The role of word decoding, vocabulary knowledge and meta-cognitive knowledge in monolingual and bilingual low-achieving adolescents' reading comprehension

Roel van Steensel, RJ Oostdam, AJS van Gelderen, E Van Schooten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this study, we analysed the relationships between word decoding, vocabulary knowledge, meta-cognitive knowledge and reading comprehension in low-achieving adolescents and examined whether the strength of these relationships differed between Grade 7 and 9 students and between monolingual and bilingual students. Tests were administered to 328 students in Dutch prevocational education. Multilevel analyses showed positive effects of vocabulary and meta-cognitive knowledge on reading comprehension that were consistent across grades and across monolinguals and bilinguals. Additionally, we found a positive effect of word decoding for seventh graders, but no effect for ninth graders. There was also a positive effect of bilingualism on reading comprehension when vocabulary differences were controlled. This finding suggests that for bilingual students, reading comprehension is hampered by limited second-language vocabulary knowledge and that these students will profit more from an increase in vocabulary knowledge than their monolingual peers. The results underline the importance of vocabulary and meta-cognitive instruction for low-achieving adolescents.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)312-329
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Research in Reading
Volume39
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Dec 2014

Research programs

  • ESSB PED

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