The relationship between reading and syntactic skills among Navajo American Indian students

Alejandro Brice


Reading is a process which requires that the learner deal explicitly with the structural
features of language. This relationship appears to be present in bilinguallbicultural
children and has been an issue of concern. The purpose of the present study was to
determine if training in reading comprehension and oral syntax would improve oral
syntax acquisition in a sample of Navajo American Indian children in the United States.
Three matched groups with 12 subjects in each group (reading, syntax and a control
group) participated in this study. The results revealed statistically significant gains on
the Grammatical Comprehensio_n and Reading Comprehension measures. This study
seems to suggest that there is no particular advantage of a reading strategy over a syntax
strategy, but that both interventions may result in improved oral syntax.
Die /eesproses vereis dat /eerders die strukturele kenmerke van die taal eksp/isiet moet
aanspreek. Hierdie verhouding tussen die teks en tweetaligelbi-kulturele leerders was die
fokus van 'n studie wat gedoen is onder Navajo Amerikaanse Indiane in die VSA. Die
doe/ van die studie was om te bepaal of spesifieke op/eiding in leesbegrip sowel as in
mondelinge sintaksis sou lei tot 'n verbetering van mondelinge sintaksis. Drie gelyke
groepe van twaalf kinders elk (dw.s. 'n kontrolegroep, 'n groep wat onde"ig in
leesbegrip ontvang het en 'n groep wat onderrig in mondelinge sintaksis ontvang het) is
gebruik. Statisties beduidende verbeteringe is gemeet t.o. v. grammatikale begrip en
/eesbegrip. Die studie dui aan dat die gebruik van 'n leesstrategie nie 'n beduidende
voordeel oor 'n sintaksis-strategie inhou nie, maar dat die gebruik van die twee saam
eerder die ver/angde verbetering in mondelinge sintaksis teweegbring.

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ISSN 2224-0012 (online); ISSN 0259-2312 (print)

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