- アレレ (ISSN:13448560)
- vol.27, pp.81-96, 2016
This study examined whether and how Japanese EFL readers maintain coherent narrative comprehension in their memory representations. If readers can successfully maintain coherence in their text comprehension despite encountering coherence breaks, their text memory is enhanced, but if they fail, their text memory can suffer (Otero & Kintsch, 1992). In this study, 48 Japanese EFL university students read 8 experimental narratives and performed a recall task. In each narrative, a character performed an action (e.g., "Mary ordered a cheeseburger") that was either consistent or inconsistent with a prior description of him or her (e.g., "Mary loved junk food" or "Mary was a vegetarian"). The results showed that participants recalled more descriptions and actions of the characters in the inconsistent texts than in the consistent texts, indicating that they selectively reprocessed the inconsistent information in order to maintain coherence. Moreover, most readers chose to edit the later character actions, rather than the preceding descriptions, by substituting the inconsistent actions with more neutral actions (e.g., "Mary ordered food"). These findings suggest that L2 readers slightly edited subsequent information in order to maintain coherence. Pedagogical implications are argued in terms of developing autonomous readers who can self-monitor coherence in their text comprehension.