How reader and task characteristics influence young readers’ comprehension monitoring

Ammi, Sabrina (2015) How reader and task characteristics influence young readers’ comprehension monitoring. PhD thesis, UNSPECIFIED.

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Comprehension monitoring is defined as the process by which reader’s evaluate and regulate their understanding of text (e.g., Baker, 1985). Comprehension monitoring is an important component skill of reading comprehension (e.g., Cain, Oakhill & Bryant, 2004). Despite the importance of comprehension monitoring in reading comprehension, relatively little research has been undertaken to explore the development of comprehension monitoring or the task and reader characteristics critical to the development of this skill. To address this gap in the literature, this thesis explores the development of comprehension monitoring in children aged 7 to 10 years. A series of experiments are presented which explore monitoring of nonwords, general knowledge violations and internal inconsistencies using off-line and real-time measures. Experiments also explore the relationship between monitoring and working memory capacity. Findings reveal developmental differences in comprehension monitoring. Older children are better at correctly judging the sense of information and more likely to adjust their reading behaviour in relation to error information. It seems that both age groups undertake similar monitoring behaviours, albeit with different levels of success. A range of task and reader characteristics influence monitoring skill. Findings demonstrate that task instructions influence reading behaviour. Children undertake a more purposeful and careful reading of the text when alerted that texts may contain errors. Findings also demonstrate differences in children’s proficiency in adopting standards of evaluation. Children encounter most difficulties in adopting the internal consistency standard, perhaps because this standard requires children to integrate and compare the comprehensibility of information at the text-level. In addition, within error manipulations demonstrate that children use the explicitness of error information as a criterion for monitoring comprehension. Further, findings reveal that the relationship between comprehension monitoring and working memory capacity is relatively weak. Interestingly, these findings question the importance of working memory capacity as a source of monitoring difficulties. In the context of the situation model, these findings suggest that monitoring difficulties may arise from failures in constructing a richly elaborated situation model, rather than failures in updating the situation model.

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Thesis (PhD)
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28 Nov 2016 15:22
Last Modified:
27 Sep 2023 00:32