Key skills for science learning: the importance of text cohesion and reading ability

Hall, Sophie Susannah, Maltby, John, Filik, Ruth and Paterson, Kevin B. (2016) Key skills for science learning: the importance of text cohesion and reading ability. Educational Psychology, 36 (2). pp. 191-215. ISSN 0144-3410

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To explore the importance of text cohesion, we conducted two experiments. We measured online (reading times) and offline (comprehension accuracy) processes for texts that were high and low cohesion. In study one (n = 60), we manipulated referential cohesion using noun repetition (high cohesion) and synonymy (low cohesion). Students showed enhanced comprehension accuracy and faster comprehension responses for text that were high in referential cohesion. In study two (n = 52), we examined connective text designs (‘because’, ‘and’ and ‘no connective’). Students demonstrated enhanced reading times for text using a ‘because’ connective. Additionally, we examined the individual differences (reading ability, science self-concept and self-esteem) as predictors of achievement with science comprehension tasks. Across both experiments reading ability predicted comprehension with both high (noun-repetition text and ‘and’ text) and low cohesion text (synonym text and ‘no connective’ text). These findings highlight the importance of good reading abilities and text cohesion for promoting science comprehension and learning.

Keywords:Education, Referential cohesion, Connective cohesion, Reading comprehension, Science learning, bmjgoldcheck, NotOAChecked
Subjects:X Education > X330 Academic studies in Secondary Education
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
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ID Code:15827
Deposited On:28 Oct 2014 09:42

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