ERIC Number: ED254073
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Nov
Reference Count: 0
The Function of Function Words in Reading Comprehension.
Blau, Eileen Kay
A study of the effect of function words on reading comprehension had as subjects 99 college students of English as a second language (ESL) divided into four groups. The treatment was the reading of a set of passages, written in four versions. In version 1 all function words were deleted; in version 2 function words with semantic weight were retained; in version 3 the same number of function words were retained as in version 2, but were randomly selected; and in version 4 the full text was used. Comprehension of the passages was measured by a multiple choice comprehension test. Results showed no significant difference between the comprehension scores yielded by versions 2 and 4 or between those of 1 and 3. However, the scores for versions 2 and 4 were significantly higher than for 1 and 3, indicating that function words carrying a semantic load contribute to reading comprehension for ESL students while those that are lexically empty, although essential for grammatical correctness, do not contribute to reading comprehension for this population. (Author/MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Puerto Rico Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (San Juan, Puerto Rico, November 16-17, 1984).