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ERIC Number: ED259319
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1985-Apr
Pages: 19
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
When Will Children Acknowledge Failures of Word Comprehension?
Baker, Linda
A study was conducted to determine whether word length and sentence position influence the likelihood that a child will acknowledge that a word has disrupted comprehension of a reading passage. In the first task, third and fifth grade skilled and less-skilled readers read 16 short paragraphs containing nonsense words and reported whether the paragraphs contained anything that might be hard for another child to understand. All children were more likely to identify the three-syllable nonwords than the one syllable nonwords as problematic, suggesting that children are hesitant to say that a short word is unfamiliar because they think it is a word they ought to know. This was particularly true for the third grade subjects. The effect of sentence position (noun vs. adjective) was minimal, suggesting that children, in contrast to adults, may not perceive nouns as more crucial to comprehension than adjectives. In the second task, subjects evaluated the relative comprehensibility of pairs of sentences in which the nonsense words contrasted in sentence position, number of syllables, or both. As with the first task, third grade students were more likely than fifth grade students to focus on word length in making judgments of comprehensibility. Surprisingly, however, it was often the adjective that was perceived as more crucial to comprehension than the noun. (HTH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A