Idiom Understanding in Youth: Further Examination of Familiarity and Transparency School-age children and adolescents (n = 150) enrolled in Grades 5, 8, and 11 were administered a forced choice task of idiom understanding that controlled for idiom familiarity and transparency. Performance on the task steadily improved during the targeted age range and was affected by the factors of interest: Idioms ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 1995
Idiom Understanding in Youth: Further Examination of Familiarity and Transparency
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Marilyn A. Nippold
    University of Oregon Eugene
  • Catherine L. Taylor
    Curtin University Perth, Western Australia
  • Contact author: Marilyn A. Nippold, PhD, Communication Disorders and Sciences, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403. e-mail: nippold@oregon.voregon.edu
Article Information
Development / School-Based Settings / Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 01, 1995
Idiom Understanding in Youth: Further Examination of Familiarity and Transparency
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 1995, Vol. 38, 426-433. doi:10.1044/jshr.3802.426
History: Received February 11, 1994 , Accepted October 8, 1994
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 1995, Vol. 38, 426-433. doi:10.1044/jshr.3802.426
History: Received February 11, 1994; Accepted October 8, 1994

School-age children and adolescents (n = 150) enrolled in Grades 5, 8, and 11 were administered a forced choice task of idiom understanding that controlled for idiom familiarity and transparency. Performance on the task steadily improved during the targeted age range and was affected by the factors of interest: Idioms that were higher in familiarity and transparency were easier for students to understand than those that were less familiar and more opaque. The results of this study provide further support for the language experience hypothesis of figurative language development and for the hypothesis that metalinguistic activity, which itself becomes more sophisticated during the school-age and adolescent years, facilitates later language development. The study also suggests certain methodological implications for future research that examines the development of idiom understanding in youth.

Acknowledgments
The authors express their appreciation to the children and adolescents who participated in this study, and to the public school personnel who granted permission to conduct the testing and assisted with the scheduling.
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