A grammar game to improve reading comprehension in French

A grammar game to improve reading comprehension in French

First Author: Thierry Geoffre -- HEP FR
Additional authors/chairs: 
Mireille Rodi
Keywords: Reading comprehension, Digital literacy, Morphological processing, French, Grades K-12
Abstract / Summary: 

Purpose
K-12 learners show difficulties in reading comprehension (PISA, 2019). In French (like in English) reading comprehension involves morphosyntactic processing (Bianco et al., 2014). Morphosyntactic markers linking words or groups of words also produce confusions among children for a number of reasons. Recent studies have shown that children benefit from digital technologies, not only for motivational reasons, but also because those technologies seem to favour comprehension and knowledge development (Biancarosa & Griffiths, 2012). The main purpose of this study is to evaluate the effect of innovative online apps on the acquisition of morphosyntactic knowledge and reading comprehension.
Method
Four grammar games were developed to be tested online, based on an algorithm that "calculates" grammatically correct sentences. The user must choose each word (or a form of the word) taking into account grammatical cues to build a grammatically correct sentence. This qualitative study measures the development of the child metalinguistic reasoning while playing with an adult expert.
Forty game sessions were recorded. Four children aged between 8 and 12 participated to this study. They played with speech therapists. Interactions have been captured through screen activity and voice recording. Analyses aimed at evaluating how the digital tool may promote the development of children reasoning in the context of morphosyntactic processing. A praxeological approach provided scaffolding for follow-up analyses.
Results
We document four types of evolution: 1) how the verbalized strategies are changing over the sessions; 2) how children are progressively assuming initiations of their reasoning; 3) how reading mistakes (including grammatical confusions) are decreasing and 4) how reasoning progressively supports comprehension.
Conclusions
Our results show that interactions while playing reinforce the morphosyntactic processing and subsequently improve reading comprehension.