Article

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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... 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.
... 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 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.
... 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.
... 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.
... 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.
... Este resultado es coincidente con una gran cantidad de investigaciones del área. La relación entre la edad y las medidas de inferencia y comprensión es coincidente con estudios propios (Barreyro et al., 2020), pero también con trabajos de diferentes países y en distintas lenguas (Ahmed et al., 2016;Cain & Oakhill, 2011;Fonseca et al., 2014;Kendeou et al., 2012;Lepola et al., 2012). El mismo patrón de la relación entre la edad y el vocabulario está en metaanálisis (Sterpin et al., 2021), como también en otro tipo de investigaciones que han utilizado diferentes medidas de vocabulario (Gathercole & Baddeley, 1989;. ...
... El resultado es interesante, ya que la profundidad del vocabulario se vincula con el conocimiento que un sujeto tiene respecto del significado de las palabras, sus usos posibles y de relaciones conceptuales y esto guía y tiene incidencia en las habilidades de comprensión. Nuestros resultados son similares a los de otras investigaciones que muestran que el desarrollo del vocabulario acompaña y cumple un rol crucial en la habilidad de comprender un texto, ya sea escrito o narrado (Cain & Bignell, 2014;Currie & Cain, 2015;Daugaard et al., 2017;Kim, 2017;Lepola et al., 2012;Oakhill & Cain, 2018;Silva & Cain, 2015;Sterpin et al., 2021). También a los modelos teóricos de comprensión; por ejemplo, de acuerdo con el Modelo de Construcción-Integración de Kintsch (1998), todos los aspectos vinculados al conocimiento previo, en este caso el vocabulario, juegan un papel crítico en la comprensión del texto puesto que es vital para construir el modelo mental del texto, dado que entender el significado de las palabras y los conceptos permite establecer conexiones entre las diferentes partes del texto y relacionar lo leído con el conocimiento almacenado en la memoria. ...
Article
Full-text available
El propósito del presente trabajo consistió en estudiar el papel de la generación de inferencias y del conocimiento del vocabulario (vinculado a la dimensión de profundidad) en la comprensión literal de narraciones en niños preescolares de tres a seis años. Con este propósito se administró una prueba de vocabulario, se narraron tres cuentos a los niños, y se evaluó la generación de inferencias y la comprensión literal de las narraciones. Los resultados indicaron relaciones significativas entre el vocabulario, la generación de inferencias y la comprensión de las narraciones. Al llevar a cabo un análisis de regresión se observó un efecto de interacción entre el vocabulario y la generación de inferencias. Al analizar dicha interacción se observó que los niños con menor vocabulario dependían de sus habilidades de generación de inferencias para poder comprender, y que los niños con menor capacidad para generar inferencias dependían del conocimiento del vocabulario para lograr comprender la narración.
... 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.
... 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.
... More recently, some studies have opted for a combination of language measures (e.g., Lervåg et al., 2018) and this might also be a way towards capturing a more complex language comprehension profile. In addition, we have not included other independent measures previously shown to affect RC, such as verbal working memory (e.g., Lepola et al., 2012), and these could be incorporated into future studies. ...
Article
Full-text available
Reading comprehension (RC) is a multi-faceted construct but is often assessed with a single instrument. Previous research has highlighted that commonly used RC tests are only mildly correlated and vary in the skills they assess, including the differential contribution of oral language and decoding to children’s performance. Our study, framed within the Simple View of Reading model, examined the contribution of underlying component skills for multiple RC measures and evaluated whether the contribution of decoding and oral language skills changes according to the RC test used and developmental level. Two hundred Slovak-speaking children were assessed across two time points, using multiple RC tests and measures of decoding and oral language skills. The RC tests showed weak to moderate correlations, echoing findings from other languages. At the end of Year 1, the contribution of decoding and oral language to RC was similar in the Slovak transparent orthography. At the end of Year 2, the contribution of oral language had increased threefold, while decoding remained unchanged from Year 1. Crucially, there were also differences between the tests, with some more reliant on oral language. The results highlight the potential benefits of increasing understanding of the differential effects of the component skills in commonly used RC assessments as an aid to interpretation of children’s scores. Such an approach could not only identify children with poor scores, but also pinpoint where weaknesses lie in the underlying components so intervention targets could be formulated accordingly.
... Initially mobilised to understand oral language, inferential skills develop long before children learn to read (Filiatrault-Veilleux et al., 2016;Kendeou et al., 2008;Lepola et al., 2012) and contribute to vocabulary acquisition (Language and Reading Research Consortium, Currie, et al., 2019;Tomasello et al., 2007). The development of inferential skills based on listening language understanding will become also key to children's reading comprehension. ...
... 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
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Aim The aims of this study is to explore the correlation between the Voice Disorder Index (VDI) score and acoustic and phonatory respiratory voice parameters in speech language pathology (SLP) students with and without self-perceived voice disorders. Methods The Voice Disorder Index (VDI) and the Lingwaves 3 “Voice Protocol” were administered to each participant in order to assess his/her self-perceived severity of his/her voice problem, as well as, acoustic and phonatory respiratory measurements. The correlation coefficients were used to evaluate and quantify the degree of a linear relationship between VDI scores and acoustic and phonatory respiratory voice measures in students with and without self-perceived voice disorders. Results Relatively strong, strong and strong positive correlations were revealed when comparing the VDI physical subscale with the Dysphonia Severity Index (r(11) = 0.56, P = 0.048), mean loudness when reading in English (r(11) = 0.70, P = 0.008) and mean loudness when reading in Greek (r(11) =0.69, P = 0.009) respectively. Conclusions SLP students may be more aware of the impact of their laryngeal discomfort and voice output characteristics on their daily activities that can predict certain acoustic parameters than the emotional and functional impact on their daily activities.
... Although SLIC in autism has gained limited attention in the literature, ample research has documented inferential differences, suggesting that autistic children will also have difficulty processing context in idiomatic language (Freed & Cain, 2017;Kim, 2016;Lepola et al., 2012;Norbury, 2004;Potocki & Laval, 2019;Vulchanova et al., 2015). The literature concurs that linguistically supportive contexts facilitate idiom comprehension (Norbury, 2004;Potocki & Laval, 2019;Qualls et al., 2003); however, research considering the inferential abilities required to use supporting contexts in autism remains sparse. ...
Article
Purpose The aim of this review is to illuminate the connection between inferential skills and spoken language idiom comprehension (SLIC) with a focus on autism. Idioms are frequently occurring figurative expressions, such as feeling blue, on cloud nine, and all tied up, that have literal and nonliteral meanings. Method In this review article, an overview of SLIC is provided, highlighting the importance of inferential skills and other pertinent factors and theories contributing to idiom acquisition in autistic children. The search criteria used included peer-reviewed journal articles from 1982 to 2021 to synthesize both seminal and current research on this topic. Though some articles selected for this review did not focus on idioms in spoken language, they were deemed necessary for analyzing various aspects impacting idiom development and comprehension. Results Research shows that figurative language differences are a hallmark feature of autism, causing idioms to be interpreted literally. Occurring in everyday spoken and written language, idiom comprehension is essential for adequate communication in daily interactions. Poor inferential abilities directly impact SLIC and have negative implications on social and academic outcomes. Several factors contributing to SLIC have been highlighted in the literature, including transparency (semantic analyzability), familiarity, and context. Conclusions The comparable skills underpinning inferential comprehension and SLIC raise the argument that SLIC is incumbent upon intact inferential abilities. As such, autistic children will benefit from utilizing inference from context to deduce idiomatic meanings. Future directions for research and recommendations for improving SLIC in clinical practice are offered.
... 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.
... 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.
... 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). ...
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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.
... 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
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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.
... 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.
... 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
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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.
... 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
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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
... 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.
... 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
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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.
... 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.
... 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
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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.
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O estudo investigou a compreensão oral de textos narrativos, expositivos e argumentativos em crianças da Educação Infantil. O objetivo principal foi examinar se o nível de compreensão variaria em função do tipo de texto e identificar a natureza das dificuldades experimentadas pelas crianças em relação ao estabelecimento de inferências em cada um desses textos. Trinta crianças (média de idade de 5 anos e 8 meses) foram solicitadas a responder perguntas de natureza inferencial (causal e estado) sobre cada um dos textos que lhe foram lidos. Verificou-se que o nível de compreensão variava em função dos textos, visto que as crianças tinham mais facilidade em compreender o texto narrativo que os demais textos. Por outro lado, apresentaram o mesmo nível de dificuldade no texto expositivo e argumentativo. A principal dificuldade identificada foi em relação à compreensão das relações de causalidade no texto expositivo. Implicações educacionais são discutidas no sentido de promover intervenções precoces para desenvolver a compreensão oral de textos antes mesmo que a criança saiba ler. Essa implicação confere à Educação Infantil papel relevante no desenvolvimento de habilidades linguísticas que são preditoras da compreensão leitora em anos escolares subsequentes.
Article
Research on monolingual children has shown that listening comprehension is predicted by a range of language and cognitive skills; less is known about predictors of listening comprehension in bilingual children and about the role of language input. This study presents longitudinal data on predictors of English listening comprehension in 100 bilingual children between the ages of 5;8 and 6;8 years. The children were tested three times on their literal and inferential comprehension of stories. Vocabulary, morphosyntax, attention, and memory were included as predictors of listening comprehension alongside a measure of English input. The children showed growth over time in both literal questions and global inference questions, with performance on local inferences remaining stable over time. Vocabulary depth and morphological knowledge explained listening comprehension abilities in all types of questions, but not their growth; that is, all children improved in comprehension over time regardless of their initial morphological and vocabulary depth skills. English input had a mediated effect on listening comprehension via morphological knowledge and vocabulary depth, but no direct effect.
Chapter
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected teachers’ practices at all education levels worldwide. Alternative educational practices are, in a smaller or larger extent, implemented online in response to the global pandemic, including early childhood and primary education. Access to recent research outcomes on effective approaches to quality online teaching is fundamental in preschool and in the first critical years of primary school. In this chapter, we provide a review of the key challenges that online classes pose for young children and teachers. In parallel we discuss, based on professional and research-informed insights, best practice principles for online teaching to support preschool and primary school teachers to transform online approaches into effective teaching practices for meeting children’s needs. Both the challenges and the effective online approaches are grouped under two main headings with each heading being related to several outcomes. A major challenge occurring during online classes, falling under the first heading, is the limited face-to-face interaction between learners and teachers. The second challenge is concerned with difficulties in oral and written language. This chapter concludes with a reflection on the implications for the use of best practice principles for online teaching in the early childhood and primary school setting.
Chapter
This chapter focuses on what we know about the development of reading comprehension in the early school years, with a particular emphasis on understanding causal processes. According to the simple view of reading, reading comprehension is the product of decoding and language comprehension. Linguistic comprehension is typically assessed using tests of listening comprehension in which a person answers questions about the meaning of a spoken passage. A different approach to measuring the development of reading comprehension over time is to use individual growth curve modeling. The chapter emphasizes on evidence from longitudinal studies of typically developing children published between 2004 and 2020. Reading comprehension is a highly complex skill that is undoubtedly heavily dependent on language comprehension ability. There is very strong support for the simple view of reading: Variations in reading comprehension are strongly predicted by variations in decoding and linguistic comprehension.
Article
Objective Preschool-age children experience many home accidents, and school nurses play a role in preventing these accidents. Methods Accordingly, this study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of training preschool-age children through an imagined hide-and-seek game using a model home environment, in cases that may pose an accident risk. This pretest–posttest control-group study was conducted between March and June 2019. In total, 72 preschool students were included in the study. The study group’s education through the model home environment and game was assessed using the Determination of Home Environment Risks Form. Results The post-education mean accident risk scores of the children in the study group increased in the kitchen (pre-education: 4.89 ± 3.258; post-education: 9.56 ± 3.549), children’s room (pre-education: 6.17 ± 3.776; post-education: 8.56 ± 3.722), and garden (pre-education: 4.39 ± 2.697; post-education: 6.72 ± 2.953). In the study group, the mean scores of children for recognizing the circumstances that pose a risk of accident in the home environment were determined to increase significantly ( P < 0.001). The corresponding scores of the children in the control group did not change in the kitchen (pre-education: 3.89 ± 2.025; post-education: 3.44 ± 2.006), children’s room (pre-education: 3.72 ± 1.667; post-education: 3.50 ± 2.158), or garden (pre-education: 2.83 ± 1.813; post-education: 2.17 ± 2.049). Conclusions The new techniques, which will help children learn while having fun, should be integrated into preschool children’s education programs to reduce home accidents.
Article
This study examined whether particular practices in story retelling improve children’s comprehension of story structure and enables them to further comment on the story content. Eighty-three (83) kindergarten children (M = 5.4) years old composed the experimental (N = 43) and the control (N = 40) groups. For 6 weeks, one time per week, six well-structured books were read to the experimental group as follows: Before reading there was a brief discussion, while after reading children were trained in story retelling. The intervention programme in retelling consisted of five levels, which began from total teacher assistance to the point where children were able to retell the story freely and completely. The same six books were simply read to the control group and after the reading the children discussed the interesting parts and made drawings based on the story. Children’s retellings were taped and analysed by a series of measures. Results confirmed the experimental group children’s achievements in almost all measurements indicating that the multilevel training programme in retelling enhanced children’s ability for deeper comprehension and further commentary.
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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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Successful text comprehension results in a coherent mental model of the situation being described. To achieve this, the reader has to infer certain information by connecting parts of the text to their prior knowledge. An important construct involved in this process is vocabulary knowledge, usually divided into breadth and depth. We conducted a meta-analysis on 23 studies, and explored the fit of five different models to establish an effect size of both dimensions of vocabulary on inference making, as well as its developmental trajectory in children aged 3-12. We found a significant and moderate effect of vocabulary knowledge of both modalities. Vocabulary type was not a significant moderator, but age was, meaning that there was a similar effect for both breadth and depth and that the strength of the correlations decreased with age. Heterogeneity was high overall, meaning that more moderators should be assessed in future studies.
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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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The long‐standing research to practice gap and increased interest in scientific literacy instruction has contributed to the oversimplification of what is deemed as foundational skills in US early literacy classrooms. Invoking a homing pigeon metaphor, this article describes the distilling of decades of reading research into a message being received by literacy practitioners, policymakers and families which prioritises phonics instruction, drowning‐out complex and nuanced findings supporting a more comprehensive approach. Grounded in an emergent literacy paradigm and applying a sociocultural approach to literacy in the 21st century with an eye towards equity, this article reframes what is considered ‘foundational’ early literacy teaching and learning to reflect the research base that supports proportional attention to constrained and unconstrained skills through integrated and contextualised instruction. To narrow the enduring research‐to‐practice gap, researchers must build authentic research partnerships with schools and support teacher educators' and teachers' enactment of comprehensive approaches to literacy instruction, curricula and assessment.
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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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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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Polysemy, or the property of words having multiple meanings, is a prevalent feature of vocabulary. In this study we validated a new measure of polysemy knowledge for children with English as an additional language (EAL) and a first language (EL1) and examined the relationship between polysemy knowledge and age, language status, and reading comprehension. Participants were 112 British children aged 5 to 6 (n = 61) or 8 to 9 years (n = 51), 37% of whom had EAL (n = 41). Participants completed the new measure of knowledge of polysemes, along with other measures of language, literacy and cognitive ability. The new measure was reliable and valid with EAL and EL1 children. Age and language status predicted children's polyseme knowledge. Polyseme knowledge uniquely contributed to reading comprehension after controlling for age, language status, non-verbal intelligence, time reading in English, and breadth of vocabulary. This research underscores the importance of polysemy for children's linguistic development.
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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 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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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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This book is a collection of papers that explore the ways in which bilingual children cope with two language systems. The papers address issues in linguistics, psychology, and education bearing on the abilities that bilingual children use to understand language, to perform highly specialised operations with language, and to function in school settings. All of the papers provide detailed analysis about how specific problems are solved, how bilingualism influences those solutions, and how the social context affects the process. Finally, the implications of these findings for policy-setting and the development of bilingual education programmes are explored. This will be an important and useful volume at the forefront of topical research in an area which is exciting increasing interest among linguists and cognitive scientists.
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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.
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This article examines what roles, if any, working memory plays in the human capabilities to handle language. One possibility is that language comprehension is dependent upon working memory, as a consequence of the ephemeral nature of the speech input. A second is that the working memory system supports the learning of language rather than language processing per se. The article argues that in fact this is by far the most significant contribution made by working memory to the human facility with language. Individually and in concert, the subsystems of working memory play vital and highly specific roles, both in language learning in particular and in learning more generally. The article first describes the concept of working memory, and then discusses sentence processing and short-term memory, vocabulary acquisition and verbal short-term memory, and specific language impairment and working memory.
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SThis article explains the creation and validation of the Narrative Comprehension of Picture Books task (NC task), an assessment of young children's comprehension of wordless picture books. Study 1 explored developmental changes among 158 K-2 children in narrative comprehension and the correlations among children's performance on the NC task and other measures of early reading. There was significant improvement with increasing age on NC task measures. Significant concurrent validity was found between the NC task and oral reading comprehension for readers and between the NC task and several prereading skills for prereaders. Study 2 tested the generalizability of the NC task by giving a sub-sample of students (n = 91) two additional picture books using the NC task procedures. Intertask correlations showed that children were consistent on each of the NC task dependent variables across the three books. The same developmental trends by grade and reading ability were evident on all three versions of the task. Study 3 confirmed the generalizability of the NC task across children, books, and testers, and it revealed sensitivity to longitudinal growth in children's c