Riddle Appreciation and Reading Comprehension in Cantonese-Speaking Children Purpose Inference-making skills are necessary for reading comprehension. Training in riddle appreciation is an effective way to improve reading comprehension among English-speaking children. However, it is not clear whether these methods generalize to other writing systems. The goal of the present study was to investigate the relationship between inference-making skills, ... Research Article
Research Article  |   October 01, 2013
Riddle Appreciation and Reading Comprehension in Cantonese-Speaking Children
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Ivy N. Y. Tang
    The University of Hong Kong, China
  • Carol K. S. To
    The University of Hong Kong, China
  • Brendan S. Weekes
    The University of Hong Kong, China
  • Correspondence to Carol K. S. To: tokitsum@hku.hk
  • Editor: Marilyn Nippold
    Editor: Marilyn Nippold×
  • Associate Editor: Ilsa Schwarz
    Associate Editor: Ilsa Schwarz×
Article Information
Development / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 01, 2013
Riddle Appreciation and Reading Comprehension in Cantonese-Speaking Children
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, October 2013, Vol. 44, 348-359. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2013/12-0091)
History: Received September 25, 2012 , Revised February 2, 2013 , Accepted May 10, 2013
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, October 2013, Vol. 44, 348-359. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2013/12-0091)
History: Received September 25, 2012; Revised February 2, 2013; Accepted May 10, 2013

Purpose Inference-making skills are necessary for reading comprehension. Training in riddle appreciation is an effective way to improve reading comprehension among English-speaking children. However, it is not clear whether these methods generalize to other writing systems. The goal of the present study was to investigate the relationship between inference-making skills, as measured by riddle appreciation ability, and reading comprehension performance in typically developing Cantonese-speaking children in the 4th grade.

Method Forty Cantonese-speaking children between the ages of 9;1 (years;months) and 11;0 were given tests of riddle appreciation ability and reading comprehension. Chinese character reading and auditory comprehension abilities were also assessed using tests that had been standardized in Hong Kong.

Results Regression analyses revealed that riddle appreciation ability explained a significant amount of variance in reading comprehension after variance due to character reading skills and auditory comprehension skills were first considered. Orthographic, lexical, morphological, and syntactic riddles were also significantly correlated with reading comprehension.

Conclusion Riddle appreciation ability predicts reading comprehension in Cantonese-speaking 4th-grade children. Therefore, training Cantonese speakers in riddle appreciation should improve their reading comprehension.

Acknowledgments
The authors would like to thank the principals and teachers of the Price Memorial Catholic Primary School, S.K.H. Ho Chak Wan Primary School, St. Clare's Primary School, and St. Stephen's Girls' Primary School. Special thanks are also given to Beatrice Chan, Cora Ling, Morris Poon, Florence Yip, Tiffany Leung, and Cassie Mak for the process of data collection.
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