Reading and riddling: The role of riddle appreciation in understanding and improving poor text comprehension in children

Yuill, Nicola (1998) Reading and riddling: The role of riddle appreciation in understanding and improving poor text comprehension in children. Cahiers de Psychologie Cognitive, 17 (2). pp. 313-342. ISSN 0249-9185

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Abstract

Theories relating linguistic awareness to reading suggest that different types of awareness are required for different reading skills. In this paper we investigated the relation between children's awareness of different levels of language ambiguity in riddles and their comprehension and accuracy skills. In Experiment 1, 29 8-11 year-olds heard riddles requiring relatively high levels of linguistic awareness. Riddle recall was significantly related to reading comprehension skill after reading accuracy and age were partialled out. In Experiment 2, 39 7-10 year-olds chose punchlines for riddles requiring high or low levels of linguistic awareness. Comprehension skill was related to correct punchline choice for high-awareness but not low-awareness riddles. Accuracy skill was related only to appreciation of low-awareness riddles. Given the link between appreciation of high-awareness riddles and comprehension, in Experiment 3, we investigated whether training in understanding such ambiguity would improve children's reading comprehension. Thirty-six 7-8 year-olds were assigned to either a riddle-training or a control group. Trained children showed significantly greater improvements in comprehension skill than controls. These findings reinforce the claim that the appreciation of high-level linguistic ambiguity is related to the development of good comprehension skills.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Peer reviewed special issue on Language Play
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Depositing User: Nicola Yuill
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 15:32
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2012 15:26
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/13114
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