The compensatory effects of a graphic overview and the effects of students' cognitive-linguistic skills on the comprehension of networked hypertexts were investigated in students with hearing or language problems. Networked hypertext comprehension of 28 deaf/hard-of-hearing (DHH) students and 33 students with Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) was compared to that of 77 hearing students with a comparable reading level and 60 hearing students of a comparable age. The results showed lower networked hypertext comprehension of DHH students and students with DLD compared to hearing students of the same age, but not to those of the same reading level. Hypertext comprehension was mainly predicted by vocabulary level. Across groups, students with lower vocabulary benefitted from a graphic overview in comprehending networked hypertexts. It was concluded that although DHH students and students with DLD have more problems with comprehension of networked hypertexts than hearing students without language problems, the difficulties are predominantly caused by their generally lower vocabulary size.
- Developmental Language Disorder
- Digital reading comprehension