The Fuzzy Areas of Accuracy and Confidence while Guessing the Idiosyncratic Vocabulary of Nikos Kazantzakis’ ‘ΟΔΥΣΕΙΑ’ (Odyssey)

The Fuzzy Areas of Accuracy and Confidence while Guessing the Idiosyncratic Vocabulary of Nikos Kazantzakis’ ‘ΟΔΥΣΕΙΑ’ (Odyssey)

Abstract | Περίληψη

In this paper we are investigating whether and to what extent Muslim pupils, with Turkish mother tongue and learners of Greek as a Second /Foreign Language, use the strategy of guessing during the process of reading. Moreover, we want to know how confident they are that they have guessed right using only the information in the text. We believe that this type of processing or reading strategies are included in the common frame of communication strategies and constitute a major instructive process and they need to be taught. In relative literature, it appears that there exists difficulty of unanimity among researchers concerning the characteristics of communication strategies and their discrimination from the other strategies, as learning or processing (Rubin 1975, Hosenfeld 1988, Tarone 1980). Bialystok (1985) claims confusion to emerge from the absence of flexibility of proposed criteria and suggests that the students should aim at the possibility of changing targets without necessarily changing strategy/ies. That is to say, the process of inferencing through guessing can be used in all, instant and general, oral and written communication. We believe that the utilisation of the communication strategies using cues from different sources in the process of guessing while reading might reinforce learning, provided the users know how to use such strategies. This implies that users must be taught to exploit any source of information they have at their disposal, after they have recognized it, give it the suitable attention feel confident with their own judgement and, in the long run, go on using actively the product of their guesses. What we are investigating in this piece of research concerns the parameter of confidence and its relation to accuracy, first posed by Kambakis-Vougiouklis (1991). Confidence is a variable not normally investigated by researchers in this type of research, although it might prove to have a really great impact in the process of language learning. Confidence in accuracy of guesses as  judged by the subjects only and without anybody else’s intervention, who might provide him/her with  more or different type of information, might be a very important issue as it finally might lead initially to self-study and, in the long run, learning. We also consider both accuracy and confidence as fuzzy areas (Zadeh 1965) as the criteria used to define them cannot be strictly defined and that is the reason why in many instances we consider more than one answers as correct. The data analysis yielded some interesting results, not necessarily predictable. For example, gender seems to play an important role as girls seem to be more accurate than boys. Confidence and accuracy of our subjects seems also to be affected by age, as the older they grow the more accurate and confident they become. 

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Citation | Βιβλιογραφική αναφορά

Mathioudakis, N. (2009). The Fuzzy Areas of Accuracy and Confidence while Guessing the Idiosyncratic Vocabulary of Nikos Kazantzakis’ ‘ΟΔΥΣΕΙΑ’ (Odyssey). In K. Chatzopoulou, A. Ioannidou, & S. Yoon (eds), Proceedings of the 9th International Conference of Greek Linguistics (ICGL 9). 29-31 October 2009, pp. 538-548. Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago.

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