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Ninth Graders' Image Reading Comprehension of Electrostatic Induction Diagrams
LIN MEI SHIN
Ninth Graders' Image Reading Comprehension of Electrostatic Induction Diagrams Abstract Based upon visual grammar, this study aimed at probing the effects of gender and academic performance on pupils’ image reading comprehension of electrostatic induction diagrams, and investigating their image preference and image-text reading habit. A survey design and clinical interview approach were deployed in this study. According to the Narrative Structure and Ideational Structure of visual grammar, the “Test of Electrostatic Induction Diagram Reading Comprehension” was developed, which was composed of five categories of items: understanding of the "Actor", "Process", "Goal", "Attribute" and "Carrier" element of a diagram. The test-retest stability is 0.7, Alpha coefficient is 0.77. Meanwhile, “Questionnaire of Image Reading Preference” and “Questionnaire of Image-Text Reading Habit” were also developed. Seventy-two ninth graders from a school in Taipei city participated in this study, they were administrated the above instruments. Twelve interviewees were sampled randomly and were interviewed to probe their conceptual understanding of electrostatic induction via image reading. Major findings were listed as followed: 1. Different levels of academic performance students understood significantly different on the Narrative and Ideational Structures of the Diagrams. The sources of the difference could be the ‘Actor’, ‘Process’ and ‘Goad’ elements of Narrative Structure, and the ‘Attribute’ element of Ideational structure. In addition, an interaction between gender and academic performance was observed on the ‘Carrier’ element of both structures. 2. The result of study of "reading image process" shows all students tend to read the captions of the images first, and read the contents of the image in a zigzag manner. The four parts of the image are read in a linear manner from top to bottom, with texts read first and then image. 3. All students agreed that images are useful on improving understanding of science text, however, high academic achievers preferred reading tables and flowcharts; middle and low achievers relied more on photos, and low achievers preferred analytic chart and wall charts as well. It seems necessary to deliver science content with different types of visual representation to the learners. 4. The result of the interview reveals that students held variant interpretations about the elements of the diagrams. They even echoed comments on color modality and layout of the diagrams. Lastly, the implications of the findings on science teaching and learning were suggested and further studies were also recommended.
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