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reading comprehension listening comprehension training first graders vocabulary

Enhancing Reading Comprehension in First Graders: The Effects of Two Training Programs Provided in Listening or Written Modality

Agnese Capodieci , Claudia Zamperlin , Gianna Friso , Barbara Carretti

It has been well documented that oral language skills are precursors of the development of written abilities, meaning that improving oral language ski.


It has been well documented that oral language skills are precursors of the development of written abilities, meaning that improving oral language skills, e.g. vocabulary, listening comprehension, could have positive effects reading comprehension. The main aim of the present study was to analyze the effect of a training program focused on four components of comprehension ability provided in listening or written modality on first-graders’ reading and listening comprehension. The training programs were implemented by school teachers as part of the class’s normal school activities, under the supervision of experts. Their efficacy was compared with the results obtained in a passive control group. Our results showed that both the training programs produced positive effects on listening and reading comprehension (by comparison with a passive control group), and that the gains in reading comprehension were maintained at a five-month follow-up. Findings demonstrated specific improvements in listening comprehension with the listening modality program, as well as an improvement in the modality not directly trained. A similar cross-modality effect was found from the written modality training group, therefore confirming the strict relation between oral and written abilities. Reading comprehension performance of first graders can be improved with activities provided in listening and written modality. Hence, it is possible to enhance reading comprehension even before decoding and fluency in reading are acquired.

Keywords: Reading comprehension, listening comprehension, training, first-graders, vocabulary.

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