Dissertation
Dissertation > Language, writing > FOREIGN > English > Language teaching > Teaching method

An Experimental Study on Cognitive Process of English Listening Based on the Prototype Theory

Author XiaHuan
Tutor LongShiWen
School Southwest Petroleum University
Course Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Keywords Prototype Theory the cognitive process of English listening cognitive model the response time
CLC H319.3
Type Master's thesis
Year 2011
Downloads 37
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The Category Theory holds that people realize the surrounding world by classifying different organisms and objects, which is named categorization. People understand the language relying on the different categories. In 1970s, with the help of series of experimental studies, Rosch discovered that the prototype plays a crucial role in categorization.The thesis based on the Category Theory, especially Prototype Theory to analyzes the conventional teaching model of English listening comprehension for EFL learners. It holds that most EFL learners memorize the English words by utilizing their Chinese characters or Chinese pronunciation, this learning method is not beneficial to the English listening, even deteriorates the level of listening comprehension. On the basis of Prototype Theory, the author analyzes the cognitive process of English listening comprehension to reveal that before the learners learn English, the individual categorization of the learners has formed. The current English teaching model is actually the reconfiguration of the previous native categorization, and then, the author proposed two cognitive processes for native learners.According to the Embodied Philosophy by Lakoff, different teaching model will generate different experience, influence the configuration of the categorization, and finally decide the listening comprehension ability of learners. According to the two cognitive processes for native learners proposed before, the author analyses the influence of current English teaching model on English listening, and proposes three possible cognitive processes for EFL learners.In order to testify the validity of the three types of cognitive processes of listening comprehension, the author designs two parts of experiments. For part one, the author designs a series of computer programs to calculate the response times of the subjects from fourfold experiments as Chinese characters, Chinese pronunciation, English spelling and English pronunciation respectively. There are 123 subjects covered five different learning levels from middle school students to postgraduates. For part two, the author designs a specific questionnaire based on the Embodied Philosophy to obtain the information of the subjects who accomplished the computer programs in part one. The questionnaire concludes age, educational background and major, years of English learning, fondness of English and other relative elements. Then, with the help of the questionnaire, the author analyzes the data collected from the computer programs, and analyzes the influence of the current teaching model on English listening comprehension. With the analysis of the experimental study, the author firstly testifies the validity of the three types of cognitive model, and then gives some suggestions for the conventional English teaching method, especially for English listening comprehension. Finally, the author figures out the limitations of the experiment and gives some suggestions to lay foundation for her further studies.

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