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The relationship between listening and reading comprehension of different types of text at increasing grade levels

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This study examined the hypotheses that (a) the relationship between listening and reading comprehension becomes stronger after decoding mastery; (b) the difference between listening and reading decreases with increasing grade level; and (c) similar patterns of relationship and difference are obtained with narrative and expository texts. The sample included 612 students in Grades 2, 4, 6, and 8. Students read and listened to two narratives and two expository texts and completed corresponding comprehension tests that were in the form of sentence verification tasks. The findings confirmed the first two hypotheses but not the third one. In the case of expository text, the relationship between listening and reading comprehension was weaker than the corresponding one with narrative text, and performance levels were comparable across all elementary grades. Moreover, reading comprehension levels were higher than listening comprehension levels in Grade 8, regardless of text type. The implications of these findings with respect to the dominant unitary process model and the assessment and instruction of oral and written language comprehension are discussed.
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Reading Psychology, 26:55–80, 2005
Copyright C
2005 Taylor & Francis Inc.
0270-2711/05 $12.00 + .00
DOI: 10.1080/02702710590910584
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LISTENING AND READING
COMPREHENSION OF DIFFERENT TYPES OF TEXT AT
INCREASING GRADE LEVELS
IRENE-ANNA N. DIAKIDOY
Department of Psychology, University of Cyprus, Nicosia, Cyprus
POLYXENI STYLIANOU
Agrokipia Elementary School and University of Cyprus, Nicosia, Cyprus
CHRISTINA KAREFILLIDOU and PANAYIOTA PAPAGEORGIOU
Department of Psychology, University of Cyprus, Nicosia, Cyprus
This study examined the hypotheses that (a) the relationship between listening
and reading comprehension becomes stronger after decoding mastery; (b) the dif-
ference between listening and reading decreases with increasing grade level; and
(c) similar patterns of relationship and difference are obtained with narrative
and expository texts. The sample included 612 students in Grades 2, 4, 6, and
8. Students read and listened to two narratives and two expository texts and
completed corresponding comprehension tests that were in the form of sentence
verification tasks. The findings confirmed the first two hypotheses but not the
third one. In the case of expository text, the relationship between listening and
reading comprehension was weaker than the corresponding one with narrative
text, and performance levels were comparable across all elementary grades. More-
over, reading comprehension levels were higher than listening comprehension levels
in Grade 8, regardless of text type. The implications of these findings with respect
to the dominant unitary process model and the assessment and instruction of oral
and written language comprehension are discussed.
By the time children enter school, they have acquired to various
degrees the skills that enable them to use and understand oral lan-
guage in a variety of contexts (Snow, 1983; Wells, 1986). Despite
the acknowledged differences between oral and written language
This research was supported by an Elva Knight Research Grant from the International
Reading Association to the first author.
We thank George Spanoudes for his help in data analyses, and the students for their
enthusiastic participation and their teachers and principals who made their participation
possible.
Address correspondence to Irene-Anna N. Diakidoy, Department of Psychology, Uni-
versity of Cyprus, P.O. Box 20537, Nicosia CY-1678, Cyprus. E-mail: eddiak@ucy.ac.cy
55
56 I.-A. N. Diakidoy et al.
(Perfetti, 1987; Tannen, 1985), such skills have been commonly
associated with later reading achievement. This assumption un-
derlies much of the emergent literacy research (Eller, Pappas, &
Brown, 1988; Feitelson, Goldstein, Iraqi, & Share, 1993; Senechal,
LeFevre, Thomas, & Daley, 1998) and the assessment of reading, as
indicated by the inclusion of listening comprehension measures in
various standardized tests and reading inventories (Burns & Roe,
1993; Johns, 1994; Kertoy & Goetz, 1995). Listening comprehen-
sion figures prominently as a component in theoretical models of
reading (e.g., Hoover & Gough, 1990; Joshi & Aaron, 2000) and
has been considered to provide the base for the acquisition of
reading comprehension skills (Sticht & James, 1984). The extent,
however, to which this is true across the reading tasks that differ-
ent text types represent has not received any attention. Therefore,
the present study examined the relationship between listening and
reading comprehension at increasing grade levels, and the extent
to which it is influenced by the type of text.
Differences between oral and written language concern both
the course of their development as well as the nature of the lin-
guistic stimulus they present. The acquisition of oral language pre-
cedes the acquisition of written language, and it is a natural process
that takes place gradually in highly contextualized situations. On
the other hand, the acquisition of written language depends on
formal, systematic instruction and occurs in more decontextual-
ized situations (Snow, 1983). Although spoken language is more
likely to contain fragments instead of complete sentences, listeners
can take advantage of extra-linguistic clues, such as gestures and
prosodic information, such as stress and intonation (Akinnaso,
1985; Sinatra, 1990). Moreover, listeners and speakers share the
same context, and, therefore, spoken language is characterized
by greater involvement and interaction (Akinnaso, 1985; Biber,
1982). Consideration of such differences has led to the advance-
ment of the dual process view which postulates that, although read-
ing and listening comprehension share some common elements,
they essentially represent different processes (Samuels, 1987; see
also Sinatra, 1990).
On the other hand, Sticht and his colleagues have advanced
the position that listening comprehension and reading compre-
hension are highly interrelated (Sticht, Beck, Hauke, Kleinman,
& James, 1974). Their extensive review of the available studies led
The Relationship Between Listening and Reading 57
them to conclude that both listening and reading comprehen-
sion depend on the same general comprehension process. There-
fore, after decoding skills have been mastered, performance on
listening and reading comprehension tasks should be compara-
ble. Moreover, listening comprehension level represents a poten-
tial for reading comprehension. Specifically, they have argued that
listening comprehension skill facilitates the acquisition and pre-
dicts the level of skill that will be achieved in reading (Sticht et al.,
1974; Sticht & James, 1984). Their position essentially represents a
contrasting unitary process view, according to which the same com-
prehension process underlies both listening and reading (Sinatra,
1990).
Support for a unitary process view has come from studies that
have shown input modality (listening vs. reading tasks) to have no
effect on the recall of meaningful and syntactically well-structured
word strings (Guthrie & Tyler, 1976) and on the recall and sum-
marization of stories (Kintsch & Kozminsky, 1977; Smiley, Oakley,
Worthen, Campione, & Brown, 1977). Moreover, Sinatra (1990)
found a facilitative effect in comparison times when an identical
auditory stimulus preceded the presentation of two visual stim-
uli. Since that effect was manifested for meaningful sentences,
syntactic word strings, and random word strings but not for ran-
dom nonword strings, Sinatra (1990) concluded that listening and
reading processing converge at the lexical level as well. Additional
support for the unitary process view has also come from studies
that have shown directly listening comprehension to predict read-
ing comprehension skill (Curtis, 1980), and instructional inter-
ventions targeting listening comprehension to generally have pos-
itive effects on reading comprehension performance (Pearson &
Fielding, 1982; Sticht et al., 1974).
Although the relationship between listening and reading com-
prehension is assumed to be unidirectional early on, it is also ex-
pected that differences between listening and reading compre-
hension diminish over time and as a result of print exposure
(Perfetti, 1987; Sticht & James, 1984). On the basis of their re-
view, Sticht et al. (1974) concluded that up to Grade 7, listen-
ing comprehension ability is higher than reading comprehension
ability, whereas in adulthood the direction of the difference is re-
versed. Curtis (1980) found that the relationship between reading
skill and listening comprehension changed as a function of age,
58 I.-A. N. Diakidoy et al.
with correlations at the Grade 2 level being significantly differ-
ent from the correlations at the Grade 5 level. More interestingly,
Hendrick and Cunningham (1995) found that wide reading was
associated with greater listening comprehension skill at Grade 4.
Although their study was not specifically designed to test direction-
ality, their results support the possibility of a reciprocal relationship
(Hendrick & Cunningham, 1995). The present study examined
the relationship and the differences between listening and read-
ing comprehension levels at Grades 2, 4, 6, and 8. On the basis
of previous research and claims, we expected the relationship to
become stronger and the differences to decrease with increasing
grade level.
The studies that examined the effects of presentation mode
on the recall and summarizing of text (i.e., Kintsch & Kozminsky,
1977; Smiley et al., 1977), as well as those that examined the effects
of listening to text being read on the acquisition of literacy and
learning in general (Eller et al., 1988; Feitelson et al., 1993), have
all used narrative texts. It can be argued, however, that printed nar-
rative text is closer to oral discourse with narrative characteristics,
such as contextual situatedness and temporal/causal sequences
(Biber, 1982; Graesser, Singer, & Trabasso, 1994), and which oc-
curs frequently in everyday conversation, such as when one nar-
rates what happened at work or over a weekend. Moreover, young
children can be typically expected to have had more exposure
to oral narrative text structures in highly interactive contexts that
guide and facilitate comprehension, such as story reading at home
(Neuman, 1996). Finally, the information in narrative text is more
likely to be familiar and its organization more likely to be pre-
dictable (Graesser, Swamer, Baggett, & Sell, 1996). Therefore, it
is not clear whether the strong relationship between listening and
reading comprehension that has been observed so far is also due
to mediating factors, such as the similarity of the communicative
task(s) that oral and printed narration represent, their high fre-
quency of occurrence in both modalities, and/or the familiarity
and concreteness of their content.
Kintsch and Kozminski (1977) and Sinatra (1990) have sug-
gested the possibility that listening and reading processes may
diverge when it comes to processing lengthy and difficult text.
Expository text is more likely to contain unfamiliar information
and to have an underlying abstract and logical structure (Singer,
The Relationship Between Listening and Reading 59
Harkness, & Stewart, 1997). Moreover, expository text structures
are diverse (Englert & Hiebert, 1984), and, therefore, readers and
listeners cannot rely on the activation of a single schema the way
they can rely on the activation of a story schema to guide their com-
prehension of narrative text. Although students are increasingly
expected to read and learn from expository text with increasing
grade level, they have little opportunity to encounter and inter-
act with this text type in the early grades (Duke, 2000). Finally,
oral expository discourse, such as lectures and public speeches, is
much more infrequent than oral narrative discourse. It can be ar-
gued, then, that these factors—unfamiliar content and structure
and low frequency of occurrence—increase the relative difficulty
of expository text in terms of processing demands and in com-
parison to narrative text. Therefore, in the present study both ex-
pository and narrative texts were presented orally and in printed
form.
In summary, the purpose of this study was to evaluate (a) the
relationship between listening and reading comprehension at in-
creasing grade levels, and (b) the effects of text type on listening
and reading comprehension levels. With respect to this second
goal, it was predicted that both listening and reading comprehen-
sion performance will be higher for narrative than expository text.
However, it was also expected that with increasing grade level the
differences between listening and reading comprehension of nar-
rative and expository text will decrease as a result of increased
exposure to oral and written expository structures. Finally, of inter-
est was also the extent to which the relationship between listening
and reading comprehension evolves in a similar manner across the
different text types, as would be predicted by the unitary-process
view.
Method
Participants
The sample included 612 students enrolled in three elementary
schools and two middle schools located in different medium-
sized towns in the island nation of Cyprus. Overall, there were
135 second graders (65 males and 70 females), 151 fourth graders
(79 males and 72 females), 151 sixth graders (70 males and
60 I.-A. N. Diakidoy et al.
81 females), and 177 eighth graders (95 males and 82 females).
All students were fluent speakers of Greek. In order to obtain
an indication of Receptive Language Ability across grade levels,
the method developed by Levin et al. (1997) was adapted and
employed in this study. Specifically, the names of the students in
each participating classroom were printed on separate index cards.
Then each classroom teacher was asked to evaluate each student’s
written and oral language comprehension ability by sorting the
corresponding card into one of five categories: very high, high,
average, low, very low (Levin et al., 1997). In cases where teach-
ers classified the majority of their students into one or two cat-
egories only, they were asked to discuss at length any language
comprehension differences between the students within a cate-
gory and to reclassify accordingly. Teacher ratings ranged from
1to5with higher scores assigned to higher ability categories.
This measure indicated that the students, as a sample, represented
a wide range of Receptive Language Ability levels (M=3.15,
SD =1.23). In addition, their school achievement levels ranged
from low (3.5) to high (10.0) as indicated by previous year’s Grade
Point Averages (M=7.87, SD =1.50). The correlation coeffi-
cient between Teacher ratings and Grade Point Average was 0.77
(p=.00).
Materials
TEXTS
A preliminary list of forty short stories, articles, and excerpts
from books, magazines, and encyclopaedias was compiled. Seven
independent teachers, whose teaching experience ranged from
seven to 22 years, read and rated each text for topic familiarity,
number of potentially unfamiliar words, and overall text difficulty
for each grade level. Texts that were judged by all teachers to have
an unfamiliar topic but relatively few unfamiliar words, and to be
moderately difficult but appropriate for a given grade level were
included in the final list (see Appendix). From this list, two nar-
ratives (271 to 376 words long) and two expositories (262 to 356
words long) were selected for each grade. The expository texts ei-
ther described and elaborated on the characteristics of animals,
physical locations, archaeological findings, astronomical phenom-
ena, and groups of people (Appendix, Texts 1, 5, 8, 11, 13, and 16)
The Relationship Between Listening and Reading 61
or presented facts and details related to socio-cultural topics and
issues (Appendix, Texts 6 and 14). Therefore, the predominant
expository structures were description and enumeration (Englert
& Hiebert, 1984). The selected texts were parsed into idea units
(van den Broek, 1989) by two independent graduate assistants. In-
terrater agreement ranged from 79% to 93%, and all differences
were resolved in conference. The selected narratives and exposi-
tories were comparable with respect to the number of idea units
per sentence (M=1.63, SD =.30, and M=1.77, SD =.36 re-
spectively, t(14) =−0.88, p=.39). Each selected text was printed
in a separate booklet and tape recorded.
COMPREHENSION TESTS
All comprehension tests were in the form of a sentence verifi-
cation task. For each text, a list of literal and inferential statements
was constructed. Literal statements represented single idea units
extracted verbatim from the text (Pearson & Johnson, 1978). In-
ferential statements represented implicit referential, causal, super-
ordinate goal, generalization, and comparison/contrast relation-
ships between idea units (Graesser et al., 1994). Two independent
raters evaluated each statement in each list as either literal or infer-
ential. Statements for which there was 100% agreement comprised
the preliminary comprehension tests whose length ranged from 17
to 22 statements.
Fifty-four undergraduate students enrolled in a cognitive psy-
chology course listened to each tape-recorded text and completed
the corresponding preliminary comprehension test. Items that
were not answered correctly by two or more students (18% of the
items, on the average, across tests) were excluded. From the re-
maining items, 14 were selected for inclusion in a final comprehen-
sion test for each text. Specifically, each final comprehension test
included seven literal and seven inferential statements, each fol-
lowed by a Yes/No option. In each test there was an equal number
of Yes and No correct responses. Each correct response received
a score of 1 and each incorrect response a score of 0. The scores
received by each student for each statement were summed and con-
verted to proportions, yielding six measures: Listening Compre-
hension, Reading Comprehension, Narrative Listening Compre-
hension, Expository Listening Comprehension, Narrative Reading
Comprehension, and Expository Reading Comprehension. The
62 I.-A. N. Diakidoy et al.
order of statement presentation in each test was randomized, and
two comprehension test versions with different orders were created
for each text.
Procedure
For the purposes of the study, the students remained in their in-
tact classrooms, and data were collected during the first half of
the school year. The study was completed in two 40 min. sessions
scheduled from two to seven days apart. In each session, students
read and listened to one narrative and one expository text. As a
result, half of all the students in each grade level read a particular
text while the rest heard that same text. Presentation Mode (oral
vs. written), Text Type (narrative vs. expository), and order of pre-
sentation were counterbalanced between classrooms and sessions.
Students listened to or read each text only once. Subsequently, the
written text booklets were collected, and the students completed
the corresponging comprehension test. They were instructed to
read each statement carefully, to decide whether it was true on the
basis of the text they had just read or listened, and to circle Yes or
No accordingly. Comprehension test version was counterbalanced
between students.
Results
Relationship Between Listening and Reading Comprehension
Preliminary analyses indicated that all dependent variables,
Listening Comprehension, Reading Comprehension, Narrative
Listening Comprehension, Narrative Reading Comprehension,
Expository Listening Comprehension, and Expository Reading
Comprehension had normal distributions (skewness <1) and ho-
mogeneous variances across Grade levels (p>.05). Moreover,
one-way Analysis of Variance indicated that School had no signif-
icant effect, and, therefore, this variable was excluded from sub-
sequent analyses. Listening and Reading Comprehension Scores
were significantly correlated with each other at all grade levels ( p<
.01). However, this relationship became stronger with increasing
Grade level, and a series of Z-tests indicated that the correlation
coefficient obtained at Grade 2 (r=.44,p=.00) was significantly
The Relationship Between Listening and Reading 63
TABLE 1 Mean Proportion Correct Responses to Listening and Reading
Comprehension Tests as a Function of Grade Level
Grade Listening Comprehension Reading comprehension
2(n=125) .65 (.14) .60 (.15)
4(n=132) .68 (.13) .69 (.13)
6(n=142) .75 (.14) .74 (.14)
8(n=163) .71 (.14) .75 (.14)
Note. Standard deviations are shown in parentheses.
different from the coefficients obtained at all other Grade levels
(r=.63,p=.00,Z=2.14 to Z=2.25,p<.05).
Multivariate Analysis of Variance with Grade as the between-
subject factor, and Presentation Mode (oral vs. written) as the
within-subject factor, indicated there was a significant main effect
of Grade, Hotelling’s T2=.22, F(6, 1114) =19.92, p=.00, but
not of Presentation Mode, Hotelling’s T2=.00, F(1, 559) =0.06,
p=.81. There was, however, a significant Grade ×Presentation
Mode interaction, Hotelling’s T2=.07, F(3, 559) =13.60, p=.00.
It can be seen from Table 1 that Listening Comprehension is higher
in Grade 2, comparable in Grades 4 and 6, and lower in Grade 8
than Reading Comprehension. These differences are significant
at both Grade levels, paired t(124) =3.92, p=.00 at Grade 2 and
paired t(163) =−4.33, p=.00 at Grade 8.
It can also be seen from Table 1 that, whereas Reading
Comprehension increases with increasing Grade level, Listening
Comprehension shows a decrease at Grade 8. However, multiple
comparisons (Scheffe method) indicated that the Listening Com-
prehension performance of eighth-graders was not significantly
different from that of sixth-graders (p=.25, d=0.23). The dif-
ferences between second-graders and fourth-graders were also not
significant (p=.28, d=0.22). In contrast, the Listening Compre-
hension scores obtained by second-graders were significantly lower
than the scores obtained by both sixth-graders and eighth-graders
(p=.00, d=0.62). Finally, the Listening Comprehension perfor-
mance of fourth-graders was significantly lower than that of sixth-
graders (p=.00, d=0.50). With respect to Reading Comprehen-
sion, the performance of second-graders was significantly lower
from the performance of all other groups ( p=.00, d=0.95),
and the performance of fourth-graders was also significantly lower
64 I.-A. N. Diakidoy et al.
from the performance of eighth-graders ( p=.00, d=0.43). In
contrast, the performance of sixth- and eighth-graders was com-
parable (p=.88, d=0.09), and the difference between the per-
formance of fourth- and sixth-graders approached significance
(p=.06, d=0.33).
Effects of Text Type
In order to examine the effects of Text Type and its interactions,
Multivariate Analysis of Variance was performed with Grade as the
between-subject factor, and Presentation Mode (oral vs. written)
and Text Type (narrative vs. expository) as the two within-subject
factors. In addition to the expected significant main effect of Grade
and its interaction with Presentation Mode ( p<.01), there was also
a significant effect of Text Type, Hotelling’s T2=.40, F(1, 559) =
225.23, p=.00, and a significant Grade ×Text Type interaction,
Hotelling’s T2=.11, F(3, 559) =19.48, p=.00.
It can be seen from Table 2 that, whereas Expository Compre-
hension increases steadily with increasing Grade level, Narrative
Comprehension decreases at Grade 8, with this decrease being
more pronounced when narrative text is presented orally. Over-
all, however, Expository Comprehension is significantly lower than
Narrative Comprehension (p<.05) except in Grade 2 and when
both texts are presented in written form, paired t(125) =0.48,
p=.63.
Multiple comparisons indicated that the Narrative Listening
scores of sixth-graders were higher than those of all the other
groups (p<.01, d=0.59). On the other hand, the Narrative
TABLE 2 Mean Proportion Correct Responses to Listening and Reading
Comprehension Tests as a Function of Grade Level and Text Type
Listening Reading
Grade Narrative Expository Narrative Expository
2(n=125) .69 (.17) .61 (.17) .60 (.19) .59 (.16)
4(n=132) .74 (.18) .62 (.15) .75 (.18) .64 (.16)
6(n=142) .82 (.17) .67 (.18) .80 (.17) .68 (.17)
8(n=163) .73 (.17) .70 (.15) .78 (.16) .73 (.16)
Overall .78 (.18) .65 (.17) .74 (.19) .67 (.17)
Note. Standard deviations are shown in parentheses.
The Relationship Between Listening and Reading 65
Reading scores of the second-graders were lower than those of all
other groups (p<.01, d=1.08). With respect to Expository Lis-
tening Comprehension, the scores of the sixth- and eighth-graders
were higher than those of the second-graders (p=.01, d=0.47)
and the fourth-graders (p=.04, d=0.40). The Expository Read-
ing Comprehension scores of the second-graders were lower than
those of the sixth- and eighth-graders (p<.01, d=0.68), and
the scores of the fourth-graders were lower than the scores of the
eighth-graders only (p=.00, d=0.59). Otherwise, performances
were quite comparable.
Although the Presentation Mode ×Text Type interaction only
approached significance, Hotelling’s T2=.01, F(1, 559) =3.57,
p=.06, a series of paired t-tests were employed to allow a compar-
ison of difference patterns between Listening and Reading Com-
prehension across Text Types and within each Grade separately.
These analyses indicated that, overall, Narrative Listening Com-
prehension is higher than Expository Listening Comprehension,
paired t(566) =10.98, p=.00, and Narrative Reading Comprehen-
sion is higher than Expository Reading Comprehension, paired
t(564) =8.76, p=.00, (see also Table 2). Moreover, Narrative
Listening Comprehension is higher in Grade 2, paired t(126) =
4.41, p=.00, comparable in Grades 4 and 6 (p>.10), and lower
in Grade 8, paired t(163) =−3.81, p=.00, than Narrative Read-
ing Comprehension. In comparison, Expository Listening Com-
prehension is lower than Expository Reading Comprehension in
Grade 8, paired t(163) =−2.04, p=.04, and comparable at all
other Grade levels (p>.10).
Table 3 shows the correlation coefficients between Oral
and Written Narrative Comprehension and between Oral and
TABLE 3 Correlation Coefficients Between Listening and
Reading Comprehension as a Function of Grade Level and
Text Type
Grade Narrative text Expository text
2(n=127) .25.39
4(n=132) .50.15
6(n=143) .38.36
8(n=164) .49.34
p<.01.
66 I.-A. N. Diakidoy et al.
Written Expository Comprehension. In the case of Narrative Text,
the relationship between Listening and Reading Comprehension
becomes stronger in Grade 4 and Grade 8. In fact, the correlation
coefficient obtained at Grade 2 is significantly different from the
correlation coefficients obtained at Grade 4 (Z=2.76, p<.05)
and at Grade 8 (Z=2.91, p<.05) only but not from the coefficient
obtained at Grade 6 (Z=1.79, p>.05). In contrast, in the case
of Expository Text, the correlation coefficient obtained at Grade
4isvery low and significantly different only from the correlation
coefficient obtained at Grade 2 (Z=2.58, p<.05).
A series of Regression analyses indicated that Narrative Listen-
ing Comprehension is the strongest predictor of Expository Read-
ing Comprehension in the higher Grades and the only significant
predictor in Grade 4 (see Table 4). In Grade 2, Narrative Reading
Comprehension accounts for the highest proportion of variance in
Expository Reading scores. In contrast, Expository Listening Com-
prehension is the weakest predictor and significant only in Grades
2 and 6 (Table 4). Moreover, it can be seen from Table 5, that Nar-
rative Listening and Reading Comprehension are, similarly, the
strongest or the only significant predictors of Expository Listening
Comprehension.
TABLE 4 Regression Analyses for Variables Predicting Expository
Reading Comprehension Within Grade Levels
Variable βR2change Fchange p
Grade 2 (n=125)
Narrative Listening .25 .06 8.24 .00
Narrative Reading .36 .12 18.37 .00
Expository Listening .24 .04 6.85 .01
Grade 4 (n=132)
Narrative Listening .43 .18 29.24 .00
Narrative Reading .11 .01 1.56 .21
Expository Listening .05 .00 .27 .60
Grade 6 (n=142)
Narrative Listening .53 .29 56.25 .00
Narrative Reading .19 .03 6.56 .01
Expository Listening .19 .03 6.10 .01
Grade 8 (n=163)
Narrative Listening .45 .21 42.26 .00
Narrative Reading .22 .04 8.16 .00
Expository Listening .12 .01 2.42 .12
The Relationship Between Listening and Reading 67
TABLE 5 Regression Analyses for Variables Predicting Expository
Listening Comprehension Within Grade Levels
Variable βR2change Fchange p
Grade 2 (n=125)
Narrative Listening .44 .19 28.98 .00
Narrative Reading .30 .08 14.14 .00
Expository Reading .22 .04 6.85 .01
Grade 4 (n=132)
Narrative Listening .18 .03 4.41 .04
Narrative Reading .46 .16 25.24 .00
Expository Reading .05 .00 .28 .60
Grade 6 (n=142)
Narrative Listening .28 .08 11.88 .00
Narrative Reading .34 .10 16.24 .00
Expository Reading .23 .03 6.10 .01
Grade 8 (n=163)
Narrative Listening .42 .17 34.04 .00
Narrative Reading .36 .10 22.11 .00
Expository Reading .12 .01 2.42 .12
A parallel series of Regressions for Narrative Comprehension
indicated that Narrative Listening is the strongest predictor of Nar-
rative Reading Comprehension in Grades 4, 6, and 8, accounting
for 15–24% of its variance. In contrast, Expository Reading Com-
prehension accounts for the highest percentage of variance (12%)
in Narrative Reading scores in Grade 2. Similarly, whereas Narra-
tive Reading Comprehension is the strongest predictor of Narra-
tive Listening in the higher Grades, accounting for 15–25% of the
variance, Expository Listening accounts for the highest percentage
of variance (14%) in Narrative Listening in Grade 2.
Discussion
Listening versus Reading
In agreement with previous findings (Curtis, 1980; Sticht et al.,
1974), the present study indicates that the overall relationship be-
tween listening and reading comprehension becomes significantly
stronger after the second grade, when word decoding skills can be
assumed to have been mastered to a satisfactory degree. In addi-
tion, input modality is found to have no independent influence
68 I.-A. N. Diakidoy et al.
on comprehension level. This finding is also consistent with previ-
ous findings showing no difference between listening and reading
conditions in the recall of sentences (Guthrie & Tyler, 1976) or
in the recall and summarization of stories (Kintsch & Kozminsky,
1977; Smiley et al., 1977). There was, however, a significant main
effect of grade level and this factor interacted with input modality.
As expected, both listening and reading comprehension increase
with increasing grade level. But listening comprehension shows a
significant improvement between Grades 4 and 6, whereas a cor-
responding significant improvement in reading comprehension
appears between Grades 2 and 4.
The timing of the increase in reading comprehension appears
to coincide with mastery of the initial decoding skills. On the other
hand, the timing of the increase in listening comprehension ap-
pears to relate to particular school practices. Specifically, the com-
prehension of oral language—including instructions, discussions,
and stories—is an explicit curriculum objective in the Cypriot ele-
mentary school (Cypriot Ministry of Education and Culture, 1996).
This objective is achieved by having students recall, summarize,
and identify the main ideas or conclusions of what was discussed
by the group or read by the teacher. Moreover, the oral discourse to
which students are exposed and the associated instructional activ-
ities become notably more complex and extended in the fifth and
sixth grades. At these grade levels, students are also required to co-
ordinate and draw conclusions from discussions on social and liter-
ary issues as well as to interpret and critique orally-presented liter-
ary stories and poems (Cypriot Ministry of Education and Culture,
1996).
The present findings also indicate that listening comprehen-
sion performance exceeds reading comprehension in the early
elementary-school grades. This difference disappears in the higher
elementary grades, and its direction is reversed in middle school,
where reading comprehension is found to be higher than listening
comprehension. These changes in the difference between listen-
ing and reading are found to occur earlier than previously sug-
gested (i.e., Sticht et al., 1974). These changes in conjunction with
the timing of the improvements observed in each modality suggest
that listening comprehension is also sensitive to instruction which,
if provided, results in listening and reading comprehension devel-
oping concurrently rather than independently (Royer, Sinatra, &
The Relationship Between Listening and Reading 69
Schumer, 1990). The basic pattern, however, is consistent with the
hypothesis that, whereas listening is more efficient early on, the dif-
ference between listening and reading decreases with increasing
grade level (see also Sticht et al., 1974).
The finding that reading comprehension is comparable to lis-
tening in Grades 4 and 6 and higher than listening in Grade 8
can be attributed to a general increase in the emphasis on reading
and learning from text in the three higher elementary grades, as
indicated by the objectives stated for these grades (Cypriot Min-
istry of Education and Culture, 1996). Moreover, the transition to
independent reading and learning from text in the Cypriot mid-
dle school is a relatively abrupt one, since teachers at this level
are no longer expected to directly guide and support students’
comprehension of written text (Cypriot Ministry of Education and
Culture, 1993). The gradual increase in the emphasis on reading
and its eventual connection to learning and overall school achieve-
ment may have, in effect, promoted the development of more effi-
cient and effective skills and strategies for extracting information
from printed text (see also Sticht et al., 1974). In contrast, listen-
ing comprehension skills and strategies remain as an objective only
in connection with group discussions and specific literary genres,
such as poetry (Cypriot Ministry of Education and Culture, 1993).
Narrative versus Expository Text
With respect to the type of text, expository comprehension level, in
general, is found to be lower than narrative comprehension level.
That is the case in all grades except in Grade 2, where the ability to
comprehend printed expository text is comparable to the ability to
comprehend printed narrative text. We consider this lack of differ-
ence early on to reflect the influence of less-than-perfect decoding
skills that can be expected to hinder the reading comprehension
of any text. It appears, however, that after decoding skills become
automatic, other factors, such as type of text, become important
and influence comprehension regardless of input modality.
Moreover, whereas expository comprehension increases
steadily after Grade 4, narrative comprehension decreases at Grade
8. This difference in developmental pattern appears, again, to re-
late to particular school practices that influence the frequency of
occurrence of and, therefore, students’ familiarity with each text
70 I.-A. N. Diakidoy et al.
type at different grade levels. Although the staple of all reading and
listening in the Cypriot elementary school is the short story, the
gradual increase in the emphasis on learning from text necessitates
a corresponding increase in students’ exposure to informational
text after Grade 4 (Cypriot Ministry of Education and Culture,
1996). At the middle school level, expository text dominates, with
the textbook being the primary medium of learning in all subjects
(Cypriot Ministry of Education and Culture, 1993). In compari-
son, narrative text is used only in connection with the teaching of
ancient and modern Greek literature. Therefore, this decrease in
the comprehension of narrative text appears to reflect a decrease
in its frequency of occurrence and relative importance for overall
school achievement at the middle school level.
Although input modality was not found to interact signifi-
cantly with text type (Danks, 1980), the relationship and the dif-
ference patterns between listening and reading appear to diverge
to some extent depending on the type of text. For one thing,
listening to expository text is not more efficient than reading such
text at any grade level. Instead, the ability to comprehend exposi-
tory text develops similarly and concurrently in the two modalities
until reading becomes more efficient than listening in the eighth
grade. Therefore, any advantages associated with listening early on
appear to be confined to the case of narrative text only.
This finding contrasts with that of Royer, Kulhavy, Lee, and
Peterson (1986) who found that, with difficult text, fourth and
sixth graders’ listening comprehension was higher than their read-
ing comprehension. They also found the opposite to be true with
easy texts. Royer et al. (1986) used narratives that were classified
as easy or difficult depending on whether their readability level
was below or above their participants’ grade level. In comparison,
all texts used in the present study were judged to be appropriate
for our students’ level. Expository text, however, can be assumed
to represent a more difficult text type by virtue of its diverse struc-
tures, abstract organization, generally unfamiliar content, and rel-
atively low frequency of occurrence in elementary school (Duke,
2000; Englert & Hiebert, 1984; Singer et al., 1997). Nevertheless,
our students’ ability to comprehend these texts was the same re-
gardless of presentation mode. A listening comprehension advan-
tage was manifested only in connection with narrative text and
with the youngest students.
The Relationship Between Listening and Reading 71
Furthermore, the relationship between listening and reading
evolves differently depending on the type of text. In the case of
narrative text, the relationship follows the expected pattern, be-
coming stronger after the second grade (Curtis, 1980; Sticht et al.,
1974). The opposite, however, appears to be true with expository
text. Correlation coefficients remain low and, except in Grade 2,
lower than those obtained with narrative text. Contrary to expec-
tations (i.e., Curtis, 1980), the relationship between expository lis-
tening and reading becomes non-significant in the fourth grade,
after decoding skills are in place, and remains modest in the higher
grades. In general, expository listening is not a strong or significant
predictor of expository reading across the grade levels examined.
In fact, expository listening and expository reading predict each
other to the same modest extent.
These findings might be attributable to a number of factors.
For one thing, oral expository text, as exemplified by extended
lectures and speeches, remains relatively rare in elementary and
middle school. In fact, the guidelines for elementary- and middle-
school teachers in the Cypriot National Curriculum (Cypriot Min-
istry of Education and Culture, 1993, 1996) advise teachers to avoid
lengthy presentations and to encourage, instead, group discussions
and hands-on activities. Such an approach, although undeniably
helpful and effective in many instructional situations, may con-
tribute to a general lack of familiarity with expository text struc-
tures and a specific lack of practice in comprehending such text
through listening. Therefore, the ability to comprehend oral ex-
pository text cannot be expected to predict the ability to compre-
hend written expository text. On the other hand, the increasing
exposure to written expository text may promote the development
of comprehension strategies that specifically take advantage of the
fact that readers have control over the rate they process text infor-
mation and the option to reprocess it as needed for coherence pur-
poses (i.e., Carlisle & Felbinger, 1991; Danks, 1980; Sinatra, 1990).
Expository text characteristics, such as unfamiliar content and di-
verse structures that accommodate abstract relationships (Englert
& Hiebert, 1984; Kintsch & Kozminsky, 1977; Singer et al., 1997),
may further necessitate a reliance on visual presentation factors
that help reduce the amount of information that needs to be kept
active in memory. Therefore, the development of presentation-
specific strategies in addition to general comprehension skills and
72 I.-A. N. Diakidoy et al.
the notable absence of oral expository discourse may be responsi-
ble for the overall low relationships observed.
Prediction patterns are also found to vary across grade lev-
els. Whereas the ability to comprehend written narrative text is
the strongest predictor of expository reading comprehension in
Grade 2, the ability to comprehend orally-presented narratives be-
comes the strongest predictor in the higher grades and the only
predictor in Grade 4. Similarly, whereas the ability to compre-
hend written expository text is the strongest predictor of narrative
reading in Grade 2, the ability to comprehend orally-presented
narratives becomes again the strongest predictor in the higher
grades. These changes in prediction pattern appear to suggest that
(a) listening and reading processes are more different than sim-
ilar early on, with perceptual skills being the crucial factor and
regardless of text type (Perfetti, 1987); and (b) basic comprehen-
sion skills developed in the context of listening to narratives are
transferred and applied to some extent to the processing of writ-
ten text, again regardless of its type (Kintsch & Kozminsky, 1977;
Sticht & James, 1984). Moreover, the finding that narrative read-
ing comprehension level is the strongest predictor of expository
listening in Grades 4 and 6 appears to underscore the possibil-
ity that the comprehension of oral expository discourse may have
more in common with reading than listening (Akinnaso, 1985;
Biber, 1982; Danks, 1980). Nevertheless, the findings concerning
relationship and prediction patterns lend support to Hendrick
and Cunningham’s (1995) claim that the relationship between
listening and reading is more likely to be a reciprocal one than
unidirectional after decoding mastery.
Theoretical Implications and Limitations
Although the present findings lend some support to the domi-
nant unitary process perspective, they also suggest that its stronger
claims need to be qualified in some respects. First, the extent to
which listening exceeds reading early on (i.e., Sticht et al., 1974)
depends also on text factors in addition to any lingering decoding
difficulties. As a result, the claim that the development of listen-
ing comprehension ability precedes the development of reading
comprehension (Curtis, 1980; Kintsch & Kozminsky, 1977; Sticht &
James, 1984) cannot be generalized across discourse types. Second,
The Relationship Between Listening and Reading 73
reversals in the direction of the difference cast doubt on the extent
to which listening comprehension represents an absolute potential
for reading comprehension (Sticht & James, 1984). Instead, they
suggest that listening comprehension skills, although probably
necessary early on, are not sufficient for becoming a skilled reader
after decoding mastery (see also Carlisle & Felbinger, 1991; Danks,
1980; Hendrick & Cunningham, 1995). Finally, the relationship be-
tween listening and reading cannot be taken for granted since it is
also mediated by text-related factors in addition to the perceptual
skill factors associated exclusively with reading (i.e., Curtis, 1980).
The present findings contribute to Samuels’ (1987) argument
that differences in the context, if not in modality, result in general
comprehension mechanisms functioning in somewhat different
ways. The type of the text represents one such difference that is
found to influence listening and reading comprehension levels
and their relationship in complex ways. Considering that the task
of the comprehender is to construct a mental representation of
what the text is about (McNamara, Miller, & Bransford, 1991),
there is no reason to suppose that the task itself and/or the ba-
sic processes by which it is accomplished varies as a function of
modality. Knowledge of text structure, however, can provide an or-
ganizational framework influencing, thereby, the coherence and
the elaboration of the resulting representation (i.e., Goldman &
Rakestraw, 2000). Conversely, lack of such knowledge may render
visual presentation factors important in the sense that a slower
reading pace and the ability to reprocess information can facili-
tate the identification of main ideas and connections. This is more
likely to be the case with expository text where lack of familiar-
ity with its diverse structures is compounded with unfamiliar and
more abstract content (Duke, 2000; Englert & Hiebert, 1984).
Although the above possibility can account for the weak re-
lationship between expository listening and reading, it cannot ex-
plain fully why expository listening and reading levels remain com-
parable across elementary grades. These comparable levels may
result from comprehension strengths and weaknesses specifically
associated with each modality. Carlisle and Felbinger (1991), who
also used expository text with fourth, sixth, and eighth graders,
found some students to be weak in listening comprehension only
while others to be weak in reading comprehension. Such differ-
ential patterns of ability may be responsible for the comparable
74 I.-A. N. Diakidoy et al.
performances observed in this study. Moreover, given the empha-
sis on learning from expository text after Grade 4, any modality-
specific comprehension abilities may operate in parallel with a
more general academic ability with which reading ability, in par-
ticular, must be related. However, an examination of ability factors
was beyond the scope of the present study. Therefore, further re-
search is needed to examine the extent to which this is the case and
whether any ability influences are confined to expository text only.
Weak relationships and comparable levels are accompanied by
changes in the prediction patterns across grade levels and modal-
ity in the case of expository text. Whereas narrative listening skills
predict expository reading level, narrative reading skills predict
expository listening level after decoding mastery. These predic-
tion patterns appear to suggest (a) that narrative comprehension
skills provide the basis upon which additional or modified strate-
gies are developed to deal with different discourse types; and (b)
that narrative comprehension skills developed in each modality are
transferred and employed across modality in the particular case of
expository text. With respect to the first point, it can be argued that
narrative comprehension skills are developed earlier and practiced
extensively in the course of everyday conversation and story read-
ing at home. Therefore, it is reasonable to expect that they will
support, at least to some extent, subsequent development in com-
prehension ability. The simultaneous influences across modality
and text type, however, were unexpected and remain puzzling.
Since we cannot preclude the possibility of this being due to the
materials used and/or to measurement error, further research is
necessary to establish whether this finding is replicable and, if yes,
to unravel the text- and, possibly, person-related factors that may
be responsible.
Further research is also necessary to establish the extent to
which the different results obtained with expository text are simply
due to lack of exposure and, therefore, familiarity with expository
structures. If that is the case, then comparable exposure to oral
expository and narrative text early on should give rise to similar
results concerning the relationship between listening and reading.
This, in turn, would provide additional evidence in support of the
hypothesis that the same general processes underlie both listen-
ing and reading comprehension. If, however, divergent patterns
of difference and relationship continue to be observed, then the
The Relationship Between Listening and Reading 75
possibility of comprehension processes being fundamentally influ-
enced by the context and, possibly, by modality remains open.
Educational Implications
Although the general findings of the present study contribute to
the unitary process position, the particular pattern of results ap-
pear to support the educational implications that follow from a
dual process position (see also Sinatra, 1990). In agreement with
Carlisle and Felbinger (1991), our findings indicate that assessing
both listening and reading comprehension levels with different
types of text would provide a more detailed picture of students’
capabilities and instructional needs. The extent to which listen-
ing level reflects reading potential (Sticht & James, 1984) is lim-
ited and dependent on age and the materials used. As Stanovich
(1991) and Kertoy and Goetz (1995) have pointed out, the diag-
nostic value of any discrepancies between listening and reading is
high. Such discrepancies, however, are more than a simple index of
whether a student is experiencing decoding difficulties as opposed
to more general comprehension problems. They further provide
indications of the ability to process effectively a variety of texts in
different contexts and modalities. Our findings also suggest that
language competence, as a construct, is far too complex to be cap-
tured by a single score obtained in a single assessment context.
Therefore, listening comprehension levels are better thought of
as reflecting the ability to process a particular type of text when
presented orally. The efficiency with which the same type of text
is processed through reading needs to be further established after
decoding mastery.
Our findings also suggest that listening comprehension abil-
ity, just as reading comprehension, is amenable to instruction and
practice (see also Carlisle & Felbinger, 1991). The assumption that
listening ability develops solely as a function of natural language
exposure cannot be taken for granted (Sticht & James, 1984).
Students’ listening ability improves as a function of instructional
practices that facilitate the processing of orally-presented text.
Moreover, our findings suggest that reading instruction needs to
continue beyond decoding mastery to familiarize students with the
content and the structure of different text types (i.e., Horrowitz &
Samuels, 1987) and to provide the context for developing more
76 I.-A. N. Diakidoy et al.
effective comprehension strategies. This appears to be most nec-
essary with expository text (Duke, 2000) that may present greater
difficulty in terms of both content and structure and that eventually
becomes more important for learning purposes. It might be the
case that the ability to comprehend narrative structures precedes
the ability to comprehend expository structures (see also Englert
& Hiebert, 1984). The extent to which this is entirely due to sim-
ple variability in frequency of exposure remains to be seen. On
the basis of our findings, however, and given the research on early
literacy acquisition (Feitelson et al., 1993; Senechal et al., 1998)
we would agree with Duke (2000) that early exposure to oral ex-
pository texts would contribute to the ability to comprehend them
both through listening and reading.
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Appendix
References of Experimental Texts
1. Atmatzidou, M. (1999). Oi aioroumenoi amforeis sti spilia tis
Pafou [The floating amphoras in the Pafos cave]. National ge-
ographic, Greek Edition,2, 22.
The Relationship Between Listening and Reading 79
2. Bach, R. (2000). Psevdesthiseis, oi peripeteies enos distaktikou mes-
sia [Illusions, the adventures of a reluctant messiah], O.
Avramidis, Trans. Athens, Greece: Dioptra.
3. Bartzis, Y. D. (1992). Damokleios spathi [Damocles’ sword].
In Y. D. Bartzis (Ed.), 66 fraseis dyomisi chiliadon chronon [66
phrases two and a half thousand years’ old] (pp. 159–161).
Athens, Greece: Kastanioti.
4. Bartzis, Y. D. (1992). I skia tou onou [The shadow of the don-
key]. In Y. D. Bartzis (Ed.), 66 fraseis dyomisi chiliadon chronon
[66 phrases two and a half thousand years’ old] (pp. 179–180).
Athens, Greece: Kastanioti.
5. Benekou, I. (1999). Enas rinokeros apo to parelthon [A
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6. Chilia chronia efevreseis [One thaousand years of inventions].
(1999, November 21). Erevnites: Paidiko Evdomadiaio Periodiko
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7. De Saint-Exypery, A. (1984). O mikros prigipas [The little
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8. Ekei pou teleionei to vouno [Where the mountain ends].
(1999, March 3). Erevnites: Paidiko Evdomadiaio Periodiko [Ex-
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9. Frangia, M. (1999). O Xerxis o xifias [Xerxis, the swordfish].
In M. Frangia (Ed.), To alfavitari tis fisis [Nature’s alphabet]
(pp. 46–48). Athens, Greece: Ellenika Grammata.
10. Frangia, M. (1999). O yfalos [The reef]. In M. Frangia (Ed.),
To alfavitari tis fisis [Nature’s alphabet] (pp. 63–65). Athens,
Greece: Ellenika Grammata.
11. I erimos [The desert] (2002). In M. Bousnakis (Ed.), Egkyk-
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Cyprus: Bousnakis.
12. Liverdos, N. (1990). Ta alla taxidia [The other travels]. In
Cypriot Children’s Book Association (Ed.), Paidiki philologia
[Children’s literature] (pp. 148–149). Nicosia, Cyprus: Cypriot
Children’s Book Association.
13. Mesogeiaki fokia [Mediterranean seal] (1999, March 28).
Erevnites: Paidiko Evdomadiaio Periodiko [Explorers: Children’s
Weekly Magazine], 9, 4–5.
14. Paidiki ergasia [Child labor] (1999, May 2). Erevnites: Paidiko
Evdomadiaio Periodiko [Explorers: Children’s Weekly Maga-
zine], 14, 8–9.
80 I.-A. N. Diakidoy et al.
15. To pefko me to retsini pou kolla [The pine with the sticky
resin] (1998). In F. Sakade (Ed.) & G. Tsoulia (Trans.),
Yaponezika paramithia [Japanese folktales] (pp. 55–58). Athens,
Greece: Kedros.
16. To vrefokomeio ton astron [Star nursery] (1999, February, 21).
Erevnites: Paidiko Evdomadiaio Periodiko [Explorers: Children’s
Weekly Magazine], 4, 8–9.
... Twelve studies included in the review were conducted in elementary grades, and ten studies consisted of college students. Only one investigation approached the question of comprehension differences across audiobook and print mediums from a developmental perspective by including learners from elementary and middle school (Diakidoy et al., 2005). Given the temporal nature of learning, it is important to take into consideration both the developmental aspects of the learners and the duration of the studies itself, which could likely impact the nature of learning from audiobook and print. ...
... Two of the studies found large effects whereas the other two found small to medium effects. Note that only one study in this corpus compared comprehension across genre and included both narrative and expository texts (Diakidoy et al., 2005). ...
... Despite the paucity of expository text studies, which constrained our interpretation of the interplay of genre and medium, especially in the elementary grades, two studies afforded relevant clues about the nature of this interaction (Berger & Perfetti, 1977;Diakidoy et al., 2005). In the study by Berger and Perfetti (1977), 20 lowskilled and 20 high-skilled fifth-grade readers matched on IQ listened to and read two expository texts of comparable difficulty in a counterbalanced order. ...
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The purpose of this review was to examine the effects that audiobook listening and print reading have on comprehension performance and the role that learner characteristics, text features, and contextual factors play in reported outcomes. The review, which included 32 documents, covered elementary, secondary, and college students who processed narrative and expository texts aurally via audiobooks and visually on paper or screen. Analysis showed that the majority of studies were conducted in classrooms where audiobooks were co-presented with printed texts. It was also shown that audiobooks by themselves tended to facilitate comprehension better than print when students were younger (g = .28 to g = .58). For identified populations, such as struggling readers and EFLs, the co-presentation of audiobooks with print proved better for comprehension than print alone (g = .32 to g = 1.67). There was a paucity of studies that directly compared audiobook listening to print reading; targeted older students with no identified learning needs; or focused on exposition. Implications for instructional practice and future research are forwarded, based on the patterns that emerged from this review.
... One possible explanation for reaching such similar results between the present study and studies carried out to examine the influence of diacritics on reading comprehension, stems from the shared characteristics and the connection between listening and reading comprehension (Diakidoy et al., 2005): It was found that skills of reading and listening comprehension are very much tied from an early age, and the ties between them get stronger with higher levels of school education (Tilstra et al., 2009). Likewise, previous studies showed a similar pattern of the growing influence of listening comprehension on reading comprehension among English speaking children (Joshi et al., 2012;Adlof, Catts & Little, 2006), among Korean speaking children (Kim, Park & Wagner, 2014), and among Spanish speaking children (Joshi, Tao, Aaron & Quiroz, 2012). ...
... This finding matches the literature review of Vellutino, Fletcher, Snowling and Scanlon (2004) which claims that the process of reading comprehension (extrication of meaning from the text) is an interaction of written and spoken word meanings that eases sentence comprehension, and thereby the student can deduce the correct response. Likewise, this result is in contrast to the findings of the Carlisle and Felbinger (1991) study and of Diakidoy (2005) which found that the type of text be it expository or narrative might significantly influence the level of reading and listening comprehension. Additionally, Diakidoy's (2014) findings also duplicated results of previous studies done on the influence of level of comprehension, thus the researchers estimated that text type might be a strong predictor of level of comprehension. ...
... There are two possible ways to explain this finding: The first, as the heard diacritic word is learned as a scheme already at an early age (preschoolers and elementary school students) (Diakidoy et al., 2005) and as long as the student grows in terms of chronological age and develops scholarly (Diakidoy, 2014;Diakidoy et al., 2005), listening comprehension skills expressed in the ability to think verbally (linguistically) and non-verbally (visually) to solve and examine problems which influence his/her listening comprehension performances strengthen and develop accordingly (Florit, Roch, & Levorato, 2013;Thomas & Levine, 1996). As a result, while reading or listening to a word the individual executes identical cognitive processes (Neuhaus et al., 2006;Vellutino et al., 2007;Joshi & Aaron, 2000), which may include operations in working memory meant to maintain the data for a long time, which may assist the individual in comprehension (Sticht, Beck, Hauke, Kleinman & James, 1974;Sticht & James, 1984) in Diakidoy (2014). ...
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Research reveals that although the effect of diacritics) the symbols that tell the reader how to pronounce a letter) on reading and reading comprehension was examined in a series of studies, the influence of diacritics on listening comprehension, especially in the Arabic orthography, was not examined. Therefore, this study attempted to examine this issue, which may add an additional layer of knowledge to the reading and comprehension process of Arabic in the listening comprehension area. Sixty students participated in the study from two seventh grade classes whose age average is 13 years old. They were sampled from regular classrooms and every week they study 8-10 hours of Arabic weekly. In the study, two texts in the area of listening comprehension in the Arabic language were presented orally to the students in two reading conditions: The first with full diacritics and the second without diacritics. The findings indicate that adding short diacritics to texts improves the listening comprehension on two levels: explicit and implicit. In addition, there is no significant difference between listening comprehension text type (with or without dia-critics) regarding the two levels of comprehension separately. ARTICLE HISTORY
Article
Objectives: This study aimed to help the understanding of children’s temperament and parenting behavior by examining how the temperament and parenting of 3-year-olds affect the vocabulary development of 7-year-old children entering school age.Methods: The study group consisted of a total of four groups based on the scores of the Receptive and Expressive Vocabulary Test (REVT; Kim et al., 2009). The dataset was obtained through the Panel Study on Korean Children.Results: 1) There was no statistically significant difference between the four groups in the distribution pattern of children’s temperament type, however there was a statistically significant difference between the four groups in the distribution pattern by parenting behavior type. 2) In Group 1, there was a significant positive correlation between vocabulary at 7 years of age and parenting behavior of 3 years olds. In addition, Group 2 and 4, which showed a delay in vocabulary at the age of 7 years, showed that the emotional temperament of 3-year-old children was correlated with their 7-year-old vocabulary. 3) In Group 1, It was found that the emotional (negative) and sociality of children at the age of 3 significantly explained the vocabulary ability at the age of 7 by mediating the parent’s didactic parenting behavior.Conclusion: This study confirmed that the vocabulary prediction model of Group 1, which showed normal vocabulary development in both 3-year-olds and 7-year-olds, was statistically significant.
Chapter
This chapter reports the work of a teacher educator/researcher as she supported teacher candidates to assess and tutor struggling readers in a public school in a rural, economically depressed, yet diverse, area. Alerted by the scores for listening comprehension the candidates were finding over several semesters that indicated little reading potential for the students being assessed, she worked with the school's principal to reassess one group of students at the end of the year to determine growth, and therefore potential success, of the school's new intervention program in raising listening levels. No significant results were found, yet school personnel made no change in their program to address it. The teacher educator/researcher subsequently followed the implications of the research to provide instruction in listening skills to students in two other schools. The chapter closes with a discussion of what may truly make a difference in developing listening skills for the children in this community beyond a commercial program.
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In this study, a meta-analysis of reading and listening comprehension comparisons across age groups was conducted. Based on robust variance estimation (46 studies; N = 4,687), the overall difference between reading and listening comprehension was not reliably different (g = 0.07, p = .23). Reading was beneficial over listening when the reading condition was self-paced (g = 0.13, p = .049) rather than experimenter-paced (g = -0.32, p = .16). Reading also had a benefit when inferential and general comprehension rather than literal comprehension was assessed (g = 0.36, p = .02; g = .15, p = .05; g = -0.01, p = .93, respectively). There was some indication that reading and listening were more similar in languages with transparent orthographies than opaque orthographies (g = 0.001, p = .99; g = 0.10, p = .19, respectively). The findings may be used to inform theories of comprehension about modality influences in that both lower-level skill and affordances vary comparisons of reading and listening comprehension. Moreover, the findings may guide choices of modality; however, both audio and written options are needed for accessible instruction.
Article
Objectives: Korean developmental dyslexic upper grade children’s text comprehension abilities were investigated considering the mode of texts (reading vs listening) as well as the type of texts (narrative vs expository).Methods: Sixteen 5th to 6th graders with developmental dyslexia (DD) and grade and cognition-matched typically developing children (TD) participated in 4 text comprehension tasks. Each child responded to 32 questions, 8 in each text, tapping comprehension of texts counterbalancing the effect of mode and type of texts.Results: First, children with DD performed lower than TD children in text comprehension, reflecting developmental dyslexic Korean children’s performance cross linguistically even with the high orthographic transparency of Hangeul. Second, children with DD performed better in the mode of reading compared to the mode of listening, which was the same as the TD children. Third, the effect of type of text was meaningful to only children with DD, while TD children’s performance between narrative and expository text was not different.Conclusion: Korean upper grade children with DD seemed to rely heavily on the mode of reading in comprehending texts similarly to their grade-matched children, while children with DD had greater difficulties in comprehending the expository texts both in reading and listening modes compared to the narrative texts. Each child with DD’s developmental level of the type and mode of texts needs to be considered to support his/her text comprehension abilities. Further studies need to be extended to the Korean language considering the type of texts with the DIER model.
Article
In the current study, we examined relations between text features (e.g., word concreteness, referential cohesion) and reading comprehension using multilevel logistic models. The sample was 158 native English‐speaking students between 8 years, 8 months and 11 years, 2 months of age with a wide range of reading ability. In line with the simple view of reading, decoding ability and language comprehension were associated with reading comprehension performance. Text characteristics, including indices of word frequency, number of pronouns, word concreteness, and deep cohesion, also predicted unique variance in reading comprehension performance over and above the simple view’s components. Additionally, the emotional charge of text (i.e., lexical ratings of arousal) predicted reading comprehension beyond traditional person‐level and text‐based characteristics. These findings add to a small but growing body of evidence suggesting that it is important to consider emotional charge in addition to person‐level and text‐based characteristics to better understand reading comprehension performance.
Conference Paper
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Toplumsallığın bir gereği olarak bireyler çevresindeki diğer bireylerle iletişim kurma çabası içerisindedirler. Bunu yaparken de dört temel dil becerisini (dinleme, konuşma, okuma ve yazma) kullanmaları gerekir. Ancak bu becerilerden dinleme, ilk edinilen beceri olmasına rağmen alanyazında ihmâl edilen beceri olarak anılmaktadır. Ülkemiz okullarında dinleme öğretimi görevi Türkçe derslerine ve Türkçe öğretmenlerine düşmektedir. Bunu yaparken de ders kitaplarından yararlanılmaktadır. Kitapta her temanın ardından bir dinleme metnine ve bu metinle ilgili etkinliklere yer verilmektedir. Bu çalışmada Türkçe öğretmenlerinin dinleme öğretimi uygulamalarının niteliğine ve yeterliğine ilişkin görüşlerini ortaya koymak amaçlanmıştır. Çalışmada betimsel yöntem kullanılmıştır. Araştırma, durum çalışmasına göre desenlenmiş nitel bir çalışmadır. Araştırmada verileri elde etmek için amaçlı örnekleme yöntemlerinden kolay ulaşılabilir durum örneklemesi kullanılmıştır. Araştırmanın verileri İstanbul ve İzmir’de görev yapan Türkçe öğretmenlerine yarı yapılandırılmış görüşme formu uygulanarak sağlanmıştır. Belirlenen amaç doğrultusunda, “1. Türkçe öğretmenlerinin dinleme öğretiminin gerekliliğine ilişkin görüşleri nelerdir? 2. a. Dinleme öğretimi metinlerinden kurgusal metinler dinleme amaç ve kazanımlarını gerçekleştirmede yeterli midir? b. Dinleme öğretimi metinlerinden bilgilendirici metinler dinleme amaç ve kazanımlarını gerçekleştirmede yeterli midir? 3. Dinleme öğretimi etkinlikleri dinleme amaç ve kazanımlarını gerçekleştirmede yeterli midir? 4. Dinleme öğretimi etkinlikleri dinleme türlerini gerçekleştirmede yeterli midir?” sorularına yanıt aranmıştır. Görüşmeler sonunda elde edilen nitel veriler içerik analizi tekniği ile çözümlenmiştir. Araştırmanın, Türkçe derslerinde gerçekleştirilen dinleme öğretimi uygulamalarının niteliği ve yeterliğine ilişkin elde edilecek öğretmen görüşleri ışığında, gelecek yıllarda okutulacak ders kitaplarındaki dinleme metin ve etkinliklerinin var olan eksiklerin giderilerek elde edilen veriler doğrultusunda düzenlenmesine katkı sağlayacağı düşünülmektedir.
Article
36 7th grade good and poor readers read one prose passage and listened to a 2nd one. They were tested, following each passage, for comprehension and recall of that passage. Under both reading and listening conditions, good readers recalled a greater proportion of the stories, and the likelihood of their recalling a particular unit was a clear function of the units's structural importance; poor readers recalled less of the stories, and their recall protocols were not as clearly related to variations in structural importance. Performance following reading was significantly correlated with performance following listening. Results indicate that poor readers suffer from a general comprehension deficit and that similar processes are involved in reading and listening comprehension. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).
Article
The relation between listening and reading is important for theory as well as practice. Once a word has been recognized, is the comprehension process for reading the same as for listening? This study tested the point of convergence of linguistic information from auditory and visual channels. Forty college students were asked to indicate whether two visual stimuli presented on a computer screen were the same or different; before each pair was presented, the student heard an auditory stimulus, which either matched or did not match the first visual stimulus. Four types of stimuli were chosen to reflect different levels of processing: sentences, syntactic but meaningless word strings, random word strings, and pronounceable nonwords. As measured by reaction times, the visual comparison was significantly faster when subjects first heard a matching auditory stimulus for sentences, syntactic nonsense strings, and random words, but not for nonwords. The results suggest that listening and reading processing converge at the word level, and that words processed aurally and visually share the same lexicon. /// [French] La compréhension des relations entre l'écoute et la lecture présente un intérêt aussi bien théorique que pratique. Est-ce que les processus d'écoute et de lecture de mots sont les mêmes? La présente recherche a tenté de vérifier si le traitement de l'information est le même selon que l'information est perçue uniquement par le canal visuel ou à la fois par le canal visuel et auditif. Quarante étudiants de collège ont participé à l'expérience qui consistait à juger si des stimuli présentés par paires sur écran cathodique étaient pareils ou différents. Quatre types de stimuli qui différaient en fonction du niveau de traitement étaient présentés: des phrases, des suites de mots grammaticales mais sans signification, des suites de mots aléatoires, et des mots sans signification. Avant chaque présentation sur l'écran, les étudiants entendaient un stimulus auditif qui pouvait ou non correspondre au premier stimulus visuel. Le temps de réaction constituait la variable dépendante. Un effet facilitateur de la présentation antérieure du stimulus auditif a été observé pour la lecture de phrase, la suite de mots sans signification, et les suites aléatoires de mots mais pas pour les mots sans signification. Les résultats semblent indiquer qu'il y a convergence entre les processus de traitement auditifs et visuels au niveau du mot et que les deux types de processus activent le même lexique mental. Ces résultats montrent qu'une fois les processus de décodage maitrisés, les processus de compréhension en lecture et de compréhension orale de mots sont les mêmes. /// [Spanish] La relación entre escuchar y leer es importante tanto para la teoría como para la práctica. Una vez que una palabra ha sido reconocida, ¿resulta entonces que el proceso de comprensión es el mismo que el de escuchar? Este estudio examinó el punto de convergencia de la información lingüística proveniente de los canales auditivo y visual. Se les pidió a 40 estudiantes universitarios que indicaran si dos estímulos visuales presentados en una pantalla de computadora eran iguales o diferentes. Se escogieron cuatro tipos de pares de estímulos para reflejar diferentes niveles de procesamiento: oraciones, cadenas de palabras sintácticamente correctas pero sin sentido, cadenas de palabras escogidas al azar, y palabras inexistentes. Antes de que cada par fuera presentado, el estudiante escuchó un estímulo auditivo que se pudiera aparear o no con el primer estímulo visual. Como se comprobó al tomar el tiempo de reacción, la comparación visual se facilitó significativamente al escuchar primero un estímulo auditivo apareado a las oraciones en las cadenas de palabras sintácticas sin sentido y en las palabras al azar, pero no en las palabras inexistentes. Los resultados sugieren que el procesamiento de lectura y la audición convergen al nivel de palabra, y que las palabras procesadas de forma auditiva y visual comparten el mismo lexicón. Este hallazgo sugiere que, al menos en el niño pequeño, una vez que la decodificación ha sido dominada. los procesos de comprensión de la lectura y comprensión auditiva son los mismos. /// [German] Die beziehung zwischen Hören und Lesen ist für die Theorie und die Praxis wichtig. Ist der Verständnisprozeß für das Lesen und Hören identisch, wenn ein Wort einmal erkannt worden ist? Die vorliegende Studie überprüft den Konvergenzpunkt der linguistischen Information der akustischen und visuellen Kanäle. Vierzig Studenten wurden aufgefordert anzugeben, ob zwei visuelle auf einem Computerbildschirm dargestellte Stimuli identisch waren oder nicht. Vier Stimuluspaare wurden ausgewählt, um unterschiedliche Verarbeitungsstufen darzustellen: Sätze, syntaktisch richtige aber unbedeutende Wortketten, willkürliche Wortketten und Nicht-Wörter. Bevor jedes Paar dargestellt wurde, hörten die Studenten einen akustischen Stimulus, der entweder mit dem ersten visuellen Stimulus identisch war oder nicht. Das Messen der Reaktionszeit ergab, daß der visuelle Vergleich wesentlich erleichtert wurde, wenn die Testpersonen den passenden akustischen Stimulus für Sätze, syntaktisch richtige aber unbedeutende Wortketten und willkürliche Wortketten, aber nicht für Nicht-Wörter, vorher hörten. Die Resultate deuten an, daß die Verarbeitung des Hörens und Lesens auf der Wortebene zusammenläuft, und daß Wörter, die akustisch und visuell verarbeitet werden, dasselbe Lexikon benutzen. Dieses Ergebnis läßt vermuten, daß -- zumindest beim Kleinkind -- die Prozesse des Lese- und Hörverständnisses identisch sind, wenn das Dekodieren einmal verwirklicht worden ist.
Article
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36 7th grade good and poor readers read one prose passage and listened to a 2nd one. They were tested, following each passage, for comprehension and recall of that passage. Under both reading and listening conditions, good readers recalled a greater proportion of the stories, and the likelihood of their recalling a particular unit was a clear function of the units's structural importance; poor readers recalled less of the stories, and their recall protocols were not as clearly related to variations in structural importance. Performance following reading was significantly correlated with performance following listening. Results indicate that poor readers suffer from a general comprehension deficit and that similar processes are involved in reading and listening comprehension. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
This paper challenges both the theoretical assumptions and the quantitative method underlying comparative studies of spoken and written language and proposes a sociolinguistic model that relates linguistic forms to macro-sociological contexts, communicative goal, and function. Drawing upon data derived from oral ritual communication in nonliterate societies and adopting a comparative, meta-analytical approach, the paper provides evidence for basic similarities in form and function between formal spoken and formal written language. It is argued that more is known about the relationships between discourse types by viewing linguistic structures in relation to historical, social, cultural, political, and ideological contexts rather than by viewing them as "autonomous" objects reducible to mere tokens. The implications of the findings for sociolinguistic theory are highlighted, while future research directions are indicated.
Article
Reading researchers have suggested that listening comprehension might be a better method than IQ of measuring students' optimal level of functioning in reading. This proposal raises questions about whether tests of recall of ideas in text passages suggest that processing and strategies are the same for listening and reading. To answer these questions, the authors gave regular classes of fourth, sixth, and eighth graders sentence verification tests after listening to or reading passages. Performances on different types of test sentences were analyzed to determine whether comprehenders of different groups (good listener/readers, poor listeners, poor readers, and poor listener/readers) showed similar or different patterns of comprehension processing and strategies. Results showed significant differences between groups on the listening and on the reading subtests. The results suggest that using listening as a measure of optimal functioning in reading may present problems of validity and interpretation.