A comparison of comprehension and production abilities of good and poor readers

EG BAR-SHALOM, S CRAIN, D SHANKWEILER

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

43 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Research from several sources indicates that reading disability is often associated with difficulty in comprehending some complex spoken sentences, including those with relative clauses. The present study exploits a new methodology, elicited production, to identify the source of comprehension difficulties of poor readers. Both the elicited production task and a conventional act-out task were employed in a study of 30 children (aged 7-8), who were selected for reading ability. On the act-out task, the poor readers displayed a high error rate on two relative clause structures (SO and 00 relatives), as had been found by Mann, Shankweiler, and Smith (1984), but these structures were elicited from the poor readers as successfully as from the good readers (on more than 80% of trials). The findings constitute strong evidence of childrens' competence with relative clause syntax. Thus, the poor readers' difficulties in demonstrating comprehension on the act-out task stem from nonsyntactic causes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-227
Number of pages31
JournalApplied Psycholinguistics
Volume14
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1993

Keywords

  • READING-DISABLED CHILDREN
  • INDIVIDUAL-DIFFERENCES
  • RELATIVE CLAUSES
  • SENTENCE COMPREHENSION
  • SPOKEN SENTENCES
  • PHONETIC MEMORY
  • ACQUISITION
  • LANGUAGE
  • SEGMENTATION
  • GRAMMAR

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