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A study on the analysis of causal compound sentences in biology textbook and on students’ reading comprehension
Science text books
The purpose of the present study was to analyze the content of the science text book for 7th-grade students. The analysis was conducted on the basis of the casual compound sentences which are derived from the Chinese conjunction. This study also explored student's reading comprehension (R) of the casual sentences while analyzing sentences. Text books are the primary source for students to acquire knowledge. However, this study discovers two things: 1) Science jargon/ scientific terminology are used in the sentences of the text book, especially in the causal compound sentences. In the biology text book, Chinese conjunctions with casual relationship used in the causal compound sentences are written in a very complex way. Furthermore, there are five different sentence patterns and three different levels of complexity: i) effect-cause pattern, ii) many causes with one effect, iii) one cause with many effects, iv) interlaced causes and effects and v) causes and effects appeared successively, i.e. one effect will be another cause leading to another effect; one-fold, twofold and threefold causal compound sentences). 2) Student's learning is hindered by the above-mentioned. The questionnaires were designed by referring to the analyzed text and the “reading comprehension theory”, and employed to test the reading comprehension skills regarding the causal compound sentences. Five performances were revealed by the reading comprehension test: 1. ability to determine the causal sentences, 2. ability to choose the Chinese conjunction, 3. ability to deal with the casual sentences, 4. ability to differentiate those sentence patterns, and 5. ability to differentiate the different levels of the causal sentences. In addition, the five performances were examined by using regression analysis of academic subjects. The following are the findings of this study: 1. Chinese ability brought significant impact on all the five performances, while Math ability had certain level of influence on the 3rd, 4th and 5th performances. 2. The five performances were classified into two types, D (decoding) and L (language comprehension) by using “reading comprehension theory”. 3. Sum formula (R=D+L) showed its remarkable effect on understanding students’ reading comprehension by referring to the R (reading comprehension) formulae proposed by the Simple View of Reading. 4. It was found that D is more independent of L for junior high school students, however, R=D+L remained the best in explaining R. 5. The two types of comprehension and five performances have laid more stress on language comprehension with regard to reading comprehension by further utilizing the multiple regression and hierarchical regression analysis. At last, according to the findings, discussion and conclusion, recommendations to further research, classroom teachers and writers and editors of the text book were made.
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