Characteristics of EFL Readers' Summary Writing: A Study with Korean University Students


  • Sung-Ae Kim PhD

    1. Pusan National University
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      Sung-Ae Kim (PhD, The Ohio State University)is Associate Professor of English Language Education at Pusan National University, Pusan, Korea.


Abstract: This study reports part of the findings of a study of Korean EFL students' skill in summarizing an English text. The participants were 70 freshmen who were assumed to possess the typical Korean EFL students' characteristics related to summary writing. The two English texts employed were expository texts taken from a college-level ESL reading book. One of the texts (i.e., Text A)was assumed to be easier than the other (i.e., Text B). Data gathered from two summaries were analyzed in terms of the content idea units included in the summary, the idea units on four importance levels, use of three summarization rules (i.e., deletion, selection, and transformation), and accuracy. According to the results, the participants in this study were sensitive, though not fully, to importance. The most frequently used rule was the deletion rule, and the least frequently used rule was the transformation rule. Analysis of data also revealed that text difficulty can affect the summary writer's behavior Changes in the writers' behaviors due to text difficulty were noted in the proportion of content idea units included in the summary, the use of selection and transformation rules, and in the accuracy rate, but not in the use of the deletion rule or total rule use. Results indicate that Korean EFL students do not possess effective summarization skills and are in need of appropriate instruction and practice to improve these skills.