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ERIC Number: EJ1080748
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1088-8438
Narrative Fiction and Expository Nonfiction Differentially Predict Verbal Ability
Mar, Raymond A.; Rain, Marina
Scientific Studies of Reading, v19 n6 p419-433 2015
Although reading is known to be an important contributor to language abilities, it is not yet well established whether different text genres are uniquely associated with verbal abilities. We examined how exposure to narrative fiction and expository nonfiction predict language ability among university students. Exposure was measured both with self-report and with recognition tests of print exposure. Verbal ability was measured in the form of synonym knowledge, analogies, sentence completion, and reading comprehension in 4 different studies. Across all studies, narrative fiction was a better predictor of verbal abilities relative to expository nonfiction. When examining unique associations, controlling for demographic variables and the other genre, fiction remained a robust predictor, whereas nonfiction became a null or weak negative predictor. In light of this evidence, it appears that what we read plays an important role in how reading contributes to language development.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A