Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Markman (1979) reported that grade three children are inefficient at detecting inconsistencies in orally presented passages, indicating inefficient listening comprehension monitoring skills. Providing young children with an appropriate standard for evaluating their listening comprehension is marginally helpful (Markman & Gorin, 1981). The focus of this research was on designing an instructional program for grade three children to promote the acquisition and maintenance of efficient listening comprehension monitoring. Based on a model of metacognition and pilot work, the following strategies were hypothesized to be critical in detecting inconsistencies in oral passages: (1) a comparison strategy which involves comparing incoming sentences to determine if they are consistent; (2) a monitoring strategy which involves checking back to determine if 'previously heard' information is consistent with 'just heard' information; and (3) a self-instruction training approach which promotes the use of a problem solving approach to tasks, and facilitates maintenance. It was hypothesized that grade three children provided with a standard of evaluation plus this instructional program would demonstrate superior listening comprehension monitoring performances relative to children provided with the standard alone. One hundred and ninety-two children participated in the study, and were randomly assigned to one of eight experimental groups which represent various combinations of the instructional components. The results of the present research led to the following conclusions: (1) in replication of Markman and Gorin's (1981) finding, the provision of an appropriate standard of evaluation enhances the listening comprehension monitoring of grade three children relative to uninformed presentation of the passages (i.e., no training and exposure to training materials only); (2) providing a standard and exposure to the training passages was no more effective than simple provision of the standard; and (3) while provision of a standard and training in the comparison and monitoring strategies is sufficient to promote optimal performance at immediate testing, the inclusion of a self-instruction component facilitated maintenance at delayed testing. Information collected during a posttask interview further supported the superiority of the group provided with the standard and the three-tiered instructional program. Future research directions in the area of generalization of comprehension monitoring skills, and applications to learning disabled populations are discussed.



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