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Academic Paper


Title: Semantic categorization and reading skill across Dutch primary grades: development yes, relationship no
Author: Martine A. R. Gijsel
Institution: Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen
Author: Ellen A. Ormel
Institution: Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen
Author: Daan Hermans
Email: click here TO access email
Homepage: http://www.kentalis.com/Kentalis_C01/Modules/ItembankA/ItembankA_Item.asp?ModID=1718&ItemID=1278&bot
Institution: Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen
Author: Ludo Verhoeven
Institution: Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen
Author: Anna M. T. Bosman
Institution: Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition; Psycholinguistics
Subject Language: Dutch
Abstract: In the present study, the development of semantic categorization and its relationship with reading was investigated across Dutch primary grade students. Three Exemplar-level tasks (Experiment 1) and two Superordinate-level tasks (Experiment 2) with different types of distracters (phonological, semantic and perceptual) were administered to assess semantic categorization skills. Reading was measured with a standardized word-reading test. Results of both experiments demonstrated that children in the higher grades had shorter reaction times and fewer errors than children in the lower grades. Reading skill, however, was not related to semantic categorization performance. Moreover, neither grade level nor reading skill was related to the effect of distracter type on error percentages. Based on the results of this study, we suggest a substantial development of semantic categorization skills over time, and reject the notion that Dutch poor readers have less advanced semantic categorization skills than typical readers.

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This article appears IN Journal of Child Language Vol. 38, Issue 2.

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