Comparisons of Cognitive-Linguistics Skills among Poor Decoders, Poor Comprehenders, and Typically Developing Readers in Elementary School Students Learning English as a Second Language
Currently, limited studies have compared the cognitive-linguistic profiles of poor decoders and poor comprehenders in second language learning. The present study identified poor decoders (poor in both word reading and comprehension) and poor compreheners (poor in comprehension but average in word reading) by screening a group of 270 Hong Kong Chinese Grade 5 students who learn English-as-a-second-language. Based on the screening results, a total of 58 were identified as poor decoders (PD) and 34 were identified as poor comprehendres (PC). A control group was recruited by randomly inviting 95 students with average word reading and comprehension. Their cognitive-linguistics skills, including morphological awareness, syntactic awareness and vocabulary were compared. Data collection is in progress. We have completed data collection of 20 students in the control group, 11 students in the PD group and 6 students in the PC group. Preliminary results show that PD group performed significantly worse than both the PC group and the control group in syntactic awareness and vocabulary. The PC group performed worse than the control group in derivational awareness. Implications will be discussed.