theo ries: availability of authentic materials, communication capabilities through networ king, multimedia capabilities, and the hypermedia structure of information (Chun & Plass, 2000, p. 161). Hypermedia permits the linkage of text, sound, gra phics, or video to and from any other medium type. The WWW brings contextual information that ha s traditionally been provided by the teacher or gathered from a variety of printed sources to each readers fingertips. The reader interacts with the hypertext more freely th an with traditional pr int to co-construct meaning by the choices she/he makes, providi ng a new sense of agency for the reader (Purves, 1998). However, the very nature of the hypertext, particularly its flexibility and the freedom of choice it affords, does not necessarily facilitate readers use or understanding of textual information (Spires & Estes, 2002). Research into web-based reading has shown that reading from a scre en is more difficult than reading print (Thurstun, 2004). Hypertext, even in the readers native lang uage, may be more

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7 cognitively demanding than linear text (C alisir & Gurel, 2003; Rouet & Levonen, 1996 ) unless we develop online-tools that provide support and guidan ce for the reader (Shapiro, 1998). While audiotape-based language labs have generally been replaced by multimedia centers on U.S. campuses, textbooks come with their own CD-ROM and/or websites, and many individual instructors use the WWW in some fashion, classroom practices in general and reading instruction in particular appear to lag behind current theories of language learning. Teachers practices are sh aped by their own educational experiences and are therefore resistant to change (Cuba n, 1993; Johnson, 1992). Teachers who reject CALL are not necessarily technophobes. Research shows that inadequate teacher training and lack of institu tional support may be to blame (Brantmeier, 2003b; Lam, 2000). Brantmeier (2003b) studied informed instructors perc eptions on CALL and Second Language Acquisition (SLA) and CA LL and L2 reading. These informed instructors were Ph.D. stude nts enrolled in a seminar on SL A and CALL. They all had been teaching language courses at the unde rgraduate level in a university setting. Brantmeier found that these instructors were open to integrating new technologies into their teaching if these technologies were gr ounded in L2 reading th eories and research. However, they also expressed concerns about the time commitment necessary and the reliability of technical systems. Researchers in Applied Linguistics, SLA, and other related fields, together with their graduate students and technical suppor t staff, are driving the development, implementation, and testing of CALL. Netw orked CALL is understood as an expansion of CALL (Chapelle, 2000) and is based on th e idea that language learning occurs as individual learners negotiate meaning. Th e computer serves to connect individual

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8 learners. Computer mediated communicati on (CMC) makes it possibl e for learners of a FL at an American university to interact with native speakers (NSs) of the target language. Reports on online collaborative projects emphasize their potential for promoting intercultural unde rstanding as well as langua ge acquisition (Kern, 2000; Mueller-Hartmann, 2000; Schneider & von de r Emde, 2000). CULTURA (Furstenberg, 2003; Furstenberg et al 2001) is a prime example of a pedagogical approach that successfully integrates the Five Cs. Students at MIT learning French as a FL and their French counterparts in Paris who are learning English explore a variety of parallel topics and readings and write about th eir discoveries in their respect ive native languages. Each group reads and questions the others understand ing of a particular topic based on their own viewpoints. Thus, cultura l knowledge is not a static phenomenon to be transmitted from the instructor to the student, but ra ther a dynamic process where students are participating in a reciprocal construction of one anothers cultures ( Kern et al 2004, p. 248). Innovative instructor/designers (Ducat e & Lomicka, 2005) used German native speaker web logs (blogs) with 3rd semester German students and French native speaker blogs with 4th semester French students for read ing and micropublishing. A blog is a website with dated entries, lis ts of links, commentaries, a nd personal thoughts. Students chose one blog and read it throughout the semest er. The following semester, the students created their own blogs and wrote po stings about assigned topics. While networked CALL applications such as CULTURA and individual innovators are setting the pace, much work re mains to be done in studying actual learning outcomes and in working with teachers on the practical application of new CALL models. Access to authentic materials, participation in online communities, and

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9 opportunities for intercultural communication do not necessarily mean that students are learning the L2 and becoming culturally literate In her recent report on the progress of L2 reading research, Bernhardt concludes th at we still do not know how to understand the use of electronic aids in independen t reading (Bernhardt, 2005, p. 143). Without instructional support, readers are forced to fend for themselves and are haunted by the fact that they have no real way of know ing whether they have understood highly technical material (p. 143). Bernhardt challe nges the field to meet its ethical demand to support such readers (p. 143). This study is an attempt to better under stand how and to what extent question glosses in the online reading environment help intermediate-level learners of German cope with lengthy authentic German text. Can we conceive of the online reading environment as a zone of proximal deve lopment (Vygotsky, 1978), a safe place where the individual L2 reader independently in teracts with authentic target language text and receives guidance as need ed? Is it possible to design environments that encourage the reader not only to focus on meaning at th e word and sentence level, but also to tap into the individual and collective Lebenswelt (live world) to which the text refers and to develop an awareness and a ppreciation of cultural realities different from her/his own?

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10 CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE Reading in an L2 is a multidimensional process and reading in the multimedia environment adds another layer to an already complex process. This chapter provides an overview of the use of the computer for L2 le arning and the role of reading within three predominant theoretical paradigms. It will become evident that networked CALL has the potential to transform L2 lit eracy. Current L2 reading models, schema theory, and the construction of mental models as th ey relate to readers inferencing will be discussed. In order to establish the rationale for electron ic comprehension aids other than vocabulary glosses, this chapter examines the useful ness of hypermedia environments that were created by researchers to help intermediate-l evel learners of an L2 to become better readers. The effect of question glosses for intermediate-level readers of German is examined within the framework of activity theory (Leontiev, 1978). CALL and L2 Reading Over the past two decades, CALL gradually changed in accordance with SLA theories and the advance of ne w technologies. In general, one can identify three major, but overlapping, theoretical movements: the structural in the late 1960s and 1970s, the cognitive/constructivist in the late 1970s and 1980s, and the sociocognitive in the 1990s and the early 21st century (Warschauer & Kern, 2000). A structural perspective of language empha sizes a formal analysis of the language system and was aligned with Skinners stim ulus response theory and Pavlovs classical conditioning experiments. The principal role of the computer in the structural approach

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11 was that of mechanical tutor to provide grammar and vocabulary tutorials, language drills, skill practice, and immediate feedb ack. The grammar-translation method was the predominant approach for reading foreign text s. The objective was to train learners to analyze and translate texts as a way to l earn grammar. While audio-lingual teaching focused on the spoken language, it operated on the same principles. Students were instructed to read out loud for correct pronunciation. In the late 1970s and 1980s, this model of SLA was increasingly replaced by the cognitive/constructivist model. According to this theor y, an individuals language development is guided by innate cognitive structures (Chomsky, 1959, 1965) and learners actively construct a new language system as th ey receive comprehens ible input (Krashen, 1982). Errors are no longer bad, but, rather a natural part of in terlanguage (Selinker, 1972). According to interlanguage theory, learners gradually reach target language competence by continually testi ng their hypotheses about the rules of the L2 as they process input. In this model, reading receives much more a ttention. Texts serve as input for unconscious processing or as objects of problem solving and hypothesis testing (Warschauer & Kern, 2000, p. 7). Reading is perceived as a psycholinguistic process (Goodman, 1967; Smith, 1994) and, according to interlanguage theory, readers are taught how to use both bottom-up and top-down strategies to comprehend a text. The individual reader constructs meaning as she/he activates her/his existing frame of reference. Accordingly, learners use th e opportunities for expl oration and problem solving provided by multimedia environments to construct new knowledge. Computers are used for individualized instructio n. CALL empowers students with greater flexibility in switching between the various m odes of input . to suit their individual

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12 needs (Hubbard, 1996, p. 484). The computer is programmed to react to user input and provide feedback based on i ndividual user request. At the same time that cognitive approach es were becoming popular, theories of communicative competence (Canale & Swain, 1980; Hymes, 1971) and appropriate use of language became important concepts in language instruction. Based on the assumption that language develops through soci al interaction and negotiation of meaning, this theory argues that L2 language teacher s are expected to create opportunities for authentic language use. As a result, instruct ion becomes more taskand content-based. In this model, the goal is to help learners read and understand a text as embedded in a particular sociocultural context and to achieve a level of L2 literacy that encompasses the appropriate use of the language along with underlying systems of thought (Swaffar et al., 1991, p. 216). As described in the introductory chapter, 21st century cutting-edge technology such as network-based CALL has th e potential for facilitating L2 learners interaction with native speakers of the targ et language and their participation in the construction of cultural knowledge. The three generations of CALL as descri bed above only roughly correspond with the three major theoretical movements in language teaching and learning. One must keep in mind that classroom practices with or w ithout CALL are not neces sarily reflective of current theory and that practices vary de pending on the need and goal of the moment. Warschauers (2000) ethnographic study of four different L2 college classrooms showed that the use of CALL applica tions depended largely on the in dividual teachers belief and the institutional context. He concluded that the teacher who prefers a structural approach will use technology in a structural way. Someone who believes in the cognitive/ constructivist approach will look for ways to use the technology to provide exploration

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13 and problem solving activities (p. 45), and so meone who adheres to an interactionist view will use the computer as a tool to engage learners in authentic target language use. While Chapelle (2000) agrees with Wars chauer and Kerns (2000) assessment of a historical progression in the development of CALL, she sees very little evolutionary progress (p. 205). She believes that some of the software designs from the 1970s keep reappearing not because they proved to be e ffective, but because some members of each generation were satisfied to re invent rather than determined to evolve (Chapelle, 2000, p. 205). There appears to be a need to unify CALL research methodology as well as the criteria for the evaluation of CALL software Since the late 1990s, network-based CALL applications such as globally linked hypertext and CMC have challenged the field of SLA to examine CALL activities within the new sociocultural paradigm. Network-based CALL applications not only serve the new teaching/learning paradigm, they also help shape the new paradigms (Warschauer & Kern, 2000, p. 12). Activity Theory This section describes the rationale for using activity theory, a sociocultural approach, to understand and explain the effect s of question glosses on the comprehension processes of individual part icipants reading in networkbased CALL. A sociocultural theory approach foregrounds sociality to i ndividuality, language as socially constructed rather than internally intrinsic, language as both referential and c onstructive of social reality, and notions of distri buted and assisted activity in contrast to individual accomplishment (Thorne, 2000, p. 225). Activity theory (Leontiev, 1978), a component of sociocultural theory, explai ns how learning is situated an d how it unfolds in different ways under different circumstances. Thes e circumstances include the specific individuals each with their different hist ories (Donato, 2000, p. 47). In the present

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14 study, the cognitive processes of individual pa rticipants reading fo reign text in the hypermedia environment are situated in the co ntext of each participants history: i.e., language proficiency, previous experience in learning German, preferences regarding the use of the computer and the Internet, and study abroad expe rience. (See Appendix A). Furthermore, the reading activity is embedde d in external circumstances such as the university setting and the multimedia lab. Another central tenet of activity theory is agency. In Vygotskys view, human beings use physical and symbolic tools or artifacts to establish relationships between themselves and the world at large. Symbolic tools or cultural artif acts are created, passed on and re-created over time, and passed on from generation to genera tion (Lantolf, 2000). Thus, human beings are agents who act upon the world and engage in activity, constructing their environment in unique ways (Roebuck, 2000, p. 83). Research subjects are viewed as unique individuals w ith personal histories who approach the task with their own set of goals, desires, a nd motivations. The individual participants orientation to the task (goals, needs) or her/ his intentionality will determine the outcome. Therefore, any given activity varies according to the particip ants and the circumstances. Activity theory distinguishes between the ac tivity and the task. The reading tasks as planned by the researcher, with her agenda in mind, are nothing more than behavior blueprints () imposed on subjects (Coughl an & Duff, 1994b, p. 175). Activity on the other hand, is the behavior th at is actually produced when an individual (or a group) performs a task. It is the pr ocess, as well as the outcome of the task, examined in its sociocultural context (p. 175). Thus, from the perspective of activity theory, while the assigned reading tasks could pot entially enable readers to construct situation models based on appropriate background information, t here can be no guarantees, because what

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15 ultimately matters is how individual learners decided to engage with the task as an activity (Lantolf, 2000, p. 13). Roebuck (2000) found that individuals often reinterpret the meaning or intent of a difficult cognitive task. Another important theme of activity theo ry is the re-externalization of inner speech. Within Vygotskyan theory, language is the primary mediational tool in the development of human cognition. Social speech evolves into private speech when a child starts to use language for problem solving. We ask ourselves questions, answer our own questions, or tell ourselves we are wrong. Usually, around the age of seven, private speech becomes subvocal and turns inward. Th e child begins to think words, but not necessarily produce them (Vygotsky, 1986, p. 230). Inner speech is believed to be the dominant mode of verbal thought and () a central fixture governing our higher mental functions such as planning, guiding, and monito ring the course of activity (McCafferty & Ahmed, 2000, p. 199) However, when faced with problem-solving tasks, these processes can be re-externalized to maintain or regain control over them in performing the task (Frawley & Lantolf, 1985; Smith, 1996). In this study, the task of thinking-outloud while reading revealed how readers puzzl ed through difficult passages and how they repositioned themselves when they felt in danger of losing face (Roebuck, 2000, p. 94). Theoretical Models of L2 Reading The L2 reading process is both cognitive a nd social in nature. Theory building about L2 reading requires that the process be broken down into its various components. It is important to keep in mind that within the sociocultural framework that this study adopts, while various component s of the reading process ar e analyzed separately, but must also be understood holistica lly and interdependently as situated activity (Thorne, 2000, p. 236). This review of L2 reading theo ries attempts to show the explanatory

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16 power of an interactive compen satory model of L2 reading and explores the crucial role of background knowledge. Bottom-up, Top-down, and Interactive Processing Grabe (1991) defines reading as an a rray of lower-level rapid, automatic identification skills and an ar ray of higher-level comprehens ion/interpretation skills (p. 383). This view of reading overlaps with me taphoric descriptions of reading as bottomup, top-down, and interactive. In an effort to unpack the complex process of reading, researchers have identified genera l component skills and knowledge areas such as automatic recognition skills, vocabular y and syntax knowledge, formal discourse knowledge, content/world knowledge, synthesi s and evaluation skills/strategies, and metacognitive knowledge and sk ills monitoring (G rabe, 1991, p. 379). While L1 and L2 reading research are based on many of the same concepts, there are important differences to consider. College-level L2 readers should be able to dr aw on their L1 literacy. They already have acquired a great deal of know ledge about the world and have developed comprehension/interpretation skills. In contrast to L1 reader s who start school with an already formidable vocabulary base, the adult L2 reader has to learn all new vocabulary along with the syntax of the targ et language in the span of th ree to four years. According to Nagy and Herman (1987), 40,000 words are required for advanced reading. It is widely believed that automaticity in lower-level proc essing plays an important role in fluent reading. Fluent readers tend to have a large vocabulary base and good knowledge of grammar. L2 reading research has focused ex tensively on lower-level or bottom-up processing. A number of recent studies confir m that there is indeed a high correlation between L2 vocabulary knowledge and read ing comprehension (Droop & Verhoeven,

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17 2003; Laufer, 1997; Schoonen et al., 1998) and knowledge of grammar and reading comprehension (Alderson, 1993; Fender, 2001, 2003). In their study of 3rd and 4th grade minority children in Holland, Droop and Ve rhoeven (2003) found strong evidence of a high correlation between vocabulary deve lopment and later reading ability (r2 =.71). Laufer (1997) reported correlation scores between .50 and .75 on several studies looking at vocabulary, and Schoonen at al. (1998) f ound a correlation of .71 between vocabulary knowledge and reading scores for 8th grade students of English as a foreign language. While research of bottom-up processes emphasizes the decoding of a text, topdown processing typically involves not only th e use of background knowledge but also of higher-level knowledge structures and met acognitive skills (Carrell, 1988). Skilled readers synthesize and evaluate new informati on, draw inferences, and use strategies. A skilled reader knows how language works a nd is aware of her/his own cognition. Metacognitive strategies, such as pr eviewing, skimming, comprehension monitoring, planning ahead, checking effectiveness of st rategies and revising them, summarizing main points, etc. (Grabe, 1991, p. 382) are viewed as major components in L2 reading. A number of studies show that strategy training improved reading comprehension (Anderson, 1991; Barnett, 1989; Cohe n, 1990; Swaffar et al., 1991). Compensatory Processing The present study takes the in teractive process-oriented approach to explore how and to what extent participants use the avai lable online resources, in particular question prompts and additional background information, to comprehend what they read. Both text-based and knowledge-based factors opera ting simultaneously drive the readers evolving perception of the text Prior knowledge or background knowledge is defined as the readers existing knowledge of the worl d. Researchers often distinguish between

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18 factual and cultural background knowledge. Factual knowledge may be knowledge about specific topics and/or domains, the kind of knowledge one usually learns in school, including knowledge about language. Culture -specific knowledge or cultural awareness is a very specific kind of background knowle dge and can include both cultural-historic knowledge as well as knowledge that has b een passed on from generation to generation (Bensoussan, 1986; Bernhardt, 1991). In Vygot skian terms, knowledge of a culture is the ability to participate in the characteristic activities of a community and learning is a matter of changing patterns of participa tion (Gee, 2000, p. 196). Thus, knowledge may be implicit in the text as information held by the writer and assumed to be known by the reader (Bernhardt, 1991, p. 93). The knowledge held by the individual reader is highly idiosyncratic and may or may not be relevant to the text at hand. Studies have shown that the less attention the reader ha s to pay to decoding the surface structure of the text, th e more processing capacity is left for top-down processes such as inference and analysis (Carpent er & Just, 1986; Koda, 1992; Spiro, 1980; Spiro & Meyers, 1984; Stanovich, 1980). An intera ctive compensatory process model of L2 reading (Stanovich, 1980) explai ns how the reader constructs meaning as she/he engages in both bottom-up and top-down processes. According to Stanovich, a pattern is synthesized based on information provided simultaneously from several sources (1980, p. 25). The reader compensates for a deficien cy at one level of processing by increased processing at another level. Donin and Silv a (1993) studied nativ e speakers of English learning French and concluded that intermedia te level students use high-level conceptual processing to overcome limitations imposed by lack of automaticity in sentence-level syntactic and semantic processing as suggest ed by compensatory processing models of reading (p. 395). In other words, compen satory processing illustrates that knowledge

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19 sources are not additive, but rather op erate synchronically, interactively, and synergistically (Ber nhardt, 2005, p. 140). L1 Literacy and L2 Reading Although most experts in the field of L2 reading would agree that background knowledge plays an important role in the co mprehension process, there are lingering questions about the impact of L1 literacy knowledge on L2 reading. According to the short circuit hypothesis (Bossers 1991; Clark, 1980; Taillefe r, 1996), unless L2 learners have achieved a certain level of automaticity in lower-level processing, they will not be able to draw on their L1 literacy and thei r knowledge of the world. In this case, background knowledge would not compensate for L2 deficiencies. The excessive cognitive load on the readers short-term memory would prevent her/him from making connections with already existing knowledge st ructures in long-term memory. In other words, the less proficient L2 reader ca nnot think beyond the meaning of a word, a sentence, or a proposition (beyond the textbase level of the text). On the other hand, according to the interdependence hypothesis (Cummins, 1976), the L2 reader who is fluent in her/his L1 is capa ble of top-down processing and ma kes use of the same kind of strategies to comprehend a text in the L2 as in her/his L1 (Horiba et al., 1993). Since the late 1990s, the discussion has tu rned to how much of the L1 literacy skills contribute to L2 reading comprehe nsion, under what conditions, and in which contexts (Bernhardt, 2000, 2005; Bernhardt & Ka mil, 1995). In an attempt to reconcile the findings of earlier, mostly quantitative st udies about the role of L2 knowledge, and more recent studies of the contribution of L1 literacy, Bernhardt (2000) proposes a revised model of theoretical dist ribution of reading factors: ge neral literacy ability (or L1 literacy) constitutes 20% of any given comprehension score, grammar about 30%

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20 (vocabulary 27% and syntax 3 %), and 50% of any given sc ore is unaccounted for (p. 803). This large unexplained variance lies in the individual differences of the L2 reader and includes comprehension strategies, le vel of engagement and motivation, and background knowledge. Background Knowledge Afflerbach (1990) studied the influence of prior knowledge on the strategies used by expert readers to construct the main id ea of a text when the main idea was not explicitly stated. He found that for expert readers in their L1, prior knowledge of the content domain facilitated automatic constructio n of the main idea statement. Chen and Graves (1995) conducted an L2 study using prev iewing to test the effect of activation of background knowledge on comprehension. Results showed that the gr oup that received specific text-relevant background knowledge ha d significantly better comprehension than the control group and the group that received only general background knowledge. Studies investigating readers comprehension of culturally familiar versus unfamiliar texts revealed that recall of culturally familiar materials yielded more idea units, more culturally appropriate elabor ation, and fewer distortions (Johnson, 1981; Pritchard, 1990; Steffensen & Joag-Dev, 1984). Bernhardt (1984) found that learners of German as a FL relied heavily on prior knowledge. Lack of culture-specific knowledge, such as the format of a German business letter, and in appropriate prior knowledge impeded readers comprehension and led them to misinterpr et the text. Bensoussan (1986) examined evidence from different studies that indicated problem areas in reading comprehension. She found that the mistranslations from English to Hebrew were due to readers lack of knowledge about the conventions of written te xt in the L1 and the L2. In addition, readers held preconceived notions about word meanings that led them to misinterpret

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21 contextual clues such as illocutionary for ce, logical connectors, and modifiers. Bensoussan claims that clues can only be aids if the reader is sensitive to rhetorical traditions and cultural constraints (p. 400 ). In a recent study on passage content and gender, Brantmeier (2003a) found that the comprehension problems intermediate-lev el learners of Spanish encountered when reading authentic text did not necessarily st em from a lack of L2 proficiency. She concluded that at this stage of L2 acquisition, passage co ntent clearly influences how well male and female readers process meani ng () (p. 13). Indeed, comprehension differences between skilled and less skilled readers are not necessarily due to their inability to decode a text (Gernsbacher et al., 1990; Oakhill, 1994) or working-memory capacity (Ericsson & Kintsch, 1995). There is some evidence that differences in comprehension reflect the ability to make inferences and construct situation models (Zwaan & Brown, 1996). Schema Theory and Mental Model Construction Though not the smoking gun (Bernhardt, 2005, p. 134), schema theory nonetheless represents an important step in understanding how knowledge is structured and stored in long-term memory and how L2 readers activate and use prior knowledge to make sense of a text (Carrell, 1984, 1987, 1988; Carrell & Eisterhol d, 1983). According to schema theory, knowledge is stored in long-term memory as sets of interrelated abstract concepts that are networked to othe r concepts in hierarchical relationships and correspond to the individuals experience. Sc hema can be visualized as composed of nodes and associations and has been compar ed to the interconnectedness of hypertext (Kaplan, 1995). The construc tion of meaning depends on act ivating the appropriate preexisting schemata. The reader tends to pay at tention to elements in the text that are

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22 important in light of her/his existing schema. If readers possess the schemata assumed by the writer, they can make the intended inferences. However, research shows that conflicts arise when readers are confronted with texts that present new information for which they lack essential f oundational knowledge. If a reader cannot find information in the text that fills a particular slot in her/ his activated schema, she/he will assign a default value (Anderson & Pearson, 1984, p. 269). In that case, the reader will develop a causal chain of events that suits her/his in itial decision about what the text means and may completely misread the text without b ecoming aware of it. Benoussan (1986) draws the same conclusion. If readers cannot find a matching schema, they tend to formulate their own schemata using their own preconc eived ideas about what a word means or about the gist of the story. They ma y create a whole new incorrect context. Schema theory and theories of mental m odels of text comprehension are related concepts. Both are used to capture aspects of higher-level processing. Schema theory proposes that in order to make sense of a text, the reader has to make the connection between the information in the text and he r/his pre-existing know ledge in long-term memory. A mental models theory addr esses the various levels of the mental representation of a text based on the readers abi lity to infer meaning. It is believed that a reader has a need to understand why something occurs in order to construct a coherent mental representation of the text (Singer et al 1994; Trabasso & Magliano, 1996; Trabasso & Suh, 1993). An explanation-base d theory of comprehension proposes that comprehension depends on the generation of causal inferences. Causal inferences connect events in a text at the local a nd global level. Acco rding to this view, comprehension involves explaining incoming story events and actions by looking for causal antecedents of these events in either a) working memory, or b) the prior text (in

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23 long-term memory), or c) world knowl edge (Zwaan & Brown, 1996, p. 291). While bridging inferences are text-based and esta blish coherence between the focal event and prior information in the text, elaborative inferences are drawn from the individuals background knowledge (Keenan et al., 1990; Van den Broek, 1990). Coupled with the notion of causal inferencing in comprehensi on are theories addressi ng the various levels of mental representation of a text (Van Dijk & Kint sch, 1983): the surface level (linguistic processes), the textbase level (the propositional meaning of textual constituents), and the situation model (the integration of the textbase with background knowledge). If the reader fails to find an explanation in the text itself, she/he may draw an inference using her/his prior knowledge and experiences, in th e form of existing cognitive schemata. Similarly, schema theo ry describes inferencing as the assignment of default values for filling a particular slot in the active sche ma (Anderson & Pearson, 1984, p. 269). Consistent with the bottom-up metaphor of reading, in a mental model theory comprehension processes begin in working memory with low-level word recognition. Words are integrated into propositions (w hat a sentence means). In higher-level processing, a network of propositio ns that closely reflects the in formation in the text (the text model or textbase) begins to take shape. As the reader adds new propositions to the textbase and evaluates the incoming inform ation, she/he draws on prior world knowledge that is available in long-term memory. Thus, a second model, the situation model, evolves at the same time. The situation model is defined as the read ers interpretation of the situation described in the text, based on her/his already existing world knowledge. It is generally believed that skilled co mprehenders are able to generate more explanatory inferences and construct stronger situation models than less skilled

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24 comprehenders. L1 reading research has shown that while less skilled readers may draw more inferences than skilled comprehenders, they do so because they are not editing out irrelevant information (Gernsbacher et al ., Trabasso & Magliano, 1996; Witney et al., 1991). Some researchers (i.e., Zwaan & Brown, 1996) concluded that L2 readers generally spend all their mental effort s on decoding a text and do not go beyond the textbase level. The Role of Glossing in L2 Reading Instruction The subject of glossing has received renewed attention in L2 reading research because of its potential for computer-assisted reading comprehension. For the purpose of this research, glosses are defi ned as many kinds of attempts to supply what is perceived to be deficient in the readers procedural (skill) knowledge and declarative (factual) knowledge (Roby, 1999, p. 95). For example, vo cabulary glosses are categorized as declarative/linguistic knowledge and can be further subdivided into generic dictionary definitions (signification glosses) and glosse s that give the meaning of a word in a specific context (value glosses). On the othe r hand, any statements and/or questions that are meant to aid the reader in top-down processing fall under procedural knowledge and metacognitive glossing. Metacognitive glo sses may be presented as priming (advance organizer) or prompting glosses (interspersed statement/questi on) and they take different forms depending on the medium (Roby, 1995, p. 95). Since lower-level processes play a principle role in L2 reading, research on glossing has focused primarily on vocabulary acq uisition and retention. However, while vocabulary glosses are meant to aid lower-level processes, the ultimate goal is or should be to help the L2 reader understand the text as a whole. A review of glossing studies reveals that the researchers belief about what constitutes comprehension and the

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25 comprehension measure she/he uses affect the outcome. The problem is compounded when increased vocabulary look-ups and vo cabulary gain are wrongly equated with overall comprehension of a text. Despite the conflicting evidence, glossing continues to be an accepted aid in foreign language textbooks (Davis, 1989). Traditionally, glosses offer a short definition or an explanatory note for unfamiliar words or grammatical concepts either in the side or bottom margins of the printed page. Johnson' s (1982) study of readers of English as a Second Language (ESL) provides eviden ce that glossing may impede global comprehension by focusing readers a ttention on individual words. Jacobs et al. (1994) report that glossing affects ne ither recall nor voca bulary acquisition. In contrast, Davis (1989) Jacobs (1991, 1994), and Hulstijn et al. (1996) found that L2 readers with access to glossing recalled more of the text than students without access to glosses. Furthermore, incidental vocabulary learning for L2 readers was higher in the glossing condition. Some of the more recent research has fo cused on vocabulary activities that require greater mental efforts from the reader (d e la Fuente, 2002; Rott & Williams, 2003; Swain, 1998). Laufer and Hulstijn (2001) claim that acquisition of new words depends on involvement load, a construct that descri bes the level of motiv ation and cognitive engagement of the L2 reader. Accordingl y, Rott and Williams, (2003) studied the effects of multiple-choice glosses on inferencing strategies and form-meaning mapping for intermediate-level learners of German. Think-aloud protocol s revealed that access to multiple-choice glosses for target words led to increased engagement with the text, better comprehension of ideas, and more voca bulary learning for the readers (p. 66).

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26 Glossing in the Hypermedia Environment Early L1 literacy studies compared read ing on paper and in the computer mode and found that either there was no difference in readers performance (Fish & Feldman, 1987; Gambrell et al 1987) or that reading from the co mputer screen was slower (Gould & Gischkowsky, 1983) and poorer (Heppner et al 1985). Reinking ( 2001) argues that electronic texts differ conceptually from printed texts and calls for intrarather than intermedia comparisons. He believes that it is mo re productive to ask how digital texts might be presented to engage readers more activ ely in processing text ual information (p. 204), to provide various types of assistan ce during reading, and to give adaptive guidance and feedback (p. 198). Hypertext can be glossed with additi onal text, sounds, graphics, and video. Multimedia files can easily be stored by the computer and made available to the reader upon request. Computerized glo ssing differs from glossing on the page of a book in that it is invisible and unobtrusi ve (Davis, 1989, p. 42) and ther efore less likely to interrupt the reading process. The glo ss is invisible to the reader until she/he clicks on an unfamiliar word or expression. Indeed, while early studies compared the effect of electronic dictionary glossing with paper glossing, current r esearch on computerized reading is increasingly guided by questions about how to engage readers on a deeper level. Roby (1991) and Aust et al. (1993) compared two type s of semantic support in the paper and the computer mode. The semantic supports were either dictionary definitions (signification glosses) or a meaning of a word in context (value glosses) or a combination of both. The four treatment groups had access to 1) paper dictionary; 2) paper dictionary and value gloss; 3) computer dictionary; 4) computer dictionary and value gloss.

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27 Comparisons were made on four measures: frequency of consultation, reading time, efficiency, and comprehension. Findings in bo th studies show that L2 readers of Spanish who had access to both types of glossing (signification and value glosses) took less time to read than those with si gnification glosses only. Alt hough readers in the computer mode looked up twice as many words as read ers in the paper mode, proposition recall protocols showed no significant differences in comprehension between the groups. It appears that the number of glosses activated did not directly influence the amount of recall, as measured by a propositional analysis Aust et al. (1993) conclude that the propositional recall measure they used is not sensitive to incidental vocabulary acquisition because subjects responses are written in English (p. 71) and it is premature to suggest that hyper-references do not benefit learning (p. 70). The authors conclusion leaves doubts as to whether they in tended to test vocabulary acquisition or comprehension. A new study (Yoshii, 2005) on internet-b ased reading, vocabul ary learning, and look-up behavior support these earlier findings Yoshii found that there is little or no correlation between frequency of look-ups and vocabulary gain. The difference between Yoshiis study and the earlier ones is that he did not claim to te st comprehension, but rather vocabulary gain based on the number of look-ups. He concludes that future research on internet-based reading ought to focus less on vocabulary gain and more on how to provide guidance and how to encourage learners of a FL to read more. Based on the hypothesis that depth of c ognitive processing f acilitates recall, Nagata (1999) investigated the effectiveness of two types of marginal glossing used in Banzai Readings a Japanese courseware program. Th e term marginal glossing used by Nagata and others is reminiscent of the traditional glossing in the margin of the page of a

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28 book. He describes the single-gloss format of marginal glossing as a single English translation for each target vocabulary item (v alue gloss) and/or target grammatical structure (syntactical gloss) in the text. Nagata states that the use of this type of glossing in the Bonzai reading program is based on the assumption that glosses are more convenient to use than dictionaries, they draw the readers attention to the target words, and may be conducive to form-meaning mapping. In the multiple-choice format on the other hand, two alternative Eng lish translations of a Japane se word are provided. The reader has to infer the correct translation fr om the context. As soon as she/he chooses A or B, the program tells the reader whether she/he sele cted the correct translation. Nagata reports that the vocabulary and gram mar item post-tests show higher scores for the multiple-choice group. It appears that the students using the multiple-choice version paid more attention and exerted a greater me ntal effort (p. 474). In his conclusion, Nagata mentions two topics for future inves tigation. One would be to extend the courseware to include multimedia glosses such as cultural background, grammar, and video and to compare the effectiveness and usefulness of these features with providing multiplechoice definitions only (p. 474). Another pr oject could be the addition to the Bonzai Reading Program of a greater variety of pr oduction practice, such as follow-up reading comprehension exercises for each text (p. 477). Text-Specific Approaches to Online Reading Instruction In the 1990s, researchers began to devel op and use authoring tools to create the kind of hypermedia environments for L2 r eading that Nagata referred to in his conclusion. Research interests shifted increa singly to questions re garding what kind of L2 learner/reader benefits from reading online and which built-in comprehension aids she/he tends to use. Researchers are rec ognizing that readers need guidance in how to

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29 read online and training in how to take advantage of online glossing other than vocabulary glossing. Ultimately, the goal is to assist in higher-level processes such as inferencing and text model construction. As noted previously, L2 students reading experiences are typically limite d to dialogues and short cultu ral readings in beginningand intermediate-level language textbooks. Therefore, there is a critical need to prepare learners for the rigorous reading of authentic, lengthy texts in advanced-level literature courses. (Brantmeier, 2003a ; Martinez-Lage, 1997). In a text-specific approach, the instruct or/designer pre-selects the readings and tailors the content and tasks to the needs of a specific group of readers (Brandl, 2002). A number of researchers (Chun & Plass, 1996a, 1996b; Davis & Lyman-Hager, 1997; Lyman-Hager et al., 1993; Lyman-Hager & Davis, 1996) began to create hypermedia environments that take into account the compen satory interactive nature of L2 reading. What differentiates this multimedia approach from the CALL applications described above is a shift from bottom-up processing a nd expectations of vo cabulary learning to a more integrated environment with a greater emphasis on overall understanding. Accordingly, these researchers/designers attemp ted to develop a rich cultural context for the text, offering readers many types of glosse s besides dictionary de finitions. MartinezLage (1997) claims that the immediate acce ss to textual, sound, a nd visual annotations facilitates active reading and a more global understanding of the text (p. 149). LymanHager et al. (1993) and Chun and Plass ( 1996a, 1996b) conducted research on vocabulary acquisition within such multimedia environmen ts. The researchers were interested in readers choice of glosses and in the eff ectiveness of visual glosses accompanying individual words. In both studies, students took a post-reading voca bulary test and wrote recall protocols. In the fi rst study, the computer group scored higher than the paper

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30 group (Lyman-Hager et al., 1993). Chun and Plass (1996a, 1996b) further showed that visual glosses, namely words annotated w ith pictures and/or video, produced higher recall for intermediate L2 readers of German than word and text only. Chun (2001) studied how 23 second-year German students used multimedia resources to read and summarize two texts about studying abroad. Texts 1 and Text 2 were comparable in length and difficulty le vel (106 and 115 words respectively). Text 1 was read in netLearn, a hypermedia program created by the author with an internal dictionary, a bilingual dictionary, and links to an audio-narration of the text. If the readers didnt know a word, they could click on the word, and the translation would come up in a separate window. If a word they did not know was not in the internal dictionary (value gloss), they could look it up in the ex ternal bilingual dictionary (significance gloss). Text 2 was a Website of a German uni versity with a link to an external bilingual dictionary only. Chun used a built-in action tr acker to record readers look-up behavior. All students wrote recall protoc ols, four were selected fo r think-alouds, and seven for exit-interviews. She reported that student s preferred the internal to the external dictionary and looked up significantly more wo rds when all they had to do was click on the word. Chun also found that the reader s who had access to both dictionaries while reading a text recalled more of the seve n main propositions or main idea units identified beforehand by the researcher for each text. However, Chun found no significant correlations between the number of words readers looked up in each one of the glossing conditions and the number of pr opositions recalled. Sh e speculated that access to audio glossing of the text may have contributed to increased recall in the netLearn condition. Thus, her results suppor t Roby (1991) and Aust et al. (1993) who also found no differences in comprehension based on increased look-up of words in the

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31 hypermedia environment. Chuns findings unde rscore the idea that the knowledge of words does not ensure to comprehension of any given text. Also, Chun agrees with Dillon and Gabbard (1998) that multimedia does not necessarily increase learner comprehension in general. However, based on her research results she disagrees with them that higher-ability learners will perfor m better than lower-ability learners regardless of the medium of instructions. Davis and Lyman-Hager (1997) used GALT (Glossing Authentic Language Texts), a hypermedia authoring software soft ware inspired by Bernhardts six-factor model of L2 reading (1991, p. 122) for their re search project. The readers could click on words to get definitions in English or French, hear the words pronounced by a native speaker (NS) of French, and access grammar explanations and cultural information. Davis and Lyman-Hager examined the ways in termediate-level undergraduates of French used these multimedia glosses within this integrated online reading environment from three perspectives: 1) the relationship between the readers choice of available glosses and quantity and accuracy of their comprehensio n of a Franco-African literary text; 2) individual user style; 3) users perceptions of the progr am (p. 58). Despite all the other glosses available to them, 85% of the reader s look-ups were vo cabulary items. The researchers reported that readers decoded word -for-word in a comple tely linear fashion and found no clear evidence that the computer program had enhanced overall comprehension. Many of their readers appeared to be false comprehenders (p. 68). In other words, readers thought they underst ood the gist of the story because they had instant access to word definitions. Recall protocols proved otherwise. These findings provide more evidence that while vocabular y knowledge is a key facilitator in L2 reading, it is no guarantee for understanding.

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32 Davis and Lyman-Hagers (1997) study demonstrates that well-designed hypermedia environments and ease of access to informational support do not necessarily increase the readers use of these options. Furthermore, the authors noted that for some of their subjects (the) need to reconstruct lo gically consistent ment al representations of the story apparently superseded contradict ory information on word meanings that was instantly available from the computerized gl oss (p. 67). Their analysis of the data provides strong evidence for the psychologi cal necessity of representing events in memory in a manner that conforms with ones view of reality, in combination with the interpretation of a text one is reading (p. 67). Indeed, when prior knowledge is activated that contradicts information in the text, readers may allow prior knowledge to override the text (Alverman et al 1985). Based on schema theory and mental model construction, if the activated cultural schemata is specifi c to the readers ow n culture and does not match that of the text, she/he will construct an inappropriate situa tion model of the text (Anderson & Pearson, 1984; Bernhardt, 1991; Carrell, 1988b; Hammadou, 1991; Johnston, 1983; Kang, 1993; Wolff, 1987). The reader naturally draws inferences from her/his prior knowledge to construct a situati on model of the text wi thout being aware of it. Lomicka (1998) corroborates and expa nds on Davis and Lyman-Hagers (1997) findings. What distinguishes her study from Davis and Lyman-Hagers is the use of the think-aloud protocol. Lomicka argues that think-aloud is a more accurate measure of comprehension because it accounts for comprehension processes as they occur online. In her study, twelve second semester students of French as a FL read an excerpt from a poem that had been annotated with GA LT (Glossing Authentic Language Texts). Lomicka designed three differe nt conditions to determine the level of comprehension

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33 based on causal inferences. Subjects in condition A read an introduction (metacognitive/priming gloss) and the text with out access to any other kinds of glosses. Lomicka referred to condition A as the no gl oss condition. Subjec ts in B read the introduction and the text with access to defi nitions in French (value glosses) and translations in English (signification glosse s). Those in the full glossing condition, C, read the introduction and the text with access to these and other glosses such as images, pronunciation, cultural re ferences, and interspersed que stions (metacognitive/prompting glosses). The question glosses were designed to prompt readers to think about ideas in the text, or extra-textual cultural/historic al information that would be helpful for understanding the poem in its appropriate context (personal communication, Dec. 12, 2002). The analysis of her data from the think-aloud protocols a nd a tracker built into GALT support Davis and Lyma n-Hagers (1997) claim that low proficiency readers primarily access glosses to find out the m eaning of a word and do not explore other available resources. However, in Lomickas study, tracker data also revealed that the question glosses were accessed by each reader at least once and gene rated one or more causal inferences for each reader. Although ra w numbers of inferences were much higher in the full glossing condition, C, no statistically significant difference in the percentage of inferences was found between condition A ( priming gloss only ) condition B (value and signification gloss) and conditi on C (all glosses) due to the small number of subjects. Also, while cultural reference glosses were consulted less freque ntly than question glosses, Lomicka found that th ey too helped the reader gain a deeper understanding of the text (1998, pp. 48, 49). As noted earlier, the initial focus of electronic comprehension aids was on vocabulary glossing. Vocabulary glosses in hyp ermedia may be presented in text format

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34 accompanied by audio and/or video files. Ne vertheless, their function is to provide factual knowledge at the textbase level. In general, resear ch of electronic glossing even in text-specific integrated hypermedia envir onments has shown that although readers look up more words than ever, they do not nece ssarily acquire more vocabulary knowledge, score higher on the recall protocol, generate more causal inferences, or construct an appropriate situation model of the text. Th e idea that fast and easy access to the meanings of unknown words makes up for insu fficiently automatic bottom-up processes and deficiencies in processing capacity, and thus allows the re ader to attend to top-down processes (Gettys et al 2001, p. 93) is simplistic and unsubstantiated. Gettys et al. (2001) propose that since the main benefit of reading in a FL is indirect vocabulary learning (p. 98) and readers rely primarily on dictionary glosses and ignore others, software should follow the principle of economy of means (p. 93). They further argue that rather than providing readers with as much information related to meaning as possible information should be reduced to a degree of minimum proficiency (p. 93). Indeed, if the goal of reading is to acquire L2 vocabulary, Gett ys et al. may have a point. However, the new national standards for foreign language learning require that researchers and practitioners find ways to he lp learners make the connection between the language and the target culture According to the new st andards, truly comprehending a foreign text implies the ability to read betw een the lines. Thus, rather than reducing information related to meaning to a minimum, future research must find ways to aid topdown processing to help readers avoid misreadin g the text and to train them to become independent and critical readers.

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35 Metacognitive Glossing Davis and Lyman-Hagers (1997) and Lomickas (1998) findings imply that multimedia environments are not as effective as they could be because they lack cues for conceptual orientation. Intermediate FL readers need guidance and practice in inferencing. Davis and Lyma n-Hager (1997) suggest a more interactive program with multiple interventions (such as interspersed questions) may well be useful for students at this instructional level, w ho misjudged how much and how well they had understood (p. 68). Lomicka (1998) also recommends that an increased number of interspersed questions could be incorporated in the software in order to aid the deve lopment of a situation model (p. 50). Interspersed questions are defined as metacognitive prompting glosses (Roby, 1999). Metacognitive glosses push readers to take an active stance leading to comprehension monitoring, a metacognitive be havior (Stewart & Cross, 1991, p. 5). Stewart and Cross (1991), who studied L1 reading and glossing in the paper medium, note that glosses that prompt readers to st op and think add a third voice, the teachers voice, to the inner voice of the reader and the authors voice. Beck and McKeown (1986) and Beck et al. (1996) conducted resear ch that focused on the social context of teacherled discussion for L1 reading comprehensi on instruction. Questioning the Author, developed by Beck and McKeown (1986), is an approach that draws students into a kind of shared thinking-out-loud (p. 25), where the author is viewed as someone who is trying to convey a message. Teachers ask questions like Whats the authors message here? to elicit summaries or explanations of main ideas from students. Other questions are meant to encourage students to elaborate or clarify idea s, i.e., Why do you think the author wants us to know about this? (p. 287).

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36 The creation of question glosses for th e current study is based on the underlying assumption that conscious understanding is expl anation based. Explanat ions appear to be causally chained (Trabasso & Magliano, 1996, p. 267), and readers may misread the entire text without becoming aware of it. Trabasso and Magliano (1996) found that asking why questions during one story incr eased the number of explanations that occurred during thinking aloud (p. 285). A why question may help the reader repair breaks in coherence by alerting her/ him to possible explanations. Design Issues Since both Davis and Lyman-Hager ( 1997) and Lomicka (1998) used GALT (Glossing Authentic Language Text) for their ex periments, it is possible that the template itself contributed to the reluctance of the readers to look up anything but vocabulary. Therefore, in the current study, texts were pr esented in a format that every participant was already accustomed to and that did not requi re additional training. With the help of a technical assistant, I created a template using Microsoft Word and applied it to each individual text. A major concern in the interface desi gn was how to present the additional information, i.e., the question gl osses, vocabulary, and cultural information along with the core text. How visible s hould the link indicators be and how much information should be presented? L1 rese arch on elaborations on core information (Duffy & Knuth, 1989), shows that reader s tend to use few and well-defined nodes (Knuth, 1992; McKnight et al 1990). There is strong eviden ce that the use of submenus decreases learner exploration in the hypermedia environment (Welsh et al 1994). Thus, a link should clearly indicate which informati on is made available, to avoid wasting time and effort on the readers part. Also, glosses or annotations that are ma de available in the

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37 core text are most bene ficial if the visual disruption of th e core text is held to a minimum (Jonassen, 1988; Kearsley, 1988). According to Robys (1999) taxonomy of glo sses, a question gloss is defined as a prompting gloss because it is consulted during the course of reading. Consistent with activity theory, question glosse s are viewed as a form of mediation helpin g students to gain control over language and task proce dures (Donato, 2000, p. 44). They are meant to encourage readers to continually question, reassess, and revise th eir interpretation of the text. The goal is not teaching what to think, but how to think (Meichenbaum, 1985, p. 410). Research Focus The studies in this literature review re present exploratory steps toward a clearer understanding of multimedia glossing for L2 reading comprehension. While there is some evidence that that multiple modes of presentation enhance the acquisition and retention of vocabulary and e nhance comprehension, we sti ll know very little about how to guide readers to take a dvantage of available background information in order to increase global comprehension and avoid misreading a text. This study looks to a particular practice of a use of CALL in a sp ecific social context (Warschauer & Kern, 2000, p. 2) to answer the question, i.e., of how the computer, as a technological tool, can improve reading. Building on what we know so far about text-based hypermedia reading environments, this study further investig ates the effects of question glosses on comprehension processes for intermediate-lev el learners of German as a FL in a university setting. In doing so, it addresses the follo wing research questions:

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38 1. To what extent and how do question glo sses in a hypermedia environment enable intermediate-level readers to go beyond the linguistic and te xtbase level of a text to construct a situation model of a text based on appropriate background knowledge? 2. To what extent and how do question glo sses prompt readers to monitor their comprehension processes a nd produce causal inferences? 3. How do question glosses affect readers l ook-up behavior over a period of time? Will readers take advantage of glosses othe r than dictionary glosses in response to question prompts and will they continue to do so even without question glosses?

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39 CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY Within the framework of activity theory, the participants of the study and their particular circumstances will be discussed followed by a detailed description of the kind of texts that were used in the study and how they were selected. An explanation and description of the construction of the hyperm edia environment and the question glosses that guide the online reading task then follo ws. A rationale for using both written recall and think-aloud protocols will be presented. A step-by-step account of the datacollection procedure follows. The last se ction shows how processe s and products of the reading task are analyzed, not in isolation, but as interdepe ndent factors, to discover how the participants used the a ssistance that was provided. Participants This study of computerized FL readin g was conducted as a component of an already existing third year web-based German course at the Univers ity of Florida. Introduction to Reading German Text wa s designed with WebCT (Web Course Tools for authoring, delivery, and management of materials) to help students make the transition from beginningand intermediate-l evel language courses to advanced-level literature courses. More specifically, the primar y goal of this course is to teach students how to cope with lengthy authen tic German texts. The design er/instructor, a professor of German literature, taught the course th e semester this study was conducted. Recruiting the participants from a single web-based reading course ensured that all received the same instruction and were fam iliar with reading German text in an online

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40 environment before the study began. As a regul ar part of the course students read two texts per week, ranging from youth literature to works of classical and contemporary writers and newspaper articles. For each text, the following support was provided: the English/German dictionary LEO (Link Ever ything Online); a widely used multimedia source for contemporary history of Germany in German, LeMO (Lebendiges Virtuelles Museum Online); as well as links to encycl opedias and to author biographies. Students read at home at their personal computers and answered multiple-choice, true/false, and open-ended questions about the readings and ab out text-specific contextual information. During the first half of the semester, the emphasis was on developing an understanding of the relationship between syntax and seman tics (i.e., verb case gove rnment; meaning and function of prepositions; how to deconstruct long German sentences). As an integral part of this WebCT course, grammar pages, ex ercises, and homework assignments were tailored to the specific needs of these learners of German to prepare them for upper-level course work, in particular read ing lengthy authentic texts. During the second half of the semester, all students read the eight texts that had been pre-selected for this study. These text s were then discussed in class. The 19 students enrolled in Introducti on to Reading German Text we re informed that they had an opportunity to participate in various onlin e reading assignments that had the potential to enhance their reading skill s and prepare them for the en suing classroom discussion. The students who volunteered to participat e in the study read these texts in the multimedia lab, while the rest of the class read at home in WebCT format as before. All students knew that participation in this study would not directly affect their final grade in the course. Participants received moneta ry compensation for each completed reading task. Also, after the analysis of the data for Group I and Group II was completed, one

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41 outlier was discovered and removed from the data set. It became evident that this reader did not have the necessary language proficienc y to cope with these lengthy texts. His extremely low comprehension scores skewed th e outcome for the other participants in his group. Thus, the results for eight particip ants will be reported and discussed. Materials Selection of Texts In the pilot phase of this study, 14 authentic German texts were selected based primarily on their content. The instructor/designer of the course, one additional faculty member who had experience in teaching Germ an language and culture courses at the undergraduate level, and I chose the texts. It was assumed that students already had some basic knowledge and understanding of topics such as the Holocaust, the Fall of the Berlin Wall, and the reunification of Germany and its political and economical aftermath, in particular the problems related to the ma ssive influx of immigrants from Eastern European countries. Learners of German who were transitioning from intermediateto advanced-level course work were then asked to pre-read these texts. The purpose for pre-reading was twofold. First, think-aloud protocols of pilo t readers revealed how much vocabulary they had to look up to understand the text at the sentence level. Also, potential breaks in coherence became evident. Breaks in coherence, or gaps, are defined as those places in the text where readers lack the appropri ate background knowledge and have to read between the lines. Thus, based on appare nt gaps, it was later determined where a question gloss could be placed in the text a nd what kind of additional information would be helpful to the readers in the main study.

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42 Ten different students each pre-read two to four diffe rent texts from among the 14, and were paid a flat rate for each task. No one in this group could be enrolled in the course the following semester when the main study was conducted. Seven of the 10 had completed Introduction to Reading German Te xt the previous semester. Each of the pilot-readers was instructed individually on how to think out loud and how to use the Divace recording system in the multimedia la b. Each text had a link to LEO, the online English/German dictionary everyone already kn ew and liked. As a rule, pilot-readers did not look up anything but words, although all of them had previous experience in online language learning. It must be noted that pa yment was not the primary motivation of these readers, but rather an expressed desi re to practice their German. Over half of the texts were eliminated from the original list for a combination of reasons. The longest text had 2,807 words, the shortest 588 words. Both were cut, but for different reasons. For example, if two of three pilot readers had difficulty sitting through the reading task because it became t oo tedious and frustrating to look up words, the text was eliminated. If very specif ic knowledge was required and readers had too many gaps, the text was also cut. In the shor test text, the male sex organ was depicted as the decisive force in the Fall of the Berlin Wa ll. A female reader failed to see the humor and irony the author had inte nded and stopped thinking out lo ud. It was decided not to use this text in the main study. In all, six of the 14 texts were chosen for use in the study. In consultation with colleagues, I then selected Text 1 ( Amerika ) and Text 8 ( Good Bye Lenin!, Kaupp, 2002), and these were not pre-read due to time constraints. In the main study, all subjects read Text 1 and Text 8 in the dictionary-only c ondition and therefore it was not necessary to pre-determine knowledge gaps. However, at least two readers preread each of the other six texts that received question glossing in the main study.

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43 Description of Texts The average length of the eight texts on th e final list was 795 words. The longest text had 1267 words, the shortest 488. (See Appendix B). Using Gunning's (2004) taxonomy, three texts were categorized as na rratives and five as expository. While narratives are comprehended in terms of how the main charac ter resolves a problem or conflict (p. 234), the purpose of the expository text is to conv ey information (p. 238). In general, narratives are thought to be easier to read than expos itory text because of their story grammar. Text 1, Amerika (Schnitzler, 2003) is a co nsciousness-oriented narrative, combining a level of action and a level of thought and emotion (Gunning, 2004, p. 235). As the narrator stands on the shore of the New World, he begins to reminisce about his former lover. With Anna, he had discovered another kind of America. Whenever he kissed her behind the ear, she cried out America. As he walks toward the city, he realizes that Anna and the old America are lost to him fo rever, and he is not sure whether he likes the new America. Text 2, Kannitverstan (Hebel, 2003) is an action-oriented narrative with a main character and plot. A German journeyman from a small southern town arrives in Amsterdam. He is in awe of this rich merchant city and he asks someone who the lucky owner of the great house he sees be fore him might be. The Dutchmen answers, Kannitverstan ( I cannot understand ). The journeyman assumes that this is the name of the man who owns this marvelous house. As he stands at the harbor, a ship is unloaded and he asks again who the owner of the ship is The answer is Kannitverstan. Now the journeyman begins to feel unhappy because he realizes how poor he is in comparison to Mr. Kannitverstan. As he turns the corner, he sees a funeral procession and asks who died. Predictably, the answer is Kannitverstan. Th e journeyman joins the procession and is very moved by the sermon, of which he does not understand a word. And from

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44 now on, every time the journeyman thinks about what a poor devil he is, he only has to think of Mr. Kannitverstan in his cold narrow grave to be happy again. Text 6, Die Fragenden, ( The Questioners, Hrtling, 1979) is a story of three young men who question the citizens of their hometown about a former concentration camp nearby. No one wants to talk about the past. Nevertheless, the young men search the archiv es, find the site of the sub-camp near their hometown, and the graves of the Jewish -Hungarian women who were murdered at the camp. Because of these three young men, a memorial will be erected to honor these victims of the Holocaust. At first glance, this is a straightforward narrative with main characters, a setting, a problem, and a re solution. However, with the exception of the concentration camp Buchenwald where the young men first find the map with the sub-camps, characters and places do not have proper names. This text is part of the body of literature written in the 1970s as the people of Germany began to face their Nazi past. Without proper names, the reader has to draw her/his own conclusions based on background knowledge. Text 3, Rauher Kapitalismus ( Rough Capitalism Huhnke, 1999), was defined as a time sequence-oriented expository text. Its pur pose is to convey information about the transition from a socialist to a capitalist soci ety by telling the stor y of one woman and her family. People who never had to worry about housing, childcare, and employment before are learning difficult lessons about fending for themselves. For the first time, a saleswoman and mother of five children, is afraid of losing her job. Text 4, Wer ist ein Trke? (Who is a Turk? Dikman, 1995) is an autobiographi cal expository text about the identity of Turkish guest workers in Germa ny. Dikman treats the prejudices of both Turks and Germans living together with humor and irony. Text 5, Die erste eigene Wohnung, (My First Apartment, Kaminer, 2000), is also an autobiographical expository

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45 text telling about the chaotic lif e in East Berlin after the Fa ll of the Wall and the special status of Jewish refugees from the former Soviet Union. Text 7, Der Zweite Teil des Skandals: Ein Offener Brief an Friedman ( The Second Part of the Scandal: An Open Letter to Friedman ) (Stolle, 2003), is a le tter to the editor by th e representative of a womens initiative group. The purpose of this letter was to draw attention to the second part of a scandal surroundi ng Michel Friedman, a prominent German Jew. Michel Friedman had not only used cocaine, but also solicited the services of illegal prostitutes from Eastern European countries. Text 8, a critique of the popular film Good Bye Lenin! (Kinofenster, 2002), was also defined as an expository text with a plot summary. The plot summary part of the text was a narrative. The film shows how an East German family experienced the fall of the Berlin Wall and how they coped with the confusing time immediately following the reunification of Germany. Creating a Template for the Reading Activity The design of this online r eading environment was guided by the principle of the reader as a knowledge constructor who activ ely selects and connects pieces of visual and verbal knowledge (Mayer, 1997, p. 4). Within the sociocu ltural paradigm, the construction of knowledge is not private, but rather media ted by cultural tools (Gee, 2000, p. 196), i.e., the computer, th e texts, the question glosses, and the language itself. Based on evidence from previous re search about the use of submenus (Welsh et al., 1994) and adding extra-textual informati on in the hypermedia environment (Duffy & Knuth, 1989; Jonassen, 1998; Kearsley, 1988; McKnight et al., 1990), a technical assistant and I used Microsoft Word software to create a template. The main webpage for each text consisted of multiple frames. The la rgest frame contained the core text in the center of the webpage, with the surro unding frames accommodating the cultural/

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46 background information (additional text, audio, video), the internal dictionary (value glosses), and the question prompts (met acognitive glosses). (See Appendix C). The cultural/background information items on the left were given titles that clearly indicated what could be explored. Th e internal dictionary was on the right. The type and number of links and vocabulary items were based on the analysis of pilot readers think-aloud protocols. Readers could ea sily scroll up and down to keep the internal dictionary parallel to their place in the text. A link to LEO was also provided. In an effort to avoid drawing readers at tention to words and to curtail clicker-happy behavior, the internal dictionary format was selected over mouse-over and over highlighting words in the text.1 Clicking on a small red dot in the core text would bring up the frame with the question gloss at the t op of the page. Thus, the question gloss was invisible until the reader decided to click on the red dot. Each te xt was self-contained and included an instruction page for the think aloud and the wr itten recall protocol. (See Appendix C). Question Glosses Question glosses were written with the help of the instructor of the course, based on the concepts and models provided by Beck et al. (1996). We determined what kind and how many links containing additional inform ation were to be made available in the left-hand column and where a question gloss was to be placed in the core text. Each question was formulated to prompt the reader to look for an answer or explanation in the text itself, or to access background/cultural info rmation, and to make a causal inference. For example, for Kannitverstan 5 of 10 questions begin with Why: Why do you think 1 Mouse-over is a feature that makes a link visible as so on as the cursor is placed on it. Thus, any word in the text can be linked to a gloss that remains invisible un til the reader clicks on it. If a word or sentence is highlighted, it is immediately visible to the reader.

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47 the author says, ?; or Why does the auth or ? or Did you notice ? In this story, geography played an important role. Pilot-readers had difficulty in determining whether capitalized nouns were the names of people or places Therefore, in order to answer the questions Why does the author name Emmendingen and Gundelfingen along with Amsterdam? and Did you notice that the journeyman comes from Tuttlingen? How may that affect his per ception of Amsterdam? the read er in the main study had to first find out that these are the names of sm all towns in Southern Germany by clicking on the links. The links provided in the b ackground information column were carefully selected and tested before use in the study. With few exceptions, the information in the culture links was in English, not in German. Participants could click on Niederlande to see where the Netherlands and Amsterdam were located in relation to Emmendingen, Gundelfingen, and Tuttlingen. Clicking on th e Amsterdam link would bring up pictures of the kind of stately houses the journe yman admired so much. Based on this information, readers could infer that the jour neyman is a long way from home and in awe of the wealth and beauty of this large trade city. The ques tion Why do you think the author says our good Tuttlinge r? required that readers make the inference that people coming from small towns may be nave. Do you know which segment of the 18th century German-speaking population enjoyed re ading calendar stories? was meant to activate prior knowledge of the characteristics of a calendar story or prompt a look-up (genre link). If readers knew that the 18th century working class read calendar stories, they might infer the moral of the story. Ironically, although the good Tuttlinger did not understand a word of Dutch, he came to know the truth. In order to ensure that participants did not have to deal with more unknown vocabulary than necessary and that they understood the questions, the glosses were

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48 written in English rather than the targ et language (Shohamy, 1984). Shohamy also speculated that writing the questions in the L1 may be more authentic, because readers ask themselves questions in their L1 during th e reading process. Indeed, it has been shown (Roebuck, 2000) that in an effort to ma intain or gain contro l of the cognitively demanding task of reading a foreign text, reader s tend to re-externalize their inner voice. Participants think-aloud protoc ols provide a window into how they talked themselves through difficult situations. Data Collection In this section, I will disc uss different methods for testing reading comprehension and their theoretical bases and develop a ra tionale for using both immediate recall and think aloud protocols in this study. A number of studies have shown that reading assessment tasks will influence and possibly determine how readers perform on a reading test (Lee, 1986; Riley & Lee, 1996; Shoham y, 1984; Wolf, 1993). Immediate recall is considered the most straightforward assessmen t of the result of text-reader interaction (Johnston, 1983, p. 54) and is the most commonly used measure in reading studies. Bernhardt (1991) also points out that immediate recall reveals the integrated comprehension product of the student and avoids validity problems found in multiple choice and true/false tests. It is also believed that having L2 learners write recall protocols in their L1 will eliminate any di fficulties they may have in expressing their thoughts in the L2 (Bernhardt, 1987; Lee, 1986). However, Myers (1990) argue s that immediate recall and other post-reading tests, i.e., multiple choice, summaries, true/false, and open-ended questions, assess off-line comprehension. It is possible that the read er can recall parts of the text or answer questions without understanding the text as a whole. On the other hand, online

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49 measures such as thinking out loud while read ing, have the potent ial to reveal (Kucan & Beck, 1997, p. 292) comprehensio n processes as they occur. The think-aloud task is used to gain insight into what readers are thinking, sentence by sentence, as problems arise. Long and Bourg (1996) argue that ver bal protocol analysis is ideal for identifying those inferences that involve access to world knowledge and those that involve access to prior text information (p. 332). A numb er of researchers have used think-aloud protocols to investigate indi vidual differences in readers text representations and comprehension strategies (Cote & Goldman, 1995; Whitney et al., 1991; Zwaan & Brown, 1996). There is some evidence that aski ng readers to think out loud causes them to change their processing (Black et al 1984), and that researchers must therefore use think-aloud data along with other evidence. Th e two are combined in this study because while recall protocols allow the researcher to st udy the product of re ading in the form of recalled propositions and idea units, think-aloud pr otocols are a means to gain insight into how individual readers mediate their thinking in private speech as they puzzle through difficult passages to make sense of the text as a whole. Multimedia Lab Setting Before the study began, all students who were enrolled in the reading course gathered in the multimedia lab to go through th e entire procedure of reading a short text online, doing a think-aloud, recording and saving the think-aloud, writing a recall protocol online, and sending it via email to th e researcher. Together with the staff, I helped familiarize all the students with the Divace recording system and the interface of the websites. All students were informed th at if they participat ed in the study, they would have to come to the lab at times set as ide by the lab director and by me. Each text had to be read in the lab before it would be discussed in class (See Table 3-1). Those

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50 students who made a decision to participate returned the following week for the first reading. Since it was not possible for some participants to come during the scheduled times from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. on Mondays and Tuesdays, they had to read when students from other languages courses were practicing speaking. Sometimes, they overheard others thinking out loud. Alt hough the director of the lab, and/or a lab assistant, a research assistant, and I were at hand to help with any kind of technical questions and problems participants encountered, sound-f iles were not always saved properly. However, only one participants think-aloud prot ocol for one text could not be retrieved and was lost completely. Each reading task was carried out in a specific order. Before each reading, I reminded the participants to read the front-p age with the instructi ons (See Appendix C), to test their recording system, to talk out l oud, and to take advantag e of any glossing aids as needed. They were told they could take as much time as they needed for the task. Participants alternated readi ng the texts in either the Q or NQ mode, thinking out loud as they read. Their thoughts were audio-recorded. After completing the think-aloud protocols, participants closed the window with the text and c licked on Recall. A website came up with a submission area. Partic ipants were instructed to write everything they remembered about the text, in their L1, without looking back to the text. Immediately after each reading task, I conduc ted videotaped exit interviews to probe individual readers perspectives on their experience. Questions on topic familiarity were included in these interviews. Data Collection Procedure Stage I: According to the results of Part II of the AATG Test (American Association of Teachers of Germ an), an equal number of participants scoring above and

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52 all other variables were held constant: external dictionary (LEO), in ternal dictionary, and multimedia glossing (geographical, historical, cultural information). (See Table 3-2). Stage III: Group I and Group II read one fina l text with dictionary glossing only (D2). Comparing the comprehension results of reading in D1 (before the treatment) and D2 (after the treatment) shows if and to what extent question glossing affected participants look-up behavior ove r the period of eight weeks. According to activity theory, the sociohi storical setting and the sociocultural history of the participants de termine the properties of any given activity. A pre-reading questionnaire (qualitative data ) established student demogra phics including the extent of their German experience, courses enrolled at the present, field of study/interest, experience in reading and discussing texts in the L1; comfort level in working with computers, and prior experience in reading text s in a FL online. (See Appendix A). A second Lykert-scale ques tionnaire after completion of the readings gauged participants attitudes and perceptions of the computer-bas ed reading environment in general and the question glosses in partic ular. (See Appendix D). Table 3-2. Group I and II Alte rnating Conditions Q and NQ Group I (S 1-4) Group II (S 5-8) D1 D1 NQ Q Q NQ Q NQ NQ Q NQ Q Q NQ D2 D2

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53 Four months after the study was comple ted, a brief informal questionnaire was sent via email to all readers, asking if partic ipating in the study had had any effect on how they were reading at that point. Analysis of Recall Protocols Experts agree that the type of comprehension assessment ta sk that is used to test reading comprehension may affect the outcome Riley and Lee (1996) argued that there is a qualitative difference in recalls depending on the instructions of the researcher. They found that the recalls provided by subjects who were told to summarize the main ideas of a text were found to contain significantly more main idea units than the recalls of subjects who were told to write down what they coul d remember. Although the participants of the present study were not instructed to su mmarize main ideas, they nevertheless wrote summaries of the texts in their recalls. Since the texts averaged between 800 and 1200 words, and it took some readers over two hour s to complete the reading and think-aloud task, therefore it is entirely possible that they could not remember details and/or they were too tired to write much and not willing to devote more time to the task. (See Appendix B). Working within activity theory, Roebuc k (1998) studied written recalls of intermediate students of Spanish at the unive rsity level. Her da ta reveal that the researchers agenda or orientation is not n ecessarily the subjects orientation. She found that when some of her subjects felt the task became too difficult a nd they were in danger of losing face, they responded by repositioning themselves in relation to the task and the perceived threat (Roebuck, 2000, p. 91). In a similar way, the participants in the present study, after first talk ing themselves through a long and difficult text, and then being asked to remember what they had rea d, may have reinterprete d the meaning of the assigned task and wrote summaries.

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54 Because it was realized that students had in fact written summaries, recall protocols are analyzed in two ways: first, by counting the total number of propositions each participant recalle d, without weighing the propositi ons as originally planned; second, by counting and weighing the number of main and supporting idea units in each recall protocol. Detailed Propositional Analysis The German texts were first translated in to English because the readers recalls were written in English. By using the transl ations of advanced students of German and the translations that one of the participan ts produced during her think-alouds, the final product was a nearly literal and correct English version of each text. With the help of a reading specialist, guidelines were developed for what woul d constitute a proposition in this study and a proposition template for each text was created. (See Appendix E). Using the proposition templates, two independent raters examined each of the eight recall protocols of each participant and identified th e propositions recalled. Both raters were experienced in language teaching and learning. They were instructed to mark and count every proposition that appeared in the reca lls, adhering closely to the wording in the templates. One of the raters was a native speaker of English (R1), the other a native speaker of Turkish (R2), a doctoral student at an American university with a strong command of English. The difference in their scoring was directly related to how narrowly they defined any given proposition. Although we had addressed the issue of paraphrasing beforehand, R2 was st ricter in her scoring than R1. For example, R1 counted / wealth / as one proposition in place of / to this great / and rich / commercial city / whereas R2 did not count it at all. Also, in place of the propositions / with its windows / full of tulips / daisies /, R1 accepted the readers proposition / with wonderful

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55 flowers / while R 2 did not accept it as a substitute The same reader recalled that the stranger whom the journeyman addressed was / somewhat annoyed /. The exact propositions in the text template were / said shortly and brusquely / and buzzed past /. R1 admitted this substitution, while R2 did not. This explains why the overall scores of R1 were higher than those of R2. Neverthele ss, inter-rater reliability is high. Using Spearmans rho, correlation coefficients for the detailed propositional analysis ranked from a low of 0.883 for Text 1 to a high of 0.983 for Texts 7 and Text 8. The raters received a small stipend for this task. Idea Unit Analysis For the weighted idea unit anlaysis, I created templates for each text based on main and supporting ideas. (See Appendix F). Identifying the character, the setting, the problem, and the resolution in a narrative was worth five points each. One additional point was given per essential de tail related to the story gram mar. For example, in the narrative Kannitverstan the readers who recal led the two main characters, the German journeyman received five poi nts and five more points fo r recalling the imaginary Herr Kannitverstan. Recognizing th at the journeyman thought Kannitverstan was the name of a very rich man was counted as a main idea as well. In addition, if readers remembered that the journeyman came from the small town of Tuttlingen and had never experienced a rich city like Amsterdam before, two more points were added for two essential aspects of the main character For expository texts, main ideas receiv ed five points each and supporting details one point each. Text 7, (Friedman) is clearly meant to impart information and was published in a prominent German newspaper. Readers who wrote in their recall protocols that Terre des Femmes was a womens rights or ganization received five points. They

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56 also were given five points each for recount ing that while Terre des Femmes respected and accepted Friedmans apology for taking drugs they were very unhappy about the fact that the second part of the s candal was swept under the rug, na mely that he used illegal prostitutes from Eastern Europe. Another piece of information, the fact that 50% of all prostitutes in Germany are of non-German or igin, also counted as a main idea unit. Supporting details are that 80% of these wo men are from Eastern European countries (one point) and many of them are smuggled in illegally (one point) and forced into prostitution (one point). Based on these main and supporting idea unit templates, each participants recall protocol was scored by two inde pendent raters (R1 and R2). The raters and I met once to discuss those scores that were more than five points apart. The raters found that discrepancies between the scores occurred as a result of misinterpr eting or overlooking a main idea unit, and/or counting a supporting de tail as a main idea unit, while the other one did the opposite. For example, R1 counted /the second part of the scandal was that he was sleeping with foreign call girls/ as a main idea unit, while R2 completely overlooked this statement in the readers reca ll. The difference between the two scores for this one readers recall was initially 12 points. The problem was resolved because R2 added five points upon seeing that he had overlooked the main idea, bringing his score from 21 to 26. R1 took off five point s, because she had counted one main idea unit twice. The agreed-upon scor e was only two points apart ( 28 and 26). Thus, after some discussion and re-counting, the raters reached a consensus on some items in question. An inter-rater reliabili ty check was performed. Using Spearmans rho, correlation coefficients for the idea unit analysis range from 0.881 for Text 5 to 0.992 for Text 1.

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57 Analysis of Think Aloud Protocols: Causal Inferences and Look-Ups (Quantitative) I transcribed the 72 think-aloud protocols (n ine participants reading eight texts) myself. One research assistant and I exam ined all think-aloud protocols for causal inferences and look-ups. Since the participants had been told that they could use English and/ German freely in order to communicate their thoughts and could speak a translation if it was helpful to them, think-aloud protoc ols were done in both German and English. Therefore, both raters needed to have a hi gh-level proficiency in these two languages. My assistant was a graduate student of French and Linguistics and was fluent in German. We discussed and practiced how to dis tinguish paraphrases (including speaking a translation) and evaluative comments from causal inferences with guidelines from Zwaan and Brown (1996) as well as how to identify bridging and elaborative inferences and their sources. Misreadings that resulted from gaps in background knowledge were also identified and recorded. A misreading of a text is defined as an instance when the reader constructs a mental model that contradicts expl icitly stated information as well as what is implied in a text. Mistakes readers made due to language problems, such as the lack of vocabulary and difficult synta x, were not counted. It was not always possible to determine if a reader drew a conclusion ba sed on what she/he had read in the text (bridging) one or two sentences back (bridging) or on what she/he had retrieved from long-term memory. If the reader did not feel the need to look up anything, or if the prompt triggered the reader to think, but sh e/he did not look up additional information, then one could assume that she/he called on prior knowledge (elaborative inference). For example, the comment, I know that Jews are not supposed to eat pork. But I am not sure where we're going with this. Who cares if they are false Jews? provides an example of a reader making the connection between his pr ior knowledge and the information in the

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58 text and then looking for an explanation. The same reader then infe rs, using the text and his prior knowledge that these Russian Jews enjoyed special housi ng privileges tried to get rid of their neighbors by saying that they were not real Jews. (See Appendix G). This causal inference is clearly not based on info rmation in the text only. For Text 2, if the reader clicked on the map and conclude d that Emmendingen and Gundelfingen are the names of cities rather than names of pe ople, then the rater could be reasonably sure that this was indeed an elaborative infere nce based on a look-up. Wh ile reading the text about how the reunification of Germany affected one particular family in the former East, one reader said, Ok. Helmstedt. That is a picture. Masses of people descended on the town when the border was opened. (See Appendix G). This was identified as a look-up followed by a causal inference. The same reader further reasons, I assume this is talking about given the date of the Wall fal ling and everybody running to hug each other, possibly. Because there was no tracking de vice in the program, look-ups were only counted if the reader announced in the think-aloud protocol that she/he was looking up something and/or commented on what she/he found or did not find. Causal inferences were often prefaced with I think, I assu me , So they are talking about, or So this is probably, So he thinks that Oh! Its ! I guess the idea is , I know that , So apparently . Also r ecorded in the transcripts of the think-aloud protocols were chuckles and in cidents of albeit rare laught er, as well as sighing, moaning, and cursing. For example, Haha! That is funny! That is freaking hilarious! signaled that a particular reader felt she/he had unde rstood something, while the latter indicated frustration and/or anger. Using Spearmans rho, an interrater reliability check was performed on the number of causal inferen ces identified by the researcher and her assistant. Correlation coefficients range from .767 for Text 7 to .983 for Text 8.

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59 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS Comprehension processes are complex a nd invisible, and can only be observed indirectly. Comparing the resu lts of the propositional analysis of the recall protocols with the idea unit test results and the raw numb er of inferences made reveals that each measured a different aspect or level of the reading comp rehension process, and only a combination of both product (recall) and pr ocess (think-aloud) measures provided a complete picture of how a reader reconstructed the meaning of a text. Research Question 1 Research question 1 addressed to what extent an d how question glosses in a hypermedia environment enable intermediate level readers to go beyond the surface and the textbase level of a text to construct a s ituation model of the text based on appropriate background knowledge. The quantitative analyses of the recall and think-aloud protocols provide the big picture as well as group shots of the eight students reading the six texts with or without question prompts and an swer the question to what extent and how the prompts were useful to the participants in this study. The results of two kinds of comprehension measures, as well as the numbe r of look-ups (LUP), causal inferences (CI), and misreadings (MR) for all students are presented. This big picture also shows how each individual treatment text (Texts 2-7) was comprehended according to the treatment condition based on the proposition and idea unit scores, and the number of LUPs and CIs. Non-parametric test result s, based on the various comprehension scores, are reported. Narrowing the lens, certain patt erns and similarities between individual

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60 readers, as reflected by measures of compre hension and number of LUPs and CIs, come into focus. Results of Propositional Analysis of Recall Protocols The traditional detailed propositional analys is focused on the number of propositions recalled by the reader. The percentage valu es in Table 4-1 represent the ratio of propositions recalled by each student for each te xt in relation to th e total number of propositions for each text. The average percentages for reading in the Q treatment were lower than in the NQ treatment, but only by extremely small margins. Propositional scores ranged from 2.95% for Student 8 on Te xt 2 reading in the Q treatment to 28.61% for Student 5 on Text 3 r eading in the NQ treatment. Figure 4-1 shows how each individual student performed on the propositional comprehension test when reading texts in the Q treatment vs. reading in the NQ treatment. Four students had higher scores reading in the Q treatment (S3, S4, S6, S8) and four students scored higher in the NQ treatment (S1, S2, S5, S7). S5 averaged 24.30%, the highest score for reading in NQ, and S4 averaged 17.50%, the highest score for reading in Q. Overall, students re ading in NQ achieved the highest proposition Table 4-1. Percentages of Propositions Recalled Student Text 1 Text 2 Text 3 Text 4 Text 5 Text 6 Text 7 Text 8 1 9.48% 9.23% 6.46% 9.00% 6.17% 13.32% 6.76% 4.39% 2 10.95% 12.36% 15.95% 16.11% 27.02% 17.93% 17.39% 13.39% 3 3.59% 4.06% 6.96% 8.65% 8.51% 9.24% 11.35% 9.01% 4 12.09% 13.65% 20.00% 18.48% 10.85% 13.32% 14.01% 10.05% 5 6 12.25% 7.03% 13.84% 7.93% 28.61% 6.46% 25.95% 8.65% 18.09% 6.60% 19.29% 9.51% 18.36% 7.25% 18.48% 8.66% 7 6.70% 7.56% 14.30% 17.18% 15.53% 20.92% 20.05% 6.12% 8 2.61% 2.95% 3.16% 4.27% 5.96% 8.42% 4.83% 1.27% NQ Average 9.826% 13.133% 14.011% 13.138% 13.451% 12.621% Q Average 8.072% 12.342% 13.063% 11.543% 14.538% 12.379%

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61 0.00% 5.00% 10.00% 15.00% 20.00% 25.00% 12345678 StudentsPropositional Comprehension by Student average for texts w/Q average for texts w/NQ Figure 4-1. Individual Student Prop ositional Comprehension in Q and NQ scores. S2, S5, and S7 scored 19.11%, 24.30% and 17.18% respectively. In comparison, the best scores for S3, S6, and S8 were considerably lower in both Q and NQ. Of the four students who achieved higher sc ores in Q than in NQ, only the scores of S4 ranged at the same leve l with the four students who had higher scores in NQ. S2, S4, S5, and S7 had the highest propositional scores and spent the least amount of effort and time on decoding the texts. On the other ha nd, S3, S6, and S8 were less proficient in lower-level processing and la bored over each text. Results of Idea Unit Analysis of Recall Protocols The weighted idea unit analysis assessed how well readers connected the propositions in the text and remembered ma in and supporting ideas. Table 4-2 (below) shows the percentages of idea units recalled by e ach student reading a text in the Q or in the NQ treatment. Overall, values in Q are higher than in NQ. The values range from 4.44% for Student 8 reading Text 7 in NQ to 77.14% for Student 2 reading Text 3 in Q. Figure 4-2 shows that when looking at the co mprehension of main ideas, five of eight participants scored higher in Q than in NQ. The highest average for reading in Q was 69.52% by S2. The highest average in NQ wa s 52.65% by S5. The lowest average score

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62 for reading in Q was 35.44% by S7, while that in NQ was 21.01% for S8. While S7 had the lowest average score for reading in Q, he achieved 51.53% in NQ, the second highest score after S5. Note that the gap between the more fluent readers (S1, S2, S4, S5, S7) and less fluent readers (S3, S 6, S8) reading the texts in the Q treatment appears to narrow. However, in the NQ treatment, the average idea unit scores for less fluent readers remain below the scores of the more fluent readers. Table 4-2. Percentages of Idea Units Recalled Student Text 1 (D1) Text 2 Text 3 Text 4 Text 5 Text 6 Text 7 Text 8 (D2) 1 25.47% 41.30% 64.29% 61.43% 13.73% 32.03% 12.22% 19.54% 2 58.49% 46.74% 77.14% 71.43% 50.00% 50.00% 60.00% 41.95% 3 15.09% 38.04% 41.43% 42.86% 17.65% 20.31% 26.67% 30.46% 4 38.68% 48.91% 30.00% 70.00% 26.47% 17.97% 50.00% 29.31% 5 42.45% 55.43% 60.00% 75.71% 47.06% 28.91% 22.22% 39.66% 6 33.02% 63.04% 42.86% 64.29% 21.57% 24.22% 26.67% 28.16% 7 41.51% 31.52% 55.71% 60.00% 45.10% 29.69% 38.89% 16.09% 8 4.72% 40.22% 21.43% 37.14% 37.25% 33.59% 4.44% 2.30% NQ Average 43.750% 45.000% 59.286% 26.961% 30.078% 23.056% Q Average 47.554% 53.214% 61.429% 37.745% 29.102% 37.222% 0.00% 10.00% 20.00% 30.00% 40.00% 50.00% 60.00% 70.00% 12345678StudentsIdea Unit Comprehension by Student average for texts w/Q average for texts w/NQ Figure 4-2. Individual Student Idea Unit Comprehension in Q and NQ The four bars in Figure 4-3 (below) repres ent four comprehension scores for each student reading Texts 2 through 7 in Q and in NQ. The first two scores are based on the

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63 detailed propositional analysis of recall protocols, the second set on the idea unit analysis of the recall protocols of eight students reading Text 2 throug h Text 7 in Q and in NQ. As Figure 4-3 shows, results are very mi xed. S3, S4, and S8 consistently achieved higher scores in both comprehens ion measures when reading in Q. In contrast, S5 and S7 scored higher in NQ than in Q for both measur es. S1 and S2 scored higher in Q for idea units, but not for propositions. S6 scored higher in Q for propositions but not for idea units. 0.00% 10.00% 20.00% 30.00% 40.00% 50.00% 60.00% 70.00% 12345678 StudentsScores for Proposition and Idea Unit Tests with Q Proposition Test with NQ Proposition Test with Q Main Idea Test with NQ Main Idea Test Figure 4-3. Individual Student Propositi on and Idea Unit Scores in Q and NQ Results of Proposition and Idea Unit Analyses for Texts 2-7 Figure 4-4 shows the averag e of the proposition scores for the treatment texts (Texts 2-7) read in Q and in NQ by the eight participants. The scores in NQ represent a flat line from Text 3 ( Kapitalismus ) to Text 7 ( Friedman ) and are consistently above the scores in Q, with the exception of Text 6 ( Die Fragenden ). The values for reading in Q are lowest for Text 2 ( Kannitverstan ) and Text 5 ( Die erste eigene Wohnung ) and highest

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64 for Text 6. For Text 6, the Q value climbs to 14.54%, compared with the NQ value of 13.45%. Propositional Comprehension by Text0.00% 2.00% 4.00% 6.00% 8.00% 10.00% 12.00% 14.00% 16.00% NQ Average 9.826%13.13314.01113.13813.45112.621 Q Average 8.072%12.34213.06311.54314.53812.379 text 2text 3text 4text 5text 6text 7 Figure 4-4. Percentages of Propositi ons for Texts 2-7 in Q and NQ Figure 4-5. Idea Unit Comprehension Sc ores for Texts 2-7 in Q and NQ Figure 4-5 shows the comprehension scores for the treatment texts (Texts 2-7) based on the percentages of idea units in Q and in NQ as recalled by the eight participants. Note that the margins be tween Q and NQ are larger than in the propositional analysis and consistently in favor of Q with the exception of Text 6 ( Die Fragenden ). For Text 6, the curve for Q falls below NQ by 0.97% and then rises again Idea Unit Comprehension by Text0.00% 10.00% 20.00% 30.00% 40.00% 50.00% 60.00% 70.00% NQ Average 43.75045.00059.28626.96130.07823.056 Q Average 47.55453.21461.42937.74529.10237.222 text 2text 3text 4text 5text 6text 7

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65 well above NQ for Text 7 ( Friedman ). However, S2 read Text 6 in NQ and had by far the highest score overall. If his score of 50% were taken out, the average score for the Group reading in Q would have remained high er even for Text 6. Thus, while reading the treatment texts with question prompts did not increase propositional scores, the idea unit comprehension scores were consistently higher for reading in Q than in NQ for all treatment texts. Statistical Test Result s for Recall Protocols Table 4-3. Raw Scores and P-Values for Pr oposition and Idea Unit Scores (Q and NQ) Texts Prop. Score in Q Prop. Score in NQ Prop. P-Values IU Score in Q IU Score in NQ Idea Units P-Values Text 2 8.072% 9.826% .564 47.554% 43.750% .773 Text 3 12.342% 13.133% .663 53.214% 45.000% .564 Text 4 13.063% 14.011% .885 61.429% 59.286% .773 Text 5 11.543% 13.138% .773 37.745% 26.961% .386 Text 6 14.538% 13.451% .772 29.102% 30.078% .773 Text 7 12.379% 12.621% .773 37.222% 23.056% .309 Due to the small number of participants (n =8) and the fact that these data are not normally distributed, nonparametric statistical tests were perfor med. First, for a basic test of group difference, the Wilcoxon rank sum test wa s used to test all proposition scores of Group I for Text 1 (D1) and for Text 8 (D2) ag ainst the scores of Group II. The same test was then repeated using the idea unit scores Both tests showed that there was no significant difference between Group I a nd Group II reading Texts 1 and 8 (p>0.05). These results suggest that Groups I and II were comparable. To assess the effect of question glossing, the same test was performed on each of the six treatment texts (Text 2 through Text 7). Recall th at Group I and Group II alternated reading in Q and NQ. Thus, both th e proposition scores as well as the idea unit scores of readers who had the glossed version of a text were tested against the scores of

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67 had 18 LUPs and 34 CIs, in contrast to read ers in Q who had only 13 LUPs and 25 CIs. However, the results for Text 6 and Text 3 can be explained by crosschecking the qualitative data for S2 and S1. As stated above, S2 read Text 6 without question glosses, but nevertheless clicked on all the information about concentration camps. Therefore, the number of LUPs in NQ is higher than in Q for Text 6. For Text 3, readers in NQ had a total of nine LUPs as opposed to seven LUPs for readers in Q. Although the group reading in Q had less LUPs, they still generate d 64 CIs, as opposed to the 54 CIs of the group with more LUPs. 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 234567 TextsLook-ups and Causal Inferences LUP Q LUP NQ CI Q CI NQ Figure 4-6. Total Number of Look-ups and Causal Inferences by Texts S1 read Text 3 in Q, but did not look up anything and still generated 19 CIs, more than for any of the other texts. His qualitat ive data set revealed that he had extensive previous knowledge about the situation descri bed in the text. These results show that question glosses consistently triggered more LUPs unl ess readers were already knowledgeable about the topic. In the case of S1, question glosses served to remind him of his own experiences in the former GDR and to draw appropriate elaborative inferences (See Table 4-7). The data in Table 4-4 (a bove) and Figure 4-6 (above) further show that

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68 there is a connection between the number of LUPs and CIs and the average percentage of idea units recalled. For example, for Text 5, the number of LUPs in Q was 50% higher than in NQ, and the number of CIs followed th e same trend. This difference is reflected in a sharp drop of idea unit scores in NQ (See Figure 4-5 above). Table 4-5 (below) combines all the quantita tive data from both the recalls and the think-aloud protocols and include s misreadings (MR) for each student reading Texts 2-7. The shaded columns show the test results of th e participants reading the three texts in Q. This table presents the averages of two comprehension measures as well as the raw number of LUPs and CIs for each student in Q and in NQ. Note that S2 was the only participant who looked up more in NQ than in Q. S2 had 5 LUPs in Q and 14 LUPs in NQ, but generated 49 CIs in Q and 14 in NQ. Hi s idea unit scores were also higher in Q. On the other hand, S4 had six LUPs in Q a nd six in NQ and the lowest number of CIs overall. However, S4s average idea unit sc ore in Q was the second highest overall. She constructed solid textbase models of the texts. S3 and S6 looked up the most and had the highest number of CIs. As stated above, S6 scored higher in NQ for idea units. Accordingly, she had more CIs in NQ than in Q. In contrast, S1 and S7 looked up the least, but the low number of LUPs did not Table 4-5. Combined Quantitative Data for Recalls and Think-Aloud Protocols S Prop. % Q Prop % NQ Idea % Q Idea % NQ LUP Q LUP NQ CI Q CI NQ Total LUP Total CI (2-7) Total MR (2-7) S1 7.41 9.57 45.98 29.02 7 4 48 24 11 72 15 S2 16.48 19.11 69.52 48.91 5 14 49 26 19 75 8 S3 8.99 7.27 36.98 25.33 16 11 61 35 27 96 16 S4 17.50 12.61 50.00 31.12 6 6 22 16 12 38 30 S5 17.07 24.30 43.80 52.65 14 3 39 30 17 69 5 S6 8.01 7.45 36.28 44.60 13 11 47 52 24 99 13 S7 14.67 17.18 35.44 51.53 6 3 26 29 9 55 22 S8 5.78 4.09 37.05 21.01 15 12 28 24 27 52 2

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69 seem to affect the number of CIs. Therefore, while the number of LUPs is not necessarily indicative of higher idea unit scores and a higher numb er of CIs in all cases, it can still be maintained that a higher idea unit score means that readers make more connections and draw more inferences on the local and global levels. The last column in Table 4-5 lists th e raw number of MRs for each student in Texts 2 through 7 combined. Recall that MRs we re defined as instances when the reader constructed a mental model of the text that c ontradicted explicitly stated information in the text and/or the implicit cultural backgr ound knowledge that is required in order to appropriately interpret the situation descri bed in the text. The number of MRs for individual participants ranged from two MRs for S8 to 30 MRs for S4 (Text 2-7). Note that besides S8 only S2 and S5 had fewer than 10 MRs. Research Question 1 addressed to what extent and how question glosses enabled readers to go beyond the linguistic and textbase level of a text to construct a situation model. In sum, although no significant st atistical difference wa s found between Group I vs. Group II reading the treatment texts in Q or in NQ, the quantitative analyses of the recalland think-aloud pr otocols revealed that question gl osses enabled those participants who struggled with bottom-up processing to improve their comprehension scores, generate more inferences, and construct more accurate situation models of the texts. The propositional comprehension measur e primarily establ ished a baseline regarding readers bottomup processing skills. Propositional scores showed how efficiently readers recognized words and pieces of information at the surface level of the text, without necessarily conn ecting propositions in a meani ngful way. Question glosses improved the recall of propositions for some readers who lacked lower-level processing skills, but did not make a difference for the readers who demonstrated a high degree of

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70 automaticity in sentence level syntactic and semantic processing. Also, depending on the type of text, question glosses may actually have hindered rather than supported some individual readers lower-leve l processing. For example, some readers may have recalled more propositions with the prompts for Text 6 without necessarily being able to create a network of propositions at the textbase level, much less r econstruct the overall meaning by linking the information in the text w ith the appropriate background information. In contrast, the results of the weight ed idea unit analysis (See Table 4-2 and Figure 4-2), along with the raw number of CIs, answered the question of to what extent the question glosses helped readers create coherent textbase models of the texts. The idea unit analysis showed that five readers (S1, S2, S3, S4, S8) recalled more main and supporting ideas when reading a text with que stion glosses than without. For example, S1 and S2 scored higher in Q for idea units, but not for propositions. Neither of these two readers had trouble dec oding a text, and they both remembered detail. While question glosses did not make a difference in their mental model construction on the surface level, they enabled these readers to make more connections at the textbase and situation levels The number of CIs and the idea unit scores are indicators that the readers connected events and causes at the local (textbase) and the global (situation) levels. The results for idea unit comprehension by text (see Figure 45) provide some support for the positive effect of questions glosses on the readers construction of a textbase model, regardless of the type of text that was read. By combining the results of the quantitative analyses of the recall and think-aloud prot ocols, a connection between the percentage of idea units and the number of LUPs and CIs emerged. Question glosses

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71 usually triggered more LUPs, and more LUPs resulted in higher idea unit comprehension scores and a higher number of CIs. The most dramatic and surprising findi ng was the very low number of MRs for S3, S6, and S8 in comparison to S4, and S7. S8 had the overall lowest number of MRs for Texts 2-7, placing him into the same category with S2 and S5 who achieved the highest comprehension scores in Q and NQ respectively. Research Question 2 Research Question 2 asked to what ex tent and how questi on glosses prompt readers to monitor their comprehension pr ocesses and produce causal inferences. In order to answer this question, quantitative re sults as reported above are viewed in the context of individual readers histories and the qualitative analyses of the think-aloud protocols, the exit-interviews, and the pr eand post-study ques tionnaires (See Appendix H). Table 4-6 (below) lists ei ght major factors that affected how a reader approached the task at hand. S1, S4, S5 and S7 had studied German since High School and commanded a large vocabulary. S1 and S5 achieved very high AAT G test scores, while S4 and S7 scored below 80%. S1s first course at the university level was the 3rd year level Introduction to Reading German Text. All of them had spent time in Germany and felt confident about their language skills and their cultural knowledge. These readers relied heavily on their pre-existing cultural knowle dge. Recall that S1 and S7 had the lowest number of LUPs, but nevertheless a high number of CIs (See Table 4-5). S1 had 15 MRs and S7 had 22 MRs. S4 had the highest number of MRs and the lowest number of CIs. These numbers can only be explained in light of thes e two readers personal histories (Table 4-6 above) and their comments about how and w hy they found question glosses helpful.

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72 Table 4-6. Individual Readers Historie s and Post-Study Questionnaire Results Ss AATG Scores College German High School German Study/ Travel in Germany Other Foreign Languages Comfort Reading from Screen Qs Help Add. Text Helps S1 100% 1st Course GER 3234 4 years 1 year Russian 5 5 5 S2 95% 2 Years None None Spanish Portuguese 4.5 4.5 5 S3 83% 2 Years None None None 5 4 5 S4 78% 2 Years 3 Years 6 Weeks Spanish 5 4 4 S5 96% 2 Years 3 Years 20 Days None 5 3 5 S6 88% 2 Years None 2 Weeks Swahili Spanish 4 5 5 S7 76% 1st Course GER 3234 4 Years 2 Years None 2 1 2 S8 83% 2 Years None 6 Weeks None 5 5 5 In contrast, S2, S3, S6, and S8 were th ird year students of German at the university level. Their AATG scores ranged from 95% for S2 to 83% for S3. Based on their AATG scores, S3, S6, and S8 appeared to have more formal knowledge about the language than S4 and S7, but not a larger vocabulary base. Only S8 had been to Germany and had participated in a six-week study abroad program. S2 had extensive experience in learning other foreign languages pr ior to this study. S6 was a linguistics major and had studied Swahili for two and a half years. All of them felt that they could not rely on previous knowledge and needed additional cultural/historical information for reading authentic German texts. Indeed, the quan titative results show that S2, S3, S6, and S8 had the highest number of LUPs. Quantitative results identified S2 and S5 as exceptional, highly proficient readers. Therefore, their qualitative datasets will be ex plored apart from the others to gain insight into how and why question glosses aided highe r-level processing for S2, but not for S5.

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73 While Table 4-6 above shows readers post-questionnaire re sponses rating the helpfulness of the question glosses and the a dditional textual information in the form of culture links, Tables 4-7 and 48 highlight readers comments during the reading process. Think-aloud protocols revealed readers strategies, their level of engagement with different texts, and why and how they thought question glosses help ed or hindered their comprehension process. Also, it is im portant to note that depending on their personalities, some participants expressed th eir thoughts and emotions more readily than others. For example, while S8 did not give vent to his feelings as freely as S3 and S6, he constantly shared what he was thinking a nd what he looked up. Thus, the think-aloud protocols of S3, S6, and S8 provided valuable insights into how much energy and time Table 4-7. Readers View of Question Glosses S1 I dont like the little red things because they distract me from reading. (S1, Text 3; Think-aloud (October 2003).The dots. I thought they were stimulating. They made you think, they made you recall things so in that case they were good But I thought they were bad though, because they distracted from the text. Like I told you before, I sort of just read in a flow, and if that flow is interrupted, it sort of gets messed up for me. (S1, Text 3; Interview, October; 2003). S2 They serve as a reminder this is why its happening. (S2, Text 3; Interview, October, 2003). The Qs helped me figure out what was going on and they did not distract me. (S2, Text 7; Interview, October 2003). S3 I liked the dots and felt good that I could answer most of the questions (S3, Text 3; Interview) It always annoys me when I read with the Qs. Although sometimes the Qs help, () when I dont get one of these Qs or when I dont understand the question, it makes me, you know, feel bad, I guess. (S3, Text 7; Think-aloud; November, 2003). S4 I dont really need them. For clarification, things like that, it may be helpful, yes. But I dont have too much problem with German. (S4, Text 3, Interview, October 2003). I think the questions definitely helped. It changes the way I think about the story. (S4, Text 7, Interview, November, 2003). S5 I dont know that they helped me, but they were fun activities! (S5) S6 Yes, some of those Qs were really helpful. I never would have thought about what they were like asking me to think about unless I had those questions. (S6, Text 5; Interview; November, 2003). They were interesting. They like make you take a step back from the text and think about it in another way. Like, oh, this is in 1970, so they are visiting old camps. So as I read, a light went on and said think about it this way! this is what they are talking about. (S6, Text 6; Interview, November, 2003). S7 The Qs are not really helpful. (S7, Text 2, Interview) S8 They clued me in that there may be something missing. (S8, Text 6; Interview, November, 2003).

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75 read out loud in German. S1 repeatedly made the point that he di d not like for anything to interrupt the flow, not even the internal di ctionary, My technique is to read straight through and when I dont know something, a word I just leave it behind and I eventually get it. The vocabulary on the right is helpful, but is allows me to cheat. It is sort of annoying to me in that way. I looked on the ri ght instead of just trying to read it and understand it as a whole (Tex t 2, Interview; October, 2003) Whenever this reader encountered a particularly difficult passage in a text, he said to himself that it didnt matter and kept reading. He spoke to himself in the German dialect that he had learned and internalized while living in a region of Saxony for a year Once he had read through the text the first time, he would reread and summarize what he had understood in English. After S1 read the first time with the question glosses and f ound that they distracted him, we negotiated a compromise. To accommodate his reading strategy, he would click on the prompts after he had read the entire text S4 stopped to look up some words, but rarely shared her thoughts about how she made sense of the text or how she felt during the think-aloud. Crosschecki ng the interviews with the th ink-aloud protocols revealed that S4 did not always mention when she was looking up cultural information. It is therefore possible that S4 had more LUPs a nd also more elaborative inferences than actually could be counted. That is the most likely e xplanation of why she could have such a high percentage of idea units, but the lo west number of CIs overall. Her idea unit scores show that S4 made the connections, but there is little evidence of how she made them. However, since S4 also had the highe st number of MRs overall, one can assume that she often drew the wrong c onclusions about what certain passages in a text meant. S7 also translated the texts quickly and effi ciently. He made it very clear from the beginning that he did not need question prompts. He clicked on the little red dots (Text

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76 2, Interview; October 2003) to re ad Text 2, but said in the exit interview that they didnt help. He also believed very strongly that he needed no additional in formation to read a text (See Table 4-6). While the other readers had great di fficulty staying focused on Text 3 ( Rauher Kapitalismus ) and found it quite boring, S1 enjoyed r eading this long text. He had lived for a year in the former GDR as an exchange student and had first-hand knowledge of the difficult transition from a socialist to a capit alist economy. As stated above, the idea unit score for Text 3 is the highest score S1 achie ved. Despite 0 LUPs, S1 also had 19 CIs, his highest number of CIs in the course of the study. His idea un it score was over 60%, whereas his propositional score on the same text was one of the lowest. S1 did not recall detail, but summarized the main and supporting ideas in his own words. He stated that the prompts were stimulating and helped him recall specific cultural background information (See Table 4-7). In other instan ces, S1 clicked on the question glosses and the background information, but did not see why the information was important and was unable to make the connections (See Table 48). S4 had similar problems to S1 with Text 4 ( Wer ist ein Trke ) and Text 5 (Die erste eigene Wohnung) They both read Text 4 in Q and Text 5 in NQ. Like S1, S4 stated in the exit interview that she saw that it (the Ford Granada) was a car, but didnt have a clue what the significance was (See Table 48). S7 said that his own experience with Tu rks in Germany influenced how he read Text 4. He had lived in a small German town with a large Turkish population. He clearly enjoyed reading this text and thought it wa s easy to read. Whenever S7 and other participants said a text was easy to read, they were re ferring to the linguistic/surface level. They meant that they did not have to look up many words and that the sentences

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77 were not too long. However, S7s answers in the exit interview showed that he misread parts of Text 4 and completely missed out on the satire. Reading Text 5 in NQ, S1 and S4 failed to make the connection between what the text said about real and false Jews and the appropriate historical information. In order to understand why some immigrants from the former Soviet Union pretended to be Jews, it was crucial to know about the special privileges the German government granted Russian Jews in Post-Wall Berlin. S7 read Text 5 in Q and found it easy to ready. When asked during the interview why the Russian Jews came to East Berlin rather than going to Israel, he said grinning, Becau se its flat (Text 5; Interview, November, 2003). S7s answer had no basis in the text itself. The manner in whic h he responded to this question showed his lack of interest in this particular topic and in continuing this conversation. S1 and S4 read Text 6 ( Die Fragenden ) without and S7 read it with the question glosses. Text 6 is an example where S1 made the interpretation of the text fit what he already knew about Buchenwald from his stay in the GDR and the biography of Peter Hrtling, the author. S1 said he understood that they (the thr ee young communists) are going back to the camp ( Buchenwald ) to look for someone, to find their grave, because I think it was their parents that were killed there as communists (Text 6; Interview, November, 2003). S4 said about Text 6 that although she could translate the words, It did not make any sense. There was something about schwarz auf wei (black letters on white paper) and I had no idea what that meant (S4, Text 6, Interview, November, 2003). This reader became aware that although she knew each word, she still did not understand what the words meant in this particul ar context. S7 clicked on the Qs, but did not give them any thought. For example, he answered the question gloss What does the

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78 author mean when he says the young man re placed the silence of his fathers with his own? by translating the lines in the text without looking for any underlying meaning. S1 and S4 changed their look-up behavior for Text 7 (Der Zweite Teil des Skandals), but S7 did not. While reading Text 7, S1 did not wait until after he had read the text to click on the Qs and look up a dditional information. Like S4, he looked up most links and answered the questions as he proceeded through the text. It became evident in the interview that S4 understood the connection between Friedman the Jew and the illegal sex workers who ar e deported if caught. She said, I think the questions definitely helped. Like the one about wh ether prostitution was legal in Germany. I didnt think so, but when I looke d on the links, it appears that it is. So, uh, so, uh, thats something that I didnt realize that makes it uh, changes the way I think about the story (S4, Text 7; Interview, November, 2003). S7 also looked up background information on Work Permits for Sex Workers in Germany. He conceded during the interview that he probably should also have looked up Michel Friedman. S7 did not understand why a womens rights organization would ask Frie dman to take up the cause of illegal prostitutes who were deported when caught without work permits. S7 said about Friedman, I guess, he was some kind of news guy. Is he black? (S 7, Text 7; Interview; November, 2003). Like S4, S7 accumulated a very high number of MRs. Nevertheless, he also had the second highest average scor e on the idea unit tests in NQ and in Q and more CIs than S4 and S8. Comprehension Processes and Monitoring: S3, S6, S8 Not at all confident of their knowledge of the German language and culture, S3, S6, and S8 looked up the most words and th e most background information, generated the most CIs and the fewest MRs. S6 took from 30 to 80 minutes reading the texts and

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79 doing the think-aloud task, had a grand total of 99 CIs, and 24 total LUPs (in Q and NQ), the second highest number. S3 spent between 42 and 75 minutes and S8 between 27 and 80 minutes for reading the texts and recording the think-alouds S8 took the most time for reading and recording the think-alouds and wrote the shortest recalls overall Both S3 and S8 had extensive experience with learning German online, but only S8 indicated that he enjoyed reading online. In the post-study questionnaire, S6 indicated that she would have rated reading from the computer screen very low in the beginning of the study, but became more comfortable with it over tim e (See Table 4-6). Throughout the study, S6 complained about not being able to take not es about what she had read and forgetting words that she had already looked up. Base d on the results of the proposition and idea unit analysis alone, S6 does not fit into the group that consistently read better either in the Q or the NQ condition. She scored higher in NQ than in Q for idea units and had more CIs in NQ than in Q (See Table 4-5). The an alysis of her think-al oud protocols revealed that she struggled with bottom-up processing. Therefore, it was expected that she would score higher for idea units when reading with question glosse s. However, S6 made full use of the additional glossing surrounding each text whether she read in Q or NQ. Whenever she got stuck she would consult the cultural links (See Table 4-8). Although she became overwhelmed and frustrated at times with the amount of information available to her (See Table 48), her general attitude towa rd the prompts and the extra information remained very positive throughout the study. S6 provides an example of talking herself through difficult passages in the text. About her reading strategy, she said, I've noticed from times before when I try to like scan over the whole paragraph, I get so lost that it doesn't really do me any good. So I'll try to read it sentence by sentence

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80 and figure out what the words mean and th en power through. So, bit by bit, not by paragraph. (Text 4; Thinkaloud; November, 2003). S3 and S8 followed the same type of bottom-up approach and used question prompts and culture links to fill in the gaps Like S6, S3 commented repeatedly how difficult it was for him to read in German, a nd that looking up addi tional information did not make it easier for him (See Table 4-8). Despite laboring intens ely at decoding the texts, S8 also made the extra effort to scan mo st of the links for most of the texts. These readers also noticed that Text 6 (Die Fragenden ) was difficult to understand despite its short sentences. S3 read Text 6 without the question glosses. He commented in the exit interview that he was able to figure out that the three young communists were looking for a sub-camp only because he had looked at the links. S8 also came to realize that question prompts clued him in on what was missing (See Table 4-7). For example, he answered Q6 in Text 6 about what the author meant when he said that the young man in the story replaced his fathers silen ce with his own. S8 was the only participant who made the obscure connection between the silence of th e fathers who did not speak out against the crimes committed against Jews and the young man who fell silent when he heard the survivors testimony. It became evident from the think-alouds and the interviews that S8 not only read the links, but also drew the appr opriate inferences to construct a situation model of the text. However, S8s test scores dropped off drastically for Text 7 in NQ. Although he did not have fewer LUPs, he failed to look up pertinent information on Michel Friedman and therefore missed some of the main ideas. He only spent 26 minutes for the think-aloud task and wrote a 58-word recall for a text that had 488 words. Exit interviews revealed that S3 and S6 enjoyed reading Text 5 (Die erste eigene Wohnung) because it was short and seemed easy to read. Interestingly, S3s idea unit

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81 score dropped considerably for this text although he still had 5 LUPs, read for 51 minutes, and produced a 209-word recall for a 488-word text He said in the exitinterview that it was either very easy or he misunderstood. Indeed, reading Text 5 without question glosses, S3 did misunderstand a couple of major points at the end of the story. S6 read with questi on glosses, had the highest num ber of LUPs for Text 5, but also a lower score than for th e previous and much longer te xt. In fact, S6s idea unit scores dropped for Texts 5, 6 and 7. She sp ent much less time for the think-alouds and wrote shorter recalls. For Text 5 she had th e highest number of LUPs and 21 CIs, but the lowest idea unit score overall. She spent onl y 36 minutes for the think-aloud and wrote a 143-word recall. Comprehension Processes and Monitoring: S2 and S5 The quantitative results show that S5 and S2 were both excellent readers. However, while S2 used the prompts to monitor his comprehension, S5 did not. Their qualitative data bring to light the fact that they approached the online reading task with different mind-sets. While S2 looked forw ard to perhaps making the leap to online reading, S5 was less optimistic. Once she en countered difficulties with the recording system in the lab and one of her think-alouds was lost, S5 became anxious about reading online. S2 spent between 20 and 30 minutes for the think-aloud activity before writing the recalls. S5 took more time, but usua lly finished in less than one hour. During the think-alouds, S2 was very much aware of the res earchers presence. Usually, S2 introduced himself, greeted me, and told me how he would go about reading the text, Lets say first Im gonna read a little bit. So itll be quiet. Ill chime in with interesting facts and what not (S2, Text 2, Think-aloud; Oc tober, 2003). He apologized for feeling sick and not being as alert as usual, for not talking enough, for jumping the

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82 gun when he made a prediction reading Text 2 (Kannitverstan) At the end of the second think-aloud, S2 shared that he had been anxious and felt great relief that he had enjoyed and understood Kannitverstan S2s strategy did not change throughout the study. He read quietly, announced when he looked up information, and then summarized in English what and how he had understood the text. On the other hand, S5 spoke a nearly perf ect translation of the texts into the microphone. Occasionally she expressed feelings of delight or dismay about vocabulary that was or was not glossed next to the text. Following the instructions very closely, she then wrote all she could rememb er in the recall protocol. Sh e wrote more than any other student and achieved the highest scores in NQ for both the propositional and the idea unit test. Likewise, S2 and S5 had different views on the usefulness of prompts and culture links. S5 assured the researcher that she had no trouble understanding the texts and therefore had no need for the links. She di dnt take the question prompts seriously and refused to think about them. For example, S5 responded to Q3 in Text 5, What does the author imply? by stating The author does not imply. The au thor says right out that the Vietnamese didnt know anything about ci garette trafficking (S5, Think-aloud; November, 2003). However, she missed the irony in that remark. The author implied what is common knowledge in Germany, na mely that the Vietnamese, once guest workers in the former GDR, had become a formidable problem because of organized crime. In contrast, S2 did not rely as much on his prior knowledge as did S5. Although S2 did not like to spend much time on read ing links and thought some were unnecessary, he said that they helped remind him why so mething was happening (S ee Table 4-7). S2 enjoyed Text 4 because he had lived in Turk ey for six years and had extensive knowledge

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83 of that country, its history and its people. He said that although he had previously studied about the situa tion of the Turks in Germany, the question prompts still helped. For example, prompted by a question gloss, S2 concluded that the reason the Turks liked the Ford Granada was because Turks had big families. S2 also knew that Germans tend to have one or two children and drive small cars. S2 read Text 5 and Text 6 in NQ. While he perceived Text 5 as a simple story, he thought that Text 6 was the most difficult of all the texts. S2 commented that this text required a lot of outside knowledge to really make sense of whats going on (Tex t 6; Interview, November, 2003). He made use of the cultural links because he had no prior knowledge of Buchenwald, its subcamps, or the existence of special camps fo r women. Genuine shock and disbelief about the long list of sub-camps were very apparent in S2s think-aloud pr otocol. For Text 7, S2 used both the Qs and the links. Again, he commented that the Qs helped him to figure out what was going on and they di d not distract him (See Table 47). This is a clear case of a reader who monitored his comprehens ion processes, noti ced cultural knowledge gaps, and looked for explanations. S2 used the prompts to keep on track, but did not necessarily need them. S5 read Text 6 with the question glosses, but did not think about them. When she was unable to answer probing questions during th e exit interview, S5 remarked, There is a whole education in your li ttle links (Text 6; Intervie w, November, 2003). This particular interview reveal ed that while S5 was not uninformed about the issues surrounding this particular text, she did not understand its deeper meaning. The note S5 added to the post-study questi onnaire summed up nicely what she thought of question prompts. She wrote, I dont know that they helped me, but they were fun activities! (See Table 4-7).

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84 In sum, in order to answer Research Qu estion 2 regarding to what extent and how question glosses were used to support higher-l evel processing, each readers qualitative dataset was analyzed and compared with the da tasets of the other r eaders within her/his group. Groups had been formed based on th e comprehension scores, the number of LUPs, CIs and MRs, and indivi dual readers histories a nd responses to the post-study questionnaire. Indeed, while the analyses of the think-aloud protocol s yielded a different profile for each individual reader, certain learner/reader characteristics emerged to explain why question glosses were useful or not and which kind of reader was likely to use question glosses to monito r her/his reading comprehensi on. Readers who had great confid ence in their linguistic ski lls and in their knowledge of the German culture were less likely to use the question prompts. S1, S4, and S7 belonged in this category. These readers pe rceived question glosses as unnecessary and even as an intrusion into their private interact ions with the text. S1 used question glosses primarily to activate prior know ledge. S4s think-aloud protoc ols provide little evidence that the question glosses enable d her to go beyond the textbase level of a text. She was an efficient reader capable of making the c onnections at the text base level, relying primarily on her large vocabulary base. In th is first group, S7 was the least likely reader to benefit from question glosses. Like S1, he had lived and gone to school in Germany for an extended period of time and was very comfortable speaking the language. Whenever S7 answered the question prompts, he did so reluctantly a nd in a belligerent or condescending tone. He was satisfied to in terpret a text based on what he thought he knew about the German people and their culture. It is understandable that a reader with his history and his kind of mi nd-set would fail to benefit fr om the question glosses.

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85 In contrast, S3, S6, and S8 share some l earner/reader characteristics that made them the most likely candidates to us e the question glosse s to improve their understanding of a text. They had far less confidence in th eir language ability and their prior knowledge of German culture and hist ory. The think-aloud pr otocols show that these three readers had to look up many word s and labored over difficult syntax. For most of the texts, they spent the extra e ffort and time it required to think about the prompts and scan the pre-selected websites for cultural information. They generated more CIs and fewer MRs than the first group. S2 and S5 were different from the indi viduals in the other two groups because they consistently achieved the highest idea unit scores in Q and in NQ respectively. Both were skilled comprehenders who made connect ions at both the textbase and situation levels of a text and had few misreadings. Th ey both read well with and without question glosses. However, while S5 gave them little or no thought, S2 used them to hone his metacognitive skills. Research Question 3 Research Question 3 addressed whether question glosses aff ect readers look-up behavior over a period of time. Will read ers take advantage of glosses other than dictionary glosses in response to question pr ompts and will they continue to do so even without question glosses? In order to determine change over time, a Wilcoxon signed ranks test was performed for Text 1 (D1) vs. Text 8 (D2) within Group I and within Group II for propositions and for idea unit sc ores. For Group I, no significant difference was found for propositions and idea unit scor es. For Group II, there was no significant difference for propositions. For idea units, however, a trend towards significance was

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86 found (p=0.068). While this does not reach the value of p=0.05 necessary for statistical significance, it does indicate a tre nd toward change over time. In the post-study questionnaire, the participants of this study unanimously agreed that the external and the inte rnal dictionary were most helpful (See Appendix H). The question whether the readers in this study l ooked up more than dictionary glosses has already been answered. Ind eed, quantitative results show th at primarily those readers who struggled the most with bottom-up pro cessing and had to look up more words than the more fluent readers also used the questi on and the cultural information glosses. The analysis of the qualitative datasets of th ese readers revealed that they looked for explanations outside the text when they became bogged down with words and syntax. The question that remains to be answered is whether the question glosses affected readers look-up behavior over the period of eight weeks and, if so, if they continued to look up information even without the questi on glosses. Table 4-9 below shows the combined quantitative results for all participants reading Text 1 ( Amerika ) and Text 8 ( Good Bye Lenin ) without question glosses before a nd after the treatment period. For both texts, readers could use the internal dict ionary and were free to browse the internet for additional information. Text 1 ( Amerika ) was a consciousness-oriented narrative and Text 8 ( Good Bye Lenin ) an expository text. They we re comparable in length and difficulty of syntax. Text 8 was longer than Text 1, but contained familiar content about the demise of the GDR and the Fall of the Berlin Wall. Half of the readers recall ed a higher percentage of propositions for Text 8 (D2) than for Text 1 (D1). S2, S3, S5, and S6 recalled more and S1, S4, S7, and S8 recalled fewer propositions for Text 8 than for Text 1. A comparison of percentages of idea units recalled for Text 1 (D1) and Te xt 8 (D2) shows that only S3 scored higher on Text 8 than

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87 on Text 1. Indeed, S3 improved his score by nearly 50%, while S7 showed the largest decline. S7 dropped from 41.51% for Text 1 to 16.09% (60%) for Text 8. It has already been establis hed in this study that the raw numbers of CIs tend to rise and fall with the idea unit comprehens ion scores and possibly, but not necessarily, with the number of LUPs. Each readers number of LUPs and CIs for Text 1(D1) and Text 8 (D2) as well as a progr ession from Texts 2-7 are repo rted (See Table 4-4). The number of MRs for Text 1 and Text 8 ar e also included. Th e number of MRs are indicative of how well a reader managed to c onstruct a situation mode l of the text based on appropriate background information without the prompts and without pre-selected cultural links. Table 4-9 above shows that S 2, S3, and S7 had 0 LUPs for Text 1 and 0 LUPs for Text 8. Based on these numbers alone, no training effect took place for these three readers over a period of ei ght weeks. S2s idea unit score was lower for Text 8 than for Text 1 and the number of CIs dropped also from 15 to 3. Throughout the study, S2 looked up more in NQ than in Q and accumulate d the highest number of LUPS for Text 6 in NQ. In the exit-interview, S2 commented that he used the internal dictionary for reading Text 8, but did not use the Internet to look up information about the movie Good Bye Lenin. Although he did not know the m ovie, he felt that he had gained enough Table 4-9. Readers Combined Quantitative Re sults for Text 1 (D1) and Text 8 (D2) S Text 1 P Text 8 P Text 1 IU Text 8 IU Text 1 LUPs Text 8 LUPs Text 1 CIs Text 8 CIs MR Text 1 MR Text 8 1 9.48% 4.39% 25.47%19.54% 2 4 8 2 8 2 2 10.95% 13.39% 58.49%41.95% 0 0 15 6 0 1 3 3.59% 9.01% 15.09%30.46% 0 0 9 15 1 5 4 12.09% 10.05% 38.68%29.31% 0 4 0 5 0 5 5 12.25% 18.48% 42.45%39.66% 0 2 13 13 0 3 6 7.03% 8.66% 33.02%28.16% 0 2 25 17 8 5 7 6.70% 6.12% 41.51%16.09% 0 0 8 11 6 9 8 2.61% 1.27% 4.72% 2.30% 0 2 3 11 0 2

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88 knowledge about the GDR from the other text s he had read in this study to understand Text 8. Thus, 0 LUPs for this reader may have meant that he felt he had no gaps and therefore did not need to look up more inform ation. It does not mean that there was no training effect over time. S2s comments throughout the study i ndicate that prompts helped him develop his metacognitive skills. For S3 there was a steady increase in th e number of LUPS from the beginning to the end of the study. After reading Text 3 and 4 in Q, he continued to look up information reading Text 5 and Text 6 in NQ (See Table 4-4). Despite 0 LUPs for Text 1 and Text 8, S3 had 9 CIs for Text 1 and 15 fo r Text 8. Thus, the number of CIs increased along with his idea unit score for Text 8. S3s qualitative dataset revealed that he attempted to look up information, but experience d problems with the university server. It was shortly before the Christmas break, and si nce S3 had already rescheduled reading the last text once before, he d ecided to continue. The only s upport he had was the internal dictionary. S3 said in the exit-interview, One time Googl e did work! And whats hard for me is, I guess, is being spoon fed the culture part kind of spoiled me. Its hard to look it up yourself. I tried to look up the person who critiqued the play. I tried to look her up and all I found was something on erotic cookery. And that didnt help. And that is pretty typical for what happens when I look up cultura l stuff. I have to go through a big mess until I find what is useful. (Text 8; Intervie w; December, 2003). S3 also registered 1 MR for Text 1 vs. 5 MRs for Text 8. Although S7s idea unit score was 60% lower for Text 8 than for Text 1, he had three more CIs for Text 8 than for Text 1. S7 did not know the movie and he did not look up any information about it. S7 had only 9 LUPs across all eight texts, the lowest number of all participants. He had 5 LUPs for Text 5 and then dropped off again to 0

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89 LUPs for Text 8. His qualitative dataset indi cates that S7 did not change his mind about question prompts and additional information. There was no apparent change in look-up behavior over time. S1, S4, S5, S6, and S8 looked up more for Text 8 (D2) than for Text 1. S1 was the only reader who looked up any informati on for Text 1 (D1). In his think-aloud he reasoned that perhaps the Aust rian author was writing abou t himself and his journey to America. S1 then inappropriately interprete d the story based on the authors biography. Although his overall number of LUPs remain ed one of the three lowest of all the participants, S1 had 2 LUPs for Text 1 and the most LUPs for the last two texts, Text 7 in Q and Text 8 in the dictionary-only condition. S1 had 4 LUPs for Text 8. He had heard about the movie before and googled the trailers. In the exit interview for Text 8, S1 demonstrated that he understood the narrative of the film and the critique. However, S1s idea unit scores for both Text 7 and Text 8 ar e very low in comparison to the scores of Text 2, Text 3, and Text 4. His change in look-up behavior for Te xt 7 did not lead to higher idea unit scores and more CIs. Similarly, S4 had a low number of LUPs overall, but for Text 8 she accumulated more LUPs than anyone else. Although her id ea unit score is lower for Text 8 than for Text 1, the number of CIs is slightly higher. S4s number of LU Ps increased slightly over the period of eight weeks. She changed her look-up behavior in Text 7 and achieved a higher idea unit score for Text 7 than for the previous two texts. Since S4 spoke a translation and did not give the researcher a window into her comprehension processes, the number of CIs that could be counted was still very low. The number of MRs was up from 0 for Text 1 to 5 for Text 8.

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90 S5 had the same number of CIs for Text 1 and Text 8, although she had 0 LUPs for Text 1 and 2 LUPs for Text 8. S5 always had more LUPs in Q than in NQ, but the third lowest number of LUPs of all the pa rticipants. However, when she saw that no links were provided for Text 8, S5 went to Google and looked up several items. There is no evidence that S5 changed her mind about the usefulness of prompts and/or extratextual information. S6 had 3 or 4 LUPs per text whether she read in Q or in NQ. She had the most LUPs and a high number of CIs for Text 5 in Q, but the lowest idea unit score. Although her number of LUPs and CIs remained fa irly high throughout the study, her idea unit scores nevertheless continued to fall for the last four texts. S6s idea unit score, number of CIs, and number of MRs were higher for re ading Text 1 than Text 8. The high number of LUPS and CIs and the low idea unit scores may be an indication that S6 was not always successful in editi ng out irrelevant information. Based on numbers alone, there is no reason to believe that S6 benefited from th e prompts. However, the analysis of the qualitative data shows that S6 did make use of the question glosses. It is possible that the question glosses helped her de velop a greater awareness of how she was processing the texts. She noticed gaps and looked up extra information in Q and in NQ. Therefore an indirect training effect ove r time can be claimed. S8s idea unit scores were extremely low for Text 1, Text 7, and for Text 8. Although he had 5 LUPs for Text 7, the id ea unit score dropped to 4.44%. S8 had 0 LUPs for Text 1 vs. 2 LUPs for Text 8 and his idea unit scores were 4.72% and 2.30% respectively. Despite the low comprehensi on score for Text 8, the number of CIs for Text 8 was higher than for Text 1, Text 2, Text 4, Text 6, and Text 7. He had 2 MRs for Text 8. S8 said in the exit-interview that since he was familiar with the film Good Bye

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91 Lenin, he was not compelled to look up in formation. He seemed pleased with his progress and said, I just found myself being able to read whole sentences without looking. That is good because my conversationa l German is really bad, so its nice to have some improvements in some areas (Text 8, Interview; December, 2003). Although his scores imply a different story, S8 felt he re ad better at the end of the study than at the beginning. Improvement meant for S8 that he did not have to l ook up so many words and that he grasped the meaning of sentences more quickly. The extremely low idea unit scores toward the end of the study appear to be a result of very short recall protocols. The last text was 918 words long and S8 wrot e a 119-word recall protocol. Nevertheless, there was a definite training e ffect for question glosses. Fo ur months after the study, S8, the only participant who trul y liked reading online, was still reading German news articles online. He said that even when he read German from a book, he would open several windows on his computer. Not only di d he continue to use LEO, but also made use of other online resources after the study. In his opi nion, there are only two disadvantages to reading text online: you cannot write notes into the text itself, and you must sit at the computer. In sum, the quantitative and qualitative findings for Research Question 3 suggest that over a period of eight weeks most partic ipants look-up behavior was affected by the question glosses. With the exception of S5 and S7, readers learned to take advantage of the prompts to varying degrees and based on their individual needs. Although the idea unit scores decreased for most readers towa rd the end of the study and were therefore lower for Text 8 than for Text 1, their numbe r of LUPs and CIs generally increased. S3 was the exception because his idea unit score was higher for Text 8 than for Text 1. Due to technical difficu lties, S3 could not use the internet to look up background

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92 information when he read Text 8. Despite a higher number of MRs, S3 constructed a solid textbase and situation mode l of Text 8 with the help of the internal dictionary and his prior knowledge of the events surrounding the Fall of the Berlin Wall.

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93 CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION The findings of the present st udy seem to contradict claims that L2 readers do not build coherent situation mode ls of texts because their efforts are concentrated on the surface and textbase levels (i.e., Zwaan & Brown, 1996). The quantitative analyses of the recalland think-aloud prot ocols of this study revealed that interspersed question glosses in a hypermedia environment enable d those participants who struggled with bottom-up processing to improve their comprehe nsion scores, generate more inferences, and construct accurate situation models of the texts. These results are in line with an interactive compensatory process model of L2 reading (Stanovich, 1980) that states that the reader compensates for a deficiency at one level of processing by increased efforts at processing at another level. The results of the qualitative analysis of the think-aloud protocols illustrate how the individual reader constructed meaning as she/he engaged in both bottom-up and top-down processes. T hose readers who lack ed automaticity in sentence level syntactic and semantic proces sing used the question glosses to go beyond the surface and textbase level to construc t situation models of the text based on appropriate cultural and historical bac kground information. Furthermore, question glosses enabled these L2 readers to not only generate more causal inferences, but also avoid misreading the texts. The findings of the present study c onfirm Lomickas (1998) conclusion that interspersed questions aid th e development of a situ ation model of text comprehension.

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94 The present findings are consistent w ith an explanation-based theory of comprehension (i.e., Trabasso & Magliano, 1996 ), which posits that a reader has to understand why something occurs in the text, in order to construct a coherent mental model of the text. Accordingly, question glos ses helped the less proficient intermediatelevel readers to repair breaks in coherence by alerting them to possi ble explanations for story events and actions and allowing them to make the connections at the local and global levels. On the other hand, those read ers who relied primarily on their vocabulary knowledge and the activation of their existing schemata of German culture often misread a text without being aware of it. Question glosses were designed to enc ourage readers to continually question, reassess, and revise their inte rpretation of the text. Thus the use of question glosses required a greater mental effort by the L2 read er and led to an incr eased engagement with the text. The results of the qualitative anal ysis of the think-aloud protocols obtained in the present study concur with evidence from previous studies (Lau fer & Hulstijn, 2001; Rott & Williams, 2004), which found that increased involvement of the L2 reader facilitates greater depth of cognitive processing. Generally, greater depth of cognitive processing resulted in the generation of more causal inferences and facilitated the recall of main and supporting ideas. Thus, questi on glosses provided a ssistance and training with regard to L2 readers higher-level processing skills. Based on previous research ( i.e., Carpenter & Just, 1987; Koda, 1992) it was predicted that those readers who did not have to pay so much attention to the decoding of a text would engage in more top-down processing such as in ference and analysis. That was not necessarily the case in this study. Indeed, current fi ndings revealed that readers who had a high degree of automaticity in lo wer-level processing of ten did not make the

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95 effort to become engaged with the texts at a deeper level and, as a result, generated fewer inferences and more misreadings than those readers who labored ove r decoding each text. Previous research has also found that low proficiency readers primarily access glosses to determine the mean ing of a word and do not expl ore other available resources (Davis & Lyman-Hager, 1997). While this may be true for hypermedia environments without built-in guidance, it did not hold tr ue for reading with question prompts. Quantitative and qualitative results provided evidence that those readers who had to look up more words than the more fluent read ers also used the question glosses. This study also found that most readers look-up behavior in response to question glosses changed over time. Some of the more fluent readers began to increase their lookups toward the end of the study after experien cing how question glosses had helped them notice and consequently fill the gaps in their existing schemata. Less fluent readers continued to look up cultural and historical in formation when they were reading a text without the question glosses, and they looked up more for Text 8 than for Text 1. In spite of an increase in look-ups for some readers toward the end of the study, more look-ups and more causal inferences di d not necessarily produce higher idea unit comprehension scores. Previous L1 reading research (i.e., Trabasso & Magliano, 1996) had concluded that less skilled comprehenders might draw more elaborative inferences than more skilled comprehenders because they do not edit out irrelevant information. This principle also applied in the present study in the case of th e less proficient L2 readers who read without the question glosses. Toward the end of the study it became evident that those less proficient readers w ho had come to depend on the question glosses and the pre-selected links for guidance experienced great difficulty filtering out what was relevant to the text itself a nd drawing appropriate conclusi ons when the question glosses

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96 and links were not provided. This may explai n why these readers continued to generate a high number of look-ups and causal inferences without glosses, but failed to achieve higher idea unit comprehension scores. Despite the fact that each reader in this study recei ved the same instructions and question glosses potentially enabling all interm ediate level readers to construct accurate situation models of the texts, results were very mixed. According to activity theory (Leontiev, 1978), outcomes or activities were di fferent for each of the eight participants of this study because outcomes are determined by the individual readers response to the assigned task based on personal history, learner characterist ics, and her/his level of motivation and engagement. Re sults indicated that if and how readers made use of the question prompts was largely affected by the individuals perception of her/his language skills and prior knowledge of the German hist ory and culture. The think-aloud protocols provided a glimpse into how each participant interpreted and engaged with the reading task in similar, but nevertheless distinct ways. The analysis of the think-aloud protocol s of the present study supports the notion of the re-externalization of inner speech (i.e., Smith, 1996) and corroborates previous evidence (Roebuck, 1998) that individuals often re-interpret the meaning or intent of a difficult cognitive task. Concurre nt with the readers interac tion with the text, a type of social interaction took place in which individual readers asserted thei r agency within the experimental setting. Think-aloud protocols revealed how participants repositioned the self (Roebuck, 2000) when they felt overwhe lmed with making sens e of a particularly difficult passage. They literally talked th emselves through, attempting to gain control and to complete the task at hand. While they had initially agreed to the conditions of the experiment, these individuals nevertheless began to question the fairness of those

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97 conditions when they became a threat to self. By stating that their expectations about the assigned task had not been met (e.g., a te xt was too long; ke y vocabulary was not included; cultural links were too long; quest ion glosses were confusing rather than helpful; the noise level in the language lab was unacceptable), these individuals shifted the blame for possible failure away from themselves. Another form of repositioning took place as one of the readers renegotiated the task with the researcher based on his goals and needs. This reader would click on ly on the question prom pts after first reading the entire text. By reframing the task, he repositioned himself from that of the compliant experimental subject to the active co-participant who decided for himself how to best use the tools made available to him in th e hypermedia environment. Therefore, his activity was unique and different from th e activities of the other readers. In the current study, the reading task as planned by the researcher was for the subjects to write all they remembered after th ey had read a text a nd recorded their thinkaloud protocols. However, the activity th at was actually produced when most participants performed the task was a summ ary. A summary is qualitatively different from remembering isolated details. In this study, the same recall prot ocols were analyzed two different ways and yiel ded two different types of comprehension scores. The propositional measure seemed to reflect how much of the surface information (individual facts and details) the reader was able to re call. On the other hand, writing a summary required that the reader r ecalled how main and supporting ideas were connected. For example, the same reader who performed poorly on the propositional measure scored fairly high on the idea unit count because sh e/he did not recall much detail, but rather summarized the main ideas. Likewise, a read ers high score on the proposition count did not mean that she/he actually got the gist of the story.

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98 The way researchers define and assess compre hension is crucial to the field of L2 reading. It is common knowledge that the task a researcher assigns will influence how a reader interacts with the text and how she/he will r econstruct meaning With respect to reading comprehension assessments, while th e results of the present study demonstrate that using a combination of product and pr ocess measures provides the most accurate picture of how well a reader comprehends, th ese results must be understood holistically and interdependently as situated acti vity, as with any learning task.

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99 CHAPTER 6 CONCLUSIONS The purpose of this research has been to investigate the effects of question glosses on the comprehension processes of intermed iate-level learners of German reading authentic text in the hypermedia environment. Recall that Bernhardt (2000) argues that half of any given reading comprehension score is unaccounted for and lies in the individual differences of the L2 reader. Th ese individual differences include the readers comprehension strategies, leve l of engagement and motiva tion, and her/his background knowledge. Simply asking whether question pr ompts are helpful or not means ignoring much of the variance in reading comprehens ion scores. Therefore, the quantitative results of this study were interpreted in the context of each particip ants profile, asking for whom, and for what type of text que stion prompts were helpful. Individual participants profiles devel oped through think-aloud prot ocols, preand post-study questionnaires, and interviews revealed wh at each brought to the process and provided a window to understanding why question prompts seemed helpful to some individuals but were perceived as a hindrance by others. Number of Subjects One of the limitations of this study was the small number of subjects (n=8). Recruiting the subjects from a single introduct ory reading course for learners of German limited access to a larger student population, but simultaneously limited the effect of instructor variability. Due to the small num ber of participants, and the fact that the comprehension data were not normally distri buted, nonparametric sta tistical tests were

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100 performed. No statistically significant difference was found between Group I and Group II reading the glossed or un-gl ossed version of the treatment texts (Text 2 through 7). With a larger number of subjects, the di fference may well have reached statistical significance. For future research, it would be advantageous to replicate this study by collaborating with foreign language departme nts at other universi ties or within other foreign language programs in order to recru it a larger number of subjects. However, a larger number of subjects would limit the de gree to which the data could be looked at qualitatively. Technology Improvements The multiple-frame template for this study was created in 2003 and is now outdated. After completing the data collecti on and analysis, it beca me evident to the researcher that although this template served its basic purpose for pr esenting the core text along with the glosses, it lacked three important features. First, it l acked a built-in tracker to record each look-up for each reader; se cond, it lacked a mouse-over feature for unknown vocabulary; and third, it lacked an onlin e writing tool for readers. Since the data collection had to be conducted in the multim edia lab of the university rather than in a research lab, trackers could not be installed. It was feared that they might interfere with other software, i.e., the the recording system Several readers complained about losing their place in the text when they were scro lling up and down to find words in the internal dictionary. The mouse-over feature would ha ve been more convenient for readers who look up many words. Also, several readers missed writing down words or comments as they normally do when reading from a hard copy. A more technol ogically sophisticated reading program would have avoided this pr oblem by incorporating a note-pad for the readers as well as the other features noted above.

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101 Implications for Pedagogy As stated in the introducti on, reading is at the hear t of language and culture learning. The hypermedia environment allows foreign language teac hers to provide an authentic cultural context for learning the language. However, it has been established that in order for learning to take place, we must create hypermedia environments that provide guidance and prevent readers from getting lost in cyberspace. Hypermedia environments for reading authentic text must incorporate aids for higher-level processing that help learners of a foreign language become more critical and i ndependent readers. This study has shown that some inte rmediate-level learners of German who struggled most with decoding a text compensate d for a lack of automaticity in lower-level processing by using question glosses. With the help of question glosses they generated more causal inferences and constructed situa tion models of the texts based on appropriate background information. Perhaps, most importan tly, they avoided misreading the texts. It is extremely important, particularly at the university level, to train students to become active participants in the construction of meaning. A number of studies have shown that strategy training improved readi ng comprehension (Ande rson, 1991; Barnett, 1989; Cohen, 1990; Swaffar et al., 1991). Readers can learn to use metacognitive strategies such as question pr ompts. In the course of this study, some readers pushed themselves to think about the prompts and to click on the links fo r extra information. Over time, some readers monitored thei r understanding of the text and looked up information even without the prompts. The fact that I conducted the exit interviews myself may have had some tr aining effect for some students. After finishing the recording and the recall, I asked each reader to answer questions about her/his experience with the text and the glosses: did they like the text, what helped them to understand it,

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102 and, if the reader said she/ he did not need to look up anything, I asked more probing questions about the content. The goal was to help the readers see for themselves that clicking on the prompts and scanning the extra information may be worthwhile. It could not be determined statistically whether these conversations with the researcher had any effect on these readers look-up behavior over time. However, it did become evident that by talking themselves through, some of th ese participants felt they were becoming better readers. In the present study, the think-aloud proce dure was used as a method of inquiry into the comprehension process. Thinking out loud can also be used as a means to teach readers to become more aware of their thinking processes and meaning construction (Kucan & Beck, 1997). L2 teachers at all le vels can model how to verbalize thought and engage learners in conversations about how they understand someth ing. Readers could be paired up to read a text and collaboratively reconstruct it s meaning. By articulating to a peer how the reader comes to understand so me passage in the text, the reader might become aware of certain strate gies that work. The goal is to help the individual become an independent critical reader and a skilled comprehender. Future Research Several subjects in this study were reluct ant to use the question prompts because they interrupted their private interaction w ith the text and interf ered with their own schema. In order to address this issue, futu re research should examine the combined use of an advance organizer (priming gloss) and interspersed questions (prompting glosses) in the hypermedia environment to better acco mmodate the individual reader. Advance organizers can present background information in the native language of the reader and create the appropriate cu ltural context for the te xt reading. If the re levant schema can be

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103 activated before the reader begi ns to read the text, she/he wi ll be better prepared to make the connections between the questions, the information in the text, and the background information in the advance organizer. This a pproach may also allow the reader to be a more active participant in the process, and, as a result, to feel less manipulated by the researcher/teacher. The responses of the subjects in th e present study suggest that background information must be chosen carefully and used sparingly. Less is apparently more. In this study, too much information overwhelmed readers. After spending 5-10 minutes of scanning extra information, readers tended to forg et what they had read in the core text and/or the meaning of the words they had looked up. In addition, with an advance organizer there is the danger that a reader wi ll decide what the text means based solely on information in the advance organizer and misread the text. Therefore, combining the priming and the prompting gloss to aid higher-l evel processes may be more helpful than using only one or the other. In conclusion, the presen t study has contributed to our understanding of how to guide and support higher-level processing for intermediate-level readers of a foreign language in the hypermedia environment. This study has shown that linguistic competence is not sufficient to truly unders tand a foreign text. Text comprehension requires both topic knowledge and cultura lly bound knowledge. By using question prompts, struggling readers who lacked fo reign language reading ability learned to monitor their understanding of a text and to look up the information they needed. With the help of the question prompts and the a dditional background information, these readers constructed appropriate textbase and situati on models of the texts and learned to read between the lines.

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104 APPENDIX A PRE-STUDY QUESTIONNAIRE Please take a few moments to answer so me questions about yourself and your foreign language learning experience. This information will be held in strict confidence and is for my research purposes only. It will not be shared with your instructor or any other member of the Depart ment of Germanic and Slavic Studies at the University of Florida. It will not be publishe d in any form that would make it possible to identify this information with you individually. Name: ____________________________ Age: __________________ Male _____ Female_____ Major field of study:_________________________ Minor_____________________________________ What is your native language (first language)? English_____ Spanish_____ German_____ Other_____ Have you learned and/or are you learning now another foreign language besides German? ____Yes ______No If yes, which language? ________________________ For how long? ____________________ Total years of German instruction: _________________________ Years of High School German: _____________________________

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105 Courses taken at UF: ___________________________________________________________________ Courses enrolled in at the present: ___________________________________________________________________ What is your GPA in German ____A ____B____C Study Abroad Experience: _____Yes _____No If yes, please elaborate: _______________________________________________________________________ Have you ever lived or traveled in a Germanspeaking country? ____Yes _____No If yes, where and for how long? _______________________________________________________________________ Do you enjoy reading in your native language? _____Yes _____No If yes, what kinds of texts to do like to read? _______________________________________________________________________ Do you have experience in reading and discus sing literary texts ( novels, short stories, poems etc.) in your native la nguage? _____Yes _____No _____Some How much time do you spend reading in English for pleasure each week? _______________________________________________________________________ How much time do you spend reading in German for pleasure each week? _______________________________________________________________________ Do you have experience in reading and discussing literary texts in German? _______Yes ______No _______ Some Do you feel comfortable using a co mputer? _____Yes _____No _____Somewhat How much time do you spend daily on the computer? Internet _________ email __________ Games ___________ Chatting __________ Course work __________ Have you ever used a computer for foreign language st udy? _____Yes _____No If yes, was this a positive experience? _____Yes _____ No Please elaborate on your positive/negative experience: ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________

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106 Briefly describe what types of technology/software you have used for which languages and what you liked or did not like about them: ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ Do you like reading a text online? ______Yes _______No You are now enrolled in an online reading cour se. How do you expect this course to be different from the traditional introductory course in reading German literature? What is it about the online environment that may prove helpful/problematic to you in coping with authentic German text? What do you think? ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ Thank you very much for answering these questions. CHRIS OVERSTREET

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107 APPENDIX B DESCRIPTION OF TEXTS Texts Genre Number of Words Number of Propositions Idea Units Points Text 1 Amerika Narrative 806 306 53 Text 2 Kannitverstan Narrative 850 271 46 Text 3 Rauher Kapitalismus Expository 1004 395 35 Text 4 Wer ist ein Trke Expository 1267 422 35 Text 5 Die erste eigene Wohnung Expository 558 235 51 Text 6 Die Fragenden Narrative 472 184 64 Text 7 Der Zweite Teil des Skandals Expository 488 207 45 Text 8 Good Bye Lenin Expository 918 433 87

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108 APPENDIX C SAMPLE TEXT SCREENS

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109 SCREEN 1

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110 SCREEN 2

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111 SCREEN 3

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112 APPENDIX D POST-STUDY QUESTIONNAIRE Thank you for completing all online reading tasks. Please take a few moments now to reflect on your online reading expe rience. Read the following statements carefully and respond by ci rcling one of the answers on the scale from strongly disagree to agree. This information will be held in strict confidence and is for my research purposes only. Thank you for your thoughtful answers. Name:________________________________ 1. I was comfortable with reading th e text on the computer screen. Strongly Disagree Disagr ee No Opinion Agree Strongly Agree _______1____________ 2__________3_________4____________5______ 2. The layout of the text was clear. Strongly Disagree Disagree No Opinion Agree Strongly Agree _______1____________ 2__________3_________4____________5______ 3. It was easy to scroll through the text. Strongly Disagree Disagree No Opin ion Agree Strongly Agree _______1____________ 2__________3_________4____________5______ 4. LEO was useful. Strongly Disagree Disagr ee No Opinion Agree Strongly Agree _______1____________ 2__________3_________4____________5______

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113 5. The internal dictionary was useful. Strongly Disagree Disagr ee No Opinion Agree Strongly Agree _______1____________ 2__________3_________4____________5______ 6. Additional textual background information was helpful for understanding the text. Strongly Disagree Disagr ee No Opinion Agree Strongly Agree _______1____________ 2__________3_________4____________5______ 7. Additional information in the form of pi ctures was helpful for understanding the text. Strongly Disagree Disagr ee No Opinion Agree Strongly Agree _______1____________ 2__________3_________4____________5______ 8. My prior knowledge of the topi c helped me understand the text. Strongly Disagree Disagree No Opinion Agree Strongly Agree _______1____________ 2__________3_________4____________5______ 9. The question glosses helped me figure out the meaning of a word/sentence or paragraph/section of a text. Strongly Disagree Disagr ee No Opinion Agree Strongly Agree _______1____________ 2__________3_________4____________5______ 10. The question glosses were helpful in fi guring out the overall meaning of a text. Strongly Disagree Disagr ee No Opinion Agree Strongly Agree _______1____________ 2__________3_________4____________5______

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114 APPENDIX E PROPOSITIONAL ANALYSIS GUIDELINES AND TEXT SAMPLES Comprehension begins with low-level word recognition. Words are integrated into propositions. Propositions are defined as the building blocks, the smallest units of meaning. A network of propositions reflects th e information in the text (textbase). The reader adds new propositions to the textbase and makes th e causal connections between the propositions. 1. Noun subject and verb are separated: Tu rks were also once small; survivors wrote; the ship lands; my fingers play 2. Subject pronoun and verb are toge ther: I learned; we memorized 3. Subordinate clauses are together: when I was small where Paris was located; who has a black mustache; that not al l Turkish guest workers are Turks; 4. Prepositions and their objects are together : in the flesh; to her mouth; of these peoples 5. Proper names are separated out unless re ferred to earlier: in Germany, Turks, Germany, Turkey; Americans, Russians; this Herr Kannitverstan; in W. ; the GDR; Kerstin Bernhardt; I came to Germany (referred to earlier) 6. A noun phrase will be kept together. It ma y include any or all of the following: article, modifying adverb, adjective, a noun used as a modifying adjective, and a final noun. For example: an evil Russi an; autumn morning; the increasing bitterness; an increasingly bitt er argument; an amazingly good grasp

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115 7. Phrasal verbs with prepositions are divided between the main verb and the preposition. The preposition will become part of the prepositional phrase following the verb. (to look to ) she looked to her husband 8. Pronoun, adverb and verb are not separated: we conversed pleasantly; he said shortly; and innocently begged (his pa rdon); they faintheartedly enquired 9. Compound adverbs are separated: he said shortly and brusquely; as they could precisely and grimly relate 10. Compound verbs are separated 11. I stand close my eyes 12. Verb and direct and indirect object pronoun are together: asked me; we drew him; followed me 13. Verb/thought image stays together (infinitive clause): it begins to rain; we came to know ; how he would manage to see 14. Verb and direct object are separated: he asked a fellow; he ate a piece of Limburger; You will receive the following answer; I learned French; If you drive a Ford Granada; I ate my travel provisions; 15. All gerund phrases are together from gerund to noun: walking with her family; remembering the old times; coming fro m communal production; pointing the finger; lacking hope 16. Impersonal subject and verbs st ay together: it is; and these are; there is; there are; isnt there; wasnt there 17. Compound nouns are separated (more than one noun) 18. parents siblings relatives neighbors and all others ; IKEA Western cars Burger King satellite dishes Sex-Shops and Coca Cola;

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116 19. Numbers in a noun phrase are a separate entity: 1,600 Jewish-Hungarian women; 20. A unit of measure, such as marks, km, square meter, and percentage is not separated from the number: DM 800.00; 40 km, 75 square meters; 22years old; 90% of her salary; and 80% of these 21. The predicate subject is not separated ou t: What is a consulate official? Am I possibly a fake Turk? 22. Subordinated limiting (transitional) conjuncti ons are not separated from the rest of the clause. 23. However there are many Turks; 24. However but not just with a laughing eye; 25. Even though there arent any roast pigeons 26. But through an error 27. Whenever he was again threatened by 28. Nevertheless this department 29. Dates and numbers: October 7, 1989; 40th anniversary; back in November 1989 30. Adverbs of time and frequency adverb s are separated from main clause 31. Finally he could not refrain from 32. Always, sometimes, rarely, never, forever; shortly; now; still Proposition Samples Text 1 Amerika 306 Propositions / The ship / lands / I set / my foot / onto th e new part / of the world / The grey autumn morning / overshadows / land / and sea / everyt hing is still swaying / under me / I feel / the uneasy movement / of the waves / Out of th e fog / rises the city / next to me / with

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117 open eyes / lively / the crowd scurries / They do not sense / the strange / only the new / I hear / how this one / or that one / whispers to himself / America / as if he wanted to memorize it / only just now / that he is actually here / so far / Text 2 Kannitverstan 271 Propositions / Man indeed has / the opportunity / every day / in Emmendingen / or Gundelfingen / as well as in Amsterdam / to speculate / if he wa nts to / on the inconsis tency / of all earthly things / and to be come satisfied / with hi s fate / even though there arent / many roast pigeons / flying about / in the air / for him / But through an error / a German artisan / in Amsterdam arrived / at the truth / and its recognition / by the stra ngest roundabout way / Text 3 Rauher Kapitalismus 395 Propositions / As if in a state of delirium / Kerstin Be rnhardt / from Magdeburg / remembers / walking / with her family / back in November 1989 / through the unfamiliar glitter world / of the West German border town Helmstedt / They gaze d / with disbelief / at the displays / in the shop windows / The children / glared / until their eyes were sore / she says / It was then that we first saw / says / this 31-year-old mother / of five / with subdued anger / remembering the old times / everything / they had held back / from us / Text 4 Wer ist ein Trke? 422 Propositions / Who is a Turk / How does one recognize hi m / how does one know / if someone is a Turk / These questions / have bothered me since I came / to Germany / In Turkey / everyone / that I knew / and with whom I spoke Turkish / was a Turk / When I was small / grown-up Turks / were also once small / I believed / there was only one language / in the world / namely Turkish / and that all pe ople / on earth / were therefore Turks / One spoke / of Americans / Russians / the French / but we had / no conc rete conception / of these peoples /

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118 Text 5 Die erste eignene Wohnung 235 Propositions / Forever / I had dreamed / of my own apartm ent / but my dream / only was realized / after the dissolution / of th e GDR / After my friend Mischa / and I were recognized / as members / of a minority / of Jewish refugees / from the USSR / in the summer / of 1990 / we landed / in a roundabout way / in the huge halfway house / for foreigners / that developed / in Marzahn / Initia lly / hundreds / of Vietnamese / Africans / and Jews / from Russia were accommodated / here / The two of us / as well as / a buddy / from Murmansk / Andrej / were able to c onquer / a furnished one-room apartment / on the first floor / Text 6 Die Fragenden 184 Propositions / In Buchenwald / the three young men / were led / before a map / on which all the concentration camps as well as their subsidiari es / were listed / Amazed / they found / the name / of their hometown / W. / They knew / nothing about it / ha d never heard anything / after coming back home / they faintheartedly in quired / at the magistrate /whether there really was a camp / in W. / or in its vicinity / during the Hitler year s / This couldnt be / no / someone would have to know /about that / Because the three young men / were communists / people held back /even more / Text 7 Friedman 207 / Dear Mr. Friedman / We would like / to in form you / with this open letter / that we welcome / your public apology / and confession / that you took drugs / It is certainly uncomfortable / for someone / who himself / fo r years / has been pointing the finger / at the misdeeds / of others / to be grilled / by the media / in such a way / We give you / credit / for applying the same moral st andards / to yourself / and accepting the consequences / of you misconduct /

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119 Text 8 Good Bye Lenin 433 Propositions / The time / of the Fall / of the Wall / and the confusing complexity / of German reunification / repeatedly offe red / already / material / fo r comedies / like Sonnenallee / and Helden wie wir / Wolfgang Beckers film / also schematizes / the recent past / however not just with a laughing eye / he reflects / the political events / by means / of the fictional story / of the East Berliner family Kerner / shows / the quick demise / of the GDR everyday culture / and poses / the questions / what would ha ve been / if history /had taken / a different course /

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120 APPENDIX F IDEA UNIT ANALYSIS AND TEXT TEMPLATES Guidelines for Weighting Idea Units in Narratives Identify Character(s) 5 points Give one additional point per essential aspect of character or characters Identify Setting(s) 5 points for each setting Give one additional point per essential detail of setting(s) Identify Problem(s) 5 points for each Give one additional point per essential detail of problem(s) Identify Resolution(s) 5 points Give one additional point per essential detail of resolution(s) Guidelines for Weighting Idea Units in Expository Texts Identify main ideas and essential de tails either globally or by paragraph Identify main ideas 5 points Give one additional point per essential detail Text 1 Amerika ConsciousnessOriented Narrative (53 points) The narrator (main character) describes his landing on the shores of the new world (5) He arrives alone on a gray autumn morning (1) The city, possibly New York, rises out of the fog (1) He is not thinking about the new America, but another America. He reminisces. (5) He is with Anna. (5) He remembers many things in great deta il as if he had left yesterday (1) He left many years ago (1) Anna is his lover. (5) When he kisses her behind the ear, they discover something new that makes them very happy (5)

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121 Anna cries out Amerika(1) Whenever he kisses her behind the ea r, Anna cries out America! (1) The lovers sexual adventures /discovery of sexual plea sure is likened to the discovery of new territory, namely America. (1) He also remembers her curls and her fragrance. (1) He remembers how they saw an advertisement for ship-lines to America. (1) He remembers Anna saying loudly in public that they would travel to America today. (1) Only he and Anna knew what that meant (they shared a secret) (1) He remembers seeing a play about Columbus with Anna. (5) They made fun of Columbus (1) Poor guy. He did not discover the real Amer ica at least not the America they had discovered. (1) The real America is likened to kissing th e patch of white skin behind Annas ear. (1) At the shore of the wrong America, he dreams of the sweet America over there long ago. (1) The narrator realizes that Anna is lost to him forever. (5) He has not seen her in many years and does not know where she is. (1) That realization is insanely painfully to him. (1) The real America is not nearly as enticing as the old. (1) Text 2 Kannitverstan Narrative (46 points) Main characters: German Journeyman (traveler) (5) comes from the small German town of Tuttlingen (1) He never experienced a rich c ity like Amsterdam before (1) Our good Tuttlinger is nave (1) The imaginary Herr Kannitverstan (5) Settings: Amsterdam is a rich trade center (5) A beautiful luxurious house (1) The harbor with a great ship that is un loaded before the journeymans eyes (1) The funeral procession that the journeyman follows to the graveside of the alleged Herrn Kannitverstan (1) The inn/pub that the journeyman goes to after the funeral to enjoy good company and Limburger (1) Problems: The journeyman thought Kannitverstan was the name of a very rich man. (5) Language problem (1) The journeyman realized how poor he was a nd became unhappy with hi s lot in life. (5)

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122 Resolution(s) Witnessing Herrn Kannitverstans funeral, ma kes the German journeyman a little sad, but then light hearted again. (5) He is happy again with his lot life (1) And whenever he became dissatisfied again w ith being so poor, he only had to think of Mr. Kannitverstan (5) In the end, rich or poor, you ca nnot take anything with you. (1) You might as well be satisfie d with your fate in life although no roast pigeons fly about the air for you (1) Text 3 Rauher Kapitalismus Expository Text (35 points) Kerstin Bernhardt and her family come from the town of Magdeburg in the former GDR (5) Immediately after the Fall of the Wall, Kerstin and her family walked through the glitter world of a West German border town (Helmstedt). (1) She realized then what the GDR government had kept from them in terms of material prosperity (1) For Kerstin, merchandize had been determined by the 5year plan, not demand and supply. (1) Kerstin had worked in a socialist sy stem as sales clerk for 16 years (1) She is the daughter of a saleswoman and a metal worker. (1) Kerstin always wanted to be a sales clerk like her mother (1) She could have earned a degree in econo mics because of her family background. (1) But she had chosen to stay out of political life and was a member of the FDJ (Free German Youth) out of duty. (1) She had noticed things about the SED Part y that did not seem right to her. (1) Kerstin and her husband are rais ing 5 children together (5) Her husband was a trained mason and roofer (1) He gave up his job and carried coal so he could help out more at home (1) Kerstin had state-paid day care (1) She was able to stay home for 12 months after the birth of he r second, third, fourth, and fifth child and resume her work after her pregnancy leaves. (1) Her family also received housing benefits. (1) Although she is happy about the new era, Kersti n is worried about the harsh climate of capitalism (5) Kerstin is afraid to lose her job (1) Personnel are downsized (1) Kerstin and her large family are less able to make ends meet than before (1) Child support is cut (1) Kerstin cannot afford those things th at are available in the stores (1) She cannot get a bank loan because she has five children (1)

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123 Text 4 Wer ist ein Tuerke? Autobiogr aphical Expository Text (34 points) The narrator/author is of Turkish origin (5) Only when he comes to Germany, he begins to wonder if he himself really is a Turk and what it is that identifies one as a Turk in Germany. (5) A Turk is one who speaks Turkish (1) One who looks Turkish shor t, stout, black mustache (1) One who has a Turkish passport (1) One who if affiliated with the Turkish consulate (1) A Turk in Germany is a guest worker (1) A Turk in Germany is one who drives a Ford Granada/Turk Wagon, a big car (1) A Turk carries plastic bags (1) A Turk is hospitable and generous li ke Elizabeth, a German woman who was married to a Turk at one time(1) Narrator/author attended a reading in Hameln (1) Narrator spent the night at Elisabeths house (1) The narrator/author travels on a train and shar es a compartment with an elderly German couple (5) The elderly German woman turns down a Turk who asks for a seat. (5) That Turk looks like a Turk (short, stout, Turk-green hand-knit vest, plastic bags in both hands, Turk-gaze) 1 According to the narrator/author, a German is as loyal as a German shepherd (1) Germans keep their distance (1) Those who read Die Zeit are Germans (1) The Germans who do not read D ie Zeit must be Turks (1) Text 5 Die erste eigene WohnungAutobiogr aphical Expository Text (51 points) The narrator and his friend Mischa are member s of a minority of Jewish refugees from the USSR. (5) They ended up in a Halfway house fo r foreigners in Marzahn (5) They arrived in the summer of 1990 in Marzahn, East Berlin after the dissolution of the GDR (5) The Narrator, Mischa, and Andrej shared an apartment at the Halfway house (1) These were the infamous Plattenbau apartments formerly occupied by members of the STASI (1) Vietnamese, Africans, and other Russian Jews lived there and life was booming(1) At that time, the Vietnamese had no idea that their future would be in cigarette trade (1) There was not enough room in the home several families had to share an apartment. (5) Refugees claimed to be Jews to get the a ssigned STASI apartments to themselves (5) False Jews jogged around the block on Sunday and ate pork (1)

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124 The narrator and his friends each found a place to live on Prenzlauer Berg, another area of East Berlin (5) On Prenzlauer Berg anything is possible! The Magic of the Wende is still alive! (1) Apartments were left vacant by East Germans going to the West (1) The East Germans, the natives, had left in a big hurry, leaving many things behind (1) A counter wave of weirdoes came from the West (1) The governmental housing authorities tem porarily lost control of the housing situation (1) After two months, the housing authority (KWV) gave them leases/legal contracts (5) The narrator had to pay a minimal amount for his apartment (1) The narrators dream of his ow n living space came true (5) Text 6 Die Fragenden Narrative (64 points) Characters The questioners are three young men (5) They are from W. (1) They are communists. (1) While visiting the concentration camp Buchenwald, they saw a map of all its subsidiary camps. (1) They were surprised to find out that near their hometown W. ha d been a subsidiary camp (1) They are determined to get answers (1) One of the young men replaced the silence of his fathers with his own a different kind of silence (1) The townspeople of W. (5) Reluctant to speak about the past (1) They dont want to be reminded of the past (1) Jewish-Hungarian women (5) 1600 had been held prisoner and forced to work (1) Six women were tortured to death by the SS guard (1) Survivors from Israel (5) These women allowed the young men to interview them (1) Settings: Buchenwald was the place the young men saw th e map with all the subsidiary camps (5) Hometown W. is where they bega n their search for the truth (5) A wooded area near town is where they discovered the foundations of the camp and artifacts (helmets, tools) (5) Israel the young men traveled th ere to intervie w survivors (5)

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125 Problem: The townspeople did not want to an swer the young mens questions. (5) The townspeople were more reluctant to speak because the 3 young men were communists (1) They did not want the young men to di g up these old stories and soil the reputation of the town (1) Opposition: One should not build a memorial just for Jewish victims. Shouldnt the communist who died in the camps also be memorialized? (1) Resolution (steps): Turning to archives even in other countr ies, they found out that indeed there had been a camp (1) The young men found evidence of the camp (1) As their search became public, they r eceived letters from survivors. (1) The young men traveled to Israel to interview some of these women. (1) They discovered the graves of the murdered women. (1) Although there was resistance to a me morial, the young men prevailed. (1) Text 7 Der Zweite Teil des Skandals: Ein Offener Brief an Friedman Expository text (45 points) Terres des Femmes is a womens right organization/womens initiative. (5) Terres des Femmes accepts the moderators public confession and apology that Friedman took drugs (5) They give him credit for applying the same moral standards th at he had used on others to himself. (1) However, in an open letter, Terre des Femm es criticizes the tabooi ng of the second part of the scandal surrounding Friedman (5) The second part of the scandal is the use of East European prostitutes (5) Prominent people employ the services of East European prostitutes (1) They make use of the trafficking of human beings by organized crime (1) 50% of all prostitutes in Germany are of non-German origin (5) 80% come from Eastern European countries (1) Many of them are smuggl ed in illegally (1) Many of them are forced into prostitution (1) The real scandal is that sex with illega l prostitutes in not punishable by law. (5) Womens initiative appeals to Friedman to use the media hype to become a supporter/spokesperson for the victims (5) To join others (Maenner setzen Zeiche n Campaign) in the fight against the trafficking of women (1) Demand the right for victims to stay in the country (1) His commitment to this cause would be rewarding and satisfying to Friedman. (1) Surely, Friedman desires that girls and women live self-determined and free lives everywhere. (1)

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126 Text 8 Good Bye Lenin (Filmcritique ) Expository text (87 points) This critique includes a retelling of the story of the film. The idea unit analysis will proceed according to the paragraphs of the text. Introduction: Wolfgang Beckers film schematizes the confusing time of the Fall of the Wall and German reunification (5) Becker uses a fictional Berliner family to show the quick demise of GDR everyday culture (1) Compensated past: Protagonist Alex Kerners childhood in th e GDR was carefree until the father does not return from a business trip to West Berlin (5) For Alex, he betrayed family, country, and ideology. (1) The mother, Christiane Kerner, finds fu lfillment in political commitment. (1) Split points of view: On the 40th anniversary of the GDR the film (critique) Original shots of the military parade (1) With montage of hopeful mood of civil rights activists (1) And out of touch behavior of politicians (1) 22 year old Alex demonstrates for freedom of travel and reforms (5) Christiane Kerner, exemplary party memb er, is one of the invited guests (5) Heart attack: societal and private Mother sees Alex arrested, suffers a h eart attack, and falls into a coma. (5) She will sleep through 8 mont hs of world politics (1) Becker uses news reports from the Ea st and West Review critique (1) Becker uses Alex as the chroniclercritique (1) In short scenes, Becker contrasts how th e old and the young cope with the changes critique (1) People searching amidst conspicuous consumption Alex is critical of the sell-out and consumerism of his countrymen (5) Unrestrained consumerism is reduced to popular clichs critique (1) IKEA, Western cars, Burger King, satellite dishes, sex-shops (1 point for any one or any number of these examples of clic hs rather than 1 point for each) (1) GDR design fades away Particle board furniture piles up on Berlins sidewalks (1) Ossis are recognized by their cl othing (they are outed) (1)

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127 The return of the old Because Alex is afraid the new reality would cost his beloved mother her life, he decides to keep the changes away from her (5) The westernized Plattenbau apartment is made to look like it did before (1) Alex tracks down East products lik e pickles and Tempo Linsen (1) Alex begins to work for a Westberliner firm (1) Becker uses fast motion in the film to s how that the clock seems to tick faster critique (1) Alex falls in love with the Russian student nurse Lara (1) Before he confesses his love to her, he uses a party slogan We solve problems by marching forward to get up his courage (1) Distortions of reality It gets increasingly difficu lt to stop the new reality at the apartment door (1) Coca Cola advertisement on the wall outside Christianes window (1) Coca Cola is a socialist invention (1) History and stories Alex and Denis become directors of an i nvented reality using Aktuelle Kamera (5) BRD citizens seek refuge in the GDR em bassies of Prague and Budapest (1) Honecker allows BRD citi zens to immigrate (1) Christiane Kerner believes it and decides to entrust the family weekend cottage to the new citizens (1) Alex realizes that the game must end (1) Bittersweet Comedy Film drags on at the end critique (1) Film comes across as indecisive and supe rficial whenever balancing act between comedy and tragedy does not work critique (1) Few key scenes break up classic narra tive structure of the film critique(1) One key scene is the removal of the Leni n statue by helicopter critique (1) Christiane Kerner waves goodbye as Lenin flies by (1) Looking to whats ahead Film attempts to show too many facets of reunification critique(5) Focus is too much on events in East Berlin critique (1) Football world championship is the onl y German/German link -critique (1) No real comparison between characterist ics of East and West critique (1) Alex is a loveable tour guide to the past (5) He represents the new generation that can adjust (1) The GDR will remain in his memory as so mething not quite real, but connected to his mother. (1)

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128 APPENDIX G READING SAMPLE Sample: Text 2, Student 8 Reading with Question Prompts Text 2 Excerpt and Question Glosses Der Mensch hat wohl tglich Gelegenhe it, in Emmendingen und Gundelfingen so gut als in Amsterdam Betrachtungen be r den Unbestand aller irdischen Dinge anzustellen, wenn er will, und zufrieden zu werden mit seinem Schicksal, wenn auch nicht viel gebratene Tauben fr ihn in der Luft herumfliegen. Aber auf dem seltsamsten Umweg kam ein deutscher Handwerksbursche in Amsterdam durch den Irrtum zur Wahrheit und zu ihrer Erkenntnis. Denn als er in diese groe und reiche Ha ndelsstadt voll prchtiger Huser, wogender Schiffe und geschftiger Menschen gekomme n war, fiel ihm s ogleich ein groes und schnes Haus in die Augen, wie er auf se iner ganzen Wandersch aft von Tuttlingen bis nach Amsterdam noch keines erlebt hatte. La nge betrachtete er m it Verwunderung dies kostbare Gebude, die sechs Kamine auf de m Dach, die schnen Gesimse und die hohen Fenster, grer als an des Vaters Haus da heim die Tr. Endlich konnte er sich nicht entbrechen, einen Vorbergehenden anzureden. "G uter Freund," redete er ihn an, "knnt Ihr mir nicht sagen, wie der Herr heit, de m dieses wunderschne Haus gehrt mit den Fenstern voll Tulipanen Sternenblu men und Levkojen?" Der Mann aber, der vermutlich etwas Wichtigeres zu tun hatte und zum Unglck geradeso viel von der deutschen Sprache verstand als der Fragende von der hollndischen, nmlicnichts, sagte kurz und schnauzig: "Kannitverst an." und schnurrte vorber.

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129 Question Glosses: 1. Why does the narrator begin his story about a Handwerksbursche with der Mensch? 2. Why does the author name Emmend ingen and Gundelfingen along with Amsterdam? 3. What image is conjured up here? ( gebratene Tauben) 4. Do you know which segment of the 18th century German speaking population enjoyed reading calendar stories? 5. Did you notice that the Handwerksbursche comes from Tuttlingen ? How may that affect his perception of Amsterdam ? 6. Why does the author use the subjunctive form sei? 7. What does the Handwerksbursche accociate with material riches? 8. How does the Handwerksbursche see himself? 9. Why do you think the author says our good Tuttlinger? 10. Why was the Handwerksbursche leich ten Herzens? Why the happy end? Proposition Template Sample for Text 2 / Man indeed has / the opportunity / every day / in Emmendingen / or Gundelfingen / as well as in Amsterdam / to speculate / if he wants to / on the inconsistency / of all earthly th ings / and to be come satisfied / with his fate / even though there arent / many roast pigeons / flying about / in the air / for him / But through an error / a German artisan / in Amsterdam arrived / at the truth / and its recognition / by the strangest roundabout way /

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130 Idea Unit Template for Text 2 Text 2 Kannitverstan Narrative (46 points) Main characters: German Journeyman (traveler) (5) comes from the small German town of Tuttlingen (1) He never experienced a rich c ity like Amsterdam before (1) Our good Tuttlinger is nave (1) The imaginary Herr Kannitverstan (5) Settings: Amsterdam is a rich trade center (5) A beautiful luxurious house (1) The harbor with a great ship that is un loaded before the journeymans eyes (1) The funeral procession that the journeyman follows to the graveside of the alleged Herrn Kannitverstan (1) The inn/pub that the journeyman goes to after the funeral to enjoy good company and Limburger (1) Problems: The journeyman thought Kannitverstan was the name of a very rich man. (5) Language problem (1) The journeyman realized how poor he was and became unhappy with his lot in life. (5) Resolution(s)

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131 Witnessing Herrn Kannitverstans funeral, makes the German journeyman a little sad, but then light hearted again. (5) He is happy again with his lot life (1) And whenever he became dissatisfied agai n with being so poor, he only had to think of Mr. Kannitverstan (5) In the end, rich or poor, you ca nnot take anything with you. (1) You might as well be satisfie d with your fate in life although no roast pigeons fly about the air for you (1) Student 8, Text 2 Recall Protocol This story was about a journeyman that traveled to Amsterdam and didnt know exactly how to interpret the wealth he f ound when he got their. Whenever he would inquire about certain things he would get the response "Kanni tverstan," which he ends up believing is this rich man who owns the house, and the ships with al l their exotic goods. He finds a funeral procession, which he ag ain attributes to the death of this "Kannitverstan," and his inability to a ccept his own poverty, which was all he knew before traveling from home, was to equate the good all this richness was to a dead person. Student 8, Sample Think-Aloud Pr otocol (Time: 78 minutes) Transcribers comments and quest ion prompts are in italics. Ellipses indicate pauses. Time periods are marked in parentheses. S8 reads from Der Mensch to anzustellen . wohl? LEO. Arguably ok. A person has arguably daily opportunity . Q1 Why does the narrator begin th e story with der Mensch? Handwerksbursche? S8 uses LEO. Journeyman. S8 reads the question again and starts over with the first sentence. Schwarzwald, Black Forest, Kaiserstuhl, West

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132 Germany. He is looking on the links. Dont need all of this . just need to know where the city is. Ok. Alps? Apparently that link does not work very well (must be the flash!). Ok . The person has (3:18) arguably daily opportunities in Emmendingen and Gundelfingen as good as in Amsterdam to re flect on the transience of all irdischen? LEO . earthly, mundane . repeats sentence . to reflect on earthl y things if he wants and is satisfied with his fate . S8 reads on roasted pigeons . fr ihn in der . roasted pigeons fly over him in the air. Aber auf dem seltsamsten kam ein . S8 reads to the end of the paragraph. Seltsamsten Umweg? LEO. Deep sighing Detour, seltsam? On the oddest detour came a German journeyman in Amsterdam through the Irrtum? LEO Falsity mistake misapprehension. Through a mistake . misunderstanding of the truth? R8 read the last sentences again. Through misapprehension to the truth und zu ihrer Erkenntis. (7:16). Erkenntinis? LEO Awareness cognition realiz ation. But through . und zu ihrer? What does that belong to? Handw erksbursche? Definite Artikel? Der. What does ihrer refer to? Oh it would go with Wahrheit, I think. On the oddest detour came . through Irrtum? Error misappreh ension to the truth and to ihrer dont know what to do with that. S8 reads the sentence again. I move on. Denn . hatte. Oh! Should be clicking on these red dots. Q3: What image is conjured up here? Q2: Why does the author name E and G with A? I dont know. No clue. I dont know why he menti ons either of thes e two cities with Amsterdam. (11:23). I dont know why he mentions those things. Q3: Do you know . .? No! Genre? Those look like Japanese characte rs. Ok. Kafka, Brecht, Anekdote, heitere, merkwrdige Begebenheiten . S8 scans over this information. Travelling journeyman

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133 read about it . young tradesmen, experi ence outside their ho metowns . skills competition . ok. Ha! Ok. You have chosen to download the f ile . no. I have read the links. No I dont know which segment of the population . Ill go back to the story. (15:15) . diese groe und reiche Handels stadt?. . wogende Schiffe . S8 starts reading the first sentence again . prchtige? Practical? LEO splendid . when he in this large and rich city fu ll of splendid houses and surging ships and busy people came (16:38) fiel ihm sogleich in die Augen . einfallen? Sogleich instantly . ge t the idea . occurred to him on the spot a larg e and beautiful house as he on his many wanderings from Tuttlingen to Amsterdam had s een had experienced. Noch keines erlebt hatte Red dot: Did you notice that the H comes from Tuttlingen? Ive never been in either place. The link takes quite long . Geschichte dieser Landschaft . S8 scans over a link Ok. We dont want the whol e history. We want the 18th . ok. Lange betrachtete? Why cant words be there? LEO. He considered long with amazement the costly buildings with the 6 Kamine? LEO . auf dem Dach. Kamin . fireplace. Die sechs Kamine auf dem Dach? 6 fireplaces on the rooftop. Die schoenen Gesimse und die hohen Fenster . daheim die Tuer. Daheim? LEO . at home. I figured that. So he is noticing the differences in the houses, the arch itecture, (22:00) much nicer homes in that area than in his fathers home Finally he could not hold ba ck ok . where was I . could not hold back to say to a passerby Good friend, koennt ihr mir nicht sagen . good friend, he spoke to him as a good friend . could you not tell me how the . wie der heit . the name of that man that ow ns to whom belongs that wonderful house with

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134 the windows full of tulips . Types of flower s. ok. (23:14) Tulips, Sternenblumen . ok. S8 reads to verstanden. Der Mann aber . verstand. Ok. I dont know the end of the relative clause. But the man . S8 reads through the sentence. Kannitverstan OH! Cannot understand! Is that what it mans? (24:21) Kannitverstan. Shook he head, ok, said kurz und schnauzig . kurz? LEO I want to say short, but that is probably not how it is used here. Short, brief, in short, quickly . Oh what I am doing now is looking at the sentence for the relative cl ause and taking out the second relative clause, the relative clause that starts with Der Mann aber . ( 25:01) der vermutlich etwas. . I am leaving out that and putting together just the main clause. Ok. So. The man said quickly and schnauzig. LEO I am not getting a definition. Oh! There is one provided. Quickly and unfriendly the man said Kannitverstan. I am going to assume that Kannitverstan is Dutch. I dont know. Ill check it in the Ge rman dictionary. But I think its Dutch. LEO. Copy. Paste (25:52). There is nothing there. So he shook his head and said real quickly Kannitverstan. Der Mann, der vermutlich? LEO Supposedly. Now I am dealing with the relative after I have dealt with with main clause. The man who supposedly had s.th. important to do (26:57) zum Unglck gerade soviel . ok Ive seen that now I just got to figure out what it means. LEO Finds a definition enough to get by? Not helping me. Lets go back. Gerade is exactly, precisely, directly. Gerade straight? No t what I am looking for. So viel von der . S8 reads over it again . zum Unglueck? LEO. Wh at does that expression mean? Unfortunately. What that be it . ill-fate d could not understand . the questioning of the hollaendischen . man had s.th. importa nt to do and understood nfortunately . geradeso? Ill-fated? Looking for a good defi nition. Where am I on this side here? Zum

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135 Unglck is not there. Unfortunately? Not unde rstanding German as the questioning or in Dutch . I dont know . Ill move on. Dies war nur . this only one or three Dutch words, wenn mans recht betrachtet? LEO. ok considered, contemplated . r echt accurately ok. If one considered it right and soviel? The same? Far as, as much as . Ich kann Euch nicht verstehn. I cannot understand all of you (33:40). Aber der gute Fremdling glaubte . Q Why does the author use the subjunctive sei? (33:52) S8 reads the question again The good stranger believed it is es sei . why does he use it? Das muss ein grundreicher? Must be a very rich man . hmm. S8 laughs. LEO. Looking at the side. Extremely rich. Given. Muss ein grundreicher Mann sein, der Herr Kannitverstan and went farther. Why does he use subjunctive? Hmm. (35:22) The stra nger thought it is or was the name of the man . he asked about After that he asked. Hmm. Why does he use subjunctive? I dont know. Subjunctive is used to distance yourself from information passed (36:06) or told by somebody else so that you claim no responsibil ity for it. I dont know. I dont know why he is using th e subjunctive form sei. Ok. Gass ein Gass aus . from one narrow road to another he finally came to the Meerbusen came to the bay that was called He t Ei or in German das Ypsilon. There stood ship against ship and mastbaum on mastbaum and he thought . durchfechten . struggle to take it in (37:22) with his two own eyes like he will struggle to take it in with his two own eyes . all these noteworthy unusual these unusual . to consider, till finally a large ship seine Au fmerksamkeit . drew his attention, das vor kurzem . angelangt war? Ausgeladen wurde. It arrive d and began to unload. Schon standen . auf und nebeneinander am Lande. Reihen? Ganze Reihen? LEO Rows of Kisten und

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136 Ballen? Boxes they started stacking them in rows next to each other on land (39:37). Noch immer . R8 reads to end of paragraph to bringe Red dot: What does the H associ ate with material riches? (40:12) Ohhh! Hmm . das vor kurzem aus Ostindi en oh, ok. From East Indian Ocean, I guess. Even now being unloaded . rows of boxes and Ballen and bails . all being unloaded from East India. . herausgewlzt? LEO Nothing. To roll out on the side. Even more and more kept rolling out. Ke gs full sugar and coffee, rice and pepper and pardon me, mousedroppings. (42:32). But when he lange zugesehen hatte, but when he had looked for long, he finally asked a person . eben eine Kiste . LEO exactly . one who was pulling out a box . Achsel? LEO . Pulling a box out of the ankel? Armpit? I dont think he is pulling it out of the armpit. Shoulder? (44:13). The happy man wie der glckliche Mann heie . S8 reads on to Scherben Golden flowerpots. Q: What does the journeyman associat e with material riches? (45:40). Ok theses questions are . ok. They ar e for what is coming up not for what you just read. At this point he believes that it is all the same person. This Kannitverstan had the beautiful houses, and the exotic goods comi ng from the Eastern part of the world. Ok. Jetzt ging er wieder zurck . in der Welt. What type of devil? Now he went back and stellte? Ordered? Stellte? Anstellen? LEO . anstellen to appoint is to engage . he went back and appointed recht traurig? LEO . sorrowful Betrachtung? LEO examination meditation, reflection, view . all ri ght . sorrowful view . what type of poor devil so is under so many rich people in the world. But even when he thought, if I . if I would receive it . auch einmal so good I . if I would have it once so good as this Herr Kannitverstan had it . kam er um eine Ecke he came around the corner and noticed a Leichenzug. A large hearse, coffin? LEO Funeral . four black horses pulled

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137 einen ebenfalls LEO . likewise black berzogenen? LEO . coated black hearse slowly sorrowfully as if they knew that a dead person seine Ruhe . they were carrying . einen Toten . a person at rest. Ok. Ei n langer Zug . a long train of friends and acquaintances of the dead person fo llowed pair and pair, verhllt? LEO Where was I? Verhllt. Ok. Cloaked. Cloaked in black jackets and stumm? LEO silence. Ok. Its a funeral procession. In der Ferne (53:17) . Glcklein? LEO Ferne? In the distance lutete? LEO I keep looking up these words! In the distance is ringing a single Glcklein? LEO . Bell? No response for that. Hi er on the side? No. Ergriffen? Where am I? This is why I hate looking up words in the dictionary because I lose my place reading. (55:12). I forget all th e definitions that I looked up ea rlier. Ok. So. Procession of friends and relatives followed little by little dressed in black dre ssed all in black and silent. In the distance rang a single bell. Now overcome by grief . Where am I . overcome by grief our stranger . now our stranger was overcome by a feeling of melancholy (56:07) . a good person vorbergeht? LEO. I dont want to look it up. Vorbergehen? To walk passed, that not a good person walk passed if he saw if he sees eine Leiche, a funeral? Cadaver, corpse. Corp se car. If he sees a corpse, remains. And with his hat in his hands . andchtig. LEO I dont want to look that up. Prayerfull devoutly . he stood . prayerfully till it wa s over with. Doch machte er sich . the last procession . in the quiet . and quietly . in aller Stille . who even quietly . Baumwolle? LEO. Gewinnen? Cotton wool? Hi s cotton wool gewinne n? If der Zentner um 10 Gulden aufschlge? Aufschlagen? LEO Pockets . and requested him . excuse . that must be a good friend of ours, he said, that the be ll rang, so betrbt, so sad, nachdenklich so deep in thought. Kannitv erstan war die Antwort. Hah! I am really

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138 lost there. (1:00). And then he made . doch machte er sich an den letzten vom Zug . he made himself the last in the procession, who even in the quiet ness ausrechnete? LEO. Ausrechnen to calculate, compute, figure out. Even in the quiet figured out overwhelmed him sachte am Mantel? Gently on the jacket . overwhelmed him gently on the jacket and asked him Excuse . I guess he asked some one . what he had won on his wool . Zentner? LEO fifty kilogramm around 10 Gulden. Wh at the heck is he talking about? What the heck? Old gold coins . So it wa s a coin. 10 gold coins . I am completely lost. (1:03:47). I dont know . doch machte er sich an den letzten im Zug . he made himself the last of the procession but even in the quiet . and now I have forgotten what the words mean . I have to look them up a ll over again. What he was able to win on his cotton wool? Zentner? What is th at again? If he ge ts 10 gold coins or an additional 10 per 100kg . ergriff ergriffen is to be overwhel med by . right? But damn . .! I dont know. All I know is that he goes up to him a nd talks to him and he says Kannitverstan. (1:06:32). . Da fielen unsrem guten Tuttlinger Q: Why do you think . says or good Tuttlinger. I dont know. Tear drops, a few tears from his eyes and it was . Poor Kann itverstan he rief aus, what do you have now of all your riches? What I einst? First? Von meiner Armut? LEO what I also receive from my poverty: death clothes, Leintu ch . Raute. Small flowers to put on your jacket. With these memories? LEO these thoughts begleitete? LEO accompanied by accompanied him accompanied his body the corpse with these t houghts he accompanied the corpse as if belonged to it till the grave, saw den vermeinten . until he saw him lowered into his resting place and war from the Dutch Leichenpr edigt? Dutch serman of which he did not

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139 understand a year . to be more touc hed than many Germans . achtgeben? LEO Aufpassen to be careful to look out. H eavy sighing. Where was I? Lowered into the grave . didnt understand a word of the sermon given in Dutch. I forgot the definition of the word I looked up to be careful . (1:11:36) von mancher deutschen . look out for many Germans . to be touched as from many Germans he did not notice? Finally he went heavy hearted with the others fort? LEO continued along, verzehrte in einer Herberge? Hostel, Jugendherberge. Ok. Where one . with a light heart . Limburger Kse . he was so poor, so he thought onl y of Herrn K . and his narrow grave. S8 chuckles Consumed by the hostel, ate limburger ch eese, and whenever it was hard to take that so many in the world were so ri ch and he was so poor, the thought of Herr Kannitverstan in Amsterdam, and his big house and his riches and his rich ships and his narrow grave. Ok. I think pretty much ever ything but the part about the end of the procession . money for his bails of wool. He just asked somone a questions. Her reads again that passage . I dont know. Baum wolle gewinnen koennte. One minute he is talking about the procession and the overw helming . the journeyman becomes overwhelmed with this sorrowful feeling . vorbergeht?. . not a person just stood by if they saw the body . he remained with hat in hand standing ev erybody basically that passed by had their hat in their hands. . until it passed. And all of a sudden we get this . da machte er sich . he made himself the last at the end of the procession . even in the quiet ausrechnete? LEO calculated comput ed . in the quiet he sat there and calculated what he could get for his wool. I guess I think. What he would be able to get if he would get 10 additional coins pe r 100kg whatever der Zentner is.

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140 Inference Identification Guidelines and Sample The task of the rater is to separate the in ferences from all other comments as listed above. Look carefully to identify the inst ances when the reader explains something (infers, predicts, draws a conclusion). Look for instances when the readers connect what they know or what they look up with the information in the text. 1. Identify elaborative inferences and their sources. An inference it an explanation the reader makes based on information from a look-up or from previous knowledge. 2. Distinguish bridging from elaborative inferences. 3. Paraphrasing or speaking a transl ation from German to English is not inferencing. 4. An elaborative inference may be a misreading In this study, misreading is defined as an instance when the reader constructs a me ntal model of the te xt that contradicts explicitly stated information as well as the u nseen in the text. Often misreadings occur due to language problems, such as the lack of vocabulary and difficult syntax. The reader may use the wrong definition/meaning of a specifi c word. She/he will make it fit into her/his mental model of the text. We ar e looking for inferences based on background information. Student 8 Inference Sample Traveling journeyman . young tradesme n, experience outside their hometowns skills competition. Ok. LUP So he is noticing the differences in the houses, the architecture much nicer homes in that area than in his father's home. B Kannitverstan! Oh! Is that what it means?! E I am going to assume that Kannitverstan is Dutch. I don't know. E

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141 Q6 Why does he (author) use the subjunctiv e 'sei'? Subjunctive is used to distance yourself from information told by somebody else so that you claim no responsibility for it. I don't know. E Ostindien. Ok.ok. From the East Indian Ocean, I guess. E At this point he believes that it is all the same person. B All I know is that he goes up to him and he says Kannitverstan. B Student 8 Interview S8: I read the version with the dot, the Q. I clicked on all of them. The one I could not figure out was the use of the Subjunctive. I: Ahh! S8: I never really learned a lot about it. All I know is that it is used in reporting as a function to distance the person who is writing from the person who has said or claimed this. Is that true. I: Yes, that is true. It is also used, particularly in older writin gs, to indicate s.th. that is not real. S8: Ok. It was in the journeymans head. But not . Ok. I: Yeah. That one . did you th ink it was a grammar question. S8: No, I thought it was a literary technique, but I . dont have a lo t of experience with it, so . I: Thats ok. M: I knew you were asking s.th., but . I: And the other links? I will he ar you talk about them, right?

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142 S8: Yeah. I looked through every link and every question. I didnt read each one completely, but . I: Did you read out loud when you were reading them? S8: Yeah, I think so. I said, I would go into that . I skimmed through it. Never found the answer. I: You went to the link to find the answer. That was too troublesome to read this whole thing. S8: Well, for me at least, its a task to read German because I have to keep looking things up. And I even said that on the tape. And I am tired of looking things up and I am losing my place. It gets kind of frus trating. And then to get the cu ltural information, I have to do that to get that . That is a bit frustrating, I guess. I: So, did you feel that you could make sense of the story? S8: Pretty much. I think so. The guy coming fr om a small town where he was raised by a working class family, he saw this world in Amsterdam that he didn t realize existed. And then the language barrier made it even more difficult for him to comprehend what was going on. There was one line that I had trouble with that I mentioned when I went back . the bail of wool . does he just sit ther e in the procession and cal culate what he could get if . I: Who did that, do you know? Was it our guy? S8: I dont know. I guess I attr ibuted it to the journeyman even though it couldnt have been him. Probably. I guess he is thinking that is what the dead guy is thinking. I: Well, the author is the one who knows everything. He knows even the thoughts of the people in the funeral procession. So . he had someone in the procession figuring out how much money he would get, while .

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143 Why did the author say our good Tuttlinger? S8: I figured he was painting the picture of the nave, good he arted character. I: Any idea where Tuttlinge n is? Flash didnt work. S8: It is in Southwest Germany. It did come up. It come up with a map. The other one, Gundelfingen, too much info! I: Was that helpful? S8: He was from a farming area. I: Did you click on Amsterdam? S8: Yes, I did not read it all. I just did Niederlande. I: I encourage you to try things out. You look for something if you need it. Tell me what you did. S8: Handwerksbursche, Journeyman link. They are young and nave. That link did help.

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144 APPENDIX H RESULTS OF POST-STUDY QUESTIONNAIRE Students were instructed to respond by ci rcling one of the answers on the scale from strongly disagree to strongly agree (1 through 5). Table H-1. Post-Study Questionnaire Results S Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q5 Q6 Q7Q8 Q9 Q10 S1 5 5 4 5 5 5 3 4 4 4 S2 4 4 4 5 5 5 4 4 4 4 S3 5 4 4 5 5 5 2 3 4 4 S4 5 5 4 5 5 4 3 5 4 4 S5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 4 3 3 S6 4 5 5 5 5 4 3 2 5 5 S7 2 4 5 5 5 2 1 5 2 1 S8 5 5 5 5 5 5 4 5 5 5 1. I was comfortable with reading th e text on the computer screen. 2. The layout of the text was clear. 3. It was easy to scro ll through the text. 4. Leo was useful. 5. The internal dictionary was useful. 6. Additional textual background information was helpful for understanding the text. 7. Additional information in the form of pict ures was helpful for understanding the text. 8. My prior knowledge of the topic helped me to understand the text. 9. The question glosses helped me figure out the meaning of a word/sentence or paragraph/section of a text. 10. The question glosses were helpful in fi guring out the overall meaning of a text.

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145 REFERENCES Afflerbach, P. (1990). The influence of prio r knowledge on expert readers' main idea construction strategies. Reading Research Quarterly, 25 31-46. Alderson, C. (1993). The relationship between grammar and reading in an English for academic purposes test battery. In D. Douglas & C. Chapelle (Eds.), A decade of language testing research: Selected papers from the 1990 language testing research colloquium (pp. 203-219). Alexa ndria, VA: TESOL. Alverman, D., Smith, L., & Readence, J. (1985). Prior knowledge activation and the comprehension of compatible and incompatible text. Reading Research Quarterly, 20 420-436. Anderson, N. (1991, March). Individual differences in second language reading strategies. Paper presented at the 25th annual TESOL Convention, New York, NY. Anderson, R., & Pearson, P. D. (1984). A sche ma-theoretic view of basic processes in comprehension. In P. D. Pearson (Ed.), Handbook of reading research (pp. 255291). New York: Longman. Aust, R., Kelley, M. J., & Roby, W. (1993). The use of hyper-reference and conventional dictionaries. Educational Technology Research and Development, 41 (4), 63-73. Barnett, M. A. (1989). More than meets the eye. Fore ign language reading: Theory and practice Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall Regents. Beck, I., & McKeown, M. (1986). In structional research in readi ng: A retrospective. In J. Orasanu (Ed.), Reading comprehension: From research to practice (pp. 113-134). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. Beck, I. L., McKeown, M. G., Worthy, J., Sandora, C. A., & Kucan, L. (1996). Questioning the author: A yearlong classr oom implementation to engage students with text. The Elementary School Journal, 96 (4), 385-414. Bensoussan, M. (1986). Beyond vocabular y: Pragmatic factors in reading comprehensionculture, conventi on, coherence and cohesion. Foreign Language Annals, 19 (5), 399-407.

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159 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH I was born in 1949, the same year Germa ny was officially divided into two distinct nations. I grew up in the free West and graduated from the Gymnasium in 1968. Since I aspired to be a teacher, I enrolled at the Pdagogische Hochschule to study English and physical education. However, my life took an unexpected turn. In 1970, I met and married Herbert Overstreet and moved to Florida. For the next 15 years, I stayed at home and raised three children. When my youngest son was in middle school, I began taking basic courses at a junior college near my home. Ma joring in German, I received a B.A. in 1987 from the University of Florida. We moved to Gainesville and two years later I finished my M.A. in German litera ture. On November 9, 1989, my 85-year old German grandfather and I watched the Fall of the Wall on televi sion. Thus, at age 40, my family and I celebrated my degree of h igher learning from an American university as well as the reunification of my native count ry. Indeed, it was a memorable year! After graduation, I found temporary em ployment at the Baker County High School in Glen St. Mary, Florida. I taught 3 classes of 1st year Ge rman, 1 class of 2nd year German and 2 classes of 10th grade Engl ish. Since my experience had been limited to teaching German at the college level, I did not feel equipped to teach high school students and did not accept a permanent positi on there. Instead, I had an opportunity to establish and teach beginning level German co urses at the Santa Fe Community College in Gainesville, Florida, from August 1990 to May 1992. During that time, I also began working as a lecturer in the De partment of Germanic and Slavic Studies at the University

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160 of Florida. Eventually, I received a full tim e position at the Universi ty of Florida. For the past 15 years, I taught be ginning and intermediate leve ls of German language and culture courses. Since 2001, I have been involved in the development and implementation of Discover German, a sequence of online courses. In 1995, I entered a Ph.D. program in the Co llege of Education at the University of Florida. My desire was to learn more about second language acquisition and foreign language pedagogy in order to do a better job in the classroom. The acting chair as well as my colleagues in the Department of Ge rmanic and Slavic Studies supported my decision. The courses I completed for the Certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language proved to be very applicable and he lpful for the German language classroom. My dissertation research grew out of an online reading course that was created to help intermediate students of German make the leap from language courses to the Introduction to German L iterature course. The insights I am gaining from my dissertation study will undoubtedly inform how I develop and teach reading units for beginningand intermediate-level learners of German. One of the most rewarding experiences both on a personal and professional level has been those assignments that gave me th e opportunity to take American students to Germany. Since the early 90s, I directed a nd co-directed the Study Abroad Program in Mannheim, Germany. I also taught a culture course that allowed me, along with my students, to explore who the Ge rmans are today after the re unification. I had grown up in a divided Germany and visited Berlin last with my graduation class in 1968. Now I was back in the mid 1990s with my American students. I tried to tell them what it was like back then with the Wall through the middl e of Berlin, the watcht owers, the barbwire,

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161 and the minefields. And I tried to relate to them how I felt as we walked together through the Brandenburger Tor Who I am as a person and as a teacher remains inextricably linked with the history and the people of my native Germany. Th at is perhaps what drives me to look for new ways to teach the German language and cu lture not as separate entities, but rather help my American students to learn the Germ an language in the context of the culture and to develop a sensitivity and cri tical consciousness for the other.


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READING AUTHENTIC TEXT IN THE HYPERMEDIA ENVIRONMENT: THE
EFFECTS OF QUESTION GLOSSES ON COMPREHENSION PROCESSES OF
INTERMEDIATE LEARNERS OF GERMAN AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE















By

CHRISTINA OVERSTREET


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


2006

































Copyright 2006

Christina Overstreet















ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

It would be impossible to include all those who contributed in one way or another

to the successful completion of this dissertation. However, my special thanks go to all of

my committee members, Candace Harper, Theresa Antes, Diana Boxer, Colleen Swain,

and Keith Bullivant, who converged from different fields to offer their patient support

and guidance. I am particularly grateful to Candace Harper and Theresa Antes for being

willing to work together and with me from the inception of this project to its completion.

I thank them for the high level of scholarship and integrity they brought to the process

and for their invaluable feedback and advice. My special and heartfelt thanks also go to

Franz Futterknecht for allowing me to use his online reading course for my research

project and lending me his unwavering support as a colleague and friend. I thank Judy

Shoaf, the director of the language labs at the University of Florida. She and her staff

helped set up and carry out the data collection during the Fall 2003 semester. I am very

grateful for Perihan Savas, who stood by my side during the entire data collection

procedure.

Exceptional recognition goes to Pabel Martin, for creating and setting up the

hypermedia environment that enabled me to test the effects of glossing on participants'

reading comprehension. Also, I thank Eunice Johnson, who collaborated with me to

develop the guidelines and templates for the analysis of the recall protocols. I cannot

imagine how I would have survived the 2004 season of hurricanes and hardships without

her encouragement and her faith that God would indeed provide whatever I needed.









My heartfelt thanks go to those students and professionals in the field of foreign

language education who pre-read and translated texts, counted thousands of propositions,

transcribed interviews, and identified idea units and inferences. I thank the participants

of this study for persevering through nine weeks of intense reading. I am very grateful

that they were willing to schedule time in the Lab each week, rather than reading in the

comfort of their own homes. Finally, thanks go to Geri Nikolova and Joaquim Camps for

their help with the data analysis, graphs, and statistical procedures.

And last, but not least, I thank my family and close personal friends who share my

life. I thank them for their love and understanding, their encouragement, and their

willingness to listen to me and to bear with me. I also wish to remember my late

husband, Herbert Overstreet, with whom I began this journey. It is because of his

memory and the life we shared that I look to a bright future of both professional and

personal fulfillment. I dedicate this dissertation to our grandchildren: Joshua Overstreet,

Jonathan Drabot, Justin Drabot, Felicia Drabot, Roxana Drabot, and Nathanael Mitchell

Overstreet.















TABLE OF CONTENTS

A CK N OW LED GM EN TS ................................................................. .................... iii

L IST O F TA B L E S ............................................................................ ................... viii

LIST OF FIGURES ................................ .......................... ................. .................... ix

A B ST R A C T ......... .............. ........................................... .................. ...........................x

CHAPTER

1 IN T R O D U C T IO N .......................................................................... ............... ..........

L2 Reading Instruction in Undergraduate Programs ......................... ..... ............ 2
Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) at the University Level...................... 6

2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE ....................................................... .....................10

CA LL and L2 R eading.................................................................. .................... 10
A activity T theory ................................................................................ .............. 13
Theoretical Models of L2 Reading ....................................... 15
Bottom-up, Top-down, and Interactive Processing ............................ .......... 16
C om pensatory Processing ........................................................................................ 17
L 1 L literacy and L2 R leading ..................................................... ......................... 19
B background K now ledge................................................................ .......... .......... 20
Schema Theory and Mental Model Construction............................ .......... .. 21
The Role of Glossing in L2 Reading Instruction........................................................ 24
Glossing in the Hypermedia Environment......................................... 26
"Text-Specific Approaches" to Online Reading Instruction .................................... 28
M etacognitive G losing ............................................................ .................... 35
D esign Issues ................................. .......................... ................. .................... 36
Research Focus ............................... ......................... ................. .................... 37

3 M E T H O D O L O G Y ....................................................................... ...........................39

P articip an ts.................................................................................... ................... ....... 3 9
M materials ......................................... .............. 41
Selection of Texts .................................................... ................. .................... 41
D description of Texts..................................................................... ......... ...... ... 43
Creating a Template for the Reading Activity........................................................ 45
Q u estion G lo sses............................................................................. .................... 4 6

v









D ata C collection ............................................................................... .............. .......... 4 8
M ultim edia Lab Setting ............................................................ .................... 49
Data Collection Procedure ............................... ... ............. .................... 50
A analysis of Recall Protocols............................................................... ......................... 53
Detailed Propositional Analysis..................................................... 54
Idea U nit A nalysis..................... ....... ............... ............................................ 55
Analysis of Think Aloud Protocols: Causal Inferences and Look-Ups (Quantitative) 57

4 R E S U L T S ....................................................................................... .........................5 9

Research Question 1 ........................................................................................... 59
Results of Propositional Analysis of Recall Protocols .......................................... 60
Results of Idea Unit Analysis of Recall Protocols.................................................. 61
Results of Proposition and Idea Unit Analyses for Texts 2-7................................. 63
Statistical Test Results for Recall Protocols............................... .................... 65
Results of Quantitative Analysis of Think-Aloud Protocols ................................ 66
Research Question 2 ..................................... .... .... ..................................... ........ 71
Comprehension Processes and Monitoring: S1, S4, and S7................................... 74
Comprehension Processes and Monitoring: S3, S6, S8......................................... 78
Comprehension Processes and Monitoring: S2 and S5 ......................................... 81
Research Question 3 .................................................... ................. .................... 85

5 D IS C U S SIO N .......................... ................................................................................ 93

6 C O N C L U SIO N S .................................................................... .................................99

N um ber of Subjects....................................................................... .............. .......... 99
Technology Im provem ents ......................................................... .................... 100
Im plications for Pedagogy ..................................................... ..... ..... .... ................. 101
F future R research .......................................................................... .......................... 102

APPENDIX

A PRE-STUDY QUESTIONNAIRE ............................................ .....................104

B DESCRIPTION OF TEXTS ...................................................... .....................107

C SAM PLE TEXT SCREEN S ...................................................... .....................108

D POST-STUDY QUESTIONNAIRE ........................................................................112

E PROPOSITIONAL ANALYSIS GUIDELINES AND TEXT SAMPLES ...............114

F IDEA UNIT ANALYSIS AND TEXT TEMPLATES ......................... .......... 120

G READIN G SAM PLE ................................................................ .....................128









H RESULTS OF POST-STUDY QUESTIONNAIRE ............................. ........... 144

R E F E R E N C E S ................................................................................. ..........................14 5

BIO GRA PH ICA L SK ETCH ............................................................ ..................... 159















LIST OF TABLES


Table page

3-1. Schedule for Reading in the Multimedia Lab ...................... .....................51

3-2. Group I and II Alternating Conditions Q and NQ....................................................52

4-1. Percentages of Propositions Recalled...............................................60

4-2. Percentages of Idea Units Recalled..........................................................................62

4-3. Raw Scores and P-Values for Proposition and Idea Unit Scores (Q and NQ)...........65

4-4. Look-ups (L) and Causal Inferences (CI) in Q* and NQ ........................................66

4-5. Combined Quantitative Data for Recalls and Think-Aloud Protocols.....................68

4-6. Individual Readers' Histories and Post-Study Questionnaire Results .....................72

4-7. Readers' View of Question Glosses........................................ .....................73

4-8. Reader's V iew of Cultural Links............................................................................. 74

4-9. Readers' Combined Quantitative Results for Text 1 (Dl) and Text 8 (D2) ..............87

H-1. Post-Study Questionnaire Results ........................................ ..................... 144















LIST OF FIGURES


Figure page

4-1. Individual Student Propositional Comprehension in Q and NQ...............................61

4-2. Individual Student Idea Unit Comprehension in Q and NQ.....................................62

4-3. Individual Student Proposition and Idea Unit Scores in Q and NQ ...........................63

4-4. Percentages of Propositions for Texts 2-7 in Q and NQ .........................................64

4-5. Idea Unit Comprehension Scores for Texts 2-7 in Q and NQ....................................64

4-6. Total Number of Look-ups and Causal Inferences by Texts.....................................67















Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

READING AUTHENTIC TEXT IN THE HYPERMEDIA ENVIRONMENT:
THE EFFECTS OF QUESTION GLOSSES ON COMPREHENSION PROCESSES OF
INTERMEDIATE LEARNERS OF GERMAN AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE


By

Christina Overstreet

May 2006

Chair: Candace Harper
Cochair: Theresa Antes
Major Department: Teaching and Learning

This study examined to what extent and how question glosses in the hypermedia

environment enabled intermediate learners of German as a foreign language to go beyond

the surface and textbase level and construct a situation model of a text based on

appropriate cultural background knowledge. Question glosses are interspersed questions

that function to prompt the reader to either activate pre-existing knowledge or to become

aware of a cultural difference or knowledge gap and avoid misreading a text. A

misreading is defined as an instance when the reader constructs a mental model that

contradicts explicitly stated information as well as the "unseen" in a text. Eight

participants read eight texts over a period of eight weeks. Data collection combined

immediate recall and think-aloud protocols, pre- and post-study questionnaires, as well as

exit interviews after each reading. Two groups of readers alternated between reading

texts with and without question glosses, while holding all other variables constant: access









to external and internal dictionaries, and multimedia hyperlinks (geographical, historical,

cultural information).

Recall protocols yielded two different types of comprehension scores. The

propositional scores established how efficiently readers recognized words and pieces of

information at the surface level of a text. It was found that question glosses improved the

recall of propositions for some readers who lacked lower-level processing skills, but

made no difference for readers who demonstrated a higher degree of automaticity in

lower-level processing. In contrast, the weighted idea unit analysis indicates to what

extent participants constructed coherent textbase models of a text. Five participants

recalled more main and supporting ideas when reading a text with than without question

glosses. By combining the results of the quantitative analysis of the recall and think-

aloud protocols, a connection between the percentage of idea units and the number of

look-ups and causal inferences emerged. Question glosses usually triggered more look-

ups, and more look-ups resulted in higher idea unit scores and a higher number of causal

inferences. Readers who struggled with bottom-up processing generated more causal

inferences and fewer misreadings than the more fluent readers. Furthermore, the

qualitative analysis of the think-aloud protocols revealed that over time question glosses

provided assistance and training for most readers with regard to higher-level processing

skills.















CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

Truly understanding any text, and particularly a text written for a discourse

community other than one's own, requires both general topic knowledge and culturally

bound knowledge. The reader must become aware of systems of thinking and knowledge

structures different from her/his own and develop the cognitive framework to make sense

of the new information in foreign texts. This study examines the effects of question

glosses as comprehension aids for intermediate learners of German as a foreign language

(FL) in the hypermedia environment. Question glosses are interspersed questions

intended to prompt the reader to either activate appropriate pre-existing knowledge or to

become aware of a cultural difference or knowledge gap, and to look up relevant

background information. These prompts are not meant to lead the reader to a certain

interpretation of the text, but rather to empower her/him to independently interact with

authentic target language text and avoid misreading it.

The new National Standards in Foreign Language Learning in the 21st Century

[NSiFLE] (U.S. Department of Education, 1999) addresses the central importance of the

"appropriate cultural interpretation of meanings that occur in written or spoken forms

where there is no recourse to the active negotiation of meaning with the writer or

speaker" (p. 36). According to Standard 1.2 on interpretive communication, it is crucial

that we distinguish between the notion of reading or listening comprehension as

"understanding a text with an American mindset" (p. 36) and the cultural interpretation of

a text. Interpretation implies the "ability to read (or listen) between the lines" (p. 36).






2


The five goal areas of Communication, Cultures, Connections, Comparisons, and

Communities (known collectively as the Five Cs as set forth by the new standards), are

represented by five interconnected circles, signifying that all of them ought to be part of

the language learning process for all students and at all levels. Standards 2.1. and 2.2.

about Cultures state that students must demonstrate an understanding of the relationship

among the practices (patterns of social interactions) and perspectives (meanings,

attitudes, values, ideas) and products (books, tools, foods, laws, music, games) and

perspectives of the target language culture (pp. 49, 50). For example, along with

learning the appropriate phrases for interacting with native Germans and knowing the

geographical and historical facts about Germany, L2 learners must also "develop

understandings of why or why not something is important" (Bemhardt & Kamil, 1998, p.

43). Clearly, while linguistic competence is necessary for understanding a foreign text,

it is not in itself sufficient. In order to achieve the Five Cs, L2 reading instruction must

receive greater attention than in the past and find a way to help readers develop cultural

understanding.

L2 Reading Instruction in Undergraduate Programs

L2 reading may well be at the heart of the language and culture dilemma. It is

possible that a student who has completed beginning and intermediate college-level

courses is capable of decoding what is written on the page in black and white about

people, places, and events, but lacks the training and the resources to "read between the

lines." Experts agree that introductory FL courses do not adequately prepare university

students to read, understand, and participate in meaningful discussions about authentic

target language literary and cultural texts (Bemhardt, 1994; Bretz, 1990; Friedman, 1992;

Kramsch, 1985, 1993; Schulz, 1983; Swaffar et al., 1991). However, in advanced-level









courses, we expect FL students to apply the linguistic knowledge acquired in previous

language courses to critically read and understand lengthy target language texts. That

rarely happens. Often the teaching of literature turns into "a massive process of

explanation by the teacher or even of translation" (Collie & Slater, 1987, p. 7).

In Reading for Meaning: An Integrated Approach to Language Learning, Swaffar

et al. (1991) outlined a curricular shift in undergraduate programs of American

universities from culturally neutral dialogues to authentic texts, from the discrete practice

of grammar rules to an integrative use of grammar linked to meaning, and from

vocabulary lists to be memorized to vocabulary understood and cued in the L2 context (p.

12). At the same time, the authors make the point that while new curricula may reflect

current theory and research, new concepts are not easily realized in practice. Many

textbooks for learning a second language (L2) at the beginning- and intermediate-levels

still "promote the idea that mastery of textual vocabulary and structures is requisite for

reading and thus subvert interactive processing" (p. 30). Rather than training students to

become active participants in the construction of meaning, instructional materials and

practices often encourage word-for-word reading and surface translation behavior.

Accordingly, students read simplified texts on simplistic topics and answer questions

about explicitly stated information in the text. The emphasis is not on making sense of

the text as a whole, but rather on producing grammatically correct answers to discrete

questions about isolated facts in the reading. Bernhardt and Kamil (1998) argue that

although current introductory FL textbooks are full of cultural items and facts, they do

not and should not be expected to provide the kind of cultural "backdrop" (p. 43)

necessary for L2 learners to understand the "why" behind the facts.









Higher education has institutionalized the separation of language and culture in

education. Although the language teaching profession has come a long way towards

recognizing and exposing the divide as a false dichotomy, it is still deeply entrenched in

our institutions of higher learning. In the 1960s and 70s, basic "language training" was

seen as "remedial work," while "scholarly training" began in the upper-level literature

courses (Swaffar et al., 1991, p. 6). This disparity between language and culture learning

is still visible in many FL language and literature departments today. While graduate

students and non-tenured faculty teach the language courses, professors of literature teach

the advanced-level content courses. The separation of language and culture is evident in

classroom practices as well as in the textbooks used in beginning and intermediate

German language courses. The issues addressed in the dialogues and so-called cultural

readings frequently operate in a cultural no man's land. Rather than addressing cultural

differences, authors of textbooks often follow a "melting pot" strategy in which cultural

otherness is absorbed to the point that it fits into a seemingly universal cultural scheme in

which nothing is really foreign. For example, students of German in the United States

are taught that they attend Klassen, although the German university does not use the term

Klasse for any university level course. Without gaining access to the cultural dimension

of the meaning of words like Schule, Universitdt, Studium, and Student, American

students wrongly equate German and American institutions. As a result, students coming

from a traditional language program may produce grammatically correct German

sentences, but what they say does not make sense outside their German classroom in the

United States.

In introductory literature courses, the problem is further compounded by an

approach to reading that posits that meaning does not reside in the text but rather in the









reader. Reader-response theory (Fish, 1980, 1994, 1995) dismisses the idea of authorial

intent as well as historical context. It focuses primarily on the reading process and the

reader's experience as she/he reads a particular literary work. The reader provides the

content by projecting her/his own understanding or culturally determined assumptions

onto the text. Thus, the text functions primarily as a mirror reflecting its reader. Clearly,

one of the problems of the reader-response theory is its failure to account for the potential

of a text to expand the reader's understanding of the world.

Language is never used outside a specific cultural and historical context. In order

to avoid misreading a text, one cannot ignore the author and the time and society in

which she/he wrote. Language is both "an expression of an individual's thoughts and the

values of a community, both text and context" (Kramsch, 1993, p. 10). Schleiermacher

(1998) argued that "every utterance is to be understood only via the whole life to which it

belongs, i.e., because every utterance can only be recognized as a moment of the life of

the language-user .. and every language-user can only be understood via their

nationality and their era" (p. 9).

In the face of dwindling enrollments and in an attempt to make FL learning a

more intellectual enterprise, German language and literature departments are reinventing

themselves as cultural studies departments, with a greater emphasis on the study of

culture at the undergraduate level (Schneider & von der Emde, 2000). Culture courses

are frequently cross-listed with other departments to attract more students. Consequently,

these courses are often taught in English. However, "a cultural studies curriculum that is

not integrated into the language-learning process from the beginning runs the risk of

reproducing the same damaging institutional split between so-called content courses and

language learning" (Schneider & von der Emde, 2000, p. 18). Also, German language









departments throughout the United States are re-examining the intermediate level

curriculum (Rava, 2001) in order to stem the tide of dropouts. It is widely recognized

among L2 professionals that there must be a renewed commitment to help intermediate-

level students acquire the necessary cultural framework that will enable them to engage

with authentic target language text at a deeper level.

Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) at the University Level

The new national standards require that L2 students should have "access to a

range of technologies" to help them "strengthen linguistic skills, establish interactions

with peers, and learn about contemporary culture and everyday life in the target country"

(U.S. Department of Education, 1999, p. 35). Many FL professionals are recognizing

and making use of certain inherent features of the World Wide Web (WWW) that are

consistent with current language learning theories: availability of authentic materials,

communication capabilities through networking, multimedia capabilities, and the

hypermedia structure of information (Chun & Plass, 2000, p. 161). Hypermedia permits

the linkage of text, sound, graphics, or video to and from any other medium type. The

WWW brings contextual information that has traditionally been provided by the teacher

or gathered from a variety of printed sources to each reader's fingertips. The reader

interacts with the hypertext more freely than with traditional print to co-construct

meaning by the choices she/he makes, providing a new sense of agency for the reader

(Purves, 1998). However, the very nature of the hypertext, particularly its flexibility and

the freedom of choice it affords, does not necessarily facilitate readers' use or

understanding of textual information (Spires & Estes, 2002). Research into web-based

reading has shown that reading from a screen is more difficult than reading print

(Thurstun, 2004). Hypertext, even in the reader's native language, may be more









cognitively demanding than linear text (Calisir & Gurel, 2003; Rouet & Levonen, 1996)

unless we develop online-tools that provide support and guidance for the reader (Shapiro,

1998).

While audiotape-based language labs have generally been replaced by multimedia

centers on U.S. campuses, textbooks come with their own CD-ROM and/or websites, and

many individual instructors use the WWW in some fashion, classroom practices in

general and reading instruction in particular appear to lag behind current theories of

language learning. Teachers' practices are shaped by their own educational experiences

and are therefore resistant to change (Cuban, 1993; Johnson, 1992). Teachers who reject

CALL are not necessarily technophobes. Research shows that inadequate teacher

training and lack of institutional support may be to blame (Brantmeier, 2003b; Lam,

2000). Brantmeier (2003b) studied informed instructors' perceptions on "CALL and

Second Language Acquisition (SLA)" and "CALL and L2 reading." These "informed

instructors" were Ph.D. students enrolled in a seminar on SLA and CALL. They all had

been teaching language courses at the undergraduate level in a university setting.

Brantmeier found that these instructors were open to integrating new technologies into

their teaching if these technologies were grounded in L2 reading theories and research.

However, they also expressed concerns about the time commitment necessary and the

reliability of technical systems.

Researchers in Applied Linguistics, SLA, and other related fields, together with

their graduate students and technical support staff, are driving the development,

implementation, and testing of CALL. Networked CALL is understood as an expansion

of CALL (Chapelle, 2000) and is based on the idea that language learning occurs as

individual learners negotiate meaning. The computer serves to connect individual









learners. Computer mediated communication (CMC) makes it possible for learners of a

FL at an American university to interact with native speakers (NSs) of the target

language. Reports on online collaborative projects emphasize their potential for

promoting intercultural understanding as well as language acquisition (Kern, 2000;

Mueller-Hartmann, 2000; Schneider & von der Emde, 2000). CULTURA (Furstenberg,

2003; Furstenberg et al., 2001) is a prime example of a pedagogical approach that

successfully integrates the Five Cs. Students at MIT learning French as a FL and their

French counterparts in Paris who are learning English explore a variety of parallel topics

and readings and write about their discoveries in their respective native languages. Each

group reads and questions the other's understanding of a particular topic based on their

own viewpoints. Thus, cultural knowledge is not a static phenomenon to be transmitted

from the instructor to the student, but rather a dynamic process where students are

participating in "a reciprocal construction of one another's cultures" ( Kern et al., 2004,

p. 248).

Innovative instructor/designers (Ducate & Lomicka, 2005) used German native

speaker web logs (blogs) with 3rd semester German students and French native speaker

blogs with 4th semester French students for reading and micropublishing. A blog is a

website with dated entries, lists of links, commentaries, and personal thoughts. Students

chose one blog and read it throughout the semester. The following semester, the students

created their own blogs and wrote postings about assigned topics.

While networked CALL applications such as CULTURA and individual

innovators are setting the pace, much work remains to be done in studying actual learning

outcomes and in working with teachers on the practical application of new CALL

models. Access to authentic materials, participation in online communities, and









opportunities for intercultural communication do not necessarily mean that students are

learning the L2 and becoming culturally literate. In her recent report on the progress of

L2 reading research, Bemhardt concludes that we still do not know "how to understand

the use of electronic aids in independent reading" (Bernhardt, 2005, p. 143). Without

instructional support, readers are "forced to fend for themselves" and "are haunted by the

fact that they have no real way of knowing whether they have understood highly

technical material" (p. 143). Bernhardt challenges the field to "meet its ethical demand to

support such readers" (p. 143).

This study is an attempt to better understand how and to what extent question

glosses in the online reading environment help intermediate-level learners of German

cope with lengthy authentic German text. Can we conceive of the online reading

environment as a "zone of proximal development" (Vygotsky, 1978), a "safe" place

where the individual L2 reader independently interacts with authentic target language text

and receives guidance as needed? Is it possible to design environments that encourage

the reader not only to focus on meaning at the word and sentence level, but also to tap

into the individual and collective "Lebenswelt" (live world) to which the text refers and

to develop an awareness and appreciation of cultural realities different from her/his own?















CHAPTER 2
REVIEW OF LITERATURE

Reading in an L2 is a multidimensional process and reading in the multimedia

environment adds another layer to an already complex process. This chapter provides an

overview of the use of the computer for L2 learning and the role of reading within three

predominant theoretical paradigms. It will become evident that networked CALL has the

potential to transform L2 literacy. Current L2 reading models, schema theory, and the

construction of mental models as they relate to readers' inferencing will be discussed. In

order to establish the rationale for electronic comprehension aids other than vocabulary

glosses, this chapter examines the usefulness of hypermedia environments that were

created by researchers to help intermediate-level learners of an L2 to become better

readers. The effect of question glosses for intermediate-level readers of German is

examined within the framework of activity theory (Leontiev, 1978).

CALL and L2 Reading

Over the past two decades, CALL gradually changed in accordance with SLA

theories and the advance of new technologies. In general, one can identify three major,

but overlapping, theoretical movements: the structural in the late 1960s and 1970s, the

cognitive/constructivist in the late 1970s and 1980s, and the sociocognitive in the 1990s

and the early 21st century (Warschauer & Kern, 2000).

A structural perspective of language emphasizes a formal analysis of the language

system and was aligned with Skinner's stimulus response theory and Pavlov's classical

conditioning experiments. The principal role of the computer in the structural approach









was that of mechanical tutor to provide grammar and vocabulary tutorials, language

drills, skill practice, and immediate feedback. The grammar-translation method was the

predominant approach for reading foreign texts. The objective was to train learners to

analyze and translate texts as a way to learn grammar. While audio-lingual teaching

focused on the spoken language, it operated on the same principles. Students were

instructed to read out loud for correct pronunciation.

In the late 1970s and 1980s, this model of SLA was increasingly replaced by the

cognitive/constructivist model. According to this theory, an individual's language

development is guided by innate cognitive structures (Chomsky, 1959, 1965) and learners

actively construct a new language system as they receive comprehensible input (Krashen,

1982). Errors are no longer "bad," but, rather, a natural part of interlanguage (Selinker,

1972). According to interlanguage theory, learners gradually reach target language

competence by continually testing their hypotheses about the rules of the L2 as they

process input. In this model, reading receives much more attention. Texts serve as input

for "unconscious processing or as objects of problem solving and hypothesis testing"

(Warschauer & Kern, 2000, p. 7). Reading is perceived as a psycholinguistic process

(Goodman, 1967; Smith, 1994) and, according to interlanguage theory, readers are

taught how to use both bottom-up and top-down strategies to comprehend a text. The

individual reader constructs meaning as she/he activates her/his existing frame of

reference. Accordingly, learners use the opportunities for exploration and problem

solving provided by multimedia environments to construct new knowledge. Computers

are used for individualized instruction. CALL empowers students with "greater

flexibility in switching between the various modes of input... to suit their individual









needs" (Hubbard, 1996, p. 484). The computer is programmed to react to user input and

provide feedback based on individual user request.

At the same time that cognitive approaches were becoming popular, theories of

communicative competence (Canale & Swain, 1980; Hymes, 1971) and appropriate use

of language became important concepts in language instruction. Based on the

assumption that language develops through social interaction and negotiation of meaning,

this theory argues that L2 language teachers are expected to create opportunities for

authentic language use. As a result, instruction becomes more task- and content-based.

In this model, the goal is to help learners read and understand a text as embedded in a

particular sociocultural context and to achieve a level of L2 literacy that encompasses the

appropriate use of the language along with "underlying systems of thought" (Swaffar et

al., 1991, p. 216). As described in the introductory chapter, 21st century cutting-edge

technology such as network-based CALL has the potential for facilitating L2 learners'

interaction with native speakers of the target language and their participation in the

construction of cultural knowledge.

The three generations of CALL as described above only roughly correspond with

the three major theoretical movements in language teaching and learning. One must keep

in mind that classroom practices with or without CALL are not necessarily reflective of

current theory and that practices vary depending on the need and goal of the moment.

Warschauer's (2000) ethnographic study of four different L2 college classrooms showed

that the use of CALL applications depended largely on the individual teacher's belief and

the institutional context. He concluded that the teacher who prefers a structural approach

will use technology in a structural way. Someone who believes in the cognitive/

constructivist approach will look for ways to use the technology to provide exploration









and problem solving activities (p. 45), and someone who adheres to an interactionist view

will use the computer as a tool to engage learners in authentic target language use.

While Chapelle (2000) agrees with Warschauer and Kern's (2000) assessment of

a historical progression in the development of CALL, she sees very little "evolutionary

progress" (p. 205). She believes that some of the software designs from the 1970s keep

reappearing not because they proved to be effective, but because "some members of each

generation were satisfied to reinvent rather than determined to evolve" (Chapelle, 2000,

p. 205). There appears to be a need to unify CALL research methodology as well as the

criteria for the evaluation of CALL software. Since the late 1990s, network-based CALL

applications such as globally linked hypertext and CMC have challenged the field of SLA

to examine CALL activities within the new sociocultural paradigm. Network-based

CALL applications not only "serve the new teaching/learning paradigm, they also help

shape the new paradigms" (Warschauer & Kern, 2000, p. 12).

Activity Theory

This section describes the rationale for using activity theory, a sociocultural

approach, to understand and explain the effects of question glosses on the comprehension

processes of individual participants reading in network-based CALL. A sociocultural

theory approach "foregrounds sociality to individuality, language as socially constructed

rather than internally intrinsic, language as both referential and constructive of social

reality, and notions of distributed and assisted activity in contrast to individual

accomplishment" (Thorne, 2000, p. 225). Activity theory (Leontiev, 1978), a component

of sociocultural theory, explains how learning is situated and how it unfolds in different

ways under different circumstances. These circumstances include "the specific

individuals each with their different histories" (Donato, 2000, p. 47). In the present









study, the cognitive processes of individual participants reading foreign text in the

hypermedia environment are situated in the context of each participant's history: i.e.,

language proficiency, previous experience in learning German, preferences regarding the

use of the computer and the Internet, and study abroad experience. (See Appendix A).

Furthermore, the reading activity is embedded in external circumstances such as the

university setting and the multimedia lab.

Another central tenet of activity theory is agency. In Vygotsky's view, human

beings use physical and symbolic tools or artifacts to establish relationships between

themselves and the world at large. Symbolic tools or cultural artifacts are created, passed

on and re-created over time, and passed on from generation to generation (Lantolf, 2000).

Thus, "human beings are agents who act upon the world and engage in activity,

constructing their environment in unique ways" (Roebuck, 2000, p. 83). Research

subjects are viewed as unique individuals with personal histories who approach the task

with their own set of goals, desires, and motivations. The individual participant's

orientation to the task (goals, needs) or her/his intentionality will determine the outcome.

Therefore, any given activity varies according to the participants and the circumstances.

Activity theory distinguishes between the activity and the task. The reading tasks as

planned by the researcher, with her agenda in mind, are nothing more than "behavior

blueprints (...) imposed on subjects" (Coughlan & Duff, 1994b, p. 175). Activity on the

other hand, is the "behavior that is actually produced when an individual (or a group)

performs a task. It is the process, as well as the outcome of the task, examined in its

sociocultural context" (p. 175). Thus, from the perspective of activity theory, while the

assigned reading tasks could potentially enable readers to construct situation models

based on appropriate background information, "there can be no guarantees, because what









ultimately matters is how individual learners decided to engage with the task as an

activity" (Lantolf, 2000, p. 13). Roebuck (2000) found that individuals often reinterpret

the meaning or intent of a difficult cognitive task.

Another important theme of activity theory is the re-externalization of inner

speech. Within Vygotskyan theory, language is the primary mediational tool in the

development of human cognition. Social speech evolves into private speech when a child

starts to use language for problem solving. We ask ourselves questions, answer our own

questions, or tell ourselves we are wrong. Usually, around the age of seven, private

speech becomes subvocal and turns inward. The child begins to 'think words,' but not

necessarily produce them (Vygotsky, 1986, p. 230). Inner speech is believed to be "the

dominant mode of verbal thought and (...) a central fixture governing our higher mental

functions such as planning, guiding, and monitoring the course of activity" (McCafferty

& Ahmed, 2000, p. 199). However, when faced with problem-solving tasks, these

processes can be re-externalized to maintain or regain control over them in performing

the task (Frawley & Lantolf, 1985; Smith, 1996). In this study, the task of thinking-out-

loud while reading revealed how readers puzzled through difficult passages and how they

"repositioned" themselves when they felt in danger of losing face (Roebuck, 2000, p. 94).

Theoretical Models of L2 Reading

The L2 reading process is both cognitive and social in nature. Theory building

about L2 reading requires that the process be broken down into its various components.

It is important to keep in mind that within the sociocultural framework that this study

adopts, while various components of the reading process are analyzed separately, but

must also be understood holistically and interdependently as situated activity (Thorne,

2000, p. 236). This review of L2 reading theories attempts to show the explanatory









power of an interactive compensatory model of L2 reading and explores the crucial role

of background knowledge.

Bottom-up, Top-down, and Interactive Processing

Grabe (1991) defines reading as "an array of lower-level rapid, automatic

identification skills and an array of higher-level comprehension/interpretation skills" (p.

383). This view of reading overlaps with metaphoric descriptions of reading as "bottom-

up," "top-down," and "interactive." In an effort to unpack the complex process of

reading, researchers have identified general component skills and knowledge areas such

as "automatic recognition skills, vocabulary and syntax knowledge, formal discourse

knowledge, content/world knowledge, synthesis and evaluation skills/strategies, and

metacognitive knowledge and skills monitoring" (Grabe, 1991, p. 379). While L1 and L2

reading research are based on many of the same concepts, there are important differences

to consider. College-level L2 readers should be able to draw on their L1 literacy. They

already have acquired a great deal of knowledge about the world and have developed

comprehension/interpretation skills. In contrast to L1 readers who start school with an

already formidable vocabulary base, the adult L2 reader has to learn all new vocabulary

along with the syntax of the target language in the span of three to four years. According

to Nagy and Herman (1987), 40,000 words are required for advanced reading. It is widely

believed that automaticity in lower-level processing plays an important role in fluent

reading. Fluent readers tend to have a large vocabulary base and good knowledge of

grammar.

L2 reading research has focused extensively on lower-level or bottom-up

processing. A number of recent studies confirm that there is indeed a high correlation

between L2 vocabulary knowledge and reading comprehension (Droop & Verhoeven,









2003; Laufer, 1997; Schoonen et al., 1998) and knowledge of grammar and reading

comprehension (Alderson, 1993; Fender, 2001, 2003). In their study of 3rd and 4th grade

minority children in Holland, Droop and Verhoeven (2003) found strong evidence of a

high correlation between vocabulary development and later reading ability (r2 =.71).

Laufer (1997) reported correlation scores between .50 and .75 on several studies looking

at vocabulary, and Schoonen at al. (1998) found a correlation of .71 between vocabulary

knowledge and reading scores for 8th grade students of English as a foreign language.

While research of bottom-up processes emphasizes the decoding of a text, top-

down processing typically involves not only the use of background knowledge but also of

higher-level knowledge structures and metacognitive skills (Carrell, 1988). Skilled

readers synthesize and evaluate new information, draw inferences, and use strategies. A

skilled reader knows how language works and is aware of her/his own cognition.

Metacognitive strategies, such as previewing, skimming, comprehension monitoring,

planning ahead, checking effectiveness of strategies and revising them, summarizing

main points, etc. (Grabe, 1991, p. 382) are viewed as major components in L2 reading.

A number of studies show that strategy training improved reading comprehension

(Anderson, 1991; Barnett, 1989; Cohen, 1990; Swaffar et al., 1991).

Compensatory Processing

The present study takes the interactive process-oriented approach to explore how

and to what extent participants use the available online resources, in particular question

prompts and additional background information, to comprehend what they read. Both

text-based and knowledge-based factors operating simultaneously drive the reader's

evolving perception of the text. Prior knowledge or background knowledge is defined as

the reader's existing knowledge of the world. Researchers often distinguish between









factual and cultural background knowledge. Factual knowledge may be knowledge about

specific topics and/or domains, the kind of knowledge one usually learns in school,

including knowledge about language. Culture-specific knowledge or cultural awareness

is a very specific kind of background knowledge and can include both cultural-historic

knowledge as well as knowledge that has been passed on from generation to generation

(Bensoussan, 1986; Bemhardt, 1991). In Vygotskian terms, knowledge of a culture is the

ability to participate in the characteristic activities of a community and "learning is a

matter of changing patterns of participation" (Gee, 2000, p. 196). Thus, knowledge may

be implicit in the text as "information held by the writer and assumed to be known by the

reader" (Bemhardt, 1991, p. 93). The knowledge held by the individual reader is highly

idiosyncratic and may or may not be relevant to the text at hand.

Studies have shown that the less attention the reader has to pay to decoding the

surface structure of the text, the more processing capacity is left for top-down processes

such as inference and analysis (Carpenter & Just, 1986; Koda, 1992; Spiro, 1980; Spiro

& Meyers, 1984; Stanovich, 1980). An interactive compensatory process model of L2

reading (Stanovich, 1980) explains how the reader constructs meaning as she/he engages

in both bottom-up and top-down processes. According to Stanovich, "a pattern is

synthesized based on information provided simultaneously from several sources" (1980,

p. 25). The reader compensates for a deficiency at one level of processing by increased

processing at another level. Donin and Silva (1993) studied native speakers of English

learning French and concluded that intermediate level students use "high-level conceptual

processing to overcome limitations imposed by lack of automaticity in sentence-level

syntactic and semantic processing as suggested by compensatory processing models of

reading" (p. 395). In other words, compensatory processing "illustrates that knowledge









sources are not additive, but rather operate synchronically, interactively, and

synergistically" (Bernhardt, 2005, p. 140).

L1 Literacy and L2 Reading

Although most experts in the field of L2 reading would agree that background

knowledge plays an important role in the comprehension process, there are lingering

questions about the impact of L1 literacy knowledge on L2 reading. According to the

short circuit hypothesis (Bossers, 1991; Clark, 1980; Taillefer, 1996), unless L2 learners

have achieved a certain level of automaticity in lower-level processing, they will not be

able to draw on their L1 literacy and their knowledge of the world. In this case,

background knowledge would not compensate for L2 deficiencies. The excessive

cognitive load on the reader's short-term memory would prevent her/him from making

connections with already existing knowledge structures in long-term memory. In other

words, the less proficient L2 reader cannot 'think' beyond the meaning of a word, a

sentence, or a proposition (beyond the textbase level of the text). On the other hand,

according to the interdependence hypothesis (Cummins, 1976), the L2 reader who is

fluent in her/his L1 is capable of top-down processing and makes use of the same kind of

strategies to comprehend a text in the L2 as in her/his L1 (Horiba et al., 1993).

Since the late 1990's, the discussion has turned to how much of the L1 literacy

skills contribute to L2 reading comprehension, under what conditions, and in which

contexts (Bernhardt, 2000, 2005; Bernhardt & Kamil, 1995). In an attempt to reconcile

the findings of earlier, mostly quantitative studies about the role of L2 knowledge, and

more recent studies of the contribution of L1 literacy, Bemhardt (2000) proposes a

revised model of theoretical distribution of reading factors: general literacy ability (or L1

literacy) constitutes 20% of any given comprehension score, grammar about 30%









(vocabulary 27% and syntax 3%), and 50% of any given score is unaccounted for (p.

803). This large unexplained variance lies in the individual differences of the L2 reader

and includes comprehension strategies, level of engagement and motivation, and

background knowledge.

Background Knowledge

Afflerbach (1990) studied the influence of prior knowledge on the strategies used

by expert readers to construct the main idea of a text when the main idea was not

explicitly stated. He found that for expert readers in their L1, prior knowledge of the

content domain facilitated automatic construction of the main idea statement. Chen and

Graves (1995) conducted an L2 study using previewing to test the effect of activation of

background knowledge on comprehension. Results showed that the group that received

specific text-relevant background knowledge had significantly better comprehension than

the control group and the group that received only general background knowledge.

Studies investigating readers' comprehension of culturally familiar versus unfamiliar

texts revealed that recall of culturally familiar materials yielded more idea units, more

culturally appropriate elaboration, and fewer distortions (Johnson, 1981; Pritchard, 1990;

Steffensen & Joag-Dev, 1984). Bernhardt (1984) found that learners of German as a FL

relied heavily on prior knowledge. Lack of culture-specific knowledge, such as the

format of a German business letter, and inappropriate prior knowledge impeded readers'

comprehension and led them to misinterpret the text. Bensoussan (1986) examined

evidence from different studies that indicated problem areas in reading comprehension.

She found that the mistranslations from English to Hebrew were due to readers' lack of

knowledge about the conventions of written text in the L1 and the L2. In addition,

readers held preconceived notions about word meanings that led them to misinterpret









contextual clues such as illocutionary force, logical connectors, and modifiers.

Bensoussan claims that clues can only be aids if the reader is sensitive to rhetorical

traditions and cultural constraints (p. 400).

In a recent study on passage content and gender, Brantmeier (2003a) found that

the comprehension problems intermediate-level learners of Spanish encountered when

reading authentic text did not necessarily stem from a lack of L2 proficiency. She

concluded that at this stage of L2 acquisition, "passage content clearly influences how

well male and female readers process meaning (...)" (p. 13). Indeed, comprehension

differences between skilled and less skilled readers are not necessarily due to their

inability to decode a text (Gernsbacher et al., 1990; Oakhill, 1994) or working-memory

capacity (Ericsson & Kintsch, 1995). There is some evidence that differences in

comprehension reflect "the ability to make inferences and construct situation models"

(Zwaan & Brown, 1996).

Schema Theory and Mental Model Construction

Though not "the smoking gun" (Bernhardt, 2005, p. 134), schema theory

nonetheless represents an important step in understanding how knowledge is structured

and stored in long-term memory and how L2 readers activate and use prior knowledge to

make sense of a text (Carrell, 1984, 1987, 1988; Carrell & Eisterhold, 1983). According

to schema theory, knowledge is stored in long-term memory as sets of interrelated

abstract concepts that are networked to other concepts in hierarchical relationships and

correspond to the individual's experience. Schema can be visualized as composed of

nodes and associations and has been compared to the interconnectedness of hypertext

(Kaplan, 1995). The construction of meaning depends on activating the appropriate pre-

existing schemata. The reader tends to pay attention to elements in the text that are









important in light of her/his existing schema. If readers possess the schemata assumed by

the writer, they can make the intended inferences. However, research shows that

conflicts arise when readers are confronted with texts that present new information for

which they lack essential foundational knowledge. If a reader cannot find information in

the text that fills a particular slot in her/his activated schema, she/he will assign a "default

value" (Anderson & Pearson, 1984, p. 269). In that case, the reader will develop a

causal chain of events that suits her/his initial decision about what the text means and

may completely misread the text without becoming aware of it. Benoussan (1986) draws

the same conclusion. If readers cannot find a matching schema, they tend to formulate

their own schemata using their own preconceived ideas about what a word means or

about the gist of the story. They may create a whole new incorrect context.

Schema theory and theories of mental models of text comprehension are related

concepts. Both are used to capture aspects of higher-level processing. Schema theory

proposes that in order to make sense of a text, the reader has to make the connection

between the information in the text and her/his pre-existing knowledge in long-term

memory. A mental models theory addresses the various levels of the mental

representation of a text based on the reader's ability to infer meaning. It is believed that a

reader has a need to understand why something occurs in order to construct a coherent

mental representation of the text (Singer et al., 1994; Trabasso & Magliano, 1996;

Trabasso & Suh, 1993). An explanation-based theory of comprehension proposes that

comprehension depends on the generation of causal inferences. Causal inferences

connect events in a text at the local and global level. According to this view,

"comprehension involves explaining incoming story events and actions by looking for

causal antecedents of these events in either a) working memory, or b) the prior text (in









long-term memory), or c) world knowledge" (Zwaan & Brown, 1996, p. 291). While

bridging inferences are text-based and establish coherence between the focal event and

prior information in the text, elaborative inferences are drawn from the individual's

background knowledge (Keenan et al., 1990; Van den Broek, 1990). Coupled with the

notion of causal inferencing in comprehension are theories addressing the various levels

of mental representation of a text (Van Dijk & Kintsch, 1983): the surface level

(linguistic processes), the textbase level (the propositional meaning of textual

constituents), and the situation model (the integration of the textbase with background

knowledge). If the reader fails to find an explanation in the text itself, she/he may draw

an inference using her/his prior knowledge and experiences, in the form of existing

cognitive schemata. Similarly, schema theory describes inferencing as the "assignment

of default values for filling a particular slot in the active schema" (Anderson & Pearson,

1984, p. 269).

Consistent with the bottom-up metaphor of reading, in a mental model theory,

comprehension processes begin in working memory with low-level word recognition.

Words are integrated into propositions (what a sentence means). In higher-level

processing, a network of propositions that closely reflects the information in the text (the

text model or textbase) begins to take shape. As the reader adds new propositions to the

textbase and evaluates the incoming information, she/he draws on prior world knowledge

that is available in long-term memory. Thus, a second model, the situation model,

evolves at the same time. The situation model is defined as the reader's interpretation of

the situation described in the text, based on her/his already existing world knowledge.

It is generally believed that skilled comprehenders are able to generate more

explanatory inferences and construct stronger situation models than less skilled









comprehenders. L1 reading research has shown that while less skilled readers may draw

more inferences than skilled comprehenders, they do so because they are not editing out

irrelevant information (Gemsbacher et al., Trabasso & Magliano, 1996; Witney et al.,

1991). Some researchers (i.e., Zwaan & Brown, 1996) concluded that L2 readers

generally spend all their mental efforts on decoding a text and do not go beyond the

textbase level.

The Role of Glossing in L2 Reading Instruction

The subject of glossing has received renewed attention in L2 reading research

because of its potential for computer-assisted reading comprehension. For the purpose of

this research, glosses are defined as "many kinds of attempts to supply what is perceived

to be deficient in the reader's procedural (skill) knowledge and declarative (factual)

knowledge" (Roby, 1999, p. 95). For example, vocabulary glosses are categorized as

declarative/linguistic knowledge and can be further subdivided into generic dictionary

definitions (signification glosses) and glosses that give the meaning of a word in a

specific context (value glosses). On the other hand, any statements and/or questions that

are meant to aid the reader in top-down processing fall under procedural knowledge and

metacognitive glossing. Metacognitive glosses may be presented as priming (advance

organizer) or prompting glosses (interspersed statement/question) and they take different

forms depending on the medium (Roby, 1995, p. 95).

Since lower-level processes play a principle role in L2 reading, research on

glossing has focused primarily on vocabulary acquisition and retention. However, while

vocabulary glosses are meant to aid lower-level processes, the ultimate goal is or should

be to help the L2 reader understand the text as a whole. A review of glossing studies

reveals that the researcher's belief about what constitutes comprehension and the









comprehension measure she/he uses affect the outcome. The problem is compounded

when increased vocabulary look-ups and vocabulary gain are wrongly equated with

overall comprehension of a text.

Despite the conflicting evidence, glossing continues to be an accepted aid in

foreign language textbooks (Davis, 1989). Traditionally, glosses offer a short definition

or an explanatory note for unfamiliar words or grammatical concepts either in the side or

bottom margins of the printed page. Johnson's (1982) study of readers of English as a

Second Language (ESL) provides evidence that glossing may impede global

comprehension by focusing readers' attention on individual words. Jacobs et al. (1994)

report that glossing affects neither recall nor vocabulary acquisition. In contrast, Davis

(1989) Jacobs (1991, 1994), and Hulstijn et al. (1996) found that L2 readers with access

to glossing recalled more of the text than students without access to glosses.

Furthermore, incidental vocabulary learning for L2 readers was higher in the glossing

condition.

Some of the more recent research has focused on vocabulary activities that require

greater mental efforts from the reader (de la Fuente, 2002; Rott & Williams, 2003; Swain,

1998). Laufer and Hulstijn (2001) claim that acquisition of new words depends on

"involvement load," a construct that describes the level of motivation and cognitive

engagement of the L2 reader. Accordingly, Rott and Williams, (2003) studied the effects

of multiple-choice glosses on inferencing strategies and form-meaning mapping for

intermediate-level learners of German. Think-aloud protocols revealed that access to

multiple-choice glosses for target words led to increased engagement with the text, better

comprehension of ideas, and more vocabulary learning for the readers (p. 66).









Glossing in the Hypermedia Environment

Early L1 literacy studies compared reading on paper and in the computer mode

and found that either there was no difference in readers' performance (Fish & Feldman,

1987; Gambrell et al., 1987) or that reading from the computer screen was slower (Gould

& Gischkowsky, 1983) and poorer (Heppner et al., 1985). Reinking (2001) argues that

electronic texts differ conceptually from printed texts and calls for intra- rather than inter-

media comparisons. He believes that it is more productive to ask how digital texts might

be presented to "engage readers more actively in processing textual information" (p.

204), to provide "various types of assistance during reading," and to give "adaptive

guidance and feedback" (p. 198).

Hypertext can be glossed with additional text, sounds, graphics, and video.

Multimedia files can easily be stored by the computer and made available to the reader

upon request. Computerized glossing differs from glossing on the page of a book in that

it is "invisible and unobtrusive" (Davis, 1989, p. 42) and therefore less likely to interrupt

the reading process. The gloss is invisible to the reader until she/he clicks on an

unfamiliar word or expression. Indeed, while early studies compared the effect of

electronic dictionary glossing with paper glossing, current research on computerized

reading is increasingly guided by questions about how to engage readers on a deeper

level.

Roby (1991) and Aust et al. (1993) compared two types of semantic support in the

paper and the computer mode. The semantic supports were either dictionary definitions

(signification glosses) or a meaning of a word in context (value glosses) or a combination

of both. The four treatment groups had access to 1) paper dictionary; 2) paper dictionary

and value gloss; 3) computer dictionary; 4) computer dictionary and value gloss.









Comparisons were made on four measures: frequency of consultation, reading time,

efficiency, and comprehension. Findings in both studies show that L2 readers of Spanish

who had access to both types of glossing (signification and value glosses) took less time

to read than those with signification glosses only. Although readers in the computer

mode looked up twice as many words as readers in the paper mode, proposition recall

protocols showed no significant differences in comprehension between the groups. It

appears that the number of glosses activated did not directly influence the amount of

recall, as measured by a propositional analysis. Aust et al. (1993) conclude that the

propositional recall measure they used "is not sensitive to incidental vocabulary

acquisition because subjects' responses are written in English" (p. 71) and it is

"premature to suggest that hyper-references do not benefit learning" (p. 70). The

authors' conclusion leaves doubts as to whether they intended to test vocabulary

acquisition or comprehension.

A new study (Yoshii, 2005) on internet-based reading, vocabulary learning, and

look-up behavior support these earlier findings. Yoshii found that there is little or no

correlation between frequency of look-ups and vocabulary gain. The difference between

Yoshii's study and the earlier ones is that he did not claim to test comprehension, but

rather vocabulary gain based on the number of look-ups. He concludes that future

research on intemet-based reading ought to focus less on vocabulary gain and more on

how to provide guidance and how to encourage learners of a FL to read more.

Based on the hypothesis that depth of cognitive processing facilitates recall,

Nagata (1999) investigated the effectiveness of two types of "marginal glossing" used in

Banzai Readings, a Japanese courseware program. The term "marginal glossing" used by

Nagata and others is reminiscent of the traditional glossing in the margin of the page of a









book. He describes the "single-gloss" format of marginal glossing as a single English

translation for each target vocabulary item (value gloss) and/or target grammatical

structure (syntactical gloss) in the text. Nagata states that the use of this type of glossing

in the Bonzai reading program is based on the assumption that glosses are more

convenient to use than dictionaries, they draw the reader's attention to the target words,

and may be conducive to form-meaning mapping. In the "multiple-choice" format on the

other hand, two alternative English translations of a Japanese word are provided. The

reader has to infer the correct translation from the context. As soon as she/he chooses

"A" or "B," the program tells the reader whether she/he selected the correct translation.

Nagata reports that the vocabulary and grammar item post-tests show higher scores for

the multiple-choice group. It appears that the students using the multiple-choice version

paid more attention and exerted a greater mental effort (p. 474). In his conclusion,

Nagata mentions two topics for future investigation. One would be to extend the course-

ware to include multimedia glosses such as cultural background, grammar, and video and

to compare the effectiveness and usefulness of these features with providing multiple-

choice definitions only (p. 474). Another project could be the addition to the Bonzai

Reading Program of a greater variety of "production practice," such as follow-up reading

comprehension exercises for each text (p. 477).

"Text-Specific Approaches" to Online Reading Instruction

In the 1990s, researchers began to develop and use authoring tools to create the

kind of hypermedia environments for L2 reading that Nagata referred to in his

conclusion. Research interests shifted increasingly to questions regarding what kind of

L2 learner/reader benefits from reading online and which built-in comprehension aids

she/he tends to use. Researchers are recognizing that readers need guidance in how to









read online and training in how to take advantage of online glossing other than

vocabulary glossing. Ultimately, the goal is to assist in higher-level processes such as

inferencing and text model construction. As noted previously, L2 students' reading

experiences are typically limited to dialogues and short cultural readings in beginning-

and intermediate-level language textbooks. Therefore, there is a critical need to prepare

learners for the rigorous reading of authentic, lengthy texts in advanced-level literature

courses. (Brantmeier, 2003a; Martinez-Lage, 1997).

In a text-specific approach, the instructor/designer pre-selects the readings and

tailors the content and tasks to the needs of a specific group of readers (Brandl, 2002). A

number of researchers (Chun & Plass, 1996a, 1996b; Davis & Lyman-Hager, 1997;

Lyman-Hager et al., 1993; Lyman-Hager & Davis, 1996) began to create hypermedia

environments that take into account the compensatory interactive nature of L2 reading.

What differentiates this multimedia approach from the CALL applications described

above is a shift from bottom-up processing and expectations of vocabulary learning to a

more integrated environment with a greater emphasis on overall understanding.

Accordingly, these researchers/designers attempted to develop a rich cultural context for

the text, offering readers many types of glosses besides dictionary definitions. Martinez-

Lage (1997) claims that the "immediate access to textual, sound, and visual annotations"

facilitates active reading and a more global understanding of the text (p. 149). Lyman-

Hager et al. (1993) and Chun and Plass (1996a, 1996b) conducted research on vocabulary

acquisition within such multimedia environments. The researchers were interested in

readers' choice of glosses and in the effectiveness of visual glosses accompanying

individual words. In both studies, students took a post-reading vocabulary test and wrote

recall protocols. In the first study, the computer group scored higher than the paper









group (Lyman-Hager et al., 1993). Chun and Plass (1996a, 1996b) further showed that

visual glosses, namely words annotated with pictures and/or video, produced higher

recall for intermediate L2 readers of German than word and text only.

Chun (2001) studied how 23 second-year German students used multimedia

resources to read and summarize two texts about studying abroad. Texts 1 and Text 2

were comparable in length and difficulty level (106 and 115 words respectively). Text 1

was read in netLearn, a hypermedia program created by the author with an internal

dictionary, a bilingual dictionary, and links to an audio-narration of the text. If the

readers didn't know a word, they could click on the word, and the translation would come

up in a separate window. If a word they did not know was not in the internal dictionary

(value gloss), they could look it up in the external bilingual dictionary (significance

gloss). Text 2 was a Website of a German university with a link to an external bilingual

dictionary only. Chun used a built-in action tracker to record readers' look-up behavior.

All students wrote recall protocols, four were selected for think-alouds, and seven for

exit-interviews. She reported that students preferred the internal to the external

dictionary and looked up significantly more words when all they had to do was click on

the word. Chun also found that the readers who had access to both dictionaries while

reading a text recalled more of the seven "main propositions" or "main idea units"

identified beforehand by the researcher for each text. However, Chun found no

significant correlations between the number of words readers looked up in each one of

the glossing conditions and the number of propositions recalled. She speculated that

access to audio glossing of the text may have contributed to increased recall in the

netLearn condition. Thus, her results support Roby (1991) and Aust et al. (1993) who

also found no differences in comprehension based on increased look-up of words in the









hypermedia environment. Chun's findings underscore the idea that the knowledge of

words does not ensure to comprehension of any given text. Also, Chun agrees with

Dillon and Gabbard (1998) that multimedia does not necessarily increase learner

comprehension in general. However, based on her research results, she disagrees with

them that higher-ability learners will perform better than lower-ability learners regardless

of the medium of instructions.

Davis and Lyman-Hager (1997) used GALT (Glossing Authentic Language

Texts), a hypermedia authoring software software inspired by Bernhardt's six-factor

model of L2 reading (1991, p. 122) for their research project. The readers could click on

words to get definitions in English or French, hear the words pronounced by a native

speaker (NS) of French, and access grammar explanations and cultural information.

Davis and Lyman-Hager examined the ways intermediate-level undergraduates of French

used these multimedia glosses within this integrated online reading environment from

three perspectives: 1) the relationship between the readers' choice of available glosses

and quantity and accuracy of their comprehension of a Franco-African literary text; 2)

individual user style; 3) users' perceptions of the program (p. 58). Despite all the other

glosses available to them, 85% of the readers' look-ups were vocabulary items. The

researchers reported that readers decoded word-for-word in a completely linear fashion

and found no clear evidence that the computer program had enhanced overall

comprehension. Many of their readers appeared to be "false comprehenders" (p. 68). In

other words, readers thought they understood the gist of the story because they had

instant access to word definitions. Recall protocols proved otherwise. These findings

provide more evidence that while vocabulary knowledge is a key facilitator in L2

reading, it is no guarantee for understanding.









Davis and Lyman-Hager's (1997) study demonstrates that well-designed

hypermedia environments and ease of access to informational support do not necessarily

increase the reader's use of these options. Furthermore, the authors noted that for some

of their subjects "(the) need to reconstruct logically consistent mental representations of

the story apparently superseded contradictory information on word meanings that was

instantly available from the computerized gloss" (p. 67). Their analysis of the data

provides strong evidence for "the psychological necessity of representing events in

memory in a manner that conforms with one's view of reality, in combination with the

interpretation of a text one is reading" (p. 67). Indeed, when prior knowledge is activated

that contradicts information in the text, readers may allow prior knowledge to override

the text (Alverman et al., 1985). Based on schema theory and mental model construction,

if the activated cultural schemata is specific to the reader's own culture and does not

match that of the text, she/he will construct an inappropriate situation model of the text

(Anderson & Pearson, 1984; Bernhardt, 1991; Carrell, 1988b; Hammadou, 1991;

Johnston, 1983; Kang, 1993; Wolff, 1987). The reader naturally draws inferences from

her/his prior knowledge to construct a situation model of the text without being aware of

it.

Lomicka (1998) corroborates and expands on Davis and Lyman-Hager's (1997)

findings. What distinguishes her study from Davis and Lyman-Hager's is the use of the

think-aloud protocol. Lomicka argues that think-aloud is a more accurate measure of

comprehension because it accounts for comprehension processes as they occur online.

In her study, twelve second semester students of French as a FL read an excerpt from a

poem that had been annotated with GALT (Glossing Authentic Language Texts).

Lomicka designed three different conditions to determine the level of comprehension









based on causal inferences. Subjects in condition 'A' read an introduction

(metacognitive/priming gloss) and the text without access to any other kinds of glosses.

Lomicka referred to condition 'A' as the "no gloss" condition. Subjects in 'B' read the

introduction and the text with access to definitions in French (value glosses) and

translations in English (signification glosses). Those in the full glossing condition, 'C',

read the introduction and the text with access to these and other glosses such as images,

pronunciation, cultural references, and interspersed questions (metacognitive/prompting

glosses). The question glosses were designed to prompt readers to think about ideas in

the text, or extra-textual cultural/historical information that would be helpful for

understanding the poem in its appropriate context (personal communication, Dec. 12,

2002). The analysis of her data from the think-aloud protocols and a tracker built into

GALT support Davis and Lyman-Hager's (1997) claim that low proficiency readers

primarily access glosses to find out the meaning of a word and do not explore other

available resources. However, in Lomicka's study, tracker data also revealed that the

question glosses were accessed by each reader at least once and generated one or more

causal inferences for each reader. Although raw numbers of inferences were much higher

in the full glossing condition, C, no statistically significant difference in the percentage of

inferences was found between condition A (priming gloss only), condition B (value and

signification gloss) and condition C (all glosses) due to the small number of subjects.

Also, while cultural reference glosses were consulted less frequently than question

glosses, Lomicka found that they too helped the reader gain a deeper understanding of the

text (1998, pp. 48, 49).

As noted earlier, the initial focus of electronic comprehension aids was on

vocabulary glossing. Vocabulary glosses in hypermedia may be presented in text format









accompanied by audio and/or video files. Nevertheless, their function is to provide

factual knowledge at the textbase level. In general, research of electronic glossing even

in text-specific integrated hypermedia environments has shown that although readers look

up more words than ever, they do not necessarily acquire more vocabulary knowledge,

score higher on the recall protocol, generate more causal inferences, or construct an

appropriate situation model of the text. The idea that "fast and easy access to the

meanings of unknown words makes up for insufficiently automatic bottom-up processes

and deficiencies in processing capacity, and thus allows the reader to attend to top-down

processes" (Gettys et al., 2001, p. 93) is simplistic and unsubstantiated. Gettys et al.

(2001) propose that since "the main benefit of reading in a FL is indirect vocabulary

learning" (p. 98) and readers rely primarily on dictionary glosses and ignore others,

"software should follow the principle of economy of means" (p. 93). They further argue

that rather than providing readers "with as much information related to meaning as

possible" information should be reduced to a "degree of minimum proficiency" (p. 93).

Indeed, if the goal of reading is to acquire L2 vocabulary, Gettys et al. may have a point.

However, the new national standards for foreign language learning require that

researchers and practitioners find ways to help learners make the connection between the

language and the target culture. According to the new standards, truly comprehending a

foreign text "implies the ability to read between the lines." Thus, rather than reducing

information related to meaning to a minimum, future research must find ways to aid top-

down processing to help readers avoid misreading the text and to train them to become

independent and critical readers.









Metacognitive Glossing

Davis and Lyman-Hager's (1997) and Lomicka's (1998) findings imply that

multimedia environments are not as effective as they could be because they lack cues for

conceptual orientation. Intermediate FL readers need guidance and practice in

inferencing. Davis and Lyman-Hager (1997) suggest "a more interactive program with

multiple interventions (such as interspersed questions) may well be useful for students at

this instructional level, who misjudged how much and how well they had understood" (p.

68). Lomicka (1998) also recommends that "an increased number of interspersed

questions could be incorporated in the software in order to aid the development of a

situation model" (p. 50).

Interspersed questions are defined as metacognitive prompting glosses (Roby,

1999). Metacognitive glosses push readers to "take an active stance" leading to

"comprehension monitoring, a metacognitive behavior" (Stewart & Cross, 1991, p. 5).

Stewart and Cross (1991), who studied L1 reading and glossing in the paper medium,

note that glosses that prompt readers to stop and think add a third voice, the teacher's

voice, to the inner voice of the reader and the author's voice. Beck and McKeown (1986)

and Beck et al. (1996) conducted research that focused on the social context of teacher-

led discussion for L1 reading comprehension instruction. 'Questioning the Author,'

developed by Beck and McKeown (1986), is an approach that draws students into a "kind

of shared thinking-out-loud" (p. 25), where the author is viewed as someone who is

trying to convey a message. Teachers ask questions like "What's the author's message

here?" to elicit summaries or explanations of main ideas from students. Other questions

are meant to encourage students to elaborate or clarify ideas, i.e., "Why do you think the

author wants us to know about this?" (p. 287).









The creation of question glosses for the current study is based on the underlying

assumption that conscious understanding is explanation based. Explanations appear to be

causally chained (Trabasso & Magliano, 1996, p. 267), and readers may misread the

entire text without becoming aware of it. Trabasso and Magliano (1996) found that

asking 'why' questions during one story increased the number of explanations that

occurred during thinking aloud (p. 285). A 'why' question may help the reader repair

breaks in coherence by alerting her/him to possible explanations.

Design Issues

Since both Davis and Lyman-Hager (1997) and Lomicka (1998) used GALT

(Glossing Authentic Language Text) for their experiments, it is possible that the template

itself contributed to the reluctance of the readers to look up anything but vocabulary.

Therefore, in the current study, texts were presented in a format that every participant

was already accustomed to and that did not require additional training. With the help of a

technical assistant, I created a template using Microsoft Word and applied it to each

individual text. A major concern in the interface design was how to present the

additional information, i.e., the question glosses, vocabulary, and cultural information

along with the core text. How visible should the link indicators be and how much

information should be presented? L1 research on "elaborations on core information"

(Duffy & Knuth, 1989), shows that readers tend to use few and well-defined nodes

(Knuth, 1992; McKnight et al., 1990). There is strong evidence that the use of submenus

decreases learner exploration in the hypermedia environment (Welsh et al., 1994). Thus,

a link should clearly indicate which information is made available, to avoid wasting time

and effort on the reader's part. Also, glosses or annotations that are made available in the









core text are most beneficial if the visual disruption of the core text is held to a minimum

(Jonassen, 1988; Kearsley, 1988).

According to Roby's (1999) taxonomy of glosses, a question gloss is defined as a

prompting gloss because it is consulted during the course of reading. Consistent with

activity theory, question glosses are viewed as a "form of mediation helping students to

gain control over language and task procedures" (Donato, 2000, p. 44). They are meant

to encourage readers to continually question, reassess, and revise their interpretation of

the text. The goal is not teaching what to think, but how to think (Meichenbaum, 1985, p.

410).

Research Focus

The studies in this literature review represent exploratory steps toward a clearer

understanding of multimedia glossing for L2 reading comprehension. While there is

some evidence that that multiple modes of presentation enhance the acquisition and

retention of vocabulary and enhance comprehension, we still know very little about how

to guide readers to take advantage of available background information in order to

increase global comprehension and avoid misreading a text. This study looks to a

"particular practice of a use of CALL in a specific social context" (Warschauer & Kern,

2000, p. 2) to answer the question, i.e., of how the computer, as a technological tool, can

improve reading. Building on what we know so far about text-based hypermedia reading

environments, this study further investigates the effects of question glosses on

comprehension processes for intermediate-level learners of German as a FL in a

university setting. In doing so, it addresses the following research questions:









1. To what extent and how do question glosses in a hypermedia environment enable

intermediate-level readers to go beyond the linguistic and textbase level of a text to

construct a situation model of a text based on appropriate background knowledge?

2. To what extent and how do question glosses prompt readers to monitor their

comprehension processes and produce causal inferences?

3. How do question glosses affect readers' look-up behavior over a period of time?

Will readers take advantage of glosses other than dictionary glosses in response to

question prompts and will they continue to do so even without question glosses?















CHAPTER 3
METHODOLOGY

Within the framework of activity theory, the participants of the study and their

particular circumstances will be discussed followed by a detailed description of the kind

of texts that were used in the study and how they were selected. An explanation and

description of the construction of the hypermedia environment and the question glosses

that guide the online reading task then follows. A rationale for using both written recall

and think-aloud protocols will be presented. A step-by-step account of the data-

collection procedure follows. The last section shows how processes and products of the

reading task are analyzed, not in isolation, but as interdependent factors, to discover how

the participants used the assistance that was provided.

Participants

This study of computerized FL reading was conducted as a component of an

already existing third year web-based German course at the University of Florida.

"Introduction to Reading German Text" was designed with WebCT (Web Course Tools

for authoring, delivery, and management of materials) to help students make the

transition from beginning- and intermediate-level language courses to advanced-level

literature courses. More specifically, the primary goal of this course is to teach students

how to cope with lengthy authentic German texts. The designer/instructor, a professor of

German literature, taught the course the semester this study was conducted.

Recruiting the participants from a single web-based reading course ensured that

all received the same instruction and were familiar with reading German text in an online









environment before the study began. As a regular part of the course, students read two

texts per week, ranging from youth literature to works of classical and contemporary

writers and newspaper articles. For each text, the following support was provided: the

English/German dictionary LEO (Link Everything Online); a widely used multimedia

source for contemporary history of Germany in German, LeMO (Lebendiges Virtuelles

Museum Online); as well as links to encyclopedias and to author biographies. Students

read at home at their personal computers and answered multiple-choice, true/false, and

open-ended questions about the readings and about text-specific contextual information.

During the first half of the semester, the emphasis was on developing an understanding of

the relationship between syntax and semantics (i.e., verb case government; meaning and

function of prepositions; how to deconstruct long German sentences). As an integral part

of this WebCT course, grammar pages, exercises, and homework assignments were

tailored to the specific needs of these learners of German to prepare them for upper-level

course work, in particular reading lengthy authentic texts.

During the second half of the semester, all students read the eight texts that had

been pre-selected for this study. These texts were then discussed in class. The 19

students enrolled in "Introduction to Reading German Text" were informed that they had

an opportunity to participate in various online reading assignments that had the potential

to enhance their reading skills and prepare them for the ensuing classroom discussion.

The students who volunteered to participate in the study read these texts in the

multimedia lab, while the rest of the class read at home in WebCT format as before. All

students knew that participation in this study would not directly affect their final grade in

the course. Participants received monetary compensation for each completed reading

task. Also, after the analysis of the data for Group I and Group II was completed, one









outlier was discovered and removed from the data set. It became evident that this reader

did not have the necessary language proficiency to cope with these lengthy texts. His

extremely low comprehension scores skewed the outcome for the other participants in his

group. Thus, the results for eight participants will be reported and discussed.

Materials

Selection of Texts

In the pilot phase of this study, 14 authentic German texts were selected based

primarily on their content. The instructor/designer of the course, one additional faculty

member who had experience in teaching German language and culture courses at the

undergraduate level, and I chose the texts. It was assumed that students already had some

basic knowledge and understanding of topics such as the Holocaust, the Fall of the Berlin

Wall, and the reunification of Germany and its political and economical aftermath, in

particular the problems related to the massive influx of immigrants from Eastern

European countries.

Learners of German who were transitioning from intermediate- to advanced-level

course work were then asked to pre-read these texts. The purpose for pre-reading was

twofold. First, think-aloud protocols of pilot readers revealed how much vocabulary they

had to look up to understand the text at the sentence level. Also, potential breaks in

coherence became evident. Breaks in coherence, or gaps, are defined as those places in

the text where readers lack the appropriate background knowledge and have to 'read

between the lines.' Thus, based on apparent gaps, it was later determined where a

question gloss could be placed in the text and what kind of additional information would

be helpful to the readers in the main study.









Ten different students each pre-read two to four different texts from among the

14, and were paid a flat rate for each task. No one in this group could be enrolled in the

course the following semester when the main study was conducted. Seven of the 10 had

completed "Introduction to Reading German Text" the previous semester. Each of the

pilot-readers was instructed individually on how to think out loud and how to use the

Divace recording system in the multimedia lab. Each text had a link to LEO, the online

English/German dictionary everyone already knew and liked. As a rule, pilot-readers did

not look up anything but words, although all of them had previous experience in online

language learning. It must be noted that payment was not the primary motivation of these

readers, but rather an expressed desire to 'practice their German.'

Over half of the texts were eliminated from the original list for a combination of

reasons. The longest text had 2,807 words, the shortest 588 words. Both were cut, but

for different reasons. For example, if two of three pilot readers had difficulty 'sitting

through' the reading task because it became too tedious and frustrating to look up words,

the text was eliminated. If very specific knowledge was required and readers had too

many gaps, the text was also cut. In the shortest text, the male sex organ was depicted as

the decisive force in the Fall of the Berlin Wall. A female reader failed to see the humor

and irony the author had intended and stopped thinking out loud. It was decided not to

use this text in the main study. In all, six of the 14 texts were chosen for use in the study.

In consultation with colleagues, I then selected Text 1 (Amerika) and Text 8 (Good Bye

Lenin!, Kaupp, 2002), and these were not pre-read due to time constraints. In the main

study, all subjects read Text 1 and Text 8 in the dictionary-only condition and therefore it

was not necessary to pre-determine knowledge gaps. However, at least two readers pre-

read each of the other six texts that received question glossing in the main study.









Description of Texts

The average length of the eight texts on the final list was 795 words. The longest

text had 1267 words, the shortest 488. (See Appendix B). Using Gunning's (2004)

taxonomy, three texts were categorized as narratives and five as expository. While

narratives are comprehended in terms of how the main character resolves a problem or

conflict (p. 234), the purpose of the expository text is to convey information (p. 238). In

general, narratives are thought to be easier to read than expository text because of their

story grammar. Text 1, Amerika (Schnitzler, 2003) is a consciousness-oriented narrative,

combining "a level of action and a level of thought and emotion" (Gunning, 2004, p. 235).

As the narrator stands on the shore of the New World, he begins to reminisce about his for-

mer lover. With Anna, he had discovered another kind of America. Whenever he kissed her

behind the ear, she cried out "America." As he walks toward the city, he realizes that

Anna and the "old" America are lost to him forever, and he is not sure whether he likes

the new America. Text 2, Kannitverstan (Hebel, 2003) is an action-oriented narrative

with a main character and plot. A German journeyman from a small southern town

arrives in Amsterdam. He is in awe of this rich merchant city and he asks someone who

the lucky owner of the great house he sees before him might be. The Dutchmen answers,

"Kannitverstan" (I cannot understand). The journeyman assumes that this is the name of

the man who owns this marvelous house. As he stands at the harbor, a ship is unloaded

and he asks again who the owner of the ship is. The answer is "Kannitverstan." Now the

journeyman begins to feel unhappy because he realizes how poor he is in comparison to

Mr. Kannitverstan. As he turns the comer, he sees a funeral procession and asks who

died. Predictably, the answer is "Kannitverstan." The journeyman joins the procession

and is very moved by the sermon, of which he does not understand a word. And from









now on, every time the journeyman thinks about what a poor devil he is, he only has to

think of Mr. Kannitverstan in his cold narrow grave to be happy again. Text 6, Die

Fragenden, (The Questioners, Hartling, 1979) is a story of three young men who question

the citizens of their hometown about a former concentration camp nearby. No one wants

to talk about the past. Nevertheless, the young men search the archives, find the site of

the sub-camp near their hometown, and the graves of the Jewish-Hungarian women who

were murdered at the camp. Because of these three young men, a memorial will be

erected to honor these victims of the Holocaust. At first glance, this is a straightforward

narrative with main characters, a setting, a problem, and a resolution. However, with the

exception of the concentration camp Buchenwald, where the young men first find the

map with the sub-camps, characters and places do not have proper names. This text is

part of the body of literature written in the 1970s as the people of Germany began to face

their Nazi past. Without proper names, the reader has to draw her/his own conclusions

based on background knowledge.

Text 3, Rauher Kapitalismus (Rough Capitalism, Huhnke, 1999), was defined as a

time sequence-oriented expository text. Its purpose is to convey information about the

transition from a socialist to a capitalist society by telling the story of one woman and her

family. People who never had to worry about housing, childcare, and employment before

are learning difficult lessons about fending for themselves. For the first time, a

saleswoman and mother of five children, is afraid of losing her job. Text 4, Wer ist ein

Tiirke? (Who is a Turk? Dikman, 1995) is an autobiographical expository text about the

identity of Turkish guest workers in Germany. Dikman treats the prejudices of both

Turks and Germans living together with humor and irony. Text 5, Die erste eigene

Wohnung, (My First Apartment, Kaminer, 2000), is also an autobiographical expository









text telling about the chaotic life in East Berlin after the Fall of the Wall and the special

status of Jewish refugees from the former Soviet Union. Text 7, Der Zweite Teil des

S'/,au,/,al Ein Offener Brief an Friedman, (The Second Part of the Scandal: An Open

Letter to Friedman) (Stolle, 2003), is a letter to the editor by the representative of a

women's initiative group. The purpose of this letter was to draw attention to the second

part of a scandal surrounding Michel Friedman, a prominent German Jew. Michel

Friedman had not only used cocaine, but also solicited the services of illegal prostitutes

from Eastern European countries. Text 8, a critique of the popular film Good Bye Lenin!

(Kinofenster, 2002), was also defined as an expository text with a plot summary. The

plot summary part of the text was a narrative. The film shows how an East German

family experienced the fall of the Berlin Wall and how they coped with the confusing

time immediately following the reunification of Germany.

Creating a Template for the Reading Activity

The design of this online reading environment was guided by the principle of the

reader as a "knowledge constructor who actively selects and connects pieces of visual

and verbal knowledge" (Mayer, 1997, p. 4). Within the sociocultural paradigm, the

construction of knowledge is not "private," but rather "mediated by cultural tools" (Gee,

2000, p. 196), i.e., the computer, the texts, the question glosses, and the language itself.

Based on evidence from previous research about the use of submenus (Welsh et

al., 1994) and adding extra-textual information in the hypermedia environment (Duffy &

Knuth, 1989; Jonassen, 1998; Kearsley, 1988; McKnight et al., 1990), a technical

assistant and I used Microsoft Word software to create a template. The main webpage for

each text consisted of multiple frames. The largest frame contained the core text in the

center of the webpage, with the surrounding frames accommodating the cultural/









background information (additional text, audio, video), the internal dictionary (value

glosses), and the question prompts (metacognitive glosses). (See Appendix C).

The cultural/background information items on the left were given titles that

clearly indicated what could be explored. The internal dictionary was on the right. The

type and number of links and vocabulary items were based on the analysis of pilot

readers' think-aloud protocols. Readers could easily scroll up and down to keep the

internal dictionary parallel to their place in the text. A link to LEO was also provided.

In an effort to avoid drawing readers' attention to words and to curtail clicker-happy

behavior, the internal dictionary format was selected over 'mouse-over' and over

highlighting words in the text.1 Clicking on a small red dot in the core text would bring

up the frame with the question gloss at the top of the page. Thus, the question gloss was

invisible until the reader decided to click on the red dot. Each text was self-contained

and included an instruction page for the think aloud and the written recall protocol. (See

Appendix C).

Question Glosses

Question glosses were written with the help of the instructor of the course, based

on the concepts and models provided by Beck et al. (1996). We determined what kind

and how many links containing additional information were to be made available in the

left-hand column and where a question gloss was to be placed in the core text. Each

question was formulated to prompt the reader to look for an answer or explanation in the

text itself, or to access background/cultural information, and to make a causal inference.

For example, for Kannitverstan, 5 of 10 questions begin with "Why": "Why do you think


1 Mouse-over is a feature that makes a link visible as soon as the cursor is placed on it. Thus, any word in
the text can be linked to a gloss that remains invisible until the reader clicks on it. If a word or sentence is
highlighted, it is immediately visible to the reader.









the author says, ... ?"; or "Why does the author ...?" or "Did you notice ...?" In this

story, geography played an important role. Pilot-readers had difficulty in determining

whether capitalized nouns were the names of people or places. Therefore, in order to

answer the questions "Why does the author name Emmendingen and Gundelfingen along

with Amsterdam?" and "Did you notice that the journeyman comes from Tuttlingen?

How may that affect his perception of Amsterdam?" the reader in the main study had to

first find out that these are the names of small towns in Southern Germany by clicking on

the links. The links provided in the background information column were carefully

selected and tested before use in the study. With few exceptions, the information in the

culture links was in English, not in German. Participants could click on "Niederlande" to

see where the Netherlands and Amsterdam were located in relation to Emmendingen,

Gundelfingen, and Tuttlingen. Clicking on the Amsterdam link would bring up pictures

of the kind of stately houses the journeyman admired so much. Based on this

information, readers could infer that the journeyman is a long way from home and in awe

of the wealth and beauty of this large trade city. The question "Why do you think the

author says 'our good Tuttlinger'?" required that readers make the inference that people

coming from small towns may be naive. "Do you know which segment of the 18th

century German-speaking population enjoyed reading 'calendar stories'?" was meant to

activate prior knowledge of the characteristics of a "calendar story" or prompt a look-up

(genre link). If readers knew that the 18th century working class read calendar stories,

they might infer the moral of the story. Ironically, although the good Tuttlinger did not

understand a word of Dutch, he came to know the "truth."

In order to ensure that participants did not have to deal with more unknown

vocabulary than necessary and that they understood the questions, the glosses were









written in English rather than the target language (Shohamy, 1984). Shohamy also

speculated that writing the questions in the L1 may be more "authentic," because readers

ask themselves questions in their L1 during the reading process. Indeed, it has been

shown (Roebuck, 2000) that in an effort to maintain or gain control of the cognitively

demanding task of reading a foreign text, readers tend to re-externalize their inner voice.

Participants' think-aloud protocols provide a window into how they talked themselves

through difficult situations.

Data Collection

In this section, I will discuss different methods for testing reading comprehension

and their theoretical bases and develop a rationale for using both immediate recall and

think aloud protocols in this study. A number of studies have shown that reading

assessment tasks will influence and possibly determine how readers perform on a reading

test (Lee, 1986; Riley & Lee, 1996; Shohamy, 1984; Wolf, 1993). Immediate recall is

considered "the most straightforward assessment of the result of text-reader interaction"

(Johnston, 1983, p. 54) and is the most commonly used measure in reading studies.

Bemhardt (1991) also points out that immediate recall reveals the integrated

comprehension product of the student and avoids validity problems found in multiple

choice and true/false tests. It is also believed that having L2 learners write recall

protocols in their L1 will eliminate any difficulties they may have in expressing their

thoughts in the L2 (Bemhardt, 1987; Lee, 1986).

However, Myers (1990) argues that immediate recall and other post-reading tests,

i.e., multiple choice, summaries, true/false, and open-ended questions, assess "off-line"

comprehension. It is possible that the reader can recall parts of the text or answer

questions without understanding the text as a whole. On the other hand, "online"









measures such as thinking out loud while reading, have "the potential to reveal" (Kucan

& Beck, 1997, p. 292) comprehension processes as they occur. The think-aloud task is

used to gain insight into what readers are thinking, sentence by sentence, as problems

arise. Long and Bourg (1996) argue that "verbal protocol analysis is ideal for identifying

those inferences that involve access to world knowledge and those that involve access to

prior text information" (p. 332). A number of researchers have used think-aloud

protocols to investigate individual differences in readers' text representations and

comprehension strategies (Cote & Goldman, 1995; Whitney et al., 1991; Zwaan &

Brown, 1996). There is some evidence that asking readers to think out loud causes them

to change their processing (Black et al., 1984), and that researchers must therefore use

think-aloud data along with other evidence. The two are combined in this study because

while recall protocols allow the researcher to study the 'product' of reading in the form of

recalled propositions and idea units, think-aloud protocols are a means to gain insight into

how individual readers mediate their thinking in private speech as they puzzle through

difficult passages to make sense of the text as a whole.

Multimedia Lab Setting

Before the study began, all students who were enrolled in the reading course

gathered in the multimedia lab to go through the entire procedure of reading a short text

online, doing a think-aloud, recording and saving the think-aloud, writing a recall

protocol online, and sending it via email to the researcher. Together with the staff, I

helped familiarize all the students with the Divace recording system and the interface of

the websites. All students were informed that if they participated in the study, they

would have to come to the lab at times set aside by the lab director and by me. Each text

had to be read in the lab before it would be discussed in class (See Table 3-1). Those









students who made a decision to participate returned the following week for the first

reading. Since it was not possible for some participants to come during the scheduled

times from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. on Mondays and Tuesdays, they had to read when students

from other languages courses were practicing speaking. Sometimes, they overheard

others thinking out loud. Although the director of the lab, and/or a lab assistant, a

research assistant, and I were at hand to help with any kind of technical questions and

problems participants encountered, sound-files were not always saved properly.

However, only one participant's think-aloud protocol for one text could not be retrieved

and was lost completely.

Each reading task was carried out in a specific order. Before each reading, I

reminded the participants to read the front-page with the instructions (See Appendix C),

to test their recording system, to talk out loud, and to take advantage of any glossing aids

as needed. They were told they could take as much time as they needed for the task.

Participants alternated reading the texts in either the Q or NQ mode, thinking out loud as

they read. Their thoughts were audio-recorded. After completing the think-aloud

protocols, participants closed the window with the text and clicked on 'Recall.' A

website came up with a submission area. Participants were instructed to write everything

they remembered about the text, in their L1, without looking back to the text.

Immediately after each reading task, I conducted videotaped exit interviews to probe

individual readers' perspectives on their experience. Questions on topic familiarity were

included in these interviews.

Data Collection Procedure

Stage I: According to the results of Part II of the AATG Test (American

Association of Teachers of German), an equal number of participants scoring above and










Table 3-1. Schedule for Reading in the Multimedia Lab
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
October 10
LAB PRACTICE
October 13 LAB Oct. 14, LAB Oct. 15 Oct. 16 Oct. 17
4:00-6:00 pm 4:00-6:00 pm Amerika Amerika Discussion in
Amerika Amerika Class
Oct. 20, LAB Oct. 21, LAB Oct. 22 Oct. 23 Oct. 24
4:00-6:00 pm 4:00-6:00 pm Kannitverstan Kannitverstan Discussion in
Kannitverstan Kannitverstan Class
Oct. 27 LAB Oct. 28, LAB Oct. 29 Oct. 30 Oct. 31
4:00-6:00 pm 4:00-6:00 pm Rauher Rauher Discussion in
Rauher Rauher Kapitalismus Kapitalismus Class
Kapitalismus Kapitalismus
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
November 3, LAB Nov. 4 LAB Nov. 5 Nov. 6 Nov. 7
4:00-6:00 pm 4:00-6:00 pm Wer ist ein Tiirke? Wer ist ein Tiirke? Discussion in
Wer ist ein Tiirke? Wer ist ein Ttirke? Class
Nov. 10 LAB Nov. 11 Nov. 12 Nov. 13 LAB Nov. 14
4:00-6:00 pm Veteran's Day Die erste eigene 5:00-7:00 pm Discussion in
Die erste eigene Holiday Wohnung Die erste eigene Class
Wohnung Wohnung
Nov. 17 LAB Nov. 18 LAB Nov. 19 Nov. 20 Nov. 21
4:00-6:00 pm 4:00-6:00 pm Die Fragenden Die Fragenden Discussion in
Die Fragenden Die Fragenden Class
Nov. 24 LAB Nov. 25 LAB Nov. 26 Thanksgiving Thanksgiving
4:00-6:00 pm 4:00-6:00 pm Discussion in
Der zweite Teil Der zweite Teil Class
des Skandals des Skandals
December 1 LAB Dec. 2 LAB Dec. 3 Dec. 5 Dec. 6
4:00-6:00 pm 4:00-6:00 pm Good Bye Lenin Good Bye Lenin Discussion in
Good Bye Lenin Good Bye Lenin Class


below the mean were placed in one of two treatment groups. Group I and Group II read

Text 1 with the external dictionary (LEO) and internal dictionary glossing-only (Dl).

Thus, using both think-aloud and recall protocol as comprehension measures, a baseline

of how each individual and each group read a text online before the treatment (without

any question glosses) was established.

Stage II: Group I and Group II alternated between reading texts with question

glosses (Q), and texts without question glosses (NQ) to control for the effect of the

question gloss. Only one group received the treatment Q or NQ for any one text, while









all other variables were held constant: external dictionary (LEO), internal dictionary, and

multimedia glossing (geographical, historical, cultural information). (See Table 3-2).


Table 3-2. Group I and II Alternating Conditions Q and NQ
Group I Group II
(S 1-4) (S 5-8)
Dl Dl
NQ Q
Q NQ
Q NQ
NQ Q
NQ Q
Q NQ
D2 D2

Stage III: Group I and Group II read one final text with dictionary glossing only

(D2). Comparing the comprehension results of reading in Dl (before the treatment) and

D2 (after the treatment) shows if and to what extent question glossing affected

participants' look-up behavior over the period of eight weeks.

According to activity theory, the sociohistorical setting and the sociocultural

history of the participants determine the properties of any given activity. A pre-reading

questionnaire (qualitative data) established student demographics including the extent of

their German experience, courses enrolled at the present, field of study/interest,

experience in reading and discussing texts in the L1; comfort level in working with

computers, and prior experience in reading texts in a FL online. (See Appendix A). A

second Lykert-scale questionnaire after completion of the readings gauged participants'

attitudes and perceptions of the computer-based reading environment in general and the

question glosses in particular. (See Appendix D).









Four months after the study was completed, a brief informal questionnaire was

sent via email to all readers, asking if participating in the study had had any effect on how

they were reading at that point.

Analysis of Recall Protocols

Experts agree that the type of comprehension assessment task that is used to test

reading comprehension may affect the outcome. Riley and Lee (1996) argued that there

is a qualitative difference in recalls depending on the instructions of the researcher. They

found that the recalls provided by subjects who were told to summarize the main ideas of

a text were found to contain significantly more main idea units than the recalls of subjects

who were told to write down what they could remember. Although the participants of the

present study were not instructed to summarize main ideas, they nevertheless wrote

summaries of the texts in their recalls. Since the texts averaged between 800 and 1200

words, and it took some readers over two hours to complete the reading and think-aloud

task, therefore it is entirely possible that they could not remember details and/or they

were too tired to write much and not willing to devote more time to the task. (See

Appendix B). Working within activity theory, Roebuck (1998) studied written recalls of

intermediate students of Spanish at the university level. Her data reveal that the

researcher's agenda or orientation is not necessarily the subjects' orientation. She found

that when some of her subjects felt the task became too difficult and they were in danger

of losing face, they responded by "repositioning themselves in relation to the task and the

perceived threat" (Roebuck, 2000, p. 91). In a similar way, the participants in the

present study, after first talking themselves through a long and difficult text, and then

being asked to remember what they had read, may have reinterpreted the meaning of the

assigned task and wrote summaries.









Because it was realized that students had in fact written summaries, recall

protocols are analyzed in two ways: first, by counting the total number of propositions

each participant recalled, without weighing the propositions as originally planned;

second, by counting and weighing the number of main and supporting idea units in each

recall protocol.

Detailed Propositional Analysis

The German texts were first translated into English because the readers' recalls

were written in English. By using the translations of advanced students of German and

the translations that one of the participants produced during her think-alouds, the final

product was a nearly literal and correct English version of each text. With the help of a

reading specialist, guidelines were developed for what would constitute a proposition in

this study and a proposition template for each text was created. (See Appendix E). Using

the proposition templates, two independent raters examined each of the eight recall

protocols of each participant and identified the propositions recalled. Both raters were

experienced in language teaching and learning. They were instructed to mark and count

every proposition that appeared in the recalls, adhering closely to the wording in the

templates. One of the raters was a native speaker of English (R1), the other a native

speaker of Turkish (R2), a doctoral student at an American university with a strong

command of English. The difference in their scoring was directly related to how

narrowly they defined any given proposition. Although we had addressed the issue of

paraphrasing beforehand, R2 was stricter in her scoring than R1. For example, R1

counted / wealth / as one proposition in place of / to this great / and rich / commercial

city /, whereas R2 did not count it at all. Also, in place of the propositions / with its

windows /full of tulips /daisies /, R1 accepted the reader's proposition / with wonderful









flowers /, while R 2 did not accept it as a substitute. The same reader recalled that the

stranger whom the journeyman addressed was / somewhat annoyed / The exact

propositions in the text template were /said shortly and brusquely / and buzzed past / R1

admitted this substitution, while R2 did not. This explains why the overall scores of R1

were higher than those of R2. Nevertheless, inter-rater reliability is high. Using

Spearman's rho, correlation coefficients for the detailed propositional analysis ranked

from a low of 0.883 for Text 1 to a high of 0.983 for Texts 7 and Text 8. The raters

received a small stipend for this task.

Idea Unit Analysis

For the weighted idea unit anlaysis, I created templates for each text based on

main and supporting ideas. (See Appendix F). Identifying the character, the setting, the

problem, and the resolution in a narrative was worth five points each. One additional

point was given per essential detail related to the story grammar. For example, in the

narrative Kannitverstan, the readers who recalled the two main characters, the German

journeyman received five points and five more points for recalling the imaginary Herr

Kannitverstan. Recognizing that the journeyman thought "Kannitverstan" was the name

of a very rich man was counted as a main idea as well. In addition, if readers

remembered that the journeyman came from the small town of Tuttlingen and had never

experienced a rich city like Amsterdam before, two more points were added for two

essential aspects of the main character.

For expository texts, main ideas received five points each and supporting details

one point each. Text 7, (Friedman) is clearly meant to impart information and was

published in a prominent German newspaper. Readers who wrote in their recall protocols

that Terre des Femmes was a women's rights organization received five points. They









also were given five points each for recounting that while Terre des Femmes respected

and accepted Friedman's apology for taking drugs they were very unhappy about the fact

that the second part of the scandal was swept under the rug, namely that he used illegal

prostitutes from Eastern Europe. Another piece of information, the fact that 50% of all

prostitutes in Germany are of non-German origin, also counted as a main idea unit.

Supporting details are that 80% of these women are from Eastern European countries

(one point) and many of them are smuggled in illegally (one point) and forced into

prostitution (one point).

Based on these main and supporting idea unit templates, each participant's recall

protocol was scored by two independent raters (R1 and R2). The raters and I met once to

discuss those scores that were more than five points apart. The raters found that

discrepancies between the scores occurred as a result of misinterpreting or overlooking a

main idea unit, and/or counting a supporting detail as a main idea unit, while the other

one did the opposite. For example, R1 counted /the second part of the scandal was that

he was sleeping with foreign call girls/ as a main idea unit, while R2 completely

overlooked this statement in the reader's recall. The difference between the two scores

for this one reader's recall was initially 12 points. The problem was resolved because

R2 added five points upon seeing that he had overlooked the main idea, bringing his

score from 21 to 26. R1 took off five points, because she had counted one main idea unit

twice. The agreed-upon score was only two points apart (28 and 26). Thus, after some

discussion and re-counting, the raters reached a consensus on some items in question. An

inter-rater reliability check was performed. Using Spearman's rho, correlation

coefficients for the idea unit analysis range from 0.881 for Text 5 to 0.992 for Text 1.









Analysis of Think Aloud Protocols: Causal Inferences and Look-Ups (Quantitative)

I transcribed the 72 think-aloud protocols (nine participants reading eight texts)

myself. One research assistant and I examined all think-aloud protocols for causal

inferences and look-ups. Since the participants had been told that they could use English

and/ German freely in order to communicate their thoughts and could speak a translation

if it was helpful to them, think-aloud protocols were done in both German and English.

Therefore, both raters needed to have a high-level proficiency in these two languages.

My assistant was a graduate student of French and Linguistics and was fluent in German.

We discussed and practiced how to distinguish paraphrases (including speaking a

translation) and evaluative comments from causal inferences with guidelines from Zwaan

and Brown (1996) as well as how to identify bridging and elaborative inferences and their

sources. Misreadings that resulted from gaps in background knowledge were also

identified and recorded. A misreading of a text is defined as an instance when the reader

constructs a mental model that contradicts explicitly stated information as well as what is

implied in a text. Mistakes readers made due to language problems, such as the lack of

vocabulary and difficult syntax, were not counted. It was not always possible to

determine if a reader drew a conclusion based on what she/he had read in the text

(bridging) one or two sentences back (bridging) or on what she/he had retrieved from

long-term memory. If the reader did not feel the need to look up anything, or if the

prompt triggered the reader to think, but she/he did not look up additional information,

then one could assume that she/he called on prior knowledge elaborativee inference). For

example, the comment, "I know that Jews are not supposed to eat pork. But I am not sure

where we're going with this. Who cares if they are false Jews?" provides an example of a

reader making the connection between his prior knowledge and the information in the









text and then looking for an explanation. The same reader then infers, using the text and

his prior knowledge that these Russian Jews enjoyed special housing privileges tried to

get rid of their neighbors by saying that they were not 'real' Jews. (See Appendix G).

This causal inference is clearly not based on information in the text only. For Text 2, if

the reader clicked on the map and concluded that Emmendingen and Gundelfingen are

the names of cities rather than names of people, then the rater could be reasonably sure

that this was indeed an elaborative inference based on a look-up. While reading the text

about how the reunification of Germany affected one particular family in the former East,

one reader said, "Ok. Helmstedt. That is a picture. Masses of people descended on the

town when the border was opened." (See Appendix G). This was identified as a look-up

followed by a causal inference. The same reader further reasons, "I assume this is talking

about ... given the date ... of the Wall falling and everybody running to hug each other,

possibly." Because there was no tracking device in the program, look-ups were only

counted if the reader announced in the think-aloud protocol that she/he was looking up

something and/or commented on what she/he found or did not find. Causal inferences

were often prefaced with "I think...," "I assume ... ," "So they are talking about," or

"So this is probably...," "So he thinks that ...," "Oh! It's ...!" "I guess the idea is ...,"

"I know that ...," "So apparently ...." Also recorded in the transcripts of the think-aloud

protocols were chuckles and incidents of albeit rare laughter, as well as sighing, moaning,

and cursing. For example, "Haha! That is funny! That is freaking hilarious!" signaled

that a particular reader felt she/he had understood something, while the latter indicated

frustration and/or anger. Using Spearman's rho, an inter-rater reliability check was

performed on the number of causal inferences identified by the researcher and her

assistant. Correlation coefficients range from .767 for Text 7 to .983 for Text 8.















CHAPTER 4
RESULTS

Comprehension processes are complex and invisible, and can only be observed

indirectly. Comparing the results of the propositional analysis of the recall protocols with

the idea unit test results and the raw number of inferences made reveals that each

measured a different aspect or level of the reading comprehension process, and only a

combination of both product (recall) and process (think-aloud) measures provided a

complete picture of how a reader reconstructed the meaning of a text.

Research Question 1

Research question 1 addressed to what extent and how question glosses in a

hypermedia environment enable intermediate level readers to go beyond the surface and

the textbase level of a text to construct a situation model of the text based on appropriate

background knowledge. The quantitative analyses of the recall and think-aloud protocols

provide the "big picture" as well as "group shots" of the eight students reading the six

texts with or without question prompts and answer the question to what extent and how

the prompts were useful to the participants in this study. The results of two kinds of

comprehension measures, as well as the number of look-ups (LUP), causal inferences

(CI), and misreadings (MR) for all students are presented. This "big picture" also shows

how each individual treatment text (Texts 2-7) was comprehended according to the

treatment condition based on the proposition and idea unit scores, and the number of

LUPs and CIs. Non-parametric test results, based on the various comprehension scores,

are reported. Narrowing the lens, certain patterns and similarities between individual










readers, as reflected by measures of comprehension and number of LUPs and CIs, come

into focus.

Results of Propositional Analysis of Recall Protocols

Table 4-1. Percentages of Propositions Recalled
Student Text 1 Text 2 Text 3 Text 4 Text 5 Text 6 Text 7 Text 8
1 9.48% 9.23% 6.46% 9.00% 6.17% 13.32% 6.76% 4.39%
2 10.95% 12.36% 15.95% 16.11% 27.02% 17.93% 17.39% 13.39%
3 3.59% 4.06% 6.96% 8.65% 8.51% 9.24% 11.35% 9.01%
4 12.09% 13.65% 20.00% 18.48% 10.85% 13.32% 14.01% 10.05%
5 12.25% 13.84% 28.61% 25.95% 18.09% 19.29% 18.36% 18.48%
6 7.03% 7.93% 6.46% 8.65% 6.60% 9.51% 7.25% 8.66%
7 6.70% 7.56% 14.30% 17.18% 15.53% 20.92% 20.05% 6.12%
8 2.61% 2.95% 3.16% 4.27% 5.96% 8.42% 4.83% 1.27%
NQ
Q 9.826% 13.133% 14.011% 13.138% 13.451% 12.621%
Average
Q
Q 8.072% 12.342% 13.063% 11.543% 14.538% 12.379%
Average


The traditional detailed propositional analysis focused on the number of propositions

recalled by the reader. The percentage values in Table 4-1 represent the ratio of

propositions recalled by each student for each text in relation to the total number of

propositions for each text. The average percentages for reading in the Q treatment were

lower than in the NQ treatment, but only by extremely small margins. Propositional

scores ranged from 2.95% for Student 8 on Text 2 reading in the Q treatment to 28.61%

for Student 5 on Text 3 reading in the NQ treatment.

Figure 4-1 shows how each individual student performed on the propositional

comprehension test when reading texts in the Q treatment vs. reading in the NQ

treatment. Four students had higher scores reading in the Q treatment (S3, S4, S6, S8)

and four students scored higher in the NQ treatment (S S2, S5, S7). S5 averaged

24.30%, the highest score for reading in NQ, and S4 averaged 17.50%, the highest score

for reading in Q. Overall, students reading in NQ achieved the highest proposition










Propositional Comprehension by
Student

25.00%

20.00%

15.00%

10.00%

5.00%

0.00% 1 Oaverage for texts w/Q

Students Daverage for texts w/NQ

Figure 4-1. Individual Student Propositional Comprehension in Q and NQ

scores. S2, S5, and S7 scored 19.11%, 24.30%, and 17.18% respectively. In comparison,

the best scores for S3, S6, and S8 were considerably lower in both Q and NQ.

Of the four students who achieved higher scores in Q than in NQ, only the scores

of S4 ranged at the same level with the four students who had higher scores in NQ. S2,

S4, S5, and S7 had the highest propositional scores and spent the least amount of effort

and time on decoding the texts. On the other hand, S3, S6, and S8 were less proficient in

lower-level processing and labored over each text.

Results of Idea Unit Analysis of Recall Protocols

The weighted idea unit analysis assessed how well readers connected the

propositions in the text and remembered main and supporting ideas. Table 4-2 (below)

shows the percentages of idea units recalled by each student reading a text in the Q or in

the NQ treatment. Overall, values in Q are higher than in NQ. The values range from

4.44% for Student 8 reading Text 7 in NQ to 77.14% for Student 2 reading Text 3 in Q.

Figure 4-2 shows that when looking at the comprehension of main ideas, five of eight

participants scored higher in Q than in NQ. The highest average for reading in Q was

69.52% by S2. The highest average in NQ was 52.65% by S5. The lowest average score










for reading in Q was 35.44% by S7, while that in NQ was 21.01% for S8. While S7 had

the lowest average score for reading in Q, he achieved 51.53% in NQ, the second highest

score after S5. Note that the gap between the more fluent readers (S1, S2, S4, S5, S7)

and less fluent readers (S3, S6, S8) reading the texts in the Q treatment appears to

narrow. However, in the NQ treatment, the average idea unit scores for less fluent

readers remain below the scores of the more fluent readers.


Table 4-2. Percentages of Idea Units Recalled

Text 1 Text 8
Student Te Text 2 Text 3 Text 4 Text 5 Text 6 Text 7 T
(D1) (D2)
1 25.47% 41.30% 64.29% 61.43% 13.73% 32.03% 12.22% 19.54%
2 58.49% 46.74% 77.14% 71.43% 50.00% 50.00% 60.00% 41.95%
3 15.09% 38.04% 41.43% 42.86% 17.65% 20.31% 26.67% 30.46%
4 38.68% 48.91% 30.00% 70.00% 26.47% 17.97% 50.00% 29.31%
5 42.45% 55.43% 60.00% 75.71% 47.06% 28.91% 22.22% 39.66%
6 33.02% 63.04% 42.86% 64.29% 21.57% 24.22% 26.67% 28.16%
7 41.51% 31.52% 55.71% 60.00% 45.10% 29.69% 38.89% 16.09%
8 4.72% 40.22% 21.43% 37.14% 37.25% 33.59% 4.44% 2.30%
NQ Average 43.750% 45.000% 59.286% 26.961% 30.078% 23.056%
QAverage 47.554% 53.214% 61.429% 37.745% 29.102% 37.222%


Idea Unit Comprehension by Student


1 2 3 4 5 6
Students


7 8
0 average for texts w/Q
Average for texts w/NQ


Figure 4-2. Individual Student Idea Unit Comprehension in Q and NQ

The four bars in Figure 4-3 (below) represent four comprehension scores for each

student reading Texts 2 through 7 in Q and in NQ. The first two scores are based on the


70.00%
60.00%
50.00%
40.00%
30.00%
20.00%
10.00%
0.00%










detailed propositional analysis of recall protocols, the second set on the idea unit analysis

of the recall protocols of eight students reading Text 2 through Text 7 in Q and in NQ.

As Figure 4-3 shows, results are very mixed. S3, S4, and S8 consistently achieved

higher scores in both comprehension measures when reading in Q. In contrast, S5 and S7

scored higher in NQ than in Q for both measures. S1 and S2 scored higher in Q for idea

units, but not for propositions. S6 scored higher in Q for propositions but not for idea

units.


Scores for Proposition and Idea Unit Tests


70.00%

60.00%

50.00%

40.00%

30.00%

20.00%

10.00% Owith Q Proposition Test
with NQ Proposition Test
0.00%-
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Owith Q Main Idea Test
Students with NQ Main Idea Test

Figure 4-3. Individual Student Proposition and Idea Unit Scores in Q and NQ


Results of Proposition and Idea Unit Analyses for Texts 2-7

Figure 4-4 shows the average of the proposition scores for the treatment texts

(Texts 2-7) read in Q and in NQ by the eight participants. The scores in NQ represent a

flat line from Text 3 (Kapitalismus) to Text 7 (Friedman) and are consistently above the

scores in Q, with the exception of Text 6 (Die Fragenden). The values for reading in Q

are lowest for Text 2 (Kannitverstan) and Text 5 (Die erste eigene Wohnung) and highest










for Text 6. For Text 6, the Q value climbs to 14.54%, compared with the NQ value of

13.45%.


Propositional Comprehension by Text


16.00%
14.00%
12.00%
10.00%
8.00%
6.00%
4.00%
2.00%
0.00%
text 2 text 3 text 4 text 5 text 6 text 7
NQAverage 9.826% 13.133 14.011 13.138 13.451 12.621
QAverage 8.072% 12.342 13.063 11.543 14.538 12.379

Figure 4-4. Percentages of Propositions for Texts 2-7 in Q and NQ


Idea Unit Comprehension by Text


70.00%
60.00%
50.00%
40.00%
30.00%
20.00%
10.00%
0.00%
text 2 text 3 text 4 text5 text6 text 7
NQAverage 43.750 45.000 59.286 26.961 30.078 23.056
QAverage 47.554 53.214 61.429 37.745 29.102 37.222

Figure 4-5. Idea Unit Comprehension Scores for Texts 2-7 in Q and NQ

Figure 4-5 shows the comprehension scores for the treatment texts (Texts 2-7)

based on the percentages of idea units in Q and in NQ as recalled by the eight

participants. Note that the margins between Q and NQ are larger than in the

propositional analysis and consistently in favor of Q with the exception of Text 6 (Die

Fragenden). For Text 6, the curve for Q falls below NQ by 0.97% and then rises again









well above NQ for Text 7 (Friedman). However, S2 read Text 6 in NQ and had by far

the highest score overall. If his score of 50% were taken out, the average score for the

Group reading in Q would have remained higher even for Text 6. Thus, while reading

the treatment texts with question prompts did not increase propositional scores, the idea

unit comprehension scores were consistently higher for reading in Q than in NQ for all

treatment texts.

Statistical Test Results for Recall Protocols

Table 4-3. Raw Scores and P-Values for Proposition and Idea Unit Scores (Q and NQ)
Texts Prop. Prop. Prop. IU Score IU Score Idea Units
Score Score in P-Values in Q in NQ P-Values
in Q NQ
Text 2 8.072% 9.826% .564 47.554% 43.750% .773
Text 3 12.342% 13.133% .663 53.214% 45.000% .564
Text 4 13.063% 14.011% .885 61.429% 59.286% .773
Text 5 11.543% 13.138% .773 37.745% 26.961% .386
Text 6 14.538% 13.451% .772 29.102% 30.078% .773
Text 7 12.379% 12.621% .773 37.222% 23.056% .309

Due to the small number of participants (n=8) and the fact that these data are not

normally distributed, nonparametric statistical tests were performed. First, for a basic test

of group difference, the Wilcoxon rank sum test was used to test all proposition scores of

Group I for Text 1 (Dl) and for Text 8 (D2) against the scores of Group II. The same test

was then repeated using the idea unit scores. Both tests showed that there was no

significant difference between Group I and Group II reading Texts 1 and 8 (p>0.05).

These results suggest that Groups I and II were comparable.

To assess the effect of question glossing, the same test was performed on each of

the six treatment texts (Text 2 through Text 7). Recall that Group I and Group II

alternated reading in Q and NQ. Thus, both the proposition scores as well as the idea unit

scores of readers who had the glossed version of a text were tested against the scores of









readers who read the unglossed version. Table 4-3 shows the raw scores and the p-values

for the detailed propositional and the weighted idea unit analysis. No significant

statistical difference was found between Group I vs. Group II reading in Q or in NQ on

any of these texts (Texts 2-7).

Results of Quantitative Analysis of Think-Aloud Protocols

Table 4-4 (below) lists the number of LUPs and CIs for each participant reading

Texts 2-7 in Q or in NQ and Text 1 and Text 8 in the dictionary-only condition. The

number of LUPs and CIs for each student is totaled in the bottom row. The number of

CIs in Table 4-4 includes both bridging and elaborative inferences. Recall that CIs

connect events in a text at the local and global level. While bridging inferences are text-

based and establish coherence between the focal event and prior information in the text,

elaborative inferences are drawn from the individual reader's background knowledge.

Table 4-4. Look-ups (L) and Causal Inferences (CI) in Q* and NQ
Text S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8
L CI L CI L CI L CI L CI L CI L CI L CI
1 2 8 0 15 0 9 0 0 0 13 0 25 0 8 0 3
2 0 6 4 9 0 12 0 6 2 17 3 13 0 16 4 7
3 0 19 2 22 3 17 2 6 0 15 4 17 2 10 3 12
4 3 18 4 16 6 31 1 9 0 10 3 23 0 12 4 6
5 2 8 3 8 5 13 3 5 7 22 7 21 5 7 7 12
6 2 10 7 9 6 10 3 5 5 0 3 13 1 3 4 9
7 4 11 1 11 7 13 3 7 3 5 4 12 1 7 5 5
8 4 2 0 6 0 15 4 5 2 13 2 17 0 11 2 11
Total 17 82 21 96 27 120 16 43 19 95 26 141 9 74 29 66
(S)
Q is shaded.

Figure 4-6 (below) gives a graphic representation of the total number of LUPs and

CIs for each text as read by Group I and Group II in Q or NQ. With the exception of

Texts 6 (Die Fragenden) and Text 3 (Rauher Kapitalismus), the number of LUPs and CIs

for every text read in Q were higher than for texts read in NQ. For Text 6, readers in NQ










had 18 LUPs and 34 CIs, in contrast to readers in Q who had only 13 LUPs and 25 CIs.

However, the results for Text 6 and Text 3 can be explained by crosschecking the

qualitative data for S2 and S1. As stated above, S2 read Text 6 without question glosses,

but nevertheless clicked on all the information about concentration camps. Therefore, the

number of LUPs in NQ is higher than in Q for Text 6. For Text 3, readers in NQ had a

total of nine LUPs as opposed to seven LUPs for readers in Q. Although the group

reading in Q had less LUPs, they still generated 64 CIs, as opposed to the 54 CIs of the

group with more LUPs.


Look-ups and Causal Inferences

80 T
70
60
50
40
30
20 -

OLUP Q
2 3 4 5 6 7 *LUPNQ
DCIQ
Texts
MCI NQ

Figure 4-6. Total Number of Look-ups and Causal Inferences by Texts

S1 read Text 3 in Q, but did not look up anything and still generated 19 CIs, more

than for any of the other texts. His qualitative data set revealed that he had extensive

previous knowledge about the situation described in the text. These results show that

question glosses consistently triggered more LUPs unless readers were already

knowledgeable about the topic. In the case of S1, question glosses served to remind him

of his own experiences in the former GDR and to draw appropriate elaborative inferences

(See Table 4-7). The data in Table 4-4 (above) and Figure 4-6 (above) further show that









there is a connection between the number of LUPs and CIs and the average percentage of

idea units recalled. For example, for Text 5, the number of LUPs in Q was 50% higher

than in NQ, and the number of CIs followed the same trend. This difference is reflected

in a sharp drop of idea unit scores in NQ (See Figure 4-5 above).

Table 4-5 (below) combines all the quantitative data from both the recalls and the

think-aloud protocols and includes misreadings (MR) for each student reading Texts 2-7.

Table 4-5. Combined Quantitative Data for Recalls and Think-Aloud Protocols
S Prop. Prop Idea Idea LUP LUP CI CI Total Total Total
% % % % Q NQ Q NQ LUP CI MR
Q NQ Q NQ (2-7) (2-7)
S1 7.41 9.57 45.98 29.02 7 4 48 24 11 72 15
S2 16.48 19.11 69.52 48.91 5 14 49 26 19 75 8
S3 8.99 7.27 36.98 25.33 16 11 61 35 27 96 16
S4 17.50 12.61 50.00 31.12 6 6 22 16 12 38 30
S5 17.07 24.30 43.80 52.65 14 3 39 30 17 69 5
S6 8.01 7.45 36.28 44.60 13 11 47 52 24 99 13
S7 14.67 17.18 35.44 51.53 6 3 26 29 9 55 22
S8 5.78 4.09 37.05 21.01 15 12 28 24 27 52 2

The shaded columns show the test results of the participants reading the three texts in Q.

This table presents the averages of two comprehension measures as well as the raw

number of LUPs and CIs for each student in Q and in NQ. Note that S2 was the only

participant who looked up more in NQ than in Q. S2 had 5 LUPs in Q and 14 LUPs in

NQ, but generated 49 CIs in Q and 14 in NQ. His idea unit scores were also higher in Q.

On the other hand, S4 had six LUPs in Q and six in NQ and the lowest number of CIs

overall. However, S4's average idea unit score in Q was the second highest overall. She

constructed solid textbase models of the texts.

S3 and S6 looked up the most and had the highest number of CIs. As stated

above, S6 scored higher in NQ for idea units. Accordingly, she had more CIs in NQ than

in Q. In contrast, S1 and S7 looked up the least, but the low number of LUPs did not









seem to affect the number of CIs. Therefore, while the number of LUPs is not

necessarily indicative of higher idea unit scores and a higher number of CIs in all cases, it

can still be maintained that a higher idea unit score means that readers make more

connections and draw more inferences on the local and global levels.

The last column in Table 4-5 lists the raw number of MRs for each student in

Texts 2 through 7 combined. Recall that MRs were defined as instances when the reader

constructed a mental model of the text that contradicted explicitly stated information in

the text and/or the implicit cultural background knowledge that is required in order to

appropriately interpret the situation described in the text. The number of MRs for

individual participants ranged from two MRs for S8 to 30 MRs for S4 (Text 2-7). Note

that besides S8 only S2 and S5 had fewer than 10 MRs.

Research Question 1 addressed to what extent and how question glosses enabled

readers to go beyond the linguistic and textbase level of a text to construct a situation

model. In sum, although no significant statistical difference was found between Group I

vs. Group II reading the treatment texts in Q or in NQ, the quantitative analyses of the

recall- and think-aloud protocols revealed that question glosses enabled those participants

who struggled with bottom-up processing to improve their comprehension scores,

generate more inferences, and construct more accurate situation models of the texts.

The propositional comprehension measure primarily established a baseline

regarding readers' bottom-up processing skills. Propositional scores showed how

efficiently readers recognized words and pieces of information at the surface level of the

text, without necessarily connecting propositions in a meaningful way. Question glosses

improved the recall of propositions for some readers who lacked lower-level processing

skills, but did not make a difference for the readers who demonstrated a high degree of









automaticity in sentence level syntactic and semantic processing. Also, depending on the

type of text, question glosses may actually have hindered rather than supported some

individual readers' lower-level processing. For example, some readers may have recalled

more propositions with the prompts for Text 6 without necessarily being able to create a

network of propositions at the textbase level, much less reconstruct the overall meaning

by linking the information in the text with the appropriate background information.

In contrast, the results of the weighted idea unit analysis (See Table 4-2 and

Figure 4-2), along with the raw number of CIs, answered the question of to what extent

the question glosses helped readers create coherent textbase models of the texts. The idea

unit analysis showed that five readers (S1, S2, S3, S4, S8) recalled more main and

supporting ideas when reading a text with question glosses than without. For example,

Sl and S2 scored higher in Q for idea units, but not for propositions. Neither of these

two readers had trouble decoding a text, and they both remembered detail. While

question glosses did not make a difference in their mental model construction on the

surface level, they enabled these readers to make more connections at the textbase and

situation levels. The number of CIs and the idea unit scores are indicators that the

readers connected events and causes at the local (textbase) and the global (situation)

levels.

The results for idea unit comprehension by text (see Figure 4-5) provide some

support for the positive effect of questions glosses on the readers' construction of a

textbase model, regardless of the type of text that was read. By combining the results of

the quantitative analyses of the recall and think-aloud protocols, a connection between

the percentage of idea units and the number of LUPs and CIs emerged. Question glosses









usually triggered more LUPs, and more LUPs resulted in higher idea unit comprehension

scores and a higher number of CIs.

The most dramatic and surprising finding was the very low number of MRs for

S3, S6, and S8 in comparison to S4, and S7. S8 had the overall lowest number of MRs

for Texts 2-7, placing him into the same category with S2 and S5 who achieved the

highest comprehension scores in Q and NQ respectively.

Research Question 2

Research Question 2 asked to what extent and how question glosses prompt

readers to monitor their comprehension processes and produce causal inferences. In

order to answer this question, quantitative results as reported above are viewed in the

context of individual readers' histories and the qualitative analyses of the think-aloud

protocols, the exit-interviews, and the pre- and post-study questionnaires (See Appendix

H). Table 4-6 (below) lists eight major factors that affected how a reader approached the

task at hand.

S1, S4, S5 and S7 had studied German since High School and commanded a large

vocabulary. S1 and S5 achieved very high AATG test scores, while S4 and S7 scored

below 80%. S 's first course at the university level was the 3rd year level "Introduction

to Reading German Text." All of them had spent time in Germany and felt confident

about their language skills and their cultural knowledge. These readers relied heavily on

their pre-existing cultural knowledge. Recall that S1 and S7 had the lowest number of

LUPs, but nevertheless a high number of CIs (See Table 4-5). S1 had 15 MRs and S7

had 22 MRs. S4 had the highest number of MRs and the lowest number of CIs. These

numbers can only be explained in light of these two readers' personal histories (Table 4-6

above) and their comments about how and why they found question glosses helpful.









Table 4-6. Individual Readers' Histories and Post-Study Questionnaire Results
Ss AATG College High Study/ Other Comfort Qs Add.
Scores German School Travel Foreign Reading Help Text
German in Languages from Helps
Germany Screen
S1 100% 1st 4 years 1 year Russian 5 5 5
Course
GER
3234
S2 95% 2 Years None None Spanish 4.5 4.5 5
Portuguese
S3 83% 2 Years None None None 5 4 5
S4 78% 2 Years 3 Years 6 Weeks Spanish 5 4 4
S5 96% 2 Years 3 Years 20 Days None 5 3 5
S6 88% 2 Years None 2 Weeks Swahili 4 5 5
Spanish
S7 76% 1st 4 Years 2 None 2 1 2
Course Years
GER
3234
S8 83% 2 Years None 6 Weeks None 5 5 5


In contrast, S2, S3, S6, and S8 were third year students of German at the

university level. Their AATG scores ranged from 95% for S2 to 83% for S3. Based on

their AATG scores, S3, S6, and S8 appeared to have more formal knowledge about the

language than S4 and S7, but not a larger vocabulary base. Only S8 had been to

Germany and had participated in a six-week study abroad program. S2 had extensive

experience in learning other foreign languages prior to this study. S6 was a linguistics

major and had studied Swahili for two and a half years. All of them felt that they could

not rely on previous knowledge and needed additional cultural/historical information for

reading authentic German texts. Indeed, the quantitative results show that S2, S3, S6,

and S8 had the highest number of LUPs.

Quantitative results identified S2 and S5 as exceptional, highly proficient readers.

Therefore, their qualitative datasets will be explored apart from the others to gain insight

into how and why question glosses aided higher-level processing for S2, but not for S5.










Table 4-7. Readers' View of Question Glosses
Sl1 don't like the little red things because they distract me from reading. (S1, Text 3; Think-aloud
October 2003).The dots. I thought they were stimulating. They made you think, they made you
recall things so in that case they were good. But I thought they were bad though, because they
distracted from the text. Like I told you before, I sort of just read in a flow, and if that flow is
interrupted, it sort of gets messed up for me. (S1, Text 3; Interview, October; 2003).

S2 They serve as a reminder this is why it's happening. (S2, Text 3; Interview, October, 2003).
The Qs helped me figure out what was going on and they did not distract me. (S2, Text 7;
Interview, October 2003).
S3 liked the dots and felt good that I could answer most of the questions (S3, Text 3; Interview)
t always annoys me when I read with the Qs. Although sometimes the Qs help, (...) when I
don't get one of these Qs or when I don't understand the question, it makes me, you know, feel
ad, I guess. (S3, Text 7; Think-aloud; November, 2003).
S4 don't really need them. For clarification, things like that, it may be helpful, yes. But I don't
have too much problem with German. (S4, Text 3, Interview, October 2003).
Think the questions definitely helped. It changes the way I think about the story. (S4, Text 7,
Interview, November, 2003).
S5 I don't know that they helped me, but they were fun activities! (S5)
S6 Yes, some of those Qs were really helpful. I never would have thought about what they were
ike asking me to think about unless I had those questions. (S6, Text 5; Interview; November,
2003).
They were interesting. They like make you take a step back from the text and think about it in
another way. Like, oh, this is in 1970, so they are visiting old camps. So as I read, a light
went on and said 'think about it this way!' this is what they are talking about. (S6, Text 6;
Interview, November, 2003).
S7 The Qs are not really helpful. (S7, Text 2, Interview)

S8 They clued me in that there may be something missing. (S8, Text 6; Interview, November,
2003).

While Table 4-6 above shows readers' post-questionnaire responses rating the

helpfulness of the question glosses and the additional textual information in the form of

culture links, Tables 4-7 and 4-8 highlight readers' comments during the reading process.

Think-aloud protocols revealed readers' strategies, their level of engagement with

different texts, and why and how they thought question glosses helped or hindered their

comprehension process. Also, it is important to note that depending on their

personalities, some participants expressed their thoughts and emotions more readily than

others. For example, while S8 did not give vent to his feelings as freely as S3 and S6, he

constantly shared what he was thinking and what he looked up. Thus, the think-aloud

protocols of S3, S6, and S8 provided valuable insights into how much energy and time










Table 4-8. Reader's View of Cultural Links
S1 I didn't look at the cultural side at all. I probably just felt that I didn't need to understand it,
and I wasn't going to waste my time. (S1, Text 3, Interview, October 2003)
I could read the whole thing about the Ford Granada, but I don't find it that important. (S1,
Text 4, Think-aloud; November, 2003).
I looked up the Russian Jew thing, but didn't see why it was important to identify them as
Russian Jews. (S1, Text 5; Interview, November, 2003).
Helpful? The dots yes, the links no. (Sl, Text 4; Interview, November, 2003).
The links definitely helped. I used pretty much every link this time. (S1, Text 7, December,
2003)
S2 This text maybe more than the other texts requires a lot of outside knowledge to really make
sense of what's going on. It's kind of a historically based text. (S2, Interview; November,
2003).
S3 I liked the other stuff, but would prefer to get the task done quickly. It becomes so much
like work and it's not fun when it's so hard. (S3, Text 3; Interview, October 2003).
It is nice information, but too time consuming (S3, Think-aloud; October 2003).
S4 I clicked on the red buttons, but a lot of them I already knew. (S4, Text 4, Interview,
November 2004).
I saw that it was a car, but didn't have a clue what the significance was. (S4, Text 4;
Interview, November, 2003).
S5 There is a whole education in your little links. (S5, Text 6; Interview, November, 2003)
S6 Whenever I got stuck on something is when I thought, ok, maybe I need to look something
up, so I didn't do it before. I only did it when I thought I needed something, so I clicked on
the links after those two names that I found. (S6, Text 4; Interview; November, 2003).
I looked up a bunch of things on the links and so some things that I found, filled in, made
me realize what was happening in the text. Some of the links were so long that I didn't even
try. (S6, Text 3; Interview, October, 2003).
S7 I looked at some of the pictures on the links afterwards, but I did not actually use that to
understand the text (Text 3, Interview, October 2003)
S8 I will always read the links because it may help me to understand the story" (S8, Text 6;
Interview, November, 2003).

was spent on looking up words and trying to make the pieces fit together, and how

question glosses helped them monitor their comprehension processes. Whenever these

readers "got stuck" (See Table 4-8) in decoding a text, they looked for explanations

outside the text. In contrast, the more fluent readers spoke a translation, stopped to look

up vocabulary, and/or broke down and analyzed long sentences. Once they made

connections at the textbase level they quickly moved on.

Comprehension Processes and Monitoring: S1, S4, and S7

S1 never took longer than 30 minutes to read a text and think out loud. S4 spent

between 20 and 30 minutes, and S7 between 13 and 31 minutes for reading any given text

and recording the think-aloud protocol. Unlike S4 and S7 who spoke a translation, S1









read out loud in German. S1 repeatedly made the point that he did not like for anything

to interrupt the flow, not even the internal dictionary, "My technique is to read straight

through and when I don't know something, a word, I just leave it behind and I eventually

get it. The vocabulary on the right is helpful, but is allows me to cheat. It is sort of

annoying to me in that way. I looked on the right instead of just trying to read it and

understand it as a whole" (Text 2, Interview; October, 2003). Whenever this reader

encountered a particularly difficult passage in a text, he said to himself that it didn't

matter and kept reading. He spoke to himself in the German dialect that he had learned

and internalized while living in a region of Saxony for a year. Once he had read through

the text the first time, he would reread and summarize what he had understood in English.

After S1 read the first time with the question glosses and found that they distracted him,

we negotiated a compromise. To accommodate his reading strategy, he would click on

the prompts after he had read the entire text. S4 stopped to look up some words, but

rarely shared her thoughts about how she made sense of the text or how she felt during

the think-aloud. Crosschecking the interviews with the think-aloud protocols revealed

that S4 did not always mention when she was looking up cultural information. It is

therefore possible that S4 had more LUPs and also more elaborative inferences than

actually could be counted. That is the most likely explanation of why she could have such

a high percentage of idea units, but the lowest number of CIs overall. Her idea unit

scores show that S4 made the connections, but there is little evidence of how she made

them. However, since S4 also had the highest number of MRs overall, one can assume

that she often drew the wrong conclusions about what certain passages in a text meant.

S7 also translated the texts quickly and efficiently. He made it very clear from the

beginning that he did not need question prompts. He clicked on "the little red dots" (Text









2, Interview; October 2003) to read Text 2, but said in the exit interview that they didn't

help. He also believed very strongly that he needed no additional information to read a

text (See Table 4-6).

While the other readers had great difficulty staying focused on Text 3 (Rauher

Kapitalismus) and found it quite boring, S1 enjoyed reading this long text. He had lived

for a year in the former GDR as an exchange student and had first-hand knowledge of the

difficult transition from a socialist to a capitalist economy. As stated above, the idea unit

score for Text 3 is the highest score S1 achieved. Despite 0 LUPs, S1 also had 19 CIs,

his highest number of CIs in the course of the study. His idea unit score was over 60%,

whereas his propositional score on the same text was one of the lowest. S1 did not recall

detail, but summarized the main and supporting ideas in his own words. He stated that

the prompts were stimulating and helped him recall specific cultural background

information (See Table 4-7). In other instances, S1 clicked on the question glosses and

the background information, but did not see why the information was important and was

unable to make the connections (See Table 4-8). S4 had similar problems to S1 with

Text 4 (Wer ist ein Tiirke) and Text 5 (Die erste eigene Woluii,ni,). They both read Text

4 in Q and Text 5 in NQ. Like S1, S4 stated in the exit interview that she "saw that it (the

Ford Granada) was a car, but didn't have a clue what the significance was" (See Table 4-

8). S7 said that his own experience with Turks in Germany influenced how he read Text

4. He had lived in a small German town with a large Turkish population. He clearly

enjoyed reading this text and thought it was easy to read. Whenever S7 and other

participants said a text was 'easy to read', they were referring to the linguistic/surface

level. They meant that they did not have to look up many words and that the sentences









were not too long. However, S7's answers in the exit interview showed that he misread

parts of Text 4 and completely missed out on the satire.

Reading Text 5 in NQ, S and S4 failed to make the connection between what the

text said about 'real and false Jews' and the appropriate historical information. In order

to understand why some immigrants from the former Soviet Union pretended to be Jews,

it was crucial to know about the special privileges the German government granted

Russian Jews in Post-Wall Berlin. S7 read Text 5 in Q and found it easy to ready. When

asked during the interview why the Russian Jews came to East Berlin rather than going to

Israel, he said grinning, "Because it's flat" (Text 5; Interview, November, 2003). S7's

answer had no basis in the text itself. The manner in which he responded to this question

showed his lack of interest in this particular topic and in continuing this conversation.

Sl and S4 read Text 6 (Die Fragenden) without and S7 read it with the question

glosses. Text 6 is an example where S made the interpretation of the text fit what he

already knew about Buchenwald from his stay in the GDR and the biography of Peter

Hurtling, the author. S said he understood that "they (the three young communists) are

going back to the camp (Buchenwald) to look for someone, to find their grave, because I

think it was their parents that were killed there as communists" (Text 6; Interview,

November, 2003). S4 said about Text 6 that although she could translate the words, "It

did not make any sense. There was something about "schwarz aufweifi (black letters on

white paper) and I had no idea what that meant" (S4, Text 6, Interview, November,

2003). This reader became aware that although she knew each word, she still did not

understand what the words meant in this particular context. S7 clicked on the Qs, but did

not give them any thought. For example, he answered the question gloss "What does the









author mean when he says the young man replaced the silence of his fathers with his

own?" by translating the lines in the text without looking for any underlying meaning.

S1 and S4 changed their look-up behavior for Text 7 (Der Zweite Teil des

Skandals), but S7 did not. While reading Text 7, S1 did not wait until after he had read

the text to click on the Qs and look up additional information. Like S4, he looked up

most links and answered the questions as he proceeded through the text. It became

evident in the interview that S4 understood the connection between Friedman the Jew and

the illegal sex workers who are deported if caught. She said, "I think the questions

definitely helped. Like the one about whether prostitution was legal in Germany. I

didn't think so, but when I looked on the links, it appears that it is. So, uh, so, uh, that's

something that I didn't realize that makes it, uh, changes the way I think about the story"

(S4, Text 7; Interview, November, 2003). S7 also looked up background information on

Work Permits for Sex Workers in Germany. He conceded during the interview that he

probably should also have looked up Michel Friedman. S7 did not understand why a

women's rights organization would ask Friedman to take up the cause of illegal

prostitutes who were deported when caught without work permits. S7 said about

Friedman, "I guess, he was some kind of news guy. Is he black?" (S7, Text 7; Interview;

November, 2003). Like S4, S7 accumulated a very high number of MRs. Nevertheless,

he also had the second highest average score on the idea unit tests in NQ and in Q and

more CIs than S4 and S8.

Comprehension Processes and Monitoring: S3, S6, S8

Not at all confident of their knowledge of the German language and culture, S3,

S6, and S8 looked up the most words and the most background information, generated

the most CIs and the fewest MRs. S6 took from 30 to 80 minutes reading the texts and









doing the think-aloud task, had a grand total of 99 CIs, and 24 total LUPs (in Q and NQ),

the second highest number. S3 spent between 42 and 75 minutes and S8 between 27 and

80 minutes for reading the texts and recording the think-alouds. S8 took the most time

for reading and recording the think-alouds and wrote the shortest recalls overall. Both S3

and S8 had extensive experience with learning German online, but only S8 indicated that

he enjoyed reading online. In the post-study questionnaire, S6 indicated that she would

have rated reading from the computer screen very low in the beginning of the study, but

became more comfortable with it over time (See Table 4-6). Throughout the study, S6

complained about not being able to take notes about what she had read and forgetting

words that she had already looked up. Based on the results of the proposition and idea

unit analysis alone, S6 does not fit into the group that consistently read better either in the

Q or the NQ condition. She scored higher in NQ than in Q for idea units and had more

CIs in NQ than in Q (See Table 4-5). The analysis of her think-aloud protocols revealed

that she struggled with bottom-up processing. Therefore, it was expected that she would

score higher for idea units when reading with question glosses. However, S6 made full

use of the additional glossing surrounding each text whether she read in Q or NQ.

Whenever she "got stuck" she would consult the cultural links (See Table 4-8). Although

she became overwhelmed and frustrated at times with the amount of information

available to her (See Table 4-8), her general attitude toward the prompts and the extra

information remained very positive throughout the study. S6 provides an example of

"talking herself through" difficult passages in the text. About her reading strategy, she

said, "I've noticed from times before when I try to like scan over the whole paragraph, I

get so lost that it doesn't really do me any good. So I'll try to read it sentence by sentence









and figure out what the words mean and then power through. So, bit by bit, not by

paragraph." (Text 4; Think-aloud; November, 2003).

S3 and S8 followed the same type of bottom-up approach and used question

prompts and culture links to fill in the gaps. Like S6, S3 commented repeatedly how

difficult it was for him to read in German, and that looking up additional information did

not make it easier for him (See Table 4-8). Despite laboring intensely at decoding the

texts, S8 also made the extra effort to scan most of the links for most of the texts. These

readers also noticed that Text 6 (Die Fragenden) was difficult to understand despite its

short sentences. S3 read Text 6 without the question glosses. He commented in the exit

interview that he was able to figure out that the three young communists were looking for

a sub-camp only because he had looked at the links. S8 also came to realize that question

prompts clued him in on what was missing (See Table 4-7). For example, he answered

Q6 in Text 6 about what the author meant when he said that the young man in the story

replaced his fathers' silence with his own. S8 was the only participant who made the

obscure connection between the silence of the fathers who did not speak out against the

crimes committed against Jews and the young man who fell silent when he heard the

survivors' testimony. It became evident from the think-alouds and the interviews that S8

not only read the links, but also drew the appropriate inferences to construct a situation

model of the text. However, S8's test scores dropped off drastically for Text 7 in NQ.

Although he did not have fewer LUPs, he failed to look up pertinent information on

Michel Friedman and therefore missed some of the main ideas. He only spent 26 minutes

for the think-aloud task and wrote a 58-word recall for a text that had 488 words.

Exit interviews revealed that S3 and S6 enjoyed reading Text 5 (Die erste eigene

Woluiim-,') because it was short and seemed easy to read. Interestingly, S3's idea unit









score dropped considerably for this text although he still had 5 LUPs, read for 51

minutes, and produced a 209-word recall for a 488-word text. He said in the exit-

interview that it was either very easy or he misunderstood. Indeed, reading Text 5

without question glosses, S3 did misunderstand a couple of major points at the end of the

story. S6 read with question glosses, had the highest number of LUPs for Text 5, but

also a lower score than for the previous and much longer text. In fact, S6's idea unit

scores dropped for Texts 5, 6 and 7. She spent much less time for the think-alouds and

wrote shorter recalls. For Text 5 she had the highest number of LUPs and 21 CIs, but the

lowest idea unit score overall. She spent only 36 minutes for the think-aloud and wrote a

143-word recall.

Comprehension Processes and Monitoring: S2 and S5

The quantitative results show that S5 and S2 were both excellent readers.

However, while S2 used the prompts to monitor his comprehension, S5 did not. Their

qualitative data bring to light the fact that they approached the online reading task with

different mind-sets. While S2 looked forward to perhaps "making the leap to online

reading," S5 was less optimistic. Once she encountered difficulties with the recording

system in the lab and one of her think-alouds was lost, S5 became anxious about reading

online. S2 spent between 20 and 30 minutes for the think-aloud activity before writing

the recalls. S5 took more time, but usually finished in less than one hour.

During the think-alouds, S2 was very much aware of the researcher's presence.

Usually, S2 introduced himself, greeted me, and told me how he would go about reading

the text, "Let's say first I'm gonna read a little bit. So it'll be quiet. I'll chime in with

interesting facts and what not" (S2, Text 2, Think-aloud; October, 2003). He apologized

for feeling sick and not being as alert as usual, for not talking enough, for "jumping the









gun" when he made a prediction reading Text 2 (Kannitverstan). At the end of the

second think-aloud, S2 shared that he had been anxious and felt great relief that he had

enjoyed and understood Kannitverstan. S2's strategy did not change throughout the

study. He read quietly, announced when he looked up information, and then summarized

in English what and how he had understood the text.

On the other hand, S5 spoke a nearly perfect translation of the texts into the

microphone. Occasionally she expressed feelings of delight or dismay about vocabulary

that was or was not glossed next to the text. Following the instructions very closely, she

then wrote all she could remember in the recall protocol. She wrote more than any other

student and achieved the highest scores in NQ for both the propositional and the idea unit

test.

Likewise, S2 and S5 had different views on the usefulness of prompts and culture

links. S5 assured the researcher that she had no trouble understanding the texts and

therefore had no need for the links. She didn't take the question prompts seriously and

refused to think about them. For example, S5 responded to Q3 in Text 5, "What does the

author imply?" by stating "The author does not imply. The author says right out that the

Vietnamese didn't know anything about cigarette trafficking" (S5, Think-aloud;

November, 2003). However, she missed the irony in that remark. The author implied

what is common knowledge in Germany, namely that the Vietnamese, once guest

workers in the former GDR, had become a formidable problem because of organized

crime. In contrast, S2 did not rely as much on his prior knowledge as did S5. Although

S2 did not like to spend much time on reading links and thought some were unnecessary,

he said that they helped remind him why something was happening (See Table 4-7). S2

enjoyed Text 4 because he had lived in Turkey for six years and had extensive knowledge









of that country, its history and its people. He said that although he had previously

studied about the situation of the Turks in Germany, the question prompts still helped.

For example, prompted by a question gloss, S2 concluded that the reason the Turks liked

the Ford Granada was because Turks had big families. S2 also knew that Germans tend

to have one or two children and drive small cars. S2 read Text 5 and Text 6 in NQ.

While he perceived Text 5 as a simple story, he thought that Text 6 was the most difficult

of all the texts. S2 commented that this text "required a lot of outside knowledge to

really make sense of what's going on" (Text 6; Interview, November, 2003). He made

use of the cultural links because he had no prior knowledge of Buchenwald, its sub-

camps, or the existence of special camps for women. Genuine shock and disbelief about

the long list of sub-camps were very apparent in S2's think-aloud protocol. For Text 7,

S2 used both the Qs and the links. Again, he commented that the Qs helped him to figure

out what was going on and they did not distract him (See Table 4-7). This is a clear case

of a reader who monitored his comprehension processes, noticed cultural knowledge

gaps, and looked for explanations. S2 used the prompts to keep on track, but did not

necessarily need them.

S5 read Text 6 with the question glosses, but did not think about them. When she

was unable to answer probing questions during the exit interview, S5 remarked, "There is

a whole education in your little links" (Text 6; Interview, November, 2003). This

particular interview revealed that while S5 was not uninformed about the issues

surrounding this particular text, she did not understand its deeper meaning. The note S5

added to the post-study questionnaire summed up nicely what she thought of question

prompts. She wrote, "I don't know that they helped me, but they were fun activities!"

(See Table 4-7).









In sum, in order to answer Research Question 2 regarding to what extent and how

question glosses were used to support higher-level processing, each reader's qualitative

dataset was analyzed and compared with the datasets of the other readers within her/his

group. Groups had been formed based on the comprehension scores, the number of

LUPs, CIs and MRs, and individual readers' histories and responses to the post-study

questionnaire. Indeed, while the analyses of the think-aloud protocols yielded a different

profile for each individual reader, certain learner/reader characteristics emerged to

explain why question glosses were useful or not and which kind of reader was likely to

use question glosses to monitor her/his reading comprehension.

Readers who had great confidence in their linguistic skills and in their knowledge

of the German culture were less likely to use the question prompts. S1, S4, and S7

belonged in this category. These readers perceived question glosses as unnecessary and

even as an intrusion into their private interactions with the text. S used question glosses

primarily to activate prior knowledge. S4's think-aloud protocols provide little evidence

that the question glosses enabled her to go beyond the textbase level of a text. She was

an efficient reader capable of making the connections at the textbase level, relying

primarily on her large vocabulary base. In this first group, S7 was the least likely reader

to benefit from question glosses. Like S1, he had lived and gone to school in Germany

for an extended period of time and was very comfortable speaking the language.

Whenever S7 answered the question prompts, he did so reluctantly and in a belligerent or

condescending tone. He was satisfied to interpret a text based on what he thought he

knew about the German people and their culture. It is understandable that a reader with

his history and his kind of mind-set would fail to benefit from the question glosses.









In contrast, S3, S6, and S8 share some learner/reader characteristics that made

them the most likely candidates to use the question glosses to improve their

understanding of a text. They had far less confidence in their language ability and their

prior knowledge of German culture and history. The think-aloud protocols show that

these three readers had to look up many words and labored over difficult syntax. For

most of the texts, they spent the extra effort and time it required to think about the

prompts and scan the pre-selected websites for cultural information. They generated

more CIs and fewer MRs than the first group.

S2 and S5 were different from the individuals in the other two groups because

they consistently achieved the highest idea unit scores in Q and in NQ respectively. Both

were skilled comprehenders who made connections at both the textbase and situation

levels of a text and had few misreadings. They both read well with and without question

glosses. However, while S5 gave them little or no thought, S2 used them to hone his

metacognitive skills.

Research Question 3

Research Question 3 addressed whether question glosses affect readers' look-up

behavior over a period of time. Will readers take advantage of glosses other than

dictionary glosses in response to question prompts and will they continue to do so even

without question glosses? In order to determine change over time, a Wilcoxon signed

ranks test was performed for Text 1 (Dl) vs. Text 8 (D2) within Group I and within

Group II for propositions and for idea unit scores. For Group I, no significant difference

was found for propositions and idea unit scores. For Group II, there was no significant

difference for propositions. For idea units, however, a trend towards significance was









found (p=0.068). While this does not reach the value of p=0.05 necessary for statistical

significance, it does indicate a trend toward change over time.

In the post-study questionnaire, the participants of this study unanimously agreed

that the external and the internal dictionary were most helpful (See Appendix H). The

question whether the readers in this study looked up more than dictionary glosses has

already been answered. Indeed, quantitative results show that primarily those readers

who struggled the most with bottom-up processing and had to look up more words than

the more fluent readers also used the question and the cultural information glosses. The

analysis of the qualitative datasets of these readers revealed that they looked for

explanations outside the text when they became bogged down with words and syntax.

The question that remains to be answered is whether the question glosses affected

readers' look-up behavior over the period of eight weeks and, if so, if they continued to

look up information even without the question glosses. Table 4-9 below shows the

combined quantitative results for all participants reading Text 1 (Amerika) and Text 8

(Good Bye Lenin) without question glosses before and after the treatment period. For

both texts, readers could use the internal dictionary and were free to browse the internet

for additional information. Text 1 (Amerika) was a consciousness-oriented narrative and

Text 8 (Good Bye Lenin) an expository text. They were comparable in length and

difficulty of syntax. Text 8 was longer than Text 1, but contained familiar content about

the demise of the GDR and the Fall of the Berlin Wall.

Half of the readers recalled a higher percentage of propositions for Text 8 (D2)

than for Text 1 (D1). S2, S3, S5, and S6 recalled more and S1, S4, S7, and S8 recalled

fewer propositions for Text 8 than for Text 1. A comparison of percentages of idea units

recalled for Text 1 (Dl) and Text 8 (D2) shows that only S3 scored higher on Text 8 than









on Text 1. Indeed, S3 improved his score by nearly 50%, while S7 showed the largest

decline. S7 dropped from 41.51% for Text 1 to 16.09% (60%) for Text 8.


Table 4-9. Readers' Combined Quantitative Results for Text 1 (Dl) and Text 8 (D2
S Text 1 Text 8 Text 1 Text 8 Text 1 Text Text Text MR MR
P P IU IU LUPs 8 1 8 Text Text
LUPs CIs CIs 1 8
1 9.48% 4.39% 25.47% 19.54% 2 4 8 2 8 2
2 10.95% 13.39% 58.49% 41.95% 0 0 15 6 0 1
3 3.59% 9.01% 15.09% 30.46% 0 0 9 15 1 5
4 12.09% 10.05% 38.68% 29.31% 0 4 0 5 0 5
5 12.25% 18.48% 42.45% 39.66% 0 2 13 13 0 3
6 7.03% 8.66% 33.02% 28.16% 0 2 25 17 8 5
7 6.70% 6.12% 41.51% 16.09% 0 0 8 11 6 9
8 2.61% 1.27% 4.72% 2.30% 0 2 3 11 0 2

It has already been established in this study that the raw numbers of CIs tend to

rise and fall with the idea unit comprehension scores and possibly, but not necessarily,

with the number of LUPs. Each reader's number of LUPs and CIs for Text 1(D1) and

Text 8 (D2) as well as a progression from Texts 2-7 are reported (See Table 4-4). The

number of MRs for Text 1 and Text 8 are also included. The number of MRs are

indicative of how well a reader managed to construct a situation model of the text based

on appropriate background information without the prompts and without pre-selected

cultural links. Table 4-9 above shows that S2, S3, and S7 had 0 LUPs for Text 1 and 0

LUPs for Text 8. Based on these numbers alone, no training effect took place for these

three readers over a period of eight weeks. S2's idea unit score was lower for Text 8 than

for Text 1 and the number of CIs dropped also from 15 to 3. Throughout the study, S2

looked up more in NQ than in Q and accumulated the highest number of LUPS for Text 6

in NQ. In the exit-interview, S2 commented that he used the internal dictionary for

reading Text 8, but did not use the Internet to look up information about the movie Good

Bye Lenin. Although he did not know the movie, he felt that he had gained enough









knowledge about the GDR from the other texts he had read in this study to understand

Text 8. Thus, 0 LUPs for this reader may have meant that he felt he had no gaps and

therefore did not need to look up more information. It does not mean that there was no

training effect over time. S2's comments throughout the study indicate that prompts

helped him develop his metacognitive skills.

For S3 there was a steady increase in the number of LUPS from the beginning to

the end of the study. After reading Text 3 and 4 in Q, he continued to look up

information reading Text 5 and Text 6 in NQ (See Table 4-4). Despite 0 LUPs for Text 1

and Text 8, S3 had 9 CIs for Text 1 and 15 for Text 8. Thus, the number of CIs increased

along with his idea unit score for Text 8. S3's qualitative dataset revealed that he

attempted to look up information, but experienced problems with the university server. It

was shortly before the Christmas break, and since S3 had already rescheduled reading the

last text once before, he decided to continue. The only support he had was the internal

dictionary. S3 said in the exit-interview, "One time Google did work! And what's hard

for me is, I guess, is being spoon fed the culture part kind of spoiled me. It's hard to look

it up yourself. I tried to look up the person who critiqued the play. I tried to look her up

and all I found was something on erotic cookery. And that didn't help. And that is pretty

typical for what happens when I look up cultural stuff. I have to go through a big mess

until I find what is useful." (Text 8; Interview; December, 2003). S3 also registered 1

MR for Text 1 vs. 5 MRs for Text 8.

Although S7's idea unit score was 60% lower for Text 8 than for Text 1, he had

three more CIs for Text 8 than for Text 1. S7 did not know the movie and he did not look

up any information about it. S7 had only 9 LUPs across all eight texts, the lowest

number of all participants. He had 5 LUPs for Text 5 and then dropped off again to 0









LUPs for Text 8. His qualitative dataset indicates that S7 did not change his mind about

question prompts and additional information. There was no apparent change in look-up

behavior over time.

Sl, S4, S5, S6, and S8 looked up more for Text 8 (D2) than for Text 1. S1 was

the only reader who looked up any information for Text 1 (Dl). In his think-aloud he

reasoned that perhaps the Austrian author was writing about himself and his journey to

America. S then inappropriately interpreted the story based on the author's biography.

Although his overall number of LUPs remained one of the three lowest of all the

participants, S had 2 LUPs for Text 1 and the most LUPs for the last two texts, Text 7 in

Q and Text 8 in the dictionary-only condition. S had 4 LUPs for Text 8. He had heard

about the movie before and googled the trailers. In the exit interview for Text 8, S1

demonstrated that he understood the narrative of the film and the critique. However, S 's

idea unit scores for both Text 7 and Text 8 are very low in comparison to the scores of

Text 2, Text 3, and Text 4. His change in look-up behavior for Text 7 did not lead to

higher idea unit scores and more CIs.

Similarly, S4 had a low number of LUPs overall, but for Text 8 she accumulated

more LUPs than anyone else. Although her idea unit score is lower for Text 8 than for

Text 1, the number of CIs is slightly higher. S4's number of LUPs increased slightly

over the period of eight weeks. She changed her look-up behavior in Text 7 and achieved

a higher idea unit score for Text 7 than for the previous two texts. Since S4 spoke a

translation and did not give the researcher a window into her comprehension processes,

the number of CIs that could be counted was still very low. The number of MRs was up

from 0 for Text 1 to 5 for Text 8.