Aboriginal and rural students' comprehension and talk about image-language relations in reading tests- Ann Daly

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This thesis investigates the nature of image-language relations in State-wide group reading tests for primary school students conducted in all New South Wales government schools and most non-government schools from 2005-2007. It also investigates the comprehension of these image-language relations by Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students in metropolitan, provincial and rural locations. Quantitative and qualitative analyses were undertaken in relation to: the image, language and intermodal complexities in the reading passages that are reflected in the difficulty of assessment items; studentsa?? reading strategies; and their inferences and the linguistic complexity of their talk about the images and language in the texts.
The text and item analysis revealed differences in the difficulty of items according to the type of image-language relation and complexity in the language involved. The number of inferences students made and the amount of linguistic complexity in their talk did not differ according to Aboriginal status, geo-location and gender. However, the similarities in Index of Community Socio-Educational Advantage for the sample schools in different locations could have resulted in the sample schools not being representative of social differences that exist in the State-wide population. The finding that studentsa?? reading scores correlated with the number of correct answers chosen using expected reading strategies, the number of inferences made and the amount of linguistic complexity in studentsa?? talk about texts, regardless of Aboriginal status, geo-location or gender, suggests that State-wide differences in reading performance between these groups are due to additional factors beyond Aboriginality, gender and geo-location.

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Supervisors supervising this project

Professor Leonard Unsworth Principal Supervisor

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