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Effects of ChatGPT on Korean EFL Learners Main-Idea Reading Comprehension via Top-Down Processing

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Rakhun Kim

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This study quantitatively and qualitatively investigated the effects of ChatGPT
on top-down processing in English reading comprehension among Korean
English as a foreign language (EFL) learners. Participants were divided into
experimental and control groups of 20 individuals each, completed pretest,
immediate posttest, and delayed posttest sessions, and received explicit main
idea identification instructions for Finding the Main Idea (FMI) test items from
the Korean College Scholastic Aptitude Test. However, only the experimental
group had access to ChatGPT. The results showed a statistically significant
improvement in top-down processing skills in the experimental group.
Additionally, a qualitative analysis of interviews with learners and
ChatGPT-human interaction data revealed responses to ChatGPTs use in
English reading comprehension, emphasizing its potential benefits and
challenges. These findings highlight the significance of balancing technological
integration with pedagogical instruction to optimize learning experiences in the
Korean EFL context.
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