Maria Chiara Levorato

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The present study investigated the developmental processes which lead from a literal interpretation of idiomatic expression to the ability of comprehending and producing them figuratively. A Model of the Development of Figurative Competence was presented according to which acquisition of idioms occurs as part of the general process of language and world(More)
Some studies have shown that children tend to interpret figurative language literally. Our hypothesis is that they can reach an idiomatic competence if idioms are presented within a rich informational environment allowing children to grasp their figurative sense. First and third graders were presented with narratives biased both to the figurative meaning of(More)
BACKGROUND According to the 'Simple View of Reading' (Hoover and Gough 1990), individual differences in reading comprehension are accounted for by decoding skills and listening comprehension, each of which makes a unique and specific contribution. AIMS The current research was aimed at testing the Simple View of Reading in individuals with Down's syndrome(More)
Several studies have argued that children under the ages of nine or ten years rarely comprehend figurative language and therefore interpret it literally. Cacciari & Levorato (1989) showed that when idioms are presented within a rich informational environment, children are able to grasp the figurative sense at the age of seven, and also that children are(More)
The aim of the present study was to investigate idiom comprehension in school-age Italian children with different reading comprehension skills. According to our hypothesis, the level of a child's text comprehension skills should predict his/her ability to understand idiomatic meanings. Idiom comprehension in fact requires children to go beyond a simple(More)
According to a developmental model of figurative language acquisition--the global elaboration model (Levorato & Cacciari, 1995)--the metalinguistic awareness necessary to use figurative language in a creative way is acquired late, and is subsequent to the ability to comprehend and produce figurative expressions. One hundred and eight children aged 9;6, one(More)
The current study analyzed the relationship between text comprehension and memory skills in preschoolers. We were interested in verifying the hypothesis that memory is a specific contributor to listening comprehension in preschool children after controlling for verbal abilities. We were also interested in analyzing the developmental path of the relationship(More)
The contribution of lower level linguistic abilities (study 1) and a higher level capacity, namely the use of context, (study 2), on text comprehension was studied. Participants were 16 individuals with Down syndrome aged between aged between 8 years 11 months and 16 years 10 months, and 16 children with typical development, aged between 5 years 11 months(More)
The current study was designed to investigate the role played by verbal memory in the advantage shown by individuals with Down syndrome in reading over listening text comprehension (Roch & Levorato, 2009). Two different aspects of verbal memory were analyzed: processing load and coding modality. Participants were 20 individuals with Down syndrome, aged(More)
The relation between text and idiom comprehension in children with poor text comprehension skills was investigated longitudinally. In the first phase of the study, six-year-old first graders with different levels of text comprehension were compared in an idiom and sentence comprehension task. Text comprehension was shown to be more closely related to idiom(More)