Update: What does the research tell us about language & literacy?
Research Spotlight: Zipoli, R. P. (2017). Unraveling Difficult Sentences. Intervention in School and Clinic,52(4), 218-227.
In this series, we have discussed the latest research of Richard Zipoli out of Connecticut State University who shares 4 ways in which the syntax in sentences contributes to difficulties in reading comprehension:
1. Passive verb construction (check out June 9 newsletter for more)
2. Adverbial clauses with temporal and causal conjunctions (June 16 newsletter)
3. Center-embedded relative clauses (this week!)
4. Sentences with three or more clauses (grand finale)
Week 3: Center-Embedded Relative Clause
The Why: Why is important to teach relative clauses to students? Comprehension problems with center-embedded relative clauses:
Over reliance on Word-Order or Subject +Verb + Object (SVO) strategy (Owens,2016; Paul & Norbury, 2012; Wallach & Miller, 1988) -Students who lack the knowledge about how the center-embedded clause functions results in an inaccurate analysis.
Water molecules [[that cling to particles]] form tiny ice crystals.
Students over reliant on word-order will incorrectly conclude that “particles,” not “water molecules,” form ice crystals.
The boy who lost the dog walked home.
Again, here, students over-reliant on word-order will incorrectly conclude “dog walked home.”
Challenging For Whom?
Challenging for early elementary, some older elementary, middle school students. amd students with langauge impairments and learning disabilities with limited auditory working memory
These kind of clauses occur regularly in narrative and expository text in the late, middle and high school years.