Article  |   July 1986
The Comprehension of Similes and Metaphors by Learning Disabled and Nonlearning-Disabled Children
 
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  • © 1986, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Article Information
Article   |   July 1986
The Comprehension of Similes and Metaphors by Learning Disabled and Nonlearning-Disabled Children
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, July 1986, Vol. 17, 219-229. doi:10.1044/0161-1461.1703.219
History: Received October 23, 1984 , Accepted August 6, 1985
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, July 1986, Vol. 17, 219-229. doi:10.1044/0161-1461.1703.219
History: Received October 23, 1984; Accepted August 6, 1985

This study reports results from a comparison of learning-disabled and nonlearning-disabled children's comprehension of similes and metaphors. Eight context setting paragraph-length stories were used to measure third through six graders figurative language comprehension. Significant differences were found in the overall performance of the two groups on both conditions at each grade level tested. In general, the older learning-disabled children's performance was most similar to the performance of the younger nonlearning-disabled children. The proficiency of the two groups on the two metaphoric types was also compared. In contrast with their nonlearning-disabled peers, the learning-disabled children's performance was significantly better for the simile condition. Because there was no difference in the semantic content of the two metaphoric types, their better performance on the simile condition appeared to be due to the explicitness of the comparison signaled by the grammatical surface structure of the simile. Metacognitive factors, in this case, the recognition of metaphoric usage and the need to compare the disparate domains involved in metaphoric comprehension, appear implicated in learning-disabled children's understanding of figurative language.

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