re and note taking method of information presentation was used (p .۰۵).
El-Koumy (1999) compared the effectiveness of three classroom methods for teaching semantic mapping to college-level learners of English as a foreign language (EFL). Subjects were 187 freshmen at an Egyptian university; they were randomly assigned to three treatment groups: teacher-initiated semantic mapping; student-mediated semantic mapping; and teacher-student interactive semantic mapping. Treatment was administered over 5 months in one session per week. Subjects were pre and post tested in reading comprehension. While the pre-test indicated no significant differences in the groups, post-test results revealed students in the teacher-student interactive semantic mapping group scored significantly higher than the other two groups, which had similar results.
Schlesinger (2000) elaborated on their beneficial experiences from incorporating semantic maps into class lessons, and the students’ recognizable academic improvement that resulted from utilizing this new teaching strategy. The authors quoted an eleventh grade student who reflects on her growth of knowledge while comparing her pre- and post-semantic maps she created on a six-week unit on Africa. The authors depicted semantic mapping as a graphic representation or picture of one’s thoughts, ideas, and attitudes toward a key concept. Semantic mapping focuses on categorizing and connecting these thoughts, ideas, and attitudes in relation to the key concept. The authors detailed the process of semantic mapping as starting with teachers asking students to brainstorm the ideas, images, or descriptions they associate with a particular concept, then students group related terms into categories, providing a label for each category. Then students graphically displayed their ideas in a semantic map. The authors described the multi-purpose usefulness of semantic mapping in the classroom. They evaluated the advantageous learning experiences for teachers and students through developing maps, either by individual students, or small groups or by the class. The authors then discussed the purposes semantic maps serve at different times during a unit. The authors concluded that the process of mapping techniques may improve reading comprehension, increase content-area achievement, enhance recall of material, and reduce student anxiety.
A study by Guastello et al. (2000) assessed the effects of concept mapping on a science unit with low-achieving seventh graders in urban Brooklyn, New York. Each participating student had demonstrated below average achievement in both science and reading on standardized assessments. Students were randomly assigned to either a concept mapping group or a read and discuss group. The concept mapping group constructed organizational maps of the unit material with the assistance of the teacher as the students read the chapter in the book. The read and discuss group read the chapter in sections and participated in discussion and questioning following each reading. The study was conducted over a period of eight school days during the students’ regularly scheduled science classes. The results indicated the two groups scored similarly on pre-tests of the unit material and on science and reading achievement. Because the pre-test was significantly correlated to post-test scores (r = 0.18, p .۰۵), an analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) with pre-test scores as the covariate was conducted. The ANCOVA results showed a statistically significant main effect (p .۰۰۰۱) favoring the graphic organizer group indicating that instructional techniques using graphic representations are more effective than traditional methods. The authors suggested that concept mapping, if used to teach textual material, might assist students to build schemas for understanding a lesson’s concepts. Furthermore, the process of creating the semantic map may simply serve to focus students’ attention on the relevant sections of the text.
Kuo et al. (2002) investigated the effect of concept mapping to enhance reading comprehension and summarization. They designed three concept mapping approaches: Map correction, Scaffold fading and Map generalization to determine their effects on the readers’ comprehension and summarization ability. The experimental results of 126 fifth grades showed that the map correction method enhances reading comprehension and summarization abilities and that the scaffold fading method facilitates summarization ability.
Darayseh (2003) explored the effect of a proposed program based on semantic mapping and brainstorming strategies on developing the scientific secondary students’ English writing and reading ability. The findings of the study indicated that there were significant differences between the mean scores of the students in the experimental groups which can be attributed to the use of the semantic mapping teaching strategy. The researcher recommended that teachers should activate the prewriting phase and reading by using appropriate teaching strategies such as brainstorming and semantic mapping in particular.
Canas (2004) conducted a study about text concept mapping, the contribution of mapping characteristics to learning from texts. The effects of text concept mapping were tested during one school year (4 classes, 112 eighth graders: two classes were taught using concept mapping with practicing .The other two classes were taught through regular learning skills) . The classes were tested on language mapping comprehension after the teaching process. The findings indicated an advantage of using text concept mapping on reading comprehension. The researchers recommended that text concept mapping is a potent mediator for learning with texts and for conducting complex learning tasks, compared with concept mapping only.
Grigaite (2005) conducted a study to investigate the effect of using semantic mapping strategies on developing child’s thinking skills .She defined semantic mapping as a strategy in which information is categorically structured in a graphic/visual representation. She examined the cognitive outcomes stimulated by the teachers’ use of semantic mapping as a strategy for accelerating two cognitive operations, classification and serration in a child’s seventh year. Fifty-seven children at the age of six took part in the research. The findings revealed that students in the experimental group who participated in the training were creative. They revealed high degrees of cognitive thoughts.
Mozayan (2005) has undertaken a research on the effects of semantic mapping on the improvement of reading comprehension ability of Iranian medical students. This research verifies the assumption that semantic mapping as a during-reading activity can enhance and improve the students’ reading comprehension in medical courses. In this study a group of sixty homogeneous medical students were selected and randomly assigned to control group and experimental groups. Then both groups received a series of similar instructions except that the students in the experimental group were required to undertake semantic mapping strategies following reading each paragraph and prior to expressing their ideas on gist orally. In order to capture the probable significant relationship between semantic mapping and reading comprehension a T-test was used. The results rejected the null hypothesis and indicated that semantic mapping positively affected the students’ reading comprehension ability.
Saqqa (2005) investigated the effect of computer assisted semantic mapping and brainstorming on Jordanian upper basic stage students’ reading comprehension and writing in English. The findings revealed that students were very active, they read the texts from their textbooks, and then suggested some changes like deletion and additions on the first semantic map they drew. The researcher recommended that more computer assisted semantic mapping and brainstorming programs to be conducted to improve the students’ reading and writin
g abilities.
Roy et al. (2006) conducted a study to confirm a computer-based approach that can be used to score concept maps and then describe the concurrent criterion–related validity of these scores. The results indicated that automatically derived concept map scores can provide a relatively low- cost, easy to use, and easy to interpret measures of students’ science content knowledge.
Hayati & Shariatifar (2009) have done a study on mapping strategies. They investigate the impact of using two visual while reading strategies, knowledge-mapping (KM) and underlining, on the performance of intermediate students learning English as a foreign language, in reading comprehension tests. In doing so, 60 Iranian intermediate EFL students were selected from a larger population by means of a proficiency test. They were then divided into three groups: two experimental, i.e. KM and underlining, and one control group. First, the KM and underlining groups were taught how to use KM and underlining strategies respectively during reading. Then, all the subjects in the three groups took the same reading comprehension test. The results indicate that the KM group scored the highest after underlining.
Yousefvand (2009) observed and investigated the effects of concept mapping on the EFL learner comprehension of informative text. Within the framework of this pilot research the 30 female adult English second language learners of an advanced level were subjected to a weekly intervention over a 4 week period. After ensuring the homogeneity of the students by using a standard achievement test they were randomly assigned to experimental and control groups. A reading pre-test was used to determine the students’ level of reading. Thereafter, the students in both groups were trained in reading in accordance with their treatment condition. Following the training sessions, a parallel test as a post-test on reading was given to all students. A T-test between the obtained means of the experimental and control group on the post-test revealed that there were significant differences between the performance of experimental and control groups. As a result it was concluded that the employment of concept mapping had a positive effect on EFL learners’ reading of informative text.
Taghavi & Sadeghi (2010) examined the relative effectiveness of semantic mapping, as an interactive pre-reading strategy, on reading comprehension of Iranian undergraduate students (non- EFL majors). They also examined whether there was an interaction between gender and the effect of teaching semantic mapping strategy on reading comprehension. The participants in this study consisted of 120 male and female pre-intermediate undergraduate students taking a General English course at Urmia University. A Certificated of Advanced English Reading Paper (CAE) was administered to measure the students’ proficiency at the beginning of the research. Later, the participants were semi-randomly assigned into experimental and control groups. The experimental group was instructed on how to employ semantic mapping strategy in reading while the control group received normal reading instruction. The post-test results

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