Emerging Interdependent Systems: A downward extension of the Simple View of Reading

Emerging Interdependent Systems: A downward extension of the Simple View of Reading

First Author: David Dickinson -- Vanderbilt U.
Additional authors/chairs: 
Kimberly Nesbitt; Kerry G. Hofer
Keywords: Early Literacy, Language Development, Reading development
Abstract / Summary: 

The Simple View of Reading posits that reading comprehension builds on two distinct strands of competencies, decoding and language comprehension. Recently research has mounted indicating there are early interdependencies between language and code abilities. We examine multiple direct and indirect effects hypothesizing there is an early period of interdependency among capacities that later form distinct strands.

Data from 369 Head Start children collected at the end of pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, and first grade were analyzed for direct and mediated effects of preschool language and decoding skills on grade one decoding and comprehension as mediated by kindergarten language, phonological awareness and decoding.

Using a language measure that includes information about lexical, syntactic and discourse level skills we found strong continuity in language from pre-k to kindergarten (β = .83). Regression analyses that controlled for gender, age, and nonverbal intelligence revealed that grade one reading and code knowledge were predicted by pre-k language (β = .31, .39 respectively)
Code knowledge also had strong year-to-year associations (pre-to Kindergarten: β = .62; kindergarten to grade 1: β = .71), and our regression analyses found that preschool code was a good predictor of grade one code and reading (β = .44 for both). Pre-k code also predicted kindergarten (β = .21) and grade one language (β = .24).

Results support the hypothesis that the separate strands of ability that support reading comprehension emerge from an early period when there are interdependencies among abilities.