Preschool phonological and morphological awareness as longitudinal predictors of early reading and spelling development in Greek

Preschool phonological and morphological awareness as longitudinal predictors of early reading and spelling development in Greek

First Author: Vassiliki Diamanti -- University of Oslo
Additional authors/chairs: 
Aggeliki Mouzaki; Asimina Ralli; Faye Antoniou; Sofia Papaioannou
Keywords: Phonological awareness, Morphological Awareness, Vocabulary, Reading development, Spelling
Abstract / Summary: 

Purpose: Different language skills are considered fundamental for successful reading and spelling acquisition. Extensive research evidence has highlighted the central role of phonological awareness in early literacy experiences. However, many orthographic systems also require the contribution of morphological awareness because understanding the morphological structure of words is essential for reading comprehension and spelling. In this study we examine the morphological and phonological awareness skills of Greek-speaking children in kindergarten and in the beginning of first grade as longitudinal predictors of their reading and spelling ability by the end of first grade, controlling for the effects of receptive and expressive vocabulary skills.
Method: The sample includes 130 children aged 5;0–6;0 at the time of initial assessment, with Greek as their native language, without diagnosed developmental delay or sensory deficits, who attended kindergarten in urban, semi-urban, and rural areas of Greece (in Attica, Crete, Thessaly, Macedonia). They were individually assessed on a battery of tests including tasks measuring phonological and morphological awareness and receptive and expressive vocabulary. Outcome measures include tasks tapping reading and spelling skills.
Results: In the preliminary analysis of measures administered in the first assessment, predictor variables were significantly intercorrelated, as expected, and test-retest and internal reliability were satisfactory, in the .8–.9 range. Longitudinal analysis will be carried out following administration of the outcome measures in spring 2016.