Idiom Understanding in Preadolescents: Synergy in Action The present study was designed to examine how preadolescents gain an understanding of idioms. In particular, it examined the role of idiom familiarity in conjunction with students’ language-based academic abilities. The participants were 50 children (mean age 12 years 4 months) who attended a primary school in Christchurch, New Zealand. ... Research Article
Research Article  |   May 01, 2001
Idiom Understanding in Preadolescents: Synergy in Action
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Marilyn A. Nippold
    University of Oregon, Eugene
  • Catherine Moran
    University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
  • Ilsa E. Schwarz
    University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
  • Contact author: Marilyn A. Nippold, PhD, Communication Disorders and Sciences, College of Education, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403. E-mail: nippold@oregon.uoregon.edu
Article Information
Research Articles
Research Article   |   May 01, 2001
Idiom Understanding in Preadolescents: Synergy in Action
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, May 2001, Vol. 10, 169-179. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2001/016)
History: Received July 12, 2000 , Accepted March 1, 2001
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, May 2001, Vol. 10, 169-179. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2001/016)
History: Received July 12, 2000; Accepted March 1, 2001
Web of Science® Times Cited: 34

The present study was designed to examine how preadolescents gain an understanding of idioms. In particular, it examined the role of idiom familiarity in conjunction with students’ language-based academic abilities. The participants were 50 children (mean age 12 years 4 months) who attended a primary school in Christchurch, New Zealand. All students spoke standard New Zealand English and were considered by the school to be progressing normally. The results indicated that idiom understanding was closely associated with students’ familiarity with idioms and with their skills in reading and listening comprehension. Moreover, students who were good comprehenders of idioms outperformed their classmates who were poor comprehenders on all associated measures: idiom familiarity, reading comprehension, and listening comprehension. Guidelines for instruction in idiom understanding are offered for speech-language pathologists who work collaboratively with teachers in the regular classroom during language arts activities. The guidelines reflect the position that multiple factors, working in synergy, promote the understanding of idioms in youth.

Author Note
The authors express sincere appreciation to the children and adults who participated in this research project, and to the teachers and principals who allowed the testing to take place, collected the parental consent forms, and helped to schedule the testing sessions. The study was carried out while the first author was a Visiting Erskine Fellow in the Department of Speech and Language Therapy, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access