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Ágnes Hódi, Edit Tóth & Mária B. Németh: Children’s story, poster or table? – The characterization of students’ reading comprehension in terms of text formats and reading processes between grades 2 and 8

Since reading comprehension plays a key role in everyday life, understanding its process, and exploring the factors that influence its development are the subject of numerous research. However, these studies consider text as an entity which is organized into sentences, paragraphs, and larger units. So far it has been assumed that the cognitive and non-cognitive variables revealed in connection with the reading of continuous texts are also valid in the case of understanding non-continuous texts. The aim of the present study is to examine grade 2–8 students’ comprehension of continuous, mixed, and non-continuous texts, and explore specific factors that may explain the differences in the comprehension of different text formats. The study analyzes the data of 1,405 students who took part in all four data collections of the third cycle (2011-2019) of the Hungarian Educational Longitudinal Program of the Research Group on the Development of Competencies, which is co-funded by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the University of Szeged. According to the results, out of the three text formats, the development in the comprehension of non-continuous text was most significant (27.56%, which is more than double than the development in the case of continuous and mixed texts) between grade 2 and grade 8. Comprehension of continuous text exhibited the smallest development. Both the rate of development in reading comprehension of all three text formats and reading processes showed a decreasing tendency over the period covered by the study. In each grade, students completed the information retrieval tasks with the highest efficiency, and reflection items proved to be the most challenging for them. The magnitude of the improvement in performance was similar in case of all three text formats over the period covered by the study. However, data also showed that reading processes functioned with different efficiencies in understanding continuous, mixed, and non-continuous texts. We may assume that differences in performance across text formats are due to the distinct characteristics of the process of accessing information from continuous, mixed, and non-continuous texts.

MAGYAR PEDAGÓGIA 120. Number 1. 71-90. (2020)

Levelezési cím / Address for correspondence: Hódi Ágnes, Szegedi Tudományegyetem Juhász Gyula Pedagógusképző Kar, Alkalmazott Pedagógiai Intézet, H–6725 Szeged, Boldogasszony sgt. 6.


Magyar Tudományos Akadémia