A comparison of recall and summary protocols as measures of second language reading comprehension

Gail L. Riley, James F. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

34 Scopus citations

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of test method on the reading performance of two levels of early-stage L2 readers of French. L2 reading research examining test methods has focused primarily on discrete- point modes of response. This study compared two global response modes, the summary and the recall protocol. Half of the 80 subjects were asked to read a passage and to write a summary of the passage and the other half were asked to read the passage and to recall it. The written protocols were analysed for total number of idea units as well as the number of main ideas, supporting ideas and details. The total number of idea units was submitted to a two-way analysis of variance. The three levels of idea units were submitted to separate two-way analyses of variance. Results indicate a significant qualitative difference in the performance on the two tasks. The summaries contained significantly more main ideas than the recall protocols. Furthermore, the summaries contained a higher percentage of main ideas than details whereas the recall protocols contained a higher percentage of details than main ideas. The results have research and pedagogical implications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-189
Number of pages17
JournalLanguage Testing
Volume13
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1996

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