Impact of word finding difficulties in adolescents on listening comprehension assessment: Implications for reading evaluations

Date of Completion

January 2005


Speech Communication|Education, Special|Education, Reading




A word finding difficulty interferes with an individual's ability to verbalize explanations and/or retrieve specific information. As such, it is possible that the ability of a student with a word finding difficulty might be underestimated if an assessment instrument has a high retrieval load. An investigation examined two groups of adolescent struggling readers, one with word finding difficulties (WFD) and one without (NWFD), in listening comprehension tasks. The WFD group performed comparably to the NWFD group when comprehension was measured using a multiple-choice response format. In sharp contrast, the WFD group performed significantly poorer when comprehension was measured using an open-ended verbal response format. Practical implications for the assessment of listening comprehension as part of reading evaluations of adolescent struggling readers are discussed. ^