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Follow-up study on reading comprehension in Down's syndrome: the role of reading skills and listening comprehension

Follow-up study on reading comprehension in Down's syndrome: the role of reading skills and listening comprehension

International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders 46(2): 231-242

According to the 'Simple View of Reading', reading comprehension requires some abilities such as reading skill and listening comprehension. Individuals with Down's syndrome show relative strengths in reading skills, mainly in word recognition, where they attain a reading age of about 7-8 years. Compared with word recognition, their reading comprehension is usually delayed by at least 6 months. Poor reading comprehension is paralleled by weak listening comprehension. It is claimed that poor listening comprehension might constrain the development of reading comprehension and, therefore, be a cause for the asynchrony between reading skills and reading comprehension. A follow-up study was carried out in order to analyse the improvements in reading skills, listening and reading text comprehension, and to support the hypothesis of a causal relationship between listening and reading comprehension. Ten children and adolescents with Down's syndrome, aged between 11 years 3 months and 19 years 10 months, were assessed twice over a one-year period as to their reading skills, listening and reading text comprehension. Three main findings emerged: (1) reading skills, on the one hand, and comprehension (both listening and reading), on the other hand, are independent; (2) reading comprehension development is determined mainly by listening comprehension, which in the present study proved to be very poor; and (3) an improvement after a one-year period, even though limited, occurred for all examined abilities except for listening comprehension. The results are discussed in the light of the theoretical framework of the 'Simple View of Reading' and of their relevance for practical and educational issues.

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Accession: 053276063

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 21401820

DOI: 10.3109/13682822.2010.487882

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