Riddle appreciation and reading comprehension in Cantonese-speaking children.

Research paper by Ivy N Y IN Tang, Carol K S CK To, Brendan S BS Weekes

Indexed on: 09 Jul '13Published on: 09 Jul '13Published in: Language, speech, and hearing services in schools


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