Predicting Second Grade Listening Comprehension Using Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten Measures

Predicting Second Grade Listening Comprehension Using Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten Measures

First Author: Crystle Alonzo -- University of Montana
Additional authors/chairs: 
Tiffany Hogan; Gloria Yeomans-Maldonado; Kimberly Murphy ; Language and Reading Research Consortium
Keywords: Linguistic Comprehension, Poor Comprehenders, Early childhood age 3-8, Longitudinal, early identification
Abstract / Summary: 

Purpose: We sought to identify the best Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten language and cognitive predictors of listening comprehension skill in Grade 2. It is surprising how little work has examined longitudinal predictors of listening comprehension considering the importance of listening comprehension to reading comprehension across time.
Method: Data from large, multi-site, 5-year longitudinal study of reading and listening comprehension in Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 3 was used to predict listening comprehension in Grade 2 based on Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten predictors. A comprehensive battery of cognitive and linguistic measures were administered every academic year to 318 participants. Using Confirmatory Factor Analysis, Pre-Kindergarten & Kindergarten measures were included in the model from three latent constructs: lower-level language, discourse, and memory. Linear Multiple Regression, followed by relative importance analyses determined which Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten measures predicted listening comprehension in Grade 2.
Results: In Pre-Kindergarten, a test of narrative language and sentence recall accounted for 40% of the variance in Grade 2 listening comprehension. In kindergarten, a test of narrative language, a measure of productive morphosytax and an Inference task accounted for 56% of the variance of Grade 2 listening comprehension.
Conclusions: The results of this study show that early lower-level language and discourse measures can predict future listening comprehension. Early identification of listening comprehension skills can lead to early targeted interventions.