Learner- vs. expert-constructed outlines: Testing the associations with L2 text comprehension and multiple intelligences

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Sholeh Moradi
Shima Ghahari
Mohammad Abbas Nejad


Cognitive organizers (COs) are text aids which represent objects, concepts, and their relations by the use of symbols and spatial arrangements without adding to semantic content. The present study examines language learners’ text comprehension through outlines, a popular CO, compared with text-only condition, and further investigates the effect of learner-constructed outlines (i.e., systematic note-taking) and expert-constructed outlines (i.e., readymade displays) on comprehension. Finally, the predictive power of multiple intelligences (MI) across different input modalities is scrutinized. Following stratified random sampling, a total of 111 EFL undergraduates were divided into text-only (receiving a text twice), expert-constructed (the text followed by an outline), and learner-constructed (the text followed by an outline to be drawn up by the learner) groups. A TOEFL examination, a 1218-word expository text on systematic sleep disorder, a follow-up reading comprehension test, and a multiple intelligences inventory constituted the data collection measures. The results of multiple regression and ANOVA were as follows: (a) COs lead to more content recall than text displays; (b) expert-constructed and learner-constructed outlines are equally effective; (c) MI significantly predicts the groups’ reading comprehension; (d) interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligences are significant correlates of text-only groups’ performance; and (e) visual, verbal, and intrapersonal intelligences are significantly associated with learner-constructed groups’ reading scores. The study offers several implications for theory and practice.


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Author Biographies

Sholeh Moradi, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Iran

Sholeh Moradi holds an MA degree in TEFL (teaching English as foreign language) from Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Iran and teaches English at several schools and colleges. Her major areas of interest are cognitive linguistics and second language acquisition.

Contact details: Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Department of Foreign Languages, 7616914111, Kerman, Iran (sholeh.flam@gmail.com)

Shima Ghahari, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Iran

Shima Ghahari is Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics at Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Iran, teaching and supervising postgraduate students. Her recent papers have been published in System, Assessing Writing, Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, Studies in Educational Evaluation, Culture and Psychology, RELC, Reading Psychology, Psychological Studies, Pedagogies: An International Journal, Interpreter and Translator Trainer, Poznan Studies in Contemporary Linguistics, and other journals. She is also a reviewer and/or editor for many scholarly journals including Learning and Individual Differences, TESOL Journal, Reading and Writing Quarterly, and Asia-Pacific Education Researcher.

Contact details: Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Department of Foreign Languages, 7616914111, Kerman, Iran (ghahary@uk.ac.ir; ghaharii@gmail.com)

Mohammad Abbas Nejad, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Iran

Mohammad Abbas Nejad is Assistant Professor of Applied Linguistics at Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Iran, teaching and supervising postgraduate students. His major areas of interest are psycholinguistics, morphology, and English for specific purposes.

Contact details: Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Department of Foreign Languages, 7616914111, Kerman, Iran (mabbasnejad2000@yahoo.com)


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