Effects of Preparation and Use of Keyword Lists on a Classroom Story-Retelling Test

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Hidetoshi Saito, Ibaraki University

The purpose of this quasi-experimental study was to explore the effects of test practice and keyword use on story-retelling test performance under four conditions. Eighty-two beginning and intermediate Japanese university students enrolled in English courses were required to practice orally summarizing two passages using a keyword list and also instructed to orally summarize one of two previously unseen passages without preparation. In the test session, two groups experienced two conditions that were identical and one that was different. Both groups retold one practiced passage with keywords at hand and a new passage without a keyword list. Group 1 retold another practiced passage with the keyword list withheld, whereas Group 2 read an additional new passage, made a keyword list, and retold it with the keyword list but without practice. Test practice was found to improve performance, but keyword list use induced better performance only when used with practice.