ERIC Number: ED212997
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1982-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
The Influence of Text Type and Context Clue Type on the Comprehension of Unknown Words.
Carroll, Bonnie A.; Drum, Priscilla A.
Two experiments examined the effects of definition and synonym as context clues embedded in three types of text (fiction, exposition, and science). It was predicted that (1) type of text would influence clue usage; (2) difficulty of the text, based on increasingly more detailed complex information, would interfere with the use of clues; (3) clue type would influence the use of clues; and (4) high ability subjects would make more effective use of clues than low ability subjects. The subjects, 24 eighth grade students in the first experiment and 40 in the second, read three passages with four nonsense words embedded in each, then supplied a true English word for each pseudoword and the reason for replacement. Context clues for the pseudowords were systematically varied by type (definition and synonym) and by direction (before or after the target word). Results of both studies showed that high ability students outperformed average and low ability students, indicating a greater verbal ability and more effective use of clues. Both studies reported similar effects for types of texts, with the fiction passages eliciting more correct responses than the science texts. The modifications to the expository passages across experiments reinforced the stylistic differences between fiction and science texts, suggesting that different writing styles may require different reading processes. Type of clue (definition or synonym) and clue direction (before or after the target word) did not substantially affect word identification or clue usage. (An appendix contains the passages read by the students.) (RL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A