An investigation of the relationship between syntactic competence and reading comprehension

Hasinoff, Shelley (1981) An investigation of the relationship between syntactic competence and reading comprehension. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

[img] [English] PDF (Migrated (PDF/A Conversion) from original format: (application/pdf)) - Accepted Version
Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.

Download (13Mb)
  • [img] [English] PDF - Accepted Version
    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
    (Original Version)

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between syntactic competence and reading comprehension in Grade Two children. The strictly linguistic definition of syntactic competence, which is represented in this study by oral syntactic maturity, has been broadened to encompass the psycholinguistic notion of syntactic competence which refers to the reader's ability to uncover the meaning of print through strategic attention to the cue systems of language. In particular, this study investigated overattention to grapho-phonic and orthographic cues, which was referred to as the utilization of an "identification strategy" and the flexible use of all cue systems to derive and monitor meaning, which was referred to as the use of a "comprehension strategy." -- The Comprehension subtest of the Gates-MacGinitie Reading Test (Canadian edition) Level B, Form 1 was administered to 109 students of four Grade Two classrooms from two schools, one from the Avalon Consolidated School Board and the other from the Roman Catholic School Board for St. John's. Using the median score to divide the group into High and Low achievement groups, students were randomly selected from both sides of the median to insure equal representation from both schools of all ability groups by matching the number of the smallest achievement group which was 16. In this manner, 64 students were selected for further study. Two students were dropped from the study due to illness on the part of one and excessive anxiety on the other. -- The 62 students who completed the study were tested individually and their responses tape-recorded for later in-depth analysis. Individual testing occurred during the three-week period following group testing. Each student was administered the Sentence Imitation subtest of the Test of Language Development to obtain a measure of oral syntactic maturity. The student was then asked to read aloud from a story selected from the Reading Miscue Inventory. The substitution errors made on this instrument were later coded and evaluated to determine whether the use of an "identification strategy," as evidenced by high proportions of syntactically-semantically unacceptable substitutions which were not subsequently corrected, or the use of a "comprehension strategy," as evidenced by combined high proportions of corrections and syntactically-semantically acceptable substitutions which were not subsequently corrected, had a significant effect on reading comprehension. -- The results obtained were submitted to stepwise multiple regression, cross-break and correlational analysis to determine the effect of the variables selected for investigation on reading comprehension and the relationships between these variables. The presence of two oral reading strategies inferred from qualitative evaluation of substitution miscues was validated and their effect on reading comprehension determined using stepwise multiple regression analysis supported by correlational techniques. Cross-break analysis was used to specify the relationship between oral syntactic maturity and reading comprehension and to eliminate the place of school attendance as an important variable for any of the results obtained. -- At the .01 level of confidence, statistical analysis revealed that the use of an "identification strategy" adversely affected reading comprehension, whereas the use of a "comprehension strategy" enhanced reading comprehension. Oral syntactic maturity was found to relate significantly to reading comprehension and was significant as an independent simultaneous predictor along with either the "identification strategy" or the "comprehension strategy." Place of school attendance was not found to be significant in explaining the variance in any of the results obtained.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/7598
Item ID: 7598
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 101-115.
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 1981
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador--Avalon Peninsula--St. John's
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Reading comprehension; Language acquisition; Children--Language

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Downloads

Downloads per month over the past year

View more statistics