Two types of text-based situational interest evoking strategies: Seductive details and concrete elaboration and their effects on the 1st year EFL high school students' written text comprehension and interest
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Motivated by the theory of text-based situational interest and Dual Coding Theory, the purpose of this study was to explore the effects of seductive details and concrete elaboration on the reading comprehension and interest of 1 st year EFL high school students with different language proficiencies. To that end, 254 first year Korean high school students participated in the study. They were instructed to read one of the three types of texts (base, seductive details, concrete elaboration), and respond to a 12 item multiple choice test. They also self-rated their comprehensibility and the interestingness for each text. Several remarkable findings were observed. First, the results of the present study provided evidence that seductive details may damage EFL readers' main idea comprehension. Second, the study provided evidence that, in general, concrete elaboration failed to enhance EFL reader comprehension. Third, the study documented that both seductive details and concrete elaboration contributed little to perceived comprehension and interest of 1 st year EFL high school students. Fourth, correlation analysis showed high positive correlation between self-reports of comprehensibility and interestingness. Lastly, correlation analysis also revealed that there were generally weak associations between actual comprehension measures and perceived comprehension, whereas medium to strong associations existed between actual comprehension measures and interestingness. The findings of the present study have implications for teachers and text designers of 1 st year Korean high school students. Specifically, it is recommended that EFL high school teachers need to direct their students' attention to structurally more important ideas, and also that they need to enhance students' metacognitive awareness so that they are able to discriminate important ideas from seductive details. For EFL text writers, it is recommended that they include fewer seductive details not only because they may interfere with students' main idea comprehension, but also because seductive details may not necessarily increase EFL readers' situational interest. Finally, it is also recommended that EFL text writers adopt multiple strategies while trying to make textbooks more interesting and comprehensible since seductive details and concrete elaboration alone may not enhance EFL reader comprehension and interest.