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The Acquisition of Heritage Languages

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Academic Paper


Title: A Longitudinal Study of Idiom and Text Comprehension
Author: Levorato M. Chiara
Institution: Università degli Studi di Padova
Author: Maja Roch
Institution: Università degli Studi di Padova
Author: Barbara Nesi
Institution: Università degli Studi di Padova
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition; Psycholinguistics
Abstract: The relation between text and idiom comprehension in children with poor text comprehension skills was investigated longitudinally. In the first phase of the study, six-year-old first graders with different levels of text comprehension were compared in an idiom and sentence comprehension task. Text comprehension was shown to be more closely related to idiom comprehension than sentence comprehension. The follow-up study, carried out eight months later on less-skilled text comprehenders, investigated whether an improvement in text comprehension was paralleled by an improvement in idiom comprehension. The development of sentence comprehension was also taken into account. Children who improved in text comprehension also improved in idiom comprehension; this improvement was, instead, weakly related to an improvement in sentence comprehension. The relationship between text and idiom comprehension is discussed in the light of the Global Elaboration Model (Levorato & Cacciari, 1995).

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This article appears IN Journal of Child Language Vol. 34, Issue 3, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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