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An Investigation Into The Relationship Between FD/FI Cognitive Styles And English Reading Performance

Posted on:2014-01-24Degree:MasterType:Thesis
Country:ChinaCandidate:Y W GaoFull Text:PDF
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Learners’ cognitive style which was defined as a personal mode of processinginformation would contribute to individual difference in constructing their learninginterpretations and decoding materials ones are exposed to (Witkin,1962). As an importantdimension of cognitive style, field-dependence (FD) and field-independence (FI) cognitivestyle describes two distinctive ways of information processing. FD ones tend to makedecisions with the help of external references while FI ones process information according tointernal cues. Reading is also a complex cognitive process in relationship to linguisticknowledge, culture background and individual psychological differences such as motivation,interest, gender, cognitive style, etc. Among these factors of individual difference, learners’field-dependence and field independence cognitive style (FDI) is the most generally acceptedone. It relates closely to the cognitive construction of reading and makes difference in Englishreading process and performance. Successful English reading and teaching can be largelyachieved by the understanding of learners’FDI cognitive style.However, with a review of previous studies, few studies have been done in this field.Most of the researches are theory focused and far from being satisfied. Especially, fewresearchers have done empirical studies on the relationship between learners’ FDI cognitivestyle and their reading performance. Particularly, it is also a few studies on individualdifference of FD and FI learners in reading comprehension performance. In order to makesome compensation, the present research intends to study the relationship between seniorschool students’ FDI cognitive style and reading comprehension. It probes into the individualdifferences of FD group and FI group in reading performance and explores whether students’FDI cognitive style correlates with the performance of reading question types in readingcomprehension.In the present research,90subjects from No.91Senior High School of Guangzhou tookCognitive Style Figures Test (CFFT) and Reading Comprehension Achievement Test. In CFFT,the Embedded Figure Test designed by psychological school of Beijing Normal Universitywould serve as a measurement to divide90subjects into FD and FI groups. Reading Comprehension Test was conducted in final examination. The author selected the readingcomprehension section from the Senior One Integrated English Test designed by EducationDepartment of Guangzhou to measure subjects’ reading performance. After the implementationof the two tests, statistics collected from the empirical study were input into SPSS.17softwareto analyze and achieve research results. The descriptive statistics method and independentSample T-test were applied to reveal whether there was a significant difference between FDand FI groups in English reading performance. The Pearson product-moment correlationmethod was employed to reveal the correlation between students’ FDI cognitive style andperformance on reading question types of reading comprehension.The research results yielded the following findings:1) There existed a significantdifference between FD group and FI group in reading performance. FI students seemed tooutperform FD students in reading comprehension.2) There was a significant correlationbetween senior high school students’ FDI cognitive style and their performances on readingquestion types of reading comprehension. Specifically, students’ FI cognitive style wassignificantly related to the performance of making inference, detail analysis and wordguessing question types. But there was no significant correlation between students’ FIcognitive style and their performance of main idea and best title question types. On thecontrary, students’ FD cognitive style was closely correlated with their performance on besttitle questions and main idea questions. No correlation could be seen between students’ FDcognitive style and their performance of making inference, detail analysis and word guessingquestion types. All of the major findings indicated that FDI cognitive style was an importantfactor that affected learners’ different reading English performance. Students’ with FIcognitive style held no absolute advantage over those with FD cognitive style. They both hadtheir advantages and disadvantages when confronted with different reading tasks.The present research suggests that teachers should be aware of the importance of FD/Icognitive style to English reading teaching and help students overcome the disadvantages oftheir FDI cognitive style in reading teaching so as to improve students’reading ability.
Keywords/Search Tags:Cognitive Style, FD/FI, Reading performance, Reading comprehension questiontypes
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