Improving Native American children's listening comprehension through concrete representations

Scott Marley, Joel R. Levin, Arthur Glenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


The primary purpose of the present study was to determine whether recent findings documenting the benefits of text-related motor activity on young children's memory for reading passages [Glenberg, A. M., Gutierrez, T., Levin, J. R., Japuntich, S., & Kaschak, M. (2004). Activity and imagined activity can enhance young readers' reading comprehension. Journal of Educational Psychology, 96, 424-436.] could be extended to the text processing of Native American children. Forty-five third through seventh-grade students with academic learning difficulties listened to four narrative passages under one of three instructional conditions: manipulate, where students moved toy objects to represent the story's content; visual, where students observed the results of an experimenter's toy manipulations; and free-study, where students thought about the content of the presented story sentences. Findings were consistent with the literature documenting the comprehension and memory benefits of text-relevant concrete representations, with students in the manipulate and visual conditions statistically outrecalling students in the free-study condition. In contrast to the results of the Glenberg et al. (2004) reading study, no conditions-related differences were observed on a final passage where students were instructed to generate internal visual images of story events in the absence of external visual support (i.e., when no toys were present).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)537-550
Number of pages14
JournalContemporary Educational Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2007


  • Embodiment theory
  • Indexical hypothesis
  • Listening comprehension
  • Native American students
  • Text-processing strategies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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