The effects of text complexity on the oral reading prosody of fifth-grade students

Maria Cecilia May, Fordham University

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of text complexity on the oral reading prosody of fifth-grade children. Reading prosody is considered an important aspect of fluent and skilled reading. This study investigates three prosodic features: intrasentential pauses, sentence-final F0 declination, and intonation contour, which were measured spectrographically in the oral reading of fifth-grade children (N = 68). Rate, accuracy and comprehension measures were obtained. This study found that text complexity had an effect on all of the prosody variables, and that children who read with greater rate and accuracy, also indicated more appropriate prosody. Prosody measured from a complex text was related to text syntax and to other aspects of skilled reading more significantly than prosody measured from a simple text. Furthermore, once rate and accuracy were controlled for, prosody measured from a complex text passage independently predicted reading comprehension. However, prosody from the simple passage did not. This study supports previous research and proposes that fifth-grade children may use reading prosody to support comprehension when they read syntactically complex texts. ^

Subject Area

Education, Elementary|Education, Educational Psychology|Education, Reading

Recommended Citation

May, Maria Cecilia, "The effects of text complexity on the oral reading prosody of fifth-grade students" (2014). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3630925.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI3630925

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