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  • FreedCainIJLCD2021

    Rights statement: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Freed, J. and Cain, K. (2021), Assessment of inference-making in children using comprehension questions and story retelling: Effect of text modality and a story presentation format. International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, 56: 637-652. https://doi.org/10.1111/1460-6984.12620 which has been published in final form at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1460-6984.12620 This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.

    Accepted author manuscript, 363 KB, PDF document

    Embargo ends: 24/05/22

    Available under license: CC BY-NC: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

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Assessment of inference making in children using comprehension questions and story retelling: Effect of text modality and story presentation format

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/06/2021
<mark>Journal</mark>International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders
Issue number3
Volume56
Number of pages16
Pages (from-to)637-652
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date24/05/21
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Background. Reading and listening comprehension are essential for accessing the school curriculum. Inference making is integral to successful comprehension and involves integrating information between clauses (local coherence) and integrating information with background knowledge (global coherence). We require appropriate methods to assess comprehension and inference making in order to identify areas of difficulty and provide appropriate support. Aims. Typically developing children’s ability to generate local and global coherence inferences was assessed. The effect of text modality (reading and listening comprehension) and presentation format (stories presented in segmented and whole story format) was explored using two comprehension measures (question answering and story retell). The main aims were to determine whether there were advantages for reading or listening comprehension and for segmented or whole text presentation. Methods & Procedures. Typically developing children in Year 3 (n=33) and Year 5 (n=40) either read or listened to short stories. Their ability to generate global and local coherence inferences was assessed in two ways: answers to inference-tapping questions and story retelling (scored for inclusion of necessary inferences). Stories were presented either in whole format (all questions after the story) or segmented format (questions asked at specific points during story presentation); the retelling was always after the complete story and questions had been presented. Outcomes & Results. For both comprehension measures, there was developmental progression between age groups and a benefit for the reading modality. Scores were higher for global coherence than local coherence inferences, but the effect was significant only for the question answering responses, not retells. For retells there was a benefit in presenting the text as a whole compared with the segmented format, but this effect was not present for the comprehension questions. There was a significant interaction between inference type and modality for both comprehension measures (question answering and story retell): for the local coherence inferences scores were significantly greater in the reading compared to the listening modality, but performance on the global coherence inferences did not differ significantly between modalities. Conclusions & Implications. Clinicians, teachers and other professionals should consider the modality and presentation format for comprehension tasks to utilise areas of strength and support areas of difficulty. Oral presentation may result in poorer comprehension relative to written presentation in general, and may particularly affect local integrative processing. These findings have important implications for the development of appropriate assessments as well as for supporting children with comprehension difficulties.

Bibliographic note

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Freed, J. and Cain, K. (2021), Assessment of inference-making in children using comprehension questions and story retelling: Effect of text modality and a story presentation format. International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, 56: 637-652. https://doi.org/10.1111/1460-6984.12620 which has been published in final form at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1460-6984.12620 This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.