Contribution of morphological awareness and vocabulary to reading in children from various socio-economical status

Contribution of morphological awareness and vocabulary to reading in children from various socio-economical status

First Author: Severine Casalis -- Université de Lille
Additional authors/chairs: 
Alicia Rassel
Keywords: Reading acquisition, Morphological Awareness, Vocabulary, socioeconomic status, Regression models
Abstract / Summary: 

The contribution of morphological awareness (MA) to reading has been already evidenced (Casalis & Louis Alexandre, 2000; Deacon & Kirby, 2004). Vocabulary is also associated with both reading achievement (Ricketts, Nation & Bishop, 2007) and MA (McBride-Chang et al 2005), suggesting strong connections between these skills. The impact of socio-economical status (SES) has been evidenced in vocabulary (Hakuta, Butler & Witt, 2000) but remains unclear in MA. The first aim of the present study was to compare the amplitude of the impact of SES on morphological processing, vocabulary and reading skills (decoding and comprehension). The second aim was to determine the links between morphological knowledge, vocabulary and reading abilities (decoding and comprehension) in French children according to SES. The sample was composed of 200 French children from low and middle SES schooled in second and third grade. Children were assessed on several reading-related and literacy tasks: phonological awareness, morphological awareness, vocabulary, decoding, reading comprehension. Results evidenced a significant impact of SES on MA, vocabulary and reading, and strong correlations between all skills. Importantly, regression analyses evidenced that MA accounted for a significant part of the variance in both decoding and reading comprehension skills, beyond vocabulary. More, the contribution of morphological awareness to reading was slightly higher in low SES children. This pattern of results indicates that connections between these skills show some subtle variation across SES. This result also plaids in favour of stimulating morphological awareness in low SES children in order to develop both vocabulary and reading skills.