The influence of connectives on young readers' processing and comprehension of text.

Cain, Kate and Nash, Hannah M. (2011) The influence of connectives on young readers' processing and comprehension of text. Journal of Educational Psychology, 103 (2). pp. 429-441. ISSN 0022-0663

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Connectives are cohesive devices that signal the relations between clauses and are critical to the construction of a coherent representation of a text's meaning. The authors investigated young readers' knowledge, processing, and comprehension of temporal, causal, and adversative connectives using offline and online tasks. In a doze task, 10-year-olds were more accurate than 8-year-olds on temporal and adversative connectives, but both age groups differed from adult levels of performance (Experiment 1). When required to rate the "sense" of 2-clause sentences linked by connectives, 10-year-olds and adults were better at discriminating between clauses linked by appropriate and inappropriate connectives than were 8-year-olds. The 10-year-olds differed from adults only on the temporal connectives (Experiment 2). In contrast, online reading time measures indicated that 8-year-olds' processing of text is influenced by connectives as they read, in much the same way as 10-year-olds'. Both age groups read text more quickly when target 2-clause sentences were linked by an appropriate connective compared with texts in which a connective was neutral (and), inappropriate to the meaning conveyed by the 2 clauses, or not present (Experiments 3 and 4). These findings indicate that although knowledge and comprehension of connectives is still developing in young readers, connectives aid text processing in typically developing readers.

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Journal Article
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Journal of Educational Psychology
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19 Mar 2012 13:27
Last Modified:
15 Sep 2023 04:02