Reading comprehension in Spanish: contribution of word recognition and language abilities

Reading comprehension in Spanish: contribution of word recognition and language abilities

First Author: Milagros Tapia Montesinos -- Universidad de Piura
Additional authors/chairs: 
Juan C. Ripoll; Gerardo Aguado ; R. Malatesha Joshi
Abstract / Summary: 

Reading comprehension is determined by a wide range of component skills and processes. The purpose of this study was to analyse the contributions of word decoding skills and linguistic abilities to reading comprehension. In addition, the authors compared the original simple view of reading (Gough, Hoover, & Peterson, 1996; Hoover & Gough, 1990) and a more complex model.
A sample of seventy-one Peruvian children (mean age = 8.8) from Grade 3 took part in this study. A number of tasks were administered that measured decoding, language abilities and reading comprehension.
Regression analysis showed that approximately 26% of the variance in reading comprehension of Spanish speaker’s students was explained by pseudo word reading accuracy and oral comprehension (original model of the SVR). In contrast, a complex model that includes fluency as part of decoding and other abilities to measure linguistic comprehension beyond oral comprehension, explained 55% of the variance of reading comprehension. In this model, linguistic component made unique significant contribution of 43% to reading comprehension and was higher than the contribution of word decoding component (2%). From all the language skills, the test of vocabulary of PEALE was a strong predictor and accounted for unique variance of 30% when decoding was controlled.
In line with other research, our findings showed that reading comprehension is not so simple and that a complex model explained more variance of reading comprehension. Further, they showed that for readers of transparent orthographies, linguistic comprehension component was more influential than decoding skills.