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ERIC Number: EJ1174679
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-May
Pages: 24
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0922-4777
The Challenge and the Opportunity of Lexical Inferencing in Language Minority Students
Shahar-Yames, Daphna; Prior, Anat
Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, v31 n5 p1109-1132 May 2018
Lexical inferencing from text is a powerful tool for vocabulary and reading comprehension enhancement. Lexical inferencing relies on the pre-requisite skills of reading and existing vocabulary, and is also linked to non-verbal inferencing abilities and reading comprehension. In this study, we examined whether Fifth-grade Russian-speaking language minority (LM) students might exhibit reduced lexical inferencing abilities in comparison to their native Hebrew-speaking (NH) peers, due to their reduced proficiency in the societal language. Participants completed a measure of lexical inferencing during text reading, and measures of underlying skills, including vocabulary, word reading accuracy, reading comprehension and non-verbal inferencing. As a group, LM students demonstrated comparable lexical inferencing abilities to those of their NH peers despite significantly lower vocabulary knowledge in vocabulary. Two explanations are suggested; first, although LM students had reduced vocabulary, they were nonetheless above the vocabulary threshold required for text comprehension. Second, the regression analyses revealed that non-verbal inferencing explained unique variance only in the LM group, demonstrating that they recruited language-external resources to support lexical inferencing. The current results show that lexical inferencing can serve as a powerful tool for promoting reading comprehension and vocabulary, domains that are points of weakness for language minority students.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 5
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A