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Title: Understanding reading comprehension amongst Maltese speaking children
Author: Grech, Louisa
ISNI:       0000 0004 2716 7345
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis investigated reading comprehension levels amongst Maltese bilingual students. A total of 428 participants, aged between 8 and 13, from state schools across Malta, were tested and the results of five studies presented. The primary purpose underlying the research was to inform the development of assessment procedures that can be used in the identification of children who have specific difficulties in reading within the Maltese context. Initially, the suitability of reading comprehension measures currently used in Malta was assessed. Given the potential problems identified with these measures for the dominant Maltese language population in state schools in Malta, passages and comprehension questions were developed in Maltese appropriate for this population. Conclusions from this work argue for the need for assessment tools, particularly targeting reading comprehension, that incorporate linguistic and cultural aspects of the cohorts targeted by the tools - recommendations for practice, therefore, were a focus of the discussion of the work presented. The developed reading comprehension measure focused on reading aloud to allow reading accuracy and rate to be included in assessment procedures, and the evidence from the work reported in this thesis suggested that this procedure would show similar results to a silent reading comprehension measure. A further aim of the thesis was to investigate cognitive/linguistic predictors of reading comprehension in normally developing Maltese readers and also in Maltese-speaking children with dyslexia. These data argued for younger or less experienced readers (those with dyslexia) to show greater influences of word level processes on reading comprehension than older able readers, who mainly showed influences of language processes, such as syntactic awareness, vocabulary and listening comprehension. These latter findings were considered in terms of theoretical views on the development of reading comprehension across orthographies and to inform procedures designed to identify underlying reasons for particular performance characteristics in literacy assessments.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available