Providing Comprehension Clues in L1 to Japanese EFL Summary Writers: Do they help?

Makiko Kato


The present paper reports part of a larger project investigating the effectiveness of explicit instruction of writing a summary to Japanese learners learning English as a Foreign Language (EFL). Given that the process of producing a written summary involves both understanding the source text and producing its gist succinctly, the present study examined if helping learners to understand the text would help them to improve the quality of the summary they produce. A total of 25 Japanese high school EFL students who took part in the study were divided into three groups. The first group (n = 8) and the second group (n = 9) were experimental groups, where the first group was given L1 translation, and the second group was provided the L1 glossary. The third group (n = 8) was served as a control group, who did not have any support material. To examine the longitudinal nature of the effect of writing a summary with L1 clues, they were asked to write a summary once a week for five weeks, using different texts each time. The summaries were assessed by three different raters. The results showed that three groups were different in the quality of the summaries they produced. Overall, the summaries of the students who were given L1 glossary improved more compared with the other two groups. The paper concludes with several suggestions for EFL teachers teaching summary and for the researcher who is interested in the current topic.


Summary Writing, Reading the Text, Provision of L1 Clues, Glossary, Translation

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