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    Title: Cognitive categorization of count/mass distinction in English common nouns : a case study among learners of English as a foreign language
    Other Titles: 認知教學於英文普通名詞之可數/不可數區辨概念 : 以英語為外語學習者之個案研究
    Authors: 林昆輝;Lin, Kun-hui
    Contributors: 淡江大學英文學系碩士班
    胡映雪;Hu, Ying-hsueh
    Keywords: 認知教學;文法翻譯;認知分類;Cognitive Instruction;Grammar Translation;Categorization
    Date: 2009
    Issue Date: 2010-01-10 23:14:49 (UTC+8)
    Abstract: 英文的可數與不可數名詞的觀念,對外國語言的教學一直是一個挑戰。而傳統的文法和實體論的解釋均無法成功地幫助學習者針對名詞可數/不可數的使用方法,建立有系統且一致的概念。如Lakoff (1986)表示,語言是人類認知的產物,因此可數/不可數區辨應被視為分類名詞時的一種概念性的活動。此論述已為本研究導引出另一種更能適切地解釋可數/不可數名詞的教學方法。

    此研究探討以英語為外國語言學習的大學學生,藉由圖解式分類的認知教學於學習可數/不可數普通名詞區辨概念時的成效。此研究使用一份具有信度與效度的題庫作為評估研究對象學習進步的依據。此題庫共有四十一道題目,其中的二十一道題目使用名詞的原義,而其他二十道題目為衍生義。為測試新方法的效度,實驗者執行一份試驗性研究並發現受測者均有顯著進步的表現。本研究主要對象為六十位中低英文程度的大一學生,並對他們進行四週的教學及隔四週的延遲後測。研究對象均隨機編組,分別列入兩個組別,一組使用認知教學法,另一組使用文法翻譯法。在教學研究過程中,認知教學組使用七組圖像,而每一組圖像分別表示一種名詞分類,並附概念性的解釋。然而,使用文法翻譯組亦使用七組圖像表示一種名詞分類,並附文法的解釋和翻譯。

    研究結果顯示,認知教學組與文法翻譯組分別有顯著的進步。不過,認知教學組在後測及延遲後測中,表現的比使用文法翻譯法的組別更好。這個結果意味著認知教學法能確實地幫助受測者學習可數與不可數名詞,並且能夠比文法翻譯組記得久。就學習名詞的原義與衍生義而言,認知教學組雖然表現比文法翻譯組好,但是在比較兩組的立即後測成績時,前者在學習衍生義上有顯著退步。受測者的觀點記錄與訪談資料都顯示出兩組人員於了解可數/不可數名詞區辨時,均密集地使用實體論的解釋。

    本研究可視為一先導實驗,探討認知教學法於可數/不可數名詞概念之教學上的應用。此研究的意義在於表明認知教學法於外國語言教學之可行性。其他的建議將會在未來的研究中繼續探討。
    Teaching English count-mass concept has been a challenge in foreign language classrooms. It seems that both traditional grammatical and ontological explanations fail to help learners construct systematic and consistent knowledge about the correct use of these two senses. As Lakoff (1986) suggests, language is a result of human cognition, the count-mass distinction should be best envisaged as a conceptual activity through which nouns are categorized. This statement has led to an alternative pedagogy proposed in this study to better interpret the count-mass distinction.

    This study is to investigate the effect of cognitive instruction by using schematic categorization models on EFL college learners’ acquisition of count-mass common nouns. A reliability-and-validity-tested item bank of 41 questions was established as a source of tests to gauge subjects’ progress. 21 out of the 41 questions were designed with the proto meaning while the rest 20 with the extended. A pilot study carried out to test the viability of the new method reported significant progress over two weeks. The main study consisted of 60 freshmen of low intermediate English proficiency throughout a treatment of four weeks plus an interval of 4 more weeks for the delayed post-test. Subjects randomly signed up for one group taught with a new methodology termed Cognitive Instruction Method (CIM) and the other Grammar Translation Method (GTM). During the treatment, the CIM group received 7 sets of image schemas with each set referring to one category of nouns along with conceptual explanation while the GTM group received 7 images with each denoting one category of nouns along with grammatical explanation and translation.

    The results showed that both the CIM and GTM groups report significant progress. However, the CIM group outperformed the GTM group in the post-test and the delayed post-test significantly. This suggests that the cognitive instruction can prominently enhance subjects’ performance in learning count-mass nouns and help retain knowledge longer than the grammar translation method. In terms of the learning of proto and extended meanings, the CIM group again improved considerably more than the GTM group, but regressed significantly in extended learning by comparing with the scores of their immediate post-test. Both protocol and interview data reveal a frequent use of ontological explanations among subjects of both groups to understand the distinction between count and mass nouns.

    This study serves as a pilot experiment into the pedagogical application of cognitive instruction to the learning of count and mass nouns. Implications drawn from this study indicate a potent viability of applying the cognitive instruction method to foreign language classrooms. Some suggestions are further discussed for future research.
    Appears in Collections:[英文學系暨研究所] 學位論文

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