Relationships between decoding, reading comprehension and syntax in weak and strong decoders
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT REQUEST OF AUTHOR.] The Modified Triangle Model of Reading (Bishop and Snowling, 2004) suggests that broader language skills, such as syntax, assist with reading, and possibly allow children with poor decoding skills to compensate for this weakness in decoding when reading. In the current study, relationships between decoding, reading comprehension and syntax in both strong and weak decoders were explored; syntactic skills of poor decoders and garden variety poor readers were compared; and miscues between different groups of readers were examined in terms of graphic similarity to the text and syntactic acceptability. Results showed that syntactic skills, decoding skills and reading comprehension scores were all significantly and positively correlated in the strong decoders, while only syntactic skills and reading comprehension scores were significantly and positively correlated in the weak decoders. Significant differences in composite syntax scores were found between garden variety poor readers and the poor decoders. Miscues of both the controls and the poor decoders had less graphic similarity to the text than did the other two groups, while only controls differed significantly from the other groups in terms of syntactic acceptability.
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