Assessment of syntactic awareness: Effects of plausibility in solving tasks and in its relation to sentence comprehension [Evaluación de la conciencia sintáctica: Efectos de la verosimilitud en la resolución detareas y en su relación con la comprensión de oraciones]
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In this study, we present one task to assess syntactic awareness. This task consists in rearranging the word order in a set of sentences. The sentences vary in length (short-long), syntactic complexity (active-passive, simple-compound, coordinated-subordinated) and plausibility (half of the sentences are semantically plausible and the other half are semantically implausible). We analyzed the information provided by this task in its application to a group of 97 primary students, and we compared the results based on each of the conditions and depending on the level of understanding. The results show greater difficulty when the content is semantically implausible, making essential the implementation of syntactic processing skills. The data also show that while some elements of length and syntactic complexity show significant effects on the results, the introduction of semantically implausible sentences overwhelmingly affects task performance, modulating the effect of the aforementioned conditions. The data reveal no differences in comprehension among students who had a syntactic reader profile and those with a semantic reader profile. Finally, we found that those items in the task that allow for semantic processing relate better to the measure of reading comprehension than the items that support only syntactic processing. The results suggest that the designed task allowed to obtain differentiated information about the syntactic and semantic components of written language in the process of reading assessment. © 2014 PUCV, Chile.
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