Negotiation of meaning in the classroom: Does it enhance reading comprehension?

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This study focuses on young children’s negotiation behaviour in the classroom. Through negotiating for meaning, children may unravel the meaning of difficult input or be pushed to produce more adequate and correct output. Previous research has shown that young children, while reading for comprehension, are able and willing to negotiate the meaning of words and phrases they do not understand. However, in the classroom, many variables prevent children from displaying their non-understanding, producing spontaneous output or negotiating meaning while doing so. Among the variables that determine the quantity and quality of negotiation routines during reading comprehension activities in primary school, the role of the teacher is a crucial one. On the basis of the reported classroom observation study, this chapter lists a number of recommendations as to how the quantity and quality of negotiation of meaning in primary school classes can be enhanced.


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