Proceedings of The 5th International Academic Conference on Teaching, Learning and Education
On the Expected Improvement of Evaluation Categories through Repeated Practice in English Summarization: A Case Study of Japanese University Students with Primary Level of English
Summary writing is considered one of the important skills any English learner needs in an academic context. For example, university or college students are often given the task of summarizing information from source materials they have read as assignments, and language teachers also often ask students to write summaries to measure their reading comprehension or writing abilities. Under real-world circumstances, however, many Japanese university students are self-taught in summary writing. In this study, we examine summarization as a skill that is expected to improve with repeated practice, as per Anderson’s (1983) Skill Acquisition Theory. A total of 30 participants students who had not experienced writing summaries received quick instruction in summary writing, and 15 participants were asked to practice writing summaries in English for five weeks and the remainder were not. Their summary performances on the pre- and post-tests were evaluated by three trained raters using proposed evaluation categories. Results show that scores related to language use in the experimental group improved during the five-week practice compared with those in the control group. The results of this study imply that evaluation categories, i.e., those related to language use, which are factors in the quality of summaries, show improvement with repeated writing, similar to the improvement in English writing skills. However, other skills such as selecting main ideas, condensing information, and paraphrasing are indicated as requiring more frequent practice.
Keywords: summary writing, EFL learners with primary level of English, repeated practice, skill acquisition theory, evaluation categories.