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Reading comprehension and vocabulary: is vocabulary more important for some aspects of comprehension?

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>12/2014
<mark>Journal</mark>L'année Psychologique
Issue number4
Number of pages16
Pages (from-to)647-662
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish


The influence of vocabulary breadth (number of words known) and vocabulary depth (what is known about those words) on different aspects of text comprehension was examined in 83 10- to 11-year-olds. Vocabulary was not an important predictor of comprehension for details explicitly stated in the text. In contrast, vocabulary was related to inference making and, in particular, measures of vocabulary that assessed what was known about individual words predicted unique variance in global coherence inferences. The pattern of findings supports previous research reporting that measures of breadth and depth of vocabulary knowledge are important predictors of both reading comprehension and comprehension-related skills, and critically identifies that some aspects of vocabulary knowledge may be more important for higher-level comprehension skills than others.