In this study we propose a theoretical construct (called rhetorical competence) that represents the ability of readers to detect, understand, and use the linguistic cues or discourse markers that texts contain. We measure one of the three postulated components of rhetorical competence (knowledge of textual integration markers), assessing whether readers correctly interpret these markers while reading. The influence of this skill on reading competence is examined in a correlational study of 185 sixth-grade pupils (aged 11–12 years) using different assessment materials (a standardized test and an academic text) and reading conditions (habitual and aided). Multiple regression analyses of the data indicate that knowledge of textual integration devices makes a significant independent contribution to expository text comprehension under most assessment conditions when the effects of working memory, prior knowledge, and word recognition skills are controlled.
Reading and Writing – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 23, 2008
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