Correlates of vocabulary knowledge among Spanish-speaking children in Honduras

Correlates of vocabulary knowledge among Spanish-speaking children in Honduras

First Author: Lauren Thayer -- University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Additional authors/chairs: 
Sergio Leiva; J. Marc Goodrich
Keywords: Spanish, Special Education, Vocabulary, Reading comprehension, Learning disability or difficulty
Abstract / Summary: 

Purpose – According to the Simple View of Reading (SVR), reading comprehension is supported by decoding and listening comprehension (Hoover & Gough, 1990). Tunmer and Chapman (2012) expanded this model by including vocabulary and results showed that vocabulary skills contributed to reading comprehension beyond decoding and listening comprehension. This study examines the relations between executive function (EF), auditory language comprehension, and vocabulary outcomes in young monolingual Spanish speakers.
Method – Complete data are from 199 Honduran elementary school children. Fifty-four of these children were designated by their teachers as at-risk of learning difficulties because of poor reading comprehension. Preliminary analyses include 31 at-risk students. Multiple regression was used to examine the relations between the Spanish Expressive One Word Picture Vocabulary Test (EOWPVT), measures of working memory, and a researcher-developed Spanish listening comprehension task.
Results – Preliminary results indicate that there was a direct relation between EF and vocabulary (β = 0.40, p < .001) and between listening comprehension and vocabulary (β = -0.43, p < .001). However, listening comprehension did not mediate the relations between EF and EOWPVT scores.
Conclusions – The preliminary analysis showed significant relations between EF, listening comprehension, and vocabulary. According to Tunmer and Chapman (2012), vocabulary may play a unique role in the development of reading comprehension. Thus, based on SVR, children’s EF and listening comprehension skills may represent key skills that support development of reading comprehension indirectly through vocabulary knowledge. Final analyses will examine the full dataset by comparing typically developing students to those with poor reading comprehension.