The relation between decoding and comprehensionin the oral and written modalities was studiedin a randomly selected group of nine-year-olds,subdivided into good, average and poordecoders. Performances on two types ofcomprehension tasks (story retelling andcloze tasks) were compared and related tophonological, syntactic and semantic abilities.(Story retelling demanded the ability to retellthe gist of a story, while the cloze tasksdemanded precise skills in drawing anaphoricreference across sentence boundaries.) Atwo-way analysis of variance using IQ ascovariate showed that poor decoders scoredlower than average and good decoders on allcomprehension tasks. This suggests a highdegree of interdependence between listeningcomprehension, reading comprehension anddecoding. The associated pattern of oralcorrelates furthermore varied with task demandsand to some extent, independent of modality.Vocabulary was related to the ability toretell a story. Syntax and, in particularphonemic awareness, were on the otherhand more strongly related to the ability todraw anaphoric reference. The results wereinterpreted in favor of ``the phonologicaldeficit hypothesis'', but the interactionbetween linguistic sub-skills and task demandswas also underscored.
Reading and Writing – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 4, 2004
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