Article published in:ITL - International Journal of Applied Linguistics
Vol. 133/134 (2001) ► pp. 207–225
The challenge of unstated meaning
A study of ESL written recall of narrative prose
This paper uses a schemata-theoretic conception of reading in an assessment of ESL reader recall of unstated levels of meaning in narrative prose. Schemata theory suggests that the skilled reader selects one of a finite number of text schemata to use in the decoding, retention and recall of a particular text, and it has been demonstrated that better knowledge of the schematic structure makes possible better recall. Here, reader recall of two types of unstated meaning in narrative prose is assessed for a group of advanced learners of ESL, who use Chinese as L1. Evidence is presented of poor recall of unstated meaning, concomitant with a lack of knowledge of the requisite schematic structure. It is therefore suggested that formal instruction on the requisite structure will enhance learner recall of unstated meaning.
Published online: 01 January 2001