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Size matters: Early vocabulary as a predictor of language and literacy competence

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Abstract

This paper investigated the predictive ability of expressive vocabulary size and lexical composition at age 2 on later language and literacy skills from ages 3 through 11. Multivariate analysis of covariance was performed to compare 16 language and literacy outcomes between children with large expressive vocabulary size at 24 months (N = 1,073) and those with smaller expressive vocabulary size. Comparisons between large and small verb size groups as a measure of lexical composition were also conducted. Our findings indicate that, after controlling for gender, birth order, ethnicity and socioeconomic status, total vocabulary size at age 2 can significantly predict subsequent language and literacy achievement up to fifth grade. Moreover, vocabulary size is a better predictor of later language ability than lexical composition.

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... Another environmental factor known to influence language development is socioeconomic status (SES). Children from lower SES homes tend to have smaller vocabularies and less steep developmental trajectories than children from higher SES homes, and they consistently remain behind their higher SES counterparts in language development (Lee, 2011;Fernald et al., 2013). In addition to SES, family history, prematurity, number of siblings, and motor skills are also predictive of early language development (Zubrick et al., 2007). ...
... One such measure is the MacArthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventories (CDI). The CDI has undergone norming studies and is reliable and valid for evaluating communicative development in both typically developing children and children with developmental disorders (Fenson et al., 2007;Bauer et al., 2002;Lee, 2011;Fernald and Marchman, 2012;Fernald et al., 2013). The CDI provides information about children's development of communication abilities from ages 8 to 30 months, focusing on language comprehension and early language production for younger children and vocabulary and grammar acquisition for older children (Fenson et al., 2007). ...
... Marchman and Fernald (2008) found that children who were categorized as having both low productive vocabulary size and slow reaction time in a looking time task at 25 months had poorer working memory and lower IQ at 8 years. Lee (2011) also evaluated productive vocabulary size and found that children in the top tertile of vocabulary in their sample at 24 months had better language and literacy scores at 3-11 years of age. ...
Thesis
The potential effects of prenatal acetaminophen exposure on neurodevelopment have become a topic of interest in recent years with an increasing number of studies finding evidence that it may be related to attention problems and poorer language development. Phthalates have also been linked to deficits in attention and language development, as well as other neurodevelopmental outcomes, although the evidence for these associations has been mixed. Acetaminophen is one of the few medications pregnant women are told they can safely take, and exposure to phthalates is ubiquitous, thus exposure to both is common in pregnant women. Both compounds have been shown to be antiandrogenic and, thus, they may also share a mechanism of action. Together this suggests that acetaminophen and phthalates could have cumulative effects on neurodevelopmental outcomes. The goal of this dissertation was to examine the association of prenatal acetaminophen and phthalate exposure individually and their potential cumulative effects with attention in infancy and early childhood, as well as with language development in early childhood. Chapter 3 describes the Illinois Kids Development Study (IKIDS), an ongoing prospective birth cohort within which this study was conducted. Chapter 4 examines the associations of maternal urinary biomarkers obtained during pregnancy of diethyl phthalate (DEP), di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), and two replacement chemicals for DEHP, diisononyl phthalate (DINP) and di-2-ethylhexyl terephthalate (DEHTP) with measures of infant cognition obtained via infrared eye tracking using a visual recognition memory (VRM) paradigm. Results were mixed but generally indicate that prenatal DEHTP may be related to improved attention while DINP may be related to slower information processing. Chapter 5 evaluates the associations of maternal self-report of acetaminophen use during pregnancy by trimester, in addition to cumulative exposure across pregnancy, with measures of infant cognition in the VRM paradigm, as well as the potential cumulative effects of prenatal phthalate and acetaminophen exposure on infant cognition. There was little evidence that prenatal acetaminophen exposure had a negative impact on infant cognition; however, results indicated that there may be a cumulative negative effect of first trimester acetaminophen exposure and DINP exposure on information processing speed. Chapter 6 assesses the associations of prenatal urinary biomarkers of phthalate exposure and maternal self-report measures of acetaminophen use during pregnancy with parental report of attention-related outcomes on a standardized survey of child behavior at 2 and 3 years. Associations generally indicated that prenatal exposure to DEHP was associated with fewer attention problems at 2 years, and while DEHTP was associated with fewer attention problems at both 2 and 3 years of age, MEP was associated with more attention problems at both 2 and 3 years. Associations with prenatal acetaminophen exposure consistently showed that both second trimester and cumulative exposure across pregnancy were associated with increased attention problems at both 2 and 3 years. Potential cumulative effects of prenatal phthalate and acetaminophen exposure on attention at 2 and 3 years of age were also evaluated, and there was evidence for cumulative effects of exposure to acetaminophen during the second trimester and MEP on attention-related behaviors at 2 years. Chapter 7 evaluates the associations of biomarkers of prenatal phthalate exposure and maternal self-report of acetaminophen use during pregnancy with measures of language development at 2 and 3 years of age. Results showed adverse associations of prenatal phthalate exposure with multiple measures of language development at 2 years, and male children were generally more impacted, but only DEHTP was also associated with poorer language development at 3 years. Acetaminophen exposure was associated with lower vocabulary scores and increased odds of female children having lower scores on measures of language development at 2 years, but both second trimester exposure and cumulative exposure to acetaminophen across pregnancy were consistently associated with multiple poorer language outcomes at 3 years and these associations were not sex specific. Potential cumulative effects of prenatal exposure to phthalates and acetaminophen on language development were also assessed, and there was evidence indicating there may be cumulative effects of acetaminophen exposure during the second trimester with DEHP or DEHTP on measures of language development at 2 years. The results of this study add to the growing body of literature indicating that prenatal exposure to phthalates or acetaminophen may adversely attention and language development and suggest that prenatal exposure to both may have cumulative effects on neurodevelopment that have not been considered previously.
... As children progress through school, demands on their production and comprehension of complex oral and written language increase considerably. Students who have weaker oral language skills when younger tend to struggle to meet such demands and experience academic difficulty (Griffin et al., 2004;Lee, 2010;Paul et al., 2018;Stanovich, 2009). Several studies have documented a strong relationship between early oral language ability and future reading comprehension and writing (e.g., Barton-Hulsey et al., 2017;Catts et al., 2006Catts et al., , 2016Chaney, 1998;Dickinson & Tabors, 2001;Griffin et al., 2004;Language and Reading Research Consortium [LARRC], 2015;LARRC et al., 2019;Lee, 2010). ...
... Students who have weaker oral language skills when younger tend to struggle to meet such demands and experience academic difficulty (Griffin et al., 2004;Lee, 2010;Paul et al., 2018;Stanovich, 2009). Several studies have documented a strong relationship between early oral language ability and future reading comprehension and writing (e.g., Barton-Hulsey et al., 2017;Catts et al., 2006Catts et al., , 2016Chaney, 1998;Dickinson & Tabors, 2001;Griffin et al., 2004;Language and Reading Research Consortium [LARRC], 2015;LARRC et al., 2019;Lee, 2010). For example, in a meta-analysis of four longitudinal studies, Larney (2002) reported that children with a variety of early expressive language problems experienced later academic challenges, including difficulty with reading comprehension. ...
... When students who received Tier 2 intervention were compared to the matched sample of at-risk students, ESs for narrative retell, expository retell, and story generation exceeded the WWC threshold of 0.25. Given what is known about the relationship between adequate early language skills and later academic success, it is likely that without an MTSLS approach, these at-risk students would have continued to perform below academic expectations like the matched students did (Griffin et al., 2004;Lee, 2010;Stanovich, 2009). The current study highlights the potential of an MTSLS model of identifying, preventing, and remediating language deficits in young, at-risk students (Fuchs & Deshler, 2007;Spencer et al., 2015). ...
Article
Purpose The purpose of this randomized controlled trial was to examine the effects of a multitiered system of language support (MTSLS) on kindergarteners' narrative retelling, personal stories, writing, and expository language. Method Participants were 686 kindergarten students from four school districts in the United States. Twenty-eight classrooms were randomly assigned to treatment ( n = 337 students) or control ( n = 349 students) conditions. The treatment group received 14 weeks of oral narrative language instruction using Story Champs, a multitiered language program. Classroom teachers delivered large group (Tier 1) instruction for 15–20 min a day for 4 weeks. After this short-duration whole-class instruction, speech-language pathologists began small group Story Champs (Tier 2) intervention with a random sample of students who did not make adequate progress from the large group instruction ( n = 49). These students received Tier 2 intervention for 20 min twice a week in addition to continued Tier 1 instruction. Results Results indicated that the students in the treatment group had significantly higher scores on all outcome measures compared to the students in the control group. Analyses of outcomes from the 49 students who received Tier 2 intervention compared to a matching sample of at-risk control students revealed that the treatment group had significantly higher scores on narrative retells, personal stories, and expository retells. When compared to matched average-performing and advanced-performing control peers, the students who received Tier 2 intervention had significantly higher narrative retell scores and no longer had significantly lower personal story, expository, or writing scores. Conclusion This effectiveness study demonstrated that MTSLS can lead to meaningful improvements in kindergarteners' oral and written language skills, even helping at-risk students catch up to high-achieving peers.
... lexicon, phonology, morpho-syntax) early receptive lexical skills are associated with beyond the first years of life is especially lacking. In terms of expressive lexicon, continuity between early expressive and later lexical skills is intuitionally expected and often found [18,22,25,26,28,29]. However, as is the case with receptive lexicon, the question of what other language domains early expressive lexical skills are specifically associated with remains unanswered. ...
... Longitudinal studies on the association between early receptive and/or expressive lexical skills and later pre-literacy skills, such as letter identification and phonological awareness, are scarce (see, however, [22]). The size of early expressive lexicon, measured using the long-form version of the CDI, has been associated with pre-literacy skills at the age of five and literacy skills up to the age of 16 [22,29,38,39]. To our knowledge, only one study has used the shortform version of the CDI to investigate the association between early lexical skills and later prereading skills. ...
...  2 = .09; mean(SD) for girls: 31 (20) and boys: 19 (18) boys: 49 (29)]. The effect sizes were small, explaining 9% of the variance in expressive lexical skills at 1;6 years, and 8% and 7% of the variance in receptive language and expressive lexical skills, respectively at 2;0 years, and a statistically significant difference was found. ...
Article
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Background The long-term associations between early receptive/expressive lexical skills and later language/pre-literacy skills require clarification. Aims To study the association between and predictive values of early receptive/expressive lexical skills and language/pre-literacy skills at 5;0 years, and to examine the language profiles at 5;0 years of children with weak receptive language/expressive lexical skills at 2;0 years. Participants and methods The participants were 66 monolingual children. Their lexical skills were measured using the Finnish short-form version of the MacArthur–Bates Communicative Development Inventories at 1;6 and 2;0 years. Receptive language skills were measured at 2;0 years using the Reynell Developmental Language Scales III. A broader assessment at 5;0 years measured lexical, phonological, morphological and pre-literacy skills. Results Significant associations between receptive/expressive lexical skills at 1;6 years and language and pre-literacy skills at 5;0 years were found. Both receptive language and expressive lexical development measured at 2;0 years were greatly and relatively evenly associated with language and pre-literacy skills at 5;0 years. Lexicon/language variables at 1;6 years and 2;0 years had statistically significant predictive values for general language and pre-literacy scores at 5;0 years. The best models that included early lexical predictors explained 20–34% of later language/literacy outcome. Weak skills at 2;0 years proposed vulnerability in language and pre-literacy skills at 5;0 years. Conclusions Language and pre-literacy skills at 5;0 years can to some extent be explained by early receptive language and/or expressive lexical development. Further assessment and/or follow-up is important for children who have had weak language/lexical skills at 2;0 years.
... It is frequently reported that language skills at an early age influence later reading skills (e.g. Bleses et al. 2016;Hjetland et al. 2017;Hjetland et al. 2019;Lee 2011;Muter et al. 2004). Weak reading skills are often posited as a later manifestation of previously weak language development (Nation 2005;Snowling et al. 2011). ...
... In addition, they found that earlier research often is limited to one or a few aspects of language development (such as vocabulary or language comprehension) and how these particular aspects influence later reading skills. It is well known that language production skills (vocabulary skills) are predictive of later reading skills (Lee 2011;Muter et al. 2004), and language comprehension at an early age is found to predict vocabulary growth (Fernald, Perfors, and Marchman 2006). Language comprehension represents the semantic aspect of language and develops prior to other language skills such as word production and linguistic awareness (Goswami 2008). ...
... The relations between reading and early language skills found in the present study are consistent with findings in earlier studies (Bleses et al. 2016;Hjetland et al. 2017;Lee 2011;Muter et al. 2004). However, most of these studies do not include children as young as toddlers, and none of them had a retrospective design, as in the current study. ...
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This retrospective study, undertaken in Norway, examines howreading skills level in 851 fifth graders are related to how the children used their language skills in play and everyday activitiesas toddlers. Data were collected with the Norwegian NationalReading Test and through structured observations by staff in Early Childhood Education institutions using the TRAS (EarlyRegistration of Language Skills) instrument. Children with low reading skills had lower language skills than the group with high reading skills for both TRAS total and the different TRAS sections; effect sizes varied from small to moderate. The group with moderate reading skills had better results for TRAS total than the group with low reading skills but weaker results than the group with high reading skills. In the TRAS sections, whether the moderate skills group differed from the other groups varied. The results imply the need for early intervention to start at toddler age.
... knowledge guarantees successful and appropriate communication (12). On the other hand, the early lexicon has a predictive value for later language and literacy skills (13)(14)(15), and vocabulary development difficulties are one of the primary indicators of language impairment (14). The complex construct of lexical knowledge has been studied regarding the distinction between receptive versus expressive vocabulary and breadth versus depth of vocabulary (16,17). ...
... knowledge guarantees successful and appropriate communication (12). On the other hand, the early lexicon has a predictive value for later language and literacy skills (13)(14)(15), and vocabulary development difficulties are one of the primary indicators of language impairment (14). The complex construct of lexical knowledge has been studied regarding the distinction between receptive versus expressive vocabulary and breadth versus depth of vocabulary (16,17). ...
Article
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Context: One aspect of spoken language skills is vocabulary, which provides a basis for acquiring other language aspects. Assessing a child's vocabulary knowledge aids in identifying the child's language strengths and weaknesses and predicts reading ability and academic success. Speech-language pathologists frequently employ various procedures in clinical and research settings to assess the children's language skills and help make decisions about diagnosis, eligibility for services, and intervention. Objectives: This systematic review investigated currently available vocabulary tests developed or adapted for Iranian Persian-speaking children. Data Sources: Based on the PRISMA guideline, electronic searches of three national (SID, Irandoc, and Magiran) and four international (ScienceDirect, ProQuest, PubMed, and Google scholar) databases were carried out from 2000 to 2022 to identify Persian vocabulary assessment tools. Study Selection: Search in the reference lists of papers, unpublished theses, and content of related journals also supplemented the database searches. Data Extraction: The psychometric properties of these tests were reviewed based on specific criteria used in the literature. The papers and test manuals were examined according to these criteria. Results: Eight tools have been developed or adapted for assessing vocabulary knowledge in Iranian Persian-speaking children. Reviewing the content and psychometric properties of the included tools indicated that the Test of Language Development-Primary:3 (TOLD-P:3) is the only accessible published tool with the most reported psychometric evidence. It measures language development in children; however, it is a multi-modal test that includes vocabulary subtests. Conclusions: This review revealed that most of the reviewed tools were in the primitive stages of test development or adaptation procedures and did not examine many psychometric properties. As a result, vocabulary is a field that requires more attention because there is no accessible, standardized tool with adequate psychometric properties.
... Vocabulary size is a critical marker for language development. Moreover, it has been shown to predict future language development and literacy competence both in spoken languages (Lee, 2011;Hammer, Morgan, Farkas, Hillemeier, Bitelli & Maczuga, 2017;Rowe, Raudenbush & Goldin-Meadow, 2012) and signed languages (Strong & Prinz, 1997;Caselli & Pyers, 2017;Thompson, Vinson, Woll & Vigliocco, 2012). These findings suggest a relationship between a poor vocabulary size in young children and later difficulties in other language areas (e.g., syntax). ...
... As mentioned in Chapter 1, vocabulary growth is one of the characteristics of language development during the first years of life. Moreover, the rate of vocabulary growth is a critical marker of future language development (Lee, 2011;Rowe et al., 2012). ...
Thesis
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Vocabulary size is a critical marker for language development. It serves as a predictor for future language development in spoken and/or sign languages. Given the relative lack of assessment instruments for sign language development in deaf children living in The Neherlands, we propose a lemma list for a future Communicative Development Inventory (CDI; Fenson et al., 1994) for Sign Language of the Netherlands (NGT): the NGT-CDI. When compiling this list of NGT lemmas, we compared the lemma lists of six sign languages (i.e., ASL-CDI, Anderson & Reilly, 2002; SLN-CDI, Hoiting, 2009; BSL-CDI, Woolfe et al., 2010; LSE-CDI, Rodriguez-Ortiz et al., 2019; ISL-CDI, Novogrodzky & Meir, 2020; DGS-CDI, Hennies et al., unpublished manuscript) and two spoken languages (MB-CDI, Fenson et al., 1994; N-CDI, Zink & Lejaegere, 2002). After a selection procedure, a proto list was compiled. A pilot study was conducted to test whether the proto list was suitable for our intended target groups: young deaf children of deaf parents (DCDP) and deaf children of hearing parents (DCHP) between 8-36 months old. It is expected that DCHP, who are born in a hearing environment, will receive atypical sign language input because NGT is not the native language of their parents. In the pilot study, two DCDP and one DCHP were involved. In general, we can conclude that the results show that the NGT lemma list is suitable for both target groups. This outcome is promising for the development of a future NGT-CDI that can be widely used. Keywords: Sign language; early vocabulary development; assessment; deaf; CDI
... The association between oral language and reading, however, has been reviewed numerous times and spans well beyond kindergarten measures (e.g., Dionne et al., 2013;Liu et al., 2010). For instance, children's early vocabulary (from 1.5 to 3 years of age) was found to be significantly correlated with reading outcomes at ages 7, 9, and 10 (rs = .23-.29; Harlaar et al., 2008;Lee, 2011), and even at ages 12 and 16 (rs =.25-.41; Suggate et al., 2018). ...
... The fact that the present study documents this continuity over two distinct variables, language and writing, is compelling. It is also consistent with previous studies that have shown associations between oral language and reading (e.g., Dionne et al., 2013;Harlaar et al., 2008;Lee, 2011;Suggate et al., 2018), as well as between oral language and writing, although over much shorter time spans for the latter (e.g., Kent et al., 2014;Kim et al., 2011Kim et al., , 2013Kovas et al., 2007;Olson et al., 2013). One novel contribution of the present study is thus to show that the association between oral language and writing spans over a much longer period of time than previously documented. ...
Article
Given the importance of writing for academic achievement, this study aimed to understand how early oral language contributes to later writing skills. The first objective was to determine if preschool language skills were associated with high school writing, and if so, whether they contributed directly or indirectly through school age language. The second aim was to explore the extent to which genetic and environmental factors explained these potential associations. The sample was drawn from the Quebec Newborn Twin Study, a longitudinal follow-up of twins born in the greater Montreal area, Quebec, Canada. Language skills were assessed when children were 1.5, 2.5, 6, 7, 10, and 12 years old. Writing skills were measured at 15 years old. Participants who completed the writing task in French were included in the study (n = 316 twin pairs: 46% males). Mothers of these participants self-identified mostly as White. About 74% of them had a postsecondary diploma or certificate, and 27% further had a university degree. Most families had an income higher than 30,000 CND. Results indicate that preschool language was modestly associated with high school writing (r = .25) and that school age language fully mediated this association. Genes explained 53% of the association between preschool language and school age language and 64% of the association between school age language and high school writing. These results highlight the developmental continuity from oral to written language from preschool to high school and show that genetic factors largely account for this continuity. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Our research explained in plain language: https://link.growkudos.com/1gwza04mmm8
... Evidence for the predictive value of vocabulary knowledge comes from larger studies using parent report and smaller studies using directly assessed vocabulary. Parent-reported vocabulary between 16 and 30 months of age predicts language, reading, and math achievement between 3 and 12 years of age (Bleses et al., 2016;Duff et al., 2015;Lee, 2011;Morgan et al., 2015). Late-talker status (below the 10th percentile in expressive vocabulary) at age two predicts language outcomes at age four beyond other risk factors (Reilly et al., 2010). ...
... These results are consistent with prior work showing that vocabulary predicts a range of downstream language abilities. Indeed, the quantity and quality of word representations are associated with more complex language (Friend et al., 2019;Lee, 2011;Reilly et al., 2010), kindergarten readiness reading accuracy and comprehension (Duff et al., 2015;Perfetti & Hart, 2002), and academic and mathematics achievement (Bleses et al., 2016;Morgan et al., 2015). Moreover, early decontextualized vocabulary comprehension (as measured with the CCT) has been shown to be a more robust predictor of downstream outcomes than other measures of vocabulary or processing efficiency Friend et al., 2019;Smolak et al., 2021). ...
Article
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Toddler vocabulary knowledge and speed of word processing are associated with downstream language and cognition. Here, we investigate whether these associations differ across measures. At age two, 101 participants (55 monolingual French-speaking and 46 monolingual English-speaking children) completed a two-alternative forced choice task, yielding measures of decontextualized vocabulary (number of correct responses) and haptic speed of word processing (latency of correct responses). At ages three, four, and five children completed a battery of language assessments and an executive function task. Growth curve models revealed that age-two vocabulary significantly predicted age-three performance (but not growth from age three to four or four to five) across all language assessments but speed of processing did not predict language outcomes in final models. Finally, speed of processing was correlated with executive function at age three whereas vocabulary was not. Results suggest that vocabulary is associated with a range of downstream language abilities whereas haptic speed of processing may be associated with executive control.
... Moreover, this substantial variation in vocabulary development has been associated with differences in quantity and quality of language experience Hart & Risley, 1995). Consequently, evidence for the predictiveness of early vocabulary (Fenson et al., 2007;Lee, 2011) has stimulated much research focused on relevant experiences and word learning processes operative at home and in early educational interventions (Marulis & Neuman, 2010). ...
... More extended longitudinal studies are needed. Moreover, the few studies that do report prediction of later academic outcomes are based on correlations across the full range; for example, vocabulary at 24 months predicted vocabulary scores in Grades 1, 3, and 5 (r = .25-.27; Lee, 2011). Bleses et al. (2016) examined the prediction from socioeconomic status (SES; parental education and occupation) and early expressive vocabulary to Danish National Test scores for language, reading, and mathematics at the age of 12 years. ...
Article
Prediction from early development to later achievement has the potential to improve clinical and educational service delivery as well as to inform developmental theory. In this longitudinal study, we asked how well can educational achievement measured in the final year (Grade 9, age 15) of compulsory education—both overall and for outcomes in the lowest 20%—be predicted from information available in the first 3 years of life, particularly early expressive vocabulary? Measures for 2,767 children (1,345 males, 1,422 females) aged 16 to 30 months on early expressive vocabulary, along with family socioeconomic status (parental education, occupation, and household income), other demographic information (gender, birth order, parental age, social benefits, etc.), timing and nature of early child care, and early home literacy experience, were used to predict performance on Danish Upper Secondary School Leaving Exam (USSLE) in Danish, English, Math, and Science. A cross-validated combination of Lasso (Least absolute shrinkage and selection operator) and ordinary least squares regression was the primary analysis for continuous outcomes and cross-validated Lasso and logistic regression for categorical outcomes. With respect to continuous outcome measures, the patterns of prediction varied with specific domain; R ² ranged from 9.4% to 21.4%. With respect to low USSLE performance, area under the curve statistics ranged from 64.1% to 72.2%. In all domains, early childhood expressive vocabulary made a significant unique contribution to the outcome when measured over the full range. The prediction was also significant for vocabulary to low Danish and English scores although not for Math and Science. Although the predictions were not strong enough for clinical diagnosis on their own, they demonstrate that low early vocabulary is an important and measurable risk condition that can direct early intervention and thus contribute to later educational attainment.
... Research indicates that children vary widely in their rate of vocabulary growth (37), and that various aspects of early vocabulary growth have long-term implications for subsequent language development and success in important domains (e.g., classrooms). For example, infants' gesture use at age 14 months predicts vocabulary size at 42 months (38), and early vocabulary size predicts outcomes, such as expressive vocabulary at ages 4 and 5 years (39) and language and literacy achievement up to fifth grade (40). Recent research indicates the importance of assessing the developmental trajectory of vocabulary growth. ...
Article
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The National Children's Study Cognitive Health Domain Team developed detailed plans for assessing cognition longitudinally from infancy to early adulthood. These plans identify high-priority aspects of cognition that can be measured efficiently and effectively, and we believe they can serve as a model for future large-scale longitudinal research. For infancy and toddlerhood, we proposed several paradigms that collectively allowed us to assess six broad cognitive constructs: (1) executive function skills, (2) episodic memory, (3) language, (4) processing speed, (5) spatial and numerical processing, and (6) social cognition. In some cases, different trial sequences within a paradigm allow for the simultaneous assessment of multiple cognitive skills (e.g., executive function skills and processing speed). We define each construct, summarize its significance for understanding developmental outcomes, discuss the feasibility of its assessment throughout development, and present our plan for measuring specific skills at different ages. Given the need for well-validated, direct behavioral measures of cognition that can be used in large-scale longitudinal studies, especially from birth to age 3 years, we also initiated three projects focused on the development of new measures.
... Different aspects of language skills (an often-used measure is vocabulary size) have predictive value for a wide range of outcomes, such as literacy (e.g. Duff et al., 2015;Lee, 2011) and mathematical ability (e.g. Moll, Snowling, Göbel, & Hulme, 2015). ...
Thesis
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The main goals of this dissertation are to investigate the associations between language and executive functions, including selective auditory attention, in Swedish children aged 4–6, to examine possible links to factors relating to the child and his/her social environment, and to evaluate preschool interventions with regard to potential improvements in language and/or executive functions. Measures were obtained by combining results from behavioral tests, language samples in the form of narratives, parent and teacher ratings and a measure of selective auditory attention as brain activity. Additionally, previous work regarding the nature and direction of the association between language and executive functions is reviewed and discussed. Progress during preschool years in language and executive functioning development seem to go hand in hand, and a body of work has indicated that language and executive functions are closely associated, although directions of potential casual relationships are still unclear. For Swedish, preschool-aged children, little is known of the language–executive functions relationship and the extent to which these skills can be improved via pedagogical working methods or interventions. The first paper investigates the language–executive functions relationship and potential associations to background factors, and the second paper examines the same research questions in larger sample, adding a selective auditory attention measure. The third paper constitutes one of the first randomized controlled trials in the Swedish preschool context and investigates effects of two contrasting pedagogical interventions compared to business-as-usual. The fourth paper explores links between children’s spontaneous explanations of a fictional misunderstanding, their language skills and their executive functions. In line with previous work from other contexts, results confirm an association between children’s grammar skills and inhibition, including selective auditory attention. Children’s socioeconomic background is significantly related to language skills, executive functions and selective attention. The current results also suggest a female advantage for receptive vocabulary and morphosyntax and indicate that bi- and multilingual children perform lower than monolingual peers with regard to receptive vocabulary in the majority language, also when controlling for socioeconomic status. The preschool interventions did not lead to any gains in language, executive functions or selective attention compared to the control group. Further work is clearly needed to provide a solid evidence-base for Swedish preschool practices. Future studies should focus on identifying relevant mechanisms in order to enable early intervention targeting children at risk for lagging behind their peers already in preschool. Previous empirical work as well as theoretical suggestions regarding the nature and direction of the links between language and executive functions are divergent, which is related to a lack of consensus with regard to underlying theories and to problems with definitions and assessment. In this thesis, it is suggested that the association is intertwined and reciprocal, congruent with a view on development as dynamic and complex and in line with a theory of mutualism. Future work is needed to refine theories and to formulate testable hypotheses regarding the language–executive functions relationship.
... First, there is vocabulary size, which is a robust predictor of language ability (Lee, 2011) and is intrinsically linked to the quality of representations. Verhoeven and Perfetti (2011) note that vocabulary growth can be seen as the combination of quantity and quality of word representations. ...
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This study considers one of the cognitive mechanisms underlying the development of second language (L2) vocabulary in children: The differentiation and sharpening of lexical representations. We propose that sharpening is triggered by an implicit comparison of similar representations, a process we call contrasting. We investigate whether integrating contrasting in a learning method in which children contrast orthographically and semantically similar L2 words facilitates learning of those words by sharpening their new lexical representations. In our study, 48 Dutch-speaking children learned unfamiliar orthographically and semantically similar English words in a multiple-choice learning task. One half of the group learned the similar words by contrasting them, while the other half did not contrast them. Their word knowledge was measured immediately after learning as well as 1 week later. Contrasting was found to facilitate learning by leading to more precise lexical representations. However, only highly skilled readers benefitted from contrasting. Our findings offer novel insights into the development of L2 lexical representations from fuzzy to more precise, and have potential implications for education.
... Numerous studies have been completed to document its concurrent and predictive validity and address the important theoretical issues (Feldman et al. 2005). The inventories were used in studies to estimate the relations of genetic compared with environmental aspects of language development, define the prevalence and predictors of language delays, and determine relationships between variables such as socioeconomic status SN Soc Sci (2021) (SES) and development disabilities (Can et al. 2013;Charman et al. 2003;Feldman et al. 2005;Lee 2011;Pan et al. 2004;Rose et al. 2009;Thal et al. 2007). The CDI has been adapted to be suitable for use in more than 100 languages and countries, including Portugal (Viana et al. 2017). ...
Article
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Communication is one of the most important competencies that children need to develop during early childhood. Delays in communication may lead to a negative impact on children’s life. Early identification of very young children at risk of delays can be the first step for early intervention services, and may prevent future disabilities. An effective evaluation with adequate measures taken can be crucial in the identification of very young children who are at risk of communication delays. However, appropriate measures to assess young children’s early communication skills are lacking in many countries and contexts. The purpose of this review is to analyze some measures to assess infants’ and toddlers’ communication, already developed and tested in countries where the research in this area has been further explored. A literature review was conducted. Four measures were identified and described. Researchers and professionals can use this research to understand these instruments and carefully consider one or two of them for study in their population and contexts. During this review, it is exemplified how a country with a lack of valid and standardized communication measures can make such selection. https://rdcu.be/cjHhT
... Vocabulary knowledge in both first and second languages is critical for later English reading comprehension. Research has documented that not only English vocabulary size but also vocabulary knowledge in the first language have been identified as important factors in later reading achievement (Grimm et al., 2018;Lee, 2011;Mesa & Yeomans-Maldonado, 2019). For example, a longitudinal study by Kieffer (2012) reported that Spanish as well as English language proficiency in kindergarten predicted later reading achievement in third through eighth grade, and English vocabulary knowledge was a stronger predictor than any other skills. ...
Article
Vocabulary plays a critical role in later reading achievement of emergent bilingual children (EBC) who are learning two languages. Given emerging vocabulary intervention research for EBC, we synthesize studies on vocabulary interventions designed for preschool and kindergarten EBC to provide the cumulative knowledge on the following dimensions: (a) EBC’s characteristics, (b) features of selected target words and books, (c) critical components of vocabulary interventions, and (d) the overall effectiveness of the interventions as reflected by the percentage of studies reporting a significant increase on proximal measures of EBC’s target words. Through a systematic search, we identified 19 articles using experimental or quasi-experimental designs. Overall, EBC increased their knowledge of words taught through vocabulary instruction, and the use of bilingual or family heritage instructional language increased EBC’s vocabulary knowledge in both languages.
... The size of children's early vocabulary is predictive of their later comprehension skills (e.g., Lee, 2011). Young children's vocabulary is primarily developed incidentally through supportive contexts such as oral communication and shared reading (e.g., Elley, 1989;Oetting, Rice, & Swank, 1995;Weizman & Snow, 2001). ...
Thesis
The vocabulary knowledge of early elementary children is of particular importance because it is predictive of later comprehension skills and academic achievement. Supporting children’s development of skill in using word-learning strategies to ascertain word meanings from context may be a significant way to build their vocabulary knowledge given that most vocabulary is learned incidentally from oral and written contexts. Such support may also help children meet reading and language standards that require them to determine the meanings of unfamiliar words from grade-level texts. However, there is minimal research on how to support young children’s development of this skill. Therefore, there is a need for research on effective instruction in developing this skill and for research on the development of assessments that allow us to better understand the development of this skill. This dissertation consists of two studies written as separate manuscripts. Both manuscripts are focused on young children’s skill in ascertaining unfamiliar word meanings from context as a means to support vocabulary knowledge and reading skills. The first manuscript reports on the development and psychometric testing of the Noticing Unfamiliar Words Assessment (NUWA), an assessment of young children’s skill in noticing unfamiliar words within informational context. This assessment was created to measure noticing unfamiliar words as an underlying skill involved in the process of ascertaining the meaning of unfamiliar words from context. At this time, it is unclear whether skill in noticing unfamiliar words is important to young children’s vocabulary development. Therefore, an assessment that measures this skill in young learners is needed to better understand whether and how noticing unfamiliar words is related to children’s vocabulary development and comprehension skills. The assessment underwent expert review, other processes to establish validity, and revisions prior to being administered to 55 second-grade students. After eliminating poorly functioning items, an exploratory factor analysis was conducted. Results indicated that a 15-item version of the assessment had an adequate fit. The mean inter-item correlation of .31 and the Cronbach’s alpha reliability of .84 suggest that the assessment has adequate internal consistency reliability. The second manuscript reports on the efficacy of a 15-lesson vocabulary intervention designed to develop second graders’ flexibility and independence in using multiple word-learning strategies. Specifically, the lessons teach second graders to notice unfamiliar words and contextual analysis by using four types of context clues (antonym, definition, picture, and synonym clues) to ascertain the meanings of unfamiliar words within informational texts. The study used a randomized controlled trial design to examine the effects of the intervention. The 78 second-grade students who attended schools within high-poverty communities were randomly assigned to receive the vocabulary intervention or to continue to receive business-as-usual instruction. Results indicate that the intervention had positive effects on developing children’s skill in noticing unfamiliar words. However, there was no difference found between the intervention and control group’s performance on a measurement of children’s skill in ascertaining the meaning of unfamiliar words from context. This dissertation contributes to early vocabulary research in that the NUWA may be beneficial to researchers as it provides a tool to further investigate the role of skill in noticing unfamiliar words in children’s vocabulary development. Additionally, educators may find the NUWA and the intervention beneficial for implementing vocabulary instruction that builds children’s capacity in using word-learning strategies during listening and reading activities.
... Such variation is especially true of expressive vocabulary size already at 1 year of age Fenson et al., 2007), and the range appears to increase between ages 1 and 2 years as the vocabulary grows (Stolt et al., 2008). Investigating the factors that influence variation in early language is important, as there is evidence that a small vocabulary size at 2 years of age is often related to later language impairments or persistent language delay and can predict language and literacy ability up into school age (Armstrong et al., 2017;Lee, 2011;Rescorla and Dale, 2013;Torppa et al., 2010). Moreover, there are indications that vocabulary size at age 18 months is associated not only with vocabulary size 2 years later, but with development in all language domains (Vehkavuori and Stolt, 2019). ...
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We examined the vocabulary growth of lexical categories in 719 children (age 13–24 months) as part of a longitudinal cohort study (the STEPS Study) and found a discrepancy in how these categories were affected depending on the child’s sex. In girls, attending day care at 24 months of age predicted a positive vocabulary growth in the lexical categories sound effects, nouns, people, and games and routines, compared to girls staying at home. Firstborn girls had a greater vocabulary growth in descriptive and function words, in contrast to those born later. A boy attending day care at age 24 months was likely to have greater growth in sound effects and animal sounds, compared to boys not in day care. A family history of late onset of speech predicted less vocabulary growth in all lexical categories in boys, except for sound effects and animal sounds. Early vocabulary is of importance for later language and literacy development. Vocabulary is not an impenetrable entirety but consists of various types of words (lexical categories) developing at different tempos as they contribute to the developing language. Factors influencing early vocabulary development in boys and girls have been painstakingly studied, but fewer have examined these factors across lexical categories, let alone whether they have an equal effect in both sexes. More knowledge of what affects the variation in early vocabulary in boys and girls is needed for clinical practice and preventive purposes. Vocabulary was measured with the Finnish version of the MacArthur Communicative Development Inventory. The effect of child and family factors on vocabulary growth in various lexical categories was analyzed separately for boys and girls using structural equational modelling. The results of the present study indicate that vocabulary development in the lexical categories is affected differently by child and parental factors in girls and boys as early as the second year of life, which gives new insights into the factors that need consideration in clinical practice and preventive work.
... Given that the pathway between gestures and vocabulary is well-established, we investigated whether one of children's earliest communicative tools predicts their later communicative skills and whether vocabulary underlies this potential long-term relation. Children's language abilities impact a variety of school readiness domains (Lee, 2011;Prior, Bavin, & Ong, 2011), and general communicative skills are important not only for children's academic development but also for their social and emotional development (e.g., Hebert-Myers, Guttentag, Swank, Smith, & Landry, 2006;McCabe & Meller, 2004). As such, clarifying the developmental precursors of general communicative skills can shed light on the processes that can promote positive outcomes as children prepare for kindergarten entry. ...
Article
Using data from the All Our Families study, a longitudinal study of 1992 mother‐child dyads in Canada (47.7% female; 81.9% White), we examined the developmental pathways between infant gestures and symbolic actions and communicative skills at age 5. Communicative gestures at age 12 months (e.g., pointing, nodding head “yes”), obtained via parental report, predicted stronger general communicative skills at age 5 years. Moreover, greater use of symbolic actions (e.g., “feeding” a stuffed animal with a bottle) indirectly predicted increased communicative skills at age 5 via increased productive vocabulary at 24 months. These pathways support the hypothesis that children’s communicative skills during the transition to kindergarten emerge from a chain of developmental abilities starting with gestures and symbolic actions during infancy.
... Furthermore, studies have consistently demonstrated that children's vocabulary in their second year of life, as assessed by CDIs, is predictive of later language skills (Duff, Reen, et al., 2015;Henrichs et al., 2011;Kemp et al., 2017;Lee, 2011;Marchman & Fernald, 2008;Reilly et al., 2010), reading achievement Harlaar et al., 2008;Morgan et al., 2015), kindergarten readiness (Duff, Reen, et al., 2015;Forget-Dubois et al., 2009;Friend et al., 2018;Morgan et al., 2015), social-emotional functioning (Irwin et al., 2002), cognition (Marchman & Fernald, 2008), mathematics achievement Morgan et al., 2015), as well as behavioural functioning (Morgan et al., 2015). ...
Thesis
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In light of the proliferation of tablets (and apps) in young children’s lives, the overarching theme of this thesis is to examine ways in which the unique affordances of such devices can contribute to young children’s early language development. More specifically, this thesis takes a detailed look at young children’s word learning from tablets and the potential use of tablets as a means to assess early word knowledge. From the word learning viewpoint, the first three studies, including a pilot study, examined 2- to 3-year-olds’ word learning from a tablet app through two learning modes: active selection versus passive reception. Results from Study 1A suggest a passive advantage in terms of recognition accuracy among 30- and 40-month-olds but no such advantage was found among 24-month-olds. That is, giving children active control over their learning experiences did not appear to benefit children across the three age groups, but passive watching led to better performance among older children. While Study 1B replicated these results with a new group of 30-month-olds from a different cultural and linguistic background, no differences were found across both active and passive conditions using a more implicit looking time measure, suggesting that children learnt equally across both conditions, but there may be performance costs associated with active selection in tasks designed as in these studies. From the word knowledge assessment viewpoint, Study 2 explored the viability of tablets in assessing early word comprehension among 1-year-olds by means of a two-alternative forced choice word recognition task. Preliminary results indicated that children as young as 18 months can engage meaningfully with a tablet-based assessment, with minimal verbal instruction and child–administrator interaction. The encouraging results further suggest that such assessments have scope for deriving a direct measure of early word comprehension that can supplement parent reports, such as the MacArthur–Bates Communicative Development Inventories (CDI), thereby addressing concerns relating to the exclusive use of parent reports and allowing a more complete picture of children’s early language development. In order to facilitate the assessment of early word knowledge, Study 3 sought to develop a language-general approach that produces adaptive short-form versions of CDIs with test items that are maximally informative and derives estimates of full CDI scores based on prior CDI data from language-, sex-, and age-matched children. Results from real-data simulations revealed that the approach was able to efficiently estimate full CDI scores with tests featuring fewer than 25 items—regardless of language, sex, and age—achieving correlations above .95 with full CDI administrations, with high levels of reliability. Through the combination of web technology and tablets, this thesis also showcases the potential and value of web- and tablet-based methods for collecting data in early developmental research. To make web methods more accessible to researchers, this thesis additionally contributes a new authoring tool, e-Babylab, that allows users to create, host, run, and manage browser-based experiments—without the need for prior technical knowledge. Implications of the results and research limitations, along with possible avenues for future research are discussed.
... A large body of research highlights the bidirectional relationship between vocabulary knowledge and reading (e.g., Braze et al., 2007;Lee, 2011;Tannenbaum et al., 2006). In adulthood, most new words are encountered in written texts (Cunningham & Stanovich, 1998;Stanovich et al., 1995), making receptive vocabulary knowledge a useful proxy for literacy experience (not only oral language competence). ...
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'Book language' offers a richer linguistic experience than conversational speech in terms of its syntactic properties. Here, we investigated the role of long-term syntactic experience on syntactic knowledge and processing. In a pre-registered study with 161 adult native Dutch speakers with varying levels of literacy, we assessed the contribution of individual differences in written language experience to offline and online syntactic processes. Offline syntactic knowledge was assessed as accuracy in an auditory grammaticality judgment task in which we tested violations of four Dutch grammatical norms. Online syntactic processing was indexed by syntactic priming of the Dutch dative alternation, using a comprehension-to-production priming paradigm with auditory presentation. Controlling for the contribution of non-verbal IQ, verbal working memory, and processing speed, we observed a robust effect of literacy experience on the detection of grammatical norm violations in spoken sentences, suggesting that exposure to the syntactic complexity and diversity of written language has specific benefits for general (modality-independent) syntactic knowledge. We replicated previous results by finding robust comprehension-to-production structural priming, both with and without lexical overlap between prime and target. Although literacy experience affected the usage of syntactic alternates in our large sample, it did not modulate their priming. We conclude that amount of experience with written language increases explicit awareness of grammatical norm violations and changes the usage of (PO vs. DO) dative spoken sentences but has no detectable effect on their implicit syntactic priming in proficient language users. These findings constrain theories about the effect of long-term experience on syntactic processing.
... The role of caregivers in accurate reporting of early communication skills is well-documented (Law & Roy, 2008;Miller et al., 2017;Sachse & von Suchodoletz, 2008). Caregivers' reporting of early vocabulary has been shown to predict early language outcomes and later literacy development (Lee, 2011;Snowling, 2004). Early identification of infant and toddler communication skills can support access to early intervention and has the potential to limit later difficulties (Larson, 2016;Paul & Roth, 2011). ...
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Purpose: The Australian English Communicative Development Inventory (OZI) is a 558-item parent report tool for assessing language development at 12–30 months. Here, we introduce the short form (OZI-SF), a 100-item, picture-supported, online instrument with substantially lower time and literacy demands. Method: In tool development (Study 1), 95 items were drawn from the OZI to match its item distribution by age of acquisition and semantic categories. Five items were added from four other semantic categories, plus 12 gestures and six games/routines. Simulations computed OZI-SF scores from existing long-form OZI norm data, and OZI and projected OZI-SF scores were correlated. In an independent norming sample (Study 2), parents (n = 230) completed the OZI-SF for their children aged 12–30 months. Child scores were analysed by age and sex. Result: OZI-SF and OZI scores correlate highly across age and language development levels. Vocabulary scores (receptive, expressive) correlate with age and the median for girls is higher until 24 months. By 24 months, 50% of the sample combine words “often”. The median time to OZI-SF completion was 12 minutes. Conclusion: Fitted percentiles permit working guidelines for typical (median) performance and lower cut-offs for children who may be behind on age-based expectations and/or at risk for a communication difficulty. The OZI-SF is a short-form of the OZI that has promise for research and clinical/educational use with Australian families.
... This is, in fact, the strongest point of the study as all parents marked the full score, resulting in the average of 4.00 or the full point, and reflecting words were appropriately chosen for the age group. Attesting the importance of English vocabulary to children, most parents urged for expansion of vocabulary size for their children as it is essential for literacy development (Lee 2011). ...
Article
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Background: Storytelling, a common family activity for preschool children to develop their literacy, can be used to promote learning of a language other than the mother-tongue, hence a starting point of home education for early childhood. Aim: The study aims to integrate storytelling as a family activity that helps to promote learning of English vocabulary for preschoolers. Setting: Young children aged 3–5 years and their parents living in a small neighbourhood of Muang District, province of Suratthani, in the south of Thailand attended the study during the restriction imposed to curb the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic under the ‘Stay at Home’ measures (March–April 2020). Both parents and children were given information about the study before they decided whether or not to participate in the project by parents’ informed consent for their child to be involved. Methods: The data were collected in four stages: pretest, storytelling, post-test and interview. The storytelling material included five stories, particularly composed for the study. These stories were written in Thai (average 423 words), each with three English words inserted, making up 15 English words as the test items. Analyses were conducted on the pre- and post-test scores, observation of children’s learning performance and parents’ reflection. Results: The preschoolers showed vocabulary development from listening to the in-house stories. On average, children obtained 12.2 scores out of 15 words in the post-test versus 8 scores in the pretest. The family’s satisfaction level was high, that is, 3.5 from 4 on children’s learning behaviour and English word development and 3.77 on stories appreciation. The preschoolers requested to hear a story as many as three times in order to be confident. The high frequency of hearing tended to predict individual’s development. Conclusion: Storytelling promoted English vocabulary learning and it could be done at home, provided that parents are equipped with appropriate material. In a story, preschoolers should be introduced to mono-syllabic concrete words and only up to three words at a time. Repetition of at least three times is necessary.
... Studies conducted among school-aged children suggest that vocabulary skills are a significant predictor of reading and academic achievement in monolingual children (Lee, 2011). It was also found that bilingual children's vocabulary in each of their languages is smaller than the vocabulary of monolingual children (De Houwer, 2007;Oller et al., 2007). ...
Article
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Early numeracy and literacy skills are all the knowledge that children acquire spontaneously and independently before entering school and beginning formal learning. This knowledge is essential and forms the basis for the acquisition of reading and arithmetic in school. A bilingual child is a child who is fluent in two languages, as opposed to a monolingual child who is exposed to only one language. Bilingualism has been found to affect verbal and mathematical abilities in children, but only a few studies have focused on the early numeracy and literacy skills of preschoolers. This study examined the connection between early numeracy and literacy skills and among monolingual children as compared to bilingual children in preschool. Three hundred and two children aged 5–6years old were recruited from 74 kindergartens. Participants were divided into two groups: 151 monolingual children who spoke and were exposed to only one language (Hebrew) and 151 bilingual children who spoke and were exposed to two languages (the bilingual children spoke different languages). Monolingual children performed better than the bilingual children in most of the literacy tasks, except for phonological awareness, in which no differences were found between the groups. In addition, in the early numeracy tasks, a difference was found only in the task, which included linguistic knowledge, number knowledge, and counting tasks, in which the monolingual children performed better. Furthermore, stronger correlations were found between the early numeracy and literacy skills among the monolingual group compared to the bilingual group. The study findings stress the importance of strengthening linguistic abilities, such as vocabulary expansion in kindergarten among populations in which more than one language is spoken. Supporting these abilities can reduce the gap between bilingual children and their monolingual classmates before entering school.
... In terms of the large variability, the average number of words produced in individual children by 2 years of age ranges from less than 300 words to more than 500 words (Stoel-Gammon, 2011). Despite the large variability, a child´s vocabulary size is a strong predictor of future language ability (Lee, 2011). Therefore, monitoring the number of words that children with HL acquire over time can be useful as they are a group identified as being at-risk for spoken language difficulties (Ching, 2015;Moeller & Tomblin, 2015). ...
Article
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In this study, the early expressive vocabulary development was investigated in a group of children with moderate hearing loss (HL). Size and development of expressive vocabulary from 18 30 months were analyzed and compared to a group of children with normal hearing (NH). For the children with HL, the impact of auditory variables on number of words were examined. The relationship of early consonant production to number of words produced of both groups were examined and the phonological complexity of reported words was compared between the groups. The results showed that children with HL (n = 8) produced a similar number of words as the NH (n = 8) at 18 months, but fewer at 24 and 30 months. Hours of HA use showed significant correlations to number of words. The number of different true consonants at 18 months for the whole group showed a significant relationship to number of words produced at 24 months. No significant differences were found between children with HL and NH children regarding phonological complexity of reported words. The findings indicate that the children born with moderate HL who were fitted with hearing aids (HAs) before 6 months of age are at risk in their development of expressive vocabulary. Full-time use of HAs and monitoring of early consonant use should be encouraged in the early intervention of this target group.
... Vocabulary also has an influence on the development of other cognitive skills such as general language skills in children, and reading abilities and reading comprehension in both children and adults (Braze, Tabor, Shankweiler, & Mencl, 2007;Lee, 2011;Ransby & Swanson, 2003). Vice versa, reading experience is an important factor in vocabulary development (Perfetti & Hart, 2002). ...
Chapter
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Internationally, an increase in the numbers of students with dyslexia in higher education is noticeable. Consequently, more and more information has been collected on the cognitive profile of these students compared to their non-disabled peers. In this chapter an overview is provided on the cognitive functioning of this group of students and the implications these characteristics may have on their academic functioning. Furthermore, this review provides a theoretical framework for the optimization of guidance protocols for students with dyslexia in higher education.
... Leading theories of language and literacy outcomes posit that vocabulary knowledge in toddlerhood and the preschool period sets the foundation for future development of language and literacy (e.g., Duff et al., 2015;Jin et al., 2020). In one study, vocabulary size at 2 years of age significantly predicted language and literacy achievement into fifth grade (Lee, 2011). Vocabulary size was a stronger predictor of school-age language outcomes than was lexical composition (i.e., number of verbs and closed-class words), even after controlling for child sex, birth order, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. ...
Article
Purpose Despite the increasing population of dual language learners (DLLs) in the United States, vocabulary measures for young DLLs have largely relied on instruments developed for monolinguals. The multistudy project reports on the psychometric properties of the English–Spanish Vocabulary Inventory (ESVI), which was designed to capture unique cross-language measures of lexical knowledge that are critical for assessing DLLs' vocabulary, including translation equivalents (whether the child knows the words for the same concept in each language), total vocabulary (the number of words known across both languages), and conceptual vocabulary (the number of words known that represent unique concepts in either language). Method Three studies included 87 Spanish–English DLLs ( M age = 26.58 months, SD = 2.86 months) with and without language delay from two geographic regions. Multiple measures (e.g., caregiver report, observation, behavioral tasks, and standardized assessments) determined content validity, construct validity, social validity, and criterion validity of the ESVI. Results Monolingual instruments used in bilingual contexts significantly undercounted lexical knowledge as measured on the ESVI. Scores on the ESVI were related to performance on other measures of communication, indicating acceptable content, construct, and criterion validity. Social validity ratings were similarly positive. ESVI scores were also associated with suspected language delay. Conclusions These studies provide initial evidence of the adequacy of the ESVI for use in research and clinical contexts with young children learning English and Spanish (with or without a language delay). Developing tools such as the ESVI promotes culturally and linguistically responsive practices that support accurate assessment of DLLs' lexical development. Supplemental Material https://doi.org/10.23641/asha.17704391
... This is, in fact, the strongest point of the study as all parents marked the full score, resulting in the average of 4.00 or the full point, and reflecting words were appropriately chosen for the age group. Attesting the importance of English vocabulary to children, most parents urged for expansion of vocabulary size for their children as it is essential for literacy development (Lee 2011). ...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Storytelling, a common family activity for preschool children to develop their literacy, can be used to promote learning of a language other than the mother-tongue, hence a starting point of home education for early childhood. Aim: The study aims to integrate storytelling as a family activity that helps to promote learning of English vocabulary for preschoolers. Setting: Young children aged 3–5 years and their parents living in a small neighbourhood of Muang District, province of Suratthani, in the south of Thailand attended the study during the restriction imposed to curb the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic under the ‘Stay at Home’ measures (March–April 2020). Both parents and children were given information about the study before they decided whether or not to participate in the project by parents’ informed consent for their child to be involved. Methods: The data were collected in four stages: pretest, storytelling, post-test and interview. The storytelling material included five stories, particularly composed for the study. These stories were written in Thai (average 423 words), each with three English words inserted, making up 15 English words as the test items. Analyses were conducted on the pre- and post-test scores, observation of children’s learning performance and parents’ reflection. Results: The preschoolers showed vocabulary development from listening to the in-house stories. On average, children obtained 12.2 scores out of 15 words in the post-test versus 8 scores in the pretest. The family’s satisfaction level was high, that is, 3.5 from 4 on children’s learning behaviour and English word development and 3.77 on stories appreciation. The preschoolers requested to hear a story as many as three times in order to be confident. The high frequency of hearing tended to predict individual’s development. Conclusion: Storytelling promoted English vocabulary learning and it could be done at home, provided that parents are equipped with appropriate material. In a story, preschoolers should be introduced to mono-syllabic concrete words and only up to three words at a time. Repetition of at least three times is necessary.
... One example of a vocabulary test for younger children is the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (Dunn & Dunn, 2007), which is based on a child indicating the meaning of a word provided on a selection of four pictures. It has been used by Biemiller & Slonim (2001), Dickinson et al. (2003), Rice & Hoffman (2015), Biemiller & Boote (2006), Christ & Wang (2011), Coyne et al. (2007, Lee (2011) and Pullen et al. (2010). Polish authors Haman, Fronczyk & Miękisz (2010) describe another picture-based test for use with kindergarten children. ...
Article
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This paper discusses a vocabulary intervention programme for monolingual Polish children. Vocabulary instruction was conducted in a group of children aged 7–9 (N = 77) attending a primary school near Gdansk in Poland. Following a pre-test an intervention group (22 pu- pils receiving instruction over 10 weeks) and a control group (55 pupils) were selected. The taught vocabulary consisted of 20 Polish words.Additionally, another 20 words were carefully selected to form an untaught vocabulary list (control list). Although the intervention group did not achieve a higher mean post-test result in taught words than the control group, the mean increase was larger in the intervention group, confirmed by a test for two means (p = 0.036). The difference was not confirmed for untaught words (p = 0.236). A linear regression mod- el was used to explain which factors influenced post-test results. For taught words only pre-test results had an impact. For untaught words pre-test results and interaction of pre-test results with groups had an impact. The number of sessions attended also influenced post-test results. The paper includes the results of a survey where teachers and parents provided feedback. Although the intervention programme increased children’s vocabulary, it raised some important questions concerning the size of the gain, word selection and conditions of the instruction.
... Pomiaru dokonano w odniesieniu do opanowanego przez uczniów zasobu środków językowych w zakresie dwóch podsystemów języka: słownictwa i gra-matyki. Są one uznawane za silne predyktory ogólnego poziomu kompetencji językowej (Rifkin, 2005;Lee, 2011). Szczegóły dotyczące konstrukcji poszczególnych testów podano poniżej. ...
... This association is borne out in a range of study designs, including cross-sectional studies of individual differences (Goff et al., 2005;Ouellette, 2006;Ouellette & Fraser, 2009;Ricketts et al., 2007), item-level analyses (Kearns & Al Ghanem, 2019;Nation & Cocksey, 2009;Ricketts et al., 2016) and longitudinal studies Lee, 2011). Outcomes of these studies suggest oral vocabulary could plausibly play a causal role in the development of word reading, but cannot establish that it does. ...
... Substantial research demonstrates a link between children's oral vocabulary and their ability to read words. This association has been demonstrated in cross-sectional studies (Nation & Cocksey, 2009;Nation & Snowling, 2004) and within longitudinal and training designs (Duff & Hulme, 2012;Duff, Reen, Plunkett, & Nation, 2015;Lee, 2011;McKague, Pratt, & Johnston, 2001). Additionally, training studies involving eye tracking measures have shown that oral vocabulary knowledge benefits both reading accuracy and fixation durations for regular words (Wegener et al., 2018;Wegener, Wang, Nation, & Castles, 2020). ...
Article
Children may link words in their oral vocabulary with novel printed word forms through a process termed mispronunciation correction, which enables them to adjust an imperfect phonological decoding. Additional evidence suggests that sentence context may play a role in helping children to make link between a word in oral vocabulary and its irregular written form. Four groups of children were orally trained on a set of novel words but received no training on a second set. Half the trained words were designated irregular spellings and half regular spellings. Children later read the words in contextually supportive or neutral sentences while their eye movements were monitored. Fixations on untrained words were longer than on trained regular words but were similar to trained irregular words. Fixations on regular words were shorter than on irregular words, and there were larger differences between irregular and regular words viewed in contextually supportive sentences. Subsequently, children were able to read irregular words more accurately when they had previously appeared in a supportive context. These results suggest that orally known irregular words undergo additional processing when first viewed in text, which is consistent with the online operation of a mispronunciation correction mechanism.
... Regarding the variable vocabulary breadth, other studies have highlighted its predictive role in learning to read and its influence on the development of phonological awareness (Duff et al., 2008;Lee, 2011;Ouellette, 2006;Ouellette and Shaw, 2014;Torppa et al., 2010). However, in this study it is overshadowed and fails to join the regression line if the variable vocabulary depth is also introduced. ...
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The aim of this study is to explore the predictive value of vocabulary breadth and depth together with the classical variables of phonological awareness, naming speed and alphabetic knowledge in explaining progress in the initial learning of reading and writing in a sample of 162 students in the 3rd year of kindergarten. Early detection of risks in learning to read is essential to be able to intervene proactively if signs of dyslexia are found. The study of skills that predict successful literacy acquisition may be useful to identify risk indicators of learning disabilities in reading and writing in early childhood education. The results found confirm the contribution of classical variables and reveal that especially vocabulary depth seems to be a good predictor of success in early literacy performance. The educational implications of these findings are discussed.
... These predictors appear to operate across cultures, languages, and writing systems (e.g., Bleses, Makransky, Dale, Højen, & Ari, 2016;Gonzalez et al., 2011;Ho & Bryant, 1997;McBride-Chang & Kail, 2002). Measures of oral language skills as early as age two have been found to predict later language and literacy skills (e.g., Bleses et al., 2016;Bornstein, Hahn, & Putnick, 2016;Lee, 2011), indicating that children begin on a more favorable or less favorable trajectory when they are just learning to talk. Later preliteracy skills are even stronger predictors. ...
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Preschool children’s language and preliteracy skills are influenced by their home literacy environments. We asked to what extent this is true even for children in a context, Denmark, with near-universal childcare (97% at age 3–5), and additionally, if it holds specifically for dual-language learners. The sample consisted of 5791 4–6-year-olds from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds, who had attended full-time childcare since age 1–1½ on average. Despite years in childcare programs, two home literacy factors, book exposure and preliteracy activities, were significantly related to children’s Danish language and preliteracy skills. Moreover, this relation was significantly stronger for children learning a minority language at home. High book exposure either narrowed or closed the Danish majority language skill gap with single-language learners. Early entry in childcare predicted stronger language and preliteracy skills; however, early entry increased rather than diminished effects of home literacy environments on language skills, suggesting possible cross fertilization of home and childcare environments. Children with a native and a nonnative parent had substantially higher Danish language and preliteracy skills when the mother was the native than when the father was, a difference equivalent to ¾ year’s language development. Nonnative parents’ Danish proficiency and degree of Danish use showed complex relations to child outcomes, including positive, negative and null effects. Overall, the results indicate that childcare works as an addition, not a substitute for a supportive home literacy environment.
... Some research shows that Indonesian students are lack of vocabulary knowledge, both breadth and depth. The lack of vocabulary knowledge reflects the English proficiency since vocabulary is an effective tool to predict the language proficiency (Lee, 2011). The more words that the students know, the more likely they will be able to perform the language effectively. ...
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This article aims to provide some guidelines for teachers on how to conduct vocabulary instruction in their class because one of the main issues faced by Indonesian students recently is the lack of vocabulary knowledge that affects their English proficiency. Some studies showed that Indonesian students did not even know most of essential words in English, known as high frequency words. As a result, they may struggle to use the language in communication. Therefore, English teachers need to focus on helping students develop their vocabulary knowledge by teaching new words based on students’ need and introducing some vocabulary learning strategies that they can use to learn unknown words on their own at home. In order to provide a guideline for vocabulary instruction, this paper reviewed studies related to vocabulary knowledge, English proficiency, and vocabulary instruction in Indonesian context. The result of this study provides a guideline that could help teachers improve their students’ vocabulary knowledge in teaching unknown words and vocabulary learning strategies. This paper also suggests English teachers to conduct their own research to determine which strategies work best for their students, so students can apply that strategies to learn unknown words autonomously.
... The contribution of lexical phonology, which refers to a child's familiarity with a word's phonological representation, to reading acquisition has been consistently reported in crosssectional (e.g., Nation & Cocksey, 2009a;Nation & Snowling, 2004;) and longitudinal studies (Duff & Hulme, 2012;Lee, 2011;McKague, Pratt, & Johnson, 2001). Castle and Nation (2006) proposed that the oral vocabulary contributes to building word-specific orthographic representations, i.e., orthographic learning. ...
Thesis
The contribution of orthography has been reported for learning of low-frequency words in native language (L1; Rosenthal & Ehri, 2008) and of pseudowords (Ricketts, Bishop, & Nation, 2009) by using a paired-associate learning paradigm (PAL). These studies cannot fully account for foreign language (L2) word learning, for which both L2 spoken and written forms have to be linked into a pre-existing concept, which in turn, is already connected to phonological and (sometimes) to an orthographic representation in L1. Besides, L2 learning confronts children to different challenges, such as incongruent letter/sound mapping with L1, due to the larger overlap on written than on spoken modality between languages (Marian et al., 2012). Therefore, this doctoral work aimed to explore the benefit of orthography on L2 word learning in children and to determine whether this advantage was modulated by L1 reading skills. We also sought to determine the moderating effect of incongruent letter/sound mappings with L1 on L2 learning. Using a PAL, we conducted three main L2 vocabulary learning studies by contrasting two learning methods, both simultaneous presentation of spoken and written (orthographic method) vs spoken forms only (non-orthographic method). As for learning phase, we made two groups of children (third vs. fifth graders) learn 16 (Study 1a) or 24 German words (Study 1b, Study 2). As for testing, we assessed learning performance with three main experimental tasks: a forced-choice picture recognition task (choose the correct image corresponding to the spoken form), a go/no-go spoken recognition task (discrimination between spoken German words and close phonological distractors) and an orthographic judgment task (select the correct German written form among three written distractors). We reported a consistent benefit of orthography on all three experimental tasks in both groups, supporting that children relied on written information at early steps of L2 learning. Still, contradictory results were reported for phonological learning in fifth graders, given that the benefit of orthography was only retrieved when increasing the learning load (Study 1b). Interestingly, although fifth graders outperformed the third graders on all experimental tasks, we reported a comparable amplitude for the orthographic facilitation in both groups. Measures of L1 reading skills were not (consistently) correlated with L2 vocabulary learning, supporting that a minimal amount of orthographic knowledge was enough to trigger an orthographic facilitation. A moderating effect of incongruent letter/sound mappings with L1 was restricted to L2 phonological learning, with larger discriminative performance for congruent compared to incongruent L2 words immediately after learning (Study 2), but disappeared after a one-week delay, aiming for a differential time-course for the encoding of congruent and incongruent L2 words, an assumption that was discussed in regards to the ontogenetic model of L2 lexical representation (Bordag, Gor, & Opitz, 2021) and to the L2 lexical fuzziness (Kapnoula, 2021). Study 3 was conducted during an Indoc mobility and explored whether the bilingual advantage on L3 vocabulary learning might be extended to children attending a classroom-immersion to L2 and whether this advantage was reinforced by the cross-linguistic similarities conveyed by cognate words. We reported a generalized advantage and cognate facilitation was restricted to the learning of novel L3 written form. In light of these results, this doctoral work reinforced the need for developmental models of bilingualism to consider the lexical and sublexical processing at early steps of L2 acquisition.
... Att lära sig nya ord är både en självklarhet och en nödvändighet när man lär sig ett språk, oavsett ålder och oavsett språk. Ordförrådet betraktas som en nyckel till lärande, förståelse och delaktighet, såväl för läsande som för skrivande (Lee 2008, Vermeer 2001. För att "kunna ett ord" och därmed utöka ett ordförråd krävs både receptiv och produktiv förståelse och kunskap. ...
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Bibliografia do Novo Deit Libras, 3ª edição revista e ampliada (2015). A publicação lista 2.841 referências bibliográficas que foram consultadas para a elaboração da 3a. edição revista e ampliada do Novo Deit-Libras: Novo Dicionário Enciclopédico Ilustrado Trilíngue da Língua de Sinais Brasileira. As referências cobrem campos como os de Psicologia e Neuropsicologia Cognitivas e do Desenvolvimento, Linguística e Neuropsicolinguística Cognitiva, Educação, Educação de Surdos, História de Educação de Surdos, Filosofias educacionais em surdez, Fonoaudiologia, Antropologia Cultural, dentre muitos outros. Como esse dicionário propõe, em diversos capítulos associados, um novo modelo de lexicografia e lexicologia da Libras, grande esforço foi feito na justificação e explicação das bases desse modelo. O dicionário encarna, usa e ilustra esse novo modelo. References used in the New Encyclopedic Illustrated Dictionary of Brazilian Sign Language, 3rd edition (2015). The publication lists 2,841 references that were used to support the elaboration of the Brazilian Sign Language Encyclopedic Dictionary, 3rd edition. The references cover fields such as Cognitive and Developmental Psychology and Neuropsychology, Cognitive Linguistics and Neurolinguistics and Neuropsycholinguistics, Applied Linguistics, Lexicography, Lexicology, Education, Deaf Education, Special Education, History of Education, Bilingualism, History of Deaf Education, Speech Language Pathology, Cultural Anthropology, among many othes. In several chapters, this seminal dictionary advances a groundbreaking original model dicionário in sign language lexicography and lexicology. The chapters justify and explain such a model, which is embodied by the dictionary itself.
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The reference of choice for pediatricians, residents, and medical students, this revised and expanded sixth edition provides clear, practice-oriented guidance on the core knowledge in pediatrics. Edited by a leading primary care authority with more than 100 contributors, this edition provides comprehensive coverage of hundreds of topics ranging from asthma and urinary tract infections to toilet training and adolescent depression. View a message from Dr Berkowitz. Available for purchase at https://shop.aap.org/berkowitzs-pediatrics-6th-edition-paperback/ (NOTE: This book features a full text reading experience. Click a chapter title to access content.)
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Genes are known to play an important role in causing specific language impairment, but it is unclear how far a similar etiology is implicated in transient language delay in early childhood. Two-year-old children with vocabulary scores below the 10th centile were selected from a cohort of over 2,800 same-sex twin pairs whose language was assessed by parental report at 2, 3, and 4 years of age. These children with early language delay (ELD) were divided into cases of transient and persistent language difficulties on the basis of outcome at 3 and 4 years. A DeFries-Fulker analysis (J. C. DeFries & D. W. Fulker, 1985) was used to compute group heritability (h2g) of 2-year vocabulary delay separately for those with transient and persistent difficulties. When 3-year and 4-year language attainments were used to categorize outcomes, h2g was similar and modest (.25 or less) for both transient and persistent difficulties. However, when persistent difficulties were defined according to whether parents expressed concern about language at 3 years or according to whether a professional had been consulted about language difficulties at 4 years, heritability was significantly higher. For 289 children with no professional involvement at 4 years, heritability of 2-year vocabulary delay was close to zero, whereas for 134 children with professional involvement, a significant h2g of .41 (SE=.127) was found. Early language delay appears largely environmental in origin for 2-year-olds whose parents do not go on to seek professional help.
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Purpose: This investigation examined the performance of 50 African American children on a reading comprehension test. Method: Longitudinal data were compared for two groups of students who were preschoolers or kindergartners at Time 1 and elementary-grade students at Time 2. Outcomes were examined for positive predictive relationships based on their oral language and cognitive skills as preschoolers and kindergartners at Time 1. The Time 1 preschoolers were all from low-income homes, whereas the Time 1 kindergartners were all from middle-income homes. All students were urban dwellers and speakers of African American English. Results: Two measures predicted later reading comprehension levels for the Time 1 preschoolers: use of complex syntax and shape matching. The Time 1 preschoolers and kindergartners showed no significant differences in reading comprehension at the end of first grade, but the preschoolers were significantly ahead of the kindergartners in reading by third grade. Clinical implications: The potential of preschools that emphasize early language and literacy for improving the reading outcomes of African American students is discussed.
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The authors assert that, in order to teach vocabulary more effectively and better understand its relation to comprehension, we need first to address how vocabulary knowledge and growth are assessed. They argue that “vocabularly assessment is grossly undernourished, both in its theoretical and practical aspects—that it has been driven by tradition, convenience, psychometric standards, and a quest for economy of effort rather than a clear conceptualization of its nature and relation to other aspects of reading expertise, most notably comprehension.”
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What is the role of oral language in reading competence during the transition to school? Is oral language in preschool best conceptualized as vocabulary knowledge or as more comprehensive language including grammar, vocabulary, and semantics? These questions were examined longitudinally using 1,137 children from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development. Children were followed from age 3 through 3rd grade, and the results suggest that oral language conceptualized broadly plays both a direct and an indirect role in word recognition during the transition to school and serves as a better foundation for early reading skill than does vocabulary alone. Implications of these findings are discussed in terms of both theoretical models of early reading and practical implications for policy and assessment.
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In this article, 3 views of the relation between various forms of phonological awareness (detection of rhyme and alliteration and detection of phonemes) and children's reading were tested. These are (a) that the experience of learning to read leads to phoneme awareness and that neither of these is connected to awareness of rhyme, (b) that sensitivity to rhyme leads to awareness of phonemes, which in turn affects reading, and (c) that rhyme makes a direct contribution to reading that is independent of the connection between reading and phoneme awareness. The results from a longitudinal study that monitored the phonological awareness and progress in reading and spelling of 65 children from the ages of 4 years 7 months to 6 years 7 months produced strong support for a combination of the 2nd and 3rd models and none at all for the 1st model. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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The course of language acquisition from infancy to public primary school was followed in a sample of 56 Finnish children to examine precursors to reading at first grade. Structural equation modeling of continuity suggested effects from growth in early vocabulary to mastery of inflectional forms at preschool age. The early language directly influenced early phonological awareness (PA) and only indirectly influenced later development in PA and word reading. The course of development in PA progressed from detecting larger multiphonemic units toward recognizing and producing phonemes in words, which, in turn, were positively associated with differences in producing new words by deleting and blending phonemes at kindergarten age. Including word reading before school entry levelled out the influence of the concurrent phonemic awareness factor on reading at first grade. Hence, in a highly inflected language with a transparent orthography, the pathway to reading consisted of skills learned in succession, the last phase being characterized by simultaneous development involving phonemic awareness and emerging reading skill. The finding led to the conclusion that, in addition to universal routes, language- and culture-specific routes to literacy must be acknowledged when searching for the precursors to reading at school age. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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This paper explores the early lexicon development of 548 monolingual French-speaking infants aged 8;0—16;0. Vocabulary acquisition was followed using the French adaptation of the MacArthur-Bates Communicative Development: Words and Gestures (Fenson et al., 1993). The results generally concur with those reported for other languages. There were striking individual variations in both terms of onset and rate of lexical growth. However, the total vocabulary scores increased steadily in all sections with chronological age. Girls showed superior scores in terms of labelling behaviours and lexical production. Nouns were predominant in both production and comprehension from 8 to 16 months regardless of the lexicon size. Predicates were the second most represented category, followed by function words. Both these categories increased with lexicon size. In the small lexicon, the most represented semantic categories were the same for comprehension and production: `games and routines', `people', `sound effects and animal sounds'. In the lexicon of more than 50 items, the percentages of `action words' became higher. A particularly strong association was found between total gestures and vocabulary comprehension.
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This study compares early grammatical and lexical acquisition in 323 preterm and 166 full-term children at 24 months. The French MacArthur-Bates parental report was employed for analysis. Gestational age and birth order showed a significant effect on vocabulary size and grammatical distribution. Preterm children showed fewer words and produced more games, routines and animal noises words. Except for the group of extremely premature children, first-born children in each gestational age group produced more words than second-born. In contrast, first-born children exhibited more predicates than second-born children. It is concluded that preterm children show delayed rather than deviant language development.
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A FRAMEWORK for conceptualizing the development of individual differences in reading ability is presented that synthesizes a great deal of the research literature. The framework places special emphasis on the effects of reading on cognitive development and on "bootstrapping" relationships involving reading. Of key importance are the concepts of reciprocal relationships-situations where the causal connection between reading ability and the efficiency of a cognitive process is bidirectional-and organism-environment correlation-the fact that differentially advantaged organisms are exposed to nonrandom distributions of environmental quality. Hypotheses are advanced to explain how these mechanisms operate to create rich-getricher and poor-get-poorer patterns of reading achievement. The framework is used to explicate some persisting problems in the literature on reading disability and to conceptualize remediation efforts in reading.
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This article describes 2 points of view about the relationship between oral-language and literacy skills: The phonological sensitivity approach posits that vocabulary provides the basis for phonological sensitivity, which then is the key language ability supporting reading, and the comprehensive language approach (CLA) posits that varied language skills interact with literacy knowledge and continue to play a vital role in subsequent reading achievement. The study included 533 Head Start preschool-aged children (M = 4 years 9 months) in 2 locations and examined receptive vocabulary, phonological awareness, and print knowledge. Partial correlational and regression analyses found results consistent with the CLA approach and evidence of a core deficit in phonological sensitivity, interpreted in a manner consistent with the CLA perspective.
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Although there is evidence for a close link between the development of oral vocabulary and reading comprehension, less clear is whether oral vocabulary skills relate to the development of word-level reading skills. This study investigated vocabulary and literacy in 81 children of 8-10 years. In regression analyses, vocabulary accounted for unique variance in exception word reading and reading comprehension, but not text reading accuracy, decoding and regular word reading. Consistent with these data, children with poor reading comprehension exhibited oral vocabulary weaknesses and read fewer exception words correctly. These findings demonstrate that oral vocabulary is associated with some, but not all reading skills. Results are discussed in terms of current models of reading development.
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When carefully assessed and analysed, parent report can provide a valuable overall evaluation of children's language at 20 months. Norming information and validity coefficients are presented here for a vocabulary checklist assessment included in the Early Language Inventory. Normative data are provided for fullterm, preterm, and precocious samples, including selected vocabulatory subsets that are indicative of early language learning style. The vocabulary checklist has substantial validity as indexed by correlations with the Bayley Scales of Infant Development and particularly with a language subscale derived from that test.
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Several recent studies have demonstrated strong relationships between lexical acquisition and subsequent developments within the domain of morphosyntax. A connectionist model of the acquisition of a morphological system analogous to that of the English past tense (Plunkett & Marchman, 1993) suggests that growth in vocabulary size may relate to the onset of over-regularization errors. However, this model suggests that the relationships between vocabulary size and morphosyntactic development are non-linear. Incremental increases in the number of verbs to be learned result in qualitative shifts in the treatment of both previously learned and novel forms, but only after the size of the lexicon exceeds a particular level (i.e. reaches a 'critical mass'). In this paper we present parental report data from an extensive study of English-speaking children aged 1;4 to 2;6 using the MacArthur Communicative Development Inventory: Toddler form (N = 1130). These data corroborate several findings from previous studies, including the early usage of unmarked verb stems and the correct production of irregular past tense forms. Further, we demonstrate support for the 'critical mass' view of the onset of over-regularization errors, focusing on continuity among lexical and morphological developments. In our view, these data suggest that these linguistic milestones may be paced by similar, if not identical mechanisms.
Article
Reading ability at Grade 2 was well predicted both by the incidence of reading problems in children's families and by individual differences among the children in vocabulary, phonological awareness, and early literacy skills at age 5 years. In contrast, sex, socioeconomic status, age, and preschool differences in IQ, nonverbal skills, early education, and reading and television-viewing habits were unrelated to subsequent reading acquisition. Greater accuracy of prediction was obtained when test results rather than self-reports were used to determine familial reading problems, but little support was found for the utility or reliability of a distinction between low achievement in reading and specific underachievement relative to IQ in prediction analyses.
Article
Children from 10 sites in the United States were followed from birth to age 3 to determine how experiences in child care relate to cognitive and language development (Ns varied between 595 and 856, depending on the assessment). Multiple assessments of family and child care environments and of cognitive and language competence were collected. Analyses that adjusted for maternal vocabulary score, family income, child gender, observed quality of the home environment, and observed maternal cognitive stimulation indicated that the overall quality of child care, and language stimulation in particular, was consistently but modestly related to cognitive and language outcomes at ages 15, 24, and 36 months. The effect sizes for high (top quartile) versus low (bottom quartile) quality ranged from .18 to .48. After adjusting for child care quality, cumulative experience in center-based care was associated with better outcomes than was participation in other types of care. The amount of time children spent in care was not related to outcomes. Children in exclusive maternal care did not differ systematically from children in child care. Tests for lagged relations of earlier child care experiences to later performance (adjusting for current child care) showed that language stimulation predicted subsequent cognitive and language performance 9 to 12 months later. Although children in center care at age 3 performed better than children in other types of care, earlier experience in child care homes was associated with better performance at age 3 than was experience in other types of care. The relations of child care variables to outcomes did not vary consistently as a function of family income, quality of home environment, child gender, or ethnic group.
Article
Expressive language outcomes measured by MLU and the Index of Productive Syntax (IPSyn) at ages  ;  and  ;  were investigated in  late talkers with normal receptive language identified between  ;  to  ;  and  typically developing comparison children matched on age, SES, and nonverbal ability. Late talkers made greater gains than comparison children between  ;  and  ;  in both MLU and IPSyn raw score. However, when age-standardized z-scores were analysed, the late talkers were about n standard deviations below comparison children on both measures at both ages. At  ; ,  % of the late talkers had MLUs above the th percentile based on Scarborough's () benchmark sample ; by  ; ,  % did so. Using the IPSyn, a more stringent measure,  % scored above the th percentile at  ;  and only  % did so at  ; . MLU was significantly correlated with the IPSyn at both ages for the late talkers, but only at  ;  for the comparison children. A converging set of regression analyses indicated no group differences in the predictive relationship between MLU and IPSyn, suggesting that the late talkers were delayed on both measures but not deviant in their development.
Article
A significant gap in emerging literacy intervention with preschoolers relates to a skill that is crucial to later reading comprehension–the ability to engage in inferencing. This article presents a theoretical rationale for fostering inferential language during book sharing with preschool children, and provides research-based ideas for how this can be best accomplished. It is suggested that, at the preschool level, children can be supported in their ability to make inferences about stories read aloud to them by having adults ask both literal and inferential questions that, first and foremost, relate to the causal structure of stories. Additionally, questions focused on informational and evaluative inferences serve to further enhance story comprehension. A rubric for connecting such questions to the elements of story grammar is offered, and a specific example from a published preschool level storybook is provided. © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Article
Reexamined the claim that children who cannot yet read lack phonemic sensitivity, using 96 preschoolers. Ss had not been exposed to formal reading instruction. 20 children were novice readers and 76 nonreaders based on the results of phonological oddity, sound identity, and novice reading skill tasks. Both novice readers and nonreaders high in letter knowledge were sensitive to phonemic units. Novice readers were higher in both phonological sensitivity (PS) and verbal ability than nonreaders. Robust differences in PS remained between novice readers and nonreaders equivalent in letter knowledge after verbal ability effects were controlled. Although nonreaders varying in letter knowledge also differed in PS, this result may have reflected underlying differences in verbal ability. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
present some conclusions and speculations about the cognitive mechanisms that underlie individual differences in reading acquisition [in children] / in addition to drawing some general conclusions about causal mechanisms in early reading, I devote equal attention to some of the implications that failing at early reading acquisition—and failing for particular reasons—has for later academic achievement and for cognitive development in general (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Reading ability at Grade 2 was well predicted both by the incidence of reading problems in children's families and by individual differences among the children in vocabulary, phonological awareness, and early literacy skills at age 5 years. In contrast, sex, socioeconomic status (SES), age, and preschool differences in IQ, nonverbal skills, early education, and reading and television-viewing habits were unrelated to subsequent reading acquisition. Greater accuracy of prediction was obtained when test results rather than self-reports were used to determine familial reading problems, but little support was found for the utility or reliability of a distinction between low achievement in reading and specific underachievement relative to IQ in prediction analyses. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Speed of comprehension and level of comprehension have been distinguished, and have been separately measured, by the Cooperative Reading Comprehension Test for some time. Two new aspects of verbal comprehension, word knowledge and reasoning in reading, are reported and their usefulness indicated. These components are revealed through a factor analysis involving the intercorrelations of scores with respect to the several reading skills the Cooperative Reading Comprehension Test purports to measure. Nine principle proponents resulted from the analysis, the two largest—appearing to involve (1) word knowledge and (2) verbal reasoning—accounting for 89% of the variance. Correlations between word knowledge and reasoning scores, on the one hand, and Nelson-Denny Reading Test results on the other, indicate that reading tests of the latter type measure word knowledge and speed of reading almost exclusively. Correlations with Q and L scores on the ACE suggest that reasoning in reading measures the ability to manipulate verbal concepts and is unrelated to non-verbal abilities. A profile upon which word knowledge and reasoning in reading scores may be plotted is presented, and suggestions are offered for the clinical use of results. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Examined the Simple View of reading and writing. Of particular concern were these questions: Do the same children remain poor readers year after year? Do the same children remain poor writers year after year? What skills do the poor readers lack? What skills do the poor writers lack? What factors seem to keep poor readers from improving? What factors seem to keep poor writers from improving? The probability that a child would remain a poor reader at the end of 4th grade if the child was a poor reader at the end of 1st grade was .88. Early writing skill did not predict later writing skill as well as early reading ability predicted later reading ability. Children who become poor readers entered 1st grade with little phonemic awareness. By the end of 4th grade, the poor readers had still not achieved the level of decoding skill that the good readers had achieved at the beginning of 2nd grade. Good readers read considerably more than the poor readers both in and out of school, which appeared to contribute to the good readers' growth in some reading and writing skills. Poor readers tended to become poor writers. The Simple View received support in accounting for reading and writing development through 4th grade. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
The role of vocabulary growth in the development of two reading-related phonological processes was examined. In Experiments 1 and 2, 4- and 5-year-olds and a sample of first graders performed better on phonological awareness tasks for word versus pseudoword stimuli, and for highly familiar versus less familiar words. Three- and 4-year-olds in Experiment 3 performed better for words with many versus few similarly sounding items in a listener's lexicon. Vocabulary was strongly associated with nonword repetition scores for 3- to 5-year olds. The shared variance of this association was accounted for by phonological awareness measures and did not appear to be due to phonological short-term memory, as previously argued. The author proposes that vocabulary growth, defined in terms of absolute size, word familiarity, and phonological similarity relations between word items, helps to explain individual differences in emerging phonological awareness and nonword repetition. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
We have addressed this book to a wide range of readers: researchers in the psychology of reading and language, senior undergraduates and graduate students in psychology and education, teachers of reading, and educators, in general. This book is intended to be used in a course on the psychology of reading or the psychology of language comprehension, or in a graduate seminar on either of these topics. Our experience in teaching both undergraduate and graduate courses on the psychology of reading and language for the last ten years persuaded us that the central issues can be effectively communicated in a common format to all of these potential users. Even though the book presents a thorough account of the psychological processes that occur in reading, we have tried to make it understandable to someone who has had as little as one course in cognitive psychology. Another goal of this book is to extend the theoretical framework to a fairly wide scope, covering the kinds of topics that are of general interest to psychologists and educators. We have developed a precise theory and used it as rigorously as possible to organize and explain a very broad and diverse field. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
This paper examines individual differences in the rate of early lexical development with a specific interest in gender differences. Twenty-six children were assessed monthly from either 8, 9, or 10 months of age through 14 months of age, using the MacArthur Communicative Development Inventory: Words and Gestures. Individual differences in developmental trajectories of vocabulary comprehension and production were explored using two analytic approaches. The first involved traditional parametric statistics, while the latter utilized classification procedures. Both techniques demonstrated that the lexical development of girls outpaced that of boys. The inductive approach also revealed the presence of distinctive "fast" and "slow" trajectories for both comprehension and production that were not exclusively segregated by gender. Cases exhibiting fast trajectories were predominantly girls, but several boys also followed this developmental pattern. The opposite pattern emerged for the slow trajectories. There was strong correspondence between production and comprehension, but a few cases clustered into the fast development group on one measure and the slow group on the other. The identification of these outliers may offer an important tool for exploring mechanisms of language development. Validation of the clustering results was based on the prospective prediction of an external criterion variable, namely, lexical development at 21 months, and by replication on an independent sample.
Article
This article reports the longitudinal follow-up of 41 preschool children as they moved into reading. When the children were 3 years old, they participated in a detailed assessment of their language, print, and metalinguistic skills. At the end of first grade, the children received two tests of phonological awareness and three reading measures: sound–symbol knowledge, word identification, and passage comprehension. Overall language development at age 3 just as strongly, or even more strongly, correlated with reading scores at age 7 as it had with metalinguistic and print awareness scores at age 3. In addition, the overall metalinguistic skills and print awareness of 3 year olds made significant contributions to reading achievement beyond what was provided by tacit language development. Specific metalinguistic domains were also good predictors of reading, with phonological and structural awareness offering more than word awareness.
Article
Variation in mothers' child-directed speech and in their children's rates of language development were examined as a function of child birth order and family socioeconomic status (SES). A total of 63 children between 18 and 29 months were recorded in dyadic interaction with their mothers on two separate occasions, 10 weeks apart. The children included first and later boms who came from high-SES and mid-SES backgrounds. Analyses of the children's speech at the second visit showed that the first-bom children were more advanced in lexical and grammatical development than the later-bom children, and that the later-bom children were more advanced in the development of conversational skill. High-SES children showed more advanced lexical development than mid-SES children. These differences are interpreted as the result of differences in language learning experience associated with birth order and SES, some of which were in evidence in the mothers' speech recorded at the first visit. With respect to theories of language acquisition, these findings suggest that language experience plays a nontrivial role in language development, and that the nature of that role is different for different components of language development. With respect to general developmental consequences of birth order and SES, the findings indicate that differences in early language experience may set the stage for later developmental differences, but that when long-term and pervasive differences are observed, as is the case for SES-related differences in achievement, it is likely that there are pervasive and continuing differences in experience.
Article
A new method for evaluating the grammatical complexity of preschool natural language corpora is introduced. In the Index of Productive Syntax, occurrences of 56 syntactic and morphological forms are counted, yielding a total score and subscores for noun phrases, verb phrases, questions/negations, and sentence structures. Development of the index and analyses of its reliability and age-sensitivity when applied to language samples of 2- to 4-year-olds are described. Some advantages and limitations of the index as a research and clinical instrument are also discussed.
Article
This is an investigation of the relationships among selected aspects of normal language development, emerging metalinguistic skills, concepts about print, and family literacy experiences in 3-year-old children who vary in their socioeconomic backgrounds. Forty-three normally developing children, whose family incomes ranged from under $10,000 to over $100,000, were given 4 tests of language development; 12 metalinguistic tasks measuring phonological awareness, word awareness, and structural awareness; and 2 measures of literacy knowledge. The children's family literacy experiences were described following a parent interview. The data analysis had two main purposes. The first was to examine the family literacy experiences of the children using a qualitative analysis. The second was to describe, in a quantitative way, the relationships among family literacy experiences, socioeconomic factors, language development, metalinguistic performance, and concepts about print. The interview data revealed that, while parents varied in the emphasis they placed on literacy activities, all of the children were at least somewhat involved in literacy activities at home; family report of literacy activities was associated with family income. Quantitative analyses revealed that amount of family literacy involvement and the children's race were related to oral language development, and language development was the most powerful predictor of metalinguistic awareness. When language development was controlled statistically, family literacy and socioeconomic factors had negligible effects on metalinguistic skills; however, knowledge of print concepts was related to metalinguistic performance, especially in the phonological domain, and was associated with the children's family literacy experiences, maternal education, and race.
Article
This study examined how child and family factors affect individual differences in the language development of African American children between 18 and 30 months of age. Participants were 87 African American children, primarily from low-income families. Children's vocabulary and grammatical skills were assessed at 18, 24, and 30 months of age using the short form of the MacArthur Communicative Development Inventory (CDI), a standardized parent report tool. Standardized language tests were administered repeatedly between 1 and 3 years of age. Results showed that children's vocabulary and utterance length grew linearly over time between 18 and 30 months of age. Children from more stimulating and responsive homes were reported to have larger vocabularies, to use more irregular nouns and verbs, and to use longer utterances, in addition to having more rapid rates of acquisition of irregular forms and longer utterances over time. Girls used longer utterances than boys and more irregular forms. Girls also had larger vocabularies in a secondary analysis that eliminated children whose parent report of their vocabulary was substantially lower than children's scores on a standardized language test. There are indications that some parents may be under-reporting their children's early vocabulary and grammatical development, with a high proportion of the parents reporting their child's 30 month vocabulary and grammatical development as being at or below the 10th percentile according to the CDI norms.
Article
Emergent literacy consists of the skills, knowledge, and attitudes that are developmental precursors to reading and writing. This article offers a preliminary typology of children's emergent literacy skills, a review of the evidence that relates emergent literacy to reading, and a review of the evidence for linkage between children's emergent literacy environments and the development of emergent literacy skills. We propose that emergent literacy consists of at least two distinct domains: inside-out skills (e.g., phonological awareness, letter knowledge) and outside-in skills (e.g., language, conceptual knowledge). These different domains are not the product of the same experiences and appear to be influential at different points in time during reading acquisition. Whereas outside-in skills are associated with those aspects of children's literacy environments typically measured, little is known about the origins of inside-out skills. Evidence from interventions to enhance emergent literacy suggests that relatively intensive and multifaceted interventions are needed to improve reading achievement maximally. A number of successful preschool interventions for outside-in skills exist, and computer-based tasks designed to teach children inside-out skills seem promising. Future research directions include more sophisticated multidimensional examination of emergent literacy skills and environments, better integration with reading research, and longer-term evaluation of preschool interventions. Policy implications for emergent literacy intervention and reading education are discussed.
Article
Specific effects of home literacy on the development of word decoding and reading comprehension from first through third grade were examined in an ethnically and social–economically heterogeneous sample of 69 Dutch children. Home environment pertained to children's opportunity for educational interactions, and parents' instructional and social–emotional quality during literate (joint book reading) and nonliterate (joint problem-solving) activities. Home environment was assessed before first grade; reading achievement at the end of first and third grade. At the end of first grade, oral language skills also were measured. Results revealed that parents' instructional and social–emotional quality had an effect on the development of reading comprehension, but not on word decoding. The effect was found for parental quality during both literate and nonliterate interactions. Finally, the home environmental effect was mediated by children's oral language skills in first grade, which lends support to a pragmatic oral language route to reading comprehension.