Effects of Annotations on Inferring Meaning within a Listening Comprehension Environment

Effects of Annotations on Inferring Meaning within a Listening Comprehension Environment

Linda C. Jones (University of Arkansas, USA)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 26
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8499-7.ch001
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In this chapter, the author analyzes students' abilities to understand aural texts while accessing annotated information in a multimedia-based environment. In particular, the study examines inferencing in the aural environment and students' abilities to infer meaning from an aural text when processing it in one of four treatments: the aural passage 1) with no annotations; 2) with pictorial annotations only; 3) with written annotations only or; 4) with written and pictorial annotations. Overall, students who accessed pictorial and/or written annotations most often inferred meaning significantly better compared to those who did not access such annotations. And too, while the relationship of recall and inferencing was highly correlated based on annotation type, the relationship between vocabulary knowledge and inferencing based on annotation type was not strong.
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Inferencing is an essential component of reading and listening comprehension (Kintsch, 1998; Nassaji, 2003a, 2003b). Indeed, as an individual processes an aural text for comprehension, cognitive processing is well underway from the basic word comprehension level to the text level (Lepola, Lynch, Laakkonen, Silvén, & Niemi, 2012; Oakhill & Cain, 2007). It is in this later stage whereby an individual strives not only to understand vocabulary, but to make guesses to help understand the players, plots and motives of the text itself (Lepola et al., 2012; Oakhill & Cain, 2007). Thus, inferred meaning is developed when an individual fills in gaps where text is implicit and not explicit. This is different from lexical inferencing that entails guessing meanings of words while relying on context, world knowledge, and vocabulary knowledge (e.g., Haastrup, 1991; Hu & Nassaji, 2012; Nassaji, 2006).

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