Signals and reading comprehension: Theory and practice

Sin Ling Jenny CHUNG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


This paper describes an investigation of the effects of logical connectives and paragraph headings on reading comprehension among 577 Hong Kong Secondary 6 students who learn English as a second language. An English reading comprehension test was used to allocate subjects into one of the three performance groups: High, Medium and Low. The test instruments used to discriminate between the different groups contained ‘normal' signals. In the signal studies, four versions of authentic text were produced. Version 1 was a non-signalled passage. Versions 2, 3, and 4 were embedded with logical connectives, paragraph headings and these two signals in combination. All four versions had the same content and the same level of difficulty. Results show that those poorest in reading comprehension (Low Performance Group) benefited from signals during the reading. All signals contributed to reading comprehension except for logical connectives, which did not aid microstructure understanding. The discussion of results includes implications for the teaching of reading to poor readers. Copyright © 2000 Elsevier.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-259
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2000


Chung, J. S. L. (2000). Signals and reading comprehension: Theory and practice. System, 28(2), 247-259.


  • Coherence
  • Cohesion
  • English as a second language
  • Reading comprehension
  • Conjunctions
  • Lexical signals


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