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Title: Applying pause analysis to explore cognitive processes in the copying of sentences by second language users
Author: Zulkifli, Putri Afzan Maria Binti
ISNI:       0000 0004 2747 2083
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 2013
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Pause analysis is a method that investigates processes of writing by measuring the amount of time between pen strokes. It provides the field of second language studies with a means to explore the cognitive processes underpinning the nature of writing. This study examined the potential of using free handwritten copying of sentences as a means of investigating components of the cognitive processes of adults who have English as their Second Language (ESL). A series of one pilot and three experiments investigated possible measures of language skill and the factors that influence the quality of the measures. The pilot study, with five participants of varying English competence, identified copying without pre-reading to be an effective task and ‘median' at the beginning of words to be an effective measure. Experiment 1 (n=20 Malaysian speakers) found jumbled sentences at the letter and word levels to effectively differentiate test-taker competence in relation to grammatical knowledge. Experiment 2 (n=20 Spanish speakers) investigated the jumbling effects further, but found that participants varied their strategy depending on the order of the sentence types. As a result, Experiment 3 (n= 24 Malaysian speakers) used specific task instructions to control participant strategy use, so that they either attended to the meaning of the sentences, or merely copied as quickly as possible. Overall, these experiments show that it is feasible to apply pause analysis to cognitively investigate both grammar and vocabulary components of language processing. Further, a theoretical information processing model of copying (MoC) was developed. The model assists in the analysis and description of (1) the flow of copying processes; (2) the factors that might affect longer or shorter pauses amongst participants of varying competence level; and (3) sentence stimuli design.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF0309 Consciousness. Cognition Including learning ; attention ; comprehension ; memory ; imagination ; genius ; intelligence ; thought and thinking ; psycholinguistics ; mental fatigue ; P0101 Language. Linguistic theory. Comparative grammar