Question Timing, Language Comprehension, and Executive Function in Inferencing

Reese M Butterfuss, Panayiota Kendeou, Kristen L. McMaster, Elly Orcutt, Okan Bulut

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


We examined the extent to which the timing of inferential questioning influenced kindergartners’ inferencing performance in a non-reading context, while also taking into account individual differences in language comprehension and executive function. Students completed the eight-week Early Language Comprehension Individualized Instruction (ELCII) application by responding to audiovisual inferential questions administered in one of two timing conditions: either (1) during video watching at various points (online) or (2) after the video was finished (offline). Results suggest that online questioning fostered greater overall gains in inferencing skill from pretest to posttest. Moreover, students with higher executive function demonstrated greater gain in inferencing than students with lower executive function. Likewise, students with higher language comprehension skills demonstrated greater gains in inferencing than students with lower language comprehension skills. Theoretical and instructional implications of the findings and areas for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-78
Number of pages18
JournalScientific Studies of Reading
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 5 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research is supported by grants R324A160064 and R305A170242 from the U.S. Department of Education to the University of Minnesota, grants R305A180144, R305A190063, and R305A180261, from the U.S. Department of Education to Arizona State University, and grant N00014-19-1-2424 from the U.S. Office of Naval Research to Arizona State University. The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Society for the Scientific Study of Reading.


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