Children's macroprocessing skills for comprehension of expository text were investigated by focusing on the additive effect of such skills on the readers' working memory (WM) capacity. In Experiment 1, 181 fourth and fifth graders read topic explicit and implicit expository texts. After reading each text, they were asked to recall the topic and other information in the text. In Experiment 2, 617 fourth and fifth graders were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: instructional conditions of either being encouraged to grasp the topic of the text or being encouraged to remember details of the text, or a control condition. Then they read and recalled expository texts. As a whole, children with high scores for macroprocessing skills significantly outperformed children with low scores on the recall tasks. These effects remained after controlling for WM capacity, suggesting that the acquisition of macroprocessing skills may benefit children's reading over and above the effect of differences in their WM capacity. However, the results also indicated that the effects of these skills depended on the text and instructional conditions.
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