Students’ Online Comprehension Monitoring Versus Word Knowledge Calibration

Students’ Online Comprehension Monitoring Versus Word Knowledge Calibration

First Author: Elham Zargar -- University of California, Irvine
Additional authors/chairs: 
Ashley Adams; Carol Connor
Keywords: Reading comprehension, Word Knowledge Calibration, Comprehension Monitoring, Eye movements, metacognition
Abstract / Summary: 

Purpose. Poor reading comprehension may be due to having ineffective comprehension monitoring (Rapp & van den Broek, 2005) – the conscious and unconscious skills to evaluate and regulate one’s own comprehension. The conscious ability to correctly judge one’s own word knowledge (word knowledge calibration) is also found to be related to reading comprehension (Connor et al., 2019). This study aims to examine the relations between students’ online comprehension monitoring and their word knowledge calibration.
Method. We measured third through fifth grade students’ (n = 120) online comprehension monitoring (eye-movement tasks), word knowledge calibration (comparing students’ judgment of their word knowledge with their ability to define it), and vocabulary knowledge (Gates-MacGinitie assessment).
Results. Preliminary analysis demonstrated that after controlling for vocabulary knowledge, students who generally overestimated their word knowledge spent less time reading the target atypical words in the word-level eye-movement task, suggesting a weaker ability to evaluate comprehension. However, students who tended to underestimate their word knowledge spent more time reading and re-reading the word-level inconsistencies, compared to their peers with strong word knowledge calibration. There was no significant relation between word knowledge calibration and comprehension monitoring at the sentence-level.
Conclusions. These results demonstrate the importance of strong word knowledge calibration for successful comprehension monitoring and ultimately effective reading comprehension. Considering that overestimating one’s own word knowledge may be associated with less effective comprehension monitoring – especially when metacognition is still developing in middle childhood – developing interventions which aim to improve students’ calibration of word knowledge might be beneficial for advancing reading comprehension.