Kenneth Goodman's view of the reading process suggests that the reader utilizes three cue systems (grapho-phonic, semantic and syntactic) in obtaining meaning from the visual array. The study was designed to explore means by which first year high school students could be taught syntax informally to facilitate their utilization of syntactic cues in reading. The literature was reviewed to provide an understanding of those syntactic structures which were likely to present difficulty and to discover theoretically sound bases for teaching strategies. Because of the absence of data on Australian students in the first year of secondary school, a survey of the Grade 8 population of a large metropolitan high school was undertaken. This survey linked syntactic knowledge to scores obtained on a standardized test of reading comprehension. Suggestions on the informal teaching of grammar were then proposed.
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