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The Role of Inference Making and Other Language Skills in the Development of Narrative Listening Comprehension in 4-6-Year-Old Children

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Abstract

In this two-year longitudinal study, we sought to examine the developmental relationships among early narrative listening comprehension and language skills (i.e., vocabulary knowledge, sentence memory, and phonological awareness) and the roles of these factors in predicting narrative listening comprehension at the age of 6 years. We also sought to examine the role of inference-making skills as longitudinal and concurrent predictors of other language skills and listening comprehension from the age of 4 to 6 years. One hundred thirty Finnish-speaking children participated in the study. A theoretical model of the developmental relationships among the variables was proposed and the associations were analyzed by means of path analysis. Results showed that inference skills, assessed through picture-book viewing, made a significant and unique contribution to variation in later narrative listening comprehension. Inference skills also played an indirect role in narrative listening comprehension by making a significant contribution to vocabulary knowledge even after controlling for earlier vocabulary knowledge and sentence memory. Although vocabulary knowledge and sentence memory were related to concurrent narrative listening comprehension, they did not predict later listening comprehension over and above the autoregressor. The results are discussed in terms of the predictive validity and diagnostic sensitivity of inference skills assessments in listening comprehension. Implications for research and theory are also discussed.

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... al. 2008;Roch and Hržica 2020). It has also been found that both receptive and expressive vocabulary are correlated with story retelling in preschool children (Jalongo and Sobolak 2011;Lepola et al. 2012). However, most of the previous studies have used mainly a single measure for assessing vocabulary, such as a multiple-choice task, or a word definition or word naming tasks. ...
... According to the results, statistically significant developmental differences were found in children's performance across all oral language tasks, with the older children performing better in comparison to the younger age groups (Hipfner-Boucher et al. 2014;Lepola et al. 2012;Westerveld and Gillon 2010). Older children also tended to have higher performance across all the story retelling microstructure and macrostructure criteria than the younger ones. ...
... In sum, the concurrent "reading" of the three models, demonstrates that the role of vocabulary skills for story retelling is critical and very stable across all the three age groups (Lepola et al. 2012). Additionally, a closer look at the three models together highlights that as the children get older a new language component is being added in the model as another contributor to their ability to retell a story, probably showing a developmental trend. ...
Article
Oral language and narrative skills constitute very critical factors for children’s academic performance and social competence. The aim of the present study was to investigate the developmental patterns of story retelling, as well as the relationship between oral language and story retelling in preschool and primary school children. Two hundred and thirty-seven Greek-speaking children (4–5, 5–6 and 6–7years old) participated in the study. Vocabulary knowledge, phonological awareness, morphological awareness skills and pragmatics were examined through a standardized psychometric test. Story retelling was measured by invit-ing the children to listen to a story and then retell it. Children’s narratives were evaluated according to microstructure (use of conjunctions and lexical cohesion) and macrostruc-ture (story grammar and temporal sequencing) criteria. The results showed that children performed better as they got older across all the oral language and story retelling tasks. Structural equation modeling revealed that vocabulary skills stand out as a stable predic-tor across all the three age groups. A new finding was also demonstrated, highlighting that morphological awareness, phonological awareness skills and pragmatics work together with vocabulary skills in diverse patterns at different points of a child’s development, in order to support his/her ability to retell a story.
... al. 2008;Roch and Hržica 2020). It has also been found that both receptive and expressive vocabulary are correlated with story retelling in preschool children (Jalongo and Sobolak 2011;Lepola et al. 2012). However, most of the previous studies have used mainly a single measure for assessing vocabulary, such as a multiple-choice task, or a word definition or word naming tasks. ...
... According to the results, statistically significant developmental differences were found in children's performance across all oral language tasks, with the older children performing better in comparison to the younger age groups (Hipfner-Boucher et al. 2014;Lepola et al. 2012;Westerveld and Gillon 2010). Older children also tended to have higher performance across all the story retelling microstructure and macrostructure criteria than the younger ones. ...
... In sum, the concurrent "reading" of the three models, demonstrates that the role of vocabulary skills for story retelling is critical and very stable across all the three age groups (Lepola et al. 2012). Additionally, a closer look at the three models together highlights that as the children get older a new language component is being added in the model as another contributor to their ability to retell a story, probably showing a developmental trend. ...
Article
Full-text available
Oral language and narrative skills constitute very critical factors for children’s academic performance and social competence. The aim of the present study was to investigate the developmental patterns of story retelling, as well as the relationship between oral language and story retelling in preschool and primary school children. Two hundred and thirty-seven Greek-speaking children (4–5, 5–6 and 6–7 years old) participated in the study. Vocabulary knowledge, phonological awareness, morphological awareness skills and pragmatics were examined through a standardized psychometric test. Story retelling was measured by inviting the children to listen to a story and then retell it. Children’s narratives were evaluated according to microstructure (use of conjunctions and lexical cohesion) and macrostructure (story grammar and temporal sequencing) criteria. The results showed that children performed better as they got older across all the oral language and story retelling tasks. Structural equation modeling revealed that vocabulary skills stand out as a stable predictor across all the three age groups. A new finding was also demonstrated, highlighting that morphological awareness, phonological awareness skills and pragmatics work together with vocabulary skills in diverse patterns at different points of a child’s development, in order to support his/her ability to retell a story.
... Inferencing is successful when learners reactivate and integrate previously acquired information with newly encoded information (Elbro & Buch-Iversen, 2013;Oakhill, 1984). Inferencing skills are critical to comprehension across both reading and non-reading contexts (Florit, Roch, & Levorato, 2011Kendeou, Bohn-Gettler, White, & van den Broek, 2008;LARRC, Currie, & Muijselaar, 2019;Lepola, Lynch, Laakkonen, Silven, & Niemi, 2012). Specifically, drawing accurate inferences contributes to the construction of a coherent mental representation of what is read, which then fosters retrieval of information that was explicit or implicit in the text (e.g., Kintsch & van Dijk, 1978). ...
... One key factor that may influence the effectiveness of ELCII's inferential questioning is the timing with which questions are posed. Indeed, in the extant literature, there is variability with respect to whether inference tasks pose questions during encoding of the relevant information (i.e., online; e.g., LARRC, Currie, & Muijselaar, 2019;Florit et al., 2011Florit et al., , 2014 or after encoding of all information (i.e., offline; e.g., Lepola et al., 2012). Examining this issue in the context of a web-based instruction such as ELCII is critical, as online and offline inferential questions may differ in their benefits for comprehension of video contents and may place different demands on students' cognitive and language skills. ...
... In particular, Kim (2015) found that two core linguistic skills, vocabulary knowledge and syntactic knowledge, directly contributed to kindergarten students' listening comprehension performance. Existing research has suggested a reciprocal relation between inferencing skill and language comprehension skills (Lepola et al., 2012). ...
Article
We examined the extent to which the timing of inferential questioning influenced kindergartners’ inferencing performance in a non-reading context, while also taking into account individual differences in language comprehension and executive function. Students completed the eight-week Early Language Comprehension Individualized Instruction (ELCII) application by responding to audiovisual inferential questions administered in one of two timing conditions: either (1) during video watching at various points (online) or (2) after the video was finished (offline). Results suggest that online questioning fostered greater overall gains in inferencing skill from pretest to posttest. Moreover, students with higher executive function demonstrated greater gain in inferencing than students with lower executive function. Likewise, students with higher language comprehension skills demonstrated greater gains in inferencing than students with lower language comprehension skills. Theoretical and instructional implications of the findings and areas for future research are discussed.
... En las 10 publicaciones analizadas, encontramos varios modelos apoyados en datos empíricos, lo que nos permite responder afirmativamente nuestra primera pregunta de investigación. Es así como algunos autores (Gardner-Neblett et al., 2015;Lepola et al., 2012;Roth et al., 2002;Silva y Cain, 2015) proponen modelos conceptuales, en los que se pueden establecer las relaciones existentes entre algunos componentes relevantes de la narrativa. Por ejemplo, Gardner-Neblett et al. (2015) y Roth et al. (2002) establecen la influencia de algunos factores externos (socioeconómicos y sociodemográficos), además destacan la relación existente entre las habilidades del lenguaje y el desempeño en lectoescritura. ...
... Por ejemplo, Gardner-Neblett et al. (2015) y Roth et al. (2002) establecen la influencia de algunos factores externos (socioeconómicos y sociodemográficos), además destacan la relación existente entre las habilidades del lenguaje y el desempeño en lectoescritura. Por su parte, Lepola et al. (2012) y Silva y Cain (2015) mencionan que la habilidad para hacer inferencias es un buen predictor de la comprensión narrativa, oral y escrita. En resumen, en los modelos revisados por estos autores, se evidencia una relación directa entre el desarrollo del lenguaje, la narrativa oral y el aprendizaje de la lectoescritura. ...
... Estos últimos autores proponen un modelo conceptual basado en un análisis de regresión de varios factores, entre los cuales encontramos medidas del lenguaje oral (metalingüística, estructuras del lenguaje y narrativa oral), medidas sociodemográficas (CI, estatus socioeconómico, etnicidad, género, literacidad familiar) y medidas de habilidad en lectura (reconocimiento de palabras, lectura de pseudopalabras y comprensión de lectura). Por su parte, Lepola et al. (2012) proponen un modelo conceptual que examina, en la etapa preescolar, la relación entre las habilidades lingüísticas y la habilidad para hacer inferencias, como factor predictor concurrente de la comprensión oral de la narrativa. Estos autores predicen que la comprensión narrativa depende de las habilidades para realizar inferencias, a la de edad de 4 años. ...
Article
Full-text available
Este artículo pretende identificar los modelos teóricos que describen el desarrollo de la narrativa oral en niños y establecer cuáles componentes del lenguaje influyen en dicho proceso. Con este propósito, llevamos a cabo una revisión sistemática de las investigaciones más recientes sobre este tema (2000-2019). Analizamos 10 estudios longitudinales que reportan resultados de medidas del lenguaje y la narrativa oral tomados durante el seguimiento de una población de niños y niñas por un periodo de al menos 12 meses. Estas medidas son la conciencia metalingüística, el lenguaje estructural y el discurso narrativo, entre otras. Nuestros resultados indican que la habilidad de contar un relato es uno de los mejores predictores del desarrollo del lenguaje en la etapa preescolar y del aprendizaje de la lectoescritura en la edad escolar. También encontramos que los modelos para explicar este proceso son escasos y que ignoran con frecuencia el componente pragmático.
... al. 2008;Roch and Hržica 2020). It has also been found that both receptive and expressive vocabulary are correlated with story retelling in preschool children (Jalongo and Sobolak 2011;Lepola et al. 2012). However, most of the previous studies have used mainly a single measure for assessing vocabulary, such as a multiple-choice task, or a word definition or word naming tasks. ...
... According to the results, statistically significant developmental differences were found in children's performance across all oral language tasks, with the older children performing better in comparison to the younger age groups (Hipfner-Boucher et al. 2014;Lepola et al. 2012;Westerveld and Gillon 2010). Older children also tended to have higher performance across all the story retelling microstructure and macrostructure criteria than the younger ones. ...
... In sum, the concurrent "reading" of the three models, demonstrates that the role of vocabulary skills for story retelling is critical and very stable across all the three age groups (Lepola et al. 2012). Additionally, a closer look at the three models together highlights that as the children get older a new language component is being added in the model as another contributor to their ability to retell a story, probably showing a developmental trend. ...
Article
Full-text available
Oral language and narrative skills constitute very critical factors for children’s academic performance and social competence. The aim of the present study was to investigate the developmental patterns of story retelling, as well as the relationship between oral language and story retelling in preschool and primary school children. Two hundred and thirty-seven Greek-speaking children (4–5, 5–6 and 6–7 years old) participated in the study. Vocabulary knowledge, phonological awareness, morphological awareness skills and pragmatics were examined through a standardized psychometric test. Story retelling was measured by inviting the children to listen to a story and then retell it. Children’s narratives were evaluated according to microstructure (use of conjunctions and lexical cohesion) and macrostructure (story grammar and temporal sequencing) criteria. The results showed that children performed better as they got older across all the oral language and story retelling tasks. Structural equation modeling revealed that vocabulary skills stand out as a stable predictor across all the three age groups. A new finding was also demonstrated, highlighting that morphological awareness, phonological awareness skills and pragmatics work together with vocabulary skills in diverse patterns at different points of a child’s development, in order to support his/her ability to retell a story.
... Narratives surround children from their earliest language experiences [1][2][3]. Young children experience narratives through shared book reading and participation in talks about daily events. Children as young as two to three years old develop a rich repertoire of knowledge about narratives and use that to narrate their needs, desires, plans, to understand, and respond to others' demands, requests, needs, and emotional reactions [4]. ...
... Results provide piecemeal evidence and scarce information about structural relations among language and cognitive skills involved [23]. We still have much to understand about how language and cognitive skills influence each other, and how they become integrated to produce successful narrative comprehension [3]. ...
... When children listen to a story, to understand adequately, they must be able to draw spontaneously appropriate inferences [53]. Inferential ability refers to the ability to integrate explicit contents with previous knowledge to derive meaning that is not explicitly stated in the text [3]. The ability to generate inferences has been found to contribute to young children's ability to understand literal as well as inferred meaning, leading to better listening texts comprehension [33,41,54]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Listening narrative comprehension, according to the theoretical framework of the multicomponent model for comprehension, involves numerous skills that interact dynamically between each other and have the potential to give rise to individual differences in comprehension. The purpose of the current work was to define a comprehensive and complete multicomponent model of listening narrative comprehension in preschool age. We investigated how variation in Length of Exposure to majority Language (i.e., how long children have been exposed to the Italian language), lower-order cognitive (WM, inhibitory control, attention shifting), language skills (receptive vocabulary, syntactic knowledge, rapid naming), and higher-order cognitive skills (inferences, TOM, knowledge of story-structure) are related to listening narrative comprehension in Italian of 111 preschool children (Mage = 61 months; SD = 6.8) growing in a monolingual or multilingual context. Structural equation modeling results showed that the model explained 60% variance in listening narrative comprehension in Italian of children aged four to six and predicted the outcome both through direct and mediated paths, coherently with the multicomponent model of comprehension.
... Empirical studies have indeed shown significant correlations between vocabulary and listening comprehension across all school ages (e.g. Hagtvet, 2003;Kim, 2016;Kim & Phillips, 2014;Lepola et al., 2012;Lervåg et al., 2018;Protopapas et al., 2013;Wolf et al., 2019;Wolfgramm et al., 2016). These findings indicate that vocabulary is a contributor to listening comprehension outcomes, also in higher grades (Lervåg et al., 2018). ...
... Consistent with our expectations, vocabulary was the strongest contributor to listening comprehension, and it was even the only direct contributor. This finding underscores the importance of vocabulary knowledge in constructing a situation model (Kintsch & Rawson, 2005;van den Broek et al., 1995) and relates to previous findings that confirm this conceptual relationship with empirical data (Hagtvet, 2003;Kim, 2016;Kim & Phillips, 2014;Lepola et al., 2012;Lervåg et al., 2018;Protopapas et al., 2013;Wolf et al., 2019;Wolfgramm et al., 2016). This contribution seems to remain strong, as our multigroup analysis showed that the contribution of vocabulary was even stronger for the 11-to 12-year-olds than for the 9-to 10-year-olds. ...
... LARRC et al., 2019;Lervåg et al., 2018), is also needed to comprehend the pattern of mixed results reported in the literature on the relationship between verbal memory and concentration (as well as attention) and listening comprehension. Given that concurrent listening comprehension is best predicted by prior listening comprehension (Alonzo et al., 2016;Lepola et al., 2012), a longitudinal design should include this measure as well as the separate components. Furthermore, the reciprocity between the different variables over time could then be assessed, as better listening comprehension ability could, for instance, impact positively on vocabulary as well as on self-efficacy. ...
Article
Full-text available
Listening comprehension is important for daily communication and at school, yet relatively little is known about the variables contributing to listening comprehension, especially in the upper elementary years. The aim of this study was to explore whether vocabulary, verbal memory, but also self-efficacy and self-reported concentration contribute to listening comprehension. The authors assessed oral text comprehension, as well as the concurrent contributors vocabulary, verbal short- and long-term memory, self-efficacy and concentration in a sample of 442 upper elementary school children (9- to 12-year-olds). Structural equation models were used to test for direct and indirect associations. The best-fitting model was an indirect model in which verbal short-term memory and self-efficacy were positively associated with children’s vocabulary. Vocabulary, in turn, was positively associated with children’s listening comprehension. Using bias-corrected bootstrap procedures, however, vocabulary appeared to mediate the association between academic self-efficacy and listening comprehension. The indirect association between verbal short-term memory and listening comprehension through vocabulary just missed significance. The findings relate to models of listening comprehension that state a dominant role for vocabulary, also in the upper elementary years. They imply that the models could extend to evaluating broader student-related resources, such as academic self-efficacy. Furthermore, the findings on general cognitive resources fit the pattern of mixed findings in previous research. Together, the results motivate further research into contributors to listening comprehension throughout the elementary years.
... Successful passage comprehension relies on the ability to understand and recall the specific passage content and, typically, to provide correct responses afterward (Kim, 2016). Therefore, a passage comprehension task taps into different language domains, such as lexicon, grammar, phonology, and pragmatics, and require the integration of linguistic skills with previous experience and knowledge about the surrounding world to reach understanding (Bishop, 2014;Dochy et al., 1999;Lepola et al., 2012;Paul & Norbury, 2012). Bilingual children's knowledge and proficiency in the school language, the second language (L2), may be age inadequate due to different factors, that is, due to limited exposure to an L2 or due to a language disorder. ...
... When assessing passage comprehension in younger children, the narrative genre is usually chosen. Children are usually exposed to narratives from a very young age, both from watching children's television shows and from talking about daily events as well as through shared book reading, either at preschool or in the home environment (Bishop, 2014;Lepola et al., 2012). This indicates that the macrostructure of a narrative is familiar to children long before they start school. ...
... Passage comprehension performance requires skills in different language domains such as lexicon, grammar, and pragmatics. Linguistic skills have to be integrated with previous experience and knowledge about the surrounding world for the child to reach understanding (Bishop, 2014;Dochy et al., 1999;Lepola et al., 2012;Paul & Norbury, 2012). When the school language represents the L2, prior experience of, exposure to, and knowledge of that language may be reduced, which, in turn, may result in poorer understanding. ...
Article
Purpose This study reports on the development of an auditory passage comprehension task for Swedish primary school children of cultural and linguistic diversity. It also reports on their performance on the task in quiet and in noise. Method Eighty-eight children aged 7–9 years and showing normal hearing participated. The children were divided into three groups based on presumed language exposure: 13 children were categorized as Swedish-speaking monolinguals, 19 children were categorized as simultaneous bilinguals, and 56 children were categorized as sequential bilinguals. No significant difference in working memory capacity was seen between the three language groups. Two passages and associated multiple-choice questions were developed. During development of the passage comprehension task, steps were taken to reduce the impact of culture-specific prior experience and knowledge on performance. This was achieved by using the story grammar principles, universal topics and plots, and simple language that avoided complex or unusual grammatical structures and words. Results The findings indicate no significant difference between the two passages and similar response distributions. Passage comprehension performance was significantly better in quiet than in noise, regardless of language exposure group. The monolinguals outperformed both simultaneous and sequential bilinguals in both listening conditions. Conclusions Because the task was designed to minimize the effect of cultural knowledge on auditory passage comprehension, this suggests that compared with monolinguals, both simultaneous and sequential bilinguals have a disadvantage in auditory passage comprehension. As expected, the findings demonstrate that noise has a negative effect on auditory passage comprehension. The magnitude of this effect does not relate to language exposure. The developed auditory passage comprehension task seems suitable for assessing auditory passage comprehension in primary school children of linguistic and cultural diversity.
... As regards the associations among early narrative comprehension skills, basic language and literacy skills and later reading comprehension skills, results are somewhat conflicting. In many studies, vocabulary has been related to narrative comprehension Lepola, Lynch, Laakkonen, Silvén, & Niemi, 2012;Potocki, Ecalle, & Magnan, 2013). However, van den Broek et al. (2005) found that early narrative comprehension skills are to a large extent independent from vocabulary. ...
... However, van den Broek et al. (2005) found that early narrative comprehension skills are to a large extent independent from vocabulary. In addition, morphological and syntactic knowledge and sentence comprehension skills (Potocki et al. 2013) as well as sentence memory (Lepola et al. 2012) may predict narrative comprehension. Narrative comprehension may also be associated with some prereading skills such as phoneme segmentation (Paris & Paris, 2003). ...
Chapter
We analysed narrative comprehension in 5-to-6-year-old simultaneously bilingual Finnish-Swedish (n = 16) and monolingual Finnish children (n = 16) by using the Multilingual Assessment Instrument for Narratives (MAIN). We assessed mean total narrative comprehension scores for bilingual children in both of their languages and for monolingual children in Finnish, in both telling and retelling conditions. We compared bilingual and monolingual children's narrative comprehension in Finnish and analysed the association between comprehension and production. We also analysed the children's ability to answer different types of comprehension questions (i.e., questions probing goals, internal state terms, and questions requiring both the ability to draw inferences and to explain answers). We found no difference in total narrative comprehension scores for bilingual children between their two languages or between monolingual and bilingual children. This suggests language-independent narrative comprehension. We found no difference in narrative comprehension between telling and retelling and no correlation between narrative comprehension and production. However, we found a clear question type effect. Children performed better on questions probing goals or internal state terms, but questions that required both inferencing and ability to explain answers were very demanding. In conclusion, detailed analysis of narrative comprehension provides knowledge on how children create a coherent understanding of a story and utilise information in the comprehension process.
... As argued by Silva and Cain (2015), the relationship between vocabulary and inferential abilities is reciprocal [58]. Better knowledge of words contained in the text facilitates the connections between different parts of the text and between the ideas expressed in the text and previous knowledge [78]. At the same time, inferential abilities facilitate new vocabulary acquisition, because the texts are the main source for new word learning from context. ...
... The findings of the current study provide some evidence that narratives represent a promising context for fostering broad oral language skills, namely vocabulary, inferential abilities, sequencing and in turn narrative comprehension, even in preschool children. The current work extends the existing literature on preschoolers lending preliminary convergent evidence in support of the results obtained by previous longitudinal studies [78]. ...
Article
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Socioeconomic disparities increase the probability that children will enter school behind their more advantaged peers. Early intervention on language skills may enhance language and literacy outcomes, reduce the gap and, eventually, promote school readiness of low-SES (Socioeconomic Status) children. This study aimed to analyze the feasibility and effectiveness of a brief narrative-based intervention (treatment vs. control group) aimed to foster broad oral language skills in preschoolers (N = 69; Mean age = 5.5, SD = 4 months) coming from low-SES families. Moreover, it was analyzed whether children’s initial vocabulary mediates the intervention’s responsiveness. Results have shown that children in treatment group obtained greater gains than children in control group in almost all intervention-based measures. There is also some evidence for the generalizability of the intervention to other skills not directly trained during the intervention. Moreover, it was found that children’s initial vocabulary mediates the intervention’s responsiveness showing that children with high vocabulary made greater gains in higher-level components of language comprehension, whereas children with low vocabulary made higher gains in vocabulary. Taken together, our findings suggest that a relatively brief, but quite intensive narrative-based intervention, may produce improvements on broad oral language skills in preschoolers from low-SES backgrounds.
... Evidence clearly indicates that a number of language and cognitive skills are involved in discourse comprehension processes, including working memory (Daneman & Merikle, 1996;Kim Y.-S.G. et al. Florit et al., 2011;Kim, 2015Kim, , 2016Zwaan & Radvansky, 1998), inhibitory control (Kim & Phillips, 2014), attentional control (Conners, 2009;Kim, 2016), vocabulary Kim, 2015Kim, , 2016Kim, , 2017Strasser & del Rio, 2014), grammatical knowledge (Cain, 2007;Florit et al., , 2014Kim, 2015Kim, , 2016Kim, , 2017Kim, , 2020Senechal et al., 2006), inference-making (inference hereafter; Cain et al., 2004;Kendeou et al., 2008;Kim, 2016Kim, , 2017Kim, , 2020Lepola et al., 2012;Tompkins et al., 2013), perspective taking as measured by theory of mind (Kim, 2015(Kim, , 2016Kim & Phillips, 2014), comprehension monitoring (Kim, 2015Kim & Phillips, 2014Strasser & del Rio, 2014), and knowledge (topic/content knowledge (McNamara et al., 1996), text structure knowledge (Cain et al., 2004)). Not surprisingly, children who struggle with discourse comprehension have lower skills in these language and cognitive domains (Cain & Oakhill, 1999Ehrlich et al., 1999;Nation et al., 2004;Oakhill, 1984). ...
... Listening comprehension is a necessary precursor and foundation for reading comprehension (Gough & Tunmer, 1986;Hoover & Gough, 1990), and therefore, listening comprehension merits attention. Theoretically, discourse comprehension does not differentiate reading versus listening comprehension in terms of processes (e.g., Kim, 2016;Kintsch, 1988;McNamara & Magliano, 2009) with an exception of word reading processes involved in reading comprehension (e.g., Gough & Tunmer, 1986;Kim, 2020, and recent evidence revealed that highly similar language and cognitive skills contribute to reading comprehension and listening comprehension (e.g., for listening comprehension, see Florit et al., 2014;Kim, 2016;Lepola et al., 2012;Strasser & del Rio, 2014;Tompkins et al., 2013; for reading comprehension, see, e.g., Cain et al., 2004;Kim, 2017Kim, , 2020Oakhill et al., 2003Oakhill et al., , 2005Savage et al., 2006). ...
Article
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We investigated the contributions of multiple strands of factors—individual characteristics (struggling reader status, working memory, vocabulary, grammatical knowledge, knowledge-based inference, theory of mind, comprehension monitoring), a text feature (narrative vs. expository genre), and question types (literal and inferential)—to one’s performance on discourse comprehension in oral language (listening comprehension), using data from 529 second graders. Results from explanatory item response models revealed that substantial variance in listening comprehension was attributable to differences between items, texts, and children, respectively. Narrative versus expository genre distinctions explained almost all of the variance attributable to text differences. In contrast, literal versus inferential question distinctions did not explain item responses after accounting for text and reading comprehension status. However, there was a moderation between struggling reader status and question type such that struggling readers had a slightly higher (2%) probability of getting inferential questions right compared to typically developing readers, after accounting for individual and text factors. Struggling readers have a lower probability of accurate item responses than typically developing readers, but the difference disappeared once language and cognitive skills (e.g., working memory, vocabulary) were taken into consideration. The effects of text genre and question type on item responses did not differ as a function of children’s language and cognitive skills. Overall, these results underscore the importance of considering individual, text, and assessment factors for children’s performance in listening comprehension.
... Initial propositions (i.e., textbase representation) constructed based on the linguistic information in the text (i.e., surface code) need to undergo integration processes to establish a global coherence in the situation model (e.g., Barnes, Ahmed, Barth, & Francis, 2015; Barnes, Dennis, & Haefele-Kalvaitis, 1996;Cain, Oakhill, & Bryant, 2004;Kim, 2017a;see McNamara & Magliano, 2009, for a review). Studies have shown that the construction and integration processes draw on the language and cognitive skills of working memory, inhibitory and attentional control, vocabulary, and grammatical knowledge (Kim, 2015(Kim, , 2016(Kim, , 2017aBarnes et al., 1996Barnes et al., , 2015Cain et al., 2004;Cromley & Azevedo, 2007;Daneman & Carpenter, 1980;Daneman & Merikle, 1996;Elleman, Lindo, Morphy, & Compton, 2009;Florit, Roch, & Levorato, 2011Kendeou, Bohn-Gettler, White, & van den Broek, 2008;Kim & Phillips, 2014;Lepola, Lynch, Laakkonen, Silvén, & Niemi, 2012;Strasser & del Rio, 2014;Tompkins, Guo, & Justice, 2013). Furthermore, essential in the integration process are higher-order cognitive skills such as comprehension monitoring and inferencing. ...
... Working memory is related to theory of mind (Arslan et al., 2017;Davis & Pratt, 1995;Valle et al., 2015) and discourse comprehension (Daneman & Carpenter, 1980;Daneman & Merikle, 1996;Peng et al., 2018). Working memory is also related to vocabulary (Gathercole, Service, Hitch, Adams, & Martin, 1999, Gathercole, Tiffany, Briscoe, Thorn, & ALSPAC Team, 2005Kim, 2017b), which is important to theory of mind (Astington & Jenkins, 1999;Slade & Ruffman, 2005) and discourse comprehension (Ahmed et al., 2016;Kim, 2015;Elleman et al., 2009;Kim, 2016;Lepola et al., 2012). These suggest the following chain of relations: working memory ? ...
Article
Theory of mind has received intensive attention in research as an important skill to develop. Furthermore, recent evidence indicates its role in discourse comprehension. In the current study, we examined the mediating role of theory of mind in the relations of foun-dational language and cognitive skills (working memory, attentional control, vocabulary, and grammatical knowledge) to discourse comprehension using the direct and indirect effects model of text comprehension and production (Kim, 2016) as a theoretical framework, and using longitudinal data from kindergarten to Grade 2. Structural equation model results showed that theory of mind partially mediated the relations in both grades, and the effects (standardized regression weights) were similar in kindergarten and Grade 2. Interestingly, the relations of language and cognitive skills to theory of mind differed in kindergarten versus Grade 2. Language and cognitive skills had moderate to strong longitudinal stability, and these skills in kindergarten were indirectly related to discourse comprehension in Grade 2 via the language and cognitive skills in Grade 2. These results support the mediating role of theory of mind as well as the nature of structural and longitudinal relations among language and cognitive skills and to discourse comprehension.
... The notion that myriad language and cognitive skills are involved in successful reading comprehension has been supported by work before and concurrent with the RfU research that is the focus of this article (e.g., Cain, Oakhill, & Bryant, 2004; Y.-S.G. Kim, 2017;Lepola, Lynch, Laakkonen, Silvén, & Niemi, 2012). For example, in one concurrent non-RfU study, Y.-S.G. ...
Article
Advocates of the science of reading have invoked the simple view of reading (SVR) to justify an approach that foregrounds decoding in early reading instruction. The SVR, which describes comprehension as the product of decoding and listening comprehension, also served as the primary theoretical model underlying the Reading for Understanding (RfU) initiative. Research funded under the RfU initiative included direct examinations of the validity of the SVR and the nature of its underlying components and extended the SVR in studies of middle school and high school readers. In this article, the authors use research conducted under the RfU initiative to examine the validity and utility of the SVR, in general, and the appropriateness of its application in the “science of reading” debate. RfU research has provided not only evidence in support of the overall SVR model but also important cautions relevant to the “science of reading” debate. In particular, RfU has provided evidence regarding the significance of the listening comprehension component of the SVR, often overlooked by advocates of the science of reading. This research has documented the importance of early oral language skills, which support both decoding and listening comprehension in young readers and plays a critical role in students' success as readers as they move through school. In addition, RfU research has identified a complicated constellation of skills and knowledge that impact reading comprehension as students advance in school.
... In this way children are provided with additional information from the context or text that may activate relevant prior knowledge and be used to derive or infer the meaning of novel words. Inference generation, or higher-order cognitive processes, therefore, promote vocabulary learning (e.g., Language and Reading Research Consortium et al., 2019;Lepola et al., 2012;Verhoeven & Van Leeuwe, 2008). Gains in vocabulary, in turn, may further support discourse processes, and eventually text comprehension (e.g., Kim, 2016;Silva & Cain, 2015). ...
Article
The Simple View of Reading (SVR) model was investigated in Italian beginner readers to address the following research questions: (a) does listening comprehension play a stronger role in reading comprehension than reading accuracy and fluency in the initial stages of literacy?; (b) what is the role of vocabulary within the SVR framework? First graders (N = 149; mean age = 6;3) were assessed at the beginning (T1; no formal instruction) and end (T2; after 6 months) of the school year. Vocabulary breadth and depth, and non-verbal reasoning were assessed at T1. Reading and listening comprehension, accuracy and fluency for non-words and words were assessed at T2. Structural equation models showed that (a) listening comprehension had a stronger relation with reading comprehension than reading accuracy and fluency at T2; (b) vocabulary breadth and depth at T1 accounted for reading comprehension through listening comprehension at T2. Findings supported the relevance of listening comprehension and vocabulary, and of interventions on these skills, for reading comprehension in beginner readers of a highly transparent orthography.
... These stages cover the age span from 2 -6 years of age, during which children go from the production of unconnected microstructures to complete narratives. By evaluating the retelling of stories by children aged 4 -6 years old, Hipfner-Boucher, Milburn, Weitzman, Greenberg, Pelletier and Girolametto (2014) [14] and Lepola et al. (2012) [15] realized that older children presented better narrative structure. ...
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The personal narrative constitutes a revival of past events and a preparation procedure of upcoming ones, developing a person's self-concept. The purpose of the current research was to study Greek children's personal narratives. Participants of the survey were 20 ten-year-old children, including 10 boys and 10 girls of typical development, where each one of them was asked to narrate 6 of their life events. The goal of data collection and analysis was to study the microstructure and macrostructure, as well as evaluate the potential results and investigate the impact of gender on them. The outcome numbers describe the children's performances in scales being used. Important findings of the research were the absence of differences between the two genders. All in all, the results reveal a tendency of that age children's personal narrative characteristics.
... High quality of word semantic meaning identification is beneficial for accurate individual word meaning retrieval (Perfetti and Hart, 2002), which establishes word-and-word unit for sentence proposition coherence (Cain et al., 2004;Braze et al., 2016). Past evidence has shown that vocabulary is significantly related to inference ability, listening comprehension, and reading comprehension (Lepola et al., 2012;Cain and Oakhill, 2014;Daugaard et al., 2017). Chinese is a kind of logographic script that is different from alphabetical script (e.g., English) in character construction (Ku and Anderson, 2003;Ramirez et al., 2010), grammatical knowledge (Bawa and Watson, 2017;Paradis and Jia, 2017), and function words sequence (Chen et al., 2016;Lee et al., 2017). ...
Article
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This study investigated the correlation between vocabulary knowledge and reading comprehension. To address the correlation picture under Chinese logographical scripts, the researchers investigated the potential explanation for the correlation via Reading Stage, Information Gap, Content-based Approach, and Cognition and Creativity Theory approaches. This study undertook a meta-analysis to synthesize 89 independent samples from primary school stage to Master's degree stage. Results showed the correlation picture as an inverted U-shape, supporting the idea that vocabulary knowledge contributed a large proportion of variance on text comprehension and might also support the independent hypothesis of the impact of vocabulary knowledge on reading comprehension. In each education stage, the correlation between vocabulary knowledge and reading comprehension was independent in that it did not interact with any significant moderators. This study informed that the vocabulary knowledge not only determined text comprehension progress through facial semantic meaning identification but also suggested that the coordinate development of vocabulary knowledge, grammatical knowledge, and inference would be better in complexity comprehension task performance.
... Text reading fluency and reading comprehension (D. L. Baker et al., 2011;Jenkins et al., 2003;Kim, 2015a), foundational oral language skills (vocabulary and grammatical knowledge) and morphological awareness (Kieffer & Lesaux, 2012;McBride-Chang et al., 2008), and foundational oral language skills and inference (e.g., Currie & Cain, 2015;Kim, 2015bKim, , 2016Kim, , 2017aLepola et al., 2012) are also posited to have bidirectional relations. In addition, reading skills are expected to have interactive relations with other component skills via reading experience or exposure. ...
Article
The authors propose an integrative theoretical model of reading called the direct and indirect effects model of reading (DIER) that builds on and extends several prominent theoretical models of reading. According to DIER, the following skills and knowledge are involved in reading comprehension: word reading, listening comprehension, text reading fluency, background knowledge (content knowledge and discourse knowledge), reading affect or socioemotions, higher order cognitions and regulation (e.g., inference, perspective taking, reasoning, and comprehension monitoring), vocabulary, grammatical (morphosyntactic and syntactic) knowledge, phonology, morphology, orthography, and domain–general cognitions (e.g., working memory and attentional control). Importantly, DIER also describes the nature of structural relations—component skills are hypothesized to have (a) hierarchical relations; (b) dynamic (or differential) relations as a function of text, activity (including assessment), and development; and (c) interactive relations. The authors then examined the hierarchical relations hypothesis by comparing a flat or direct relations model with hierarchical relations (or direct and indirect effects) models. Structural equation model results from 201 Korean-speaking first graders supported the hierarchical relations hypothesis and revealed multichanneled direct and indirect effects of component skills. These results are discussed in light of DIER, including instructional and assessment implications for reading development and reading difficulties.
... Language demands on listening comprehension have been usually measured through children's vocabulary, syntactic comprehension and sentence repetition abilities. Studies have revealed consistent patterns of medium-to-large correlations between listening comprehension and language skills in TD children (Daneman & Blennerhassett, 1984;Florit, Roch, & Levorato, 2011Kidd, 2013;Kim, 2016;Lepola, Lynch, Laakkonen, Silvén, & Niemi, 2012), as well as in children with DLD (Karasinski & Ellis Weismer, 2010;Tsimpli et al., 2016). These findings imply that establishing a true effect of bilingualism on DLD children's narrative comprehension skills requires measuring their language ability. ...
... A more differentiated understanding of how children's engagement during shared storybook reading can be enhanced could help to identify approaches for supporting reading motivation in primary school or even before. Second, even though different oral language skills on the word, sentence, and text level are highly correlated before school entry (Language and Reading Research Consortium, 2015b), there is some evidence that lower versus higher level language skills are each unique predictors of reading comprehension (Lepola et al., 2012;Kim, 2014;Catts et al., 2015;Silva and Cain, 2015). Therefore, a model of HLE's effects on oral language should distinguish these two sets of language skills, and studies should investigate how they are related to shared reading. ...
Article
Full-text available
Shared reading research has become increasingly multidisciplinary and has incorporated a multitude of assessment methods. This calls for an interdisciplinary perspective on children’s shared reading experiences at home and at the child care center, and relationships to their oral language development. Here, we first discuss Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological model of human development (Bronfenbrenner & Morris, 2006) regarding the relationship between shared storybook reading and oral language development. Second, we develop a framework for investigating effects of shared reading on language development in two important microsystems: the home literacy environment and the child care literacy environment. Zooming in on shared storybook reading as a proximal process that drives oral language development, we then develop a triad model of language learning through shared storybook reading that integrates approaches and evidence from educational psychology, developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, and corpus linguistics. Our model describes characteristics of children, adults, and books, and how their interplay influences shared reading activities. Third, we discuss implications for the Home Literacy Model (Sénéchal & LeFevre, 2002, 2014) regarding the conceptualization of shared reading as an important source of oral language development. Finally, to facilitate integrated research designs that include the two most important microsystems, we provide a critical discussion of assessment methods used in research that investigates the home literacy environment and the child care literacy environment and relate them to the shared reading triad in our bioecological model of shared storybook reading. We conclude with directions for future research.
... There is evidence that inference making ability emerges as young as the preschool years and children make a big leap in their ability to make causal inferences from the age of three to four years, which stems from their recognition of the mental states of the characters (Makdissi & Boisclair, 2006). Prior work demonstrated that preschoolers' inference making and story comprehension were related (Authors, 2013; Lepola, Lynch, Laakkonen, Silvén, & Niemi, 2012); however, researchers have yet to examine story comprehension and inference making in relation to preschoolers' FBU. ...
Article
Prior work shows that theory of mind (ToM), typically assessed with false belief understanding (FBU) tasks, predicts reading comprehension in school-aged children. This paper extends this research by examining the link in preschool-aged children in an exploratory study. We examined associations among FBU and several aspects of narrative abilities (story comprehension, picture sequencing, inferences generated in a narrative task, and goal-directed narratives) in a six-month longitudinal study. We found that FBU was related to all narrative abilities within Time 1 and with inferencing within Time 2. There were also cross-lagged associations between FBU and inferencing between Time 1 and 2. However, only goal-directed narratives were significantly related to FBU after controlling for child age and language. Interestingly, a factor analysis demonstrated that FBU and all narrative abilities but picture sequencing loaded onto a single factor. This study suggests that FBU and narrative abilities may overlap during the preschool years rather than representing distinct constructs. It also suggests that during the preschool years, narrative production rather than narrative comprehension may be more strongly linked to FBU as both the inference and goal-directed narrative tasks were derived from children’s oral narratives.
... Text reading fluency and reading comprehension (D. L. Baker et al., 2011;Jenkins et al., 2003;Kim, 2015a), foundational oral language skills (vocabulary and grammatical knowledge) and morphological awareness (Kieffer & Lesaux, 2012;McBride-Chang et al., 2008), and foundational oral language skills and inference (e.g., Currie & Cain, 2015;Kim, 2015bKim, , 2016Kim, , 2017aLepola et al., 2012) are also posited to have bidirectional relations. In addition, reading skills are expected to have interactive relations with other component skills via reading experience or exposure. ...
Article
The authors propose an integrative theoretical model of reading called the direct and indirect effects model of reading (DIER) that builds on and extends several prominent theoretical models of reading. According to DIER, the following skills and knowledge are involved in reading comprehension: word reading, listening comprehension, text reading fluency, background knowledge (content knowledge and discourse knowledge), reading affect or socioemotions, higher order cognitions and regulation (e.g., inference, perspective taking, reasoning, and comprehension monitoring), vocabulary, grammatical (morphosyntactic and syntactic) knowledge, phonology, morphology, orthography, and domain–general cognitions (e.g., working memory and attentional control). Importantly, DIER also describes the nature of structural relations—component skills are hypothesized to have (a) hierarchical relations; (b) dynamic (or differential) relations as a function of text, activity (including assessment), and development; and (c) interactive relations. The authors then examined the hierarchical relations hypothesis by comparing a flat or direct relations model with hierarchical relations (or direct and indirect effects) models. Structural equation model results from 201 Korean-speaking first graders supported the hierarchical relations hypothesis and revealed multichanneled direct and indirect effects of component skills. These results are discussed in light of DIER, including instructional and assessment implications for reading development and reading difficulties.
... Previous longitudinal studies have often focused on either predictors of listening comprehension in preschool aged children (Florit et al., 2011;Lepola et al., 2012;Florit et al., 2014) or on predictors of reading comprehension in school aged children (e.g., Oakhill et al., 2003;Oakhill and Cain, 2012). To extend these studies, I not only investigated a longer developmental period from preschool to early adolescence, but both listening and reading comprehension at the same measurement point in early adolescence. ...
Article
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The present study tests a section of the DIET (direct and indirect effects model of text comprehension; Kim, 2017) model and focuses on the relations between early language skills, various facets of mental state understanding, and text comprehension. In a sample of 267 children, I analyzed the relations between language skills (vocabulary, sentence comprehension) at age 3;6, theory of mind (ToM) at age 5;6, mental state language and metacognitive knowledge at age 9;2, and children’s listening and reading comprehension of texts at age 13;7 years. For reading comprehension, results favored a total mediation model that included only direct links from metacognitive knowledge and mental state language to reading comprehension. For listening comprehension, by contrast, a model that also included direct relations from language and ToM in preschool was favored. Metacognitive skills did not mediate the relation between early skills and later text comprehension but, along with mental state language, showed direct relations with reading comprehension beyond listening comprehension. Early language skills showed various indirect relations with later reading comprehension via ToM, mental state language, and listening comprehension, whereas ToM showed only small indirect relations with later reading comprehension via later listening comprehension. These different relations of the various components with later listening in contrast to reading comprehension are discussed.
... The dimensionality of reading prosody and the predictive relations of word reading and listening comprehension to reading prosody may change with reading development as the constraining role of word reading decreases. In addition, in the present study we examined listening comprehension as a predictor of reading prosody, given that listening comprehension captures oral comprehension at the discourse level and involves semantic processes and draws on vocabulary and morphosyntactic and syntactic knowledge (e.g., Kendeou, Bohn-Gettler, White, & van den Broek, 2008;Kim, 2015Kim, , 2017Kim, , 2020Kim & Phillips, 2014;Lepola, Lynch, Laakkonen, Silvén, & Niemi, 2012). However, future studies can replicate and extend the present study by examining the relations of vocabulary and syntactic knowledge to reading prosody, controlling for word reading. ...
... Thus, social-emotional processes are expected to bidirectionally relate to reading and writing (Katzir et al., 2018). Finally, interactive relations are also hypothesized between component skills (e.g., vocabulary and syntactic knowledge and inference; Lepola et al., 2012;vocabulary and morphology;Kieffer & Lesaux, 2012). ...
Article
This article presents the application of the interactive dynamic literacy (IDL) model (Kim, 2020a) toward understanding difficulties in learning to read and write. According to the IDL model, reading and writing are part of communicative acts that draw on largely shared processes and skills as well as unique processes and skills. As such, reading and writing are dissociable but interdependent systems that have hierarchical, interactive, and dynamic relations. These key tenets of the IDL model are applied to the disruption of reading and writing development to explain co-occurrence of reading–writing difficulties using a single framework. The following hypotheses are presented: (a) co-occurrence between word reading and spelling and handwriting difficulties; (b) co-occurrence of dyslexia with written composition difficulties; (c) cooccurrence between reading comprehension and written composition difficulties; (d) co-occurrence of language difficulties with reading difficulties and writing difficulties; (e) co-occurrence of reading, writing, and language difficulties with weak domain-general skills or executive functions such as working memory and attentional control (including attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder [ADHD]); and (f) multiple pathways for reading and writing difficulties. Implications are discussed.
... It was found that reasoning ability of eight to nine years old can significantly predict 10 to 11 years old reading comprehension ability [31]; Lepora, etc. It was found that reasoning ability of four to five years old can directly predict listening comprehension ability of the following six years old [32]. ...
Article
Full-text available
p>Specific dyslexia is a sub-type of dyslexia, which has gradually attracted the attention of researchers at home and abroad in recent years. Research on specific dyslexia mainly comes from cognitive field and focuses on language skills, general cognitive ability and impairment of cognitive flexibility. This paper sorts out and summarizes the basic viewpoints and related researches on cognitive deficits of specific dyslexics, and analyzes the causes and effects of specific dyslexics, so as to provide references for the identification, intervention training and research of specific dyslexics.</p
... Thus, social-emotional processes are expected to bidirectionally relate to reading and writing (Katzir et al., 2018). Finally, interactive relations are also hypothesized between component skills (e.g., vocabulary and syntactic knowledge and inference; Lepola et al., 2012;vocabulary and morphology;Kieffer & Lesaux, 2012). ...
Article
This article presents the application of the interactive dynamic literacy (IDL) model (Kim, 2020a) toward understanding difficulties in learning to read and write. According to the IDL model, reading and writing are part of communicative acts that draw on largely shared processes and skills as well as unique processes and skills. As such, reading and writing are dissociable but interdependent systems that have hierarchical, interactive, and dynamic relations. These key tenets of the IDL model are applied to the disruption of reading and writing development to explain co-occurrence of reading–writing difficulties using a single framework. The following hypotheses are presented: (a) co-occurrence between word reading and spelling and handwriting difficulties; (b) co-occurrence of dyslexia with written composition difficulties; (c) co-occurrence between reading comprehension and written composition difficulties; (d) co-occurrence of language difficulties with reading difficulties and writing difficulties; (e) co-occurrence of reading, writing, and language difficulties with weak domain-general skills or executive functions such as working memory and attentional control (including attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder [ADHD]); and (f) multiple pathways for reading and writing difficulties. Implications are discussed.
... Whereas reading comprehension is the ability to construct meaning from written representations of language, language comprehension refers to the ability to construct meaning from its spoken representations (Wren 2001). It encompasses word-, sentence, and discourse-level competencies that are generally assessed in the research literature in terms of receptive skills (vocabulary and listening comprehension) (Kim and Phillips 2014;Lepola et al. 2012;Tompkins, Guo, and Justice 2013). ...
Article
Full-text available
Situated within the Simple View of Reading, this study examined the code-related (word reading) and oral language (receptive vocabulary, narrative comprehension, narrative production) skills that contribute to English and Arabic reading comprehension in two groups of Arabic-English bilingual children (7-9 and 10-12 years) living in an English majority environment. Further, the study examined the contribution of oral narrative production to reading comprehension over and above that of word reading, receptive vocabulary and listening comprehension. Overall, our results support the applicability of the Simple View of Reading to English and Arabic reading comprehension in this minority language sample. In English, narrative production emerged as a unique predictor of English reading comprehension in both younger and older groups, suggesting that a comprehensive model of second language reading comprehension needs to account for the contribution of discourse-level productive skill. In Arabic, vowelized word reading explained unique variance in Arabic reading comprehension across age groups, whereas receptive vocabulary emerged as a significant contributor of reading comprehension in the older group only. We interpret our findings as a result of Arabic diglossia in conjunction with limited exposure to standard Arabic.
... For example, social-emotional aspects about writing are expected to develop in interactive manner with writing; so does content/topic knowledge with writing particularly in an advanced phase such as the knowledge-transforming stage by Kellogg (1996). Other component skills are also expected to have interactive relations, such as vocabulary and grammatical knowledge and their relations with inferencing skills (Currie & Cain, 2015;Kim, 2017;Lepola et al., 2012), and morphological awareness with vocabulary and grammatical knowledge (Kieffer & Lesaux, 2012;McBride-Chang et al., 2008). ...
Article
Within the context of the Direct and Indirect Effects Model of Writing (Kim & Park, 2019), we examined a dynamic relations hypothesis, which contends that the relations of component skills, including reading comprehension, to written composition vary as a function of dimensions of written composition. Specifically, we investigated (a) whether higher-order cognitive skills (i.e., inference, perspective taking, and monitoring) are differentially related to three dimensions of written composition—writing quality, writing productivity, and correctness in writing; (b) whether reading comprehension is differentially related to the three dimensions of written composition after accounting for oral language, cognition, and transcription skills, and whether reading comprehension mediates the relations of discourse oral language and lexical literacy to the three dimensions of written composition; and (c) whether total effects of oral language, cognition, transcription, and reading comprehension vary for the three dimensions of written composition. Structural equation model results from 350 English-speaking second graders showed that higher-order cognitive skills were differentially related to the three dimensions of written composition. Reading comprehension was related only to writing quality, but not to writing productivity or correctness in writing, and reading comprehension differentially mediated the relations of discourse oral language and lexical literacy to writing quality. Total effects of language, cognition, transcription, and reading comprehension varied largely for the three dimensions of written composition. These results support the dynamic relation hypothesis, role of reading in writing, and the importance of accounting for dimensions of written composition in a theoretical model of writing.
... However, the results are likely due to shared variance of vocabulary with inference (r = 0.50) and decoding (r = 0.44, see Table 2). The moderate relations of vocabulary with inference and decoding are in line with previous work (e.g., for inference, see Lepola et al., 2012;Tompkins et al., 2013;Currie and Cain, 2015;Kim, 2016Kim, , 2017for decoding, see Ouellette, 2006;Ricketts et al., 2007). Vocabulary learning requires deriving or inferring meaning from context using meaning cues, and inferencing unstated meaning in a text relies on knowledge of vocabulary words (Currie and Cain, 2015;Kim, 2016). ...
Article
Full-text available
We examined the relations of inference, vocabulary, decoding, short-term memory, and attentional control to reading comprehension and mathematics performance for first-grade students in the US (N = 83). The students were composed of 75% Hispanics, 15% Whites, and 6% Asian Americans. Students' performance on mathematics and reading comprehension were very strongly related (r = 0.88). Results from path analysis showed that inference (0.27 ≤ s ≤ 0.38) was independently and positively related to both reading comprehension and mathematics performance after accounting for short-term memory, attentional control, decoding, and vocabulary. Decoding was independently related to reading comprehension, but not mathematics, whereas vocabulary was independently related to mathematics, but not to reading comprehension. Attentional control was directly related to mathematics, and indirectly related to reading comprehension and mathematics via inference, vocabulary, and decoding, with a substantial total effect on reading comprehension and mathematics (0.56 respectively). Short-term memory was not directly nor indirectly related to reading comprehension and mathematics. Overall these results show that language and cognitive skills are shared resources of reading comprehension and mathematics, and highlight the roles of attentional control and inference skill in reading comprehension and mathematics.
... This may be particularly true for lengthier text passages that require not only comprehension at the word and sentence level but also integration across sentences to a more general discourse level. Evidence supportive of this hypothesis would include indications that only when children gain in multiple foundational language skills do they also show robust improvements on listening comprehension, particularly for texts with novel content, consistent with predictive models reported by Kim (2016) and Lepola et al. (2012) , among others. ...
Article
The strong association of early language skills to later reading ability suggests that supporting the development of these skills in children who enter school with below average language abilities may lead to stronger literacy development. Despite this, few evidence-based supplemental language interventions exist for school-based implementation. The current paper reports on 2 large-scale randomized trials of 5 small-group, intensive language-focused interventions implemented in preschool and kindergarten settings. After screening on an expressive language measure, 342 preschool children were randomized to either business-as-usual general education or to 1 of 3 10-or 12-week interventions. Comparably, after screening, 905 kindergarten children were randomized to business-as-usual or to 1 of 4 8-12-week interventions. Children were assessed pre-and post-intervention on a battery of distal standardized language, including listening comprehension, and early literacy measures. Results indicated significant impacts for 3 of the 5 interventions in 1 or 2 grades, on at least 1 standardized measure, although none of the interventions directly impacted listening comprehension measures. Implications for supporting language development and for the early prevention of reading comprehension difficulties are discussed.
... The dimensionality of reading prosody and the predictive relations of word reading and listening comprehension to reading prosody may change with reading development as the constraining role of word reading decreases. In addition, in the present study we examined listening comprehension as a predictor of reading prosody, given that listening comprehension captures oral comprehension at the discourse level and involves semantic processes and draws on vocabulary and morphosyntactic and syntactic knowledge (e.g., Kendeou, Bohn-Gettler, White, & van den Broek, 2008;Kim, 2015Kim, , 2017Kim, , 2020Kim & Phillips, 2014;Lepola, Lynch, Laakkonen, Silvén, & Niemi, 2012). However, future studies can replicate and extend the present study by examining the relations of vocabulary and syntactic knowledge to reading prosody, controlling for word reading. ...
Article
Text reading fluency refers to the ability to read connected texts with accuracy, speed, and expression (prosody), and has garnered substantial attention as an important skill for reading comprehension. However, two fundamental questions remain-the dimensionality of text reading fluency including text reading efficiency (accuracy and speed) and reading prosody, and the directionality of the relation between text reading fluency and reading comprehension. These questions were addressed using longitudinal data from Grade 1 (Mage = 6.36 years) to Grade 3 (Mage = 8.34 years). Majority of children were White (approximately 60%) and African American (26%) with 39% to 52% from low-SES backgrounds, depending on the grade. Text reading fluency, word reading, listening comprehension, and reading comprehension were measured. Results from confirmatory factor analysis revealed that text reading fluency is a multidimensional construct with a trifactor structure, which has a general factor that captures common ability across text reading efficiency and reading prosody as well as local and specific factors that are unique beyond the general factor. However, the general factor was the most reliable factor, whereas local and specific factors were not reliable. The directionality of the relation between text reading fluency and reading comprehension was addressed by examining two competing structural equation models-text-reading-fluency-as-a-predictor/mediator model and text-reading-fluency-as-an-outcome model-and data supported the former. These results indicate that text reading fluency is a multidimensional construct, and it acts as a predictor, mediating the relations of word reading and listening comprehension to reading comprehension. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).
... Evidence is also clear that domain-general cognitions or executive functions such as working memory and inhibitory and attentional control play an important role in ToM (e.g., Arslan, Hohenberger, & Verbrugge, 2017;Carlson & Moses, 2001;Carlson, Moses, & Breton, 2002;Davis & Pratt, 1995;Kim, 2015Kim, , 2016Reed, Pien, & Rothbart, 1984; see Devine & Hughes, 2014, for a meta-analysis). In addition, vocabulary, grammatical knowledge, working memory, and attentional control are related to discourse comprehension (Alonzo et al., 2016;Daneman & Merikle, 1996;Florit, Roch, & Levorato, 2011, 2014Kendeou, Bohn-Gettler, White, & van den Broek, 2008;Kim, 2015Kim, , 2016Kim, , 2017Kim, , 2020aLepola, Lynch, Laakkonen, Silvén, & Niemi, 2012;Tompkins, Guo, & Justice, 2013). ...
Article
We investigated the relations among theory of mind (ToM), mental state talk, and discourse comprehension. Specifically, we examined the frequency of mental state talk in children’s oral recall of narrative texts and informational texts as well as relations among ToM, mental state talk (inclusion of mental state words in the recall of narrative and informational texts), and narrative and informational text comprehension. Results from children in Grade 4 (N = 132; Mage = 10.39 years) revealed that a greater number of mental state talk instances appeared in children’s recall of narrative texts than in their recall of informational texts, but the mean number also differed across texts within a genre. ToM skill predicted the extent of mental state talk in narrative texts and informational texts, and the relation was stronger for narrative texts than for informational texts, after accounting for vocabulary, grammatical knowledge, working memory, and attentional control. Mental state talk in narrative texts was extremely strongly related to narrative comprehension, whereas mental state talk in informational texts was weakly related to informational text comprehension. Results suggest that ToM skill relates to mental state talk in the recall of texts, and both ToM and mental state talk play greater roles in comprehension of narrative texts than in comprehension of informational texts.
... These stages cover the age span from 2 -6 years of age, during which children go from the production of unconnected microstructures to complete narratives. By evaluating the retelling of stories by children aged 4 -6 years old, Hipfner-Boucher, Milburn, Weitzman, Greenberg, Pelletier and Girolametto (2014) [14] and Lepola et al. (2012) [15] realized that older children presented better narrative structure. ...
Article
Full-text available
The personal narrative constitutes a revival of past events and a preparation procedure of upcoming ones, developing a person’s self-concept. The purpose of the current research was to study Greek children’s personal narratives. Participants of the survey were 20 ten-year-old children, including 10 boys and 10 girls of typical development, where each one of them was asked to narrate 6 of their life events. The goal of data collection and analysis was to study the microstructure and macrostructure, as well as evaluate the potential results and investigate the impact of gender on them. The outcome numbers describe the children’s performances in scales being used. Important findings of the research were the absence of differences between the two genders. All in all, the results reveal a tendency of that age children’s personal narrative characteristics.
... In particular, sex was not found to significantly differentiate the overall score of reading skill performance in Test Alpha. The above finding is in line with previous studies that confirmed the lack of Stergiani Giaouri, Eleni Rachanioti, Alexander-Stamatios superiority of boys or girls in reading skills (Hipfner-Boucher et al., 2014;Lepola et al., 2012). Additionally, in the present study, for each subtest of Test Alpha, it was found that sex does not significantly differentiate performance in reading decoding. ...
Article
Students with learning disabilities often struggle with reading skill acquisition, due to the nature and complexity of the reading process (Brown, 2009). In addition, it has been documented that students experiencing reading disabilities, have problems with the basic cognitive skills of visual perception (Stokes, Matthen & Biggs, 2015). The purpose of the present study was to investigate the role of the cognitive parameters of visual perception, assessed by the Developmental Test of Visual Perception-2nd Edition (DTVP-2, Hammill, Pearson & Voress, 1993) on the reading ability of students with learning disabilities, assessed by Test A (Panteliadou & Antoniou, 2007, Standardized test for reading disabilities in Greek). The sample consisted of 73 children (N=73) attending the 4th and 5th grade of Primary school, diagnosed with learning disability in reading. The results indicated that visual perception was a predictive factor for reading performance. Implications of these findings are discussed in terms of developing early detection programmes as well as effective educational interventions for preschool and primary school students.
... This equation can describe the developmental trajectories of individuals learning to read. There is robust evidence of decoding being the strongest predictor of reading comprehension ability in the first years of schooling, whereas language comprehension acquires a more important role as reading decoding subsequently becomes automatized (Gough et al., 1996;Lepola et al., 2012). Kendeou et al. (2009) analyzed the relation between these three components in English-speaking students from the kindergarten to the second year of primary school. ...
Article
It has been well documented that oral language skills are precursors of the development of written abilities, meaning that improving oral language skills, e.g. vocabulary, listening comprehension, could have positive effects reading comprehension. The main aim of the present study was to analyze the effect of a training program focused on four components of comprehension ability provided in listening or written modality on first-graders’ reading and listening comprehension. The training programs were implemented by school teachers as part of the class’s normal school activities, under the supervision of experts. Their efficacy was compared with the results obtained in a passive control group. Our results showed that both the training programs produced positive effects on listening and reading comprehension (by comparison with a passive control group), and that the gains in reading comprehension were maintained at a five-month follow-up. Findings demonstrated specific improvements in listening comprehension with the listening modality program, as well as an improvement in the modality not directly trained. A similar cross-modality effect was found from the written modality training group, therefore confirming the strict relation between oral and written abilities. Reading comprehension performance of first graders can be improved with activities provided in listening and written modality. Hence, it is possible to enhance reading comprehension even before decoding and fluency in reading are acquired.
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Purpose: The suitability of existing speech-language pathology assessments for Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Indigenous) children is questioned in the literature. There is emerging evidence that the differences reported between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australian children on standardised assessment are diminished on more naturalistic assessments such as narrative production (macrostructure and microstructure). Little is documented, however, about the narrative comprehension skills of Australian children. This study explores the narrative comprehension skills of 40 typically developing Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australian children in their first year of school. Method: A cross-sectional comparative research design was used. Three non-standardised narrative assessments incorporating comprehension-production protocols were administered. Question responses were scored for accuracy and categorised according to story grammar targeted and inference (literal vs. non-literal). In addition, all participants completed the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test fourth edition (PPVT-4). Result: A repeated-measures ANOVA was used to compare response accuracy to comprehension questions between cultural groups and across narrative protocols. While there was a significant difference in PPVT-4 scores, no significant differences were identified between response accuracy for the Indigenous and non-Indigenous children. Furthermore, response accuracy to comprehension questions was correlated with PPVT-4 scores for the non-Indigenous children only. Conclusion: Findings support the use of naturalistic assessment strategies such as narrative comprehension with Indigenous Australian children.
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Background Reading and listening comprehension are essential for accessing the school curriculum. Inference-making is integral to successful comprehension and involves integrating information between clauses (local coherence) and integrating information with background knowledge (global coherence). We require appropriate methods to assess comprehension and inference-making in order to identify areas of difficulty and provide appropriate support. Aims Typically developing children's ability to generate local and global coherence inferences was assessed. The effect of text modality (reading and listening comprehension) and presentation format (stories presented in segmented and whole story format) was explored using two comprehension measures (question answering and story retell). The main aims were to determine whether there were advantages for reading or listening comprehension and for segmented or whole text presentation. Methods & Procedures Typically developing children in Year 3 (n = 33) and Year 5 (n = 40) either read or listened to short stories. Their ability to generate global and local coherence inferences was assessed in two ways: answers to inference-tapping questions and story retelling (scored for inclusion of necessary inferences). Stories were presented in either a whole format (all questions after the story) or a segmented format (questions asked at specific points during story presentation); the retelling was always after the complete story and questions had been presented. Outcomes & Results For both comprehension measures, there was developmental progression between age groups and a benefit for the reading modality. Scores were higher for global coherence than local coherence inferences, but the effect was significant only for the question-answering responses, not retells. For retells there was a benefit in presenting the text as a whole compared with the segmented format, but this effect was not present for the comprehension questions. There was a significant interaction between inference type and modality for both comprehension measures (question answering and story retell): for the local coherence inferences scores were significantly greater in the reading compared with the listening modality, but performance on the global coherence inferences did not differ significantly between modalities. Conclusions & Implications Clinicians, teachers and other professionals should consider the modality and presentation format for comprehension tasks to utilize areas of strength and support areas of difficulty. Oral presentation may result in poorer comprehension relative to written presentation in general, and may particularly affect local integrative processing. These findings have important implications for the development of appropriate assessments as well as for supporting children with comprehension difficulties. What this paper adds What is already known on the subject Reading and listening comprehension are critical for accessing the school curriculum and educational success. Inference-making is integral to successful comprehension and involves integrating information between clauses (local coherence) as well as integrating information with background knowledge (global coherence). Children have an awareness of the need to generate coherence inferences, but not all children will generate sufficient coherence inferences for adequate comprehension during text presentation. Existing assessment tools measure comprehension by asking questions after story presentation. This provides an overall indication of comprehension or inference-making ability and can identify children with comprehension or language and communication difficulties. What this paper adds to existing knowledge The study compared coherence inference-making in two presentation conditions: whole format (all questions after the story) or segmented format (questions asked at specific points during story presentation). Children (aged 7–10 years) were assessed in the reading or listening modality. Two comprehension measures were used (inference-tapping questions and story retell). There was developmental progression and a benefit for the reading modality for both comprehension measures. Scores were higher for global coherence than local coherence inferences for the comprehension questions. There was a benefit in presenting the text as a whole compared with the segmented format for story retells. What are the potential or actual clinical implications of this work? The results are important for clinicians and other professionals assessing and supporting comprehension skills. The results suggest that the modality and presentation format of comprehension tasks should be considered to utilize areas of strength and support areas of difficulty. The optimum form of input and structure may depend on a child's individual profile and the skill being assessed or supported. Targeted questions may identify a child's potential to generate an inference. This may assist identification of children who may require more targeted or specialist intervention. The reading modality may provide a means of support for development of verbal comprehension.
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We examined the relations between working memory, emergent literacy skills (e.g., phonological awareness, orthographic awareness, rapid-automatized naming), word reading, and listening comprehension to online reading processes (eye movements), and their relations to reading comprehension. A total of 292 students were assessed on working memory and emergent literacy skills in Grade 1, and eye movements, language, and reading skills in Grade 3. Structural equation model results showed that word reading was related to gaze duration and rereading duration, but listening comprehension was not. Working memory and emergent literacy skills were related to eye movements, but their relations to eye movements were largely mediated by word reading. Eye movements were related to reading comprehension, but not after accounting for word reading and listening comprehension. These results expand our understanding of reading development by revealing the nature of relations of emergent literacy skills, reading, and listening comprehension to online processes.
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I propose an integrative theoretical framework for reading and writing acquisition, called the interactive dynamic literacy model, after reviewing theoretical models of reading and writing, and recent efforts in integrating theoretical models within reading and writing, respectively. The central idea of the interactive dynamic literacy model is that reading and writing are inter-related, developing together, largely due to a shared constellation of skills and knowledge. Four core hypotheses of the interactive dynamic literacy model include (1) hierarchical structure of component skills with direct and indirect relations; (2) interactive relations between component skills, and between reading and writing; (3) co-morbidity of reading and writing difficulties; and (4) dynamic relations (relations change as a function of development, learner characteristics, and reading and writing measurement). Implications and future work are discussed.
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The purpose of this study is to examine the effect on preschool aged children of an intervention reinforcing comprehension of the structural framework of stories, so that they can produce their own stories. The sample consisted of 78 children, ages 4-6. The sample was separated into two groups, one experimental and one control group. The children in the experimental group were taught how to create original fictional stories through a multilevel intervention programme. During sessions, well-structured books were used that had very well-structured contents and an instructional strategy was implemented on five levels (creating prior knowledge, discussion, modelling, monitoring the process and producing stories). The children in the control group were read the same books and a discussion followed on the interesting parts of the stories. The results showed that the intervention programme significantly improved the children’s ability to understand the structural elements of a story and to generate comprehensible and organised fictional stories.
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This study investigates story comprehension in 100 bilingual Turkish-Swedish children aged 4 to 7 years, growing up in Sweden with Turkish as their home language and Swedish as the societal language. Detailed information about language development, exposure and other background factors was obtained via parental questionnaires. In both languages, children told two picture-based stories from the Multilingual Assessment Instrument for Narratives (MAIN, Gagarina et al., 2012, 2019) and answered standardised comprehension questions that probe inferencing of goals and emotions of story characters. Overall comprehension scores and response accuracies to individual questions were calculated. Story comprehension was compared across ages, languages and tasks, and related to performance on Turkish and Swedish vocabulary tasks (Cross-Linguistic Lexical Tasks, CLT, Haman et al., 2015). A qualitative analysis explored characteristics of the MAIN picture sequences and the type of inference required to score correct on comprehension questions. Overall comprehension scores did not differ between Turkish and Swedish at group level. Comprehension scores increased significantly with age in both languages. This increase was steeper in the majority language Swedish. Younger children (age 45) often performed well in Turkish, whilst more older children (age 67) performed well in Swedish. In both languages, older children reached relatively high scores, but did not yet master all aspects of inferential story understanding as probed by MAIN. Regression models indicate that a large part of the variance in story comprehension can be explained by age and expressive vocabulary knowledge (CLT) in the respective language. Individual case studies of exceptionally poor story comprehenders vs. high performers also suggest that story comprehension and vocabulary skills are linked, but moreover that MAIN comprehension is influenced by language input and use in and outside the home. An interesting task effect was found, indicating that the comprehension measure for the MAIN Cat and Dog picture sequences is easier than for Baby Birds/Baby Goats – even when they are administered in the very same mode. The task influenced children’s comprehension performance more than the language of testing did. Turkish and Swedish showed the same overall response patterns, with very high vs. low performance on certain individual questions. We argue that due to subtle differences in the pictorial stimuli, parallel and seemingly identical comprehension questions require inferences with rather different levels of difficulty. Comprehension scores should therefore not be straightforwardly compared across MAIN tasks.
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This study investigates story comprehension in 46 Swedish-German 4- to 6-year-old bilinguals growing up in Sweden. The children’s inferential understanding of goals and emotions of story characters in visually presented stories was assessed in both Swedish and German, using the comprehension questions from the Multilingual Assessment Instrument for Narratives (MAIN; Gagarina et al., 2012, 2015) for the narrative tasks Cat/Dog and Baby Birds/Baby Goats. We analysed effects of age, language, and narrative task on overall comprehension scores and investigated whether comprehension scores were influenced by expressive vocabulary knowledge, operationalized as scores on a vocabulary task (Cross-Linguistic Lexical Task, LITMUS-CLT; Haman et al., 2015). Additionally, response patterns for the different comprehension questions were analysed. We found effects of age, with 6-year-olds outperforming 4- and 5-year-olds, but no significant difference between the two younger groups. The development with age was similar in both languages and was consistent across tasks. The main effect of language was not significant, but when German was tested first, the children performed lower in German than in Swedish. When Swedish was tested first, no difference was found between the languages. The effect of expressive vocabulary was not the same in the two languages. In German, but not in Swedish, CLT expressive vocabulary scores significantly predicted narrative comprehension scores. The children’s inferential comprehension performance depended on the narrative task used, with higher scores for MAIN Cat/Dog than Baby Birds/Baby Goats, and response accuracy was also found to vary substantially between different comprehension questions. Response patterns to individual questions were strikingly similar in both Swedish and German, suggesting that they may generalize across languages. The results indicate that an analysis of individual comprehension questions allows us to explore and detect patterns not visible in overall scores.
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This chapter reports the work of a teacher educator/researcher as she supported teacher candidates to assess and tutor struggling readers in a public school in a rural, economically depressed, yet diverse, area. Alerted by the scores for listening comprehension the candidates were finding over several semesters that indicated little reading potential for the students being assessed, she worked with the school's principal to reassess one group of students at the end of the year to determine growth, and therefore potential success, of the school's new intervention program in raising listening levels. No significant results were found, yet school personnel made no change in their program to address it. The teacher educator/researcher subsequently followed the implications of the research to provide instruction in listening skills to students in two other schools. The chapter closes with a discussion of what may truly make a difference in developing listening skills for the children in this community beyond a commercial program.
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Fifty-six first-grade children were administered measures of general intelligence, decoding speed, phonological awareness, and listening comprehension. All four types of measures were moderately related to end-of-year reading comprehension. Decoding speed accounted for the largest amount of unique variance. The hypothesis that reading is strongly related to general intelligence once differences in decoding ability have been accounted for was not supported. Other relationships among the variables were explored via multiple regression, factor analysis, and path analysis. Developmental comparisons were made with groups of third- and fifth-grade children. The relationships between decoding, intelligence, and reading comprehension found in the first-grade sample were replicated in the fifth-grade sample but were somewhat different in the third-grade sample. The interrelationships between the various subskills of reading and intelligence increased with age, probably due to mutual facilitation. /// [French] On a administré à cinquante six enfants de cours primaire des mesures d'intelligence générale, de vitesse de décodage, de conscience phonologique et de compréhension d'écoute. Les quatre facteurs étaient modérément reliés à une mesure de compréhension de lecture de fin d'année. La vitesse de décodage rendait compte de la plus large quantité d'écart unique. L'hypothèse qui veut que la lecture soit fortement reliée à l'intelligence générale après avoir tenu compte des différences de compétence de décodage, n'a pas été soutenue. On a exploré d'autres rapports parmi les écarts à travers une régression multiple, une analyse de facteur et une analyse de parcours. On a établi des comparaisons de développement avec des groupes d'enfants de neuvième et septième. Les rapports entre décodage, intelligence, et compréhension de lecture trouvés dans l'échantillon de cours primaire sont répétés dans l'échantillon de la septième mais ont été quelque peu différents dans celui de la neuvième. Les rapports étroits entre les différentes sous-compétences de lecture et intelligence ont augmenté avec l'âge, ceci étant probablement dû à une facilitation réciproque. /// [Spanish] Se administraron medidas de inteligencia general, velocidad de descifre, conocimiento fonológico y escuchar y comprender. Los 4 factores estaban moderadamente relacionados a una medida de comprensión de lectura de fin de año escolar. La velocidad de descifre dio cuenta del mayor número de variabilidad singular. No recibió apoyo la hipótesis de que la destreza de lectura está fuertemente relacionada a inteligencia general, una vez que se han considerado las diferencias de habilidad de descifre. Otras relaciones entre variables fueron exploradas por medio de regresión múltiple, análisis factorial y análisis de trayecto. Se hicieron comparaciones de desarrollo con grupos de alumnos de tercer y quinto grado. La relación entre descifre, inteligencia y comprensión de lectura encontrada en la muestra del primer grado, fue repetida en el quinto grado, pero resultó algo diferente en la muestra del tercer grado. La correlación entre las varias subdestrezas de lectura e inteligencia aumentó con la edad, probablemente debido a facilitación mútua.
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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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An analysis of the underlying structure of simple stories is presented. It is claimed that this type of representation of stories is used to form schemata which guide encoding and retrieval. A type of tree structure containing basic units and their connections was found to be adequate to describe the structure of both single and multi-episode stories. The representation is outlined in the form of a grammar, consisting of rewrite rules defining the units and their relationships. Some transformational rules mapping underlying and surface structures are discussed. The adequacy of the analysis is first tested against Bartlett's protocols of “The War of the Ghosts.” Then a developmental study of recall is presented. It is concluded that both children and adults are sensitive to the structure of stories, although some differences were found. Finally, it is suggested that the schemata used to guide encoding and recall are related but not identical and that retrieval is dependent on the schemata operative at the time of recall.
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In this study, 132 first graders' comprehension-monitoring skills were examined and related to their decoding and listening-comprehension skills. Decoding skills were tested with a word-picture matching task and with word-naming and word-nonword decision tasks. Story-listening tasks were used in determining the level of listening comprehension. Children's comprehension monitoring was measured by means of an online method in which reactions to embedded comprehension obstacles (lexical, syntactical, factual falsehoods, or contradictions) were assessed. The number of "lookbacks" and the time spent in reading the target words/sentences were recorded and used as indicators of activities involved in comprehension monitoring. The results indicated that monitoring one's comprehension is already present in beginning reading but that the level of decoding and listening-comprehension skills affects the ways and efficacy of monitoring.
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The first goal of this study was to examine young children's developing narrative comprehension abilities using theory-based, authentic measures of comprehension processes. The second goal was to examine the relations among young children's comprehension abilities and other early reading skills. Children ages 4 and 6 listened to or watched two authentic narratives. We measured their comprehension of these narratives as well as vocabulary and skills associated with word decoding. The results revealed that even the younger children were sensitive to the underlying structure of the narratives and that this sensitivity increased with age. Measures of narrative comprehension were not consistently correlated with skills associated with word decoding, such as phonological awareness. The results are discussed in terms of theoretical models of comprehension and of reading development. Practical implications of the findings are also explored.
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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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We report a longitudinal study investigating the predictors of reading comprehension and word reading accuracy between the ages of 7 to 8 (UK Year 3) and 10 to 11 years (Year 6). We found that different skills predicted the development of each. Reading comprehension skill measured in Year 3 was a strong predictor of comprehension in Year 6; vocabulary and verbal IQ also made significant unique contributions to the prediction of comprehension ability across time. Three comprehension components (inference, comprehension monitoring, and knowledge and use of story structure) emerged as distinct predictors of reading comprehension in Year 6, even after the autoregressive effect of comprehension was controlled. For word reading accuracy, early measures of word reading accuracy and phonemic awareness predicted later performance.
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According to multicomponent models (Oakhill & Cain, 2007a45. Oakhill , J. V. and Cain , K. 2007a . “ Introduction to comprehension development. ” . In Children's comprehension problems in oral and written language: A cognitive perspective Edited by: Cain , K. and Oakhill , J. V. 41 – 73 . New York : Guilford. . View all references), text comprehension is a complex process that requires the processing of explicit (i.e., information presented in the text) and implicit information (i.e., information inferable from the text or from previous knowledge), and involves various components. This study investigated (a) preschoolers' understanding of explicit and implicit information in oral texts and (b) the role of verbal and inferential skills in the processing of explicit and implicit information. Two hundred twenty-one 4- to 6-year-olds were evaluated as to their listening text comprehension and the following components: receptive vocabulary, verbal intelligence, and inferential skills. Working memory was a control variable. Results showed that (a) explicit information was easier to process than implicit information; and (b) all the components considered, except receptive vocabulary, accounted for comprehension of both types of information, and their role was stable in the age range considered.
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The authors examined the development of oral language and decoding skills from preschool to early elementary school and their relation to beginning reading comprehension using a cross-sequential design. Four- and 6-year-old children were tested on oral language and decoding skills and were retested 2 years later. In all age groups, oral language and decoding skills formed distinct clusters. The 2 clusters were related to each other in preschool, but this relation became weaker in kindergarten and 2nd grade. Structural equation modeling showed that both sets of skills in 2nd grade independently predicted a child’s reading comprehension. These findings confirm and extend the view that the 2 clusters of skills develop early in a child’s life and contribute to reading comprehension activities in early elementary school, with each cluster making a considerable, unique contribution. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Two experiments were conducted to assess how children who differ in vocabulary knowledge learn new vocabulary incidentally from listening to stories read aloud. In both experiments, 4-yr-old children were classified as having either high or low word knowledge on the basis of a median split of their Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test—Revised (PPVT—R) standard scores. In Exp 1, children either listened passively or labeled pictures using novel words during the book readings. We found that children with larger vocabularies produced more novel words than did children with smaller vocabularies, and children who answered questions during the book readings comprehended and produced more words than did children who passively listened to the story. In Exp 2, children either listened to readings of a book, pointed to pictures during the readings, or labeled pictures during the readings. Children with larger vocabularies comprehended more novel words than did children with smaller vocabularies. Children who actively participated by labeling or pointing learned more words than did children who listened passively to book readings. Findings clarify the role of active responding by demonstrating that verbal and nonverbal responding are effective means of enhancing vocabulary acquisition. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Three experiments investigated how 206 adult readers represent causal relations among events in a narrative. Models of text comprehension were tested. In each experiment Ss read brief narratives and received a speeded-recognition test of their memories for story events. Each story could be represented by a linear chain or by a network. On each trial in the recognition procedure Ss read a priming sentence that reminded them of either a story (general prime) or a specific event in a story (specific prime). Across the experiments, positive responses were faster when the target followed a specific prime that was causally related than when it followed a specific but unrelated prime or a general prime. Importantly, this was the case when the specific prime and target were adjacent and when they were nonadjacent in the surface structure of the story. (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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A structural equation model of second language (L2; English) reading comprehension was tested on a sample of 135 Spanish-speaking 4th-grade English-language learners (ELLs). The model included 2 levels: decoding and oral language. English decoding measures included alphabetic knowledge and fluency. English oral language measures included vocabulary knowledge and listening comprehension. The model had reasonable goodness of fit. Decoding skills played a less predictive role than oral language proficiency. L2 listening comprehension made an independent, proximal contribution to L2 reading comprehension, whereas L2 vocabulary knowledge assumed both proximal and distal relationships with L2 reading comprehension. Results suggest that, given adequate L2 decoding ability, L2 vocabulary knowledge is crucial for improved English reading comprehension outcomes for Spanish-speaking ELLs. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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It has been shown that there is a strong relation between children's phonological skills and the progress that they make in reading. But there is some uncertainty whether this is a specific connection or whether it is just a byproduct of variations in general language ability. We report evidence from a longitudinal study showing that the relation between children's sensitivity to rhyme and alliteration and their success in reading is highly specific and cannot be accounted for in terms of general language ability. In this study measures were taken of a group of children's linguistic and metalinguistic skills when they were 3 and 4 years old. The linguistic measures were of the children's vocabulary, their receptive and expressive use of grammar, and their ability to imitate sentences. The metalinguistic measures were of their ability to detect rhyme and alliteration and of their awareness of syntax. Two to three years later, when the children were 6;7, we measured their progress in reading and spelling. The children's rhyme and alliteration scores were related to their reading two years later even after controls for differences in linguistic skills and also for differences in intelligence and in social background. The other metalinguistic task – syntax awareness – did not predict reading after these controls. Awareness of rhyme, we argue, makes a distinctive contribution to reading by helping children to form spelling categories.
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A quantitative meta-analysis evaluating the effects of phonemic awareness (PA) instruction on learning to read and spell was conducted by the National Reading Panel. There were 52 studies published in peer-reviewed journals, and these contributed 96 cases comparing the outcomes of treatment and control groups. Analysis of effect sizes revealed that the impact of PA instruction on helping children acquire PA was large and statistically significant (d = 0.86). PA instruction exerted a moderate, statistically significant impact oil reading (d = 0.53) and spelling (d = 0.59). Not only word reading but also reading comprehension benefited. PA instruction impacted reading under all the conditions examined although effect sizes were larger under some conditions. PA instruction helped various types of children: normally developing readers as well as at-risk and disabled readers: preschoolers, kindergartners, and first graders: low socioeconomic status children as well as mid-high SES. PA instruction improved reading, but it did not improve spelling in disabled readers. PA instruction was more effective when it was taught with letters than without letters. when one or two PA skills were taught than Multiple PA skills, when children were taught in small groups than individually or in classrooms. and when instruction lasted between 5 and 18 hours rather than longer, Classroom teachers were effective in Leaching PA to their Students. Effect sizes were larger for Studies using more rigorous experimental designs, with rigor assessments drawn from Troia ( 1999), In Sum, PA instruction was found to make a statistically significant contribution to reading acquisition.
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In the present study, we investigated the degree to which children's inference generation ability generalises across different media and predicts narrative comprehension over and above basic language skills and vocabulary. To address both aims, we followed two cohorts of children aged 4 and 6 as they turned 6 and 8 years old, respectively. At each time point we assessed their inference and narrative comprehension skills using aural, televised and written stories. We also assessed their basic language skills and vocabulary. The findings demonstrated that children's inference generation skills were highly inter-related across different media for both cohorts and at both time points. Also, children's inference generation had a significant contribution to children's narrative comprehension over and above basic language skills, vocabulary and media factors. The current set of findings has important theoretical and practical implications for early diagnosis and intervention in young children's high-order comprehension skills.
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Processes Underlying Text ComprehensionTextbase FormationThe Situation ModelSummary
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Introduction: Simple Ideas about Reading Comprehension. A Framework for Comprehension. Higher-Level Factors in Comprehension. The Linguistic-Conceptual Machinery for Comprehension. Word Identification, Decoding, and Phonological Awareness .Comprehension Instruction. Conclusion: A More General View of Comprehension Development
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An experimental design was used to investigate the effect of active versus passive storybook reading conditions on the vocabulary acquisition of kindergarteners who differed in level of prior vocabulary and phonological working memory. Sixty-six children, pretested on the Senechal Vocabulary Test-Adapted (SVT-A) for target word knowledge, categorized as high or low vocabulary level based on Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT-R) performance, and categorized as high or low working memory level on the Children's Test of Nonword Repetition (CNRep), were randomly assigned to active or passive storybook reading conditions. While listening to a single episode of storybook narrative, children: (a) actively participated by answering a what or where question immediately after each sentence containing a target word, or (b) passively participated by listening to a recast containing a familiar synonym for each target word. Factorial analyses of SVT-A posttest target-word acquisition revealed that children with higher vocabulary knowledge acquired significantly more words than lower vocabulary peers; active participants acquired significantly more words than passive participants; and children with high versus low working memory did not differ in word acquisition. Of additional interest, the strong correlation between PPVT-R and CNRep scores was found to be comparable to that of the British Picture Vocabulary Scale and the CNRep.
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In this longitudinal study, the writing skill development of 154 Finnish-speaking children was followed from preschool to the third grade. The focus was on predictive associations between preschool writing readiness skills and later mechanics of writing, as well as between word recognition skill, mechanics of writing, and composition coherence. In addition, comparisons were made between boys and girls to see to what extent writing skill development is gender-specific. Multi-group structural equation modeling was used for statistical analysis. The results indicated that both mechanics of writing and composition coherence could be predicted from performance on the same skill at an earlier point in time. Preschool measures of phonological and visual-motor skills predicted later mechanics of writing. Word recognition worked as a predictor of later mechanics of writing and composition coherence, but only starting from second grade, when the development of the word recognition skill had become stabilized at a high enough level. Furthermore, first grade mechanics of writing predicted second grade composition coherence, but only at this early stage of productive writing when there were still difficulties in the mechanics of writing. Girls were better at tasks measuring mechanics of writing and wrote more coherent stories than boys. The gender difference in the mechanics of writing at the first grade level was explained by the presented model. Educational implications were discussed.
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This study provided 5 weeks of direct strategy instruction about narrative elements and relations in 4 first-grade classrooms (n = 83), all with materials that made minimal decoding demands on children's reading. Two comparison classrooms (n = 40) received comparable instruction on language development and poetry. A battery of assessments given at pretest and posttest showed that the intervention benefited children's comprehension of narratives in the picture-viewing modality as well as narrative meaning-making in listening comprehension and oral production modalities. Understanding and recall of main narrative elements improved, as did inference-making skills and understanding the psychological aspects of stories. Implications for enhancing beginning readers’ emerging narrative knowledge in primary grade classrooms are discussed.
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To clarify the relationship between oral language and early reading development, the authors administered to 39 children a broad range of oral language measures in 3 areas (metalinguistics, structural language, and narrative discourse); measures of background variables (IQ, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, gender, family literacy); and measures of reading ability (word recognition, pseudoword reading, passage comprehension) in kindergarten and in 1st and 2nd grades. The authors used regression analyses to identify parsimonious models that explained variance in early reading. The main finding of the study was that semantic abilities (i.e., oral definitions and word retrieval), not phonological awareness, predicted 2nd-grade reading comprehension. As expected, phonological awareness skill in kindergarten predicted single-word reading at 1st and 2nd grades. The finding that semantic skills predicted passage comprehension suggests that the importance of different oral language skills to early reading varies as a function of language domain, reading skill, and measurement point.
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Evidence strongly suggests that shared book reading at home and in preschool is important for young children's development of the foundational skills required for the eventual mastery of decoding and comprehension. Yet the nuances of how learning from book reading might vary across these contexts and with children's skills are not well understood. One hundred and thirty children participating in a longitudinal investigation of literacy development were videotaped reading a storybook with a parent. Children were also videotaped in their 33 preschool classrooms during the instructional book-reading portion of the day. Readings were coded for adult and child contextualized and decontextualized language relating to both decoding and meaning-making skills, and relations between this talk and emergent literacy outcomes were analyzed. Results demonstrate that parents and teachers overwhelmingly focus their book-related talk on meaning-related rather than code-related information, and that the relations between outcomes and talk depend in part on children's initial levels of vocabulary skills. Implications for practice and research are discussed.
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This study examined young children's ability to detect violations to script-like story text to investigate the role of detection in the development of comprehension monitoring. An online expectancy violation detection task was used during the reading of familiar stories, and nonverbal as well as verbal responses were measured. Results revealed that children 30 to 47 months of age detected violations to familiar text. However, the youngest children are not as skilled as older children in doing so. Developmentally, solely nonverbal detection responses were the first to emerge for story violations. Around 36 months of age, children not only increased the frequency of their accurate detections of violations but also incorporated their nonverbal expressions of detection into a matrix of a more thorough comprehension monitoring response.