ERIC Number: ED212983
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Dec
Reference Count: 0
The Effects of Context Clue Type and Text Type on the Comprehension of Unknown Words.
Carroll, Bonnie A.; Drum, Priscilla A.
A study examined the use of context clues in identifying unknown words embedded in three types of text (fiction, exposition, and science). Subjects were 24 eighth grade students who read three passages at the fifth grade level, each with four content words deleted from them and replaced with pseudowords. Context clues for these pseudowords were systematically varied by type (definition and synonym) and direction (before and after the word). Each student read each passage silently, then responded with the word that fit the place of the nonsense word, citing the specific clue within the passage that helped to determine what the real word should be. As expected, high ability students outperformed low ability students, who took more time to complete the tasks and whose strategies for using context clues were not as highly developed. The fiction and expository texts elicited more correct responses (the target words or their synonyms) than did the science text. Clue identification scores were higher for fiction and expository texts, while word replacement scores were higher for the science passage. Type of clue did not affect scores substantially, though definition clues seemed more effective in eliciting correct responses in the fiction text. Clues placed before the target words were more useful in both the fiction and the expository texts, while the clues placed after the target words were more effective in the science text. (An appendix contains passages read by the students.) (RL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Reading Conference (31st, Dallas, TX, December 2-5, 1981).