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Title: Cognitive and decoding correlates of reading comprehension in Nigerian children
Authors: Mangvwat, Solomon Elisha
Advisors: Wydell, T
Keywords: Phoneme awareness;Concept of word in text;Visual memory;Socio-economic status;Simple view of reading
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Brunel University London
Abstract: The aim of this thesis was to better understand English as second language Nigerian children’s reading comprehension attainment, the first such study to be conducted in Nigeria. In the thesis three studies were conducted to investigate the influence of cognitive and decoding/reading skills on the children’s reading comprehension attainment, namely the preliminary study (Chapter-3) with one primary school in Nigeria, the main study (Chapter-4) with 13 state-run primary schools, and the control study (Chapter-5) including four primary schools in London, respectively. It was found that English as second language children’s reading comprehension performance is significantly influenced by cognitive, decoding and chronological age. The development of cognitive skills which is necessary for success in reading comprehension development is also dependent upon chronological age. That is, age-related increase in cognitive skills brings about increased engagement and more efficient reading comprehension attainment in the children. The normal cognitive development of the children had a positive role also on the children’s performance on language tests necessary for text comprehension. The study found that school socioeconomic background played a significant impact in the performance of Nigerian English as second language children – the better the socioeconomic background of the school the higher the reading comprehension attainment of the children. Furthermore gender was not a factor in the performance and development of reading comprehension by English as Second Language Nigerian children. This implies that parents, teachers and schools motivate and support children irrespective of being boys or girls to realise their full potentials without any discrimination. Having reviewed few theories of reading acquisition/development, the Simple view of reading (SVR) was found to be more appropriate for adoption in this study of Nigerian English as second language children’s reading comprehension attainment. The theory postulates that text comprehension is achieved when children have decoding skills and linguistic comprehension knowledge. The results obtained in Chapters 3 and 4 were in line with the Simple view of reading’s assertion – text comprehension depends on decoding and cognitive skills.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy and awarded by Brunel University London.
Appears in Collections:Dept of Life Sciences Theses

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