2016 Volume 18 Issue 1 Pages 1-14
The objective of this study is to consider how to reduce Japanese EFL students’ difficulty in learning syntactically complex sentences, particularly those containing relative pronouns (hereinafter relative clause sentences). The problem was analyzed using cognitive psychological theory to determine where and why such difficulties most often occur. The findings suggested that educators teach concrete steps for sentence comprehension and production, based on the analysis of procedural knowledge for sentence processing of relative clause sentences. The potential of this teaching method was examined through an experiment based on a sample of EFL learners who had initially failed to overcome certain levels of difficulty in learning these types of sentences. It was confirmed that production practice improved performance in sentence comprehension and production more effectively than did sentence comprehension practice.