Unanswered questions: Cultural assumptions in text interpretation

Kumiko Murata*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    9 Citations (Scopus)


    This article investigates the role of cultural assumptions in text interpretation by focusing on readers' perspectives, a focus which has been lacking in Critical Discourse analytic approaches. It examines the influence of cultural assumptions by administering a reading comprehension questionnaire to two different cultural groups, Japanese and non-Japanese. The results show the complex nature of readers' text interpretation in that the respondents were influenced by the interaction of their cultural assumptions, prior knowledge and co-textual information in interpreting a text. This points to the need for Critical Discourse Analysis to recognise variability in interpretation more and how this is affected also by cultural factors. The article then discusses possible implications of the findings for language pedagogy.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)38-59
    Number of pages22
    JournalInternational Journal of Applied Linguistics
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2007 Mar


    • Cross-cultural communication
    • Cultural assumptions
    • Language teaching
    • News discourse analysis
    • Text interpretation

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Linguistics and Language
    • Language and Linguistics


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