Awareness of Prosodic Cues in Text: The Missing Link Between Prosodic Sensitivity and Reading Comprehension in Young Readers?
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This thesis investigated whether and how prosodic sensitivity and reading comprehension are related in the mid-elementary grades. A total of 151 students in Grades 3 to 5 were tested. Prosodic sensitivity was found to be positively related to reading comprehension after controlling for age, punctuation knowledge, word reading, phonological awareness, vocabulary, and nonverbal ability. The role of prosodic cues in text was also investigated as a possible explanation for this relation, specifically focusing on awareness of punctuation marks (Chafe, 1988; Miller & Schwanenflugel, 2006). Prosodic sensitivity was found to be indirectly related to reading comprehension through awareness of prosodic cues in text. Children in these grades may be using prosodic cues in text to guide their implicit prosody during silent reading. I integrate these findings into theory and discuss implications for research and education.