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Purpose: Poor comprehenders (PCs), display poor reading comprehension skills in spite of grade-appropriate word recognition skills. Converging evidence indicates that these children show significant (though often subclinical) deficits in oral language, including vocabulary and semantics, syntax, and higher-level language skills. On the surface, many PCs resemble children with SLI because their language difficulties occur in the presence of good nonverbal cognitive abilities. This study examines PCs' skills in morpho-syntax, an aspect of grammar known to be particularly difficult for children with SLI. Such an examination allows us to compare and contrast the profiles of PCs and children with SLI. The results may also useful for improving procedures for the early identification of each condition. Methods: 20 fourth-grade poor comprehenders and 20 controls, matched for grade, word reading, and nonverbal cognitive skills, have been tested to date, and additional participants are being recruited. Participants completed three morpho-syntax probes, which assessed knowledge of grammatical rules involving regular and irregular past tense, auxiliary and copula forms of the verbs "be" and "do," third-person singular present tense, and plurals. In addition, participants completed a comprehensive standardized language assessment (CELF-4), a receptive vocabulary test, and a phonological processing task (CTOPP Nonword Repetition). Results/Conclusions: Results at present indicate that poor comprehenders (PCs) perform significantly worse than controls in all areas of oral language except phonological processing. Results for the morpho-syntax tasks will be further analyzed to determine whether PCs' pattern of performance on the morpho-syntax probes matches that reported in previous studies of children with SLI.
Purpose The study investigated the potential crosslinguistic influence between L1 and L2 subsyllabic orthographic units of Korean and English word recognition in adult Korean-English bilinguals and EAL Korean learners. The literature showcases a rich body of evidence implicating the functionally salient subsyllabic units in English as the onset and rime and mounting evidence towards the view that the body and coda function as the Korean counterparts. However, previous research is limited in that (1) the majority of the studies of English and Korean have focused on monolingual speakers of each language and (2) no research to date has explicitly investigated the salient subsyllabic orthographic units of Korean word recognition. Method Twenty adult Korean-English speakers participated in an orthographic processing task. The sample was divided into bilingual vs. EAL learner using a purpose-designed questionnaire. Participants were required to read aloud 240 Korean and English monosyllabic CVC words and nonwords which were presented on-screen either intact or segmented between the onset-rime or the body-coda division. Results No differences were found in the reading latencies between body-coda vs. onset-rime segmented items in either language and in both groups. Bodies and rimes were equally salient subsyllabic orthographic units in the Korean-English speakers. Conclusions These results lend preliminary support towards the notion of reciprocal transfer of subsyllabic orthographic recognition units between L1 and L2 in Korean-English speakers. Consistent with the psycholinguistic grain-size theory, the results suggest that preferential sensitivities to particular units, once acquired in the language-specific context, generalise and become language-universal to the multi-lingual speaker.
Purpose: The purpose is development of a three component literacy curriculum for students with moderate to severe intellectual disabilities. (1) Visual literacy includes reading individual pictures and sequences of pictures, and community logos. (2) Sight-word instruction includes a seven-point basis for word selection resulting in an initial controlled vocabulary. Students read individual words and connected text with a motor demonstration of comprehension. (3) Phonics instruction includes letter-sound correspondence and blending skills, with generalization to taught and untaught sounds. Sounds are selected based on access to common functional community words. Each component is preceded by a read-aloud activity designed to develop phonological awareness, print awareness, and narrative skills. Method: Participants are students in the functioning range of moderate to severe intellectual disability in elementary and middle schools. Single-case research designs are employed to demonstrate a functional relation between curriculum components and student performance. Multiple-probe designs across participants with embedded changing criterion designs are employed to analyze learning in 1:1 and group formats. Ongoing performance data and pre- and post-data on standardized instruments are collected. Results: Data indicate (1) consistent increases in student performance across each component, (2) increase in automaticity and fluency measures, and (3) average increases of one year on language measures. Conclusion: These data support this integrated multi-modal literacy curriculum. The curriculum components are accessible across levels of student functioning and age, enabling a teacher to place a student appropriately for meaningful instruction.
Behavior problems are associated with emergent literacy deficits. Researchers have recently begun exploring whether there are sex differences in the relation between behavior and emergent literacy. For example, Doctoroff et al. (2006) found that aggression was associated with emergent literacy difficulties in boys, but not girls. The purpose of this study was to explore whether sex moderates the predictive relation of inattention, hyperactivity, and oppositional behavior to three domains of emergent literacy: phonological awareness, print knowledge, and definitional vocabulary. Behavior and emergent literacy were assessed at Time 1, and emergent literacy was assessed at Time 2 (N = 92 girls, 86 boys). Using linear regression, it was found that sex moderated the relation between acting-out behavior (hyperactivity and oppositional behavior) and vocabulary; specifically, Time 1 hyperactivity and oppositional behavior were predictors of Time 2 vocabulary deficits for girls, but not boys. Sex did not moderate the relation between inattention and vocabulary. There were no significant moderating effects between behavior and either print knowledge or phonological awareness. Contrary to previous research concerning aggressive behaviors, this study identified externalizing behaviors as predictive of girls' later emergent literacy skills. Future research should continue to explore this issue, as findings are sparse and conflicting.
PURPOSE: Phonological awareness ([PA]) tasks like blending and elision are usually assumed to tap metalinguistic ability. However, these tasks also require storage and manipulation of verbal information, and, therefore, may tap working memory (WM) and executive function (EF). This study examines the relationship between performance on two PA tasks (blending and elision), WM, EF and vocabulary. METHOD: 33 normal readers, ages 18-43, completed a test battery assessing WM (digits forward, digits backward), EF (Stroop XXX/Words, Trails A/B), and reading vocabulary (Shipley), plus the PA subtests (elision and blending) from the Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (CTOPP). RESULTS: Performance on blending and elision tests did not differ significantly; however, they only shared 42% of their variance. Both measures correlated significantly with digits backward and Stroop XXX. When these EF and WM measures were partialled out, blending and elision only shared 23% of their variance. Vocabulary accounted for an additional 12% of variance in blending but less than 2% of variance in elision. CONCLUSION: These results suggest that about half of shared variance between blending and elision can be attributed to EF and WM. Suprisingly, vocabulary size also contributes to blending but not elision. Thus, individuals with primary deficits in EF or WM may score poorly on both tasks, but those with poor vocabulary and intact EF/WM could show isolated deficits in blending. We argue that reading assessments including EF and WM measures plus CTOPP subtest scores provide the clinician with better information about the etiology of reading impairments than composite scores.
Margarida Alves Martins (Instituto Superior de Psicologia Aplicada, Portugal);Cristina Silva; Miguel Mata Pereira - Facilitating childrens invented spelling: Implications and important characteristics
The processes by which children understand that letters represent sound components of words have been recently analysed within the framework of children's use of written language and of the knowledge they acquire about the writing system before they begin formal education. In previous work we showed that kindergarten children evolve in their invented spellings when they are engaged in writing programmes, where they were asked to confront their spellings with more advanced ones (confronting spellings), to choose the one that seems better and to justify their choice. In this line of research our aim is to determine whether the impact of these programmes is influenced by the characteristics of the confronting spellings. The participants were 39 5-year-olds whose spellings were grapho-perceptive (Ferreiro, 1988) divided into 2 experimental and a control group. Children's age, phonological skills, knowledge of letters and intelligence were controlled. Their spellings were evaluated in a pre and a post-test using words beginning with consonants worked during the programmes (P, T, F) and others that were not worked (B, D, V). In between, the experimental groups underwent the writing programmes where they had to compare their spellings with alphabetic (ExpG1) or syllabic (ExpG2). The control group classified geometric shapes. The Exp.Groups achieved greater progress in writing conventional letters than the Cont.group. ExpG1 obtained better results concerning the generalization of the phonetization procedures to letters that weren't worked during the programmes. A qualitative analysis of the post-test writings enabled us to better understand the characteristics of children's invented spellings.
First Author: Alida Anderson, Ph.D., Widener University, Chester, PA, email@example.com Active member Second author: Min Wang, Ph.D., University of Maryland, College Park, firstname.lastname@example.org Voting member Title of Presentation: The utility of Chinese tone processing skill in detecting children with English reading disabilities Type of paper: Spoken Paper Preference for participation. If program space is limited, would you be prepared to present an interactive paper (poster)? Yes Purpose. This study investigated differences in Chinese tone, general auditory, English phonemic processing, and English reading skills between English-speaking second grade children with reading disabilities (RD = 25) and a comparison group of normally achieving children (NRD = 24). We also examined relationships between Chinese tone and general auditory, phonemic processing and English reading skills for RD and NRD groups. Method. Children with RD scored below the 25th percentile on either Letter-Word Identification or Word Attack subtest of the Woodcock-Reading Mastery Test-Revised (WRMT-R, Woodcock, 1987).Two general auditory tasks included frequency modulated (FM) tone and Tallal's (1980) tone tasks. Other tasks involved Chinese tone same-different judgment, English phoneme deletion, English real word reading and pseudoword reading. Tasks were individually administered using a laptop computer and headphones. Results. We found differences between groups in Chinese tone processing skill, as well as general auditory processing and English phonemic skills, such that the RD group was significantly poorer than NRD on tasks of Chinese tone, phonemic, and frequency modulated (FM) tone processing. Another finding was a different pattern of relationship between RD and NRD groups in Chinese tone, phonemic, and FM tone processing as predictors of reading skills. For children with RD, FM tone processing was a significant predictor of pseudoword reading; for NRD, phonemic and Chinese tone processing skills predicted real word reading. Conclusions. These findings contribute to understanding of the roles of general auditory processing and phonological processing skills in reading disabilities, having implications for assessment and intervention with children who have English reading difficulties. Tallal, P. (1980). Auditory temporal perception, phonics, and reading disabilities in children. Brain & Language, 9(2), 182-198. Woodcock, R. C. (1987). Woodcock Reading Mastery Tests-Revised. Circle Press, MN: American Guidance Service.
PURPOSE: Previous research (e.g., Apel, Wolter, & Masterson, 2006) examining young children's ability to quickly acquire orthographic knowledge of novel written words (orthographic fast-mapping) during a storybook task suggests that children acquire initial mental orthographic representations after minimal (4) exposure to the words. This process appears similar to previous reports of toddlers' ability to fast-map spoken word forms. Orthographic fast-mapping ability also predicts reading and spelling abilities beyond that explained by phonemic awareness skills. In this study, we were interested in comparing orthographic and spoken fast-mapping skills in kindergarten children who varied by SES, as previous research suggested low SES children are at-risk for literacy development. METHOD: We compared the orthographic and spoken fast-mapping skills of kindergarten children from middle (N=24) and low SES (N=24) schools. The children were administered the orthographic fast-mapping task (see Apel et al., 2006) including a concurrent measure of spoken fast-mapping, and other measures of literacy (reading and spelling) and literacy-related skills (e.g., phonemic awareness). RESULTS: The middle SES children fast-mapped significantly more orthographic and spoken information than their low SES peers. For both groups, orthographic and spoken fast-mapping ability were affected by the linguistic properties of the words, although group differences were observed. Finally, unlike their low SES peers, the middle SES children's orthographic and spoken fast-mapping skills were moderately- to highly-related to each other and to their reading and spelling abilities. CONCLUSION: Discussion will focus on possible causes for these findings, their relation to previous reports, and implications for reading and spelling development.
Purpose: This intervention study aimed to assess the differential contributions of various parent-child joint activities to kindergartners' alphabetic and linguistic skills. Intervention studies aimed to promote early literacy have been primarily implemented by researchers or teachers. We addressed parents, assuming that parents are their children's first teachers and hold the primary responsibility for their wellbeing. While it is reasonable to expect that different parent-child activities promote different competencies, few studies dealt with this issue. Method: Participants were 131 low SES parent-child dyads (Mean age: 5;6). Each dyad participated in one of three programs: Joint writing, Storybook-reading, or Joint visuo-motor activities. Each parent took part in a workshop applied to joint activities in one of these domains. Subsequently, parents were guided weekly for seven weeks on program implementation. A group of No-intervention served as a control. Children's alphabetic and linguistic competencies were assessed on pretest, immediate and delayed posttests. Results: Alphabetic skills were best promoted by Writing mediation, and linguistic competencies by Storybook- reading mediation. Still, alphabetic skills were moderately promoted by Storybook-reading or Visuo-motor skills mediation, and linguistic competencies were promoted by Writing or Visuo-motor skills mediation. Gains emerged after partialling out parental education level and child's age. The contribution of the intervention to alphabetic skills could be traced 2½ months after it was terminated. Conclusions: The study provides evidence supporting causal relations regarding the specific contribution of parent-child joint writing and joint storybook reading with kindergartners and calls for analyzing differential effects of other parent-child joint activities.
The poster describes the content and methodological issues of a programme for young dyslexic students. The purpose of the programme, VAKS (a Danish abbreviation of 'choose your word reading strategy') is to develop the basic word reading skills and strategic awareness of young dyslexic students (grade 3). The programme, VAKS, is inspired by the Canadian programme, PHAST, developed by Maureen Lovett's research group. However, a number of significant changes have been made to the program in order to address the complexities of Danish orthography and Danish paedagogical tradition. The paper presents the linguistic and paedagogical arguments for these changes, i.e. the basic phonics strategy, the order of the original five strategies of the PHAST programme, and various changes in the tasks. The most radical of the changes to the original programme concerns the methodology of the basic phonics strategy. The phonics strategy of VAKS is a vowel-based decoding strategy. The students are taught to focus on the vowel(s) of each word, to continue decoding the rime unit of the word, and to add one consonant at a time to unfold initial consonant clusters. The vowel-based decoding strategy is chosen to support the students' working memory processes, to simplify the decoding of consonant clusters, and to prepare the students for the three different strategies in VAKS addressing various complexities of irregular words. Preliminary results from a small-scale effect study comparing the vowel-based decoding strategy with a strategy based on synthetic phonics is presented in the paper.
Purpose- This study was conducted to explore the development and validation of a 2nd grade test of spelling ability. Additionally, we studied the relationships among second grade students' spelling ability on the test, timed word reading, and reading comprehension on the SAT-10 across three time points. Our research questions were: 1) Does spelling performance add value to word reading's prediction to end of year reading comprehension? 2) What is the variability of student performance by quantile across three time points? 3) Does performance on the spelling test predict reading comprehension better for some groups of students over others? Method- Participants were 647 second graders from three Florida counties representative of the demographics of the state. Students' spellings were assessed at three times during the year with a 25 word dictated test. Words were selected using item response theory. Total words spelled correctly, timed word reading, and end of year SAT-10 data were analyzed using bivariate correlations and quantile regression. Results and Conclusion- Correlations indicated that spelling and word reading were correlated at .83 while spelling and SAT-10 were correlated at 0.32. Follow-up quantile regressions showed that the relationship between spelling and SAT-10 was heteroscedastic. While average achievement on spelling was correlated with reading comprehension at .50, low and high achievers in spelling displayed more variable correlations. Preliminary conclusions suggest that spelling adds value to word reading for the middle range of student performance and that average spelling ability is a better predictor of reading comprehension than low or high ability.
Three decades of research converge on the importance of phonological awareness in early reading development, yet the role of phonological activation in skilled reading is still under investigation. Online studies of word recognition during silent reading indicate that readers of English process several aspects of a word's phonological form, including suprasegmental and subphonemic feature information. Purpose. We investigated the time course of this phonological activation. Method. Four ERP experiments used a masked priming paradigm and visually-matched experimental designs. Participants read single words silently and made semantic decisions to filler items. ERPs were computed for target items. Two experiments examined the processing of subphonemic feature information by presenting prime-target pairs that were congruent or incongruent with respect to final consonant voicing. The next two experiments examined phonological processing by presenting prime-target pairs that were congruent or incongruent with respect to initial syllable information. Results. Subphonemic feature congruency began modulating the amplitude of brain potentials by 80 ms, with the feature congruent condition evoking less-negative potentials than the feature incongruent condition. In the syllable congruency studies, congruent prime-target pairs elicited a significantly reduced N1 compared to the incongruent prime-target pairs. All experiments found evidence for phonological activation in the initial moments of visual word recognition, which is 100 -150 ms earlier than reported in previous ERP research. Conclusions. The early time course of effects suggests that sub-lexical phonological activation is fundamental to skilled reading and helps to account for the central role of phonological processes in reading development.
Diane August (Center for Applied Linguistics)Maria Carlo;Chris Barr;Margarita Calderon Johns Hopkins University Maria Carlo, Chris Barr, Mar - Predictors of growth in English reading comprehension for young Spanish-Speaking English-language learners: understanding interactions with the language of instruction
Purpose: This longitudinal study investigated the development of English reading comprehension in Spanish-speaking English-language learners (ELLs). Method: Participants were 102 fifth grade Spanish-speaking ELLs who differed in the amount of English instruction they had received through fifth grade. Across three schools, 45 students were enrolled in an only English literacy program; 34 students were initially instructed in Spanish and then transitioned into English; and 23 students had received mostly Spanish instruction. All students were exposed to the same curriculum regardless of site or language because of parallel curriculum in Spanish and English. Students' performance was measured at five time points between the end of second grade and end of fifth grade. Growth modeling procedures examined differences in English reading comprehension growth between groups and evaluated the relationships between initial levels of oral English proficiency, initial levels of Spanish reading comprehension skills, and language of instruction in growth in English reading comprehension. Results: Results indicated that students who received reading instruction first in Spanish and then transitioned into English (transitional group) showed significantly higher rates of growth in English reading comprehension on the WLPB than students instructed only in English or mostly in Spanish and that Spanish reading comprehension was a significant predictor of the rate of growth in English reading comprehension for the transitional bilingual group, but not for the English-only or mostly-Spanish instructed groups. Conclusion: The results highlight the important role that language of instruction plays in the development of second-language reading comprehension in young English-language learners.
This longitudinal study tracked from Grade 1-3 growth characteristics associated with the morphological spelling skills of students with and without reading disability (RD) who were either English as-first language (EL1) or ESL. The sample consisted of 46 ESL students from different language backgrounds, and 24 EL1 students (35 non-RD, 35 RD). The RD and non-RD students were matched, case-by-case basis on home language background and non-verbal ability. A growth-curve modeling framework was used to compare the patterns of growth in morphological spelling in RD and non-RD students in the ESL and EL1 groups and to compare their initial and final performance as well as the nature of their spelling development (quadratic/linear). Results indicated a similar initial and final performance on morphological spelling in ESLs and EL1s. Regardless of their language status, at the beginning of grade 1 there was a large gap between the morphological spelling skills of RD non-RD students. Regardless of language group, the gap between the RD and non-RD groups did not close even after three years of systematic schooling in English. The findings are discussed in terms of language and orthographic development of ESL/EL1, the reading disabilities - L2 literature, and implications for early assessment and intervention.
Iuliana Elena Baciu (Wilfrid Laurier University)Alexandra Gottardo - Measuring word reading in second language preschool learners: PA as a single construct or as a variety of unique psycholinguistic units?
What are the predictors of English word reading in a sample of preschoolers (3 to 4 1/2 years old) that learn English as a second language? Phonological awareness (PA) is one of the main predictors of reading in monolingual and bilingual children (see Phillips, Clancy-Menchetti, & Lonigan, 2008, for a review). However, it is not clear if PA is a single construct, developing from awareness of large phonological units to smaller-grained units (Anthony & Lonigan, 2004) or a variety of unique psycholinguistic units that are, in turn, uniquely associated with reading across various orthographies (McBride-Chang, Tong, Shu, Wong, Leung, & Tardiff, 2008; Ziegler & Goswami, 2005). Additionally, are other predictors of reading the same in monolingual and second language learner samples? An intervention was conducted with 77 preschoolers that belonged to English as a second language (ESL) or native English speaking families (English L1). A control group of 23 children with the same language backgrounds was used for comparison purposes. Two regression analyses of word reading, one for the ESL sub-sample and one for English L1 sub-sample were compared. The results show that non-verbal reasoning is an important predictor of emergent reading in the ESL sample, in addition to the traditional word reading predictors (vocabulary, sound blending, letter-sound identification). Additionally, greater variance in word reading was predicted by the model containing sound blending, than by the model containing the composite PA for the ESL sample. Implications for reading intervention and assessment are discussed.
Purpose Examine empirically the reciprocal relation between passage fluency and reading comprehension in English and Spanish in the context of Perfetti's blueprint of the General Components of Beginning Reading. Method Design: The design is correlational with two dependent variables: comprehension and passage fluency. Independent variables are: pseudoword reading, word list fluency, passage fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension in Spanish and English. Participants: Eighty-eight second grade English learners who were learning to read in English and Spanish in four high-poverty schools in the Pacific Northwest. Materials: DIBELS Nonsense Word Fluency, DIBELS Oral Reading Fluency, IDEL Fluidez en las Palabras sin Sentido, IDEL Fluidez en la Lectura Oral, SAT-10 Vocabulary and Comprehension subtests, Aprenda Vocabulario y Comprensión subtests, and a word list fluency measure in English and Spanish. Data Analysis: Pearson product-moment correlation coefficients, and sequential regression analyses were used to examine the pattern of relations among the independent variables. Results Results indicate that the largest percent of the variance explained in reading comprehension and passage fluency was confounded in English and in Spanish (i.e., the total variance explained in reading comprehension and passage fluency could not be uniquely explained by each independent variable entered in the regression models. Conclusions Four potential interpretations of confounded variability are considered within Perfetti's blueprint. A potential implication for instruction includes teaching the strategic integration of key reading skills. Including strategic integration of skills may result in students achieving a more meaningful and complex knowledge of key reading skills than learning those skills only in isolation.
Purpose: Non-vocalized written Hebrew underrepresents vowels and other phonological information such as the distinction between stops and spirants. Morphological knowledge is thus necessary not only to disqualify illegal phonological strings, but also to disambiguate strings such as MPQD מפקד, which can be read as either mefaked 'commander' or mifkad 'census'. The current study aims to examine the role of morphological and morpho-phonological processes in supplementing this missing information from a developmental psycholinguistic perspective. Method: 170 Hebrew-speaking gradeschool and highschool students and a group of adults were asked to read aloud 20 nonvocalized pseudowords composed of nonce roots and real patterns. Results: Results indicate an early and dramatic increase in use of morpho(phono)logical strategies at the end of 2nd grade: For example, relying on the appropriate morphological pattern and on stop/spirant distribution cues in reading non-vocalized KLSN כלסןas kalsan. The use of such strategies testifies to the shift from phonological decoding to orthographic reading, and it further increased with age and schooling. Conclusions: These findings highlight the critical importance of morphological knowledge and morpho-phonological cues in supplementing missing phonological information in novice, experienced and proficient reading of non-vocalized Hebrew words.
Purpose: No study has investigated whether a direct relationship exists between the behavioral diagnoses created in the Response to Intervention (RTI) approach and children's neurobiological profiles. Related to this, the proposed poster will present preliminary results from a study using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to explore functional activity and individual differences in responsiveness to intervention. Method: We examined the potential relationship between functional brain activity during reading tasks and behavioral diagnoses created in the Response to Intervention (RTI) approach. Following their first-grade year, sixteen children attended a single fMRI (3T) session in which functional (BOLD response) data were acquired during literacy tasks (letter sound, non-word, control and rest conditions). Participants had previously been identified as responsive (n = 7) or non-responsive (n = 9) to reading intervention and had received intervention in accordance with the RTI approach during the first grade year. Statistical analyses were performed to explore differences in functional brain activity between students who are responsive to reading intervention and those who are non-responsive to intervention. Results: Statistical analyses revealed brain regions with significant activation during the reading tasks. Differences in fMRI activation between responders and non-responders were explored. Maps of significant activation during reading tasks are presented. Conclusions: The data presented in this poster provide theoretical insight into the relation between functional activation and responsiveness to reading intervention. Implications for early identification of reading difficulties will be discussed.
Purpose: English speaking children are more accurate at producing sounds for letters (e.g., B) whose names /bi/ begin than end /εf/) with their letter-sounds (/b/, /f/) and are least accurate on letters (H, W, Y) whose names do not contain their letter sounds (Treiman, 1998). Although these findings indicate a letter-name to letter-sound connection they have been limited to production tasks and consonants. Method:157 beginning readers (CA= 5.7; word ID raw = 0.96) performed a letter-sound recognition task involving all the letters of the alphabet. They saw a printed capital letter (e.g, K) followed by three spoken words (e.g., from, kind, tell) they repeated aloud. They then reported the word that began with the same sound that went with the letter. The experimenter did not identify the letter name or sound. Both "long" and "short" vowels and a "soft" and "hard" C and G were presented (total=33 items in random order). Results: Children were significantly (p < .001) above chance (.33) at recognizing beginning sounds (.54), ending sounds (.46), and "long" vowels and "soft" C and G (.51) but were not significantly above chance for H, W, Y (.36) or "short" vowels and "hard" C and G (.35). Letter-name knowledge did not differ across letter categories. Conclusions: Approximately one third of letter-names fail to provide useful or consistent information about their sounds. Chance recognition of these letters provides evidence for a developmentally early and primary reason why learning to read in English is more difficult compared with transparent orthographies.
Amy Barth (University of Missouri-Columbia)Karla Stuebing; Jack Fletcher; Paul Cirino; Carolyn Denton; Melissa Romain; Sharon Vaughn; David Francis - The reliability, validity, and classification accuracy of the bead threading and postural stability subtests of the Dyslexia Screening Test.
Although the evidence is controversial, recent studies provide support for a specific cerebellar involvement in reading and language. This has lead to the development the Cerebellar Treatment Hypothesis, assessments that evaluate cerebellar and vestibular functioning, and motor skill interventions that purportedly help children with dyslexia learn how to read. One of the primary assessments used to measure cerebellar and vestibular functioning is the Dyslexia Screening Test (DST), however, little is currently known about the reliability and validity of this measure. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to evaluate the reliability and validity of the Bead Threading and Postural Stability subtests of the Dyslexia Screening Test and to evaluate the extent to which the DST accurately differentiates students who adequately respond to an intensive, explicit phonics based reading intervention from students who inadequately respond. The sample is comprised of 288 first grade students (108 nonreponders, 84 responders, and 96 typicals). Mean performance on the DST Bead Threading is 5.5 for both inadequate responders and responders at pretest. Mean performance on the Postural Stability measures is 3.2 for inadequate responders and 3.3 for adequate responders at posttest. For each measure, both groups were not significantly different from typicals. Reliability, validity, and classification accuracy of the DST is lower than more proximal measures of reading (i.e., phonological awareness and decoding). DST alone is not sufficient for identification of students with reading difficulties.
Purpose: The speed with which readers' process and integrate orthographic and phonological information is critical for fluent reading and comprehension, and is often impaired among struggling readers (Breznitz, 2006). It may be improved, however, if they are induced to read faster. In the current study we examine the influence of the Reading Acceleration Program (RAP), a computerized intervention in which reading rate is adaptively accelerated for each subject through the letter-by-letter erasure of text, on the reading and processing speed skills of elementary and middle school students. Method: 129 Israeli children (60 impaired readers, 69 unimpaired readers) from the third through eighth grades underwent training with the RAP program for 17 - 24 sessions. Students were tested pre and post intervention on a battery of reading and cognitive measures. Results following the training indicated significant increases for all subjects on measures of single word and connected text reading fluency. In addition, all readers made significant gains in both naming speed and processing speed. Improvements in comprehension were small among the older struggling readers and more pronounced in the younger impaired group. No effects were found on decoding accuracy. Conclusions: Our results illustrate the efficacy of the RAP intervention for addressing processing speed weaknesses among impaired readers and improving reading fluency at the single word and connected text levels. Findings further suggest the importance of supplementing the RAP intervention with training in decoding and comprehension skills to more fully address the weaknesses of struggling readers.
Lindsay Bell (University of Michigan Department of Psychology); Kai Cortina; Joanne Carlisle - Comparing reading comprehension across different measures: equating TerraNova and ITBS scores using item response theory and regression
Purpose To compare progress over four years of third-graders in schools that did versus did not participate in Reading First (RF) in one district, two methods of equating the reading comprehension (RC) subtests of TerraNova and Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) were assessed. Method 35,389 students were assessed in 2004 - 2007. 4,703 were in RF-schools and took only ITBS; 29,045 were in non-RF-schools and took only TerraNova. 1,641 students, all in RF-schools in 2007, took both TerraNova and ITBS. For this subsample, regressions of ITBS on TerraNova and vice versa were calculated. The unstandarized regression coefficients were used to predict missing ITBS and TerraNova scores for all other students. As a comparative method, Item Response Theory (IRT) scaling was used to equate the two subtests using 2007 RF-students as a calibration sample. Results The correlation between students' TerraNova and ITBS scores was 0.73 (disattenuated correlation = 0.85). The correlation between students' true and regression-predicted (RP) ITBS scores was 0.73 (same correlation found for true and RP TerraNova scores). Correlations between IRT and predicted TerraNova and ITBS scores were high (0.86, 0.83). Mean comparisons between RF and non-RF groups produced nearly the same results using RP or IRT scores. Conclusions Though IRT is the theoretically most straightforward way to equate assessments, the regression approach performed surprisingly well, giving no indication that RP scores are inferior to IRT scores. RP scores have the advantage of expressing achievement on the original test scale (ITBS or TN) instead of an artificial IRT scale.
Michal Ben-Shachar (Psychology Department, Stanford University, Stanford, CA);Robert F. Dougherty; Gayle K. Deutsch & Brian A. Wandell - The development of reading pathways: longitudinal DTI and fMRI measurements
Purpose: We study the development of cortical pathways for visual word recognition. Here we describe results from a longitudinal study measuring changes in cortical word sensitivity during the early school years. Method: We collected 4 annual waves of functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) and Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) measurements, and standardized behavioral tests, on a group of children (initial age: 7-12y). In fMRI we presented visual words masked by a variable amount of phase-scrambled noise, while children were engaged in a fixation color judgment task. We analyzed BOLD signals as a function of noise level within individual subjects' regions of interest. Results: Cross-sectionally, we find a significant shift (sensitivity difference) of the wordresponse curves measured for different age groups, in left posterior Occipito- Temporal Sulcus (pOTS) but not in right pOTS or V1. Word sensitivity in left pOTS is predicted by age and by performance on the TOWRE Sight Word Efficiency test, but not by rapid letter naming or phonological skill. Longitudinally, changes in left pOTS word sensitivity were significantly and specifically correlated with changes in sight word efficiency. Conclusions: This is the first longitudinal evidence for individual developmental changes in visual word sensitivity in left ventral occipito-temporal cortex. We discuss these results in the context of our DTI measurements in the same group of children. The correlation with sight word efficiency suggests that pOTS develops a specialization for visual word recognition while children learn to read, possibly through enhanced connectivity with visual and language regions.
Rebecca Betjemann (Regis University); Erik Willcutt; Richard Olson; Janice Keenan; John DeFries; Bruce Pennington; Stephen Petrill; Sara Hart - Etiology of comorbidity between reading disability, math disability, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
Purpose: To use neuropsychological and behavioral genetic methods to test the etiology of comorbidity among Reading disability (RD), math disability (MD), and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Method: As part of the ongoing Colorado Learning Disabilities Research Center twin study, twin pairs (8-18 years old) were recruited in which one of the twins met criteria for RD or ADHD (N = 424) or neither twin had RD or ADHD (N = 265). In addition to measures of reading, mathematics, and ADHD, each twin completed an extensive battery of cognitive tests that included measures of executive functions and processing speed. Results: Composite reading and math scores were highly correlated with one another (r = .62 - .66) and moderately correlated with measures of inattention (r = .35 - .38), but only minimally correlated with hyperactivity-impulsivity symptoms (r = .10 - .12). Similarly, significant categorical comorbidity was observed between RD and MD (46%), RD and ADHD (33 - 38%), and ADHD and MD (32%). Multivariate twin analyses suggest that common genetic influences lead to slow cognitive processing speed that increases risk for all three disorders. Additional genetic influences contribute to working memory difficulties, RD, and MD, but not ADHD. Conclusions: These results add to a growing literature suggesting that RD, MD, and ADHD are due to both shared and independent genetic influences. Measures of cognitive speed may be useful endophenotypes for future molecular genetic studies of comorbidity between the three disorders.
Purpose: The use of oral reading fluency (ORF) passages has been proffered as a method for measuring students' general outcomes, and as an appropriate measure of students' response to intervention. Claims have been made that ORF passages are of comparable difficulty and can be used interchangeably to monitor student progress based on readability statistics. Empirical evidence to support this claim has been lacking. Method: To investigate the equivalency of passages, the psychometric theory of congeneric tests was used within the confirmatory factor analytic framework. Two research studies were carried out. The first study was a simulation study based on the data reported in a well-known assessment of ORF. The second study was a field study (N = 354) using passages from the same test developer to replicate the findings of the simulation study. Finally, the data from the second study was submitted to further psychometric analysis using the partial credit model of the Rasch family of models. Results: Overall results indicated that the use of readability metrics did not provide an adequate justification for making claims of equivalency of scores across passages. The Rasch analysis suggested the potential for overcoming these problems. Conclusion: The lack of comparability of scores across passages undermines the foundational argument that ORF assessments can be used to gauge student performance over time. This finding of non-equivalence jeopardizes inferences from scores as instrumentation cannot be ruled out as a confounding factor, and the internal validity of any study findings, whether significant or not, are questionable.
Purpose The purpose of this study is to compare inservice teachers', preservice teachers' and teacher educators' knowledge of basic language constructs and research-based reading instruction in the United Kingdom with results from similar studies performed in the United States. Method Various types of knowledge (ability, terminology, instructional) in phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, and spelling were assessed through a teacher knowledge questionnaire (60 items, Cronbach's alpha = .96). Items were based on recommendations by the US's National Reading Panel and the UK's Rose Report. Participants include inservice teachers (n=50), preservice teachers (n=200) and teacher educators (n=25) all from the UK. The survey results were compared to the performance of their counterparts in the US on the same survey (Joshi, 2008 - this symposia). Comparisons were made through structural equation modeling (SEM) and validity was established through confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). Results Results indicate that while inservice teachers from the UK perform similarly to their counterparts in the US, preservice teachers and teacher educators in the UK score lower on knowledge of basic language constructs and research-based reading instruction than their US counterparts. Interestingly, these preservice teachers from the UK also take significantly less classes in reading education during their teacher preparation programme than in the US. On the other hand, inservice teachers in the UK indicated a significantly higher number of professional development opportunities in reading. Conclusions It appears that while ultimately teacher knowledge of basic language constructs and reading-based reading instruction is relatively the same, the manner in which teachers go about learning this knowledge in the UK seems to be different from the US. While one might view this as a 'reactive versus preventative' approach, the authors believe both countries could learn from each other in the different types of teacher preparation in which they seem to excel over the other.
Jessica M. Black (Boston College)Jessica M. Black; Nicole P. Digby; Allan L. Reiss; Fumiko Hoeft - Socioeconomic status and brain activation are differentially associated for dyslexic versus typically-reading adolescents
Purpose: Findings from functional neuroimaging studies suggest that individuals with dyslexia show hypoactivation in the left parieto-temporal and occipito-temporal regions, and hyperactivation in right homologous regions. Socioeconomic status (SES) is a robust predictor of reading ability; higher SES is related to greater reading proficiency. SES may reflect underlying differences in opportunities related to schooling, access to supplementary academic support, and reading experiences. Bridging these two lines of research, our goal was to elucidate the neural correlates between SES and reading independently in adolescents with and without dyslexia. Method: Twenty-nine adolescents (age 12.87 + 2.5) completed a standard battery of neuropsychological assessments; 16 participants met our criteria for dyslexia. A composite SES score (parental education, occupation, family income) was calculated for each participant. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data were collected during a sentence comprehension task. Regression analyses between brain activation and SES controlling for IQ were conducted. Results: Brain activation during sentence comprehension that covary with SES differed by group. Among typical readers, positive correlation with SES emerged in bilateral parieto-temporal and left temporal regions. Among the dyslexic group, negative correlation was evident in right temporal, lateral prefrontal regions and bilateral occipito-temporal regions. Conclusion: The primarily negative association for adolescents with dyslexia suggests that lower SES dyslexic readers may display compensatory mechanisms primarily in right hemisphere regions, unlike the negative correlation in typical readers showing dominance in the left hemisphere. These findings may be critical to understanding the differential role SES may have on typical versus impaired readers' brain activation.
Jay Blanchard (Arizona State University);Kim Atwill; Jim Christie; Joe Millett - The development of literacy skills in the US-Mexico borderlands: A four year study (K-3rd)of language minority children in English immersion schools embedded in Spanish dominate communities
Purpose. Interest in all aspects of English reading skill development for language minority (LM) children has increased since passage of the US No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 and publication of the report it spawned from the NICHD National Panel on Language-Minority Children and Youth (2006). The report notes an absence of longitudinal, empirical research on English reading development among LM children. With notable exceptions (Lesaux, Rupp, & Siegel, 2007), this is especially the case for children entering school with limited English skills, attending immersion schools, and living in non-English speaking communities. The current research presents a sequential-cohort, longitudinal perspective. Method. Two consecutive cohorts of kindergartners were followed for four years. All were low SES, Spanish-speaking and attending three public schools adjacent to the US-Mexico border. The instructional model was mainstream immersion with supplemental support and bilingual teachers/aides. Assessments included: The Test de Vocabulario en Imágenes Peabody (TVIP); Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT); Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (K-3rd) and the Terra Nova Achievement Tests (2nd-3rd). Results and Conclusions. Descriptive, comparative and regression analyses will be presented. The results indicated that LM children, even those with below average L1 skills upon entry into kindergarten, do 'catch up' to their district and state peer averages but lag below on national averages. While the just released report evaluating the impact of US Reading First nationwide found no impact of intervention on reading achievement, this study found that LM children can reach achievement levels comparable to their local and state peers.
Donald Bolger (Department of Human Development, University of Maryland, College Park, MD);Jayla Gray; Jennifer Minas; Fan Cao; Douglas Burman & James Booth - Differential effects of phonological and orthographic consistency in cortex for children with and without reading disorders
Purpose: & Method: Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we examined the neural correlates of phonological inconsistency (relationship of spelling to sound) and orthographic inconsistency (relationship of sound to spelling) in 9- to 15-year-old normal and impaired readers during a rhyming task with visual words. Results: Consistent with our previous study (Bolger et al., in press), phonological and orthographic inconsistency were associated with greater activation in several regions including bilateral frontal regions and anterior cingulate cortex as well as left posterior temporal-parietal regions and occipital-temporal regions for the normal readers. Impaired readers activated only the anterior cingulate/medial frontal region in response to greater inconsistency. Group comparisons revealed that normal compared to impaired readers exhibit a larger response in this entire network of regions for phonological inconsistency whereas orthographic inconsistency differences were limited to dorsal inferior frontal gyrus. Lastly, brain-behavior correlations revealed a significant relationship between behavioral measures of phonological awareness (PA) and decoding ability (Word Attack) with cortical consistency effects for the impaired readers in left frontal regions (for PA) and left occipital-temporal regions (for Decoding). Conclusions: Impaired readers exhibit decreasing activation to inconsistency as PA and decoding ability increase. In contrast, normal controls showed increasing activation to inconsistency associated with higher PA and decoding.
Purpose: We investigated the effects of morphological instruction (a) on reading, spelling, vocabulary and morphological skills, (b) for less able readers versus undifferentiated populations, (c) for younger verses older students, and (d) in combination with instruction of other literacy skills or in isolation. Method: We carried out a quantitative research sythesis (meta-analysis). Database searches of studies reported by January 2008 retrieved 1000 abstracts from which 21 intervention studies using control groups, with participants from preschool to Grade 8. Results were analyzed by averaging instructional effects according to three linguistic outcome categories: sub-lexical, lexical, and supra-lexical. The four research questions framed the analysis. Results The strongest overall instructional effects (experimental vs. untreated controls) were for morphological sub-lexical outcomes (d = 0.65) and non-morphological sub-lexical outcomes (d = 0.51) followed by lexical (d = 0.40) and then supra-lexical measures (d = 0.28). Less-able students showed stronger effects of instruction in each lexical category than undifferentiated students. Gains for Pre-school to Grade 2 students were equal to or greater than those of older students. There was suggestive evidence that greater gains were found for morphological instruction combined with instruction in other language skills. Conclusions: Results suggest that (a) morphological instruction benefits learners, (b) it can be effectively integrated into instruction from the beginning of literacy instruction, and (c) it may bring particular benefits for struggling readers. Implications of these findings are discussed in light of current educational practice and theory.
Purpose: We examined four hypotheses about lowercase letter knowledge suggesting that children will be more likely to know lowercase letters that: correspond to uppercase letters with which they are familiar; most closely resemble their uppercase counterparts; occur first in a child's own name; and occur most frequently in printed English. Method: Participants were 461 4-year old children primarily from economically disadvantaged families. Lowercase letter knowledge was assessed in one-on-one testing, during which the assessor pointed to each printed lowercase letter presented in randomized order and asked the child to name the letter. Data analysis employed a multilevel logistic regression predicting letter knowledge as a binary variable from the seven hypothetical predictors with a child-specific intercept. Results: Children who knew an uppercase letter were 16 times more likely to know the lowercase letter counterpart. Uppercase-lowercase similarity had only a small effect on lowercase letter knowledge. However, uppercase familiarity had a substantially stronger effect when a lowercase letter was visually similar to its uppercase counterpart. The own-name advantage had no significant effect on lowercase knowledge; however, the interaction with uppercase familiarity had a strong positive effect on predicted lowercase knowledge. Frequency in print was a moderately strong predictor of lowercase knowledge. Conclusions: Lowercase letter knowledge is multiply-determined. However, it appears that a primary pathway through which children learn the lowercase letters is a transfer of knowledge of uppercase letters to the corresponding lowercase letter. A third implication is that the mechanisms underlying lowercase letter knowledge appear to be distinct from the mechanisms underlying uppercase letter knowledge.
Lisa Boyce (Utah State University)Mark Innocenti; Lori Roggman; Vonda Jump - Story-telling for the home enrichment of language and literacy (SHELLS): Impacts on maternal language supporting behaviors in Migrant Head Start families
Purpose Test the hypothesis that participation in the SHELLS (Storytelling for Home Enrichment of Language and Literacy Skills) curriculum results in increased language interactions (quality, complexity, frequency) between parents and their children. Method We conducted a brief (4 month) home visiting intervention using the SHELLS curriculum in addition to ongoing services with 40 randomly selected Migrant and Seasonal Head Start families with children between the ages of two and five years. An additional 40 families from the Migrant Head Start Program were assigned to a comparison group. A Spanish-speaking home visitor made two home visits and guided the parents to lead the curriculum activities, tell their own stories, elicit their children's stories and conversation, and record these stories and interactions in personalized storybooks for their children. Maternal language-promoting behaviors (questions, expansions, and labeling), and child language development data were collected at pre-test and post-test. Parent-child conversations were coded during a two minute narrative conversation about a recent shared event. Results During the post-test narrative, mothers in the SHELLS group used significantly more language-eliciting strategies (open-ended questions, expansions) with their children than the comparison group. Mothers in both groups significantly reduced the number of imperatives directed toward their children. Conclusion Simple shared narratives, in which parents and children tell their stories, offer a promising way to engage parents and children in culturally relevant literacy activities that encourage emergent language use. The SHELLS approach effectively increased maternal language support behaviors that encourage language use.
Nancy Boyer (Graduate Center of the City University of New York)Dr. Linnea Ehri, LEhri@gc.cuny.edu; Graduate Center of the City University of New York; Voting Member - Phonemic awareness instruction: effects of letter manipulation and articulation training on learning to read and spell.
Purpose: An experiment was conducted to investigate whether providing beginning readers with phonemic segmentation instruction involving letter manipulation only (LM) is as effective as instruction in letter manipulation plus articulation (LAM) training in helping children learn to read and spell words. Method: Participants were preschoolers who possessed limited phonemic awareness and were in Ehri's (1995) partial alphabetic phase of word reading. Children were matched to form triplets, based on similar segmentation, reading and vocabulary pretest scores. Triplet members were randomly assigned to three conditions: the LM condition, the LAM condition, and the no treatment condition. The LM condition consisted of instruction in letter-sound correspondences and phonemic segmentation with letters. The LAM condition consisted of the same LM instruction enriched with phonemic segmentation training involving articulatory gestures represented by mouth pictures. Students in the control condition remained in the classroom. Following training, the groups were compared in their ability to segment words into phonemes, to learn to read words, to decode pseudowords, and to invent spellings. Results: Both forms of phonemic awareness instruction facilitated the acquisition of phonemic segmentation and its transfer to reading and spelling. However, LAM instruction helped children remember how to read words better than LM instruction. Conclusion: Results are interpreted to suggest that articulatory instruction enhances the quality of the grapho-phonemic connections enabling beginners to read words from memory, as portrayed by Ehri's (1995) theory of sight word learning. Findings suggest the value of including both ingredients in phonics instruction provided to beginning readers.
Purpose In the acquisition of phonological awareness, children generally attain awareness of individual phonemes in CVC words before they are able to segment consonants in more complex syllables (e.g., CCVC or CVCC words). Spelling errors, particularly omitting the representation of phonemes (e.g., spelling 'went' as 'wet'), are taken to reflect awareness difficulties. This study was conducted with kindergarteners to examine whether the types of phonemes in consonant clusters (nasals, laterals, fricatives) and the cluster position (initial or final) influence relative spelling difficulty. Method All participants (n=46) had to spell CVC pseudo-words accurately. Next, their spelling of pseudo-words with consonant clusters was examined using two indices of difficulty: 1) omission rate for interior and exterior consonants; 2) errors spelling vowels. Results In Session 1, spelling performance for CVCC words indicated that internal consonants are omitted more in nasal than lateral blends, in lateral than fricative blends, and in all blends ending with /k/ (rather than /t/ or /p/). A similar pattern of difficulty emerged for vowel spellings. In Session 2, spelling performance on both initial and final clusters was studied for nasal and lateral blends. Mean omission score analysis found no effect of word position on lateral blends, however nasal blends are more difficult in word final position. The pattern of findings was different for vowels where misspellings are more common when followed by nasal and lateral blends than when preceded by them. Conclusions: The findings have implications for the sequencing of instruction on clusters and for professional development of teachers.
David Braze (Haskins Laboratories);Anuenue Kukona; James Magnuson; Einar Mencl; Kenneth Pugh; Whitney Tabor; Julie Van Dyke; Donald Shankweiler - Vocabulary makes an independent contribution to reading comprehension in young adults reading skills
Purpose: Braze et al. (2007) found decoding together with listening comprehension (Lcomp) account for considerable variance in reading comprehension (Rcomp) among young adults, per the Simple View (Gough & Tunmer, 1986). However, vocabulary made an independent contribution. This new study makes three points. First, earlier conclusions regarding vocabulary generalize to new samples and different stimulus materials. Second, commonality analysis provides a refined picture of the contributions of component skills. Third, we refine our model of lexical representation and access, grounded in the Lexical Quality Hypothesis (LQH, Hart & Perfetti, 2002). Method: We recruited three cohorts (N=135) of young adult poor readers (per Braze etal., 2007). Each cohort was assessed for Rcomp and related abilities (Lcomp, PA, decoding, vocabulary, verbal memory, print experience, IQ). Samples include a wider range of reading skills than would be found in studies of university students. Regression modeling and commonality analysis (CA, Seibold & McPhee, 1979) are used to determine unique and overlapping variances associated with each factor. Results. Regression models grounded in the Simple View account for substantial, but incomplete portion of non-random variance in Rcomp. As predicted, vocabulary makes an independent contribution to Rcomp, above Lcomp and decoding skill. Moreover, CA supports the specificity of vocabulary in supporting Rcomp. Conclusions. Details of shared variances of Rcomp predictors, as revealed by CA, have important practical and theoretical significance. These relationships are key to understanding the etiology of poor reading comprehension because efficient comprehension requires that all components of word knowledge become available at the right time for integration. Specificity of vocabulary supports the LQH.
PURPOSE: Roman, Kirby, Parrila, Wade-Woolley, & Deacon (2008) assessed the phonemic awareness, morphological awareness, orthographic knowledge, and rapid naming abilities of fourth, sixth, and eighth grade students and found that all skills except for rapid naming made unique contributions to reading ability. In this study, we expanded on Roman et al.'s work by investigating the receptive vocabulary, naming speed, phonemic awareness, orthographic knowledge, and morphological awareness skills of second through fourth grade students (N=94) and determined how these skills predicted the children's reading and spelling skills. METHOD: Raw scores on the Test of Written Spelling-4 and the Word Recognition (2nd and 3rd grade only), Sentence Comprehension, and Passage Comprehension subtests on the GRADE served as criterion variables. Predictor variables included scores on a phonemic awareness segmentation task, an orthographic knowledge task (ffun vs. nuff), a morphological awareness task (farm. The man is a _______), RAN for letters, the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-4, and age. RESULTS: Stepwise regression analyses revealed that morphological awareness alone predicted 53% of the variance on spelling. For word recognition, a total of 39% of the variance was explained by morphological awareness (25%), orthographic knowledge (10%), and age (4%). Thirty-four percent of sentence comprehension was predicted by orthographic knowledge (13%), age (6%), morphological awareness (11%) and receptive vocabulary (4%). Finally, receptive vocabulary (9%), age (9%), and morphological awareness (6%) predicted 24% of the variance on passage comprehension. CONCLUSION: Discussion will relate our findings to those of Roman et al. and provide implications for reading and spelling development.
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of an early reading curriculum on the literacy skills of students with significant intellectual disabilities. Method: This study was replicated across 3 years (i.e., 2005 to 2008) using a randomized pretest-posttest control group design. An analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was performed on all data in order to reduce within group variability. Three primary dependent variables were used to record literacy gains: a) the Nonverbal Literacy Assessment (NVLA; i.e., a literacy measure designed specifically to assess this population in literacy), b) the Early Literacy Skills Assessment (ELSA; i.e., a curriculum-based measure), and the c) Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-III (PPVT-III; a published generalized measure of picture vocabulary). Results: Results indicated that the experimental group scored statistically significantly higher than the control group on the dependent measures. Furthermore, small to moderate effect sizes and gain scores were found on most of the outcome measures. Conclusions: Other analyses looking at the patterns of growth and achievement also suggested that students with significant intellectual disabilities can learn to read when taught systematically using the National Reading Panel's components of literacy (i.e., phonics, phonemic awareness, vocabulary, comprehension, and fluency). Implications and future research will be provided.
Purpose: Recently, morphological awareness has received increased interest from researchers who investigate the reading component skills of middle school students and from those who design instructional programs. The current study examined the morphological awareness skills of 6th - 8th graders, using two measures (MA1 and MA2), to explore their relationship to word-level skills and overall reading comprehension. Method: In Fall 2008, 480 6th - 8th graders from an urban school district took a computer-administered battery of experimental reading components subtests, including word recognition & decoding, vocabulary, morphological awareness, sentence processing, basic reading efficiency, and reading comprehension. Test scores from the previous year's state test were also available for the 7th and 8th graders (n=246.) Correlational analyses were performed to examine test inter-correlations; and multiple regression analyses were performed in order to predict the state test scores. Results: For 7th to 8th graders, correlations between MA1 and MA2 and the state test score were moderate (.59 and .53, respectively) and were moderate - strong with the other subtests (.51 - .74). The results of three regressions are: (1) MA1 accounted for 55% of the variance of the battery's word recognition/decoding score, while MA2 accounted for an additional 2%; (2) MA1 accounted for 52% of the variance of the battery's vocabulary score; and (3) MA1 accounted for 7.3% of the variance of the state test score (above the 38% accounted for by the battery's comprehension subtest). Conclusion: The results suggest that morphological awareness makes an important contribution to word-level skills and overall reading comprehension ability.
Purpose The preschool home literacy environment (HLE) is linked to the development of a variety of literacy and oral language skills (e.g., Phillips & Lonigan, 2005). However, little is known about the development of the HLE across the preschool age range. I examined the aspects of the HLE provided to children under 6 years old. Method HLE surveys (e.g., literacy activities with child, parental leisure reading habits) and adult and children's author recognition checklists were obtained from over 1,600 mothers of children less than 72 months old. There were at least 100 children in each one year age range (e.g., 0-1). Results Overall, the children were exposed to a wide range of literacy activities and experiences but these experiences varied significantly by age of the child. Shared reading was the most common literacy activity across all age ranges. Few children were exposed to activities specifically intended to teach literacy knowledge or skill prior to age 3, but about many older children were regularly taught using alphabet letter blocks or other techniques. Maternal reading habits and estimated reading ability were associated with the provision of more frequent and varied literacy experiences across all age ranges. Additional analyses examined relations to SES, the presence of other children in the home, and teenage parents. Conclusions We demonstrated that differences in HLE activities and resources provided to preschoolers may begin at very young ages and that the HLE varies significantly as children mature. Implications for the measurement and conceptualization of the HLE are discussed.
Recently developed digitized storybooks include interactive features focusing children's attention on difficult words. The current study examines the efficacy of such storybooks and the impact of two interactive methods for vocabulary instruction: 1) an interactive computer assistant asking questions about difficult words; and 2) inserting hotspots that offer definitions of words when clicked on. 132 Kindergarten children between 4 and 6.5 years of age participated in this experimental study. They were randomly assigned to one of four conditions: 1) control group (n=34); 2) non-interactive living storybooks (n=36); 3) living storybooks including questions (n=29); and 4) living storybooks including definitions (n=33). During a one-month intervention period children watched four stories each four times. Vocabulary was pre- and post-tested using a book specific vocabulary test. All experimental groups demonstrated more book specific vocabulary growth than the control group (p <.001). Growth in the interactive definition condition was superior to the non-interactive condition (p <.001) and the interactive questioning condition (p <.06). Results show that independently 'reading' living storybooks promotes children's vocabulary development. In contrast to questions, definitions are highly effective in facilitating vocabulary growth. The superiority of this method is suggested to be caused by its minor load on children's working memory.
Purpose. To explore genetic and environmental influences on learning processes in relation to literacy development in the early school years. Method. Our longitudinal twin study of early literacy and language development has included a range of learning measures, some of them reflecting past learning, such as letter knowledge and vocabulary, and some gauging learning "on-line," such as orthographic learning and the visuospatial learning subtest from the WRAML. In this paper I report multivariate phenotypic and behaviour-genetic analyses of these measures and of their relation to literacy skills on large samples of young twin children across four countries and three languages. Results. Multivariate analyses show that learning processes are multifactorial, both phenotypically and genetically, with a distinction among visual, language-based, and visual-verbal factors. Literacy is associated more strongly with some factors than with others, particularly visual-verbal. Conclusions. Processes of consolidation into long-term memory are integral to literacy development, as these results show, yet they have received relatively little attention in the science of reading. I argue that the biology and psychology of learning be afforded more prominent places in research into individual differences in literacy development.
Purpose The purpose of this study was to examine the longitudinal implications of patterns of within-group variability in the emergent literacy skills of preschoolers from poverty backgrounds. In a previous study presented at SSSR 2008, we used cluster analysis to identify five valid and reliable profiles based on children's fall of preschool performance on various measures of language and literacy. In the present study, we examined end-of-year kindergarten reading and spelling abilities across these five profiles. Method Participants were 492 children enrolled in publicly-funded programs (42-60 months). In the fall of preschool, children were administered eight measures of emergent literacy with which profiles were formed. At the end of kindergarten (n = 345), children were administered the Letter-Word Identification, Spelling, and Passage Comprehension subtests from the Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Achievement-III. Results Five preschool profiles were identified and ordered for desirability: highest overall; three profiles with average oral language and differential code-related abilities; and lowest overall. Mean differences were significant among profiles for kindergarten Letter-Word Identification (profiles 1/2 outscored 3/4/5; profile 3 outscored 4/5); Spelling (1 outscored 3/4/5; 2/3 outscored 4/5); and Passage Comprehension (1 outscored 3/4/5; 2 outscored 4/5; 3 outscored 5). Effect sizes (Cohen's d) ranged from 0.53 to 1.39, and preschool profile membership accounted for 14% - 23% of the variance in end-of-kindergarten outcomes. Conclusions Entering preschool profiles significantly differentiated groups at the end of kindergarten on measures of reading and spelling. This suggests some stability in children's trajectories of emergent literacy skills during the early years.
Purpose: Previous research shows that speed of access to semantic (category) information is related to overall reading ability. We investigated semantic access for written words in 8-10 year-olds to determine whether accuracy and/or speed were differentially related to word reading and reading comprehension. Method: Children aged 8-10 years made yes/no decision tasks for pairs of words presented simultaneously. Task 1 tested accuracy and speed of word encoding and lexical access, with words that differed in physical appearance (upper and lower case) and/or name. Task 2 involved decisions for same size words from the same or different categories. Accuracy and speed of access to semantic memory were measured. Independent measures of written vocabulary knowledge, word reading and reading comprehension were taken. Results: 1. Accuracy of word encoding and lexical access were not related to the literacy measures; speed of lexical access was. Only word reading ability explained unique variance in speed of lexical access. 2a. Accuracy of category decisions was related to all three literacy measures. Additional analyses revealed that these relations were driven by vocabulary knowledge. 2b. Speed of category decisions was related to all three literacy measures. Once vocabulary knowledge was statistically controlled, only reading comprehension explained unique variance. Conclusions: Reading comprehension is related to lexical and semantic access only indirectly through word reading and vocabulary knowledge, but directly related to facility of access to semantics. These findings will be related to theories of comprehension failure and comparisons of good and poor comprehenders on these tasks will be reported.
Catherine Caldwell-Harris (Department of Psychology, Boston University); Catherine Caldwell-Harris; Robert Hoffmeister; Marlon Kuntze - When learning to read means learning a second language via print: The challenge for deaf children
Purpose. Only a minority of Deaf children read at age-level. We contend that this poor outcome follows from the inherent difficulty of learning English exclusively through the written modality. The current paper describes the construction of a theoretical model of children's language learning via print, and tests a key prediction: successful "language learning via print" requires a well-developed first language. Method. Longitudinal analysis of acquisition of classroom English by deaf children (N=350) of varied exposure to sign language, and interviews with proficient Deaf adults. Results. The primary prediction of our model was substantiated: strong sign-language skills were the strongest predictor of English reading ability. Analysis of learning breakthroughs revealed that children initially mapped a single printed word to a single ASL sign, but had difficulty learning print vocabulary in cases where one-to-one mappings were not possible, sometimes resulting in a learning plateau. A necessary break-through was the insight that English was a different language from ASL. Fluent ASL skills facilitated this insight and allowed metalinguistic discussions. A second breakthrough was recognizing orthographic units (such as str, ion), and abandoning the early strategy of focusing on initial letters and word shape. The proficient adults revealed that their parents had used ASL to explain linguistic properties of English, such as which aspects of written English resembled or contrasted with ASL structures. Conclusions. Our model describes learning stages that explain how the initial strategy of mapping ASL to print develops into successful second language acquisition via print, but also highlights the logical difficulties and obstacles inherent to this process.
Purpose: Middle school students who struggle to read represent an important yet underserved population. Discouragingly though, little is known about the particular instructional needs of these students and the nature of their response to intervention. Research in adolescent remedial reading shows a controversy exists within the field as to whether remedial intervention programs should place larger amounts of instructional time on comprehension or phonological decoding skill to accelerate reading gains. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the effect of two theoretically different reading programs which differ in their emphasis on phonological decoding and comprehension instruction. Methods: Participants were a diverse (e.g., socioeconomic status, gender, race) sample of 46 sixth grade students struggling readers whose pre-treatment decoding and comprehension skills were at the 4th grade level or below. The Woodcock-Johnson-III reading battery and Gray Silent Reading test were administered before and after 77 hours of instruction. Teachers and classes were randomly assigned to one of the two treatment conditions. Results and Conclusions: Repeated measures ANOVAs were conducted for each reading test. Statistically significant effects were found for both conditions across time on all reading achievement outcomes. However, effect sizes showed a differential pattern of gains between treatment conditions. Outcomes in reading were related to initial reading levels, instructional program, and learner characteristics. These findings add to the current knowledge base in adolescent literacy and help to begin developing quality remedial reading interventions.
Purpose Reading First permits schools to use local sub-grants to train parents in "the essential components of reading instruction" (1). Among these "essential components" is planned phonics (2). While research suggests that family literacy interventions are most effective when parents provide direct instruction (3), it is uncertain which parent-directed word-reading strategies have the greatest impact on student reading. Given research that teacher-directed planned-phonics methods are more effective than unplanned or no-phonics strategies (4), we conducted a meta-analysis to determine whether training parents in planned phonics instruction would similarly be more effective than training parents in incidental- or no-phonics methods on the reading achievement of kindergarten through third-grade students. Method Using meta-analytic methods, this study synthesized results from 34 experimental and quasi-experimental studies, which is twice the number of studies included in a recent family literacy meta-analysis (5). We coded 78 study-level variables related to methodology, sample, intervention features, and statistical data to identify moderators of the effects. Results Interventions that trained parents in planned-phonics instruction had a significant effect on reading achievement (d=0.36), while those that trained parents in unplanned- or non-phonics word-reading strategies produced no significant treatment effect. Conclusion At a time when there is limited "evidence for the impact of parental involvement efforts on children's achievement" (6), this study sheds light on the type of parent-directed word-reading instruction that is most effective with elementary students. It has immediate implications for schools interested in implementing family literacy interventions and potential long-term implications for the reauthorization of Reading First. References 1) No Child Left Behind, 2001, Title I, Part B, Subpart 1, § 1539 2) No Child Left Behind, 2001, Title I, Part B, Subpart 1, § 1550 3) Senéchal, M. (2006). The effect of family literacy interventions on children's acquisition of reading. National Institute for Literacy: Portsmouth, NH. 4) Ehri, L.C., Nunes, S.R., & Stahl, S.A. (2001). Systematic phonics instruction helps students learn to read: Evidence from the National Reading Panel's meta-analysis. Review of Educational Research, 71(3), 393-447. 5) Senéchal (2006). 6) Goldenberg, C., Rueda, R.S., & August, D. (2006). Sociocultural influences on the literacy attainment of language-minority children and youth. In In D. August & T. Shanahan (Eds.), Developing literacy in second-language learners. Mahwah, NJ, Erlbaum.
* Purpose - (1) to investigate the development of spelling skill in a transparent orthography, Czech, and (2) to contrast the observed developmental model against a model based on English (Caravolas et al. 2001). Due to the greater inconsistency in spelling than in reading across the orthographic depth spectrum (e.g., Czech - English), the role of the precursors of early spelling - phoneme awareness and letter knowledge -- was expected to be similar, but weaker for RAN. The high degree of consistency for reading Czech was expected to lead to a weaker but stable relationship between reading and spelling than holds in English. * Method - 93 Czech children were assessed (1) prior to formal schooling, (2) at the end of first grade, (2) at the end of second grade, on a battery including spelling, reading, PA, LK, and RAN. Correlations and path analyses were carried out; the validity of the English model for Czech spelling development will be tested using SEM. * Results - Phoneme awareness and letter knowledge uniquely predicted spelling in first grade with similar weightings to those found in English. RAN was a weaker early-phase predictor only. Contrary to the pattern observed in English of a strengthening relationship between reading and spelling, the reverse seemed to be true for Czech. * Conclusions - The foundation stages of literacy develop similarly across the depth spectrum. As skill levels increase, the developmental trajectories for reading (mainly varying in terms of fluency) and spelling (mainly varying in terms of accuracy) begin to diverge as a function of orthographic depth.
Joanne F. Carlisle (University of Michigan);Ben Kelcey; David J. Johnson; Geoffrey Phelps; Daniel Berebitsky - Do teachers' instructional practices during reading comprehension lessons contribute to their students' progress in reading?
Purpose. The purposes of this study are to (a) investigate teachers' practices during teaching comprehension lessons taught to second and third graders and (b) examine the effects of their instructional practices on their students' gains in reading. Our theoretical framework highlights instructional practices that influence the quality of students' learning opportunities; these include effective pedagogy (e.g., explaining the purpose of lesson), using instructional techniques (e.g., modeling/coaching), and supporting students' learning (e.g., fostering discussion). Method. Participants are 88 second- and third-grade teachers. We observed four literacy blocks taught by each teacher, using an observation protocol designed for the study. We also use the following: (a) information about teachers' educational attainment, teaching experience, and knowledge about reading; (b) classroom and school characteristics; and (c) students' performance on DIBELS Oral Reading Fluency (ORF) and a test of reading comprehension (ITBS). Results. We have completed preliminary analyses with promising findings. For example, teachers' responsiveness to student needs improved the odds of students being in the low risk as compared to the high risk group on spring ORF. We are currently building a multivariate HLM measurement model to investigate teachers' instructional practices and their proclivity to use these practices. The second step will be conducting three-level HLMs to examine the extent to which the use of the instructional practices predicts students' reading. Conclusions. Results provide evidence that variation in instructional practices is associated with students' gains in reading. Additional analyses will identify the characteristics of teachers' instruction that influence their students' growth in reading comprehension.
Purpose: Cognitive flexibility, an aspect of executive control that involves the ability to coordinate flexibly multiple features of tasks, contributes uniquely to reading comprehension (Author, 2002, 2007; Nagy, 2007). Good and poor comprehenders exhibit significantly different profiles of cognitive abilities (e.g., Yuill & Oakhill, 1991). Adult good and poor comprehenders exhibit significant differences in cognitive flexibility (Author, 2008), but no work has compared elementary school aged good and poor comprehenders on this skill. Method: One hundred sixty-four elementary school students completed the Woodcock Reading Mastery Test (WRMT) Passage Comprehension subtest to assess reading comprehension, WRMT Word Attack to assess decoding, WRMT Word Identification to assess word reading, Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test (K-BIT) Verbal and Matrices subscales to assess verbal and nonverbal ability, and two measures of cognitive flexibility, graphophonological-semantic and general, color-shape, to assess participants' ability to coordinate flexibly print-related and general stimuli, respectively. A median split on WRMT Passage Comprehension was used to divide participants into low and high comprehenders, matched on decoding and nonverbal ability. Results: Good and poor comprehenders differed significantly on all measures except verbal ability. Differences in general, color-shape cognitive flexibility were mediated by age, differences in graphophonological-semantic flexibility remained significant when age, general cognitive flexibility, verbal ability, and word identification were controlled. Conclusion: These data complement existing work by demonstrating additional, significant differences in the cognitive profiles of good and poor comprehenders, indicating unique differences in cognitive flexibility across these groups.
Purpose Recent developmental studies have indicated that morphological structure plays a role in word recognition. Taken morphemes into account could indeed help word decoding(e.g. Carlisle & Stone, 2005). However, it is not clear whether and how morphological information may be distinguished from an orthographic one. The aim of the present study was to track morphological vs. orthographic information course during word processing. Use of various SOAs in a priming study allows to examine whether and when morphological information may be dissociated from orthographic one in developing readers. Method 90 fifth graders were submitted to a lexical decision task with the priming conditions -morphological (lenteur, slowness), orthographic (lentille, lentil) and unrelated (abricot, apricot) -associated to a target (LENT slow). Each target (22 frequent, 22 less frequent) was processed only once by each child (three different lists were constructed). There were 3 SOAs: 55 ms, 80 ms, and 250 ms, with 30 children within each SOA condition. Results Although significant priming was observed for both morphological and orthographic conditions, patterns of priming differed among these conditions according to both SOAs and target frequency. Only facilitation effects were observed for morphological conditions, while facilitation effect was observed at short SOA and inhibition at longer SOA for orthographic condition. In addition, priming conditions interacted with target frequency. In all, our results strongly suggest that pattern of activation differs for orthographic and morphological conditions. However, our results also suggest that at the earliest stage of processing, both kinds of information are not distinguished.
Anne Castles (Macquarie University)Barbara Rabbitts; Saskia Kohnen; Kate Nation - Context effects in orthographic learning via self-teaching: are they modulated by prior knowledge of phonology and meaning?
Purpose: According to Share (1995), presenting new words in context may assist orthographic learning via self-teaching, as context may help children to determine exact word pronunciations on the basis of partial decoding attempts. However, few studies have directly addressed this hypothesis, since novel words are typically always presented in meaningful texts. In this study, we explored the effects of context on orthographic learning and, in particular, examined whether prior knowledge of the phonology and meaning of the words modulated these effects. Method: Grade 2 children were exposed to novel written words and, following a delay, were assessed on orthographic learning. The novel words were presented either within a text or in isolation. As well, prior exposure was provided about either (a) lexical phonology or (b) both meaning and lexical phonology of the novel words. Results: Overall, the children did not show greater orthographic learning of novel written words presented in context than of words presented in isolation. Further, although prior knowledge about the meanings of the novel words appeared to assist orthographic learning, this was the case regardless of whether or not the words were subsequently presented in context. Conclusions: These findings converge with other recent research in suggesting that presenting written words in context does not assist orthographic learning via self-teaching, and may even impede such learning. The failure to find beneficial effects of context in this and other studies does not appear to be attributable to children's lack of prior knowledge about the meanings and pronunciations of the novel words.
Xi "Becky" Chen (University of Toronto)Fen Xu, Thien-Kim Nguyen, Guanglei Hong, Yun Wang - Cross-Linguistic Transfer, Bilingualism, and Threshold in Bilingual Chinese Children's Development of Phonological Awareness and Literacy Skills
Purpose The present investigation examined the effects of cross-language transfer and bilingualism on the development of phonological awareness among Chinese (L1)-English bilingual children in two studies. Method Study 1 compared the onset and rime awareness of students in Regular English (RE) programs with peers who did not receive English instruction. Participants included 94 Grade 1 students and 93 Grade 3 students from the RE program, and 86 Grade 1 students and 91 Grade 3 students in the control group. Study 2 compared 80 children who attended a RE program and 79 children who attended an Intensive English (IE) program. The children were followed from the beginning of Grade 1 to the end of Grade 2. They were tested on phonological awareness in English (onset, rime, phoneme) and Chinese (onset, rime, phoneme, and tone), as well as on Pinyin spelling and character spelling, five times during the two-year span. Data were analyzed with growth curve modeling. Results & Conclusions Results showed that English instruction accelerated onset, rime, and phonemic awareness, but not tone awareness in Chinese. Since tone awareness is unique to Chinese, these results suggest that cross-linguistic transfer, rather than bilingualism, is the main reason for this acceleration. Moreover, we found that for the target bilingual groups in both studies, at least one year of English instruction was required before any advantage in phonological awareness was observed in Chinese. These findings provide support for the threshold hypothesis. Finally, the studies showed that English instruction improves Chinese children's Pinyin skills.
Pui-wan Cheng (The Chinese University of Hong Kong)Sua-ha Sarah Luk, Lai-yi Elsa Chiu, Ching-king May Chan - What strategies do beginning learners use to learn Chinese characters? Insights from reading and writing error analysis
Objectives By analyzing the errors made by Hong Kong first graders in reading and dictating Chinese characters, this study examined the strategies used by beginning learners in learning Chinese characters. The objectives of the study were: 1.to examine and compare the error patterns made in reading and dictating Chinese characters ; 2.to analyze the strategies used by beginning learners as reflected in their reading and spelling error patterns. Subjects A total of 167 grade-one students from two local primary schools participated in the study. Most of the first-graders in Hong Kong receive kindergarten education for two to three years before entering grade one. By the time the data were collected in October 2008, all children had experience of learning to read a certain amount of basic Chinese characters for at least one year. Measures Chinese Character Reading (CCR). In view of the absence of standardized single character reading tests in Hong Kong, we constructed our own list of CCR of 180 characters based on our corpus analysis of the 400 core characters in grade one. The CCR was used to evaluate students' accuracy in character identification. Reading errors were recorded for further analysis. Chinese Character Dictation (CCD). Based on our corpus analysis of the 400 core characters in grade one and several pilot studies investigating the item difficulty of the character pool, we constructed a character dictation test consisting of 30 single characters. The CCD were administered to participants in groups. Each target character was read aloud in three formats: (1) single character only, followed by (2) within a two-character word context, and finally(3) within a sentence context. Results Reading and dictation (spelling) errors were initially sorted according to the way the errors deviated from standard pronunciations and spellings and then further subsumed into three categories according to the linguistic principles of Chinese characters - phonologically based errors, graphemic errors, and semantic errors. It was found that graphemic errors constituted the first major error type with semantic errors as the second major type in both the reading and the dictation tasks, indicating that these were two major strategies used by beginning Chinese learners in learning Chinese characters. These findings were analyzed in view of the characteristics of the Chinese writing system. Implications for beginning instruction in Chinese were also discussed.
Purpose: Two experiments were conducted to investigate compound processing and cross-language activation in a group of Chinese-English bilingual children. Method: In Experiment 1, a lexical decision task was designed using compound words and nonwords in both languages. The compound words/nonwords in one language contained two free constituent morphemes that mapped onto the desired translations in the other language. Experiment 2 further examined the effect of semantic transparency in children with varied language proficiencies in both languages. Results: A significant interaction between the lexicality of the target language, English, and that of the nontarget language, Chinese, supports our hypotheses that the constituents in compounds in both languages are decomposed and recomposed in bilingual lexical processing and that there is an asymmetrical cross-language activation between L1 and L2. Conclusions: The lexicality of translated compounds in the non-target language affected response accuracy in the target language, independent of semantic transparency and language proficiency. Implications for compound processing and bilingual lexicon models are discussed
This study investigates the relative contributions of genetic and environmental influences on Chinese language and reading development in 150 pairs of monozygotic and 150 pairs of same-sex dizygotic twins. Typically developing twin pairs aged from 4 to 11 were recruited in Hong Kong local kindergartens and primary schools. They were tested individually on tasks of character recognition, receptive vocabulary, phonological processing skills, tone awareness, morphological awareness, orthographic skills, and general cognitive abilities. Also, their saliva was collected for zygosity assessment, and their parents were required to fill in a questionnaire to provide information on family background, and home literacy environment. Testing was completed in November 2008, and data analysis using Mx will have been done by March 2009. Variances of each construct explained by genetic, shared environmental, and non-shared environmental influences will be computed, and genetic correlations among constructs will be explored. It is hypothesized that heredity will play a more central role on reading skill and phonological awareness, while environment will have relatively stronger effects on vocabulary knowledge and orthographic skills, in learning Chinese. However, we anticipate a smaller genetic effect on Chinese reading skill compared to past studies on English. This study is the first twin study of learning Chinese, a language which has contrasting characteristics with alphabetic languages. It will be key to enhancing the understanding of universal or specific factors of language and reading acquisition across languages, and will inform educational policy on the construction of effective learning environments for Chinese acquisition.
Joanna Christodoulou (); Ioulia Kovelman; Elizabeth S. Norton; Livia King; Stephanie Del Tufo; Nadine Gaab; Christina Triantafyllou; Daniel A. Lieberman; John Lymberis; Patricia O'Loughlin; Susan Whitfield-Gabrieli; Maryanne Wolf; John D.E. Gabrieli - Developmental dissociation between brain regions for phonological awareness
PURPOSE: Phonological awareness (PA) is an essential factor in reading development and reading disability, particularly for connecting speech and print for readers. Previous research has identified left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and left temporo-parietal cortex as essential parts of the reading and language networks. To determine how these regions are involved in PA developmentally, we investigated the role of left DLPFC and left temporo-parietal cortices cross-sectionally using both auditory and visual PA tasks. METHOD: Typical readers (n=17, ages 7-12) were divided into younger (grades 1-3) and older (grades 4-5) groups, and completed visual and auditory word-rhyming (PA) and word-matching (control) tasks during fMRI. RESULTS: The older group of children had greater activation for rhyming versus matching in left temporo-parietal cortex in both auditory and visual modalities (p < 0.05). In contrast, there was no difference between the younger and older children in left DLPFC region for either visual or auditory rhyme conditions (p < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Developmental cross-modal increases in left temporo-parietal activation may support the role of phonological awareness in children whose age ranges coincide with increased reading instruction and experience. This finding suggests a key role for this region for linking speech and print in service of PA tasks. The left DLPFC region explored here may be linked to a more stable network for engaging in PA, therefore showing consistent activations across this developmental age range. The findings suggest that regions of the brain associated with PA differ developmentally and in relation to the task modality.
Purpose: Interventions aimed at struggling readers tend to focus on increasing word reading accuracy and reading comprehension, but these alone may not help children overcome their reluctance to read on their own. The goal of the study is to help struggling readers set goals to increase reading on their own in conjunction with participation in a reading intervention. Increasing total reading time should increase reading ability and motivation to read. Method: The study developed four ten-minute exercises to help children set goals aimed at increasing time reading. The exercises were presented on a computer, with a dragon avatar providing all instruction. 133 1st to 5th grade students participated in three elementary schools. Half of the participants were assigned to the goals setting condition while the other half did control exercises matched on length and presentation style. All children also participated in a computer based reading intervention during 2008-2009 school year. The goal setting and control occurred four times throughout the school year. Pre-test scores on several standardized reading tests were obtained in school years 2007-2008 and Fall 2008, . Mid-year and post-test scores as well as measures of motivation for reading and total time spent reading will be reported. Results: Analyses will compare outcome measures to see if setting goals increased motivation, total time reading, and standardized scores of the above measures. Conclusions: This project could demonstrate a way for interventions to increase their effectiveness by increasing participants' motivation and amount of time reading.
Kevin Kien Hoa Chung (Department of Special Education and Counselling, The Hong Kong Institute of Education)Ho, C.S.H; Chan, D.W; Tsang,S.M; Lee, S.H. - Cognitive profiles of Chinese adolescents with childhood diagnoses of dyslexia
Purpose: The present study sought to identify cognitive abilities that might distinguish Hong Kong Chinese adolescents with and without dyslexia and examined the cognitive profile of dyslexic adolescents in order to better understand this important problem. The cognitive skills of interest were phonological awareness, morphological awareness, verbal short-term memory, rapid naming and visual-orthographic knowledge. Method: The performance of 27 Chinese adolescents with childhood diagnoses of dyslexia was compared with 27 adolescents of same chronological age (CA) and 27 of matched reading level (RL) on measures of literacy and cognitive abilities: Chinese word reading, one-minute reading, reading comprehension, spelling, verbal short-term memory, rapid naming, visual-orthographic knowledge, morphological and phonological awareness. Results: The results indicated that the dyslexic adolescent group scored lower than the CA group, but similar to the RL group, especially in the areas of rapid naming, visual-orthographic knowledge and morphological awareness, with over half having multiple deficits exhibited 2 or more cognitive areas. Furthermore, the number of cognitive deficits was associated with the degree of reading and spelling impairment. Conclusions: The present findings suggest that adolescents with childhood diagnoses of dyslexia have persistent literacy difficulties and seem to have multiple causes for reading difficulties in Chinese. The implications of findings support the notion that dyslexia is chronic and persistent difficulty across all ages and scripts.
Jessica A. Church (Washington University School of Medicine, Neurology);Rebecca S. Coalson; Heather M. Lugar; Steven E. Petersen & Bradley L. Schlaggar - A developmental fMRI study of reading and repetition reveals changes in phonological and visual mechanisms over age
PURPOSE: An investigation of single word reading was undertaken to more fully characterize how reading-related brain regions are engaged over age.METHOD: Children (n=25, ages 7-10 years, 16 female) and adults (n= 25, ages 18-32 years, 14 female) performed overt single word reading and aural repetition tasks on high frequency word stimuli during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). RESULTS: Most involved regions showed similar activity across age groups. The preponderance of age-independent regions, widespread throughout the cerebral cortex, indicates that children and adults use largely overlapping mechanisms when processing high frequency words. Significant task-related differences included greater activity in occipital cortex for the read task, and greater activity in temporal cortex for the repeat task; activity in these regions was similar for adults and children. However, age group differences were found in several posterior regions, including a set of regions implicated in adult reading: the left supramarginal gyrus, the left angular gyrus, and bilateral anterior extrastriate cortex. The angular and supramarginal gyrus regions, hypothesized to play a role in phonological processing, showed decreased activity in adults relative to children. The extrastriate regions had significant activity for both the read and repeat tasks in children, but just for the read task in adults, showing reliable task and age interactions. CONCLUSIONS: Adults and children use a large number of brain regions similarly for these tasks. However, the regional differences found are consistent with decreasing reliance on phonological processing, and increasing tuning of visual mechanisms, with age.
Experiment 1 Purpose 1. To examine the influence of prior knowledge (PK) on comprehension performance on the Qualitative Reading Inventory-4 (QRI-4). 2. To determine whether the PK questions on the QRI-4 actually tapped knowledge assessed by the comprehension questions. Method Participants were 22 4th and 5th grade-level readers. Students were administered six passages from the QRI-4 at their designated reading level. Four PK questions were administered before children read each passage. After reading each passage, children were asked four explicit and four implicit questions. Results 1. There was no significant relationship between PK and comprehension performance. 2. Only 42% of the PK questions were related to a comprehension question. 3. PK appeared to aid comprehension the most for implicit questions. Experiment 2 Purpose 1. To determine whether a general PK question predicts comprehension performance as well as specific PK questions. 2. To further examine whether PK had more of an influence on comprehension responses involving implicit text information. Method Participants were 24 additional typical 4th and 5th grade readers. Children were administered 4 passages from the QRI-4 at their reading level. PK was assessed in two ways: (a) a general PK question about topic familiarity and (b) four specific PK questions that assessed knowledge tapped by the actual comprehension questions Results 1. The general PK question did as well as the specific PK questions in predicting comprehension performance. 2. As in Experiment 1, PK aided comprehension the most for implicit questions. Conclusions It is disconcerting that one of the most commonly used tests of reading (QRI-4) does such a poor job assessing PK. The problem is that most of the PK questions on the QRI do not correspond to information in the passage or comprehension questions. A general PK question provides sufficient information about topic familiarity and is predictive of comprehension performance.
Dr. Paula Clark (Department of Psychology, University of York, UK);Miss. Emma Trulove; Professor Maggie Snowling; Professor Charles Hulme - The York READing for Meaning Project: Examining the long term effects of three interventions to support reading comprehension in poor comprehenders
Purpose. We report the results of a randomised controlled trial evaluating three interventions designed to improve the reading comprehension skills of poor comprehenders (children who perform poorly on measures of reading comprehension despite having adequate decoding skills). Method. 1120 children were screened to identify 160 children across 20 schools with poor comprehender profiles. The 8 children in each school with the weakest reading comprehension skills were randomly allocated to one of four groups: oral language training (OL), text comprehension training (TC), combined training (COM) and a delayed treatment control (C). Children in intervention groups received 30 hours of teaching over 20 weeks. The OL training comprised vocabulary, listening comprehension, figurative language and spoken narrative activities and TC training included activities targeting metacognitive strategies, text comprehension, inferencing and written narrative. The COM training combined all of these activities. Performance on a range of reading, language and cognitive measures was assessed at four time points. Results. At immediate post-test all three interventions produced significant gains relative to the control group on a standardised measure of reading comprehension. In addition children who received the OL programme made significant improvements on a standardised measure of vocabulary. We report data on the maintenance of gains at 11 months post intervention and also examine moderators and mediators of response to intervention. Conclusions. The present study demonstrates that oral language and text comprehension training can benefit children with poor comprehender profiles, and support the theory that reading comprehension difficulties are closely tied to underlying language comprehension weaknesses.
This presentation will present the results from two studies attempting to refine the correct word sequence scoring measure used in CBM writing. Currently, correct word sequences indexes the spelling, punctuation, capitalization, syntactic, and semantic structure of a writing sample (Videen, Deno, & Marston, 1982). Two studies are presented of narrative writing tasks in grades 2-4. The writing samples were scored for correct word sequences, and word sequence errors were categorized into spelling, punctuation/capitalization, or syntactic/semantic errors. Results will examine grade level differences, criterion validity, and sensitivity to growth for different word sequence error categories. Implications for progress monitoring using CBM writing probes at the elementary level will be discussed.
Purpose: Research suggests that deficiencies in English oral proficiency among language-minority children are associated with poor text-level skills, including reading comprehension and writing (Geva & Genesee, 2006). The current research examines two skills expected to relate to oral expression, vocabulary and reading comprehension, and analyzes errors made on oral expression tasks. Method: Our study examined second grade language-minority English speakers (N=150) whose maternal language was either Portuguese, Chinese, or Spanish, measuring oral expression (WLPB-R: Woodcock, 1991), receptive vocabulary (PPVTIII: Dunn & Dunn, 1997), reading comprehension (TROG: Bishop, 1977), and nonverbal ability (MAT: Naglieri, 1985) at one time per year. Results: T-tests do not indicate any significant differences between the three language groups on their English oral expression. Errors will be coded to further examine differences between groups, specifically whether error types are common to all groups or specific to each first language. Overall, receptive vocabulary and reading comprehension were correlated with English oral expression, even when controlling for nonverbal ability. Regression analyses indicate that the strongest predictor of oral expression among language-minority students is receptive vocabulary. Conclusions: Oral language proficiency tests are frequently used to determine if language-minority children are able to meet academic demands associated with instruction in English (Schrank, Fletcher, & Alvarado, 1996). Examining specific errors that language-minority children make in English oral expression tasks can help guide instruction and allow these children to function successfully in a program of English-only instruction.
Purpose: The study was designed to assess effects of three factors: (a) Prosodic priming: Is there an "abstract metrical frame" independent of segmental information, and can it be primed? (b) Stress neighborhood: Does neighborhood consistency affect nonword stress assignment? Does it interact with abstract metrical representation? (c) Default stress pattern: Words stressed on the penultimate syllable are predominant in Italian. Is there a predominance of the most frequent stress pattern in assigning stress to nonwords? Method: Nonwords with strongly consistent penultimate stress word neighborhood (Dominant NWs), strongly consistent antepenultimate stress neighborhood (non-Dominant NWs) and small and/or inconsistent stress neighborhood (ambivalent NWs) were named aloud, to evaluate the effect of neighborhood (Experiment 1). In Experiment 2 the same nonword types were primed by dominant and non-dominant stress nonwords. Percentage of dominant stress was measured for each target type. Twenty-four University students participated in Experiment 1, 60 in Experiment 2. Results: Neighborhood consistency was effective, showing that nonwords were assigned stress consistently with neighborhood (Experiment 1). Primes were effective in modifying the likelihood of dominant stress assignment, but priming effect was larger with nonwords with inconsistent neighborhood (interaction between abstract metrical representation and neighborhood consistency). The effect of dominant stress pattern was apparent only when targets have non-informative neighborhood. Conclusions: Results show that readers use different sources of lexical and sublexical information, implicitly acquired through spoken language and reflected in the orthography, to assign stress to unfamiliar words. Whether same sources are used in word reading is a matter of future research.
Purpose The aim of the study was to investigate how young readers acquire orthographic representations in L2 school learning. In expert bilinguals, several studies reported evidence for a unique interdependent L1 - L2 lexicon associated with a non selective lexicon access (Van Heuven & al, 1998). Particularly, Bijeljac-Babic, Biardeau & Grainger (1997) found a frequency neighborhood inhibition effect across languages in a lexical decision task. To our knowledge, there is no such study investigating crosslanguage orthographic priming in L2 beginners. Method French 6th and 8th grade students learning English as a second language were assessed in a L1 lexical decision task. French low frequency targets were used. Primes were either French or English high frequency orthographically related or unrelated words. English primes were chosen according to their English written frequency and the academic French school program. Orthographic tasks were also administered, in each language: an orthographic choice task (choosing between a word and its pseudohomophone), an orthographic awareness task (deciding which of two pseudowords most resemble a word) and a spelling task. Results Priming effects varied according to the language status (same vs. different language) and L2 proficiency. Significant correlations were found between the lexical decision performance and orthographic tasks. Conclusions These results were interpreted according to a bilingual version of Interactive Activation model (Dijkstra & al, 1998). These findings have several implications in the field of second language acquisition and L1-L2 lexicon(a) development and access, as well as for models of word recognition development.
The goal of this study was to examine the behavioral profiles of late-emerging reading disabilities (LERD), with the goal of distinguishing major subtypes and identifying promising kindergarten predictors of the LERD subtypes. We employed mixture latent Markov modeling, a form of latent transition analysis (LTA), to examine the stability of latent classes associated with reading disabled (RD) and typical development across time (grades 2-10) and to identify the prevalence of the three LERD subtypes. In these analyses 493 children were assessed in grades 2, 4, 8, and 10. Five standardized reading measures were used to estimate latent class membership (RD vs. typically developing) at each assessment point. Six major classes were identified: children who remain typically developing across time; early identified RD who remain RD across time; initially RD children who transition into the typically developing class; and 3 different classes of LERD (RD-reading comprehension only, RD-word reading only, and RD-reading comprehension and word reading). Overall, 82% of the sample remained in the same class (i.e., stable) across grades 2-10 (69% typically developing; 13% RD) and 13% of the population transitioned from the typically developing class to one of the LERD classes with comprehension deficits (LERD-C & LERD-CW) making up 8.5% of the population and word deficit (LERD-W) making up 4.4% of the population. Profile analysis was used to examine kindergarten differences across subtype that might be used for early identification.
Purpose: Among those who struggle the most in learning to read are children with intellectual disabilities (ID, IQ and adaptive behavior below 70). Nevertheless, very little is known about which aspects of reading present the most difficulty and the least difficulty for these children. Thus, the purpose of the present study was to evaluate strengths and weaknesses in reading skills in teens with ID. Method: Children with ID (mean CA = 14.4, mean IQ = 60.8) were matched with younger typically developing children (mean CA = 8.4, mean IQ = 92.6) on verbal mental age using the KBIT-2 (VMA means = 7.5 and 7.7, respectively). Each child completed a battery of reading skills tests including the Woodcock Reading Mastery Test, The CTOPP, and three orthographic processing tasks. Cohen's d was computed to reflect the group difference for each reading skill measured. Results: Based on the direction and magnitude of the effect sizes, three reading skills were below developmental expectations (i.e., relative weaknesses) --phonological awareness, reading comprehension, and phonological decoding. Two reading skills were above developmental expectations (i.e., relative strengths) --orthographic skills and letter identification. Areas that were consistent with developmental level were word identification, phonological memory, and rapid naming. As our sample expands, we will be able to comment better on the statistical reliability of these effects. Conclusions: At present, the results suggest that children with ID are best at visual/orthographic aspects of reading and worst at phonological and comprehension aspects. Special instructional emphasis on the latter areas is therefore warranted.
Carol McDonald Connor (Florida State University/Florida Center for Reading Research);Fredierck J. Morrison - Growth in literacy skills from first through second grade: The impact of child X instruction interactions
Purpose. This study examined the independent and cumulative effects of individualizing students' reading instruction (ISI intervention). The ISI intervention was implemented by teachers who received access to Assessment-to-Instruction (A2i) software and professional development. The A2i software computes amounts and types of instruction for each child in the classroom using algorithms based on previous child X instruction interaction research. Method. Teachers in schools were matched and randomly assigned to treatment and control conditions in first grade (n = 38 classrooms, 19 treatment classrooms) and then students (n = 235) were followed into second grade where their teachers (n = 36) within schools were randomly assigned to either the treatment (n = 18) or control conditions. Thus children could experience one of four possible conditions - grade 1 (TG1) treatment only, grade 2 (TG2) treatment only, both G1 and G2 treatment (TG1G2) or G1 and G2 control (CG1G2). Results. Using cross-classified random effects models, results showed independent and cumulative effects of the intervention on children's reading scores in spring of G2, controlling for fall G1 vocabulary and fall G2 passage comprehension scores. The effect size (d) comparing children who received two years of individualized instruction compared to children in the control condition was.48, which is a moderate effect. The effect size was about half that for children who received individualized instruction in either first or second grade (but not both). Conclusions. These results highlight the impact of ongoing effective instruction from first through second grade and the potential import of viewing instruction more diagnostically to meet the instructional needs of each child in the classroom.
Purpose: Individual differences in children's online language processing were explored by monitoring their eye movements to objects in a visual scene as they listened to spoken sentences. This provides a moment-by-moment record of the comprehension process, as it unfolds in real time. We used this method to address how well children defined as 'poor comprehenders' build a mental representation of an event as they listen to spoken language. Method: Sixteen poor comprehenders and 16 controls viewed sixteen visual scenes while they listened to language relating to the scene. For example, they viewed a scene depicting a man, a chair, a table and a teddy on the floor, and various other objects. They concurrently heard either 'The man will drag the chair over to the table' or 'The man will look at the chair and then at the table'. If children update their representation of the event after hearing this language, we should see a different pattern of looking (to the unchanged visual scene) when they subsequently hear that the man 'will lift up the teddy, and sit it affectionately in the chair.' Results: Analyses are still in progress. They will reveal the extent to which poor comprehenders can efficiently update information in working memory as they integrate spoken language with visual context. Conclusion: Findings will contribute to our understanding of which sources of information, and which integrative processes (both within language and between language and vision) are intact, and which are compromised by the comprehension deficit.
Purpose To test the hypothesis that early vocabulary and 2nd grade reading comprehension are significantly and positively related to sustained attention at 24 months. Method One hundred seventy-eight children were tested as part of an Early Head Start longitudinal research project at 24- and 36 months, just before kindergarten entry (pre-k), and in second-grade. Reading comprehension was computed as an average of the passage comprehension and listening comprehension subscales of the Woodcock Johnson Revised (Woodcock & Johnson, 1989; 1990). Child vocabulary was tested at 36 months and at pre-k using the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (Dunn & Dunn, 1997). Sustained attention at 24 months was coded from 15-minute videotaped play interactions using the Mother-child Interaction Ratings (Brady, O'Brien, Berlin, & Ware, 2001). Path analysis using maximum likelihood estimation was used to test a model that included direct and indirect paths from 24 month sustained attention through early vocabulary to 2nd grade reading comprehension. Results The indirect paths from 24 month sustained attention through 36 month and pre-k vocabulary were each statistically significant, as was the direct path from 24 month sustained attention to 2nd grade reading comprehension. The overall model fit was excellent (CFI = .999; TLI = .997). Conclusions Reading comprehension at 2nd grade is both directly and indirectly dependent upon a child's ability to sustain attention as early as 24 months. Early detection of and intervention for attention deficits may have enduring effects on a child's academic success through improved reading comprehension.
Purpose: In this longitudinal study we aim to gain insight into the development of reading vocabulary of children with and without hearing impairments. We seek to understand: 1) which child-level variables can account for differences in growth of word knowledge, and; 2) what word-level characteristics account for difference in word learning for different profiles of children. Method: We follow 131 children with hearing impairments in grade 3 till 6 both in special education and mainstream education, and 468 hearing children in grade 1 till 6 for four years on vocabulary knowledge, using a lexical decision task and a use decision task. The target words we use represent a norm for vocabulary knowledge at the end of primary school. We will use Structural Equation and Multilevel Modeling to analyze the data and to map growth. Results: Results of the first year showed that hearing-impaired children not only know fewer words, but also have less in-depth knowledge of words. Furthermore, we examined which variables accounted for differences in depth of vocabulary knowledge. Conclusions: The results of this study shed light on the vocabulary development of (hearing-impaired) children and indicate which words are most suitable for pupils to learn, in order to help them to understand texts better and to increase their vocabulary. Moreover, the study identifies which background variables can account for differences in knowledge, which makes it possible to identify children at risk at an early stage.
Purpose: Most parents read to their children. Our data suggests over 50% read to them daily and 95% read to them weekly or more. This paper explores the effects of this on the twins' print knowledge (i.e., letter names and sounds, and concepts about print) in preschool and reading ability in the early years of school. Method: The data, comprising 214 and 248 monozygotic and dizygotic twin pairs from Colorado, USA, were analysed using multivariate behaviour-genetic methods. Results: The more children are read to by parents, the higher their print knowledge in preschool and, to a very minor extent, reading in kindergarten, explaining 9% and 2% of the variance respectively. Cholesky analyses show these associations are all due to effects of the common family environment, with virtually no genetic or unique environment effects. We then considered the effect of higher or lower parental reading on the etiology of the variance for literacy. In children read to more frequently by their parents, relative to those read to less frequently, we observe little difference in the genetic and environment influences on print knowledge at preschool or reading in kindergarten. Conclusion: Overall, while parents' reading to their children confers an advantage initially by way of family environment influences, the effects dissipate with age and the levelling effects of more formal schooling.
This poster will present findings from Project VITAL, a school-based intervention research study evaluating a year-long implementation of vocabulary instruction with kindergarten students. Participants included 128 students (49 ELLs) from three elementary schools that serve diverse populations. Students assigned to the treatment group (n = 81) were taught the meanings of 54 vocabulary words over 36 half-hour instructional lessons (two lessons per week over 18 weeks). Main effects revealed statistically and educationally significant differences favoring the treatment group on measures of target word learning, listening comprehension, and generalized receptive vocabulary. English Learners scored statistically significantly lower on all measures although this effect was mediated by initial English receptive vocabulary knowledge.
Purpose: investigate reliability and validity of a reading level assessment and a word recognition automaticity measure widely used in classrooms Method: A stratified sample of 192 students in grades 2 through 5 from 4 schools of mixed SES were selected for testing. Students were tested in 3 sessions totaling 135 minutes. Measures used were the GORT, a word recognition automaticity measure, and an informal passage reading inventory. Two forms of the informal passage reading inventory were administered to each student, as were computer and manual presentations of the word recognition prompts. Alternate forms of the measures were counterbalanced. Results: Correlation of alternate forms for all students was r=.76 or above. T-tests across alternate forms found no significant differences between forms of either the informal passage reading or word recognition measures. Correlation of alternate forms with the GORT was r=.81 or above. T-tests of student performance on the informal passage reading inventory and the GORT found significant differences, p<.000. On average the GORT scores were 2 grades above the chronological grade level of the students. The average informal passage reading level was at chronological grade level. Conclusions: Schools need reliable, valid, and efficient instruments with which to determine instructional reading level. Despite its favorable reputation, the tendency of the GORT to over-predict by a large margin calls into question its validity for use as a reading level assessment. The current study demonstrates that the word recognition automaticity measure and informal passage reading inventory under investigation exhibit high alternate form reliability and concurrent validity. The study provides foundational evidence for educator use of these instruments to place students in instructional level text.
The Florida Center for Reading Research has developed new reading assessments for grades K-12 that will be used statewide in Florida starting in the fall, 2009. These new assessments, called the Florida Assessments for Instruction in Reading (FAIR), consist of screening, diagnostic, and progress monitoring components. An expressive vocabulary test is included in the K-2 diagnostic inventory. This poster will describe the development, psychometric work, and validation of FAIR's vocabulary test with 1900 children from three school districts representative of the demographics of Florida. Specific research questions asked were: 1) What is the relation of Dale & O'Rourke's (1981) Living Vocabulary level and the SFI from Zeno et al. (1995)'s Word Frequency Count to the IRT parameters derived from item tryouts and end of year achievement outcomes with children in grades K-2? 2) How well does this expressive vocabulary test correlate with the Expressive Vocabulary Test-2? 3) How well does the expressive vocabulary test predict end of year achievement outcomes in grades K-2 and how much does the use of prompts add to this prediction? Results indicate that LWV level and Zeno SFI correlated moderately with students' latent ability scores from IRT analyses and the 2007 Stanford Achievement Test reading subtests in grades K-2. A significant factor was the imageability of the word. Our test correlates well with EVT-2 and predicts well to end of year achievement. The added value of prompting, in addition to instructional implications, will be discussed.
Purpose: The Direct and Inferential Mediation Model (DIME) of reading comprehension has been tested with domain-general text at the high school and undergraduate level (Cromley & Azevedo, 2007). Is the DIME model as applicable to domain-specific comprehension as to domain-general comprehension? Method: We collected data from 737 undergraduate science majors reading biology text. Students completed measures of background knowledge, inference, reading comprehension strategies, vocabulary, word reading and comprehension. Results: A modified version of the model tested with SEM had an excellent fit to the data Chi sq. = 99.97 (91) p > .05, CFI = .996, SRMR = .023, RMSEA (90% CI) = .012 (< .001, .024), explaining 93% of the variance in comprehension after accounting for measurement error. Background knowledge and made the greatest total contribution to comprehension. Conclusions: The DIME model appears to be generalizable to scientific text and fit of the model benefitted from adding the effect of vocabulary on strategies. In practical terms, students should be encouraged to build their background knowledge as much as possible before they need to comprehend science texts such as these.
Purpose - This paper explores the way word associations change through reading development and the idea that reading fluency develops in qualitatively distinct stages from sight word reading, through first grade word automaticity, to increasingly advanced stages of word understanding and recognition. Method - Word association response were examined in a longitudinal study from preschool with 130 children through though third grade when 97 children remained in the study word. The responses were related to word reading, pseudoword reading, Stroop responses, vocabulary development and conceptual development. Correlational and cross-lag relationships were explored by simplex models. Results - Significant cross-lag predictions related the development of word and pseudoword automaticity to adult-like forms of word associations. Conclusions - The development of reading fluency occurs through qualitatively distinct stages which may be important in understanding the development of comprehension.
This study examines first grade teachers' use of web-based Assessment-to-instruction (A2i) software and its relation to students' reading skill growth asking: (1) in what ways did teachers use A2i; (2) was software use associated with gains in students' reading skill growth. A2i software is web-based and provides recommended amounts and types of literacy instruction for each student based on his or her vocabulary and reading skills. Teachers access children's test scores and progress monitoring charts, plan their literacy block, and accomplish daily lesson planning. The software automatically records teachers' use. 36 teachers and 516 first-graders participated in one of two randomized control trials assessing the effect of individualized instruction on students' literacy gains. Children's literacy was assessed fall and spring using subtests from the Woodcock-Johnson-III. Teachers used A2i, on average, for 180 minutes and 560 minutes in Studies 1 and 2. HLM revealed greater A2i use was associated with greater student reading gains. Also, teachers whose students' generally made greater gains not only used the software more overall but used predictable sequences accessing aspects of the software. Results of this study indicate that technology can provide useful tools for improving teacher effectiveness and students' reading skill growth.
Purpose: No study has investigated whether a direct relationship exists between the behavioral diagnoses created in the response to intervention (RTI) approach and children's neurobiological profiles. Related to this, the proposed poster will present preliminary results from a study using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to explore the relation between fiber tract integrity and individual differences in responsiveness to intervention. Method: Sixteen children were recruited at the end of their first grade year from a project investigating the RTI process in first graders. As participants in the RTI study, nine of the children were designated as nonresponders (NR) and the remaining students were controls with normal reading ability. Participants had a mean age of 7 years and 6 months (SD = .43). These children attended a single imaging session in which magnetic resonance imaging was used to acquire diffusion and functional data. Results: Fractional anisotropy (FA) values were derived from the DTI data. Brain regions with significant group differences in FA values were identified and correlated with participants' scores from a battery of cognition and language measures. Conclusions: In addition to answering some lingering questions about the effectiveness of the RTI approach, the data presented in this poster will also provide theoretical insight into the nature of reading disabilities and practical guidance about the identification and treatment of reading disability.
Purpose: We investigated the cognitive profile of parents with the aim of examining the phenotype of dyslexia in adults who self-report as having dyslexia and compared them with parents of children with language impairments. Method: We compared performance on tests of reading, spelling, performance IQ, phonological awareness (spoonerisms), phonological memory (nonword repetition) and attention by parents who i) report that they have dyslexia (FR+; N = 26) ii) are the partner of someone who reports they have dyslexia (FR-; N = 28), iii) are the parent of a child with language impairment (LI; N = 28) or iv) are the parent of typically a developing child (TD; N = 74). Parents also completed self-report questionnaires about reading difficulties, attention problems and communication skills. Results: There were no differences on any measure between the FR- and the LI and TD groups. Compared to the TD group, the FR+ group had poorer performance on all measures. Compared to the FR+ group, the FR- group had better reading, spelling, phonological memory and attention skills, with a trend towards higher pIQ; however there were no differences in phonological awareness between the FR+ and FR- groups. Overall, self-report of reading difficulties correlated highly with a composite measure of reading and spelling (r = .67, p < 0.001) and to a lesser extent with phonological memory and phonological awarenss (r's = .47 and .25, p < 0.05). Conclusions: Self-identification of dyslexia was associated with weak phonological awareness combined with weak phonological memory, attentional difficulties and low pIQ as well as poor reading and spelling. We discuss the validity of parent's self-report of dyslexia and link findings with preliminary data from their offspring.
Purpose: The present study sought to examine the relation between children's self-regulation skills and literacy outcomes. Self-regulation includes components of working memory, attention, and inhibitory control. Previous research has found that poor self-regulation skills can negatively impact academic achievement. Poor self-regulation skills may also affect other aspects of the classroom such as teachers' ability to organize their classroom and deliver instruction. Method: We examined first graders' growth (n = 459) in cognitive self-regulation and literacy outcomes and observed their classrooms 3 times per year. It was hypothesized that more time spent in organization and instructional activities would be positively associated with literacy skill gains when compared to those who spent less time in instructional activities and more time in non-instructional activities. Furthermore, we hypothesized that self-regulation would predict students' literacy skill gains in the spring over and above the effect of fall literacy skills, and time spent in instruction, organization, and non-instructional activities. Self-regulation was measured using the Head-Toes-Knees-Shoulders Task (HTKS). Results: Preliminary results using hierarchical linear modeling revealed that when students had stronger self-regulation their teachers spent less time in organizing behavior (e.g., explaining classroom routines). Moreover, students' self regulation predicted gains in reading. Conclusions: Students' self-regulation appears to affect classroom functioning overall as well as their own academic achievement.
Purpose The study aimed to establish whether preschool phonological difficulties were present in Dutch children at high risk of dyslexia and whether these difficulties are related to literacy measures at 8 years of age. Method Two age groups of high-risk and low-risk children were followed, one from 1;6 to 3;0 ('baby' group); one from 3;6 to 5;0 ('toddler' group). A word stress task in which children had to repeat targets with different degrees of stress regularity was presented in the baby group (age 3), and a non-word repetition task to 4;6-year-olds (toddler group). A comprehensive battery of literacy measures has been presented to the toddler group, and is being collected for the children of the baby group at present. Results Both the word stress task and the non-word repetition task yielded significant differences between the low and high-risk groups. A relationship is found between children's percentages phonemes correct on the non-word repetition task and their literacy abilities. However, even the high-risk unaffected children showed poorer non-word repetition than the low-risk group, in line with interpretations of the continuity of risk of dyslexia. Similar analyses will also be conducted for the word stress task. Preliminary findings with a small sample of children of this baby group suggest that literacy of the high-risk group is poorer than that of the low risk group. Conclusions These findings provide evidence that a phonological deficit predates manifest dyslexia. Additionally, they support the view that the family risk of dyslexia is continuous in a high-risk population.
Maria T. de Jong (Leiden University (The Netherlands));Suzanne M. Mol; Adriana G. Bus - Home literacy environment and literacy outcomes from childhood throughout young adulthood: A meta-analysis on the effects of print exposure
Purpose The two most applied indices of the Home Literacy Environment are questionnaires and title or author recognition checklists. Social desirability is a serious threat in self-reports, whereas a title or author recognition checklist might interfere with memory skills. Daily-activity diaries are less common because of the time commitment required to administer the record keeping. Whereas questionnaires and diaries can be considered as direct proxies for shared book reading frequency, checklist measures are indirect proxies of relative differences in print exposure. Compared to parental self-reports, it is expected that checklists are more valid thus stronger predictors of early literacy skills in preschool and kindergarten children. Second, it is investigated whether out-of-school reading explains the same amount of variance in the literacy outcomes when children are conventional readers. Method The current meta-analysis examines whether differences in results among studies investigating HLE and early literacy outcomes arises as a consequence of the applied HLE indicator. Furthermore, the effect of out-of-school reading on literacy development is studied cross-sectionally, in children from primary school through high school and University. Results and Conclusions Literacy outcomes are distinguished in vocabulary, phonological skills, reading comprehension, reading attitude and more distal measures such as nonverbal skills. The study adds to the debate that started with the meta-analyses of Bus, Van IJzendoorn, and Pellegrini (1995) and Dobrich and Scarborough (1994) concerning the origin and scope of the HLE effects on literacy outcomes.
Purpose: Beginning readers are often assumed to rely on (serial) letter-by letter phonological recoding whereas skilled readers identify written words by sight. The present study aimed to provide further support for this shift from a recoding to a more orthographic reading strategy. A distinction was made between discrete and serial formats of RAN. As serial formats involve pause times whereas discrete formats do not, it was predicted that in older readers, relying more on orthographic or sight word reading strategies, serial RAN would correlate higher with list reading and discrete RAN would correlate higher with discrete reading. For beginning readers, using more serial recoding strategies, the format of reading would be irrelevant because their serial strategy would include (an analogue of) pause times. Therefore, in beginning readers the correlation of reading speed with serial RAN was predicted to be higher than with discrete RAN. Method: Participants were 75 first and 68 second grade children. Measures were selected for discrete and serial RAN of letters and digits, list reading fluency and discrete reading speed (computer presentation) of one-syllable words, and phoneme awareness. Results: A moderate correlation was found between serial and discrete RAN. Generally, the pattern of correlations was as predicted. Conclusion: The results of the study tend to support the hypothesis that learning to read entails a development from a serial to a more parallel mode of reading. In addition, the results qualify the general finding that serial RAN is more strongly related to reading than discrete RAN.
Purpose: We report here on a study of whether children access the base form when reading morphologically complex words. Method: We measured the accuracy and response time of grades 4, 6 and 8 children's reading of a set of 64 words that varied systematically in the frequency of the surface and base forms and in the transparency of the base form. Results: Children were generally more accurate in reading derived words with high than with low base frequencies. This effect appeared across all word types at grade 4, and it gradually disappeared by grade 8. At all grade levels, children were faster at reading derived words with high than low base frequencies, and this effect was specific to words with low surface frequencies. Similar to the effects of the base frequency, the greater accuracy for transparent over opaque derived words is more widespread at grade 4 than at grade 8. Conclusions: The results add to the growing body of evidence that children access the morphological structure of the words that they encounter in print. They also support the idea that there are transitions in the ways in which children approach the reading of multimorphemic words that occur, across the later elementary school grades, and into the middle school years.
Carolyn A. Denton (University of Texas Health Science Center - Houston);Jack M. Fletcher, Karla Stuebing, Paul Cirino, Amy Barth, Sharon Vaughn, S.; David J. Francis - Characteristics of intervention responders and two groups of impaired readers identified using differing criteria for response to intervention
The purpose of this presentation is to describe characteristics of two groups of first grade students with inadequate response (RTI) in supplemental reading intervention-one identified using decoding criteria (n = 43) and one using fluency criteria (n = 60)-and a group of adequate responders (n = 97). All were identified as at-risk for reading difficulties. Classroom teachers participated in professional development to enhance Tier 1 reading instruction, and all at-risk readers received supplemental Tier 2 intervention beginning in January of grade 1. All students were administered cognitive assessments and year-end academic assessments. We applied both fluency and basic reading skills (decoding) criteria to identify students in need of higher-intensity Tier 3 intervention in grade 2, identifying 103 students with persistent reading deficits in decoding or fluency. Comparisons between groups were made on academic and cognitive variables, indicating three distinct profiles. Adequate responders performed at or above the mean on nearly all measures, academic and cognitive. Scores for fluency-identified inadequate responders were generally lower than for adequate responders but higher than for the decoding-identified group on both academic and cognitive measures. Decoding-identified poor responders were the most pervasively and severely impaired, performing well below the mean on nearly all indicators, with impairment particularly evident in measures related to oral language. RTI models are being increasingly implemented, but there is disagreement regarding valid markers of poor intervention response. We inform that discussion by demonstrating that commonly suggested fluency and decoding RTI criteria identify subgroups of students with substantially different profiles.
Purpose: This study had two main purposes: a) identify the best predictors of French-speaking children at risk of reading failure, and b) provide a rich database for cross-linguistic comparisons. Because French and English orthography shares several features the same performance indicators were expected to predict longitudinal outcomes. Method: Measures of phonological awareness, letter knowledge, rapid automatic naming, and oral vocabulary were taken from 89 Kindergarten children sampled from seven schools along a continuum of neighbourhood wealth levels. They were tested again a year later on the same indicators and a broad range of criterion measures (e.g. single-word oral reading, word spelling, whole word recognition). Results: a) children who did poorly on phonological awareness tasks in Kindergarten showed highly variable reading outcomes at the end of grade 1, while high phonological awareness children invariably did well, b) Rapid Automatized Colour Naming (RACN) was a ubiquitous predictor of performance, regardless of items' grapheme type (simple, complex, contextual, or irregular), item lexicality (word, nonword), or task type (i.e. word recognition, oral reading, spelling), c) tests of the interaction between phonological awareness and RACN supported the double-deficit hypothesis for oral reading but only if words were constructed from simple regular graphemes. Conclusion: These results are similar to those observed from English-speaking children under similar conditions of instruction and with a similar set of performance measures. The practical (e.g. for screening children at risk of reading failure) and theoretical (e.g. for model development) implications are discussed.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate rapid automatized naming skills (RAN) and immediate memory processes in 243 Chinese Mandarin-speaking elementary readers (ranging from Grade 1 to Grade 5). For RAN subtests, the mean naming time decreased monotonically with grade level in good and average readers and a similar trajectory was found in poor readers, even though they were generally slower in rapid naming. Disregarding grouping methods (counting all participants or counting good readers only), RAN-character emerged as a significant predictor of various Chinese reading measures. Different from classical findings in English readers indicating that RAN-number was a better correlate of reading than RAN-object, RAN-object out-performed RAN-number and became a significant predictor of Chinese reading speed and spelling, suggesting that the differences in predictive power of RAN tasks may be language-specific. Comparison of memory profiles for good, average, and poor readers revealed that the patterns varied depending on mode of stimulus presentation or response. Poor readers performed poorly on subtests involving a visual component and did relatively better on subtests involving verbal cues only, whereas a reversed pattern was shown in the group of good readers. The findings were interpreted to suggest that good and poor Chinese readers may be essentially different in applying visual strategies and verbal mediation during visual-verbal intra- and inter-modal processing, and visual skills appear to be particularly important in reading of Chinese.
Purpose The present study examines whether English and Mother Tongue vocabulary predict the English phonological awareness (PA) of young bilingual children. Method Data were collected from a random sample 285 kindergartners (stratified by ethnicity), including 169 Chinese, 65 Malays and 51 Indians, taken from a random sample of 28 kindergarten centers in Singapore (stratified by region). Children were assessed using the Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (CTOPP), Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-III (PPVT-III), and the PPVT-III translated into Mandarin, Malay or Tamil. A parental questionnaire collected background information, including mother's years of education. Results Using multilevel regression analysis, we found that English vocabulary had a positive and significant relationship with bilingual children's PA, controlling for mother's education. In contrast, Mother Tongue vocabulary and child's age did not have statistically significant effects on PA, either as main effects or in interaction with other variables. Thus, the results indicate that vocabulary size in English predicts bilingual kindergartners' English PA and that additional vocabulary knowledge in another language neither helps nor hinders bilingual children's phonological awareness. Conclusions Our findings support the hypothesis that a larger pool of vocabulary may aid children in making phonological distinctions within a language (Walley, Metsala, & Garlock, 2003). However, our findings contrast with a previous study which indicated that vocabulary knowledge in two languages may help bilingual children's phonological awareness in English (San Francisco, Carlo, Augut, & Snow, 2006). The findings suggest programs that boost bilingual children's English vocabulary may also help support their development of phonological awareness. References San Francisco, A. R., Carlo, M., August, D., & Snow, C. E. (2006). The role of language of instruction and vocabulary in the English phonological awareness of Spanish-English bilingula children. Applied Psycholinguistics, 27, 229-246. Walley, A. C., Metsala, J. L., & Garlock, V. M. (2003). Spoken vocabulary growth: Its role in the development of phoneme awareness and early reading ability. Reading and Writing, 16, 5-20.
Purpose. This paper uses ECLS-K data to replicate and expand the finding of Pianta et al (2008) of differentf trajectories for growth in reading in elementary school and to explore the factors that relate to the two classes of learners using additional demographic and instructional variables. Method. Growth mixture modeling was used to study growth on IRT-based reading scores in Kindergarten, first, third and fifth grade for 9,500 students in ECLS-K. The number of classes that best describes growth trajectories was first determined. Time invariant variables were then added (poverty, ELL, and gender) to study their impact on growth. Next, instructional variables will be added to ascertain their influence on learning trajectories. Results. The two-class solution identified by Pianta et al using an NICHD SECCYD dataset was confirmed in the ECLS-K data but with somewhat different trajectories. 'Fast readers' and 'normal readers' exhibit different intercepts and slopes. The effect of demographic variables on growth varies for the two classes of readers. For example, poverty did not affect the trajectory for fast readers but did have an effect for normal readers.. Analysis of the effect of instructional variables will investigate whether the focus of classroom instruction (phonics versus integrated language) and time for instruction are related to differences in the learning trajectories for fast and normal readers. Conclusions. The finding of two classes of readers suggests that studies that model only one growth trajectory for all students may misrepresent the influence of student and instructional variables on learning to read.
Purpose It is well-documented that background knowledge influences reading comprehension, but what constitutes prior knowledge when the text is fictional and deals with interpersonal or intergroup conflicts? This study suggests background knowledge may include understanding of social issues. Two questions are examined: 1) Do 5th grade children's social development predict their comprehension of stories, controlling for literacy skill and demographics? 2) Do differences across contexts play a role? Method 184 5th grade students from 10 classrooms participated. They read two fictional stories and answered comprehension questions. Multi-level analyses examined within-individual differences in comprehension of the texts. Between-individual predictors included vocabulary and reading scores from the GRADE (American Guidance Service, 2001), the Relationship Questionnaire (Schultz, Selman, & LaRusso, 2003), and student demographics. Between-community variables included SES and an index of diversity. Results Social development was a predictor of comprehension for both stories but the effect was moderated by reading skill. Poor readers who had higher social development skills read the stories as well as their better-reading peers. Students from diverse communities understood both texts better relative to students from non-diverse communities. Conclusions This study explored the relationship between social development and reading comprehension. Multilevel modeling evaluated within-individual, between-individual, and between-community differences. Both social development and social context seem to play a role in comprehending fictional texts. Findings may inform practitioners and researchers, especially in the area of social and emotional learning where programs that use fiction to teach children about relationships are common (e.g. Zaner-Bloser Publishing and Morningside Center).
Purpose: Much media attention has been directed towards students' use of "textisms" (shorthand abbreviations of words, e.g., "gr8" for "great") in formal written communication and the potential detrimental effects of textism use on literacy. However, few studies have examined the extent to which students use and understand textisms, and no published studies with adults have examined the relationship between textism use and literacy. This study explored college students' use of textisms and the relationship between textism use and literacy. Method: Eighty students (34 texters and 46 non-texters) from a Midwestern U.S. university were assessed on their familiarity with textisms, standardized literacy levels, and misspellings of conventional English words frequently represented as textisms (e.g., you're). They also completed survey items related to their use of textisms, opinions about the appropriateness of textisms in formal communication, and opinions about the possible negative effects of textisms on literacy. Results: Although texters were more proficient with using testisms, both groups showed familiarity with textism vocabulary. Additionally, there were no significant differences between the two groups in standardized literacy scores or misspellings of conventional English words frequently represented as textisms. Nonetheless, more than half of the students felt that their use of textisms was hindering their ability to remember conventional English. Conclusions: Despite growing concerns about the deleterious effects of testisms on literacy, the use of textisms was not related to low literacy performance. However, longitudinal studies with adolescents using additional target words (common text abbreviations) are needed.
Purpose: To evaluate the effectiveness of the Reading Intervention programme (after Hatcher et al., 2006b), and to explore predictors of reading attainment and response to intervention. Method: 29 6-year-olds with reading difficulties participated in Reading Intervention - a 10-week supplementary reading programme emphasising the link between phonological awareness and reading. Children received a comprehensive cognitive-linguistic assessment pre-intervention, and performance on key phonological and literacy tasks was measured during and after the intervention. The progress of the intervention group was compared to that of a representative age-matched control group from the same classes. Results: The intervention was successful: analyses of co-variance (controlling for pre-intervention scores) revealed that the intervention group made significantly greater progress than the control group in early word reading, phoneme awareness and phonetic spelling. Analyses of variance showed that in addition to expected weaknesses in phonological awareness and literacy, the intervention group had deficits in nonphonological oral language (vocabulary and grammar) and nonverbal reasoning. Whereas nonphonological oral language was a strong predictor of reading attainment in the control group, this was not mirrored in the intervention group. Finally, regression analyses demonstrated that pre-intervention letter knowledge and intervention attendance were significant positive predictors of response to intervention. Conclusions: This study provides more evidence for the efficacy of Reading Intervention as a way of improving the literacy skills of children with reading difficulties. Broader oral language difficulties co-occurred with reading difficulties in this sample of poor readers; future intervention programmes ought to address both domains of language.
Grammatical and syntactic components of writing are often measured by mean length of utterance (MLU) and/or Subordination Index (SI). However, research examining students' writing needs to include a measure of grammar and syntax that is sensitive to developmental changes as well as differences in language ability beyond counts of utterance length and number of clauses. It has been suggested that the use of a Multistructural Index may provide for a deeper understanding of students' written language abilities by assigning a summed weight to several aspects of sentence complexity (e.g., adjectives, dependent clauses, infinitives, etc.). The purpose of this project was to determine whether students' written language abilities improved after a reading comprehension and written language intervention using a Multistructural Index to measure change in sentence complexity. Results suggest the validity of examining a variety of syntactic and grammatical components in sentence complexity in order to document change in written ability.
Purpose The purpose of the present study was to examine the effects of a professional development workshop (1 day) on teachers' use of print referencing (i.e., attention to words/letters and print concepts) during shared book reading in high-risk preschools. We hypothesized that professional development would affect the frequency with which teachers referenced print during storybook readings. Method Preschool teachers (n = 85) participated in a full day professional development session. Fifty-seven teachers were randomly assigned to receive professional development focused on how to incorporate references to print during large-group reading sessions. A control group (n = 28) received professional development on a neutral topic. Over one academic year, teachers submitted bimonthly videos of their classroom book readings which were subsequently coded for frequency of print referencing behaviors. Results A free-loading latent growth model was fit to the data, modeling teachers' print referencing frequency during storybook readings across the year. Conditional models revealed reliable differences in print referencing behaviors as a function of professional development. Teachers who received professional development regarding print referencing were significantly more likely to exhibit print referencing behaviors at both the beginning and end of the year as compared to teachers who did not receive such training, ps < .001. . Conclusions Study results highlight the impact of professional development on teachers' book reading behaviors, demonstrating that such behaviors are amendable to change. Viewed in light of evidence linking teachers' reading practices to child outcomes, such results have implications for preparing teachers to support children's early literacy development.
Purpose. A first step in learning to read a foreign language is learning letter shapes and their correspondences to sounds. This becomes more difficult when the shapes are unfamiliar. Method. English-speaking, monolingual kindergartners (N=36; M=5;2 years) were taught 10 Hebrew letter-sound relations in an experiment involving a repeated measures design. Two methods to teach the letters using picture mnemonics were compared. In one condition, letters were embedded in drawings of objects whose shapes resembled the letters' shapes and whose English names began with the sounds of the letters (e.g., ד, desk, /d/; ש, ship /š). In the non-embedded condition, letters were learned with pictures and names of the same objects, but the objects were drawn differently and did not resemble letter shapes. Children were show the letters and pictures and practiced remembering their sounds over several trials until they reached a criterion of five perfect trials. Results: Results of statistical tests showed that letters learned with embedded mnemonics were mastered in fewer trials than non-embedded letters, embedded letters were less frequently confused with each other, and embedded letters were remembered better a week later. In addition, embedded letters were found to be more effective on transfer tasks in helping children remember how to read and spell words written with the letters. Conclusions: The explanation is that embedded mnemonics secured more features of letter shapes and stronger connections between letters and sounds in memory and thus provided a more solid foundation for beginners to perform reading and spelling tasks.
Amy Elleman (Vanderbilt University);Jennifer Gilbert; Donald Compton - Examining the trade-off between acquisition of declarative knowledge and vocabulary in struggling readers during meaning versus vocabulary focused text instruction
Results will be presented from a research program exploring the potential of text to increase the vocabulary and declarative knowledge acquisition of struggling readers. One hundred and twenty struggling readers, grade 2-5, were randomly assigned to small group instruction in one of three interventions. All three interventions received decoding, fluency, and oral reading instruction, with groups differing in terms of the in-text instruction. The control group received teacher-directed questioning with no dialogue, the vocabulary intervention received dialogue-based vocabulary instruction focused exclusively on the meaning of target words in text, and the knowledge intervention received dialogue-based knowledge instruction focused on teaching students strategies to comprehend declarative knowledge contained in the text. Results suggest that focusing on vocabulary learning during reading resulted in significant increases in vocabulary knowledge compared to the other groups with no interference with acquisition of declarative knowledge.
Problem Children's home literacy environment is conceived of here as their proximal home literacy experiences. These entail literacy activities provided by parents and, at a more micro level, the ways parents scaffold or coach children's performance within those activities. Parental views on literacy include the extent they feel that the home influences literacy development, their perspective on how literacy skills are acquired, and their goals for particular literacy activities. Data will be presented to test a model in which parental views influence their provision of literacy experiences and their coaching behaviour, which in turn influence literacy development. Method 109 parent-child dyads followed from JK to SK completed the Home Literacy Experiences Questionnaire (Levy et al., 2006), Skill Development Survey (Evans et al., 2004) and Parental Goals for Shared Reading (Audet et al., 2008) and factor scores derived. Children completed various tests of ability and reading. Results and Conclusions Higher influence accorded to the home for literacy development was modestly associated with more shared book reading (SBR) in JK; more reading/writing practice and more phonological activities in JK and SK; and more reading/writing practice and beginning print activities in Grade 1. After controlling for JK Block Design, Sentence Memory, receptive vocabulary and reading on the TERA (42% variance), JK reading/writing practice predicted an additional 3% variance in Word Identification in SK. Parents whose top SBR goal was to help their children read made more print-referencing comments during SBR than parents rated affective goals most highly. However SBR in JK did not predict SK Word Identification.
Fataneh Farnia (Hincks-Dellcrest Centre-Department of Psychiatry and OISE/University of Toronto)Mahshid Azimi, Esther Geva-OISE/UT - Pervasive Effect of Poor Vocabulary and Decoding on Reading Comprehension of ELL children
In this study we examined the growth trajectories of reading comprehension (RC) from Grade 4 to Grade 6 in English monolinguals (EL1; N= 123) and English language learners (ELL; N= 280). Groups of poor vocabulary (n= 37), poor decoding (N= 34), and normally achieving children (N= 335) were identified. The poor vocabulary and poor decoding groups consisted of children who scored one standard deviation below their reference group means from Grade 3 through Grade 6. Growth curve analysis showed that groups differed in their initial (Grade 4) and final (Grade 6) levels of RC. A fan-spread growth pattern was observed when the RC trajectories of normally achieving and poor vocabulary EL1 and ELL groups were considered. While RC growth in normally achieving EL1 children represented a linear pattern, RC trajectories of normally achieving ELLs and poor vocabulary EL1 and ELL children followed a quadratic pattern. As for decoding, analyses showed that ELLs who were normally achieving and poor decoders scored significantly lower on Grades 4 and 6 RC than the normally achieving and poor decoder EL1s. Regardless of poor or good decoding skills and vocabulary knowledge, there was a persistent gap between EL1 and ELLs' RC. These results are consistent with a deficit rather than a delayed model of reading comprehension difficulties. Overall the results indicate that normally achieving ELLs are less likely than ELLs with poor decoding or vocabulary knowledge to have persistent reading comprehension difficulties.
Purpose Studies of low-income ethnic minority families have reported wide variations in their home literacy practices-- often from a deficit perspective. Therefore, the characteristics of Latino families' home environments and their potential to contribute to children's early literacy skill development remain poorly understood. Method Latino immigrant mothers of 343 (163 girls) preschoolers 41-60 months (M= 51.45; SD = 4.66) completed questionnaires about their family demography, perceived parenting stress, acculturation, and their HLE. Their children's emergent literacy skills were assessed in Spanish and English using the P-Ctoppp_E and P-Ctoppp_S (Lonigan et al, 2001). Results Parents who had a bicultural style of acculturation experienced less parenting stress and were more likely to provide HLE opportunities in the home which were associated with children's literacy skill acquisition. Aspects of the HLE had more of an impact on children's oral language skills than on their print knowledge or phonological awareness. Parents' involvement in literacy activities in the home was related to children's oral language in both English and Spanish. Parents' literacy habits and the number of books in the home were associated with children's English oral language and English phonological awareness. An important finding was that parents' acculturation (orientation to "Anglo" culture) was associated with children's Spanish and English oral language, English print knowledge, and English phonological awareness skills. Conclusion These results suggest that immigrant Latino families can impact their children's literacy skill development. Moreover, acculturation exerts an influence on children's early literacy skills, through parents' behavior and their structuring of the home environment.
* Purpose: This paper introduces a new method to analyze distributions of reading fixation duration, with the goal of identifying the time course of how reading processes modulate eye movements. The model is based on the hazard function, which is an index of instantaneous risk of saccades over time. * Method: Large eye movement corpora were used to estimate hazard functions of fixation duration distributions. More than one million eye movements were collected from readers of 4 different languages (English, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean) and from 3 age groups (adults and 3rd- and 5th-graders). Distribution functions were estimated using several different techniques. Effects of language, age, individual differences, and processing variables such as word frequency were investigated. * Results: Reading fixation durations follow a lawful distribution that is well characterized by a robust hazard function. The hazard function is modulated by reading-related variables, but in ways that are not predicted by current theories. Neither group or individual differences nor processing variables seem to affect the timing of major changepoints of the hazard function; they only affect its slopes within a window of approximately 100 - 250msec. * Conclusions: The data are not consistent with the traditional notion of a time course, where the fixation duration is thought to be the sum of delays at various processing stages. Instead, they suggest an alternative model, in which different variables affect eye movements during the same time window, but with varied strengths.
The purpose of this study was to determine whether computer-assisted fluency instruction is as effective as print-based teacher-led fluency instruction for third-grade students experiencing delayed fluency development. An experimental pretest posttest group design was paired with a changing treatments single-subject design to answer several research questions. Participants in the group portion of the study (N = 50) were randomly assigned to receive either print-based or computer-based fluency instruction. Participants in both groups received instruction provided during 20-minute sessions three times weekly for 10 weeks. An analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) revealed no significant differences across groups on two of the three outcomes (i.e., fluency and comprehension). An ANCOVA indicated significant differences between treatment groups on the third outcome (i.e., vocabulary). Participants in the single subject portion of the study (N = 3) received both print and computer conditions. Visual analysis of the data yielded varied results. Two of the three students experienced increased rates of on-task behavior in the presence of both treatment conditions. The third student was more responsive to the computer assisted condition. These results suggest that students vary in how they engage with computer-assisted instruction. Implications for future research include: designing systematic evaluations of the characteristics of students who exhibit high engagement with computer assisted instruction (CAI) and evaluating the use of CAI as a supplemental form of instruction.
Purpose: Crits-Christoph and Mintz (1991) demonstrated that failure to include tutor as a factor in the analysis of interventions may lead to Type I errors. The present study attempts to explore the consequences of misspecification of a three-level model (e.g., students nested in tutor nested in school). Method: A Monte Carlo simulation of students nested in tutor nested in school was developed. Variance in simulated posttest scores (pretest was a covariate) included school gain variance, school pretest variance, and teacher gain variance, each set at 0%, 10%, or 20%. These conditions were crossed with 2 class and 2 sample sizes. 500 data sets were created for each of the 108 conditions. Intervention effect was modeled but set to 0. The data sets were analyzed using HLM in a 3-level model and in two misspecified models (student in tutor, student in school). Results: The two misspecified models did not produce higher Type I rates for treatment effect. No elevated Type I error rates for any effect were observed for the student-in-tutor model, even with nonzero school effects. In the student-in-school model, teacher variance appeared as school effect, but only when school effect was set to zero. Conclusions: When comparing reading interventions it is important to include both tutor and school in the analysis, Type I errors in treatment effects are likely in their absence. But the presence of either higher order factor, even in a misspecified model, seems to absorb variance that otherwise would be erroneously viewed as a treatment effect.
Purpose: Research with first-language (L1) students demonstrates the multidimensional complexity of writing. Effective writing draws on the development of both word-level and higher-order skills. However, minimal research on English language learners' (ELL) writing development has been conducted (Lesaux, Geva, Koda, Siegel, & Shanahan, 2006). The present study of students whose L1 was Spanish or Portuguese examined English spelling, grammatical understanding, and writing fluency to assess the relationships among these factors. Methods: Third-grade ELL students (n=38) participated in a writing fluency assessment (WLPB-R: Woodcock, 1991). Their word-level skills were represented by measures of pseudo- and real-word spelling, and their higher-order skills by a measure of grammatical understanding (CELF-3: Semel, Wiig, & Secord, 1995). Nonverbal ability was also assessed (MAT: Naglieri, 1985). Results: Bivariate analyses indicate that writing fluency, pseudo- and real-word spelling, and sentence assembly were all strongly correlated, even when accounting for nonverbal ability. Writing fluency was most highly correlated with sentence assembly. Spelling measures were more highly correlated with sentence assembly than writing fluency. Regression analyses indicate that proficiency in assembling sentences is a significant predictor of writing fluency, accounting for about 20% of variance. Future analyses will examine relationships between these factors and open-ended writing tasks (TOWL-3; Hammill & Larsen, 1996). Conclusions: This work replicates research with spelling development in ELL children (Wang & Geva, 2003), and writing fluency in English L1 speakers (Olinghouse, 2008). The word-level and higher-order writing skills of ELL and L1 students appear to be similarly related to writing fluency.
Purpose Given the research which suggests that vocabulary is an important predictor of future reading achievement, as well as the research that suggests that teacher quality significantly impacts achievement, this study seeks to further investigate these relations longitudinally (kindergarten - second grade). Specifically this study investigates the role of initial vocabulary, as mediated by kindergarten teacher quality, on reading outcomes, including vocabulary X aptitude, and vocabulary X teacher quality interactions. Method This study is a 3-year longitudinal observational study. Participants were 22 teachers and 224 kindergarteners. A variety of student measures of language and literacy skills were administered in the 2006-2007 school year; outcome data for first and second grade includes reading fluency and comprehension. To assess teacher quality, we observed instruction fall, winter and spring and used Haager et al.'s (2004) Likert scale. Structural equation modeling will be used to analyze the data. Results Preliminary analyses confirm vocabulary becomes a stronger predictor of reading outcome as the student progresses in school. We predict that this relation will be stronger for those students that enter KG with weaker vocabulary skills and that the quality of instruction will mediate the relation between vocabulary and reading outcomes. Conclusions Our study extends research on the predictive role of vocabulary (e.g., Catts, Fey, & Zhang, 2001; Storch & Whitehurst, 2002), and teacher quality (e.g., Al Otaiba et al., 2008; Connor, Son, & Hindman, 2005). Furthermore, we hope to identify particular elements of teacher quality that interact with initial vocabulary to strengthen reading outcomes.
Purpose. Research on reading disabilities has progressed because of the collaboration of multiple disciplines. This presentation addresses definition and sampling issues that facilitate data collection at multiple levels, including genes, brains, and behavior. Methods. We review different approaches to definition and how such decisions influence outcomes at the level of genes, brain, and behavior. In addition, we review sampling issues in terms of the need to maximize generalization and avoid restrictions in sampling that lead to excessively homogeneous samples. Finally, we review different approaches to recruitment that allow simultaneous collection of multilevel data. Results. The results for studies of reading disabilities depend on issues related to the achievement dimensions used to define the groups, cut points on these dimensions, measurement error, and different exclusionary criteria. These issues are true for classic psychometric models as well as for identification models based on response to intervention. In many studies of reading disabilities, the samples are relatively homogeneous. More diverse sampling increases variability, but also enhances generalization. Recruitment should expand beyond clinics and volunteer samples to community samples, especially schools, which can represent a base for data collection involving brains and genes. Such recruitment is enhanced by strong relations with district leaders and school principals. To enhance minority participation, community involvement and access to parents is critical. Conclusions. Careful attention to measurement and sampling issues will enhance the reliability and replicability, and generalization of results from studies of reading disabilities, and enhance collection of multilevel data essential to a comprehension understanding of reading disabilities.
Purpose: Environmental moderation of the level of genetic influence on children's reading disability (RD) was explored in a sample of twin probands selected for poor reading performance. High reading ability (HR) was explored in two independent population samples of twin probands selected for strong reading performance. Method: Parental education was utilized in these two studies as a proxy measure of environmental support for reading because it is correlated with a broad range of environmental factors related to reading development and academic achievement. The interaction between environmental moderation with low-reading group heritability and high-reading group heritability was analyzed with an extension of the DeFries and Fulker (DF) regression model (DeFries & Fulker, 1985;1988). Results: For RD, genetic influence was higher and environmental influence was lower among children with greater environmental support than among children with lesser environmental support. For HR, genetic influence was higher and environmental influence was lower among children with lesser environmental support than for children with greater environmental support. Conclusion: Taken together, these studies describe a coherent account of the interactions between environmental support and the heritability of extreme reading performance. Thus, when children's performance on reading deviates from environmental expectation (poor performance in the presence of environmental support for reading, and strong performance or resilience in the absence of environmental support for reading), then genetic influences are relatively more important than when reading ability is consistent with environmental expectations.
Jan Frijters (Brock University); Holly Dodsworth; Maureen Lovett; Rose Sevick; Robin Morris - Multiple-component intervention modifies reading-disabled students' self-reported attributions of success and failure
Purpose: This study compared self-reported attributions for success and failure in common reading activities between normally developing readers (NR) and those with confirmed reading disability. Attributions were also tracked longitudinally for the reading disabled (RD) sample. We hypothesized that NR would exhibit a mastery orientation, that RD students would manifest a learned helplessness pattern, but through reading intervention would shift back toward mastery orientation. Method: The sample consisted of 127 grade 6-8 NR (M Woodcock Reading Mastery Test - Revised Basic Skills Cluster = 99, SD = 10.3) and 68 RD students (M = 80.9, SD = 9.4). A computerized version of the Sydney Attribution Scale was administered to both samples, with repeated administration to RD students before and after 125 hours of intensive intervention. The intervention consisted of small-group multiple- component, dialogue-based strategy instruction. Results: NR displayed an ideal mastery-orientation pattern, attributing success to ability and effort, with lower attributions for failure to ability and effort. RD students had lower attributions for success to ability (eta-squared = 0.11) and higher attributions for failure to ability (es = 0.13). Repeated measures MANOVA indicated that this pattern shifted after intervention for RD students, with increases in success attributions to ability (es = 0.06), decreases in failure attributions to ability (es = 0.29), and decreases in attributions to external causes (es = 0.10). Conclusions: Maladaptive patterns of attributions shifted after intensive intervention toward a mastery orientation. Dialogue-based basic skills and metacognitive instruction with explicit attention to attributional retraining can modify maladaptive attributions.
Purpose: This study focused on second-language learners in fifth grade and their comprehension of science texts. More specifically, we wanted to investigate: 1) the relative contribution of different component skills (word decoding, vocabulary breadth and depth, topic knowledge) to L2 topic reading comprehension, 2) and differences in relationships between component skills and reading comprehension across the two neighbourhoods that the students were sampled from which varied in L1 and L2 exposure. Methods: The participants were 76 fifth-graders from two sites in Norway with Turkish and Urdu as their first language and Norwegian as their second. Topic knowledge and topic reading comprehension were assessed with researcher developed tests with high reliability. L1 vocabulary and L2 component skills were measured with standardized tests. Results: A model of word decoding, vocabulary depth, and topic knowledge explained 53 % of the variance in topic reading (Adjusted R Square = .53). Topic knowledge was the best predictor of topic reading comprehension while vocabulary depth was the second best predictor. Furthermore, while there were significant differences between sites (differing in L1 and L2 exposure) in students' L1 and L2 vocabulary skills, differences were not found on the more instruction-dependent skills word decoding, topic knowledge, and topic reading comprehension. Conclusions: The findings suggest that both vocabulary and topic knowledge had unique contributions to topic reading comprehension. Discussions will focus on how topic knowledge instruction may compensate for disadvantaged L2 vocabulary and support the students in their comprehension of science texts.
Nadine Gaab (Laboratories of Cognitive Neuroscience, Developmental Medicine Center, Children's Hospital Boston/Harvard Medical School & Harvard Graduate School of);Maria Chang; Michelle Lee; Roman Buechler & Nora Raschle - Neural pre-markers of developmental dyslexia in the pre-reading brain: an fMRI investigation
Purpose: Early markers of reading abilities and disabilities are crucial for the early identification of children at risk as well as the development of early intervention programs, and will therefore have important clinical and social implications. The present longitudinal study investigates possible neural pre-markers of developmental dyslexia in children prior to reading onset. Method: We are examining neural and behavioral correlates of auditory and phonological processing as well as attentional function in pre-reading children (age 4 to 6) with or without a family history of developmental dyslexia (DD). We will present data from our first cohort study [20 children (10 with and 10 without a family history of DD)] which aimed to examine whether pre-reading children with and without a family history of DD already differ in their specific functional neural networks of reading related processes. All children have completed psychometric and psychophysics assessment as well as functional imaging sessions. All participants will be re-invited after reading onset. Results: This longitudinal study design aims to determine which single predictor or set of predictors best predicts reading outcome and especially reading disabilities in children. Conclusions: The early identification of predictors for reading ability and reading disability in pre-reading children is essential for the development of novel and improvement of existing early intervention programs. Furthermore, and even more importantly, it may prevent the clinical, psychological and social impact of DD.
PURPOSE The study compared a reading comprehension test employing a question-answering format to a reading comprehension test using a rational cloze format. The research questions were: Do the contributions of vocabulary and decoding skills to reading comprehension depend on the measure of comprehension that is used? Does the external validity of the two reading comprehension measures vary? METHOD The subjects were 134 adults participating in reading courses and 74 adults in two types of education traditionally attracting many poor readers. The following measures were administered to the adults: a reading comprehension test employing a question-answering format (time limit: 30 minutes), a reading comprehension test using a rational cloze format (time limit: 10 minutes), a vocabulary test and two decoding tests. The adults answered questions about their current education and whether they had experienced reading or writing as a problem. RESULTS The subjects' scores on the two reading comprehension tests correlated highly. The amounts of variance accounted for by vocabulary and decoding were similar for the two reading comprehension tests. External criteria such as information about whether the subjects participated in a reading course or had experienced reading or writing as a problem were slightly closer associated to scores of the cloze test than to scores of the question-answering test. CONCLUSIONS The rational cloze test appeared to reflect the same underlying skills as the question-answering test. Furthermore, the external validity of the cloze test proved to be at least as high as the validity of the more time-consuming question-answering test.
Purpose Several studies have shown that rapid automatized naming (RAN) speed, defined as the ability to name as fast as possible visually presented, highly familiar symbols, such as colors, objects, digits, and letters, remains a strong predictor of reading until adulthood (Birch & Chase, 2004; Miller et al., 2006; van den Bos et al., 2004) distinguishing average from poor adult readers (Felton, Naylor, & Wood, 1990; Georgiou et al., 2004). Because of its multi-componential nature it is yet difficult to fully understand what it measures and how it is related to reading. Neuhaus et al. (2001) suggested that our understanding could be enhanced if we were to turn our interest to the analysis of the intra-RAN components of articulation time and pause time. Thus, the purpose of this study was to examine (a) how RAN components - articulation time and pause time -predict reading accuracy and fluency in a sample of high-functioning adult dyslexics and normally reading adults, and (b) what cognitive processing skills (phonological processing, orthographic processing or speed of processing) may mediate the RAN-reading relationship. Method Nineteen high-functioning adult dyslexics and 19 normally reading adults were examined on measures of RAN (colors, objects, digits, and letters), phonological awareness (Elision), orthographic knowledge (Word Chains, Spelling Choice), speed of processing (Visual Matching, Cross-Out), and reading (accuracy and fluency). An initial analysis has shown that RAN total time is predicting both reading accuracy and fluency. Results and Conclusions The data are currently analyzed.
Writing development is understudied and there is a dearth of developmental research on writing in second language and learning disabled students (NLP, 2006). The current longitudinal research examined the writing development of monolingual (L1) and ESL elementary school students from grades 4-6 (n = 178). Relative to the reference group (L1/ESL) students were classified in Grade 4 as normal readers (NR) (n = 72), poor decoders (PD) (n = 53), or poor comprehenders (PC) (n = 26). L1 and ESL learners were proportionally represented in each reading group. Repeated measures ANOVAs examined cognitive, linguistic and literacy skills profiles in each group. ESLs did not differ from L1s in any area of cognitive, language, and literacy development except for receptive vocabulary, where ESLs continued to lag behind. There was an improvement in each group over time, but not all writing components improved in tandem. NR, PD, and PC showed distinct cognitive, language and writing profiles. Compared to NR, PC had specific deficits in nonverbal reasoning, receptive vocabulary, listening comprehension and reading comprehension. Their story writing was weaker than that of NR but stronger than that of PD. They had difficulty with the mechanics, language components, and story organization. PC also wrote fewer long words. PD had much more pervasive writing difficulties. In their stories, they made frequent spelling errors, spelled fewer long words correctly, and wrote significantly more badly constructed sentences. The research underscores the significance of conceptualizing groups of LD and the cognitive and writing profiles associated with each. It has implications for instruction, assessment, and intervention.
Purpose - Presently, very little is known with regard to writing instruction in the upper-elementary grades. The purpose of this study will be to identify and describe the writing practices of 4th, 5th, and 6th grade teachers. Teachers will be asked if and how often they use various writing activities, evidence-based practices, and adaptations for struggling writers. Because prior research has shown that teacher efficacy is related to teaching practices (Graham, Harris, Fink, & MacArthur, 2001), teacher efficacy will also be addressed in the survey. Method - The names of the 300 teachers will be obtained from Market Data Retrieval, a database of teachers in schools across the United States. A stratified random sampling procedure will be used to select approximately 100 teachers in each grade, 4 to 6. One survey will be mailed, along with a consent letter and a $2 bill, in late February and another in March. Results - Data collection will begin in the spring of 2009. Results will be summarized in terms of presence and frequency of various writing activities, evidence-based practices, and adaptations. Differences in teacher efficacy and classroom make-up will be explored as possible predictors of writing practices. Answers to open-ended questions will be analyzed qualitatively. Conclusions - We expect our findings to enhance the field in two ways. First, it will serve as a first descriptive look into the writing practices of a nationally representative sample of upper-elementary classrooms. Second, we hope to learn how teacher efficacy relates to various writing practices.
Purpose: Developmental changes in cortical thickness have been found to be related to both age and experience-dependent learning. What is not known is whether variation in adult levels of reading skill are related to cortical thickness. Can individual differences in reading skill and print exposure predict measurements of cortical thickness within the left hemisphere reading network? Method: Sixteen monolingual English-speaking right-handed adults age 18-24 with average and above nonverbal IQ scores were given a battery of standardized reading tests. High resolution structural images were acquired via a T1-weighted MPRAGE. Data analyses focused on cortical thickness in reading-involved areas of the brain. The sample was divided on the basis of high and low reading skill. Results: There was a positive correlation between cortical thickness in temporo-parietal regions and phonological skill as well as reading comprehension; this was attributable to a trend toward thicker cortices among subjects with high comprehension and phonological skill. There was also a positive correlation between cortical thickness in Broca's area and verbal IQ, as well as reading comprehension. There was a general trend for lower-skilled readers to have thinner cortices within the reading network; data from an additional 10-15 subjects will allow for more substantive claims to be made regarding group differences. The correlation of print exposure with brain structure will also be examined. Conclusions: Preliminary results are among the first to show a relationship between cortical thickness and reading skill in adults. Similar patterns of correlations suggest that common neural structures underlie the development of comprehension and phonological skill.
Purpose: Typically domain knowledge in reading encompasses three areas: perceptions of reading knowledge, actual knowledge relative to word-level reading skills, and the transfer of word-level reading skills to students (Bos et. al., 2001). This study focuses on word-level reading skills, including the application of the alphabetic principle and general lexical knowledge. Research surrounding domain knowledge in reading suggests that practitioners have a high level of domain-specific knowledge to effectively administer reading instruction (Moats, 1999; McCutchen, Abbott, & Green, 2002; Spear-Swerling & Brucker, 2003). This study examined the relationship between a teacher's level of this domain-specific knowledge and student growth in reading with the following questions: 1) What is the current level of knowledge of educational leaders in the content area of reading as measured by the Educational Leaders' Domain Knowledge Survey? 2) Is there a relation between teacher knowledge of reading and student growth in reading? Method: This study included 31 teachers and 499 students from 8 different schools. Teachers were asked to complete a one- time Domain Knowledge Survey based on the work of Drs Moats, Foorman, Bos, adapted from the survey developed by Piasta and Connor (2006). Student achievement was measured by performance on the Woodcock Johnson Tests of Achievement-III (WJ-III) subtests of letter-word identification and picture vocabulary. All data were collected during the 2007-2008 school year. To examine knowledge on the Domain Knowledge Survey, the mean performance was calculated and cross tabulated to look at differences between school characteristics. To examine relation between domain knowledge and student achievement, a two-level nested model was used to determine correlations. Results and Conclusions: Grand mean teacher knowledge as measured by the Teacher Domain Knowledge Survey was 23.26 correct (SD = 6.54), with teachers in lower SES schools performing lower than those teachers in high SES schools. Though some of the results were not statistically significant, trends indicated that teacher knowledge predicted slightly higher student achievement gain on both subtests. These results suggest that there may be a relationship between school characteristics and the level of teacher knowledge, as well as the importance of examining teacher knowledge. These findings are important in looking at what knowledge teachers are equipped with. Additionally, it helps to further define the knowledge necessary to foster the relationship between teachers and student achievement.
Fluency and prosody are two areas that are getting great attention in reading research last years. An increasing number of studies supports fluency and prosody intervention in reading comprehension. Training studies have shown that prosodic skill improvements are involved in word reading and comprehension reading improvements using repeated reading methodology. This proposal aim is to present a pre-post test study design, with an experimental group trained with repeated reading methodology, modelling fluency and prosody, and a control group. 80 third graders will take part in the study. Pre and post test measures about decoding, reading comprehension, fluency, prosody and intelligence will be taken. Training will be carried out using children's tales in a karaoke display. Children have to read silently a piece of text with rhythmic clues (karaoke) while they are listening to an adult reading same piece. Afterwards, children have to read again trying to reproduce adult intonation contour. Methodology is partially based in Martin and Meltzer (1976). Training will last the first term, 3 sessions/week over 45m each. Fluency, adult-like intonation contour and reading comprehension improvements are expected. González-Trujillo's thesis (2005) reported similar data using this methodology. In addition, recent studies have shown that early acquisition of adult-like intonation contour predicts better comprehension later. It is suggested to include fluency and prosody training as a proper area to teach reading.
Amanda Goodwin (); A. Corinne Huggins; Maria Carlo; Diane August - The role of morphological awareness unique from phonological awareness in predicting overall reading achievement and vocabulary development in English language learners
Purpose Morphological awareness (MA) correlates more with spelling and reading than syntactic or phonological awareness (PA) (Siegel, 2008). Also, MA adds unique variance to decoding, comprehension, and spelling beyond PA (Kieffer & Lesaux, 2007; Nagy et al., 2006; Siegel, 2008). This study addresses two questions for English language learners (ELLs). 1) Does PA contribute significantly to reading achievement when controlling for MA and vocabulary knowledge? 2) Does MA have a significant effect on overall reading achievement either directly or indirectly through vocabulary development when controlling for PA? Methods The participants are 245 Spanish speaking ELLs from a grades 2-5 longitudinal study (August, DELSS, Center for Applied Linguistics). Ten observed measures were used: PA(gr3), 4 MA measures(gr4), and 5 WLPB vocabulary and reading measures(gr4&5). Structural Equation Modeling was used to create latent variables and to answer the two research questions. Results When controlling for MA and vocabulary, PA was a non-significant predictor of Reading Achievement. When controlling for PA, MA significantly predicted Reading Achievement, both directly and indirectly through vocabulary. Conclusions In this study, MA subsumes much of the predictive power associated with PA in previous studies with no MA measure. Also, MA makes a significant direct and indirect contribution through vocabulary to reading achievement. Nagy et al. (2006) showed MA significantly contributed to components of reading achievement for typical students. This study confirms MA's significant role in reading achievement for Spanish speaking ELLs. With most reading interventions being phonological in nature, this study suggests morphological interventions may improve reading and vocabulary outcomes for Spanish speaking ELLs.
Alexandra Gottardo (Wilfrid Laurier University)Adrian Pasquarella; Esther Geva; Fataneh Farnia - Does first language have an impact on second language reading strategies? A test of the psycholinguistic grain size hypothesis.
Purpose: Researchers have shown that a readers' native language will have an impact on the strategies used to read that language (Ziegler & Goswami, 2005). In addition, many researchers agree that first language (L1) reading proficiency has an impact on second language (L2) reading, and L1 phonology is related to the perception of L2 phonology. However, little research has examined whether the specific L1 has an impact on the strategies and organization of L2 reading skills. Method: Young children (age 6) who speak Spanish, Portuguese or Chinese as L1 and are learning English, L2, were tested. We conducted a series of factor analyses to determine whether L1 and L2 phonological awareness and reading skills are one or more factors. Results and conclusions: For all groups L1 skills tended to load onto a separate factor than L2 skills. However, when L2 skills were examined specifically to determine whether phonological awareness and reading were one or two factors, results differed across the groups. For these young readers, English word level reading and phonological awareness loaded highly onto one factor only for the Spanish and Portuguese speakers. However, for the Chinese speakers, English word level reading and phonological awareness loaded onto two separate, non-overlapping and internally consistent factors, reading and phonological awareness. These factors will be used to determine Latent Curve models for word level reading and phonological awareness in all three groups from kindergarten to Grade 2. (None of the groups is at ceiling in kindergarten on any test.) Understanding the diverse trajectories and patterns of L2 growth in reading based on L1 has theoretical and practical implications.
Purpose - Follow up data on a study comparing the efficacy of two parent-tutoring programs on reading achievement are reported (Goudey, Lovett, & Parrila, 2008). Results showed immediate gains on word, nonword, and cloze comprehension, but not on word fluency and text comprehension measures. Words correct per minute (WCPM) was calculated to measure text reading fluency. Method -Thirty-two children were randomly assigned to either Paired Reading (PR; Topping, 2001), modified PR/PHAST (Lovett, Lacerenza, & Borden, 2000), or a control condition. All completed reading measures before (Pretest) and after the 16 week intervention (Posttest), and one year later (F/U). Passages from the Standardized Reading Inventory-2 (Newcomer, 1999) were selected, the highest passage read at Pretest (85% accuracy), and WCPM calculated. Comparisons were made between Pretest and Posttest and Posttest and F/U. Results - Repeated measures ANOVAs indicated no differences between Pretest and Posttest; however, gains were revealed at F/U for the PR/PHAST group relative to the PR group (p< .022). Conclusions - WCPM appears sensitive to changes in text reading fluency and gains in fluency appear better demonstrated over the long-term rather than immediately following intervention.
Amy Grant ();Alexandra Gottardo; Esther Geva - The ongoing debate over the validity of reading comprehension tests: An analysis of second language learner's performance on the Neale analysis of reading
Nation and Snowling (1997) recently revived the debate over the issue of the validity of reading comprehension tests. These researchers found that the Neale Analysis of Reading and the Suffolk Reading Scale were differentially related to each other-where the Neale was more equally related to listening comprehension and single word reading and the Suffolk was more related to decoding. The current study further explores the Neale reading comprehension test among a sample of both English as a first language (L1) and English as a second language (L2) 3rd grade students. Correlations initially found differences in the extent to which the Neale was related to oral language and decoding in the two groups. The Neale was highly related to both variables in the L2 group (r = .65, r = .78) and was more modestly related to vocabulary and equally related to decoding in the L1 group (r = .45, r = .78). An exploratory factor analysis was also carried out on this data. This analysis revealed a four factor solution for both the L1 and the L2 data, however, the four factors included a different selection of variables. In the L2 data, the first factor included variables such as decoding and oral language, into which the measure of Neale reading comprehension also fell. For the English L1 data, oral language and decoding loaded onto two separate factors, where the Neale measure loaded almost equally onto both of these factors. Other factors in both language groups included those of cognitive functioning and phonological retrieval. This study lends evidence to the content validity of the Neale measure. However, further analyses should involve predictive validity to see whether or not this measure can accurately predict those with reading disabilities over time.
The purpose of the study was to explore the nature of linguistic feature distribution differences in the expository writing of young adults with and without specific learning disorders (Typical; Reading Disordered (RD); ADHD; RD+ADHD). In a previous study Gregg,Coleman, Stennett, & Davis(2002) used corpus-based analysis (CBA; Biber, 1988) and a factorial approach to compare the written discourse complexity/quality of students in the above categories. The current study attempts to address the question of why the four groups obtained different factor loadings and correlations. Utilizing counts of Biber's (1988) linguistic features (e.g., emphatics; hedges; first-person pronouns), we performed ANOVA and regression analyses to (1) identify group differences in feature usage and (2) predict, for each group, overall quality ratings as well as performance on measures of reading comprehension and listening comprehension. Implications for assessment and instruction will be discussed.
Purpose: The purpose of this presentation is to discuss issues concerning DNA collection within the context of multi-center/multi-disciplinary collaborations. Methods: The methods of establishing such collaborations involve multiple considerations, ranging from IRB reviews to participant recruitment. Specifically, in this paper, practical issues of biobanking within the context of a single large-scale project with multiple sites will be considered. Definitions of biobanking assume the collection and storing of samples for later analysis under conditions that permit efficient retrieval and optimum sample stability. Establishing a biobank involves a number of steps, including obtaining IRB approvals, developing strategies for specimen collection and optimal storage, and negotiating such issues as (1) response rates; (2) biobank size; (3) various sampling biases; (4) establishing safeguards against sample duplication and overlap with other biobanks; (5) securing resources for sample processing and maintenance; and (6) issues of ownership. This paper will review and comment on all of these considerations. In addition, it will discuss some specifics of biobanking in the context of working within the scope of LDRC, being supported by federal funds, and thus abiding by federal regulations according to their interpretation by the universities involved in LDRC. Results and Conclusion: Careful consideration of and action upon these issues has the potential to result in the establishment of a biorepository that can serve as a resource for the scientific community at large. In conclusion, the establishment of a bio repository today is embedded in a number of ethical and legal issues that need to be considered.
Purpose: In Greek, morphological suffixes are thought to constrain stress position. We investigated whether readers use this knowledge in addition to other stress assignment information such as the stress diacritic and the lexicon. Method: We constructed pseudowords with derivational morphological suffixes heavily biased towards a specific stress pattern, as determined by corpus analyses. These stimuli were matched to words with the same suffixes (and stress pattern) and to words ending in the same letter sequences stressed on a different syllable. Additional pseudowords and words without derivational suffixes completed the stimulus lists. The 276 stimuli were presented to 57 adult participants without a diacritic or with a diacritic on a syllable consistent or inconsistent with the suffix bias. Results: There was no significant effect of the suffix on word stress assignment. Words were stressed most often according to the diacritic, when present, or by lexical retrieval. Pseudowords were stressed most often according to the diacritic, when present. In contrast to words, readers used the derivational suffixes as cues to stress position to read the pseudowords. The effect of the suffix was larger for fully consistent stress neighborhoods and strongest in the absence of a stress diacritic. A default penultimate stress pattern was applied to pseudowords in the absence of other information. Conclusions: Stress-biasing derivational suffixes are effective sources of stress assignment only in the absence of competing information. Because this effect is limited by stress neighborhood consistency, it might be based on lexical activation and not a true morphological effect.
Spanish is a transparent language, yet in Chile many beginning readers fail to attain expected levels of decoding. Here we designed 8 novel phonological measures at the levels of syllable, rhyme and phoneme to explore predictive relations between phonological awareness (PA) in Spanish measured at kindergarten (phase1) and reading acquisition during the first year (phase2). Measures of rapid naming (RAN), short-term memory (STM), vocabulary and reading comprehension were also taken. 94 non-readers (mean age 5.7) participated in the study. The 8 PA tasks (isolation, blending, segmentation, rhyme) were presented as games using a laptop computer. Word length, word stress, word syllable structure and sonority were experimentally manipulated. The children were re-tested at the end of first grade, when reading tests were also administered. Performance in PA tasks (except phoneme segmentation) was significantly above chance (p<0.01) at phase1, with a grain size effect: syllables were easier than rhymes, which were easier than phonemes. At phase2 phonemes became a highly salient unit, as expected for this transparent language. Word length, stress, syllable structure and sonority all affected children's PA performance, at both time points. Further evidence for lexical effects on PA was shown in the RAN and STM tasks, which both manipulated phonological neighbourhood density. Children named words from sparse neighbourhoods faster, and recalled nonwords from dense neighbourhoods more accurately (p<0.01). All three phonological constructs (PA, RAN, STM) showed predictive relations with reading, and there were important links with vocabulary. Particularly, the assonant rhyme and phoneme isolation (word stress) tasks were consistently strong predictors of Spanish literacy.
Eraline Laponez Guerra (Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil); Cardoso-Martins, Cláudia; Corrêa, Marcela Fulanete - The relationship between home environment variables and progress in early reading acquisition: evidence from Brazilian low SES children
Purpose: This longitudinal study investigates the contribution of home environment variables to progress in early reading acquisition in a sample of Brazilian children from low SES families. Method: Two groups of children who had not started to read at the beginning of first grade participated: 13 successful learners (Mean age = 82 months), i.e., children who could read at least 10 out of 30 pronounceable nonwords correctly by the end of first grade, and 12 unsuccessful learners (Mean age = 85 months), i.e., children who could not read any of the 30 nonwords at the same occasion. All children were administered a range of literacy and/or literacy-related tasks at both the beginning and the end of the school year. In addition, the Middle Childhood Home Inventory (Caldwell & Bradley, 1984) was used to evaluate characteristics of the children's home environments. Results: The HOME inventory favored the group of successful learners, particularly with regard to the measures related to parental responsivity and home literacy practices. Conclusions: It is unlikely that the present results can be explained in terms of differences in the children's intelligence or school experiences. In effect, no difference was found between the successful and the unsuccessful learners-or, for that matter, between their mothers-on a measure of verbal intelligence. In addition, the two groups of children were attending the same classrooms in the same school. Instead, our results suggest that small differences in young children's home environments can make a substantial difference for their early educational progress.
Ying Guo, The Ohio State University, email@example.com Membership Status: Inactive member Shayne Piasta, The Ohio State University firstname.lastname@example.org Membership Status: Active member Laura Justice, The Ohio State University LJustice@ehe.osu.edu Membership Status: Active member Joan Kaderavek, University of Toledo email@example.com Membership Status: Active member Title: Relations among teacher self-efficacy, instructional quality, and preschoolers' language and literacy growth Spoken Paper Preference for participation: If program space is limited, I would be prepared to present an interactive paper (poster). Abstract Purpose: This study investigated whether teachers' self-efficacy and classroom quality (instructional and emotional support) were associated with preschoolers' language and literacy growth (print awareness, vocabulary). Method: Participants were 67 pre-k teachers and 388 3- to 5-year-old children participating in preschool programs for children at-risk. The Teacher Self-Efficacy Scale (Bandura, 1994) was used to assess teachers' reported sense of efficacy. Classroom quality was examined using a standardized observation tool in fall and spring of the year. Children's language and literacy skills were assessed in fall and spring of the year; a single measure of vocabulary represented the former variable, and a latent construct of print awareness was derived from measures of name-writing, alphabet knowledge, and print concept knowledge. HLM was used for statistical analysis. Results: Results indicated that teachers' reported self-efficacy significantly predicted children' print awareness gains; also, classroom quality significantly predicted this child outcome. Importantly, there was a significant interaction also between teachers' self-efficacy, classroom quality (emotional support), and vocabulary gains: for children of teachers with higher levels of self-efficacy, higher levels of emotional support were associated with higher vocabulary gains. Conclusions: Finding highlights the importance of teacher self-efficacy and classroom quality (as well as their interplay) in understanding children's literacy and language growth within preschool settings. Keywords: teacher education, emergent literacy
Purpose Numerous studies have shown that children's alphabetic skills are central to their later literacy growth, but less is known about the role that joint parent-child writing activities play in this process (Aram & Levin, 2001). The current study investigates how writing skills and parental assistance during a writing task relate to letter knowledge and decoding skills. Method Thirty five preschool children (Mage=4.52 years, Range=3.6 to 5.44 years) and parents participated in a writing activity (birthday invitations), coded for letters children wrote, as well as the graphophonemic (e.g., spelling out the word) and printing (e.g., drawing the letter in the air) support parents provided. Children's letter naming and decoding skills (WJIII) were also assessed. Results The children named on average 15.58 letters. The average decoding W score was 351.06. Parental assistance varied greatly across the 10 point scale, but on average parents gave their children partially-scaffolded support (e.g., naming letters individually). Regression analysis demonstrated that both types of parental support (Bprint=.465, p=.006; Bgrapho=.376, p=.028), letter knowledge (B=.863, p<.001), and number of letters written (B=.443, p=.008) predicted decoding skills. Furthermore, the relation between parental support and decoding skill was mediated by letter knowledge. Discussion These findings establish that parental support during joint writing activities predicts decoding skill in addition to letter knowledge. Results establish the important contribution of early writing experience to later literacy growth. Aram, D., & Levin, I. (2001). Mother-Child Joint Writing in Low SES Sociocultural Factors, Maternal Mediation, and Emergent Literacy. Cognitive Development, 16, 831-852.
Purpose: This study investigated the role of lexical activation as a source of information for assigning lexical stress in Spanish. If lexical activation is important for stress assignment, then target word stress should be affected by target similarity to other words. Method: Participants were psychology students. They performed word naming and lexical decision tasks (N= 24 and 41 respectively). We compared lists of words having many or few stress friends. We considered stress neighborhood to be a particular case of syllabic neighborhood. A syllabic neighbor is a word sharing a syllable (mainly the first one) with a target; then, a stress neighbor is a syllabic neighbor with the same stress pattern as the target. Results: Words with many stress friends had shorter naming latencies, but only when they had final or antepenultimate stress. In lexical decision, lower error rates were found for words with many stress friends, but only for words with antepenultimate stress. Despite differences being significant only by subjects, hierarchical regression analyses showed that stress neighborhood predicted reaction times in both tasks (when words with penultimate stress were excluded). Conclusions: These data suggest that frequent stress patterns may be weakly represented in the lexicon as they can be generated by a simple rule. Furthermore, they suggest that stress neighbors may also be syllabic neighbors. Therefore, stress neighbors do not necessarily have to share the final part of the target word, as proposed by Burani and Arduino (2004) for Italian.
Nicolás Gutiérrez-Palma (University of Jaén. Department of Psychology); Francisca Serrano; Gracia Jiménez-Fernández; y María del Carmen González-Trujillo - Stress awareness and orthographic stress knowledge in Spanish
This work aims to study how prosody can mediate the acquisition of orthographic knowledge in Spanish. In particular, we focus on stress awareness and on the acquisition of the Spanish stress mark, an acute accent placed over the stressed vowel (e.g., cajón: drawer). Children from 3rd to 6th grade participated in a cross-sectional study in which cognitive abilities (intelligence, memory and attention) and phonemic awareness were controlled for. They performed linguistic (stress awareness) and non-linguistic (rhythm) prosody tasks, and reading aloud and spelling tasks. Results highlight the relevance of stress awareness in learning to assign stress and using the Spanish stress mark. An important finding is that the relationship between stress awareness and stress knowledge in Spanish is independent of non-linguistic rhythm, PA and cognitive abilities.
Purpose: This study examined the growth trajectory of alphabetic skills during the school transition period (i.e., preschool through first grade) among poor American children, and the family factors that contribute to this development over time. Method: Data were drawn from the Family and Child Experiences Survey, 1997 cohort, a longitudinal study following 2000 children and families from Head Start (a preschool program for poor children) through first grade. Twice in preschool, children were administered the Woodcock-Johnson III (WJ) Letter-word subtest, tapping letter recognition and basic decoding; and in preschool through first grade, children were administered the WJ Dictation subtest, tapping writing skills. At each time point, data were collected on families (e.g., home learning environment, demographic factors), children (e.g., PPVT-III vocabulary, SSRS social skills, demographic factors), classrooms (e.g., teacher education, class size), and communities (e.g., safety). Results: Multilevel models showed that children's Letter-word skills grew significantly in Head Start, and that family factors (i.e., book reading, teaching letters) explained a significant and substantial portion of the variance (about 15%), beyond other variables. Dictation skills grew steadily over the school transition, with the greatest growth during kindergarten and the slowest change during first grade. A piecewise growth model showed that, in each of these three phases of learning, family factors explained the greatest amount of variance, relative to child, classroom, and community factors. Associations were strongest in preschool. Conclusions: Findings elucidate the import of specific family factors in the early letter recognition and writing development of disadvantaged preschoolers.
Purpose: In this study we explored the mechanism that might underlie the word length effect (the increase of reading latency with each additional letter) in beginning readers. One possibility is that the effect is based on the (serial) letter to sound translation (phonological recoding) often assumed to be used by beginning readers. To test this possibility concurrent articulation was used to suppress phonological recoding. We predicted that this suppression would decrease the effect of length. Method: Children in Grade 2 and in Grade 5 (127 in total) did a lexical decision task in one of three experimental conditions. The first was without a second task, the second was with concurrent articulation (repeating a non-word aloud) and the third was with concurrent tapping with the feet. The items in de LD task were 3, 4 or 5 letters long. Every lexicality-by-length-condition contained 15 items. Results: As expected, in Grade 2 children were affected by word length, whereas in Grade 5 children were not. However, the effect was not affected by concurrent articulation or tapping. In both grade words were read on faster than non-words. Conclusions: As in other studies the word length effect was found for beginning readers, but not for skilled readers. Concurrent articulation had no effect on the word length effect. Therefore articulation-based phonological recoding is not the basis of the word length effect. Alternative ways of phonological recoding as well as alternative theories about het basis of the word length effect will be discussed.
Purpose The purpose of this presentation is to investigate early precursors of dyslexia in a sample of Norwegian speaking children at familial risk. Research questions: What are the early oral language markers of later reading and spelling problems, and how do they relate longitudinally? Method Seventy children of dyslexic parents were followed longitudinally from age 2 through 9 and their cognitive and oral and written language skills were assessed yearly by means of a rather test battery. The research questions were answered by tracing the early markers of dyslexia retrospectively and with reference to subgroups of children with different reading profiles at age 9 (speed problems, decoding problems, reading comprehension problems and no problems). Data were addressed by means of analyses of variance and -regression. Results The results showed that early markers of dyslexia were found in a broad range of language areas (semantic, syntactic and phonological), and different reading profiles were associated with different early language profiles. Furthermore, the markers reflected the developmental milestones in typical language development. Conclusions The results have implications for theory of the interrelations between oral language skills and reading problems, for our understanding of the pathways to reading and spelling problems and of dyslexia across orthographies.
Corinne Haigh (Bishop's University); Caroline Erdos; Fred Genesee; Robert Savage - Individual differences in L2 language and literacy outcomes in English-speaking students in French Immersion programs
Purpose: 1) to understand individual differences in second language oral and reading acquisition among English-speaking students in French immersion (FI) programs; 2) to determine if predictors of oral language and literacy development in English also predict individual differences, and in particular difficulty, in French-as-a-second-language; 3) to determine to what extent and how risk for language and reading acquisition difficulties/impairment in a second language overlap; and 4) to examine reading comprehension in FI students, especially those at-risk for reading and/or language difficulty. Method: We administered a comprehensive battery of predictor tests in English to English-speaking students in early FI and in English programs at the beginning and end of Kindergarten (K). We subsequently administered a battery of tests of oral language and reading achievement in English and French at the end of grades 1 and 2. Results: Distinct factors related to language and reading development were evident in the predictor measures. There were significant correlations between the Fall and Spring results in K for virtually every test. K English scores predict performance on French language and literacy measures in Grade 1, and we will report on their relationship to Grade 2 scores. Conclusions: Risk for language difficulty and reading difficulty may be separable risk factors and incoming FI students could be assessed as early as Fall of K for risk for reading and language difficulties. We will discuss the relationship between the K predictor measures and reading comprehension outcomes, including fluency, accuracy, and overall comprehension in Grades 1 and 2.
Purpose: This study tested the validity of the frustration reading level, focusing on the strength of assumed relationships between oral reading accuracy and comprehension and between reading performance and affective response. Method: The study used a mixed methods approach to examine the reading performance of a sample of 70 second grade students from 5 classrooms, based on texts they chose during classroom-based, independent reading time. Data sources included the Gates-MacGinitie Reading Test (GMRT-4), the Motivation to Read Profile, reading logs, running records, passage-specific comprehension questions, and student interviews. Analyses were both quantitative (correlations, t-tests) and qualitative (open coding, constant comparative). Results: Regarding the relationship between accuracy and comprehension, the correlation between these two passage-specific variables was statistically significant but relatively low (.472). A case-by-case analysis revealed that frustration-level accuracy (90% or below) was often but not always aligned with frustration-level comprehension (50% or below). In terms of relationships between reading performance and affective responses, students' enjoyment of chosen texts was largely unrelated to text difficulty; texts judged "too easy" were more likely to be frustrating for students than were texts judged "too hard." Conclusions: These findings point out the need for further validation of the framework of reading levels, including the criteria for accuracy and comprehension and the assumed motivational consequences of difficult texts. For example, it appears that the existing criteria are not equally applicable across grade levels and reading contexts. The findings also have implications for classroom teachers, as they work to provide appropriate texts for students.
Jarmo Hamalainen (University of Jyväskylä); Paavo H. T. Leppänen; Kenneth Eklund; Tomi K. Guttorm; Jenny Thomson; Usha Goswami; Heikki Lyytinen - Perception of amplitude envelope onsets in Finnish children with dyslexia - behavioural and brain event-related potential findings
Purpose: The association between reading and spelling problems and low-level auditory processing in a regular orthography of Finnish was examined. Method: The amplitude envelope onset (AEO) processing of nine-year-old children with and without dyslexia was tested using behavioural discrimination tasks (N=30 for each group) as well as brain event-related potentials (ERPs; N=19/20 for children with dyslexia and typical reading skills). In addition, associations between amplitude envelope onset, phoneme duration discrimination as well as reading and spelling skills were examined in a path model. Results: Children with and without reading problems did not differ in their AEO discrimination abilities, however association between AEO discrimination and spelling skills was found within the group with dyslexia. This association was found to be mediated by phoneme duration discrimination. ERP findings from the same children showed a group difference in AEO processing 100 ms after stimulus onset with children with dyslexia showing less sensitivity to different rise times compared to typical readers. Conclusions: AEO perception seems to be linked to spelling through speech perception in children with dyslexia. Even though behavioural methods did not show group differences, ERPs did. Early processing difference between children with and without dyslexia was found in the N1 component of the ERPs indicating a low-level processing deficit at least in some children with dyslexia.
Introduction. Studies have shown that children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) tend to perform lower on tests of reading and mathematical performance than their typical peers. Quantitative genetic analyses have suggested a significant genetic overlap between measures of ADHD and reading. However, little has been done examining the genetic and environmental architecture of the covariance between ADHD and mathematics, in the context of reading skills. Methods. Analyses were based on maternal report of ADHD and tester-administered measures of decoding and mathematics in a sample of 227 pairs of 10-year-old MZ and DZ twins drawn from the Western Reserve Reading Project. Results. Results suggested that shared environmental factors only were responsible for the overlap between ADHD and mathematics (common environmental correlation, rc=.59). In contrast, the correlation between ADHD and reading was influenced primarily by genetics (genetic correlation, rg=.34). Separate from the genetic correlation between ADHD and reading, there was also a unique genetic correlation between reading and mathematics (rg=.71). Finally, there were significant independent genetic effects on mathematics, above and beyond those affecting reading. Conclusions. Children with attention problems have difficulties performing on both reading and mathematical achievement tests. Despite the unique genetic overlap between ADHD and reading, reading and mathematics, and independent effects on mathematics, there is no genetic covariance between ADHD and mathematics. Instead, it appears that there are only shared environmental influences linking attention problems with mathematical performance.
Purpose Compared to skilled comprehenders, poor comprehenders are impaired in activating semantic information and inhibiting inappropriate semantic information. Cross-modal priming investigated whether poor comprehenders show impairments in the time course of semantic activation and/or deactivation of homonym meanings. Method In Experiment 1, poor comprehenders and controls (matched for age and decoding) heard auditory homonym primes (bank) or unrelated primes then named pictures of dominant (money) or subordinate (river) associates. In Experiment 2 participants heard sentence primes that biased the subordinate meaning of sentence-final homonyms or were neutral, before naming dominant or subordinate picture targets. Results Dominant priming was significant for controls (but not for poor comprehenders) at 50ms ISI and for both groups at 250ms, 500ms and 1000ms ISIs. Subordinate priming was weak for controls at 50ms and marginally significant at 250ms ISI, but sharply declined by 500ms ISI. Poor comprehenders did not show subordinate priming at any ISI, despite showing familiarity with these meanings. When the homonyms were in subordinate-biased sentence context the poor comprehenders showed less subordinate priming and a maintenance of dominant (inappropriate) priming at 1000ms ISI. Conclusions Poor comprehenders showed a slower onset of semantic activation and did not show early exhaustive access to subordinate and dominant meanings. They were less sensitive to biasing subordinate context and showed increased inappropriate activation. We argue that poor comprehenders have impairments in the activation of semantic information (particularly for more abstract subordinate relationships) and that this underlies their difficulties with the persistence of inappropriate information within the semantic system.
Purpose: There were two research aims: (1) to examine whether Chinese children at familial risk for dyslexia had greater difficulties in reading-related skills than low-risk children did; and (2) to find out what preschool skills predicted dyslexia status among Chinese first graders. Method: 99 high-risk and 44 low-risk Chinese 4-year-old children were recruited at the beginning of a 4-year longitudinal study. 73 high-risk and 37 low-risk 7-year-old children were followed up in Grade 1. The children were tested annually on a wide range of language and reading-related skills. Standardized tests were administered in Grade 1 to ascertain the dyslexia status of the children. Results: Results of ANCOVA showed that the High Risk group performed significantly worse than the Low Risk group in phonological awareness, rapid naming, orthographic skills, speeded word reading, and dictation when family income was controlled. However, the percentages of children becoming dyslexic in Grade 1 were similar in the two groups. Results of logistic regression analyses showed that the best preschool predictors of Grade 1 dyslexia status were rapid naming and Chinese word reading. The overall correct classification rate was 95.4%. Conclusions: Chinese children at familial risk for dyslexia show greater difficulties on a wide range of reading-related skills than low-risk children do. The best preschool predictors of dyslexia status in Chinese are rapid naming and word reading, which are different from phonological skills being the best predictors in English. These preschool predictors help to develop early screening tools for identifying Chinese at-risk children.
Fumiko Hoeft (UCSF); Jessica Black; Charles Hulme; Hiroko Tanaka; Allan Reiss - Neural correlates of low achievement (LA), aptitude-achievement discrepancy (AAD) and response to intervention (RTI) models in poor reading children
Purpose - To perform fMRI analyses with implications for understanding the neural correlates of three major classification models for reading disability: LA, AAD and RTI. Method - Functional MRI (fMRI) data during phonological processing were examined in a total of 60 3rd and 5th grade poor readers initially identified by school teachers and confirmed by neuropsychological testing. Among these, 39 children underwent remedial programs focused on word-level instructions. Regression analyses were performed between brain activation and decoding scores, between brain activation and difference in verbal IQ-equivalent and decoding scores, and between brain activation and change in decoding scores before and after intervention in order to examine the LA, AAD and RTI models, respectively. Results - Lower achieving children showed less activation mainly in the left precentral, inferior frontal, parieto-temporal and occipito-temporal regions and greater right parieto-temporal and occipito-temporal regions. Children with greater discrepancy scores showed less left occipito-temporal activation and greater left prefrontal activation. Children with less change in reading skills in response to interventions showed less right occipito-temporal and greater left inferior frontal activation. Conclusions - This is the first neuroimaging study to examine the neural correlates of different classification models in poor reading children. The results indicate that there are large differences based on the model and that the neurobiological interpretation of reading disability may change depending on the classification used. Future fMRI analyses comparing typical and poor readers defined by different classification models, as well as detailed examination of the relationship between various neuropsychological measures will be of interest.
Recent research has indicated that skilled word recognition may rely in part on aspects of superior visual processing, such as visual sequential memory (Pammer et al, 2005) and 'visual-attentional' span (Valdois et al, 2004). Two experiments were conducted on large samples of first-year university students, with silent word reading indexed by lexical decision on printed words and nonwords of 4 to 7 letters in length. Participants viewed sequences of 3, 4, or 5 meaningless symbols presented for either 500 ms or 750 ms per item. The results of both experiments revealed that word recognition skill did not correlate with recognition memory for the order of the shapes, once skill in discriminating between the shapes was partialled out. In the second experiment, a variant of the partial-report format of the 'visual-attentional span' task was administered. Participants saw sequences of either 4 or 5 randomly selected consonants for a total of 200 ms, followed immediately by a single letter presented underneath one of the original locations. Participants had to judge whether the letter was the same as or different from the one that had been in that location in the original string. Skill at this judgment did not contribute to efficient word recognition independently of skill in identifying individually presented letters and in detecting specified phonemes in spoken words. The results indicate that, at least using the methods described, efficient silent word reading in normal young adults does not depend on either superior visual sequential memory or superior 'visual-attentional' span.
Pamela Hook (MGH Institute of Health Professions)Katharine Radville; Paul Macaruso; Charles Haynes - Increasing silent reading comprehension in 3rd grade inner city children: the role of fluency training, strategy training and cognitive linguistic skills
Purpose A significant need exists for research pertaining to the efficacy of specific methods for improving reading fluency and silent reading comprehension. Further, the relationship between fluency training and silent reading comprehension has not been carefully investigated. This study examined the effectiveness of fluency training alone and in combination with strategy instruction on silent reading comprehension in inner city third grade children. Method The study examined the performance of 57 students over four months. Two treatment and one control group were comprised of average decoders with developing oral reading fluency. The effectiveness of a repeated readings fluency program alone and in combination with a strategies based program was evaluated. The control group received classroom based reading instruction only. All students received the same amount of total reading instruction. Standardized pre- and post-test measures of fluency, silent reading comprehension, and cognitive-linguistic skills were administered. Results The groups were comparable across reading measures at baseline. The fluency intervention alone was significantly more effective for improving silent reading comprehension than the combined treatment or classroom based instruction. However, gains across groups were equivalent for fluency and cognitive-linguistic measures. No cognitive-linguistic skills predicted gains in reading comprehension. Conclusions These results provide important information regarding the design and implementation of curriculum for developing reading comprehension in inner city children. This study provides the first demonstration that repeated readings-based training can produce generalized benefits for standardized reading comprehension tests. It is also indicates that fluency training may be appropriate for use with students with varying cognitive-linguistic profiles.
Although both behavioral and neurofunctional findings indicate the occurrence of compensatory processes among adult impaired readers (Ingvar et al, 2002; Rumelhart, 1977; Shaywitz et, 2003; Stanovitch, 1980), these processes are not well understood. The current study examines whether executive function processes might serve as a compensating system for high functioning university dyslexic students enabling them to enhance their reading skills. 17 dyslexic and 19 skilled readers who were university students matched on gender and IQ participated. The subjects were assessed on comprehensive reading, cognitive, and executive functioning batteries. Analysis of variance procedures indicated that the dyslexic readers were more efficient than the skilled readers in generating and implementing strategies, suggesting high strategic flexibility. Further, dyslexic displayed superior performance on planning spatial mazes and visual memory of patterns. Statistically significant correlations between reading achievements and performance in both tasks were obtained. Our findings suggest that cognitive flexibility and visual memory of patterns can be a compensation mechanism allowing dyslexic reader to overcome some of their reading skills limitations. New directions for reading remediation intervention programs are suggested.
Purpose Innovation configuration (ICs) tools have been developed to assist teacher educators in evaluating their syllabi to determine the extent to which they are addressing the critical elements of reading research and instruction. Innovation configurations are tools that are used to describe desirable features of educational programs and to communicate different degrees of implementation of critical program components. Course syllabi were the principal data-gathering tool in recent research about the preparation of teachers (Butin, 2004; Steiner & Rozen, 2004; Walsh, Glaser, & Wilcox, 2006). These and other results confirm the value of course syllabi in the evaluation of educational programs. Course syllabi are also a crucial component of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the principal basis for constituent-group approval of programs. However, there is no one instrument used by these entities; a reliable and valid method for reviewing syllabi is needed. The use of innovation configurations (ICs) to assess and self-assess syllabi in relation to a specific program of study is recommended. Such assessments will assist instructors in determining to what extent the critical components of that topic are addressed. Innovation configurations in the area of evidence-based reading instruction, classroom organization and behavioral management, and strategy instruction will be shared. The ICs are tools to improve teacher education by ensuring the critical components of evidence-based research and instruction are adequately addressed in the syllabi. . Method Innovation configurations were used in the evaluation of the coursework in 26 special education teacher preparation programs in institutions of higher education (IHEs) in a populous state, and 25 general education elementary certification programs are currently being reviewed. The innovation configurations that will be shared are intended for use in evaluating teacher preparation coursework and continuing education needs in key areas of evidence-based practice in reading and behavior management. Results and Conclusions Innovation Configurations are tools that can be used to assess the development and implementation of educational innovations (i.e. integrating new research into teacher preparation programs); fidelity of instructional practices; and the content of teacher education programs and continuing professional development. IC's have the potential to standardize the many ongoing efforts to assess syllabi to determine alignment with state standards and/or evidenced-based research.
Purpose Among native Spanish speakers and native English speakers in dual language programs, what is the nature of the relationship between English and Spanish reading ability over time? Method We estimated a structural equation model with both autoregressive and cross-lagged effects. The sample consisted of 185 dual language students in four different programs. Data were collected across four years, from second grade through fifth grade. The reading latent variables in both languages (English and Spanish) at each of the four time points consisted of three indicators: letter word ID, passage comprehension, and word attack. Within each language, we correlated the errors of the same indicator across all four time points. A confirmatory factor analysis of the specified measurement model exhibited adequate fit (2 (188)=450.17; 2/df=2.4; CFI=.94; RMSEA=.087). Results Our final model exhibited reasonable fit (2(199)=478.2 2/df=2.4; CFI=.94; RMSEA=.087). We found evidence of a 'zig zag' pattern of cross-linguistic transfer, with significant associations from Spanish time 1 to English time 2, from English time 2 to Spanish time 3, and from Spanish time 3 to English time 4, but not from English time 1 to Spanish time 2, from Spanish time 2 to English time 3, or from English time 3 to Spanish time 4. Interestingly, the results did not vary by native language. Conclusions The 'zig zag' pattern of significant relationships across languages from year to year raises interesting questions about the nature of transfer and calls for further research with larger sample sizes to more fully explore this issue.
Purpose Our purpose was to compare two approaches to decoding intervention: emphasis on accuracy vs. emphasis on automaticity. Method Participants were 56 struggling readers in second grade, who were randomly assigned to two groups and assessed on decoding accuracy, decoding fluency, and oral reading fluency. Students were individually post-tested on the same assessments and were administered three ORF passages at every 10th session. Small-group intervention emphasized either decoding accuracy or automaticity, based on group assignment. Results Data were analyzed using ANCOVAs (α = .017) with the following model: DV = intercept + condition + pretest + sounds page. The number of sounds pages reached by each student was included to control for amount of exposure to curriculum. For all analyses, covariates were significant. For decoding accuracy, no significant differences between conditions (p > .017) were found. All students significantly improved from pre- to post-test (t = 7.31, p <.001). Condition was significant for the other analyses: TOWRE PDE (F = 11.61, p = .001, E.S. = .78), complex decoding (F = 17.1, p < .001, E.S. = .92), and oral reading rate and accuracy (F = 7.5, p = .008, E.S. = .52). Analysis of differential amounts of growth using the multiple ORF scores and growth curve analysis is ongoing and will also be presented. Conclusions Intervention focused on increasing automaticity was more successful than intervention focused on accuracy, even though on average students in the automaticity condition were not exposed to as many letter sounds or words as the accuracy group. In addition, intervention focused on lower-level skills transferred to oral reading rate and accuracy in grade-level connected text.
Purpose This presentation is intended to draw together the implications of the papers presented in the symposium in order to generate discussion. Method With studies of reading development as a backdrop, this paper will draw out theoretical, methodological and practical implications of research that uses a prospective longitudinal approach to study reading difficulties/dyslexia. Results The present findings highlight language-specific aspects of dyslexia. Despite the variety of languages studied, there is surprising consensus with regard to the risk factors for dyslexia. Conclusions The results have implications for understanding of reading development and dyslexia.
Purpose: In Finnish, hyphens are inserted in compounds with the same vowels around the constituent boundary (ajo-ohje, 'driving instruction'). Adults take advantage of these hyphens in processing long 12-15-letter compounds (unelma-ammatti, 'dream job'), but are disrupted by hyphenation in short 7-9-letter compounds (ajo-ohje) (Bertram & Hyönä, submitted). The explanation is that long compounds are processed via constituents and hyphenation helps to identify these constituents swiftly, whereas short compounds are processed holistically and hyphenation disrupts this process (Bertram & Hyönä, 2003). In the present study, we examined how hyphenation affects short compound-processing among 2nd, 4th and 6th-grade children. We hypothesized that the role of hyphenation changes from beneficial to disruptive as reading skills develop. Less proficient readers may need to make more use of sublexical units, but more proficient readers may prefer adult-like holistic processing. Method: The participants' eye movements were recorded while reading sentences containing short compounds (7-9 letters) in either hyphenated (ajo-ohje) or concatenated (iltasatu, 'bedtime story') format. Results: Children from all grades were slower with hyphenated than concatenated compounds, suggesting that hyphenation disrupts reading from the 2nd grade onwards. However, post-hoc analyses showed that for less proficient 2nd graders hyphenation is to some extent beneficial. Conclusions: Breaking down short compounds in more digestible pieces is only needed by non-proficient readers. Already proficient 2nd graders prefer to process short compounds holistically. Implications of the use of hyphens in reading instruction (in Finland they are used in 1st and 2nd grade ABC-books to separate syllables, e.g., 'hy-phe-na-tion') will be discussed.
The purpose of this study was to determine whether counts of kindergartners' conventional and/or invented spellings in their classroom writing assignments predicted their spring scores on WRMT subtests and an expressive vocabulary test.These data represent 165 kindergartners from 21 classes in a large city. All classes used the Breakthrough to Literacy (BTL) curriculum, in which writing daily is an essential practice. Most (n = 104) children came from homes in which English was not the primary language spoken. Near the end of the 2006-2007 school year, the children were given three subtests of the Woodcock Reading Mastery Test and an expressive vocabulary test. Across the year, correct and invented spellings showed expected patterns of growth in most classrooms. These data were presented at SSSR in 2008. Two April-May spelling feature scores-total correct spellings and a dichotomous variable indicating the presence/absence of at least two incorrect but plausible invented spellings-were tested for correlation with spring test scores in hierarchical regression analyses controlled for home language. Associations were modest, but the presence/absence of invented spellings (which were absent in 62 cases) tended to be the better predictor of WRMT Word Attack and Word Identification scores and of expressive vocabulary scores. These results are consistent with earlier studies showing that children's use invented spelling in kindergarten classroom work is associated with good progress in beginning literacy.
From the orthographic lexicon point of view, word recognition development may be described as a discrimination process, as pointed by Castles et al. (1999). Because of the increasing of neighbour words, this process needs to become progressively more "fine-tuned". The aim of this study was to examine whether developing readers differ in the way they encode orthographic information, by investigating orthographic coding in normal reader children with different spelling levels (Low vs. High). The masked priming procedure (stimulus onset asynchrony = 57 ms) was used to explore developmental changes in the discrimination of lexical word recognition processes. Children (grade 3 and grade 5) had to perform a lexical decision task. The material was composed of pairs of five-letter primes and targets. Primes were pseudo-words orthographically related or unrelated with targets. Both primes and their formally related targets had a formal neighbour of higher frequency than itself. For example, in French "sable" (sand) was primed by the pseudo-word "pable" whose most frequent orthographic neighbour is "table" (table). Orthographic (N>7) and phonological neighbourhoods were controlled. Results evidenced that the priming effects differed according to reading advance and spelling levels. These effects may give information about how orthographic representations distinguish from one another. These results were interpreted in terms of activation and selection processes operating in visual word recognition.
Recent studies have identified prosodic sensitivity and production as important factors in reading and spelling. The current study furthers this work by comparing children's stress accuracy in derived word production (in isolation) to spelling accuracy of derived words that vary in orthographic and phonological similarity from their base words. We expected that children would use their morphophonological knowledge to perform both tasks. We also expected that we might see stronger relationships between stress accuracy and spelling accuracy when the words spelled included phonological changes. Fifth graders from public schools in Memphis, Tennessee, participated in the study. The children used English as their primary language, and passed both a language and a hearing screening. Stress accuracy was measured by having children produce derived words with stress-changing suffixes (e.g., put -ity on the end of festive to produce festivity). Words were balanced for lexical frequency and semantic relatedness between the stem and derivation. Productions were recorded then transcribed and coded for accuracy. The spelling words were balanced for frequency (equal number of high, mid, and low frequency), and were divided into similarity conditions based on whether a phonological or orthographic difference between the base and derived word was present. This yielded four similarity conditions: Transparent (no phonological or orthographic change, e.g., amazement), Orthographic difference but no phonological difference (e.g., argument), Phonological difference but no orthographic difference (e.g., moisture), and Both orthographic and phonological difference (e.g., muscular). The words were, recorded in isolation and in a sentence, then randomized and presented auditorily via computer as a traditional spelling test. Children typed their responses. There was no time limit. For these analyses, the whole word spelling was judged as either correct or incorrect. The Word Attack (WA) subtest from the WRMT provided a decoding measure. Preliminary results (n=18) show that spelling was worst when the derived word differs from the base word on both orthographic and phonological dimensions. The other three similarity conditions (i.e., transparent, orthographic change only, phonological change only) showed no significant differences among them. Although both stress accuracy and WA, another skill dependent on phonological processing, were strongly and positively correlated with the different types of derived words, stress accuracy showed the type of variation in degree of association that we expected. Children who performed well on the stress production task also performed well on spelling derived words with phonological differences, and remarkably well when both phonological and orthographic differences were present. The results support a model of lexical representation with close ties between orthographic, phonological, and morphological components.
Purpose The majority of the world's population (approximately 70% of the general population and almost 90% of its children) lives in the developing world, yet the majority of psychological research and assessment is carried out in the developed world, and mostly in the West (especially Europe and North America). The purpose of this talk is to give the audience background information about the educational practices and infrastructure in Ghana and Zambia in order to set the stage for describing a number of scientific studies that were carried out on specific reading disabilities in these two countries. Method We will provide quantitative information on schooling resources, literacy rates, language prevalence, availability of reading materials, as well as the availability of assessments and evaluation tools to identify children with specific reading disabilities in Ghana and Zambia, respectively. We will also situate students' achievement in these two countries as compared to their African neighbors. Results We will show the lack of resources for general education as well as in the areas of identification and programming for children with special needs. Conclusions We will discuss the challenges facing researchers exploring learning disabilities in resource-deprived settings and conclude on the urgent need for psychologists in developed countries to collaborate with their colleagues from developing nations to construct tools that will enable us to better study and understand children living in the developing world.
Rhona S. Johnston (University of Hull)Rhona Johnston;Joyce Watson;Sarah Logan - A comparison of reading and spelling ability in 10 year old children taught by analytic and synthetic phonics programmes
Purpose The purpose of this study was to examine whether the early advantage for reading and spelling shown by children in a synthetic phonics programme, as opposed to analytic phonics programmes, was maintained after 6 years at school. Method A group of children (N=190) who had learnt to read by a synthetic phonics method in the first year of school was compared with a group of children (N=203) who had learnt to read by an analytic phonics method. At the end of the sixth year of school, word reading was tested using the WRAT, reading comprehension was tested using the Group Reading Test, and spelling was tested using the Schonell spelling test. Analyses of variance were carried out to compare methods of teaching, and sex differences. Results Children who had learnt by the synthetic phonics approach had better word reading, spelling and reading comprehension skills. Synthetic-phonics-taught boys read words better than the girls in their classes, and had equivalent reading comprehension and spelling ability. With analytic phonics teaching, boys performed less well than the girls in their classes in reading comprehension and spelling, but had equivalent word reading scores. With synthetic phonics teaching, not only were there fewer underachieving boys, there more high achievers. Conclusions Both boys and girls were found to benefit more from synthetic phonics than analytic phonics teaching, however the benefits were particularly marked for boys. It is proposed that synthetic phonics helps boys in particular to develop links between print and phonology.
Manon Jones (University of Edinburgh)Manon Jones; Mateo Obregon, Louise Kelly, Holly Branigan - Rapid Automatized Naming: Multi-item processing requirements discriminate readers of different abilities.
In two experiments, we examined the components of Rapid Automized Naming (RAN) that affect performance levels for non-dyslexic and dyslexic readers. Experiment 1 varied task format. We compared continuous (or serial) RAN lists with two discrete versions: A discrete-static condition presented letters individually in the same screen position. A discrete-matrix condition presented letter individually but in the same screen positions as letters in the continuous versions. Thus, we could isolate the effect of sequencing multiple items (continuous list) from the necessity of making saccadic eye-movements (discrete-matrix) and from the recognition and retrieval of individual letters (discrete-static). Whilst dyslexic readers were generally slower than non-dyslexic readers across all three conditions, a double dissociation occurred in the continuous condition: The presence of multiple items in the continuous list condition marginally facilitated non-dyslexic readers whilst impairing dyslexic readers performance levels compared with performances on discrete lists. Experiment 2 used eye-tracking methodology to examine dyslexic readers' look-ahead span (the distance in letters between items the participant is currently fixating versus articulating) when naming continuous lists of letters. Results showed that dyslexic readers' look-ahead spans were smaller than non-dyslexic readers' look-ahead spans; particularly if letters to the right of the item being articulated were similar to and therefore confusable with the item being articulated (e.g., "k" then "q"). These results suggest that in contrast with non-dyslexic readers, dyslexic readers are less inclined to process more than one item at once. Multi-item processing characteristic of continuous RAN lists potentially confuses individual letter processing for dyslexic readers.
Purpose - The purpose of this study was to test the 'Peter Effect' (Applegate & Applegate, 2004), according to which one cannot be expected to give what one does not possess. Method -A survey of language constructs related to reading was administered to 86 teacher educators and 13 most frequently used university reading education textbooks were analyzed for the presence of the content recommended by National Reading Panel (NRP). To further test the Peter Effect, the above survey was administered to 55 preservice teachers taught by teacher educators with the knowledge of language constructs and 118 preservice teachers taught by teacher educators without that knowledge. Results - The analysis of the completed survey showed that many teacher educators were not knowledgeable in the basic concepts about language and literacy, especially with respect to alphabetic and morphological principles. An examination of the textbooks also revealed a significant lack of information for teaching these principles. Hierarchical regression analysis showed that preservice teachers taught by teacher educators with the required knowledge performed significantly better on the survey than those preservice teachers who were taught by teacher educators without the knowledge of language constructs. The performance of the two groups of preservice teachers on the survey maps to the performance of their respective teacher educators. Conclusions - Results validate the 'Peter Effect' in teacher education, as preservice teachers cannot be expected to acquire meta-linguistic knowledge that is essential to provide quality instruction in reading if teacher educators do not have this knowledge and textbooks do not provide the information.
Melanie Jucla (Laboratoire Octogone-Lordat, Université Toulouse II le Mirail); Rodolphe Nénert; Jean-François Démonet - Opposite effects of phonological vs. visual orthographic trainings in a letter rhyming task: an ERP study in developmental dyslexia.
Purpose Phonological abilities are specifically enhanced after trainings based on phonemic awareness. In this study we investigated the Event-related potentials (ERPs) correlates of these effects. Method ERPs were obtained from 32 electrodes in 24 French children with developmental dyslexia (mean age, 10 years 7 months) during a rhyming letter task. Subjects had to respond whether the letter visually presented rhymed with /e/. All the children have received two intensive evidence-based trainings: phonemic awareness (PA) and visual orthography (VO) trainings (each of them lasted two months) in a cross-over design. They were tested before and after each training phase. Results Reaction time and response accuracy were improved after both training phases. At posterior sites, there was an opposite effect of the trainings: 1) on the latency of the first negative event (150-250 ms) which was shortened following PA relative to VO and 2) on the amplitude of the P300 event which increased after PA but decreased after VO. Finally the mean amplitude of a late left frontal-central positivity (400-550 ms) was increased after PA only. Conclusions Phonological training specifically affects both the sublexical (N200) and phonological (late positivity) processing whereas visual orthographic training seemed to show effects on attentional components (P300).
Purpose: This study determined the feasibility and efficacy of parental use of a print-referencing reading style on the print knowledge of language impaired (LI) preschoolers. Method: Forty parent-child dyads were randomly assigned to two intervention conditions: reading with a print-referencing style (n = 21) in which parents integrated questions focused on print into their reading interactions or a comparison picture-focused style (n=19). All children were four years old, exhibited LI, and completed pre- and posttest assessments of print knowledge. Feasibility of the intervention was determined by examining completion rates for the intervention (48 home reading sessions) and fidelity of implementation; efficacy was determined by examining children's print knowledge gains as a function of treatment group (print-referencing vs. comparison). Results: In terms of feasibility, the majority of parents completed the intervention, but attrition rates were high (24% and 32% attrition for print-referencing and comparison conditions, respectively). The primary predictor of attrition was family socioeconomic status. For parents who completed the program, fidelity exceeded 90% in terms of (a) completing all reading sessions and (b) adhering to a print-referencing style. In terms of efficacy, as-treated analysis showed that children whose parents used a print-referencing style exhibited significantly greater gains in print knowledge relative to those in the comparison condition when controlling for child age. Conclusion: Findings are important because children with LI exhibit significant lags in their attainment of print knowledge; consequently, identifying effective means for increasing this domain of emergent literacy is an important focus in current research and clinical practice.
Purpose: This study attempts to investigate early reader's implicit orthographic knowledge as it varies by the phonological demands of individual tasks. If children have an implicit orthographic knowledge, they should look longer at illegal orthographic combinations than legal ones. We use eye-tracking technology to measure children's implicit orthographic knowledge. Method: 5-year-olds and 6-year-olds performed 3 tasks. The non-word decoding task, with high phonological demands, involved orthographically legal and illegal combinations. In the orthographic judgment task, with low phonological demands, children were asked to choose the better "word' between 2 nonwords, one orthographically legal and the other illegal. The phonological judgment task is similar to the orthographic judgment task, except they choose the "word" that is better for a spoken "word"; here children must balance phonological and orthographic demands. Results: Preliminary results show that when the phonological load is low, both 5-and -6-year-olds show implicit orthographic knowledge, i.e., looking longer at the orthographically illegal nonword. When phonological load is high, 5-year-olds show little implicit orthographic knowledge while 6-year-olds are beginning to be able to detect illegal orthographic violations. When the phonological load is more balanced, 6-year-olds show increased implicit knowledge while 5-year-olds do not. Conclusions: These results suggest that the interaction between orthographic and phonological knowledge varies depending on reading experience and the phonological demands of the task. While younger readers show difficulty integrating the two streams of knowledge, 6-year-olds show some skill in balancing orthographic and phonological knowledge when the task demands are balanced.
Purpose: The aim of this study was to examine the acquisition and development of English as an additional language (EAL) reading amongst Hebrew first language (L1) students who began EAL studies in 4th grade. Method: In this cross-sectional study, 30 students from each grade 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 (n = 180) from middle SES backgrounds participated. The independent variable was student grade. Dependent variables included knowledge of letter sounds, orthographic patterns, word recognition, naming and reading speed. Data analyses included correlations as well as ANOVA procedures with Tukey comparisons comparing results between sub groups of grades. Results: Letter knowledge reached close to ceiling levels from 6th grade and correlated with word recognition for initial grades only. This, in contrast to orthographic pattern knowledge which significantly correlated with word recognition for most grades. Orthographic pattern knowledge improved between 5th and subsequent grades and between 6th and the two oldest grades. Word recognition significantly improved from grade to grade. RAN speed decreased between 5th and 6th grade. Following significant improvements between the lower grades in word reading speed, subsequent grades did not show significant increases in mean reading speed which remained at 111 words a minute. Conclusions: Letter sound knowledge contributed to initial EAL word recognition whereas orthographic pattern knowledge remained crucial for EAL word recognition for all 6 grades. Reading speed remained relatively slow particularly when considering expected reading speed for fluent reading in L1 research. These results highlight a prolonged EAL literacy acquisition process which may be further aggravated as a result of acquiring the opaque English orthography as an additional orthography.
Purpose: Although numerous studies have concluded the importance of phonological processing skills (phonological awareness, phonological memory, and phonological access to lexical storage) in reading development, the nature of the relations between these skills is not as clear. Both a separate abilities model and a two factor model with combined PA and PM have been found to best describe the skills. The current study investigated the relation of the phonological processing skills by utilizing a longitudinal sample that covers the important period of emergent literacy. Method: 260 preschool children participated in a longitudinal study of literacy skills that included yearly assessment of PA, PM, and rapid naming tasks. A series of confirmatory factor analyses (CFA) were conducted to determine the best model. At each time point, three a priori models were tested, including a specific abilities model, a combined PA and PM factor, and a general abilities model. Potential developmental changes in the nature of phonological processing were examined by comparing the results of the CFAs at each of the three time points. Results: Chi-square difference testing was utilized to determine which model provided the best fit at each of the time points. Results were somewhat mixed, with the 3-factor model providing the best fit at times 1 and 3, and the 2-factor model providing equivalent fit to the three-factor at time 2. Conclusions: Despite growth of the phonological processing skills from the preschool period onward, the results favor the specific abilities model as the best overall explanation for young children's performance on phonological processing tasks.
Project Purpose This research project was designed to better understand cognitive causes of reading difficulty. Specifically, we were interested to understand whether the cognitive causes of reading difficulty differed depending on whether students had reading disability (RD) alone, or RD comorbid with math disability (MD) or RD comorbid with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We hypothesized that these three groups of students, RD vs. RD+MD vs. RD+ADHD, would differ in the cognitive difficulties underlying their reading difficulty. Method We recruited 400 students and screened them for RD, MD, and ADHD. We identified and tested on a larger battery approximately 100 students in each of four groups: RD, RD+MD, RD+ADHD, and no RD. The students were tested on a range of reading, math, attention, and cognitive measures. Tests were administered by trained research assistants over 3 test sessions, each of 60 minutes or less. The students without RD was used as a norming group for some measures without known national norms. Results & Conclusions Data analysis is not yet complete, but we plan to conduct three separate profile analyses to determine whether the three disability subgroups differ in terms of their reading skill, math skill, and cognitive abilities. We expect differences among the three types of students with RD, and with students without RD, in their reading, math, and cognitive profiles. We are particularly interested to examine differences in cognitive profiles. If differences exist, we see the examination of the underlying cognitive difficulties as a potential first step toward developing interventions that are better tailored to the cognitive and academic problems of different types of RD students.
Purpose: The popular media buzzes with assertions that the use of text-messaging abbreviations, or "textisms," is ruining our ability to spell. However, recent authors have suggested that the greater use of textisms is associated with better literacy skills (e.g., Plester, Wood, & Bell, 2008). The present study compared students' efficiency in reading and writing text messages in conventional English and in textisms, and examined links with more general language skills. Method: 55 undergraduates, all regular text-messagers, composed and read aloud a set of messages on a mobile phone, in conventional English and in textisms. Students were also assessed on reading, writing, and phonological and grammatical awareness. Results: Participants used textisms readily when asked to do so, producing an average of 21 per 45-word message. Students were significantly faster at composing messages in textisms (mean = 220 s) than in conventional English (258 s). However, textism messages took significantly longer to read aloud, and elicited significantly more errors (means = 26 s, 2.61 errors) than conventionally spelled messages (14 s, 0.27 errors). Participants most familiar with texting were most efficient at reading and writing all message types, but phonological and grammatical awareness also significantly correlated with ability to decipher written textisms. Conclusions: Using textisms might be quick for the writer, but it can cost extra time and confusion to the reader. At least in undergraduates, efficiency in textism use seems not to reflect reading and writing skills, although better linguistic awareness may help decipher this system of abbreviated spelling.
Purpose: When writing systems deviate from one-to-one associations between letters and phonemes, the deviations are usually not random. For example, deviations from the typical /k/ and /g/ pronunciations of English <c> and <g> are influenced both by adjacent context (the front or "soft" pronunciations are more common before <e> and <i> than before <a>, <o>, and <u>) and nonadjacent context (front pronunciations are more common when a word has a Latinate suffix, such as the <-ous> of <generous>, than a native suffix, such as <-ing>). These facts reflect the history of the language and the nonrandom nature of sound change. Can readers use these facts to decrease the uncertainly of spelling-sound translation? At what point in the development of reading skill do they begin to do so? Method: Experiment 1 examined the influence of the adjacent vowel on the pronunciation of initial <c> and <g> in nonwords in readers ranging from the first-grade to university levels. Experiment 2 examined sensitivity to nonadjacent context as well as adjacent context. Results: Children showed a sensitivity to adjacent context before nonadjacent context and they were more swayed by context for <c> than <g>. Use of context was slow to develop, however, and even college-level readers were not as influenced by context as one would expect given the patterns in the English vocabulary. Conclusions: Readers of English use context to decrease the uncertainty of spelling-to-sound translation, but they could be helped through instruction to do so more effectively.
Michael Kieffer (Harvard Graduate School of Education); Nonie Lesaux - Effects of an academic vocabulary intervention on the morphological awareness of first- and second-language learners in sixth grade
Purpose: This study investigated the effects of a vocabulary-morphology intervention on sixth-graders' morphological awareness. In particular, we investigated whether native English (L1) or English-as-second-language (L2) learners responded differently to instruction. Method: 476 students (346 L2; 130 L1) in 21 classrooms in 7 schools participated in this quasi-experimental study. Within each school, two teachers were assigned to provide the 18-week intervention to their classes and matched to one control teacher and classroom. Students were assessed before and after the intervention on several reading and language skills, including morphological decomposition and morphological derivation. Classroom observation data and pre-tests indicated that treatment teacher and students did not differ from those in the control group on observable characteristics before treatment. Results: Multilevel models controlling for pre-test covariates indicated significant treatment effects on both decomposition (d = .22) and derivation (d = .20). When compared to estimates of normative growth in these skills from our previous work, these effects are equal to half a year of extra growth. When language by treatment interactions were tested, the treatment effect on decomposition was the same for L1 and L2 learners. However, the effect on derivation was greater for L2 learners (d = .25) and non-significant for L1 learners. Conclusions: Morphological awareness is susceptible to targeted instruction, which may be especially beneficial for L2 learners. These findings converge with other evidence from this study for effects of the intervention on vocabulary and reading comprehension for all learners.
James Kim (Harvard University)Jennifer F. Samson - A randomized experiment of a mixed-methods literacy intervention for struggling readers in grades 4 to 6: effects on oral reading fluency and reading comprehension
Using a randomized control design, this study sought (1) to examine the causal effects of a mixed methods literacy intervention on the reading skills and engagement of struggling readers and (2) to identify components of the intervention that explained variance in oral reading fluency and reading comprehension. The treatment condition received a mixed-methods literacy intervention combining individualized computer assisted instruction, independent reading activities, and teacher-directed lessons. The control group received a mix of after school activities (e.g., homework, literacy, math, computer). A total of 294 children in grades 4 to 6 from a high poverty urban school district were randomly assigned to either the intervention (n=149) or a control group (n=143) in an after school setting 4 days per week over 23 weeks. Pre- and post-testing included measures for word identification, oral reading fluency, reading comprehension and indicators of engagement (attendance and self-report surveys). Findings from our study suggest that the literacy intervention improved oral reading fluency (ES = .14), enhanced attitudes toward after-school literacy instruction, and increased the amount of time students spent reading books. The intervention was associated with an increase in the number of words children read which in turn explained 10% of the variance in oral reading fluency and 5% of the variance in reading comprehension after measures of decoding ability and vocabulary were partialed out. These findings support the use of repeated and increased exposure to language in text and oral form in order to improve fluency and comprehension in reading and student engagement.
Purpose The goals of the present study were (1) to examine the relationship between letter-name knowledge and letter-sound knowledge and (2) to investigate the role of phonological awareness in facilitating the acquisition of letter sounds from letter names. Method 634 kindergartners were followed for a year from fall to spring, and were administered letter-name knowledge, letters-sound knowledge, phonological awareness, and word reading tasks. Letters were categorized into transparent (e.g., b, d) and opaque (e.g., h, w) consonant letters, depending on the amount of letter sound cues provided by letter names (Treiman & Kessler, 2003), and vowels. Data from beginning of the year were used in the analysis. Cross-classified model analyses were used to address the research questions. Results Students were more likely to know the sounds of transparent letters than opaque letters when the letter name was known and phonological awareness was accounted for. For example, the odds that children will know sounds for transparent letters are 1.54 times the odds that they will know sounds for opaque letters. Furthermore, phonological awareness was related to letter-sound knowledge only in the absence of letter-name knowledge. Conclusions The role of letter-name knowledge varies as a function of letter-sound cues that are contained in letter names. While previous studies suggested the role of phonological awareness in inducing letter sounds from letter names (e.g., Share, 2004), phonological awareness may not be necessary for inducing letter sounds from letter names (Treiman, Pennington, Shriberg, & Boada, 2008).
This study was designed to investigate the predictive power of specific phonological processes (i.e., Phonological awareness; PA, phonological memory; PM, and rapid automatized naming; RAN) on reading achievement and on component processes of reading in a wide age range of participants who had a diagnosis of dyslexia. Ninety-eight participants were divided into four age groups (6-7; 8-9; 12-14; & 15-17). All were tested with the Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing and the Gray Oral Reading Test. PA was correlated to reading in the 6-7 year old group only (r= 0.578, p< 0.005). RAN and PM were correlated to reading in the 8-9 year old group (RAN: r= 0.693, p< 0.05; PM: r= 0.388, p< 0.05). PM was correlated to reading in 15-17 year old group (r= 0.734, p< 0.05). Our findings support the data of Hogan, Catts, & Little (2005) who showed developmental changes in relationships between phonological processing skills and reading skill. Clear differences were found in relationships between phonological processing and reading in children from 6-15 years of age who have dyslexia. Specific phonemic manipulation skills predict reading in beginning readers with dyslexia, both general phonological processes such as phonological access and memory skills predict reading in 2nd to 3rd grade children with dyslexia, and phonological memory alone predicts reading in children with dyslexia beyond 4th grade. Data of this nature will contribute to more accurate diagnoses, and direct us to more specific intervention goals for children who are tested for dyslexia at different points in their development.
The purpose of this study was to compare mother-child interactions in three contexts: shared reading with a book in a traditional print format, with an electronic book in a CD-ROM format, and with an electronic book in a video-clip format. Participants were a Korean mother and her three-year- and seven-year-old sons living in an urban area of Western Canada. Data collection included an interview with the mother, four home observations/video-taping of the shared reading, and field notes. Mother-child's interactions were transcribed, and then coded based on categories informed by the literature and capable of describing the data. Results demonstrated that there was more decontextualized than contextualized talk in mother-child discussion in the electronic book contexts, while the opposite occurred in the print book context. Qualitative examination showed that the mother and her child talked more about concepts in the story and elaborate on events in the story, rather than talk about illustrations in the electronic book context since their discussion was synchronized with the narration. The opposite occurred with the print book. Thus, this study demonstrated that different types of interactions occurred in the electronic texts than the traditional print book. Implications of these differences will be explored.
Purpose We assessed the ability of phonological awareness (PA), naming speed (NS), orthographic processing (OP), and morphological awareness (MA) to predict reading ability in children followed from Grade 3 to 5. We also investigated contributors to growth in these predictors. Method The participants (N = 134) received measures of verbal and nonverbal ability in Grade 3, and multiple measures of PA, NS, OP, and MA, and measures of word recognition accuracy, word reading speed, passage comprehension, and text reading speed, in each grade. Results We formed predictor construct scores by averaging z-scores, and carried out hierarchical regression analyses controlling verbal and nonverbal ability, predicting reading outcomes in each grade from predictors in each concurrent or previous grade. Across analyses, PA, NS, OP, and MA had significant unique effects on most outcomes. PA was particularly apparent for word reading accuracy, NS for word and text reading speed. OP was significant for every outcome, and MA was the most powerful predictor overall. (Autoregressor and predictor growth analyses will also be reported.) Conclusions Results demonstrate that well-defined construct measures have unique effects on a variety of reading outcomes. It is important that MA survived controls of the other predictors, especially OP; this clarifies the role of MA. These results suggest expanded assessment and instruction that target the processes underlying these predictors and contribute to theories of reading development.
Purpose: This study investigated how children's perceived support for recreational reading from parents and friends related to their reading motivations and habits. We focused on children in upper elementary school because research on the role that socialization agents play in this age group's reading motivation has been limited in quantity and scope. Method: Fourth- and fifth-graders from a rural area (N=302) completed the Reading Support Survey, a new questionnaire that asks children about their mothers', fathers', and friends' involvement in their recreational reading. Participants received scores on four survey subscales, developed through factor analysis: parent support, friend support, magazine/newspaper/website support, and books as presents (alphas=.79-.84). Other measures included a modified Motivations for Reading Questionnaire (Wigfield & Guthrie, 1997), a reading habits survey, and three reading performance indicators. Results: Multiple regression analyses demonstrated that parent support and friend support each accounted for unique variance in two of four motivations examined (efficacy/challenge and knowledge goals/interest), controlling for gender, grade level, and reading performance. Parent support but not friend support contributed to the motivations of perceived autonomy and recognition. Friend support showed stronger relations than parent support with reading habits. To offer another perspective on the relations of perceived support with reading motivation and habits, cluster analysis was conducted. Five perceived support profiles were identified, two of which were associated with relatively strong reading motivations and habits. Conclusions: Perceived parent support and friend support for reading may have some shared and some differential relations with children's recreational reading motivations and habits.
Purpose: Past research has shown that the ability to store written words in a mental word store (i.e., orthographic learning) is impaired in developmental dyslexia/dysgraphia (DiBetta & Romani, 2006). Interestingly, remediation can improve lexical processing not only for trained but also for untrained words (e.g., Brunsdon et al., 2005). Does this suggest that remediation may have beneficial effects on the actual process of acquiring orthographic representations? We investigated how orthographic learning might change over the course of an intervention. Method: We conducted a single-case training study with a developmental dyslexic/dysgraphic boy aged 12. Spelling training consisted of two phases: (1) phoneme-grapheme rule training, (2) training irregular word spelling. We also measured orthographic learning of novel letter-strings, which were assigned 'irregular' pronunciations (e.g., 'vaid' pronounced to rhyme with 'shed'). Orthographic learning was assessed prior to intervention, after both training phases and several weeks after the training study, using an immediate and a delayed spelling task after exposure to the written nonwords in stories. Results: Spelling training was successful in that significant improvements occurred for spelling of all stimuli. However, orthographic learning for irregular nonwords did not improve over the course of the training study. Conclusions: While training can improve rule knowledge and spelling of real words (even untrained ones), skill generalisation may not necessarily extend to orthographic learning, at least not with the training method employed in this study. Our findings support previous research that reports orthographic learning deficits in adults with developmental dyslexia/dysgraphia, indicating that orthographic learning might remain impaired into adulthood.
Young children of today are exposed not only to printed books but also to electronic -books (e-books) which they read individually or with an adult's support. This research focuses on mother-child interactions during e-book reading compared to printed book reading. We investigated the behavior of mothers and their young children while using these two different types of media. We also compared the reading of two different types of e-books: commercial and educational. Forty-eight kindergarten children from middle SES families and their mothers were randomly assigned to one of four groups (12 dyads each): (1) reading the printed book 'Just Grandma and Me'; (2) reading the electronic commercial book 'Just Grandma and Me'; (3) reading the printed book 'The Tractor in The Sandbox'; (4) reading the electronic-educational book 'The Tractor in The Sandbox'. The results demonstrated that the e-book reading context yielded more discourse initiated by the child and more responsiveness to maternal initiations compared to the printed book, while the printed book context demonstrated more initiations and responses of mothers. Discourse during printed book reading compared to the digital context showed more expanding talks (e.g., focusing on word meaning or the child's experience). The educational e-book context yielded more word meaning and discourse regarding the print than the commercial e-book context. We conclude that different contexts of reading available today shape different adult-child interactions, and this may in return have different effects on children's language and early literacy development.
Emiko Koyama (Ontario Institute for Studies in Education)Emiko Koyama; Guanglei Hong; Esther Geva - Starting well: Does Language Minority (LM) children's English ability in kindergarten predict reading outcomes in late elementary school?
Purpose: This study examines how the language minority children's (LM) initial English ability at kindergarten entry impacts subsequent literacy and reading outcomes up to grade 5. Method: Data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study - Kindergarten Cohort were analyzed. Children whose primary home language was non-English were divided into LM-fluent (n=1264) and English Language Learning (ELL; n=1164) groups using the Oral Language Development Scale. The non-LM group consisted of 14615 children. Growth curve analyses were performed on the reading scores from kindergarten to grade 5, and the reading subscale scores consisting of letter recognition, beginning/end sounds, sight words, words in context, literal inference, extrapolation, evaluating narrative text, and evaluation of non-fiction text. Results: The overall reading trajectory shows that the LM-fluent children were initially lagging behind their non-LM peers, caught up at around grade 1, but subsequently lost grounds at grades 3 and 5. The initial group difference was attributed to the basic literacy skills of letter and sound recognition, while the later group differences were attributed to higher-order reading skill such as inference, extrapolation and evaluation skills. The growth trajectories of sight words and comprehending words in contexts were not significantly different between the two groups. The ELL group was pervasively at a disadvantage compared to the LM-fluent and non-LM groups. Conclusion: Children who start kindergarten with limited English ability are at significant risk for reading failure, while LM children with good English in kindergarten may also be at risk for reading problems from middle elementary years onward.
Purpose Low IQ children are often excluded from reading disability research. Here we explore developmentally the phonological deficit in the Garden-Variety poor reader (GV, low IQ, poor reading) in comparison to a novel group of low IQ good readers (LIQ). LIQs are matched to GVs on IQ but read at a level above that expected for their age. These children in combination with typical reading and age matched controls were compared at two time points over development. Method Time 1: Children were given standardised tests of decoding (BAS, TOWRE), IQ (WISC III), spelling (BAS), maths (BAS) and receptive vocabulary (BPVS). Psychoacoustic tasks requiring the discrimination of amplitude rise time, intensity, duration, rhythm and frequency were also administered. Time 2: Standardised and auditory tests from Time 1 were readministered. In addition, tests of reading comprehension, past tense inflection, digit memory and further tests of language were performed. Results GVs demonstrated depressed performance in all areas across development. However, this depressed performance was associated with auditory processing rather than IQ. The low IQ LIQs showed normative phonological development and performed typically on most auditory processing tasks, despite having poor language skills and poor reading comprehension. Conclusions LIQs are differentiated from GVs by preserved phonology and good auditory processing skills. This relationship demonstrates a link between phonology and auditory processing across variability in IQ. Specific developmental trends and predictive measures between reading, phonology, language measures and auditory processing will be discussed.
Purpose Despite the visual complexity of Chinese words increases across grades, it is surprising that visual skills accounted for significant variance in Chinese word reading for kindergarten readers (Ho & Byrant, 1999; Ho & Byrant, 1997, Mcbride-Chang and Ho, 2000) but not for primary school readers (Chen and Wong, 1991; Hu and Catts, 1998; Huang and Hanley, 1997). This study aimed at re-exploring visual word recognition of primary school readers by adding in an intermediate variable, the knowledge of radicals, which is the basic orthographic unit of Chinese language. Methods and Results Study 1 explored the relationships among visual skill, orthographic skill and word recognition for 384 readers from Primary One to Four. After partialling out the effects of age and IQ, orthographic skills accounted uniquely for 5% of the variance in word recognition. Visual skills did not predict word recognition, but accounted for 4% of the variance in orthographic skills. These findings showed that radical knowledge is important in word recognition. Visual skills are employed in decoding radicals, rather than decoding words as a whole. This difference further implies an implicit perceptual decomposition of words into radicals during visual processing. Study 2 compared 30 dyslexic, 30 chronological-age matched and 30 reading-level matched readers on a variety of visual and orthographic tasks. The dyslexic group performed significantly worse than the CA group on all the tasks. Combined with the results from Study 1, it is speculated that the word decoding difficulties of dyslexic readers might stem from poor understanding of radicals, which in turn is visually dependent. To further explore why the dyslexic group perform poorly on visual tasks, Study 3 employed the eye-tracking technique on a visual discrimination task for 10 dyslexic readers, 10 CA control and 5 RL control. Compared with the CA group, the dyslexic group had significantly more fixations and longer fixation duration on the target form, and exhibited more sequential comparisons between their chosen form and the distracters. It is speculated that the dyslexic readers need more cognitive resources on identifying features of a visual form, and are more prone to the interference of visually-similar distracters. Conclusion Radicals play an important role in the visual recognition of Chinese words. Readers start with learning single characters made up of one or few radicals, and progress into compound characters of multiple radicals. This may account for the importance of visual skills in word reading for kindergarten readers, but not for primary school readers. Reading difficulties in Chinese readers may stem from inefficient visual processing of radicals and interference of visually-similar radicals. These further hinder the development of orthographic skills, such as recognizing the positional and functional regularity of radicals, and subsequently leads to poorer word decoding performance.
Purpose: We describe the development of a new English adaptation of GraphoGame - a child-friendly, computerised reading intervention programme that provides children with training on letter-sound knowledge. The new version, GraphoGame Rime, has been devised along a "balanced phonics" approach, teaching letter-sound knowledge both at the level of the single phoneme-grapheme correspondence and at the larger level of the rime unit. In this study we compare the efficacy of GraphoGame Rime with the existing GraphoGame Phoneme, which only teaches letter-sound knowledge at the level of the phoneme, similar to a "synthetic phonics" approach. Method: 21 children aged between 6 and 7 years participated in the study. Over a 10 week period the children received daily sessions of reading intervention, in which they played GraphoGame for between 10 and 15 minutes. 11 children played GraphoGame Rime and the remaining 10 children played GraphoGame Phoneme. A large battery of cognitive, language and literacy tasks was administered both before and after the intervention. Results: As a group, the children who played GraphoGame Rime made more improvement in reading than those who played with GraphoGame Phoneme. However, there were large individual differences within both groups in terms of training effects and in how they actually progressed through the intervention programme. In addition, GraphoGame Rime and GraphoGame Phoneme showed slightly different patterns of training effects on the phonological and literacy tasks. Conclusions: The efficacy of the two different versions of GraphoGame will be discussed in terms of reading models and computer-assisted learning.
Purpose The purpose of this study is to examine the nature of speech errors at 48 months in children who were later classified as reading disabled. Children's speech errors are assessed on repetition of word and nonword strings. Results will be discussed within a framework for diagnosing early risk status. Method/Results The participants are 22 children who had participated in a larger longitudinal study of reading disabilities (Locke et al., 1997). Of these children, 7 were identified as RD, 8 were at familial risk but normal readers and 7 were included as a control group with no familial risk for RD. The repetition task included 36 real words and an equal number of nonwords. Measures include indices of articulatory accuracy including PCC (Shriberg & Kwiatkowski, 1982), accuracy of word shape (e.g. Vogel-Sosa & Stoel-Gammon, 2006), phonological processes (Kahn & Lewis, 1986), Shriberg's (1986) rank-ordering of consonant errors by developmental sequence, and proportion of whole word proximity (Ingram & Ingram, 2001). Preliminary results suggest that the children at high familial risk for reading disability were poorer overall in repeating nonwords, and tended to replace nonword targets with real words, when compared to the control group of children. (Eidelman, 1995). Conclusion Differences in spoken language at 24-36 months in children later identified with RD appear as increased errors in word production (Nergård-Nilssen, 2006) and in the slower rate of articulation (Smith, et al., 2006). This is promising because spoken language deficits have the potential to serve as early markers of reading disability. The participants are 22 children who had participated in a larger longitudinal study of reading disabilities (Locke et al., 1997). Of these children, 7 were identified as RD, 8 were at familial risk but normal readers and 7 were included as a control group with no familial risk for RD. The repetition task included 36 real words and an equal number of nonwords. Measures include indices of articulatory accuracy including PCC (Shriberg & Kwiatkowski, 1982), accuracy of word shape (e.g. Vogel-Sosa & Stoel-Gammon, 2006), phonological processes (Kahn & Lewis, 1986), Shriberg's (1986) rank-ordering of consonant errors by developmental sequence, and proportion of whole word proximity (Ingram & Ingram, 2001). Preliminary results suggest that the children at high familial risk for reading disability were poorer overall in repeating nonwords, and tended to replace nonword targets with real words, when compared to the control group of children. (Eidelman, 1995). Conclusion Differences in spoken language at 24-36 months in children later identified with RD appear as increased errors in word production (Nergård-Nilssen, 2006) and in the slower rate of articulation (Smith, et al., 2006). This is promising because spoken language deficits have the potential to serve as early markers of reading disability.
Purpose: The objective of this study is to investigate the influence of behavioral regulation (including its three components: working memory, inhibition and attention control) on reading and math (including counting and calculation) achievement in preschool and kindergarten children in China. Method: Participants included one hundred nineteen children (46 four-year-olds and 73 five-year-olds) in Beijing, China. The children were on average 5.02 years old at the time of testing (SD = 0.62). Tasks included a battery of self-regulation task (one task of inhibition, one attentional control and two working memory tasks) and a battery of tasks for math (counting and calculation) and reading (character recognition). Results: All components of behavioral regulation uniquely predicted reading and math. The prediction is particularly strong for math. Interestingly, the relation between inhibition and achievement is mediated by working memory: inhibition significantly predicted reading (β=.20), but when working memory variables were added in the model, it no longer did (β=.14). Results for counting are similar to those for reading. More dramatically, inhibition predicted calculation (β=.22) but when working memory variables were added to the model, it no longer did, both working memory predictors in this model became significant predictors of calculation (β =.26, β=.18). Conclusions: Although all aspects of behavioral regulation are important, achievement (both math and reading) may particularly rely on working memory for young children. The reliance on working memory might be particularly strong for performing complicated tasks such as calculation, compare to counting and reading.
Purpose: To examine the prevalence and etiological basis of the co-occurrence of deficits in the development of literacy and arithmetic skills. Method: A population based, research identified sample comprised of all 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade classrooms in an urban school district (N=2586) was given standardized tests of reading, spelling and arithmetic. From this sample, 304 children with poor performance in one or more academic achievement tests and 146 children with age adequate academic achievement were given WISC III Similarities and Block Design and a parental questionnaire collecting information on learning disorders in first grade relatives. Results: The probability that a second learning disorder appears in children with one learning disorder is systematically higher (37-45 %) when a rather lenient cut-off criterion (1 SD below age norm) is applied than when a stringent cut-off (2 SDs below age norm) is applied (14-23 %). Differences in gender ratios were observed for specific problems in arithmetic (more girls) and spelling (more boys), but not for reading problems. Combined problems in reading and arithmetic were also more frequent in girls than in boys. No gender differences were found for other combinations of learning disorders. The parents´ questionnaires reported increased rates of literacy problems but not arithmetic deficits among first degree relatives of children with literacy deficits and increased rates of arithmetic deficits but not literacy problems among children with arithmetic deficits. Conclusions: Comorbidity rates are lower than what has been reported in other studies, but clearly higher than chance. The analysis of familial transimission suggests etiological independence of dyslexia and dycalculia.
Purpose: The goal of this study was to determine how the underlying neurobiology of reading disability (RD) varies depending upon the extent to which an individual's reading difficulties stem from predominantly language specific versus general cognitive deficits. Although many recent advances in cognitive neuroscience have improved our understanding of the etiology and treatment of RD, the reading skills of significant numbers of children fail to improve despite targeted, evidence-based instruction. One possible contributing factor is the substantial degree of behavioral and neurobiological heterogeneity observed among RD children, including variability in IQ (relative to reading skill). Methods: 10 RD adolescents with low performance IQ (M= 86) and 14 RD adolescents with performance IQ in the normal range (M=106) participated in an fMRI lexical decision experiment (participants to make a word/nonword decisions to words and pronounceable nonwords). Results: A contrast of activation patterns revealed greater activation in the right inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) for RD readers with normal IQ. By contrast, greater activation in the hippocampus, the parahippocampal gyrus and in prefrontal cortex was observed for the RD readers with relatively low IQ. Conclusions: These findings suggest that RD readers with normal IQ show a "typical "compensatory shift to RH homologues of the LH skilled reading circuit. In contrast, the increased response in hippocampus, parahippocampal gyrus, and prefrontal cortex for RD readers with low IQ is suggestive of a less domain specific, learning or memory based anomaly and suggest a different etiology for reading difficulty in this group
Line Laplante (Université du Québec à Montréal)Lucie Godard; Anila Fejzo; Mélanie Bédard - A longitudinal view of the phonological-orthographic connections: a comparison of French speaking normal and poor spellers.
Purpose - Results obtained by Treiman & Bourassa (2000) suggested that at least, some types of orthographic knowledge emerge much earlier in the course of spelling acquisition. Van Bon & Kuijpers (2007) observed an error pattern stability over time in poor spellers of Grade 2 and 4 (Grade 4 > Grade 2). Van bon & De Haag (1997) observed errors types that discriminate poorer spellers from better spellers. The aim of the present research is to verify if some kinds of errors discriminate poor from normal spellers across time. Method - In this study, 265 children in Grade 2 (n=69) -3 (n=100) -4 (n=96) were tested on a word to dictation task and retested two years later. Subjects' performance was divided into 2 levels' groups (poor, normal). Spelling errors were analyzed in reference to Mousty and Alegria's grapheme typology (1997) and were interpreted in function of alphabetic and orthographic processes. Inter-subjects comparisons and intra-subjects were made. Results & Conclusion Results show that poor spellers in Test 1 remained poor spellers two years later (r=0.77 p=.001). Phonological representation is respected for both groups in Test 1 and Test 2 when the phoneme has simple features. When the phoneme is complex, normal and poor spellers show difficulties. In both groups of spellers, errors affecting lexical conventions are the most frequent ones. But poor spellers are not consistent in the grapheme they choose. Even if the performance of poor spellers is improving along time, they do not "catch up" normal spellers.
Purpose: The study involved a comparison of instructional experiences that enable young children still in the phase of "inventing" spellings to acquire conventional spelling patterns. Method: Kindergartners and first graders (N=50) received 6 training sessions over a 3-week period during which they were given practice working with nine words containing spelling patterns known to be difficult. Three words contained phonological spelling patterns typically spelled incorrectly by beginners (i.e., DR in drag spelled JR). Three words contained targeted spellings where the orthographic patterns had no phonological trace (i.e., doubled letters in pass). The final three were non-words with spelling patterns either uncommon or illegal in English. One group was taught to read the words on flash cards. A second group was taught to segment the same words by moving letters into Elkonin boxes. The third group practiced inventing spellings of these words with no feedback. Spelling tests administered each session were used to model growth curves of the acquisition of the spelling patterns. Results: An analysis of the rates of acquisition revealed that overall the segmentation and word reading conditions produced faster learning of the spelling patterns than the invented spelling condition and was best predicted by word reading skill and letter processing speed. However, the segmentation group learned the phonological spelling patterns faster and the word reading condition learned the non-words faster. Conclusions: Findings suggest that there are necessary skills for learning conventional spelling patterns and that different instructional methods are more effective for different types of spelling patterns.
Purpose: Our purpose was to understand: 1) how well students participating in a vocabulary program learned target words relative to other students; 2) if treatment effects were better for language minority (LM) or English only (EO) students; and 3) if improved vocabulary predicted improved scores on a state-mandated standardized assessment. Methods: 1016 students (LM 438; EO 578) in five treatment schools and three comparison schools completed a pre and post test on 40 target vocabulary words. Students in the treatment schools (n = 697) received vocabulary instruction for around fifteen minutes each day in different content-area classes. Standardized test results were provided by the school district. Results: Participation in the vocabulary program predicted word learning for all students (β = 0.125, p < 0.001). In treatment schools, speaking a language other than English at home predicted improved vocabulary (β = 0.053, p = .022), suggesting that the treatment was most effective for these learners. In comparison schools, pre to post improvement in vocabulary did not predict spring standardized test scores (F = 1.18, p = .308). When a model was fit to treatment school data (F = 24.8, p < 0.01), vocabulary improvement was a significant predictor of standardized scores (β = 0.220, p < .001). Conclusions: Explicit vocabulary instruction helps all students and may benefit language-minority students more than English-only students.
Amy R. Lederberg (Georgia State University); Victoria Burke; Carol M. Connor; Susan R. Easterbrooks - The development of a curriculum to teach deaf children alphabetic knowledge, phonological awareness, and vocabulary
Purpose. A new generation of deaf children has the potential to read using processes that are similar to those used by hearing children because of recent technological advances such as newborn screening and the use of cochlear implants. The purpose of this study was to assess the effectiveness of a new prekindergarten curriculum, called Foundations for Literacy (FFL) being developed by the authors. The curriculum embeds explicit instruction of phonics, phonological awareness, vocabulary, and narrative skills in language-rich, visually-supported activities. Grapheme-phoneme correspondences are taught with language experiences such that semantic as well as auditory-visual associations can be used to remember the correspondence. Vocabulary learned in these language experiences and phoneme-associated picture cards reappear in phonological awareness activities. Methods. Fifteen deaf children were taught in small groups by research teachers using FFL. Single-case designs assessed the effectiveness of components of the curriculum. A pre-posttest design using both standardized tests and curriculum-based assessments investigated the effectiveness of the overall curriculum for acquisition of alphabetics, phonological awareness, and vocabulary. Results. Single-case studies indicated lessons were effective in teaching phoneme-grapheme correspondences, rhyming, syllable, and initial sound segmentation for the majority of children. Significant growth was made from pre- to posttest in early literacy skills, phonological awareness, and vocabulary for the intervention children. This progress was more than during baseline or by a group of comparison children. Conclusion. Deaf children who have access to sound can acquire auditory-based early reading skills using an intervention based on effective techniques for hearing children with some adaptations to the special needs of deaf children.
Purpose: Practitioners are increasingly expected to provide reading instruction to students with intellectual disabilities to help them become literate. Whereas a phonics-based approach to reading instruction is regarded as a "best practice" for most young children, its effectiveness for children with intellectual disabilities is unclear. The purpose of this study was to explore this issue for a sample of children with Down syndrome (DS). More specifically, the study's purpose was to explore the effectiveness of phonics-based instruction for children with DS and to model individual children's reading growth to identify specific child characteristics predictive of this growth. Method: A sample of 24 children with DS between the ages of 7 and 16 years received 30 hours of one-on-one phonics-based reading instruction. Individual growth modeling was used to estimate growth trajectories for letter sounds, decodable words, sight words, and nonsense words. Additionally, specific child characteristics predictive of this growth were examined. Results: Results indicate that a majority of children demonstrated statistically significant growth in letter sounds, and reading of sight words and decodable words. Children with DS who entered the study with more advanced word identification skills made greater gains in decodable word reading; those with more advanced phoneme segmentation skills made greater gains in nonsense word reading. Conclusions: Overall, findings support inclusion of phonics-based reading instruction into academic programs for children with DS.
Purpose - We performed two online experiments based on the Competition Model of MacWhinney and his colleagues to study the rapid and accurate interpretation of simple Chinese sentences as second language (L2), compared with simple English sentences, by a group of about 100 secondary school sixteen-year-old non-native users (NNUs) of Chinese in Hong Kong. These NNUs use mainly the semi-syllabic Hindi, Urdu and Nepalese as their home languages and Devanagari and Persian-Arabic scripts as their first (L1) writing systems. Method - The first experiment tested on-line processing of structurally and lexically equivalent simple Chinese and English sentences of the noun-verb-noun (NVN) type to examine the effects of animacy or inanimacy cues and preverbal or postverbal positions of the agent and patient relationship within the framework of the Competition Model. The second on-line experiment further tested the strengths of the animacy and topicality cues of the Model by incorporating sentences of the NVN, NNV and VNN word order. Results - MANCOVA analyses carried out separately for the Chinese and English sentences showed a complex relationship of word order and animacy cue dependency. By-item analyses using "efficiency indices" ((MAccuracy/MRT) x 100) incorporating both latency and accuracy found more efficient processing of Chinese than of English sentences. Conclusions - Difficulties of the NNUs were found to be in the form-meaning mappings in Chinese, especially from the spoken Cantonese to the standard written modern Chinese.
Paavo H.T. Leppänen (Finnish Center of Excellence in Learning and Motivation Research, Department of Psychology, University of Jyväskylä)Jarmo Hämäläinen, Tomi. K. Guttorm, Minna Torppa, Anne Puolakanaho, Anna-Maija Poikkeus, Kenneth M. Eklund, Riitta Pennala, Paula Lyytinen, Heikki Lyytinen - Atypical brain responses to tones at birth and to speech sounds at six months are associated to pre-reading and reading outcome skills in children with familial risk for dyslexia - risk factors for dyslexia?
Purpose: The role of various risk factors for dyslexia has been debated for several decades. Here we studied whether dyslexic children with familial risk background would show atypical auditory/speech processing already at birth and at six months as measured by brain event-related potentials (ERPs) and how infant ERPs would be related to later pre-reading cognitive skills and literacy outcome. Method: Tones varying in pitch (at birth: 1100 vs. 1000 Hz) and in vowel duration (at 6 months: /kaa/ vs. /ka/) were presented in MMN-paradigms with 12 % and 88 % probabilities, respectively, while ERPs were measured from 22 at-risk and 25 control infants (in partly overlapping groups different ages). Associations with pre-reading cognitive skills at kindergarten age and with reading and speech perception outcomes at school-age at 2nd grade were investigated. Results: ERPs of the at-risk group with dyslexia differed, both in response magnitude and hemispheric pattern, from those of typical readers. Infant ERPs were also associated with phonology and letter knowledge prior school age, and with phoneme duration perception, reading, and spelling at 2nd grade. At-risk children with typical reading skills also differed in their ERPs from typical control group readers. Conclusions: A sub-group of dyslexic readers with familial risk have developmentally atypical auditory/speech processing pattern, which is related to pre-reading skills, including phonological processing. Deficit in these skills could, in turn, affect reading development. However, atypical auditory processing is not likely a sufficient reason by itself for dyslexia but rather one endophenotype /risk factor.
Background/purpose: The growth of spelling skills was studied in a large sample of Norwegian children in the beginning years of school. The role of phoneme awareness, letter knowledge, rapid automatized naming (RAN), paired associate learning and verbal short-term memory as predictors of later spelling skills were examined. In addition, it was examined whether the children's growth trajectories could best be described as variations around one general trend or whether they could be divided into subgroups. Method: Two hundred twenty-five children were tested 5 times over a period of 3 years starting approximately 10 months before the start of formal reading and spelling instruction. Latent variable growth curve analyses in combination with growth mixture modelling (GMM) was used to answer the research questions. Results/conclusions: A combined phoneme awareness and letter knowledge factor together with nonalphanumeric RAN and verbal short-term memory were independent longitudinal predictors of both word and nonword spelling. The GMM suggested that individual variations in the growth of word spelling was best characterized as variations around one general developmental trend while growth in nonword spelling, was better characterized as variations around two distinct trends. The impact of the predictors varied between the classes and letter knowledge was the only one able to predict class assignment unique of the others.
Purpose: There is vested interest in the effects of contextual reading on decoding, orthographic knowledge, and reading fluency (Shahar-Yames & Share, 2008). Yet, it remains unclear how the mind processes words encountered in stories. Jacoby (1983) showed that memory with intention (explicit) measures conceptual processing whereas memory without intention (implicit) measures perceptual encoding. Using this dichotomy, Martin-Chang, Levesque, & Kim (2008) had participants generate words from definitions, read words in stories, and read words in lists. When participants "rated the appropriateness" of passages, they remembered more 'story-items' than 'list-items' during surprise-recall. Moreover, a second group of participants selected more 'list-items' than 'story-items' to complete word-stems. This double dissociation suggested that words read in stories were processed more conceptually than words read in isolation. Would similar processing differences remain under more natural (less evaluative) reading conditions? Methods: This study employed a novel, within-subjects design. Undergraduates (N = 28) were exposed to 25 different target words under three experimental conditions (generation, story, list). Conceptual and perceptual processes were measured using a surprise-recall task (explicit) and a word-stem completion task (implicit), respectively. Results: Performance on the surprise-recall task was significantly different in all three conditions. 'Generated-items' were recalled more than 'context-items' whereas 'list-items' were recalled the least. The performance of the same participants, using the same words, showed the opposite pattern on the implicit task (generation<context<isolation). Conclusion: Taken together our data show that reading stories, even under less evaluative conditions, leads to higher rates of conceptual processing than reading in isolation.
Iris Levin (Tel Aviv University, Israel); Dorit Aram - Improving quality of storybook reading of low SES parents to their kindergartner Improving quality of storybook reading of low SES parents to their kindergartner Improving quality of storybook reading of low SES parents to their kindergartner
Problem Studies have shown that interactive storybook reading by parents promotes children's language and literacy, relatively to normal reading. The effect is moderated by age and risk status, becoming negligible for children older than 4 or from low SES. Many of these studies did not examine effects on parental storybook reading, an important outcome because of its potential future contributions. We analyzed intervention effects on storybook reading of low SES parents to kindergartners. Method Participants were 127 parent-child dyads, divided into 4 groups. Three groups of parents participated in workshops on mediating learning, applied respectively to joint activities: interactive storybook reading, joint writing, or joint visuo-motor skills. Guidance in interactive reading was supported by providing books with written hints on questions to be asked, including customary questions (Wh questions, on illustrations, etc.) as well as questions on print and on narrative structure. Seven weeks of tri-weekly structured dyadic interactions and weekly tutorial home visits followed the workshops. A fourth group received no intervention. Results and Conclusions Analyses of videotapes of parental storybook reading performed at pretest, immediate and delayed posttests, showed that parental reading substantially improved from pre- to post-tests among parents in the storybook reading group. Gains emerged on frequency and quality of dialogues initiated by parent and by child, after partialling out parental pretest scores, parental education and child's age. No effect on parental storybook reading appeared in all other groups, indicating that guidance in mediating learning of other skills does not transfer to storybook reading.
Purpose. To explore the development of RAN components (pause time and articulation time) in English and Chinese, and their relations to English reading comprehension in Chinese students learning English as a second language. Method. Participants were 48 Grade 2, 47 Grade 4, and 40 Grade 6 students in English immersion programs in China. RAN measures were Chinese and English digit naming; RAN components were calculated (as in Georgiou, Parrila, & Kirby, 2006, 2008) using a sound editing program (GoldWave v5.25). Phonological awareness (PA) measures were Chinese and English sound detection, and Chinese tone detection; the reading measure was Cambridge Young Learners English Tests. Results. Data have been collected and scored but only 40% of the RAN components have been calculated so far. Preliminary results indicate that Chinese pause and articulation times are comparable to those of similar-aged English-speaking children, but the English times resemble those of younger English-speaking children. Both English and Chinese pause times decrease faster than articulation times across grades, developmental changes similar to those reported by Georgiou et al. (2006, 2008). Further correlation and regression analyses, predicting reading from RAN components controlling for PA, will be carried out when the component calculations are completed. Conclusion. The development of RAN components in Chinese and English as a second language is similar to that in English. Results regarding correlations and prediction of reading will also be evaluated for similarity. Discussion will focus on the implications of these results for the nature of RAN and for second language education.
*Purpose - The purpose of the study is to examine the four levels of phonological awareness development (syllable, phoneme, rime, and tone awareness) in Chinese children and Chinese-English bilingual children. *Method - Participants were 93 Chinese children in China and 102 Chinese-English bilingual children in Canada from kindergarten and grade 1. They received a battery of phonological awareness tasks in Chinese. *Results - Chinese kindergarteners outperformed bilingual children on syllable awareness, whereas bilingual children in kindergarten scored higher on phonemic awareness task. Moreover, Chinese children in grade 1 receiving Pinyin instruction performed similarly on phonemic awareness as Canadian first graders. Chinese children performed as well as bilingual children on tone awareness in kindergarten and grade 1. Bilingual children outperformed Chinese children on rime awareness in grade 1. *Conclusions - The results suggested that children's phonological awareness is shaped by their early spoken language experience. Because syllable is more salient in Chinese and phoneme is more salient in English, Chinese children develop syllable awareness earlier than bilingual children whereas bilingual children develop phonemic awareness earlier than Chinese children in kindergarten. Moreover, learning an alphabetic system significantly improves children's phonemic awareness. We also found that bilingual children, who receive much exposure to English language, develop rime awareness faster in grade 1. Finally, Chinese and bilingual children develop tone awareness at a similar pace in kindergarten and grade 1.
Purpose The purpose of this study is to examine the role family background and perceptions of reading ability play in predicting comprehension outcomes for adults participating in a research-based reading intervention. This study addresses: 1) whether family background predicts the reading comprehension of adults with reading difficulties and 2) how student perceptions of reading ability relate to their comprehension. Method Students (N = 347) age 16 to 72, reading on a 3-5 grade level, were interviewed 1:1 by trained research assistants to assess their background, reading experiences and perceptions. Correlation and regression analyses were conducted to examine how these data were related to outcomes on the comprehension subtest of the Woodcock Johnson. Results Family Background added significantly to the predictive equation, even after first language and vocabulary knowledge were included (Significant f ∆ = .02), but reading perceptions did not. Growth trends and intervention characteristics will also be evaluated. Conclusions There is a scarcity of research on improving adult literacy despite the fact that more than 30 million people perform below the basic level in prose literacy, and over 11 million are considered to be non literate in English (National Assessment of Adult Literacy, 2003). The inability to read on at least a basic level consigns these individuals to low paying jobs; while limiting work productivity and the US's global competitiveness (Bosworth, 2003). The results of this study may provide insights as to where we might add to current intervention practices to increase these students' chances for successful reading development.
The purpose of this study was to examine the performance of students who speak English as a second language (ESL) as compared to students who had English as their first language (L1). The study addressed two questions: first, the similarities and differences in the performance of ESL and L1 students and second, what are the relationships between morphological awareness and word reading and spelling skills. The participants were part of a longitudinal study from kindergarten to grade 8, and were typical readers: 142 L1 students and 30 ESL students from different linguistic backgrounds. The measures included standardized and experimental measures of word and pseudoword reading, reading comprehension, syntactic awareness, spelling, phonological awareness, working memory, and morphological awareness. The ESL students performed at a significantly higher level than the L1 students on morphological awareness measure. The ESL students also performed better than the L1 students on standardized spelling and timed word and pseudoword reading measures. In addition, the ESL students performed at a significant higher level on a measure of working memory. The ESL and L1 groups performed in a similar manner on measures that assessed reading comprehension, syntactic awareness and phonological awareness. Analyses of multiple regressions demonstrated a relation between morphological awareness and spelling skills. The results are consistent with previous research indicating that morphological awareness is related to reading and spelling skills. ESL students are probably more sensitive to the morpheme units, due to their linguistic background. Morphological awareness plays an important role in spelling at the higher grades.
Jessica Logan (The Ohio State University)Chris Schatschneider - Shared and unique variance in rapid serial and isolated naming as predictors of reading: correlational evidence from the extant literature
Purpose: Serial naming (also called Rapid Automatized Naming) is often used to predict reading ability, however just what is predictive about this task is yet unknown. As naming letters in isolation requires many of the same cognitive demands (both tasks require participants to see the stimuli, retrieve its phonological representation, and respond verbally), many theories of the critical components of serial naming would predict identical relations of isolated and serial naming with reading. However, a recent study (Logan, Schatschneider, & Wagner, 2008) found that isolated naming acted as a suppressor variable in the relation of serial naming with reading, indicating that there is some variance in the serial naming task that is independent of the cognitive process of converting visual stimuli to verbal outputs. Method: The present study examined correlations among isolated naming, serial naming, and reading ability reported in the literature, including an estimation of population effects through the use of meta-analytic weighting techniques. Further analyses were conducted to determine whether suppression was present. Results: Results confirmed the previous finding that isolated naming acts as a suppressor variable in the relation of serial naming with reading, and the effect held across several different reading outcomes. Conclusion: The suppressive finding implies that there is at least one cognitive component shared between these two tasks that is unrelated to reading, and that there exists at least one additional cognitive component of the serial naming task that is predictive of reading but not shared with isolated naming. Further implications for these results are discussed.
Maureen W. Lovett (The Hospital For Sick Children and University of Toronto); Robin Morris; Maryanne Wolf; Rose A. Sevcik; Jan C. Frijters; Karen A. Steinbach; Maria De Palma - Strategy-based interventions for developmental reading disabilities: Are benefits equivalent for children who vary in socio-economic status, intelligence, and primary language status?
This presentation summarizes the results of two controlled intervention studies in which small groups of children with significant reading disabilities were randomly assigned to one of two multiple component reading remediation programs or to a control condition. We asked whether benefits from research-based interventions involving dialogue-based strategy instruction are equivalent for 211 children with reading disability who were average (IQs = 90+) vs. below-average in overall intellectual functioning (IQs = 70-89), and who came from average vs. low socio-economic circumstances (based on three SES scales). Children with different IQ classifications differed in baseline reading abilities, but IQ did not interact with slope on reading outcomes. Both the lower-and higher-IQ groups demonstrated equivalent rates of growth during the interventions and in the year following. Similarly, children from both high and low SES strata benefited equally from these interventions and did not differ in their rate of growth either during or following intervention. A separate study evaluated intervention response by 122 children with RD who differed in primary language status (English first (EFL) vs. second language (ESL)). No differences were revealed between children of EFL or ESL status in response to intervention or growth during intervention. In contrast, oral language abilities at entry were predictive of final outcomes and of reading growth during intervention, with greater language impairment being associated with greater growth. Collectively, these data reveal that RD children's ability to profit from these interventions on virtually all reading outcomes is equivalent irrespective of IQ, SES, and primary language differences.
Purpose: Whereas the penetration of mobile phones in Asian countries keeps climbing, little research has explored the application of SMS or "text messaging" in second language learning. This study examined the effectiveness of SMS vocabulary lessons of limited lexical information on the small screens of mobile phones. Method: Using counterbalance grouping methods, thirty Taiwanese high school EFL learners learned two sets of 14 English words (total: 28) using paper material and the SMS messages during two weeks. Measures include a pre-test, an immediate post-test, a delayed post-test, and an exit questionnaire. Results: (1) Students recognized more vocabulary at the immediate post-test after reading SMS lessons than they did after reading the print material; (2) There was little difference across conditions in the delayed test; (3) Students had incongruent behaviors in learning vocabulary on the SMS messages; (4) Students in general held positive attitudes towards learning vocabulary via mobile phone. Conclusions: Mobile learning facilitates certain forms of learning that are difficult with a traditional paper-based approach. For the best results of vocabulary learning via mobile phone, instructors should create three optimal conditions: (1) a reward-based scheme which arouses learners' motivation to study the lessons, (2) a tracking mechanism under the principle of not intruding users' privacy, and (3) an interaction function, which allows students to use the language and teachers to give feedback.
Purpose: To identify the contribution of specific reading and language skills and language exposure on development of reading in low-income Spanish-English Bilingual children. Method: Spanish-speaking children with low English proficiency participated in two school-managed literacy curricula in grades K-3. The Dual Language program featured equivalent exposure to English and Spanish literacy and oracy, and the Transitional Bilingual program concentrated initially on Spanish literacy/oracy, with transition in grades 1-2 into increasingly English literacy/oracy. Children were matched on pre-K scores in English and Spanish oral language across the two programs (n = 106 per program). Results: Extensive standardized test data revealed children in both programs scored at the median nationally in English decoding, word identification and reading fluency, at about the 20th percentile in reading comprehension and below the 15th percentile in language comprehension across grades K-3. Mean scores on Spanish decoding and word identification were above the national median, and around the 35th percentile for reading comprehension. However, Spanish language comprehension was generally below the 10th percentile. There was some evidence of superiority of the Dual Language curriculum: children tended to score somewhat higher in English decoding, word identification, reading comprehension and language comprehension, without scoring lower on similar measures in Spanish. Conclusion: Dual language programs may be useful in partially maintaining Spanish, while encouraging progress in English literacy. However, a greater emphasis needs to be placed on oral language proficiency in both Spanish and English. This may be a particular problem for our sample because of the lack of a peer group speaking fluent English.
Purpose: It is often assumed that dyslexic children have weak orthographic representations. This assumption was directly tested by comparing the use of orthographic knowledge in dyslexic and normal reading children during word reading. Sensitivity to orthographic neighbourhood (nsize) and presence of a high frequent neighbour were used as marker effects. Method: Participants were 23 dyslexic children, matched to normal and beginning readers. Two naming tasks were administered to examine sensitivity to nsize in word and pseudoword reading in terms of reading speed and accuracy. Results: All groups responded slower and less accurate to pseudowords with a low than to pseudowords with a high nsize. The nsize effect for words was not significant in terms of reading speed. Unexpectedly, it was found that the beginning and dyslexic readers were more accurate in reading words with a low than words with a high nsize. Follow-up analyses demonstrated that this effect was caused by the presence of a high-frequent neighbour. After controlling for this effect, the nsize effect of accuracy in words was no longer significant. In addition, it was found that the beginning and dyslexic readers responded slower to words with a high-frequent neighbour. Conclusions: Sensitivity to orthographic neighbourhood size is not impaired in dyslexic readers, implying that they do use orthographic knowledge in reading. However, the finding that only the younger and dyslexic children suffer from the presence of a high frequent neighbour in word reading seems to indicate that their orthographic representations are less strongly specified.
Purpose: Reading to children provides many opportunities for learning. For example, discussion, questions and feedback during storybook reading improve children's expressive language ability (Whitehurst et al., 1988). In addition, immediate and non-immediate conversations are positively related to children's engagement (Baker et al., 2001). However, no relationship has been found between listening to storybooks and learning to read. Why might this be? Although reading to children may contain many 'teachable moments', it has been suggested that children's engagement in the story is negatively correlated with parents' attempts to teach word recognition strategies. The purpose of the present study was to investigate how different types of naturally occurring talk between mother and child dyads (immediate, non-immediate, illustration, and text) relate to child engagement during storybook reading. Method: Child and mother dyads (N= 59 dyads, child age = 7 years, 9 months) were videotaped during a storybook reading session at home. Reading sessions were transcribed and coded. Results: Only non-immediate conversations were positively related to child engagement; no relationship was found with immediate conversations. Significant positive relationships were also found between both illustration-talk and text-talk and child engagement. As talk about the illustrations and the print increased, so too did child engagement. Discussion: Without prompting, mothers incorporated several strategies to increase child engagement during storybook reading, including non-immediate conversations, illustration-talk, and text-talk. These findings suggest that drawing children's attention towards the print, in conjunction with other types of talk, does not harm the affective quality of storybook reading.
Abstract Background Perception is said to operate in real time and be dynamic in nature. As a result the brain tends to integrate events that co-occur within short intervals of time. This phenomenon is often referred to as the 'windows of simultaneity', the time within which two stimuli are perceived as occurring together. Temporal integration has been shown to be crucial for many cognitive activities. The simultaneity threshold is defined as the time interval separating two auditory or visual stimuli. Longer simultaneity thresholds displayed in the visual and auditory modalities could provide evidence of a possible general processing deficit in children with SLI and SRD. Method In total, 32 children with SLI, 21 children with SRD and 14 typically-developing children have taken part in this study to date. In individual temporal auditory and visual discrimination tasks the children were asked to judge whether they perceived non-speech or visual stimuli as occurring together 'simultaneously', or one after the other, 'asynchronous'. Results Results suggest that children with SLI and SRD have higher visual but not auditory thresholds of simultaneity. These findings do not support the hypothesis of an auditory temporal processing deficit as a possible cause of SLI. Conclusion However, impairments on the visual task have implications for the non-language specific nature of SLI and the role of visual processing in reading development.
A writing prompt and scoring system, drawn from multiple cognitive theoretical frameworks, for measurement of students' informative writing (i.e., writing about a world problem) was developed. Participants in this study were 72 middle school students who wrote compositions describing real-world problems and how mathematics, science, and social studies information could be used to solve those problems. Of the 72 students, 69 were able to craft a cohesive response that not only demonstrated planning in writing structure but also elaboration of relevant knowledge in one or more domains. Many-facet Rasch Modeling (MFRM) techniques were used to examine the reliability of scores for the writing rubric. Comparison of responses supported the validity of scores, as did the results of a correlational analysis with an overall interest measure. Recommendations for improving writing scoring systems based on the findings of this investigation are provided.
PURPOSE: Although most language scientists consider reading and spelling interrelated (e.g., Ehri, 2000), teachers and producers of standardized tests often view them as separate entities. We examined the relationship between the two literacy skills by exploring performance on real versus nonsense words and by using scoring measures varying in sensitivity. METHOD: A list of 22 read words and 8 nonsense words were given to 25 beginning readers and spellers in Grades 1-3. General reading level was represented by the Broad Reading SS (Woodcock, 1997). The order of spelling and reading tasks was counterbalanced, with one week between testing sessions. Responses were scored using the Spelling Sensitivity Scoring procedure (SSS; Masterson & Apel, 2007), which are based on what children's spellings reveal about their phonological, orthographic, morphological, and MOIs of words. A similar measure, the Reading Sensitivity Score was developed and used to characterize reading performance. RESULTS: The correlation between spelling and reading when percent words correct was used was moderately high (r = .78), but correlations between the metrics involving increased sensitivity were very high (.90 and .94). Segment sensitivity scores were higher when reading real words than nonsense words ( F = 77.7; p < .0001; partial η2=.78 ). Scores were lower when spelling real words compared to nonsense words (F = 270.1; p < .0001; partial η2=.93). CONCLUSION: Sensitive scoring measures indicate that reading and spelling share common linguistic underpinnings.
Purpose: This interactive paper will report on the comparison of the growth trajectories of different subgroups of grade 3 students in a Southern Ontario School Board that implemented Peer Assisted Learning Strategies (PALS: Fuchs et al., 1997) as a supplement to its reading program. PALS is a highly structured class-wide peer tutoring program that is implemented for 30-35 minutes per day, five days a week. Two aspects of this research will add to the literature on PALS: this program is delivered (1) by special education teachers, instead of classroom teachers, (2) in a Canadian school system. Method: Using Hierarchical Linear Modeling (HLM: Raudenbush & Bryk, 2002) to analyze nested data, this paper reports on differences within each subgroup of students, and differences between schools for student and subgroup mean CBM scores. Data from 1800 grade 3 students attending 41 Elementary schools are examined by subgroups. The subgroups examined are (1) English Language Learners; (2) children receiving an Individual Education Plan, and (3) typically-achieving students. Data for this study is obtained from the Curriculum Based Measurements (CBM) within the PALS program; specifically seven data points for each student on Word Identification Fluency and Passage Reading Fluency. Results: Early results suggest that PALS has differential effects depending on the student subtype and the school in which the student is placed. Conclusions: PALS has been shown to have a statistically significant effect on the reading outcomes of typically achieving students and some students with learning difficulties; although the effects vary according to subtype, learning difficulty and school.
Purpose: The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between specific reading disability (SRD) and specific language impairment (SLI) by unpacking the phonological and non-phonological continuums of the two-dimensional model of SRD and SLI proposed by Bishop and Snowling (2004). Methods: We used a global measure of reading accuracy and a global measure of reading comprehension to place 110 children into four groups, each representing one quadrant of the model of SRD and SLI. These groups had poor reading accuracy alone (SRD; N = 26), poor reading accuracy plus poor reading comprehension (SRD+PC; N = 26), poor reading comprehension alone (PC; N = 18), or no impairment (NI; N = 40). We tested these groups on two tests of reading accuracy, six tests of phonological processing, and two tests of non-phonological processing. Results: We found that children with poor reading accuracy (SRD and SRD+PC) had poor scores for their age on all the phonological processing tests. In contrast, children with poor reading comprehension (SRD+PC and PC) had poor scores for their age on the non-phonological language processing. Conclusions: This suggests that neural representations, phoneme discrimination, phoneme awareness, phoneme production, and phonological short-term memory load on the phonological continuum of the two-dimension model of SRD-SLI, while receptive vocabulary and receptive syntax load on the non-phonological dimension of the two-dimension model of SRD and SLI.
Two studies investigated the effect of Pinyin, a phonological coding system used as an aid to word reading in China, on literacy acquisition among Chinese young children. In Study 1, 43 Mainland Chinese kindergartners and their mothers were videotaped on a joint Pinyin writing task in which mothers were asked to help their children to write 12 words in Pinyin. The videotapes were later coded on a self-developed scale adapted from Aram and Levin (2001). Results showed that mothers' Pinyin mediation with children uniquely explained children's Chinese word reading (but not writing), even after statistically controlling for maternal education, age, and children's non-verbal IQ, age, and phonological awareness. Thus, mothers' analytic strategies in Pinyin writing are uniquely related to Chinese children's word recognition. In Study 2, we examined whether children's own invented Pinyin spelling was uniquely associated with Chinese word reading over time among 296 Chinese kindergartners. Among other tasks administered, children were asked to write five orally presented words using Pinyin, and their performance was later coded on a self-developed scale adapted from Tangel and Blachman (1992). In Study 2, invented Pinyin spelling was uniquely predictive of Chinese reading 12 months later, even after statistically controlling for time 1 word reading, vocabulary knowledge, phonological awareness and phonological processing. Results underscore the importance of Pinyin as an index of phonological sensitivity among young Chinese children.
Purpose Ecological theory emphasizes the importance of experiences to children's developmental outcomes but suggests particular experiences may vary in their effect across children and contexts. This study investigated whether teachers' explicit print instruction during book reading influenced preschooler's print knowledge gains and whether this effect varied by child characteristics (language, attention) and classroom characteristics (global classroom quality, literacy materials in the classroom). Method Participants included 379 children and their 59 classroom teachers. Child measures included print knowledge (standardized composite of three measures), language (norm-referenced test of expressive vocabulary) and attention (teacher report form). Classroom measures included global classroom quality, amount of literacy materials (standardized observation protocols), and amount of explicit print instruction (sum of teachers' print utterances across six observed book readings). Results Hierarchical linear models predicted children's print knowledge gains from child and classroom factors. Child predictors explained 76% of child-level variance, and classroom predictors explained 57% of classroom-level variance. Amount of explicit print instruction predicted print knowledge gains after controlling for other child and classroom variables (p < .01). Moreover, the association between explicit print instruction and print knowledge gains was not moderated by any other predictor (language, attention or classroom quality; p > .10). Conclusions Findings confirm the value of instructional experience to children's print knowledge development and indicate the distinct importance of explicit print instruction during book reading on children's print knowledge gains. Lack of variability in instructional effects suggests explicit print instruction may be important regardless of children's developmental characteristics or global classroom quality.
Purpose: The purpose was to compare the effectiveness of instruction in strategies to a content-focused approach for enhancing text comprehension. The strategies approach involves procedures such as summarizing and generating questions. The content approach involves directing students' attention to text ideas toward building a coherent representation. Method: Standardized lessons for common texts were developed for each approach and implemented in two classrooms each. In strategies lessons, teachers asked students to apply a strategy, e.g., summarize or draw an inference, and in the content condition, teachers asked open questions such as "What's going on here?" Participants were two cohorts (over two years) of fifth-graders in a small, urban school district and their teachers (total n = 240 students). Measures assessed recognition of lesson text information, recall of lesson texts and a transfer text, and comprehension monitoring. Data were analyzed through one-way ANOVA's except for comprehension monitoring, which was analyzed through a condition X time repeated measures ANOVA. Results. Results showed no difference between conditions for the recognition test and comprehension monitoring, but differences favoring the content condition for recall of lesson and transfer texts. Conclusion. The content condition's advantage for recall, a productive comprehension measure, suggests that asking students to focus on meaning may promote higher levels of comprehension than applying strategies. Thus, active processing may not necessitate knowledge of and focus on specific strategies, but rather it may simply require attention to text content in ways that promote selecting important ideas and establishing connections between them.
Purpose: There has been much recent interest in the possible existence of a magnocellular deficit in dyslexia. The current study aimed to specifically explore temporal aspects of magnocellular function rather than contrast sensitivity or coherent motion. We also explored whether low-level perceptual processing speed deficits in the magnocellular system were associated with similar deficits on higher-level cognitive speed of processing tasks commonly reported in poor readers. Method: A flicker perception task was used to assess parvocellular and magnocellular temporal resolution in 40 children (aged 7-11) with dyslexia and 40 age-matched controls. The participants were also assessed on higher-level measures of temporal processing including inspection time, dual-target (attentional blink) and single-target RSVP performance, reaction time and rapid naming. Performance on these tasks was examined in relation to different reading subprocesses, and in relation to both reading accuracy and reading fluency. Results: The findings indicated that impaired magnocellular temporal resolution was not generally associated with reading disability, yet some poor readers did show specific magnocellular impairments. Significant correlations were also evident between magnocellular temporal resolution and some higher-level measures of temporal processing. Conclusion: We conclude that specific deficits in magnocellular temporal resolution are not typically associated with reading disability, but may play a role in a small percentage of cases. The possibility of a general speed of processing deficit in dyslexia is also discussed in relation to findings from factor analysis.
Purpose Researchers increasingly use tests of reading comprehension to understand the components of reading and to identify children with reading difficulties. Recent research, however, suggests that reading comprehension tests differ in the skills they assess (Cutting & Scarborough, 2006; Keenan, Betjemann, & Olson, 2008). One implication of these test differences is the possibility that a child identified by one test as having a reading comprehension deficit may not have a deficit when tested with a different test. The purpose of the present study was to compare four tests of reading comprehension to determine whether they identify the same children as being in the low tail of the distribution. Method 950 participants (8 - 18 years) in a behavioral genetic study of reading took the GORT, Qualitative Reading Inventory, Woodcock-Johnson Passage Comprehension, and the PIAT. Percentages of overlap between poor comprehenders on each test were examined. We examined overlap in both the extreme tail (z=-1.5), as well as less stringent cutoffs. Results The likelihood that a child identified as having a deficit on one test would also be identified by another ranged from a low of 27% to a high of 59%. Because the overlap was so low with some tests, we examined profiles of individuals in the low tails of each test and various test combinations; differences were found in both IQ and word decoding skill. Conclusions The differences we found between tests in who is identified as having a reading comprehension deficit have implications both for research and for diagnoses.
PROPOSAL Purpose In this study, the causal nature of the relationship between phoneme awareness, verbal short-term memory, and reading was explored by the means of an experimental training design. The main hypothesis investigated was that training phonemic skills have impact on verbal short-term memory skills, with transfer effects to reading and spelling. Method An experiment with three training groups that received either phoneme awareness training (n = 40), rhyme awareness training (n = 40) or vocabulary training (n = 40), and one untreated control group (n = 40), was set up to test the above hypothesis. Results The hypothesis that phoneme awareness training affects verbal short-term memory, with transfer effects to reading and spelling, was confirmed in the experiment. Also, the results showed that the effects from training on verbal short-term memory was restricted to phonemes and that training larger units such as rhymes, had no impact on verbal short-term memory. Conclusions The results were interpreted within the framework of research concerning the mechanisms behind verbal serial recall and studies of phonological processing in dyslexic children. It is suggested that the results showing that phonemic training affect verbal short-term memory and reading/spelling can best be understood in terms of the phonological representations hypothesis and the lexical restructuring model. Based on the lexical restructuring model it seems possible that phonemic training can lead to more finer-grained phonemically structured representations. More finely grained phonological representations will then enhance performance on phonological processing tasks such as verbal short-term memory, and also improve reading skills.
PURPOSE: One of the simplest way to observe online learning is by monitoring responses to repeated stimuli. We obtained behavioral (reaction time and accuracy) and neurobiological (regional brain activity with fMRI) measures for novel versus repeated printed words, in good and poor readers. While repetition alone is clearly not an adequate remediation strategy for poor readers, it does allow us to observe a fundamental component of learning, while tightly controlling many factors that complicate full intervention studies. METHOD: While being scanned, 16 good readers and 14 poor readers read single printed words, and made a simple animacy judgment to each. In each imaging run, six words were repeated six times each, with additional unrepeated filler words. RESULTS: Both group showed faster behavioral responses with repetition. The imaging data, however, showed striking group differences. The inferior frontal gyrus, the superior temporal gyrus, and the occipitotemporal area (as well as others) showed a generally similar pattern. For good readers, we observed the expected reduction in activity levels with repetition (i.e., a neural priming effect). For the poor readers, however, we observed the opposite: activity levels increased with repetition. CONCLUSIONS: These results indicate a striking difference in how good and poor readers engage brain regions in passive learning. While good readers show lower activations with repetition, suggesting more efficient processing, poor readers increase activity levels, suggesting increasing engagement and integration of stimuli. The next study will test these notions by examining the repetition effect to both words and pseudowords in skilled readers.
Introduction. This study examined the interaction between neighborhood and home level characteristics on early childhood expressive vocabulary, in the context of genetic influences. Methods. Expressive vocabulary was assessed from tester-administered measures. The Home Literacy Environment was measured via a maternal survey from monozygotic and same-sex dizygotic twins from 381 families. Zipcode demographic information was obtained from Census indicators to measure neighborhood and family conditions (poverty rate M = .34, SD = .13, range = .09-.73). Results. Higher levels of neighborhood poverty and home literacy environment accounted for statistically significant, independent variance in expressive vocabulary. Random effects were estimated separately by zygosity, allowing for the simultaneous estimation of genetic, shared environmental, and nonshared environmental/error influences. Combined, these estimates accounted for 8% of the total variance in expressive vocabulary in early elementary school aged twins. When assessed two years later, the home literacy environment and the interaction between poverty and home literacy environment account for statistically significant independent variance in expressive vocabulary, combining to account for 15% of the total variance. Conclusions. Neighborhood and family level data are significant predictors of expressive vocabulary in the early school years and neighborhood/home level characteristics may nonlinearly magnify or mitigate risk for vocabulary deficits. Additionally, the variance in expressive vocabulary not explained by these predictors is influenced not only by unmeasured environmental but by genetic factors as well.
Purpose: Compared to typical readers, children with reading disability (RD) show a greater deficit recalling central information from a text than peripheral information; this is called the centrality deficit. We assessed whether individual differences in working memory (WM) can help explain the centrality deficit, and how the specific task used to assess WM affects the results. Method: 40 children with RD and 47 typical readers read and retold a passage. They also completed four WM tasks selected to represent a continuum of processing demands: sentence span, counting span, backward digit span, and forward digit span. Results: All WM tasks, except forward digit span, were significantly correlated with text recall. Correlations were higher for recall of central than peripheral information. Regressions showed that even after controlling for word decoding skill and IQ, additional variance in recall of central (but not peripheral) information was explained by WM; the amount was significant for sentence span, and decreased as the processing demands of the WM task decreased. Conclusion: Individual differences in WM account for significant individual differences in text recall, but the extent to which WM impacts text recall depends on both the type of information (central vs. peripheral) and the specific WM assessment that is used. The more the WM task involves processing in addition to storage, the more variance the task accounts for in recall of central information and the greater the difference in variance accounted for between central and peripheral information.
Lynne Miller (Center for Reading and Language Research at Tufts University)Maryanne Wolf; Mary Anton-Oldenburg; Amy Ellison - RAVE-O multi-dimensional classroom-based curriculum in reading acquisition: Development and Pilot Study Findings
Purpose: A ten-year NICHD treatment control study of RAVE-O: A Systematic Intervention Program for Fluent Comprehension (1996) indicates the efficacy of multi-dimensional interventions integrating instruction in orthographic, semantic, syntactic, morphological and phonological processes for children with reading disabilities. This success prompted a classroom based program incorporating systematic instruction in linguistic components for all students and a second tier program for struggling beginning readers. This paper presents design processes, structure, and pilot results of Classroom Based RAVE-O Instructional Curriculum for 1st Grade. Method: Year one teachers implemented the RAVE-O Intervention Program in small groups of "struggling readers". In year two, a redesigned Classroom Based RAVE-O Curriculum was implemented in 1st grade classrooms. Standardized and experimental measures of linguistic and reading skills were administered pre and post intervention to students in year one (n=20), and to experimental (n=22) and control (n=14) groups in year two. Repeated-measure ANOVAs of year one data compared pre and post reading skills. Year two data is currently being analyzed. Results: Preliminary results of year one pre/post comparisons showed an increase in both SS and raw scores in all components of reading, with significant raw score increases in CTOPP Elision Blending(p<.001), Woodcock Word ID(p<.05), and Passage Comprehension(p<.05); GORT Fluency(p<.05) and experimental measures of multiple definition knowledge(.001). Conclusion: Preliminary pilot data suggest multi-dimensional curricula support the development of subskills important for reading fluency by 1st grade students. Process data suggests a multi-dimensional program can be implemented as tier one and tier two programs in 1st grade classrooms.
Purpose The relationship between RAN and reading fluency is well documented; however the components that account for this association are still unclear. Two studies were conducted to analyze the RAN-literacy relationship from different perspectives. Method In Study 1 we assessed reading skills (word and nonword reading), RAN and different subcomponents of RAN (articulation speed, visual processing speed, general reaction time and orthographic knowledge) in 574 German-speaking children. A series of stepwise regression analyses was conducted to determine the unique contribution of RAN to word reading fluency. In Study 2 four subgroups were selected based on their reading and spelling skills: poor readers/good spellers, poor spellers/good readers, poor readers/poor spellers and a control group. For these groups the performance in RAN and in subcomponents of RAN was analyzed. Results In Study 1 the general speed measures (articulation, visual processing and reaction time) accounted for only 8% altogether, and orthographic processing for 25% of variance. RAN still accounted for 13% of unique variance over and above orthographic processing, but for hardly any variance after controlling for differences in nonword reading fluency. Study 2 showed RAN deficits in both reading deficit groups but not in the isolated spelling deficit group. In contrast the four groups did not differ in general speed measures. Conclusion These results indicate that the RAN-reading association cannot be explained by general speed components or by an orthographic mechanism. Instead we speculate that the relationship reflects the fast access from visual symbols to phonological representations, involved in both word and nonword reading.
Purpose: When learning to read, children must determine the letter-phoneme mapping, but for many languages they must also assign stress to the word. The former process has been widely studied but the latter has received little attention, even though it appears to be an indicator of developmental disorders in languages with transparent orthographies. In this study, we investigated the availability of sublexical information across a range of languages, and determined whether beginnings and endings could be used by children in nonword naming. Method: We selected all bi- and trisyllabic words from Dutch, English, German, Greek, Italian, and Spanish corpora. We selected the first or last 1, 2, or 3 letters and determined stress classification accuracy using discriminant analyses. We also tested whether a computational model mapping English orthography to stress was more sensitive to beginnings or endings. Finally, we tested whether children aged 5-12 used beginnings or endings when reading nonwords in English. We constructed a set of 24 nonwords that varied whether beginnings or endings predicted stress position statistically. Results: We found that for all 6 languages, both beginnings and endings could classify stress position extremely accurately. The computational model showed that endings were more reliable than beginnings in English, and this was confirmed in the reading study, where word endings became increasingly important for stress assignment with age. Conclusions: Sublexical information reflects stress assignment across a range of languages. The computational and experimental studies indicated that both are used when reading nonwords, but that endings are increasingly prioritised.
Catherine Moritz (Tufts University Center for Reading and Language Research)Sasha Yampolsky; Georgios Papadelis; Katie Overy; Maryanne Wolf - Music and reading acquisition: links between rhythm skills and phonological awareness
Purpose: Educators are intrigued with the possibility that music, an engaging activity for children, may improve underlying skills of reading or even reading itself. A few studies have demonstrated this link, but little is known about specific relationships between these two domains that could explain why. We investigated (1) relationships between kindergartners' musical rhythm skills and phonological awareness ("PA"); (2) whether PA skills changed over time depending on the amount of musical instruction. Method: Pre-and-post year PA, rhythm production/discrimination, and tempo production tests were administered to two kindergarten groups (n=30): 1) daily music lessons (experimental); and 2) weekly music lessons (control). Partial correlations, controlling for abbreviate IQ, explored relationships between PA and Rhythm. Repeated-measure ANOVAs compared pre and post PA skills in the two groups. Partial correlations explored kindergarten rhythm scores and second grade PA and word reading (n=12). Results: Rhyming and segmentation were related to rhythm production (r ranged from .37 to .60, p<.05) and rhythm discrimination (r=.67, p < .05, rhyming discrimination). The experimental group had greater improvement in rhyming discrimination at end-of-year (F=9.67, p<.01). Kindergarteners' rhythm production was related to second grade PA (r ranged from .63 to.76, p<.05). Kindergarteners' rhythm discrimination was related to word attack (r=.67, p<.05). Conclusion: Musical rhythm skills are related to PA skills, and musical activity is related to improvements in PA (rhyming). This study suggests that music may support reading acquisition through enhancement of phonological awareness. Preliminary longitudinal data suggest that rhythm discrimination is particularly associated with development of word attack skills.
Purpose This study explores the decoding/encoding strategies deployed by level-matched groups of Grade 1 French L1 pupils (N=145) and their highly proficient L2 peers (N=88). We wished to determine if L1 and L2 children achieving comparable overall test results were handling specific types of test items in similar or different ways. Method Participants were administered a 177-word text containing 75 partially-blanked words, 60 of which were targeted in our study by virtue of the fact that they constituted occurrences that could not be copied from an intact word found elsewhere in the text. These 60 items included 28 function words, 16 words bearing audible inflections and 16 content words with no audible inflections. Performance on individual items was analysed in terms of word frequency, word function, the use made of phonological cues and the use made of orthographic cues. Results Item analysis revealed significant L1-L2 differences in the middle and top thirds of our total population. These differences were best accounted for by the use participants made of phonological and orthographic cues. L1 children proved heavily reliant on a 'sounding out' approach to blank-filling while their L2 peers relied on frequency-driven visual recognition. Conclusions Similar overall performances were found to mask significant L1-L2 decoding differences. This masking effect may lead teachers to conclude that linguistic parity has been achieved when it is not truly the case. It may also blind teachers to the fact that the decoding skills they teach are not being always adopted.
We report the frequency and cue validity in WordNet and some large text corpora of several common prefixes often advocated as worth teaching in early grades. To estimate the cue validity of these prefixes, e.g. "un-," to the meaning of over 10,000 distinct words, e.g. "undo" and "uncle," we computed what percentage of their WordNet definitions contain keywords for the meaning of the prefix, e.g. "cancel," "lack," "no," "not," "opposite," "reverse," etc. We analyze the cue validity of each prefix, both overall, and how it varies by corpus and by lexical properties such as word frequency, length, part of speech, and whether the remainder of the word is also a word. This analysis revealed that their utility in deciphering word meaning varies considerably, and is surprisingly poor for some prefixes. We discuss the implications of these findings for vocabulary instruction in different grades, and for readers at varying levels of sophistication with respect to word structure and word meaning.
Prosodic cues, particularly the rhythmic patterns produced by variations in syllabic stress, help guide the segmentation of words, syllables and phonemes from continuous speech. This study investigated the sensitivity of adult dyslexics and age/IQ matched controls (n=38) to the prosody of spoken English. Dyslexic participants were significantly impaired on two out of three measures of prosodic sensitivity. Prosodic sensitivity also correlated well with the literacy measures. This relationship was stronger within the control group than the dyslexic group. Finally, performance on the prosodic sensitivity tasks explained unique variance in passage reading and single word reading beyond that accounted for by phonological decoding. These findings strengthen the argument for a link between prosodic sensitivity and literacy.
Purpose Invented spelling has been shown to be related to reading and spelling acquisition. Less is known about predictors of invented spelling. The purpose of this study was to investigate the ability of phoneme awareness, letter sound knowledge, and word reading (measured in both January and June of kindergarten) to explain children's end-of-kindergarten invented spelling. Method Participants were kindergarten children who attended inner-city schools in upstate New York (n=137). They were a subsample from a larger intervention study in which nine schools were randomly assigned to conditions. This subsample consisted of children in the four comparison schools only (those who received no intervention during kindergarten). Hierarchical linear regression was used to explore the extent to which three predictor variables (phoneme segmentation, letter-sound knowledge, and word identification) administered in January and June of kindergarten, explain unique variance in invented spelling at the end-of-kindergarten. Results When letter sounds, phoneme segmentation, and word identification administered in January of kindergarten were used to predict invented spelling in June, both letter sounds and phoneme segmentation explained a significant amount of the variance. When the same variables administered in June were used to predict June invented spelling, both letter sounds and phoneme segmentation again explained unique variance. Conclusion Researchers have already suggested that children with more sophisticated invented spelling perform better on measures of phonemic awareness, reading, and spelling. Knowing more about the early skills that contribute to invented spelling could potentially provide additional support for working on these early skills in the kindergarten classroom.
In our study, school aged children from a mid-size city in Russia (N = 189) completed a series of computer-based same-different tasks with letter and numbers strings under successive and simultaneous conditions. In addition, they were subjected to a series of standardized reading assessments. Reaction time has been suggested as a candidate variable for explaining extra phonological variance in reading ability, whether as an indicator of cerebellar or motor dysfunction, or as an indicator of a general speed-of-processing construct. However, interpreting this relationship has been difficult because of inconsistent findings and methodologies. Unlike prior research, we decompose the reaction time distributions using an empirically supported model of reaction times, the Diffusion model. This model provides estimates of decision boundaries, and information accumulation. These estimates allow us to compare different components of the reaction time process to reading measures. We find correlations between reading ability and reaction time, but also show that (1) the diffusion estimates, phonological awareness and IQ measures each had a different profile of contributions to the reading measures; (2) diffusion estimates contribute variance uniquely above and beyond IQ and phonological awareness to the reading measures; and (3) the diffusion estimates of reaction time behave differently than mean RT and appear to be clearer indicators of task performance.
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the reading development of children with Down syndrome and to compare this development to that of typically developing, reading-ability matched peers. Method: The reading development of 49 children with Down syndrome (DS) (aged 5;03 - 16;0 2) was followed for two years and compared with that of 61 typically developing (TD) children who were matched for reading skills at the beginning of the study. All children were assessed at three points in time with gaps of approximately 12 months between testing points and we also present follow-up data from a subset of the better DS readers tested 2 years later. The initial assessment battery comprised tests of vocabulary, narrative skills, phonological awareness, letter knowledge and single word recognition. Later test phases incorporated tests tapping nonword reading, spelling and reading comprehension. Results: Children with DS made poorer progress over time than TD controls. For TD readers, phonological awareness predicted individual differences in reading growth; for children with DS reading development was more strongly predicted by vocabulary. Within the subset of 10 better readers, decoding and reading comprehension were found to be areas of specific impairment (compared to word recognition). However, decoding ability was significantly correlated with reading accuracy. The group evidenced difficulties using both literal information and in making inferences to understand text. Conclusions: Vocabulary varied within the DS group and results suggest that for those with better vocabulary, the relationships between vocabulary, phoneme and reading skills are similar to those found in typical development. However, for those with poorer vocabulary reading development appears to follow an atypical course. Within the subset of 10 better readers, reading comprehension was significantly correlated with reading accuracy and vocabulary knowledge, as in typical development and in-line with the simple view of reading.
Purpose Nonword repetition (NWR) is associated with individual differences in reading development and in this context, it is considered a phonological task, tapping phonological processing and short-term memory. Additionally however, NWR is a phenotypic marker of language impairment, showing a close relationship with language skills beyond phonology. Potentially therefore, the relationship between NWR and reading may be mediated by language skills more generally. This hypothesis was explored in typical development, and in dyslexia. Method Two commonly used measures of NWR were used: the Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (CTOPP) and The children's Test of Nonword Repetition (CNRep). Children (N=270) completed both tasks at age 5, 6, 7 and 8 years of age, along with measures of phonology, language, decoding and reading comprehension. A subset of children with poor decoding but normal nonverbal IQ were selected from the sample at 8 years; 16 showed a classic dyslexia profile of selective phonological deficits and 17 showed poor decoding alongside more general language weaknesses. Results Across the whole sample, the correlation between CTOPP and CNRep was only moderate within each time point, and across time. Generally, CTOPP loaded with decoding and phonological skills, whereas CNRep was more associated with language and comprehension. The dyslexia+language group showed deficits on both measures of NWR, whereas the dyslexia-only group showed deficits only on the CTOPP. Conclusions NWR is deceptively complex. Whether children with dyslexia show NWR deficits depends on the nature of the items, and whether the children show concomitant language impairments.
Purpose Since the Millennium Goals and the Asmara Declaration (2000), Africa has been trying to meet its goals of ensuring that every child has the opportunity to learn in their mother tongue. However, the number of African languages is in the thousands, and it is very difficult to organize an orthography and prepare literacy materials for each and every language. In this paper, we will illustrate the challenges of mother-tongue literacy focusing on a study conducted in Ghana assessing children's Expressive Vocabulary (EV) skills, and explore the feasibility of developing comprehensive mother tongue instruments for the assessment of reading and language in African countries. Method The EV skills of 1236 children in grades 1-4 in were assessed using a set of 47 items, which was presented in one of four mutually unintelligible languages as preferred by each child: English, Twi, Gonja, and Ewe. Results The results showed scores that were comparable across languages. Generally, those attending school outperformed those who did not, and since English is a school language and not a local language, those who tested in English outperformed those who did not. Conclusion The findings suggest that such instruments can be produced for indigenous languages relatively quickly and without a bias towards dominant (colonial) language learners. Additionally, secondary findings indicate the viability of producing a stable item list that could be translated into many mother tongues, and that, for all languages, being in school raises vocabulary acquisition rates.
Purpose There is debate over the importance of the linguistic unit of analysis (syllable, onset-rime, phoneme) in the relationship between phonological awareness and reading. Cross-cultural research is important for providing insight into this question. In the current study, we compare the relationship between phonological awareness and reading in English- and Mandarin-speaking children because the structural properties of spoken and written Mandarin Chinese and the mapping between these two are uniquely suited to provide one of the strongest possible contrasts to an alphabetic language like English. In Chinese, characters represent syllables and morphemes rather than individual phonemes, and thus, unlike in alphabetic languages, phoneme-level awareness should not be particularly important for Chinese readers if the relationship between phonological awareness and reading is language-specific. Method 120 monolingual English- and Mandarin-speaking 4- to 8-year-old children were tested on a battery of emergent reading measures, including measures of phoneme and morpheme elision and substitution, working memory, rapid-naming, vocabulary and reading ability. Results: Preliminary results revealed that phonological awareness measured by syllable and phoneme elision was the strongest predictor of reading in Mandarin- as in English-speaking emergent readers, beyond measures of morphological awareness, working memory and rapid naming. Interestingly, phoneme-level awareness developed later in Mandarin speakers than English speakers but was significantly related to reading for older Chinese children first learning to read. Conclusion: Because of the difference in the structural properties of Chinese and English, these results provide preliminary evidence of the universal importance of phonological awareness for predicting reading independent of linguistic grain size.
Dana Nezon (OISE- University of Toronto); Dana Shafman; Esther Geva - How does partial hebrew immersion for native english speakers impact language proficiency and word decoding skills in both languages?
Purpose: To investigate how early partial Hebrew Immersion impacts Preschool and Primary school children's expressive and receptive language proficiency and reading skills in Hebrew and English. Method: Two groups of children, one coming from an early partial Hebrew Immersion (HI) program and one coming from a class with minimal Hebrew, were measured in the spring of Senior Kindergarten (pre- Grade 1) and fall and spring of Grade 1, a grade in which both groups were merged. Matrix reasoning and age were used as controls. Reading was measured using word identification and pseudoword decoding in both languages. Language proficiency was measured in both languages using a receptive vocabulary test (PPVT) as well as an experimental expressive language test administered in Hebrew that contained three parts varying in task demands: sentence repetition, prompted questions and open-ended questions. Results: T-tests confirmed that both groups were similar on nonverbal reasoning and age. Analyses revealed that early HI resulted in significantly better Hebrew language skills at all time points, but did not impact reading skill in any way. Conclusions: Immersing children in a second language communicative environment for 1-year leads to significantly stronger second language skills, and this oral language advantage is maintained a year later. However, early immersion did not impact the first language skills or second language decoding skills. Implications of developing decoding skills for a shallow orthography will be discussed within the context of second language proficiency.
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to present further findings concerning the genetic bases of reading and reading disabilities in other than English-speaking samples. Method A sample of Swahili-speaking probands with reading difficulties was identified from a large representative sample of ~1,500 school children living in rural Tanzania. Families of these probands (n = 88) were invited to participate in the study. Each proband and his/her sibling/s received a battery of reading-related tasks and their performance on these tasks was recorded and treated as phenotypic data. Molecular-genetic analyses were carried out with 47 highly polymorphic markers spanning three previously identified regions of interest that harbored susceptibility loci for reading difficulties: 2p, 6p, and 15q (DYX1-DYX3). Results The analyses revealed the involvement of these regions in the development of reading difficulties in Swahili. The linkage signals are especially pronounced for time indicators (compared to error indicators) of reading difficulties. These findings are in agreement with the current understanding that in transparent languages, such as Swahili, deficits in reading are more related to the rate/speed of reading and reading-related processes than to the number of errors made. Conclusion This study incrementally advances the field by adding an understudied language and an understudied population to the variety of languages and populations that have so far contributed to our understanding of the genetic bases of reading difficulties.
Tom Nicholson (Centre of Excellence for Research on Children's Literacy, Massey University)Louise Turner and Laura Tse - Phonics and whole language - can they be friends? Looking at the effects of the two teaching strategies by tutoring struggling readers in three disadvantaged schools over two years
The reading wars have been a major issue in the last decade or more but there are very few randomised experimental control studies that directly contrast phonics with whole language strategies for teaching reading. Meta-analytic review studies struggle to find sufficient well designed direct comparisons. This was a 2-year study comparing both approaches. A second aim was to find out if weekly 40-minute tutoring would close the literacy and numeracy gap for below-average children in three very disadvantaged high-poverty schools. 108 children, 98% Pacific Island Maori, between 6 and 10 years old were randomly assigned to three groups: maths (control group), whole language, and phonics. The tutors were teachers and University students. To control for teacher effects tutors were randomly assigned to a different teaching approach at 4-monthly periods in each year. The research design, with random assignment and a control group receiving a different subject (maths) controlled for teacher effects, Hawthorne effects, practice effects, and time effects. The reading groups made significantly greater gains than the control group in reading accuracy and comprehension. The control group (maths) made significantly greater gains in maths compared with the reading groups who were not taught maths. An important theoretical finding, given the nature of the reading wars, was no difference between phonics and whole language. An practical finding was that the tuition narrowed the reading and maths gaps although it took a long time for the reading tuition (but not the math tuition) to take effect.
Purpose: This investigation examined one aspect of literate language development, the use of complex syntax, in older children and young adolescents, using an expository writing task. It was hypothesized that growth in syntax would be revealed through an analysis of hierarchical complexity, a phenomenon in which multiple embedded subordinate clauses are employed as the language user attempts to express complex thoughts efficiently. Method: The participants were typically-achieving children (mean age = 11;1, n = 40) and adolescents (mean age = 14;1, n = 40) attending public elementary and middle schools. All participants wrote an essay entitled, The Nature of Friendship, in which they were asked to address specific questions (e.g., What kinds of things can damage friendships?). Results: The older group showed significantly greater hierarchical complexity than the younger group, producing sentences that contained a greater proportion of embedded subordinate clauses. Differences in hierarchical complexity between younger and older students will be illustrated through examples such as the following: Girl, age 11;2: People can remain [IC] good friends by sharing or letting one of us go first instead of fighting. (17 words; 5 verbs; 1 level of embedding) Girl, age 13;4: I think [IC] that everything you do [REL], you should surround [NOM] yourself with people that are [REL] positive and are [REL] your true friends. (20 words; 5 verbs; 3 levels of embedding) Conclusions: The findings suggest that it is useful to analyze students' expository writing for hierarchical complexity as a quantifiable factor that is sensitive to syntactic development.
Elizabeth Norton (MIT); Ioulia Kovelman; Nadine Gaab; Joanna A. Christodoulou; Christina Triantafyllou; Daniel A. Lieberman; John Lymberis; Susan Whitfield-Gabrieli; Maryanne Wolf; John D.E. Gabrieli - Evidence for different neural processing of auditory language phonological awareness in children with developmental dyslexia
PURPOSE: Phonological awareness (PA) is an early and robust predictor of reading ability, and is often impaired in dyslexia. Previous neuroimaging studies examining PA used visual (written text) stimuli, and found that children with dyslexia exhibit different activation patterns than typical readers. Although deficits in visual PA tasks are thought to originate from diminished auditory language-based PA, little is known about auditory PA brain differences related to dyslexia. We compared neural correlates of auditory PA in children with dyslexia and typical readers. METHOD: Dyslexic readers (n=13, ages 7-12), age-matched typical readers (n=13), and kindergarteners (PA ability-matched to dyslexic children, n=10, ages 5-6), completed auditory word-rhyming PA and word-matching (control) tasks during fMRI. RESULTS: Age-matched typical readers exhibited left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) activation for word-rhyming relative to word-matching. This activation was significantly greater than in children with dyslexia, who did not exhibit DLPFC activation. Kindergarteners exhibited left DLPFC activation similar in magnitude to older typical readers. CONCLUSIONS: Left DLPFC appears to support PA for auditory language in typically developing readers ages 5-13. Children with dyslexia do not exhibit DLPFC activation for auditory PA; this lack of activation cannot be explained by level of PA proficiency or age. The findings suggest that left DLPFC may play a critical role in phonological awareness, as well as in the etiology of reading difficulties.
Purpose - We explored the relation between both accuracy and speed of semantic access and reading ability (word reading and comprehension). Performance on these measures was also related to tasks that required the children to link words in text, or in a word list, to determine the theme. Method - Fifty-seven nine- to ten-year-olds were tested on hypernym and synonym judgment and production tasks and other tasks that assessed their ability to select key theme words from texts, or to identify a theme word that related groups of words. Results - The synonym and hypernym production and judgment tasks were related to comprehension skill, even after word reading accuracy was partialled. The facility (speed) with which synonym and hypernym judgments were made was more strongly related to comprehension skill than performance on untimed production tasks. Indeed, time to judge hypernyms and synonyms accounted for variance in reading comprehension over and above word reading ability, and performance in an independent hypernym or synonym production task. Ability to select key theme words from stories was related to one of the hypernym tasks, but not to the synonym tasks. Conclusions - It is not so much children's knowledge of word meanings that is crucial to comprehension, but the facility with which they can access that knowledge. The results also address the manner in which vocabulary knowledge might be related to comprehension skill, and we discuss how some aspects of such knowledge are particularly helpful in making lexical links that indicate the theme of a text.
Purpose Split foveas (Shillcock et al., 2000) would separate letter strings of centrally fixated words such that --for each eye-- half words travel to opposite hemispheres. fMRI evidence from Toosy et al. (2001) shows that monocular stimulation produces greater activation in contralateral than in ipsilateral cortex. We hypothesise that words presented stereoscopically as half words to each eye are better perceived when letters fall onto nasal hemifoveas from temporal visual fields (contralateral condition). Also, word beginnings and endings would initially be processed separately by each hemisphere, and males should show fine-code left lateralisation. Method We briefly presented halves of six-letter words to each eye, either contralaterally or ipsilaterally. Stimuli were counterbalanced across hemifoveas. 200 words were selected such that beginning and ending n-gram strings spanned across possible type-count neighbours. Fifty native English speaking university students took part. Results People phenomenologically perceived single whole words. Linear mixed effects analyses (with participant and item random effects) showed better word perception for targets presented contralaterally than ipsilaterally. While end n-gram type counts were inversely associated with correct word identifications for both sexes, begin n-gram counts favoured stimuli with more neighbour counts for females but not for males. Conclusions The difference (p<0.01) between contralateral and ipsilateral presentations support a split fovea. While both sexes showed fine-code facilitation for ends of words (a LH effect), only females showed coarse-code facilitation for word beginnings (a RH effect). That is, left-lateralisation mediates letter recognition in males.
Purpose Many African children struggle with the challenge of multilingualism. In Zambia, where the official language is English, a new program, New Breakthrough to Literacy, has introduced seven local languages to initial literacy teaching. These new African orthographies (including those of Zambia) are similarly transparent to the Finnish orthography, which is read accurately by the majority of Finnish children within a few months of school instruction. Thus, Zambian children could learn to read at the same pace as Finnish children. The purpose of this paper is to present how a computer-based intervention/game might help children in Zambia learn to read. Method We developed and initiated a study on a computer-based intervention (Literate game) for letter-sound correspondence learning in Lusaka (Zambia). This provided an opportunity to follow the acquisition in detail. Pupils from grades 1-4 in three schools, altogether 120 children with compromised literacy skills used Chinyanja translation of the game. Results Analysis of the acquisition of the letter-sound correspondences revealed that children, particularly in Grade 2, encountered unexpected difficulties especially with vowels /a/, /e/ and /i/ which happen to be phonemes that have different spellings in English compared to Chinyanja. Conclusion The results indicate that simultaneous learning of two languages with different alphabetical codes can seriously interfere with reading acquisition if the separation is not taken carefully into account in the instruction provided by the school.
Purpose: Selection of vocabulary is considered an important part of the writing process. However, little is known about the type of vocabulary considered essential for writing quality, and whether these vary by the genre of writing. Two studies were conducted to identify relevant vocabulary characteristics and identify their relationship to narrative or informational writing quality. Method: In the first study, approximately 200 second- and fourth-grade students completed a narrative writing task. The writing samples were scored for analytic quality and four vocabulary characteristics: vocabulary diversity, less frequent vocabulary, mean syllable length, number of polysyllabic words. The second study included 90 elementary-aged students with reading difficulties. Participants received one of three reading interventions and completed an informational writing task before and after reading a subject-specific text. The writing samples were scored for analytic quality and four vocabulary characteristics: vocabulary diversity, mean syllable length, content-relevant vocabulary, and content-specific vocabulary. Results: In both studies, commonality analysis indicated that vocabulary was related to writing quality. In the first study, grade-level differences were found for relationships between different vocabulary measures and writing quality. Preliminary results for the second study indicated that reading subject-specific text increased the vocabulary used in writing, and that vocabulary characteristics related to the topic of the writing were predictive of writing quality. Conclusions: Vocabulary is an important component of writing quality for elementary students, however, the type of vocabulary is related to the genre of writing. The results also have implications for vocabulary assessment in writing.
Purpose: To extend our longitudinal twin study of genetic and environmental influences on individual differences in word decoding and reading comprehension from first and second grade when children are learning to read, to the end of fourth grade, when children are reading to learn. Method: Identical and fraternal twins in Colorado (N=582) were assessed at the end of 4th grade on multiple measures of word recognition, spelling, phonological decoding, phoneme awareness, reading comprehension, listening comprehension, vocabulary, and rapid naming. Univariate and multivariate latent-trait behavior genetic analyses estimated genetic and environmental influences on each trait and on the correlations between traits. Results: The multivariate analyses revealed that in contrast to the very high phenotypic and genetic correlations between word recognition and reading comprehension at the end of first and second grades, these two reading skills have significant independent genetic influences by the end of 4th grade. This genetic independence was greater for the Gates-MacGinitie extended passage comprehension test than for the Woodcock-Johnson single-sentence cloze test. In general, genetic correlations with reading comprehension were higher for listening comprehension and vocabulary, while genetic correlations with word recognition were higher for phonological decoding, spelling, rapid naming, and phoneme awareness. Shared family environment influences were significant only for vocabulary. Conclusions: The emergence of significant independent genetic influences on word recognition and reading comprehension by the end of 4th grade highlights the importance of identifying the genetic and neural pathways to this independence, and the appropriate interventions to help compensate for deficits in these skills.
The goal of this longitudinal research was to test whether the sophistication of young children's attempts to spell (invented spelling) in kindergarten would account for individual differences in the acquisition of reading after controlling for well-known precursor skills. Children's early spelling attempts were scored on a developmental scale midway through kindergarten, when the 5 year old children (N = 115) were also assessed on measures of alphabet knowledge, phoneme awareness, and decoding. We were able to follow 87 of these children until the end of grade 1, when multiple measures of visual word recognition, decoding, and spelling were administered. As expected, letter-sound knowledge and phoneme awareness skills in kindergarten were shown to be important predictors of literacy skills at the end of grade 1. Importantly, the results also showed robust associations between developmental scoring of invented spelling sophistication and subsequent measures of reading and spelling, even after controlling for well-known predictors. The findings support the idea that invented spelling is an important early literacy skill that contributes to early word reading skills beyond the influence of phoneme awareness and alphabetic knowledge.
Mariela Paez (Lynch School of Education, Boston College);Lianna Pizzo; Kristen Paratore Bock - Vocabulary Instruction through Home-School Connections: Findings from an Intervention Program for Spanish-English bilingual students
Purpose: Educational and language researchers have emphasized the urgency of addressing the needs of young bilingual learners, in particular those from Spanish-speaking backgrounds, who make up a high percentage of the English language learners (ELLs) entering American schools. This paper describes the development and implementation of an intervention designed to improve the language and literacy skills of Spanish-English bilingual kindergarten students. The intervention focuses on vocabulary learning in bilingual students by linking English language development in classrooms with Spanish language development in the home. Method: Students were randomly assigned to four intervention and four control classrooms with a total of 60 students and their families participating in the study. Data collection included pre- and post-assessments in English and Spanish, classroom observations, and teacher and parent questionnaires. Vocabulary assessments included standardized measures of language and literacy skills and a researcher-developed assessment for the instructed words. Results: Findings are presented including results from the development, piloting, refinement, and implementation of the intervention. Analyses examines the means on the language and literacy measures pre- and posttest scores by experimental/intervention groups and control to determine effectiveness of intervention and comparability between the samples. Conclusions: This study contributes to research on effective vocabulary instructional practices and advances our understanding of transfer of vocabulary skills and effective practices for teaching bilingual students.
PURPOSE We know a lot about the home literacy environment of preschoolers, but far less about the experiences of older, more established readers in grades 3 and 5. The present research aimed at filling this gap. METHOD English-speaking children in grades 3 (N = 60) and 5 (N = 56) completed: (a) standardized measures of reading, spelling, vocabulary, and arithmetic; b) measures of reading for pleasure; and (c) reading motivation, self-concept, and attitude scales. In addition, parents completed a home literacy questionnaire. RESULTS Preliminary analyses revealed greater similarities than discrepancies across grades; hence, the results for the entire sample are reported. In this generally middle-class sample, parents reported, on average, having initiated shared reading when their child was between 7 months to 1 year; reading to their child often prior to grade 1; and that they owned between 81 and 100 children's books. In addition, 85% of parents reported currently motivating their child to read for pleasure, with 49% of parents using more than one motivating method. Of the five methods reported, supplying materials was used most often (56%). Hierarchical regression analyses revealed that reading for pleasure, child motivation, as well as home literacy were significant predictors of reading comprehension after controlling for parent education and income, parent literacy, and children's math ability. CONCLUSION The current findings support the notion that home literacy continues to play an important role in children's reading during the middle elementary school years.
Purpose The goal of the present study was to examine the effect of the Collaborative Language and Literacy Instruction Project (CLLIP; a professional development program in language and literacy originally developed to increase students' literacy competencies in an English speaking context) on student outcomes for primary grade Spanish-speaking students in Chile. Method 162 kindergartners in 8 classrooms and 307 first graders in 10 classrooms in Chile were randomly assigned to treatment and control groups (4 and 5 classes in kindergarten and first grade, respectively) and assessed in the beginning, middle, and end of academic year. Teachers and administrators attended three different professional development modules, in which they were introduced to strategic assessment, small group intervention, phonological awareness, vocabulary, fluency, reading comprehension, and writing. Kindergartners were administered letter naming fluency, phonological awareness, vocabulary, and word reading tasks. First graders were assessed on vocabulary, nonword reading fluency, word reading, and reading comprehension tasks. Growth models were fitted, accounting for students nested within class. Results Kindergartners in the treatment grew at a faster rate than those in the control group in letter-naming fluency, but did not differ in phonological awareness, word reading, and vocabulary tasks. First graders in the treatment achieved higher scores at the end of the year and grew at a faster rate than those in the control group in word reading, vocabulary, nonword reading, and reading comprehension. Conclusions Results indicate that systematic professional development using CLLIP model was effective in improving literacy skills for Chilean kindergarteners and first graders.
Timothy Papadopoulos (University of Cyprus)George Spanoudis - The role of RAN, phonological awareness, attention, working memory, speed of processing, and motor skills in word fluency, word accuracy, spelling, and reading comprehension
Purpose The role of RAN in different reading tasks across time remains a subject of debate. The present study aimed to address this issue by investigating the relative contribution of RAN, phonological awareness, attention, working memory, speed of processing, and motor skills to different reading and orthographic processing measures concurrently and longitudinally in Grades 1 and 2. Method 289 Greek-Cypriot children were tested in Grades 1 and 2 on a set of 12 tasks tapping the various cognitive processes (6 abilities x 2 tasks). They were also administered a set of 8 tasks (4 reading/orthographic processing subskills x 2 tasks) that were used to measure the four reading constructs, namely, reading fluency, reading accuracy, reading comprehension, and orthographic processing. Structural equation modelling was used to examine the relations among the latent constructs. Results and Conclusions The findings showed that the role of RAN was limited only to the prediction of word fluency in both years and word accuracy only in Grade 1. Attention was the foremost significant component skill in both years almost in all analyses (except of reading accuracy), followed by phonological processing (in all analyses except of reading fluency), speed of processing (with a role limited to word fluency and reading comprehension), and working memory (with invariant role across analyses). Finally, the role of motor skills was limited only to the prediction of reading accuracy and reading comprehension in Grade 1. Implications of these findings are discussed with respect to reading assessment, diagnosis, and intervention.
Research suggests that a great deal of word learning results from incidental exposure to unknown words in written context. However, we currently have little knowledge about how readers go about the process of learning words during reading. Many believe that context clues lead to this word learning. We hypothesize that skills such as inferencing and prior knowledge will be related to reader's ability to make use of context clues. For this study, college students read 12 text passages (6 narrative, 6 expository) containing several pseudowords whose meanings were inferable from as few as one to as many as three different context clues. A total of eight types of context clues were examined, including clues such as comparison/contrast, synonym, definition/description, cause and effect, and prior knowledge clues. After reading of passages word learning was assessed by the quality of definitions participants provided for each pseudoword. All eight clues types were found to be correlated with the accuracy of participants written definitions for pseudowords. Study participants were also given Hannon and Daneman's (2001) component processes task as a measure inferenicing ability, ability to recall new information, ability to access prior knowledge and ability to integrate prior knowledge with new information. Initial correlation analysis revealed that participants ability to access prior knowledge as measured by the Hannon and Daneman task was highly correlated with their written definitions for pseudowords as well as all eight context clue types. Inferencing, recall of information and integration of information were not found to be correlated with definition accuracy.
Purpose: To examine if auditory temporal processing problems are uniquely associated with poor phonological decoding in an orthographically consistent language (Greek). Method: We assessed a large number of Cypriot grade 4 children in phonological decoding fluency and auditory temporal processing (ATP) measures to identify four distinct groups: (1) poor decoders with poor ATP performance (D-ATP-); (2) poor decoders with normal ATP (D-ATP+); (3) average decoders with poor auditory temporal processing performance (D+ATP-); and (4) average decoders with normal auditory temporal processing performance (Control). All children were given measures of general cognitive ability, phonological awareness, rapid naming, phonological memory, and orthographic knowledge in addition to reading and spelling measures. Results: Data collection was completed in December 2008. Preliminary analyses with 200 children indicate that we can identify the four groups. By comparing the two ATP- groups, we will examine whether a more severe ATP deficit or presence of other deficits are needed before ATP is reliably associated with poor decoding; by comparing the two D- groups, we will examine whether they differ also on other processes associated with poor reading; by comparing D-ATP+ and Control groups, we will examine what is associated with poor decoding when ATP is not affected; and, finally, by comparing the D+ATP- and Control groups, we will examine whether the poorer ATP of the former group is associated with some remaining reading, spelling, or phonological processing problems (or compensatory strengths).
Adrian Pasquarella (Home Residence)Alexandra Gottardo; Fataneh Farnia; Esther Geva - The development of oral language proficiency in Chinese and Spanish bilingual children from senior kindergarten (sk) to the 2nd grade
Purpose: Competent grade-level reading is a necessary component in academic success. Oral Language Proficiency (OLP) (i.e., vocabulary knowledge, syntax and listening comprehension) is a critical component in reading comprehension performance. Children learning English as a Second language (L2) notoriously show weaker performance on measures of OLP and reading comprehension, compared to English as a first language (L1) speakers (Geva, 2006). Methods: The current study used unconditional and conditional Latent Curve Models (LCM) to examine group differences in the developmental trajectories of OLP of Spanish-English (SE) and Chinese-English (CE) bilinguals from SK to Grade 2. Measures of English vocabulary knowledge and listening comprehension were aggregated into OLP variables. Measures of non-verbal reasoning, English non-word repetition, L1 vocabulary knowledge, and L1 STM for digits were added as time-independent predictors in the conditional LCM. Results: The unconditional LCM fit the data well, χ2 (7) = 17.613, p = .016, RMSEA = .07, CFI = .961, and produced a significant positive slope (.14, p < .001) for the CE bilinguals, and a non-significant slope (.04, p = .448) for the SE bilinguals. Adding non-verbal reasoning and non-word repetition to the conditional LCM produced significantly different relationships to the intercept and slope functions between groups. Conclusions: CE and SE bilinguals have different growth trajectories of OLP from SK to Grade 2, where the latter group demonstrated virtually no growth, despite the same starting point. Future research should attempt to understand the underlying factors that contribute to growth in OLP, and the relationship between precursor skills, OLP and reading comprehension.
Purpose. This presentation explains word learning in an episodic word learning framework and presents key research results linked to this framework, which assumes that encounters with words lead to word-learning episodes that vary in several ways that matter for learning and are related to comprehension skill: e.g., prior experience with the word; the current language context; and the attentional focus of the learner. Methods. I review 3 new, unreported studies using behavioral, ERP, and eye-tracking methods with children and adults. Readers learned unfamiliar or partly familiar word in contexts of varying kinds with measures taken during learning, on the outcome of learning or both. Results. The studies found differences in learning new words that depend on the number and nature of prior exposures, the language context of the word, and the comprehension skill of the participant. More skilled comprehenders learned unfamiliar words better than less skilled comprehenders regardless of context and also showed a stronger ERP signal for words they mistakenly put in the wrong semantic category. Conclusions. Word episodes vary in ways that are important for the incidental and intentional learning of word meaning. The results suggest that the episodic framework is useful in accounting for these facts and for the fact that skilled comprehenders make better use of word episodes than do less skilled comprehenders. Results illuminate important issues, including the role of word form experience (spelling and phonology), context type, and the lexical quality that results from the variety of word episodes.
The effects of a reading-writing intervention on written summarization performance are reported for a sample of n=334 low-achieving community college students, some of whom were non-native speakers of English. The intervention provided structured practice in several reading comprehension and writing skills, including summarization, vocabulary development and question-formulation. Alternate forms of a locally developed science summarization measure were administered pre and post. The intervention group showed over one half of one standard deviation more gain than a comparison group on the ability to represent main ideas from the source text in their written summaries (p<.05). Gain in productivity (word count) was also significantly greater in the intervention group (p<.01). Detailed findings are reported on group differences in gain on the inclusion of main ideas, accuracy of information, use of conventions, and extent of copying in the written summaries, controlling for reading comprehension as measured by the Nelson-Denny Reading Test, language proficiency as measured by number of credits in English as a Second Language courses, and locally developed measures of science knowledge and science interest.
Dorthe Klint Petersen (School of Education, University of Aarhus)Carsten Elbro, University of Copenhagen - Reading comprehension: contributions from size and semantic organisation of the mental lexicon
Purpose This study assessed the unique contributions of two aspects of the mental lexicon to reading comprehension and to specific comprehension deficits. One standard aspect was the size of the mental lexicon. The other, less commonly used measure was the internal structure of the mental lexicon, in particular various types of semantic links between lexical items. Method The study employed a cross sectional design. Full data sets were obtained from 467 students in grades 7 through 10. Reading comprehension and vocabulary size were assessed by means of several standard tests. The structure of the mental lexicon was assessed with a semantic odd one out task (e.g., which one does not belong to the others: bag, briefcase, box, bicycle?). Control measures included word decoding (both phonological and orthographic), reading experience (knowledge of various text genres) and cognitive style (impulsivity). Results Multivariate data analyses indicated that semantic structure of the mental lexicon explained significant unique variance in reading comprehension - after controlling for decoding, vocabulary size, genre knowledge and impulsivity. A poorly organised mental lexicon was also more prevalent in poor comprehenders than in students with a reading comprehension on par with their decoding abilities. Conclusions The results suggest that comprehension benefits from a (hierarchically) structured mental lexicon, i.e., one in which items are linked via general concepts (as suggested by Nation & Snowling, 1999).
Purpose The goal of the present study was to determine if a Guttman scale existed in a letter name task in order to create a selected set of letters to screen for later word reading risk. Given the importance of alphabetic knowledge (letter-name and letter-sound knowledge) in early literacy skills and frequent use of alphabetic knowledge measures in early screening it is important to develop a scale that is efficient and highly predictive for later reading skills. Method 634 kindergartners were followed for a year from fall to spring, and were administered letter-name knowledge, letters-sound knowledge, and phonological awareness tasks during the fall, winter and spring; as well as the Stanford SESAT word reading task during the spring. A scalogram analysis was used to examine if a Guttman scaling existed in the letter name task, while ROC curves and hierarchical logistic regression were used to assess the diagnostic validity of scores from groupings of letters from the scalogram analysis. Results Scores from a set of 10 letters from the scalogram analysis were shown to be as predictive of students' end of year SESAT word reading risk as all 26 letters. While the administration of the other 16 letters contributed 4% unique variance to the prediction of risk status, the discrimination index from the ROC curves (AUC) only differed by .03. Conclusions The identified 10 letters can be used in screening assessments for predicting future word reading performance, with little loss in predictive validity.
Purpose. This study investigates the relationship of teachers' knowledge about reading and the quality of their reading instruction. Previous studies have shown only a tenuous relationship between teachers' reading knowledge and their instruction (e.g., Cirino et al., 2007). In theory, teachers' instructional capacity (their capability to produce worthwhile and substantial learning; Cohen & Ball, 1999) draws on knowledge as it is used in practice. Thus, we examine the extent to which knowledge about reading accounts for variation in the evaluation of the quality of videotaped reading lessons. Method. Participants are 31 teachers in grades 2-3 who completed the Teacher Knowledge about Reading and Reading Practices assessment (TKRRP) and were videotaped teaching one literacy block. Lessons (e.g., phonics, comprehension) were coded for quality of instruction using the Video Assessment of Teaching-Reading (VAT-R). Information about the teachers (e.g., educational attainment) and schools (e.g., free/reduced lunch) was gathered to control for other factors affecting teaching quality. VAT-R consists of eleven quality indicators (e.g., appropriateness of the text for the lesson) and one summative quality indicator. Results. Preliminary, regression analysis indicated that the quality of reading lessons was associated with performance on the TKRRP (β=.264, p < .009). Teaching experience and degree attainment were positively and significantly associated with lesson quality, and percent FRL was negatively associated with lesson quality. Further analyses of the ten indicators of quality show which aspects are most closely associated with teachers' knowledge. Conclusions. Results suggest that VAT-R is a valid indicator of lesson quality above and beyond other factors that affect instructional quality. Teachers' knowledge about reading does influence the quality of reading instruction in second and third grades.
Purpose Currently performance on phonological awareness (PA) tasks is considered in relationship to task difficulty (i.e, rhyming, segmenting, deleting). However, studies (e.g., Chafouleas et al, 2001) demonstrate that linguistic complexity of items (e.g., phoneme-number, manner, place, voicing) affect child performance. An aspect of linguistic complexity that has received little attention is phoneme acquisition. Mastery of English phonemes is not expected until age 8; thus, phoneme errors may confound PA results. An important finding given that PA assessment occurs primarily with preschoolers and kindergarteners. The purpose of this study was to examine items from 4 commonly used tests of PA for phoneme acquisition confounds. Method Reviewed tests included: CTOPP (Wagner, Torgesen, & Rashotte, 1999), PAT-2 (Robertson & Salter, 2007), PIPA (Dodd, Crosbie, McIntosh, Teitzel, & Ozanne, 2003), TOPEL (Lonigan, Wagner & Torgesen, 2007). Percentages were calculated for the number of items per task containing phonemes for which 5 year-olds would not be expected to have mastery. Manuals were examined for inclusion of information regarding scoring accommodations for phoneme acquisition errors. Results All tests contain items where phoneme acquisition errors (PAE) are possible. Results across tasks were as follows: CTOPP (60% - 61%), PAT-2 (0% - 60%), PIPA (33% - 44%), TOPEL (50% - 66%). No manual provided scoring accommodations for phoneme errors. Conclusions Current PA tests include from 1/3 to 2/3 items where PAE are possible. Yet, phoneme acquisition has not been systematically considered in item-selection or scoring accommodations in PA tests. Researchers and practitioners must carefully consider child responses for possible phoneme acquisition confounds. References Chafouleas, T., VanAuken, T, & Dunham, K. (2001). Not all phonemes are created equal: The effects of linguistic manipulations on phonological awareness tasks. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 19, 216-226. Dodd, B., Crosbie, S., McIntosh, B., Teitzel, T., & Ozanne, A. (2003). Pre-Reading Inventory of Phonological Awareness PIPA. Toronto, ON: PsychCorp Lonigan, C., Wagner, R., Torgesen, J., & Rashotte, C. (2007). Test of Preschool Early Literacy TOPEL. Austin, TX: PRO-ED. Robertson, C., & Salter, W. (2007). Phonological Awareness Test -2 PAT-2. East Moline, IL: Linguisystems. Wagner, R., Torgesen, J., Rashotte, C. (1999). Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processes CTOPP. Austin, TX: PRO-ED.
Beth Phillips (Florida Center for Reading Research);Christopher J. Lonigan; Jeanine C. Menchetti - The relation between education beliefs and home literacy behaviors in parents of preschool-age children
Purpose: Whereas research has explored the frequency of home literacy behaviors and their relations with child language and literacy development, few studies have addressed the quality of these parent-child interactions nor investigated sources of variability beyond demographics. The present study examines relations among parent beliefs about what (e.g., letters, listening) and how (e.g., learning is serious, learning can be a game) their young children should be learning, and actual home language and literacy practices reported. Method: Participants included primary caregivers (90% mothers) of 571 preschool children recruited from public prekindergarten and private preschool settings. Families represented a wide range of family size, income, and maternal education. Caregivers completed a survey that inquired about educational beliefs, frequency of home activities, and specific behavioral practices (e.g., when reading to my child I ask her to name objects in the pictures); the latter were used to form composite variables representing quality of language and reading interactions. Four theoretically derived beliefs composites also were formed. Results: Results indicated that frequency and quality measures of home language and literacy were significantly, but only moderately correlated. Composites representing different beliefs about educational practices were significantly, positively correlated, and these showed differential correlations with frequency and quality measures of home language and literacy. Conclusions: Parents may support an array of educational practices rather than adhering to a single philosophy of early learning. Further, some of the beliefs parents hold are associated with choices of how, and how frequently, they engage in learning activities with their children.
Purpose - The purpose of this study was to test the effect of connecting pre-service teachers with successful in-service reading teachers on the pre-service teachers' knowledge of research-based reading instruction. Method - As part of the Leading Literacy Schools project (UK, 2008), 25 local primary school teachers were identified as being particularly successful teachers of reading. Through the employment of blending learning strategies such as video conferencing and online discussion, 150 pre-service teachers observed, analysed, and conversed with these Leading Literacy School teachers throughout the course of their second year in primary school training. These pre-service teachers were then administered a survey of research-based reading instruction. These survey results were compared with the results of 150 pre-service teachers at the same level who had not received the blended learning opportunities with Leading Literacy School teachers. Results - Hierarchical regression analysis of the survey results indicated pre-service teachers who had collaborated with Leading Literacy School teachers performed significantly better on the survey of research-based reading instruction than those pre-service teachers who had not. Conclusions - As other studies have indicated a lack of pre-service teacher knowledge of research-based reading instruction (Moats, 1994 and on) and further that teacher educators and university textbooks often lack this knowledge and information as well (Joshi et al., 2009 - this symposia), results from this study indicate one potential method for improving this situation. Through the identification of successful inservice teachers of reading and connecting these teachers to pre-service teachers through means such as blended learning, pre-service teachers are afforded the opportunity to become more knowledgeable and therefore better prepared to deliver research-based reading instruction.
Purpose. Poor comprehenders are children who show significant deficits in their reading comprehension despite age-appropriate reading accuracy. Previous research has suggested that poor comprehenders have an impaired ability to suppress irrelevant information from working memory. It has been argued that this detrimentally impacts on their working memory efficiency, and consequently on their reading comprehension performance. However, the extent to which the observed suppression deficits are specific to the verbal domain has not yet been explored, as previous studies have used exclusively verbal materials. Method. We compared a group of poor comprehenders with a group of matched controls on both verbal and non-verbal versions of a task designed to assess their ability to suppress no-longer-relevant information from working memory. The rate of intrusion of this to-be-forgotten verbal and non-verbal material was measured. Results. The poor comprehenders showed domain-specific suppression deficits: They demonstrated higher rates of intrusion of material that they were instructed to forget than the controls, but only in the verbal version of the task. Conclusions. These findings suggest that rather than reflecting a central executive deficit that is causal in their reading comprehension difficulties, poor comprehenders' suppression deficits may instead be a consequence of underlying, domain-specific weaknesses in the representation and processing of verbal information.
Purpose: This study aimed to address relations between oral and written language production in adolescents in 10th grade by comparing whether students' oral language production about a topic promotes their written language production of the same topic and vice versa. Method: Twenty-five participants were randomly assigned to one of two groups: (1) an oral language production first group (OLP-F) and (2) a written language production first group (WLP-F). Students in the OLP-F group orally responded to the expository topic and then wrote about it. Students from the WLP-F group wrote about the expository topic and then orally responded to it. Both productions were transcribed and analyzed using the Systematic Analysis of Language Transcript (SALT-v8) software. Descriptive statistics and intercorrelations among all five dependent variables were obtained within each group. Dependent variables were analyzed using multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA), with group (OLP-F vs. WLP-F) as the between subjects variable. Results: Results revealed that struggling writers demonstrated greater lexical diversity for their oral language samples than their written language samples. In addition, those students who produced an oral language sample and then completed a written sample performed comparably to those children who completed a written sample first and then produced an oral language sample. Conclusions: Results of this study will help determine whether adolescents' oral presentation of a topic helps to improve the productivity and semantic and syntactic complexity of their written composition. Significant results will have implications for writing interventions conducted by English/Language Arts and intervention teachers in high schools.
This study examined the effects of writing prompts, type of text structure, and content familiarity on second-grade students' sensitivity to text structure. A mixed-factorial design was utilized with two between-subjects variables (writing prompts and content familiarity) and one within-subjects variable (type of text structure). Ninety-seven second graders from three urban schools were randomly assigned to read two descriptive and two problem/solution texts written with familiar content or unfamiliar content. Students in the familiar or unfamiliar condition were also randomly assigned to either the writing prompt present or the writing prompt absent condition. Sensitivity to text structure and comprehension were measured through a series of tasks. Students were asked to summarize each text and answer structure questions (related to the underlying text structure) and non-structure questions (details). Mixed factorial analyses of variance (ANOVA) revealed an interaction between writing prompts and content familiarity as well as between type of text structure and content familiarity with respect to the performance on providing structure elements in written summarizations. In addition, an interaction between type of text structure and content familiarity was found in regards to the performance on providing non-structure elements in written summarizations. Finally, main effects of writing prompts and content familiarity existed for students' response accuracy on structure questions and no effects of condition were shown on non-structure questions. Overall, the presence of writing prompts and familiar content elicited text structure sensitivity and improved comprehension. Pedagogical implications based on these findings are discussed.
In an earlier study, we (Pollo, Treiman, & Kessler, 2008) analyzed the productions of prephonological spellers in English and Portuguese. These productions are typically considered random strings of letters. However, we found that they reflected patterns in the texts in children's experiences, including children's books, their own names, and enumerations of the alphabet. The goal of the present study is to study the value of these early prephonological spellings in predicting later, phonological, spellings.The present study is a longitudinal investigation of 67 Portuguese-speaking preschoolers: 29 were prephonological at Time 1 (mean age 4 years; 8 months) and were tested again one year later.Certain aspects of very early spellings were found to predict accuracy of spellings over the next year. Prephonological children who used letter bigrams that correlated with the bigrams' frequency in text were more likely to have accurate spellings a year later. Although these children did not represent phonology in their Time 1 writings, some had apparently learned more about the common letter sequences of their written language from informal exposure. The findings suggest that aspects of children's prephonological writing can help to predict later literacy success.
Purpose: The study investigated why and when rapid automatised naming is a predictor of reading. Specifically, we tested the hypotheses that (1) RAN-objects predicts reading because it is a measure of lexical (e.g. phonological) access speed, but (2) that RAN only becomes a predictor of reading development once a certain level of phonological recoding proficiency has been reached. Method: Forty Danish students without reading difficulties were administered tests of reading speed and accuracy, phoneme awareness, RAN-objects, timed confrontation picture naming, and visio-motor reaction time. The students were sampled from two age groups representing two levels of recoding proficiency: Beginning readers in Grade 2-3 and proficient decoders in grade 5-6. We conducted hierarchical regression analyses on reading speed and accuracy to determine whether the relationship between RAN and reading was mediated by lexical and/or general speed of processing. Results: We found that RAN-objects contributed significant variance to reading speed but not accuracy in grade 5-6, but not in grade 2-3. In grade 2-3 reading speed and accuracy were predicted by phoneme awareness. The relationship between RAN and reading speed in the older age group was still strong after controlling for general speed of processing, but controlling for confrontation picture naming speed reduced the contribution of RAN to only marginally significant. Conclusions: We conclude that RAN-objects relationship with reading speed is to a large extent due to the lexical access speed component of the task. However, this relationship only exists once a certain level of decoding proficiency has been reached.
Purpose We have previously reported data indicating that children with a single RAN deficit performed less well than controls on measures of orthographic knowledge. Unexpectedly, however, the low RAN group performed at least as well as controls on an orthographic learning task. This present study investigated whether the low RAN group's strong orthographic learning could be due to lexical and/or memory factors. Method This study involved an experimental comparison between a group of 35 children with poor RAN performance, and a control group (N = 35) who were matched on age (10-12 years), phonological awareness, phonological memory and other key cognitive variables but who had no RAN deficit. Between-group differences in performance on orthographic learning, visual memory, single word and text reading (speed, accuracy and comprehension) were analysed using analysis of variance. Results The Low RAN group were weak, relative to controls, on both single word and text reading, in terms of both speed and accuracy. However, they performed at least as well as controls on text comprehension and orthographic learning tasks. The Low RAN group also performed better on a measure of long-term visual memory than controls. Conclusion These data suggest a complex orthographic profile for children with a single RAN deficit. Their deficits in reading speed and accuracy add to our earlier finding suggesting deficits in orthographic knowledge. Their surprising strength in both orthographic learning and text comprehension suggests that they may have developed compensatory strategies involving both top-down support from semantics and also visual memory.
Purpose In addition to assessing overall accuracy, studies show that studying the types of errors that readers make can also be useful (c.f. Laing, 2002). Classifying oral reading errors, however, can be time consuming and difficult. This study introduces an automated method to analyze graphic and semantic similarity of substitutions in oral reading. Using a spreadsheet which automatically calculates graphic similarity, and latent semantic analysis (LSA) to assess semantic similarity, we compare differences between human and computer scoring of oral reading errors, and demonstrate that including the type of oral reading error explains additional variance in reading comprehension. Method 52 4th grade children read aloud a passage and answered comprehension questions. Graphic similarity of errors was calculated automatically using formulas based on Leslie and Caldwell (1995). Raters assessed semantic similarity, and LSA was used to compare human and computer ratings of semantic similarity. Results Automated estimates of graphic similarity correlated highly with hand-coded estimates, (r=.96,p<.05). LSA was found to successfully score errors rated by human raters as semantically similar substitutions for the original as being more similar (M =.57) than semantically dissimilar errors (M=.28), (t(945)=14.72, p<.05). Finally, including the type of oral reading error the child made predicted as much as 23% of the variance in reading comprehension beyond decoding skill. Conclusions The results from this study indicate that examining oral reading errors explains additional variance in reading comprehension, and that automated methods offer promise to those interested in faster and reliable ways of characterizing oral reading behavior.
Athanassios Protopapas (Institute for Language & Speech Processing, "Athena" Research Center, Greece);Panagiotis G. Simos; Georgios D. Sideridis; Angeliki Mouzaki - Vocabulary measures in concurrent and longitudinal prediction of reading comprehension
Purpose: In the relatively transparent Greek orthography, vocabulary measures take up most of reading comprehension variance accounted for by print-related measures. Here we extend previous work by concurrent and longitudinal multiple linear regression analyses of reading comprehension. Method: Data from 516 children in Grades 3, 4, and 5 included measures of vocabulary (V: PPVT & WISC-III), word identification (W: accuracy and fluency), pseudoword decoding (D: accuracy and fluency), reading comprehension (RC) and auditory comprehension (A). Results: V accounted for 22% of total concurrent RC variance (after age, grade, and WISC blocks), more than A (11%), W (14%), or D (8%); V also accounted for more unique variance (entered last: 7.6%) than A (1.6%), W (1.6%), or D (.3%). In the longitudinal prediction of RC one year later (data from 482 children), V was the strongest predictor either without (22%) or with (6.3%) an RC autoregressor (compared to A: 14% and 4.9%; W: 13% and 3.2%; D: 8% and 2.1%), accounting for most unique variance (7.0% and 2.7%, respectively, compared to A: 2.9% and 2.0%; W: .8% and .3%; D: .2% and .1%). Including text fluency (words per minute) substantially increased the concurrent but not the longitudinal prediction of RC. Conclusions: These results are interpreted in the context of the lexical quality hypothesis, suggesting that the simple view may be too simple to capture the development of sight-word reading. Moreover, vocabulary measures seem to assess more than depth and breadth of word knowledge, perhaps due to experience with visual word recognition.
Purpose: To discuss the issues of collaborating on imaging studies across multiple sites of data collection. Method: Functional neuroimaging has become an integral component of research aimed at establishing brain/behavior relations in reading development and disability. In recent years there is a growing scientific demand for development of new techniques to brain mapping that allow for coherent integration of data from multiple neuroimaging modalities (e.g., combining data from imaging techniques like EEG and fMRI, to yield richer data on both timing and location of neuronal activity, or integration of structural and functional imaging modalities to establish neuro-phenotypes in clinical research). We will discuss major challenges associated with data integration across technologies along with new approaches to design and analysis, and the implications of this integrative approach for theories of reading development and remediation. In addition, the pressure to increase both power and generalization of neuroimaging research puts a premium on multi-site collaborative efforts. Results & Conclusion: Such collaborations allow us to extend investigations to increase sample size with limited resources at a given site, extend studies to varied populations, examine differential treatment programs on similar populations, and begin to explore cross-language comparisons, but this work raises significant challenges in terms of comparability and sensitivity. Problems of design and analysis for data collected with different systems and with different populations will be discussed along with initial recommendations for design and analysis stemming from our recent experience with cross-site and cross-linguistic EEG and fMRI designs.
Cynthia Puranik (University of Pittsburgh); Beth M. Phillips; Christopher J. Lonigan - The relationship between home literacy activities and emergent writing skills in preschool children at low- versus high-risk for academic difficulties The relationship between home literacy activities and emergent writing skills in preschool child
Purpose: Recent research shows that home literacy activities might have modular rather than general relations with emergent literacy skill development This study builds upon and extends the current literature by investigating the relationship between specific home literacy experiences and emergent writing and writing-related skills. Method: Participants included 176 preschool children classified into two groups based on their total language scores on the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals-Preschool (CELF-P). Children were classified as high risk for academic difficulties (n = 77), or low risk (n = 99) if they scored below or above the 25th percentile, respectively, on the CELF-P. For the writing tasks, children were asked to write letters of the alphabet, write their names, and spell CVC words. Home literacy data were obtained from parent questionnaires and included questions regarding shared reading, teaching of writing, teaching of the alphabet, and playing games with sounds. Results: On all writing measures, children with stronger oral language skills outperformed peers with weaker oral language skills. However, caregiver report of home literacy activities generally did not differ across the two groups. Relations between home activities and child skills showed substantial specificity, such that activities related to writing and sounds correlated with writing skill, but activities related to reading and the alphabet did not. Conclusions: Parent teaching of and opportunities for practice of specific writing behaviors appear related to the development of emergent writing skills. These findings add to the growing body of research on the specificity of home activities in relation to child skills.
We report a study exploring the impact of Peer Assisted Learning Strategies (PALS) (e.g., Fuchs, et al. 1997), on the gains in reading of typically-achieving (TA) and at risk (AR) students in grade one. PALS is a supplemental reading program, utilizing a class-wide peer tutoring approach for mixed-ability dyads to work through systematic and explicit code-emphasis reading instruction. Two aspects of this program are new to the literature on PALS: this program is delivered (1) by special education teachers to all grade 1 students (2) in a Canadian school system, which uses PM Benchmarks as a reading assessment measure. Board-wide implementation of PALS showed significant gains in end-of-year PM Benchmark level over historical control data, but this result does not indicate whether the gains are due to the systematic and explicit teaching components of PALS, or simply reflect the additional 150 minutes of weekly supplemental literacy instruction. To address this, we compared one-year longitudinal PM Benchmark data from two cohorts of children (one cohort pre-PALS and one cohort participating in board-wide PALS) to ascertain the effects of PALS on TA and AR students. Main effects were observed for time and group. Early results suggest evidence of an interaction, with AR students demonstrating greater gains in the PALS cohort than those in the pre-PALS cohort.
Purpose- The purpose of the present study was to examine morphological processing in beginning readers in the earliest stages of visual word recognition, and to specify the nature of this early processing. Indeed, studies conducted in expert readers (Rastle, Davis, Marslen-Wilson & Tyler, 2000) evidenced that morphological processing of complex words occurs early in the word recognition process (43 ms). Moreover, this early processing depends on the "surface" morphological construction of complex words, rather than on their semantic proprieties. Thus, the presence of morphological units influences the visual word recognition of complex words, and the presence of pseudo-morphological units influences the recognition of pseudo-derived words, such as "apart-" and "-ment" in "apartment" in English language, even if they are not semantically related. Method- To test this assumption in beginning readers, children in grades 3, 4, 5 and 7 had to perform a lexical decision task associated to a masked priming paradigm with a Stimulus Onset Asynchrony of 60 ms. Four relationships between primes and targets were included in the experiment: Morphological ("fillette-FILLE", little girl-GIRL), pseudo-morphological ("baguette-BAGUE", French bread-RING), orthographic ("Abricot-ABRI", apricot-SHELTER) and semantic ("chaise-TABLE", chair-TABLE). Results and conclusion- Results evidenced morphological and pseudo-morphological priming effects in children in grades 3 and 4 at 60 ms, as in expert readers at 43 ms. However, priming occurred only when primes and targets shared a morphological relationship in children in grades 5 and 7, suggesting that the semantic proprieties of complex words are already processed at 60 ms.
While it is well known that older adults read more slowly compared to younger adults, the reasons underlying this discrepancy are currently not well understood. We report data from two experiments in which participants were asked to read declarative sentences while their eye movements were being monitored. Eye movement contingent display changes were implemented to examine parafoveal processing of target words varying in word frequency and contextual constraint. A decomposition of total word viewing times revealed that the duration of initial fixations and the time spent re-reading words are substantially inflated in older adults. In contrast, the time used for immediate refixations within the initial pass remains virtually unchanged. Results further indicate that elderly readers are not only substantially slower but also show a more pronounced word frequency effect (e.g. Rayner et al., 2006). The benefit from an intact preview of a word in the parafovea was greatly attenuated, suggesting a significantly reduced perceptual span, as predicted by Kliegl et al. (2006). Embedding the target word in highly constraining sentence context enables elderly readers to partially offset their apparent deficit in parafoveal information acquisition. Results are discussed in the context of ongoing theoretical debates on mechanisms of word processing and visuomotor control in reading.
Purpose: This presentation presents findings from a genetic and epidemiological study of an isolated population in northern Russia in which there are reports of an unusually high prevalence of spoken and written language impairments. The four objectives of this presentation are: 1) to describe the phenotyping strategies used to determine affected status; 2) to present prevalence data for spoken language disorder(s) in this population and to compare these with data obtained from a sample from a nearby control village; 3) to profile linguistic performance in four cross-sectional groups of affected subjects; and 4) to present illustrative family pedigrees of this complex phenotype. Methods: Spoken narrative samples have been audio recorded for all subjects. Using a best-estimate consensus procedure, a native Russian-speaking linguist and a speech-language pathologist are classifying each individual as "affected" or "unaffected" with a clinically significant speech or language disorder and are identifying specific areas of impairment in the affected cases. Results: Consensus diagnoses have been reached for 19 children aged 3-10 and for 43 adults. The highest rate of impairment has been found for children aged 3-6 years (64.3% affected). Overall affected status among children aged 7-10 years is 40.0%, which is comparable to the affected rate in adults (41.8%). The emerging clinical phenotype is characterized by deficits in articulation, complexity, vocabulary, and morpho-syntax that persist into adulthood. Family pedigrees support the presence of vertical transmission. Conclusion: These data provide support for the existence of a highly penetrant idiopathic disorder of speech and language of likely genetic etiology in this isolated population.
Purpose: The purpose of the present study was to examine the contribution of morphological awareness to vocabulary and reading comprehension in Spanish-speaking ELLs in Canada. First we investigated whether morphological awareness was important for language and literacy development within each of the participants' languages; Spanish and English. Second, we examined cross-linguistic effects of morphological awareness on vocabulary and reading comprehension. Because Spanish and English share many cognate words, we were interested in testing whether the cross-linguistic contribution of morphological awareness from Spanish to English was mediated through cognate vocabulary. Method: Participants were ninety-seven Spanish-speaking ELLs (44 fourth graders and 53 seventh graders) from public schools in low-SES neighbourhoods in a large Canadian city. The test battery included nonverbal reasoning, working memory, phonological awareness, morphological awareness, word reading, vocabulary, and reading comprehension. The unique contribution of morphological awareness to vocabulary and reading comprehension was examined through regression analyses. Path analyses were performed to further examine the mediating role of cognate vocabulary in the association between Spanish morphological awareness and English reading comprehension. Results. Morphological awareness made unique contributions to both vocabulary and reading comprehension in Spanish and in English after controlling for nonverbal reasoning and other cognitive abilities. Cross-linguistic analyses showed that Spanish morphological awareness significantly predicted English cognate vocabulary, but not non-cognate vocabulary. Spanish morphological awareness was associated with English reading comprehension. This association, however, was fully mediated by cognate vocabulary. Conclusions: Findings suggest that in closely related languages such as English and Spanish, cognates facilitate cross-linguistic transfer of morphological awareness.
Purpose: In learning to spell the acquisition of knowledge by analogy can be contrasted with learning as a result of explicit instruction in rules; which approach is best in learning to spell Dutch words with open and closed syllables. Method: Second grade children (N = 222; 7;8 yr;mnth) practiced with open and closed syllable words in a computerized training program and rules are either explicitly provided during practice or not. Also, children practice either with a large set of exemplars or with a small set. Practice effects are established by testing the spelling of practiced words, as well as novel transfer words, in pre-, post-, and retention tests. Results: The data show that children spelled most transfer words by analogy to practiced words, and more so when they had practiced repeatedly with a few exemplars. When a large set of exemplars is available during practice explicitly provided spelling rules are supportive for spelling novel words, but not when only a few exemplars are encountered during training. Overall, gains for transfer words are as high in the limited as in the expanded word set conditions. Conclusions: The findings strongly suggest that, when encountering many different words, explicit rules can help in learning to spell contrasting letter patterns, but spelling by analogy supersedes this effect.
Abstract: Purpose-The purpose of this study is to investigate if students receiving instruction in programs designed to stimulate the imagery of symbols and concepts show improvement in the various reading skills as well as in memory functions. Additionally, it is of interest to study the association between memory capabilities and an individual's ability to perform various tasks involved in reading and comprehension. Method-Individuals that sought services at private learning centers and received instruction in either a program designed to stimulate visualizing and application to comprehension or a program designed to stimulate imagery and applied to decoding were administered a battery of assessments that include measures of language processing and memory tasks. Students received instruction in a one-to-one setting. Both programs are closely aligned to Paivio's Dual Coding Theory as a theoretical basis for instruction that integrates mental imagery and verbal processing. Results-Assessment and any available progress monitoring results will be presented and aligned to a model of language processing, imagery, and memory. Conclusion-Substantial gains were achieved on decoding and comprehension measures. Additionally, the average scores on the memory tasks showed significant change, suggesting that imagery has a profound effect on memory and language processing.
Purpose: Children with dyslexia have primary deficits in reading accuracy. In contrast, poor comprehenders are characterised by comprehension difficulties alongside age-appropriate reading accuracy. The aim of this study was to compare orthographic and semantic skills in these groups using off-line tasks and an online vocabulary acquisition paradigm. Previous studies have not compared word learning in these groups. We anticipated that children with dyslexia would show deficits on orthographic tasks while poor comprehenders would have difficulty with semantic tasks. Method: A group of children with dyslexia were matched to younger poor comprehenders and controls on measures of nonverbal reasoning and word reading. Exception word reading and oral vocabulary tasks were administered as measures of orthographic and semantic processing respectively. In addition, children were taught phonological, semantic (definitions) and orthographic information about 7 rare animals that were unfamiliar to them. To simulate naturalistic vocabulary acquisition, phonology and semantics were trained first, followed by the orthographic training phase. After training, orthographic and semantic post-tests were used to assess learning and retention. Results: Poor comprehenders demonstrated poorer existing semantic knowledge and weaker semantic learning than the dyslexia group. The children with dyslexia showed exception word reading and orthographic learning that was equivalent to younger poor comprehenders and controls, consistent with the reading-age matched design. Conclusions: Children with dyslexia and poor comprehenders showed word learning that corresponded to their distinct reading and language profiles. However, there was some overlap between groups. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings will be discussed.
Purpose: Cross-cultural-grain-size theory states that small grain is used when reading regular words. However, early teaching can be based on whole words (large grain). Randomly rotating individual letters in words might push children into using small grain size since it disrupts the appearance of the word. If children of different ages use different grain sizes, we should see differences in the effect of rotation. Method: Reading speed and accuracy were measured in 94 children (6 -10 years). Each child read 3 x 15 regular word lists. List 1: non-rotated words, List 2: words with letters rotated randomly by +-60˚; List 3: words with letters rotated randomly by +-160˚. Word lists were counterbalanced. Results: The effect of age on speed and accuracy was tested for each rotated word lists while co-varying for speed and accuracy of the non-rotated list. Main effects of age were found (Speed: F8,176=2.92, p = 0.023; and Accuracy: F8,176=3.93, p < 0.0001). For speed, the 6-year olds were significantly slower than the 8, 9 and 10 year olds (all p < 0.05) for the 60˚ rotation but there were no differences between groups for the 160˚ rotation. For accuracy, the 6 year olds made more errors than all other groups in both rotated conditions (all p < 0.05). No other comparisons reached significance Conclusions: 6 year olds appear to be more affected by rotation of individual letters in words than older children. This suggests that younger children might use a large grain size to read whole words.
Jeremiah Ring (Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children); Sasha Brown; Jeffrey Black - An assessment of two Curriculum-Based Measurement instruments for predicting Tier III reading intervention outcomes
Curriculum-based measurement (CBM) documents academic progress by estimating growth within a model of repeated assessments. Decisions about instruction derived from CBM performance assume that the CBM accurately assesses academic development. Purpose. This paper will explore the differential utility of two forms of CBM for predicting end-of-year reading achievement on standardized instruments. Method. Participants in this study (n=36) are all struggling readers (ages 6-14) enrolled in an intensive (i.e., Tier III) two-year long intervention program that addresses their deficits in reading and related sub-skills. Participants are assessed with standardized reading measures (WRMT, GORT) at the beginning, middle and end-of-year. Reading development is also measured on smaller intervals (i.e., 2-4 weeks) using two types of CBM. The first is a list of decodable words selected to track student progress in decoding growth relative to the curriculum's sequence of phonics instruction. The second instrument (Reading MAZE) is a multiple-choice CLOZE task and serves as an overall index of reading ability. Students silently read short text passages that have a CLOZE decision placed at seven word intervals. The students decide from three alternatives which word best preserves their representation of the text. Results and Conclusion. Data analyses focus on correlating individual growth models from each CBM with outcomes in reading accuracy, rate, and comprehension on standardized tests. Conclusions address the goals of the CBM to support decisions on content and intensity of instruction at the Tier III level in the Response-To-Intervention model.
Two related, but equally, important issues in developing writing assessments are the writing tasks that are being assessed and the manner in which the tasks are scored. This presentation presents findings from a study of approximately 200 children in second and third grades who were asked to write in response to two curriculum-based measurement (CBM) prompts. The first prompt asked students to write a story based a sequence of three pictures; this prompt is compared to traditional CBM open-ended prompts. The analyses will address two questions: which type of response is most appropriate for use as a screening and/or progress monitoring task and how does the manner in which tasks are scored inform these decisions.
Purpose Over the last decade research has begun to accumulate in the domain of ELLs' reading difficulties and corresponding interventions. The purpose of this study was to collect and disseminate knowledge of effective reading interventions, for ELLs in grades K through 12 who are at risk for reading difficulties or identified with a disability. Method We examined evidence of enhanced instruction in elements of literacy and interventions aimed at improving literacy for ELLs performing below grade level. This information was culled from a variety of sources, including major literature reviews, and additional studies (especially those recently published) found through a database search. Results The findings from this review indicate that assessment plays a crucial role in the educational experience of all ELLs and assessments inform educational placements, which in turn influences academic outcomes. Instructional interventions for ELLs should be guided by and delivered within a Response to Intervention (RTI) model. In addition, at-risk ELLs need comprehensive, early, explicit, intensive intervention that reflects a close match between their source(s) of difficulty and the intervention. Ultimately, high-quality teacher preparation and professional development programs on teaching ELLs should address theoretical knowledge and pedagogical methods on second language acquisition. Conclusions Effectively meeting ELLs' needs, particularly the needs of those who struggle, requires a multi-pronged strategic approach, with significant attention to three areas: 1) assessment, 2) intervention programs or models, and 3) professional development. The findings demonstrate the significant positive impact that a reading intervention can have, particularly for the neediest ELLs. Finally, teachers with strong content knowledge and specialized training have a positive impact on student performance.
Purpose The purpose of this study was to examine the relation between decoding and spelling at the level of specific grapho-phonemic patterns in general and across ability levels. This was addressed by comparing student performance on identical grapho-phonemic patterns on an assessment of decoding and spelling skills. Method One hundred ninety four, second, third, and fourth grade students were administered a pseudoword decoding inventory and real word spelling inventory. Grapho-phonemic patterns on the decoding inventory were matched with the grapho-phonemic patterns on the spelling inventory. Data was analyzed using the Pearson product-moment correlation to compare the relation, at a general level, between student decoding and spelling performance across grapho-phonemic patterns. In addition, a quantile regression analysis was used to identify the relation between students of differing ability levels' decoding and spelling performance across grapho-phonemic patterns. Results Findings indicate a moderate to strong correlation between student performance on grapho-phonemic patterns in decoding and spelling tasks. Furthermore, the decoding and spelling performance of students with lower to middle ability levels were more strongly related than decoding and spelling performance of students with low and high ability levels. Conclusions Results indicate that a spelling assessment that includes a wide range of grapho-phonemic patterns may be useful to screen for specific grapho-phonemic strengths and weaknesses that are also related to decoding skills. Using efficient assessments will provide educators with a method of collecting data needed to develop targeted interventions, resulting in improved student spelling and decoding skills.
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine a novel approach to measuring progress in students with moderate intellectual disabilities. Volkmar et al. (2004) noted that one of the most difficult aspects of research on children using continuous progress monitoring is the ability of progress monitoring measures to accurately identify small changes. Even if effective measures are constructed that have powerful measurement systems, these measures can tend to yield unreliable results by the mere nature of the fact that children with disabilities sometimes yield widely variable results on the same measures. While a reading instrument may give a scale score of 50 to a student with disabilities, that same instrument may yield a score of 75 (or 25) to that same student just hours later. Methods: Cudeck and Klebe (2002) first began trying to provide a solution for this problem through the application of mixed-effects models. The major contribution of their model is that it allows for analysis of multiple persons simultaneously and "allows individuals to make the transition from one phase to another at different ages or after different lengths of time in treatment" (p. 41). This is done by estimating the change point as a random component in the mixed effects model. In our research, we extend the Cudeck and Klebe (2002) model for application to children with disabilities. To do this, we combine the Loader (1996) and the Cudeck and Klebe (2002) models. Results: The combined approach produces a multilevel growth model which both smooths erratic data and allows for the dynamic change point estimation of multiple individuals simultaneously. Conclusions: This approach to measuring and modeling growth in students with moderate intellectual disabilities provides a unique solution to overcome the challenges of capturing small changes in a highly variable population. Cudeck, R. & Klebe, K. J. (2002). Multiphase mixed-effects models for repeated measures data. Psychological Methods, 7(1), 41-63. Loader, C. R. (1996). Change point estimation using nonparametric regression. The Annals of Statistics, 24(4), 1667-1678. Volkmar, F. R., Lord, C., Bailey, A., Schultz, R. T., & Klin, A. (2004). Autism and pervasive developmental disorders. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 45, 135-170.
Catherine Roux (University of Quebec in Montreal)Eric Dion - Experimental Data on the Effectiveness of an Explicit Reading Comprehension Intervention for High-Functionning Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Purpose Although some students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) demonstrate close to or age appropriate reading comprehension abilities, many of them present important reading difficulties (Nation et al., 2006). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a small-group reading comprehension intervention designed specifically for ASD students. Method The intervention included instruction on decoding of words, vocabulary (word meaning), main idea identification (Carnine et al., 2004) and story schema (Williams et al., 2001). 43 ASD students (7-11 year old) with end of first-grade or better word recognition ability participated in the study. Assignment was random to either an intervention condition or to a control condition (regular instruction only). The students participating in the intervention condition received 16 weeks of reading comprehension instruction, three times a week for a total of 24 hours of instruction. Results Results demonstrated statistically significant near-transfer effects on researcher-developed measures of instructed vocabulary, F(1, 42) = 6.59, p < .05, d =0.8, main idea identification skills, F(1, 42) = 7.423, p < .05, d =0.7, and general comprehension, F(1, 42) = 4.013, p < .05, d =0.6. Conclusions These results suggest that with a highly structured and interactive intervention, ASD students are able to make significant gains on reading comprehension.
William Rupley (Texas A&M University)Angela Hairrell, Deb Simmons, Sharon Vaughn, Meaghan Edmonds, Elizabeth Swanson, Ross Larsen, Victor Willson - Effects of a parsimonious comprehension and vocabulary intervention in social studies on fourth-grade students' achievement
Purpose The purpose of this study was to examine the relative effects of the single-focus interventions and the streamlined multi-component model. Specific research questions: 1. What are the effects of a comprehension-focused and a vocabulary-focused intervention when compared to typical practice on measures of comprehension, social studies vocabulary and social studies content knowledge? 2. What are the effects of the streamlined, parsimonious STRIVE model when compared to typical practice? 3. What are the effects of the streamlined, parsimonious STRIVE model when compared to the single-focus models? Method The initial study (2006-2007) was a randomized-control-trial with schools matched on demographics. Forty-nine teachers and 883 students participated in the comprehension, vocabulary, or comparison group. In year 2 (2007-2008), 35 teachers and 527 students participated in the STRIVE model. Results The vocabulary-only and STRIVE resulted in significant and large effects on the curriculum-based measure of social studies vocabulary. Whether students received the comprehension, vocabulary, or multi-component intervention, their comprehension did not significantly differ from the comparison students. Analyses indicate STRIVE significantly outperformed single-component interventions on the content measure. The revised model was favorably viewed and remedied the problem of emphasizing comprehension strategy instruction during social studies without consideration for meaningful vocabulary instruction and vice versa. Conclusions The results reveal a parsimonious comprehension and vocabulary intervention was effective. Initial focus on single-component instruction was designed to help students gain access to content-area text. When vocabulary and comprehension strategies were combined into a parsimonious intervention, students no improved in vocabulary knowledge and content knowledge.
Susie Russak (Beit Berl Academic College, Israel)Dr. Elinor Saiegh-Haddad - The effect of phonological context on phonological processing skills in native Hebrew speaking adults with and without reading disability learning English as a foreign language
This study examined the effects of the phonological context of the phoneme (as either a singleton or within a cluster) on phonological processing in L1 (Hebrew) and FL (English) among normal and reading disabled Hebrew speaking adults (N=60). Three cross-linguistically equivalent phonological awareness tasks were developed (phoneme isolation, full segmentation, and phoneme deletion) and administered in both languages. The differences in phonological processing between normal and disabled adult readers in Hebrew and in English, as well as the effect of the phoneme's phonological context (singleton vs. clustered consonant) on phonological processing were considered in light of universal as well as language specific processes. Quantitative results showed that the effect of phonological context varied according to task. In general, prevocalic singleton consonants proved most difficult to isolate, whereas clustered consonants proved most difficult to segment. Qualitative analysis of errors indicated a tendency to split the stimulus CVC (consonant-vowel consonant) and CCVC (consonant-vowel-consonant-consonant) syllables at the level of body-coda rather than the onset-rime. These findings support a growing body of evidence challenging the universality of the onset-rime preference for sub-syllabic division, in favor of a division at the level of body-coda. In addition, they extend the relevance of these findings to include adult reading disabled populations.
Purpose: Although large proportions of adolescents score below state proficiency levels on NCLB-mandated tests, relatively little is known about the bases for these students' difficulties. This study investigated reading component subskills of middle school students. Components were chosen to target difficulties that could be the focus of instructional interventions, but not typically examined in broad comprehension measures given to adolescent students. Method: An urban, middle school sample of 480 6th to 8th grade students completed a computerized battery consisting of a set of experimental measures including decoding, word recognition, vocabulary, morphological awareness, sentence processing, basic reading efficiency, and reading comprehension. For 7th and 8th graders (n=246), previous year state test scores were also available, with about 50% of the students scoring below proficient based on state benchmarks. Psychometric analyses were conducted to examine test properties; correlational analyses to examine test interrelationships; multiple regression analyses for predicting previous year state test scores; and exploratory clustering techniques for examining subgroup profiles. Results: Reliabilities of the measures were generally strong (.76-.90). Intercorrelations among tests were in the moderate to strong range (.38-.78). Together, the subtests were strong predictors of previous year's state test scores for 7th and 8th grade samples. Preliminary, exploratory cluster techniques suggest different profiles of strengths and weaknesses among students. Conclusions: The results provide some insights into the range of potential difficulties facing adolescents and the types of assessment that may be useful in planning instructional interventions.
The study tested the effect of phonological versus morphological intervention on word reading in Arabic among 2nd, 4th, and 6th grade normal and poor readers. A total of 289 children were tested that belonged to one of three groups: phonological intervention (PI), morphological intervention (MI), and control. Children were tested before and after the intervention on word reading (voweled and unvoweled) and pseudoword decoding, and on phonological and morphological awareness tasks. The intervention consisted of a total of 48 half-hour sessions provided over a period of 6 months. The PI targeted phonemic awareness and grapheme-phoneme correspondence rules with particular focus on diglossic phonemes and emphatic phonemes which were found to constitute a particular challenge to developing phonological awareness and word decoding in Arabic. The MI targeted morphological awareness of linear and non-linear derivational processes. Repeated measure ANOVA showed that both intervention programs were effective in producing significant gains in linguistic awareness as well as in reading in both groups of readers and across all grade levels. Further, it was shown that poor readers made larger gains from the intervention in word and pseudo word decoding than normal readers. The PI was found to contribute the most to reading voweled words among the younger children, while the MI contributed the most among the oldest group. MI was found to contribute more to reading unvoweled words than the phonological intervention even among the very young second graders. Findings are discussed within the framework of universal and language and orthography specific processes.
Purpose. As the basic element of many written languages, the alphabet is of prime importance in the development of literacy. Alphabet books are common in children's homes, but in contrast to the growing research on shared storybook reading, research on reading alphabet books is scant. In addition, alphabet books vary widely with regards to their design. By monitoring eye movements, the current study was aimed at investigating how senior kindergarteners explore an alphabet book and the impact of book design. Method. Forty-six senior kindergarteners ages 59 to 72 months were asked to read an ABC book from a computer screen while their eye movements were recorded. On half the pages, in addition to the illustration and the featured letter, there was a single word of something in the illustration. On the other half, the single word was replaced by a full sentence with three target words in bold font, all represented within the illustration. Results. Results showed that children spent significantly more time looking at the featured letter in the one word than in the three word condition. Children also spent more time fixating the single word than any word in the three word condition. In addition, in the three word condition, the first target word was fixated for a longer amount of time than the following two target words in the sentence. Conclusions. Findings will be discussed within the context of the role of book design and the development of children's pre-reading skills and attention to print.
In two ERP experiments, subjects were asked to perform a lexical decision on morphologically complex-word-strings, such as 'alerg+ic' and 'alerg+ist', while family size for both lexemes or stems (S-FS) and morphemes or suffixes (M-FS) varies. In Experiment I, complex words and pseudowords are involved, and roots used as primes while keeping constant Morpheme Family Size. An inhibitory effect of Stem Family Size consistently emerges: High S-FS targets required more brain activity and produced slower responses than Low S-FS targets. In Experiment II, words and pseudowords are equated according to Stem Family Size. Morpheme Family Size was, then, manipulated and morphemes are used as primes. Word and pseudoword targets which contained a high family size morpheme (M-FS) require less time than words and pseudoword targets which do not contain it, showing that, High M-FS morphemes have a facilitatory effect. These opposites effects reveal that roots and suffixes in derivational morphology have a different role in word recognition dependent on search and lexical access costs. Although behavioral results do not replicate those obtained by Schreuder & Baayen (1997) with monomorphemic targets, ERP measures show that suffixes have not an independent lexical status. Our results cannot be accommodated within a framework that ignores the relationship between whole-word and morphemes. Both, Evoked-Related Potentials (ERP) and behavioral results endorse the view that morphological decomposition is an obligatoy process for illegal as well as legal combinations of stems and suffixes. A preliminary model to account for these and other results is, then, proposed.
Paula Salmi (University of of Jyväskylä)Minna Torppa; Kenneth Eklund; George Georgiou; Heikki Lyytinen - A retrospective examination of the double-deficit hypothesis in an orthographically consistent language
Purpose The purpose of this study was to examine the development of the single- and double-deficit groups in a longitudinal Finnish sample (n=198) that contains information on several relevant early predictors of naming skill and phonological awareness together with a follow up of reading acquisition. Method The deficit groups were formed on the basis of their scores on phonological awareness and rapid naming in Kindergarten (at age 6.5 years): a Double-Deficit group (n=15), a Phonological Deficit group (n=25), a Naming Deficit group (n=25), and a No-Deficit group (n=133). We compared the performance on the four groups on reading and spelling at Grades 1, 2 and 3, and also retrospectively their development in language measures, phonological processing, visual skills, attention, memory, literacy knowledge and print exposure when the children were 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5-years old. Results and Conclusions Preliminary analyses suggest that phonological deficit and double deficit are more closely linked to language development (e.g., expressive and receptive vocabulary already before age 2 years) than naming deficit. In some skills, such as letter knowledge, however, all the groups showed poorer performance that the no-deficit group already at 3.5 years of age. At school age all deficit groups had difficulties in reading acquisition. Similar to the findings of previous studies, the double-deficit group experienced more difficulties in reading than the single deficit groups.
Purpose: To examine the extent to which individual differences in early reading development build on different preschool language and cognitive skills in different alphabetic orthographies Method: The present paper utilizes samples of twin children in Scandinavia, the US and Australia. It employs longitudinal multivariate behavior-genetic analyses of preschool measures of print knowledge, phonological awareness and RAN and Grade 1 and 2 reading and spelling skills in these samples to gauge the relative contribution of prereading skills to early literacy development in more (Sandinavia) and less transparent (US/Australia) orthographies. Results: On the basis of data available at the time of writing, the genetic and environmental influences on the trajectories from preschool to Grades 1 and 2 were broadly similar. There was genetic continuity from preschool print and PA to both reading and spelling in school, and new genes coming on stream in school for both abilities (genetic change). However, there was also a trend for genes that affect preschool RAN independently of PA and print to exert a greater influence on reading and spelling in Grades 1 and 2 in Scandinavia that in US/Australia, and further data currently being collected may clarify this interesting trend. Family environment influences were close to zero in US/Australia, but exerted a small influence in the Scandinavian sample. Conclusions: If preliminary indications continue to be supported, it appears that preliteracy foundations for early school literacy, while common in many respects across orthographic transparency, may nevertheless vary to a modest degree. A possible role for genes underlying rapid naming in transparent orthographies and a greater role for the family environment in Scandinavia are the sources of differences.
Robert Savage (Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology)Philip Abrami; Noella Piquette-Tomei; Eileen Wood; Gia Deleveaux - ABRACADABRA: An effective web-based literacy resource: Evidence from a randomised control trial with classroom teachers
We describe the progress of research exploring the effectiveness of the ABRACADABRA (ABRA) a free access, evidence-based, web-based literacy system (http://grover.concordia.ca/abra/php2006/). Building on our published randomised control trial efficacy studies (e.g. Savage, Abrami, Hipps and Deault, 2009, Journal of Educational Psychology, in press) in which trained reseach assistants ran ABRA interventions, we explored the effects in a classroom-level Randomized Control Trial effectiveness (RCT) intervention with 10 intervention and 10 control classrooms in grade 1 where trained teachers delivered the ABRA intervention. The sample in this completed work was with N = 20 teachers and N = 433 child participants in Grade 1 from Quebec, Ontario, and Alberta, Canada. Formal analysis of findings (ANCOVA) indicates that the ABRA system, as currently implemented by trained teachers had significant and statistically large effects on children's sight word reading and phonological awareness, and discernible effects on letter-knowledge. These results are discussed in relation to existing research and reviews of technology-based interventions internationally that have sometimes been less successful in improving reading (e.g. Dynarski et al., 2007). We also discuss plans for further scaled-up intervention work across Canada and several sites internationally in 2009-2010.
Purpose: Although many low-achieving adolescent readers have deficiencies in the accuracy and speed of word recognition, there has been little research on the efficacy of remedial instruction for this population. It is thus not clear whether instructional approaches that have been shown to benefit younger disabled readers can be effective with post-pubescent learners, for whom neurobiological plasticity may be limited. Our main question was: What approaches are effective for strengthening the basic reading skills of struggling adolescent readers with different backgrounds, initial skills levels, and cognitive profiles. Method: The participants were 140 middle and high school students (age 12-18 years) whose word identification and decoding skills were at the 2nd-6th grade levels of proficiency and were at least two years behind grade placement. The sample was diverse with regard to age, grade, gender, race, socioeconomic status, and initial word recognition and decoding levels. A battery of reading tests was administered before and after approximately 30 hours of individual tutoring, and additional measures were taken prior to intervention so that learner-by-treatment interactions could be investigated. Students and tutors were randomly assigned to one of three instructional programs that differed in their relative emphasis on decoding versus speed/fluency. Results and Conclusions: Short-term intervention produced reading gains for some participants but not for others, as was anticipated given their history of failure. Outcomes were related to instructional program, hours of instruction, initial reading levels, and other learner characteristics. The results provide a starting point for designing longer-term intervention for struggling adolescent readers.
Purpose: Collaborating across active research projects can yield information above and beyond the respective research projects. But figuring out the best methods of collaboration are not readily obvious. This presentation will discuss methods of potential collaborations as well and strengths and weaknesses of these strategies. Method: Methods of collaboration such as agreeing on a common subset of measures, setting up a rapid replication network, pooling data across sites, and meta-analytic approaches will be presented. Results from a meta-analytic approach used across the multiple Learning Disabilities Research Centers will be presented in detail and compared to pooling data. Results: Although pooling (combining) data seems intuitively appealing, the meta-analytic approaches should be preferred. Employing meta-analytic approaches on datasets that are currently being collected (as opposed to just archival data) has additional benefits as well that will be discussed.
Purpose. Studies indicate that children with Developmental Dyslexia experience problems in lexical, morphological and syntactic processing - suggesting an underlying linguistic impairment. The current study examines the effect of DD on lexical processing involving the extraction of morpho-syntactic information in Hebrew, a language where most words are morphologically related, and where syntactic relations such as noun-adjective agreement are signaled by morphological markers. Method. 90 participants with DD - 8th, 11th graders, and University students - and 90 typically developing peers were administered tasks of Judgment and Production of sentences, where adjectives were assigned gender / number agreement with the head noun (e.g. ha-tmunot al ha-kir gdolot 'the-pictures,Fm on-the-wall (are) big,Pl,Fm'). Items were divided by noun morphology - stem transparency and suffix regularity; and by adjective syntactic position as sentence predicate vs. attributive noun modifier. Accuracy and reaction time were measured. We hypothesized that opaque noun morphology (changing stems and irregular suffixes) and syntactic complexity (greater distance between predicative adjective and subject than attributive adjective and head noun) would be especially challenging to individuals with DD. Results confirm our predictions. Accuracy increased and reaction time decreased with grade level in the typically developing population, but significantly less so in the participants with DD, who performed at a consistently lower level than peers. Irregular noun morphology and syntactic complexity impeded performance, and most markedly so in the DD participants. Conclusions. Children and adolescents with DD suffer from impaired linguistic processing, exacerbated by heightened demands on verbal working memory as in our adjective agreement tasks.
Purpose The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of a repeated reading intervention on the reading fluency and achievement of deaf elementary level students. Method Design was experimental, with a combination of single subject and quasi-experimental using pre-post measures. Four students in second grade at a state school for the deaf were participants. American Sign Language (ASL) is the language of instruction. The Reread-Adapt and Answer-Comprehend intervention, modified for this study, was used with the students individually two to three times weekly over a period of five weeks. The intervention was supplemental to the students' regular reading instruction program, which did not include reading fluency as a component. Results Pre-post measures included Running Records and four reading subtests of the Woodcock-Johnson III Achievement Tests. We found significant results for Running Records and the Reading Fluency subtest at the p<.01 level and a large effect size for Running Records and small-to-moderate effect size for Reading Fluency. Session intervention measures showed no pattern of improvement for number of readings to reach criteria or number of comprehension questions answered correctly. A consistent pattern of improvement was evident for word reading errors and reading time of each passage per session. Conclusions Findings support the effectiveness of the repeated reading strategy with young deaf readers. This finding is particularly important given that no norms for reading speed of students who use ASL have been developed and until the present study, it was unknown whether reading fluency could be improved through any intervention.
Heather Schugar (West Chester University)Mariam Jean Dreher - Fourth graders' expository text comprehension: evidence from NAEP on the role of income, out-of-school reading experiences, and in-school reading experiences
Purpose: This study examined whether the types of reading experiences fourth-grade students had out-of-school and in-school and their family income contributed to their expository text comprehension. Method: This study was a secondary analysis of the 2005 National Assessment of Educational Progress with a sample of approximately 177,000 fourth graders. Data were drawn from both the student background questionnaire and the achievement test. Using principal components analysis and hierarchical linear modeling, we modeled the associations between students' expository text comprehension and their family income, out-of-school reading engagement, and in-school reading activities. Results: At the student level, out-of-school reading engagement, and in-school components of discussions and cross-curricular reading were positively associated with expository text comprehension. Economically-disadvantaged students' out-of-school reading engagement's association with expository text comprehension was stronger than for fourth graders overall. However, reported frequency of in-school reading-related activities (e.g., writing book reports, doing projects) was negatively associated with expository text achievement, with the negative association for economically-disadvantaged students lower than for fourth graders overall. At the school level, being in schools where students reported frequent out-of-school reading engagement and whole-class and small group discussions was associated with higher expository text comprehension, while being in schools where students reported frequently engaging in reading-related activities (e.g., book reports) was negatively associated with expository text comprehension. Conclusions: These results contribute to the general understanding of factors associated with expository text comprehension. In turn, these results may inform future research that explores instructional approaches which may assist in closing the achievement gap for impoverished students.
Purpose: Investigating development of written language in L1 and L2 children between grades 4 and 6. Method: This was a longitudinal study, matched pair design, involving 44 L1 and 44 L2 (total n=88) normally developing children. Children were matched on language status, gender and nonverbal cognitive ability (Raven Test score). Study included analysis of the stories written as part of TOWL-3 test in grades 4 and 6 in response to the picture stimulus. Data analysis was carried through Repeated Measures ANOVA, ANCOVA, and ANOVA with Change Scores. Children's written language development was analyzed in terms of fluency, accuracy and complexity. Results: Fluency: It appears that L1 children outperformed L2 children, High Raven children outperformed Low Raven children and the gap was growing bigger in grade 6. Low Raven L2 boys seemed to be falling behind. Accuracy (correct): High Raven L1 and L2 children outperformed Low Raven children. Accuracy (errors): High RavenL2 children (boys and girls) outperformed L1 children. Grammatical complexity: High Raven children outperformed Low Raven children. Lexical complexity: All children except for Low Raven L1 boys have made significant progress in Grade 6. Low Raven L1 boys seemed to be falling behind. Conclusions: It appears that in writing (with exception of fluency) the L2 language status is not a disadvantage to children, but the low cognitive ability is. Particularly vulnerable seem to be the low cognitive ability L1 and L2 boys. Due to the small sample sizes results have to be treated as preliminary only.
Examining Global Coherence using fMRI Purpose: Maintaining global text coherence (activly connecting information from disparate parts of text during reading), is critical for successful reading comprehension. Substantial behavioral research, and more recently ERP research indicates that comprehension is impaired and reading becomes more laboured when coherence is violated. For example, when readers encounter information within a text that in globally incoherent their reading times are significantly slowed and their overall understanding of the text is impaired. In conjunction with these behavioral changes readers demonstrate larger N400's at the point of coherence violation indicating detection of an inconsistency. Method: In order to further specify the underlying cognitive and neurobiological processes that contribute to maintaining global coherence and detection of inconsistencies in text, the current study used event related fMRI to compare patterns of brain activation associated with reading narrative texts that are consistent relative to those that are inconsistent. Results: Preliminary data indicate that readers exhibit increased activation in the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex when reading inconsistent compared consistent texts - this region has previously been implicated in conflict detection & conflict resolution. Furthermore, we observed increased activation the superior temporal gyrus (STG) and precuneus for consistent relative to inconsistent texts - areas that are commonly involved in language processing and memory tasks. Conclusions: These results suggest that readers detect inconsistencies in text and activate corresponding regions associated with the detection and resolution of conflict. Activation of traditional language processing regions and regions associated with working memory is consistent with readers accurately maintaining global coherence in the consistent texts.
This project used a multidimensional, theoretical model of reading development and failure in order to advance our understanding of the critical instructional components (decoding, fluency, and text comprehension) needed by students with mild mental retardation to acquire reading skills. Two different multi- focus intervention programs (Phonological Analysis and Blending (PHAB) and PHAB + RAVE-O have been compared to a control program (MATH). Each child met state criteria for mental retardation and district eligibility criteria for special education services and were assigned randomly to a program (n=130). The instructional programs were equal in duration (1 hour) and in length (120 sessions). Instruction was delivered in small groups (n=4) by certified teachers who were members of the research project staff. Students were assessed at four different time points: pre- instruction, following 60 hours of instruction, and post intervention (after 120 hours of instruction); a one year follow-up also was included. Both standardized and experimental tests achievement measures were administered. Significant interaction between instructional group membership and time point was found on measures of phonological awareness and word identification. Follow-up data, one year post intervention, indicated that students retained their knowledge and skill and continued to evidence reading gains.
Purpose: How does the variance predicted by morphological awareness (MA) in bilingual English/Hebrew children's reading skills differ longitudinally? Method: Two groups of children, one coming from an early partial Hebrew Immersion (HI) program with significantly better Hebrew language skills, were assessed in the fall and spring of Grade 1. Matrix reasoning and age were used as controls. Oral language proficiency was measured in both languages using a receptive sentence-based task (TROG) and vocabulary (PPVT). Inflectional MA was measured in both languages using an analogy task, and word reading was measured in both languages using a word identification task. Results: T-tests confirmed that the group who had early partial HI had significantly better Hebrew oral language skills, and identical English language skills. There was no difference between the two groups on the word reading measures in either language. Linear regression analyses revealed that by the end of Grade 1 controlling for MAT and age on step 1, English and Hebrew MA (rotated on steps 2 and 3) independently predicted Hebrew word reading for the HI group while only Hebrew MA predicted it for the non-immersion group. When English word reading was entered as the dependent variable, neither MA measure accounted for significant variance in either group. Conclusions: Implications of how language proficiency impacts word reading and decoding skills cross-linguistically and through MA development will be discussed.
Purpose: The importance of phonological processing for reading development is well recognised. However, other basic skills (e.g. visual, auditory, motor) have been associated with reading difficulties. We use a range of tasks to investigate whether skills other than phonological processing directly influence normal reading development. Method: Phonological processing, auditory processing (non-speech sounds), phoneme and rhyme awareness, speech production, verbal and non-verbal IQ, working memory, motor skill and visual attention were measured in 392 pre-readers beginning school in the UK (time 1; mean age 4 years, 6 months). Reading performance was measured at school entry and at the end of the first (time 2; mean age 5 years, 2 months) and second (time 3; mean age 6 years, 2 months) school years. The predictive power of time 1 skills on reading performance at time 2 and 3 was assessed using structural equation modeling. Results: Phonological and auditory processing skills at time 1 were best explained by a unitary factor (P&A). Both reading and P&A at time 1 directly influenced reading at time 2. However, P&A did not directly influence reading at time 3. Instead, time 2 reading provided the only direct influence on time 3 reading. All other skills measured at time 1 indirectly influenced later reading, through correlations with P&A. Conclusions: Early auditory and phonological skills were most crucial in predicting the first two years of reading development, directly influencing reading at the end of the first year of school, and indirectly influencing reading at the second year of school.
Purpose - This study aims at testing the hypothesis that in an interesting text, the amount of details should be constraint. It is assumed that for a literary text to be interesting, its resolution--the amount of specification and detail--must be at an optimal level. Too few details (specifications) make the text incomprehensible, while too many details make the text uninteresting. Method - Thirty university students participated in the study. They were paid for their participation. Six passages of 300 words each were chosen from prosaic texts. Each passage has been modified in two ways: (i) certain details were omitted; (ii) certain details were added. Altogether, 18 passages were prepared. Every participant read one version of each one of the 6 original passages in either unabridged, under-specified, or over-specified mode. Upon reading the texts, the subjects rated how interesting the text was. The type of the versions was rotated between participants. Results - The results are now being collected and analyzed (Please note that the academic year in Israeli universities has begun this year on November--last month!.) Conclusions - Assuming our hypothesis is supported, our conclusion is that important facet of what makes a text interesting is an optimal degree of text resolution. With too few details it may be impossible to construct a coherent meaning. With too many details, the reading of the text may be tedious. The implication of such results should be taken in consideration in selecting reading materials.
Purpose This study was designed to assess the effectiveness of an early identification and intervention program to prevent reading difficulties. Method The sample consisted of all of the children (923) who entered school in kindergarten and who remained in the district until grade 7. The screening in kindergarten consisted of tasks assessing phonological awareness, letter naming, syntactic awareness, and memory for language. The screening was brief and was used by the classroom teacher. The intervention in kindergarten and grade 1 consisted of a classroom based phonological awareness and introductory phonics program, called Firm Foundations. A reading comprehension training program was used in grade 2 and the later grades. Word and pseudoword reading accuracy and fluency, reading comprehension and spelling were assessed in grade 7. Results In this study, 25% of the children with English as a first language (L1) and 47% of children with English as a second language (ESL) were detected as being at risk in kindergarten. In grade 7, at age 13, 1.5 % of the L1 children and 2.1% of the ESL children were dyslexic Conclusions Children at risk for reading difficulties can be detected at school entry and, if appropriate remediation is provided, most reading failure can be prevented. The program was equally successful with L1 and ESL children. Appropriate early identification and intervention can prevent most reading failure
Nandini Singh (National Brain Research Centre)N. C. Singh; T. Das; U. Kumar; S. R. Bapi; M. Joshi and P. Padakannaya. - Influence of orthography and fluency on reading different orthographies - an fMRI study
Purpose- To compare cortical activations while reading in Hindi and English, two markedly different orthographies, by late bilinguals more fluent in reading Hindi. English is an alphabetic, linear and opaque orthography as opposed to Devanagari (Hindi), which is an alphasyllabary, nonlinear and transparent. Method- Twelve right-handed healthy Hindi-English late bilinguals (7M, age range 25-32 years) were recruited on the basis of a questionnaire, which included questions on 'age of native language acquisition', 'age and exposure to second language' and 'place of residence for longest period'. In addition, all of them had learnt English since 9 years of age. For the behavioral analysis, reading time was measured as participants read aloud two passages, 'North wind and sun' and its Hindi translation. Cortical activations were obtained using a 3T Phillips MRI scanner when the participants read three word phrases, in both languages, extracted from the same passages. Images were analyzed using SPM5. Results- 1) Mean reading time for English was significantly greater than Hindi. 2) Common areas of activation in bilateral cerebellum, occipital areas and thalamus, suggest a universal language reading network. 3) Direct English-Hindi comparisons revealed fluency effects, in that left putamen activity was observed for English. 4) Hindi-English comparisons revealed orthography effects, wherein activation was seen in the right caudate nucleus, temporal pole and right superior temporal gyrus. Conclusions- The less practiced and therefore less fluent language results in slower reading times and left putamen activation. Similar to other visually complex scripts, Devnagari also elicits increased involvement of the right hemisphere.
Purpose Fluent reading hinges on automatic word recognition, yet little research has investigated the acquisition process with repeated exposure to novel words. In this study, elementary students were asked to read two-syllable pseudowords five times each (in varied sequences) during two sessions. The goal was to study changes in speed of recognition across exposures for pseudowords that were read accurately all ten times. Hypotheses: More advanced students will read the stimuli more rapidly (even at first exposure), will show more rapid improvement in speed of recognition across repeated exposures, and will show better retention of 'word recognition' following the gap between Sessions 1 and 2. Method Participants (n=49) were in grades three through six, reading in the average-to-superior ranges. Students were assessed on standardized reading measures and the pseudoword task. Pseudowords were designed to be within the reading skills of all participants (constructed of syllables with short vowels [e.g., wesfug]). Results Preliminary analyses indicate that although the most advanced readers read pseudowords more rapidly across exposures, the pattern of changes in speed (development of word recognition) was strikingly similar for groups at three reading levels. However, the two higher groups reached asymptote before Trial 10, while the lowest group continued to improve. Conclusions The results show strong similarities in improvements in word reading speed with multiple exposures for regular students at different reading levels, counter to two of the hypotheses. This study sets the stage for investigating whether reading-disabled students differ in their development of word recognition for individual words.
Purpose. The self-regulatory behaviors exhibited by all children within a class were assessed in order to examine the influence of classmates' self-regulation on children's individual literacy growth during the school year, using measures of reading comprehension and vocabulary. Method. Four hundred and forty-five (209 girls; 236 boys) participants from 46 classrooms in 10 schools were included. Literacy skills were measured in the fall and spring of the school year using two subtests from the Woodcock Johnson Achievement Tests-III (Woodcock and Mather, 2000): passage comprehension (i.e., reading comprehension) and picture vocabulary. In addition, a modified version of the Head-To-Toes task was used to measure self-regulation skills in the fall (Cameron et al., in press). Results. On average, 12% of children across classrooms demonstrated self regulation falling below the twenty-fifth percentile (Range = 0-67%). Classrooms were more likely to have a higher proportion of children with weaker self regulation as the percentage of children living in low SES families increased. Using hierarchical linear modeling, the proportion of children with low self-regulation in a given classroom predicted children's growth in reading comprehension (d = .45), but not their vocabulary growth. This was an independent effect over and above the effect of individual children's fall self regulation and school-wide SES, which were both significantly related to students' reading skill and vocabulary growth. Conclusions. The current study suggests that a high percentage of students with weak self-regulation may make it more difficult to provide classroom instruction that maximizes children's learning.
Patrick Snellings (University of Amsterdam, Department of Psychology)Patrick Snellings, Maaike Zeguers, Peter Tamboer, Jurgen Tijms, Wouter Weeda, Hilde Huizenga and Anika Bexkens Maaike Zeguers; Peter Tamboer; Jurgen Tijms; Wouter Weeda; Hilde Huizenga; Anika Bexkens - A diffusion model explanation of slow word recognition in children with reading disabilities
Purpose - Word identification of reading disabled children is commonly characterized as inefficient and slow. The most prominent explanatory theory assumes a phonological deficit, but alternative accounts have suggested problems in visual perception, impaired motor functioning or heightened levels of insecurity. Long response latencies of reading disabled on lexical decision tasks have been taken as evidence for slow phonological processing. The diffusion model (Ratcliff, 2004) provides a unique window on the underlying processes and enables a more complete understanding of slow word identification. The model disentangles whether delay occurs in specific reading processes or if other, non specific factors such as insecurity or impaired visual- and motor processes contribute. Method - Fifty seven fourth graders with reading disabilities and 57 average reading classmates executed a speeded lexical decision task. Diffusion model application resulted in three parameters, reflecting specific reading processes, level of insecurity and combined visual- and motor processes. Results - As in previous studies, reading disabled children had both lower accuracy rates and longer response latencies than average readers. T-tests on the diffusion model parameters showed a significant delay in the specific reading processes compared to average readers. In contrast, groups did not differ on insecurity, and neither on visual perception nor on motor functioning. Conclusions - Results indicate that slow word recognition rate of reading disabled children is due to slowness in specific reading processes, suggesting a phonological deficit. With the diffusion model approach, no evidence for problems in visual perception or motor skills were found, nor for heightened levels of insecurity.
Brooke Soden (Ohio State University, Dept of Psychology); Meghan Hauptli; Yaacov Petscher; Chris Schatschneider - Screening for future reading problems: A comparison of currently used and new measures.
Purpose The current study investigated the utility of using the Scholastic Reading Inventory (SRI) with a Lexile score as a reading screener for third graders. Currently, it is common for third grade students to be screened for reading difficulties using oral reading fluency (ORF), however, this measure might not be the best reading screener at grade 3. The SRI with Lexile, which taps a more diverse set of reading skills, was evaluated as a reading screener and compared to the performance of DIBELS ORF. For both screeners the outcome measure is reading comprehension. Method Data, including SRI with Lexile and DIBELS ORF, were collected from 4,123 third grade students at three time points (fall, winter, & spring) during the 2006-2007 academic year. Both screening measures were evaluated using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves in addition to multiple diagnostic accuracy indices (Streiner, 2003). Results Both tests perform approximately the same during the initial (fall) assessment, but the predictive utility of the SRI with Lexile continues to improve over subsequent assessments throughout the year while DIBELS ORF does not. Conclusions It is imperative that students at risk for reading failure be identified both as early and accurately as possible using scores from a valid screening measure in order to provide needed intervention. The current study provides evidence that the SRI with Lexile can be used validly as a reading screener and has some advantages over DIBELS ORF.
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine whether individual differences in L1 print exposure and L1 general (cultural) knowledge account for individual differences in oral and written L2 proficiency in high school after differences in L1 skill and L1 cognitive ability (IQ) measured in elementary school, and L2 aptitude in high school had been controlled. Method: In this longitudinal study, 54 students were followed over 10 years. They were administered: a) measures of L1 literacy (word decoding, reading comprehension, spelling, phoneme awareness), L1 vocabulary, and L1 cognitive ability in elementary school; and b) measures of L2 aptitude, oral (listening, speaking) and written (word decoding, reading comprehension, spelling, writing) L2 proficiency, L1 print exposure (ART, MRT; see Cunningham & Stanovich, 1997), and cultural knowledge (CLC) in high school. Results: Five separate regression analyses were conducted for the ART, MRT, CLC, ART + MRT, and ART+ MRT + CLC. Results showed that even when L1 skills, L1 cognitive ability, and L2 aptitude were controlled, ART and MRT explained 5-7% additional variance, respectively, in L2 word decoding, L2 reading comprehension, and L2 writing. ART and MRT combined explained 4-8% additional variance in L2 word decoding and L2 reading comprehension. The CLC alone explained from 5-12% additional variance in all L2 proficiency measures except spelling. The CLC combined with ART + MRT accounted for 3-9% additional variance in all L2 proficiency measures except spelling. Conclusions: Recent studies have found long-term, cross-linguistic relationships between early L1 skills and later L2 learning. The findings from this study suggest that students' experience with print in their L1 also impacts their oral and written L2 proficiency in high school.
Purpose: Recent research has demonstrated the importance of both morphology and stress in spelling. This study will bridge these two areas, investigating children's use of morphological information when spelling stressed and unstressed vowels. Unstressed (schwa) vowels are particularly difficult, but notably, they can be clarified through morphological manipulation. We will investigate whether children naturally use morphological information to spell vowels, and whether explicitly discussing morphologically related words can increase children's morphological strategy use. Method: Experiment 1 will include 150 grade 2-6 students; they will spell, in two subtasks, morphologically related word pairs containing stress shifts. In Experiment 2, 90 students will complete three spelling dictations; during the second session, a discussion will highlight either morphologically or phonologically related words. We will test for near transfer to a similar set of untrained words and far transfer to a general spelling measure. Results: In Experiment 1, we expect children to spell unstressed vowels better in their second subtask, due to previous exposure to morphologically related words where the vowels were stressed. In Experiment 2, we expect children who participate in a morphological discussion to subsequently spell unstressed vowels more accurately than control participants who had a phonological discussion. We also expect this improvement to transfer to untrained words. Conclusions: This study will clarify the role of morphological strategies in children's spelling. It will provide both empirically and educationally relevant information, demonstrating whether children naturally use morphological strategies, and whether instruction can capitalize upon this strategy to promote successful vowel spelling.
Purpose: This study examined sixth-graders' performance on three reading comprehension tests, Woodcock-Johnson Passage Comprehension (WJPC), the Degrees of Reading Power (DRP), and a state-mandated assessment, the Connecticut Mastery Test (CMT), in relation to children's component reading abilities (vocabulary, oral comprehension, word identification, word attack, and reading speed). The main questions were: 1) Would the comprehension tests differ in the extent to which they tapped underlying component abilities? 2) Would the measures differ in the number and types of poor readers they identified as poor comprehenders? Method: Participants were 87 sixth graders. They were individually tested on the reading measures (PPVT, Woodcock-Johnson subtests, and informal fluency passages); their scores on the state-mandated reading test were also obtained. Results: The three reading comprehension tests tapped underlying component abilities quite differently. WJPC heavily tapped Word Identification, whereas the CMT and DRP tapped a wider range of component abilities. Reading speed was most important to reading comprehension on the CMT. The three comprehension measures also varied in the number and types of poor comprehenders they identified. Children with selective component weaknesses were most likely to perform differently on different comprehension tests; those with multiple component weaknesses usually did poorly on all the comprehension measures. Conclusions: Results support the viewpoint (e.g., Cutting & Scarborough, 2006; Keenan, Betjemann, & Olson, 2008) that commonly used measures of reading comprehension differ substantially in the component abilities they tap, with key implications for educational practice, where frequently only one measure of reading comprehension is used.
Deborah Speece (VCU School of Education); Lisa Pericola Case; Rebecca Silverman; Kristen D. Ritchey; Dawn Jacobs; Elizabeth Montanaro - Effects of a short-term reading intervention for first grade children at risk for reading problems
Purpose: There are many examples of successful early reading interventions implemented over 20 weeks or more. Our purpose was to validate a short term (10 weeks) reading intervention for first grade children at risk for reading failure (AR) within a Response to Intervention (RTI) model. RTI models are premised on early identification necessitating effective but relatively brief interventions. Method: Thirty first grade AR children were randomly assigned to the intervention or control group. Intervention focused on phonological skills, word and text reading, fluency, and comprehension and was delivered by trained tutors to groups of 3 or 4 children, 40 min./session, 3 sessions/week during the fall. Both pretest-posttest and progress monitoring measures were collected. Results: Significant Group x Time interactions were obtained for decodable word fluency and spelling. Results for word attack and word identification were not significant but produced moderate effect size estimates (.86, .49, respectively). The effect for decodable word fluency was mediated by parent ratings of the child's home reading behavior: intervention children who read more often demonstrated more growth than either intervention children who read less often or control children regardless of parent rating. The effect for spelling was moderated in a similar way by teachers' ratings of academic competence. Conclusions: Finding differential responsiveness suggests that a short-term reading intervention is valid. This conclusion is tempered by the fact that several important reading variables did not differentiate the groups. Whether this is due to the small sample, brief intervention duration, or the intervention components requires further study.
Purpose Despite the recent focus on fluency training in schools, there is as yet no consensus as to whether fluency intervention increases the overall reading outcomes of severely disabled readers. This study used a randomized experimental design to test the efficacy of a fluency intervention program on the decoding and comprehension outcomes of 60 students with severe reading disabilities in grades six through eight. Methods Participants were recruited from self-contained classrooms for students with disabilities in two urban middle schools. Students were tested pre and post intervention on a variety of reading related constructs, including fluency (GORT, TOWRE), comprehension, (GORT with open-ended questions, WRM), decoding (WRM, TOWRE) and related factors such as phonological awareness and RAN (CTOPP). Students in the experimental group participated in 15-minute daily one-on-one fluency training sessions with a paraprofessional; control group students participated in daily study skills sessions. Results Residualized gain scores on reading measures were compared between groups using independent t-testing. Results showed that students in the experimental group made significant progress in fluency as compared to students in the control group, and that the results generalized to novel passages. No significant gains were seen in reading comprehension. Conclusions The results show that fluency gains can be made with a modest allocation of teacher aide time during the regular school day. Although no impact on comprehension was found, it should be noted that many of the children had language delays that may have impaired their ability to benefit globally from an increase in reading fluency.
Rhona Stainthorp (Institute of Education, University of Reading); Daisy Powell; Morag Stuart - A longitudinal study of the relationship between RAN, phonological awareness and both text and single word reading
Purpose: The aim was to investigate the robustness of the RAN-reading link, in the light of suggestions that the role of RAN in the typical development of reading skills diminishes over time. We report a longitudinal investigation of RAN performance, phonological awareness (PA), single word and text reading in 67 children attending mainstream UK schools. Method: Reading, RAN, PA, phonological memory (PM), and vocabulary were first assessed (T1) when participants were in Year 3 (~US 2nd Grade: mean age 7;9). These skills, plus an additional measure of text reading accuracy, rate and comprehension were assessed in Year 6 (T2: mean age 10;6). These data allowed us to investigate concurrent predictors of reading at T1 and T2 and longitudinal (T1) predictors of reading at T2. Results: At both T1 and T2, vocabulary, PA and RAN were all significant unique predictors of single word reading. At T2, RAN, but not PA, predicted unique variance in all three text measures, after accounting for the contribution of vocabulary. Longitudinally, T1 PA contributed only to word reading, while RAN predicted unique variance in all reading measures. However, when the autoregressive effect of T1 word reading was included in the analysis, PA no longer contributed unique variance in any reading measure, and RAN only in text reading rate. Conclusions: Results suggest that RAN is a stronger concurrent predictor of reading, particularly text reading, than PA. However, neither RAN nor PA reliably predicted later reading performance after the influence of earlier word reading was controlled.
Although Dutch has a shallow orthography, additional graphotactic rules complicate word identification. Verhoeven e.a. (in press) show that both poor and typical readers are very stable at the total number of errors they make. However, little is known about the stability of misidentifications of graphotactically complex CVCVC words. Therefore current research questions are: Does a child misidentify the same CVCVC words repeatedly? Can reading stability be predicted by word characteristics? Does stability change during reading development? Do poor and typical readers show the same patterns of reading stability? Method 180 students from grade 2 and 3 participated, both typically developing readers (N = 88) and disabled readers (N = 92). Disabled readers were compared with reading age matched typical readers. Students were asked to twice read 300 Dutch CVCVC words, with an interval of a few days. CVCVC words were of specific orthographic complexities. Results Students are very stable at the total number of errors, but words misidentified vary per occasion. Stability of errors decreases with grade, and overall reading stability of poor readers is comparable to that of typical readers. Stability can be predicted partly by word characteristics (frequency, bigram frequency, neighbours, word length), however predictors differ per reading group. Complex graphotactic words are misidentified rather consistently, especially when no semantic cues are given by the orthography of the word. Conclusions Children's general reading ability is stable. Errors are not made systematically however. Instability is related to graphotactical complexity and semantic cues.
Purpose Developing assessments of abilities and competencies cross-culturally is not always as simple as importing currently existing Western-based tests of ability. The purpose of this study was to develop a psychometrically sound assessment protocol to identify students with specific reading disabilities in Zambia. This paper will discuss and examine the development of the assessment protocol and the reliability and validity of the measures with this population. Method To examine the possible presence of specific reading disabilities in Zambian school children, the assessment protocol included both measures of ability and achievement. Non-verbal measures of students' cognitive abilities were adapted from subtests of the Universal Nonverbal Intelligence Test (UNIT) and the Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children, Second Edition (KABC-II), and a measure of student competencies (achievement) was developed [the Zambian Achievement Test (ZAT)] in both English and Nyanja. All of these, including a culturally relevant measure of ability, the Panga Munthu test, were administered to approximately1000 regular and special education students in Zambia, ranging from grades 1-7. Data was analyzed to determine the reliability and validity of these measures for use with Zambian school children. Results Findings will be presented that demonstrate the reliability and validity of the developed assessment protocol for use in identifying students with specific reading disabilities in Zambia. Conclusion We will discuss how Western tests may travel well to other cultures, but that a theoretically grounded approach, close attention to cultural differences between the West and the target country, along with thorough psychometric analyses must be employed to obtain valid results.
Purpose: The dual-route theory of reading and reading disorder posits that there are at least two distinct, dissociable, processes involved in reading. Common methods used to measure these processes include the application of threshold scores to define subtypes, or the use of standard regression analysis to calculate discrepancy scores. Problems with these methods include (i) arbitrary application of cutoffs to continuous distributions (ii) highly skewed raw score distributions and "ceiling effects" (iii) inconsistent regression-based discrepancy scores due to the minimisation of error variance for the dependent variable alone. Method: Raw normative scores on non-word and irregular word reading lists were converted to cumulative probabilities using the recently developed generalized beta-binomial distribution. Independent summary scores were calculated to represent both general reading ability and the symmetric contrast between non-word and irregular word reading. Bivariate plots were constructed to explore the nature of the dissociation between the two scores. Results: The generalised beta binomial distribution fitted both raw-score distributions well and yielded cumulative probabilities for scores outside the observed distributions. There was no indication of bimodality or clustering in the bivariate distribution. Ceiling effects and differential skew in the raw score distributions had pathological effects on the calculation of discrepancy scores. These were ameliorated by the use of cumulative probabilities from the fitted distributions. The independent summary scores provided the ability to weight discrepancy scores towards the lower end of the reading distribution. Conclusion: The improved methods represent a robust and general framework that can be used to examine the dissociation between reading abilities, free from restrictive measurement assumptions.
Yi-Fen Su (Dept. of Educational Psychology and Counseling, National Taiwan Normal University)Ju-Ling Chen, You-Hsuan Chang - The role of prior knowledge in college students' strategic reading: Evidences from eye-movement data
Purpose: The purpose of this study is to investigate how prior knowledge influences college students' strategic reading while they are asked to read and summarize expository texts. Method: Four groups of college students were recruited. They were good readers with high prior knowledge, good readers with low prior knowledge, poor readers with high prior knowledge, and poor readers with low prior knowledge. Participants were asked to read and summarize two expository texts relevant to personality theories on computer screen. One of the texts had title and headings, the other one only had title but no headings. Except for the first paragraph of each text, the first sentence of each paragraph was the topic sentence. Participants' eye-movement patterns were recorded by EyeLink Desktop. Two-way ANOVAs will be conducted to analyze participants' eye-movement indices on the headings, topic sentences, last sentences of each paragraph, and the rest of the sentences in the texts. The two factors were reading ability (high vs. low) and prior knowledge (high vs. low). Results: The data collecting will be completed at the end of December 2008, and analyses will be done in February 2009. Conclusions: The results of this study can reveal how prior knowledge influences college students' strategic reading, if high prior knowledge can compensate for low reading ability for college students in reading strategy utilization, and what is the difference between good readers with low prior knowledge and poor readers with high prior knowledge in their strategic reading.
The study tested the effect of phonological versus morphological intervention on the development of spelling in Arabic among 2nd, 4th, and 6th grade normal and poor spellers. A total of 289 children were tested that belonged to one of three groups: phonological intervention (PI), morphological intervention (MI), and control. Children were tested before and after the intervention on tests of word and pseudoword spelling, and on phonological and morphological awareness tasks. The intervention consisted of a total of 48 half-hour sessions provided over a period of 6 months. The phonological intervention targeted phonemic awareness and grapheme-phoneme correspondence rules with particular focus on diglossic phonemes and emphatic phonemes which were found to constitute a particular challenge to spelling in Arabic. The morphological intervention targeted morphological awareness of linear and non-linear derivational processes with special focus on the utility of the morphological structure in aiding word spelling in Arabic. Repeated measure ANOVA showed that both intervention programs were effective in producing gains in linguistic awareness and spelling in both groups of children and across all three grade levels. Further, poor spellers were found to make larger gains in word and pseudo word spelling than normal spellers in both intervention programs. No difference was found between the different intervention programs or the different grade-levels. The results are discussed in light of the orthographic structure of Arabic and the mechanisms used in spelling in the shallow voweled Arabic orthography.
This cross-sectional study investigated contributions of phonemic awareness (PA: elision and blending), rapid naming (RAN), and phonological memory (PM) to basic decoding and fluency skills in Arabic. Subjects were 237 Arabic speaking children, in grades K-3. Quantitative data on the phonological predictors PA, RAN, and PM were gathered. Dependent measures included word decoding (LW), passage reading fluency (PRF), retell fluency (RF), and nonword reading fluency (NWF). All measures had been adapted from English to Arabic and standardized on Saudi Arabic speaking children. Analyses of variance showed significant differences between different grades on all the dependent variables. However, the difference between second and third grade PRF performance was greater than was found between first and second grade; suggesting a phase of accelerated fluency between second and third grade. Univariate F's indicated that of the dependent variables LW, PRF, RF, and NWF are significantly related to the set of phonological predictors. Multivariate analyses showed that PA (Elision) had the largest magnitude of influence (beta weight) on each of the dependent variables. RAN (letters) was the second most influential predictor of LW and NWF, while nonword repetition was the second most influential for RF. These results indicate that PA is the phonological processing variable with the greatest influence on basic decoding and fluency skills in Arabic, mirroring results for English. These findings should contribute to diagnostic and intervention efforts in Arabic.
Purpose: The triangle model proposes that semantics contribute to reading aloud. Although this proposal enjoys some support from behavioural data, it is difficult to determine whether effects are driven by knowledge of word meanings or word sounds. McKay et al. (2008) found that pre-exposure to meanings of new words facilitated learning to read those items more than pre-exposure to their sounds. However, attention may have been greater during semantics pre-exposure. We addressed whether attention to word-level phonology rather than semantics facilitates reading aloud. Method: 80 adults learned to read 36 novel words written in novel characters, varying in frequency and consistency. 32 participants were pre-exposed to word sounds and meanings (semantics) and 32 to word sounds (lexical phonology). Half of each group had passive pre-exposure by just listening to the words (and reading meanings). Half had active pre-exposure by listening to and repeating the words (and reading meanings) and answering a monitoring question every 6-10 trials. 16 participants received no pre-exposure. Post-training tasks tapped speeded naming, old-new decision and generalisation. Results: All exposure conditions showed improvements in speed and accuracy relative to no pre-exposure. Semantics pre-exposure provided no greater benefit than lexical phonology. However, active pre-exposure was more beneficial than passive. Conclusions: Word meaning does not facilitate reading aloud, beyond the contribution provided by strong item-specific phonological representations. The semantic component of the triangle model should be recast as a mechanism which binds together phonemes in known words in a qualitatively different way from common sub-lexical phoneme combinations.
Purpose: Interest in subtypes of reading disability has existed since reading problems were first studied scientifically. This presentation uses factor mixture models to examine differences among middle school readers. Methods: The sample includes roughly 1,800 students in grades 6-8, assessed on an extensive battery of reading and cognitive assessments, including using passages of varying difficulty to assess oral reading fluency and comprehension under varying task demands. Results: Primary interest focused on whether subsets of readers can be identified with similar patterns of performance across all grades. Of particular interest is whether some children respond to increasing task demands in the oral reading fluency task by reducing their oral reading rate in an effort to preserve comprehension, while others experience a reduced reading rate with loss of comprehension. It is also postulated that some students will preserve their reading rate without loss of comprehension, whereas others will preserve their reading rate despite significant degradation of comprehension. Class membership will be related to primary classification as disabled or not, but is also expected to be related to intelligence even though disability status is not. Specifically, readers that adapt their reading rate will score higher on intelligence tests than students of similar reading ability who do not adapt performance. Conclusions: Modern statistical methods are flexible, but also fraught with difficulties when applied to substantive problems whose solutions are unknown. Still, these models hold great promise for their ability to closely capture scientific theory in statistical practice where research about reading disabilities is concerned.
Shelley Xiuli Tong (Division of speech and hearing science );John R. Kirby; S. Hélène Deacon; Kate Cain - Understanding reading comprehension: Is morphological processing a missing piece of the puzzle?
Purpose: We sought to examine whether unexpected poor comprehenders (children whose reading comprehension is low, in spite of adequate word reading skills and intelligence; Cain & Oakhill, 2007; White & Kirby, 2008) demonstrated deficits in morphological processing, and earlier measures of reading comprehension. Method: We used regression to predict text comprehension (Woodcock Passage Comprehension) from the combination of word reading accuracy (Woodcock Word Identification), word reading speed (TOWRE), and nonverbal IQ (Block Design), R2 = .62. We then selected 15 children whose reading comprehension was less than expected, 19 whose comprehension was average as expected, and 19 children whose comprehension was greater than expected, among 132 Grade 5 children. Multiple measures of morphological processing were administered to these children in Grades 3 to 5, along with standard measures of vocabulary, reading, and text comprehension. Results: Unexpected poor, expected average, and unexpected good comprehenders were compared in a series of ANOVAs. Groups differed each year in reading comprehension, and in various aspects of morphological processing. Unexpected poor comprehenders performed worse than unexpected good comprehenders on word analogy (derivation and inflection), and morphological production across grades. A less salient gap on morphological processing was found between unexpected good and expected average comprehenders. Conclusion: Unexpected poor comprehension is stable over three years and is associated with poor morphological processing. This extends previous findings of semantic differences (Nation & Snowling, 1998), and supports Perfetti's (2007) lexical quality hypothesis.
Minna Torppa (University of Jyväskylä); Asko Tolvanen; Anna-Maija Poikkeus; Kenneth Eklund; Marja-Kristiina Lerkkanen; Esko Leskinen; Heikki Lyytinen - Reading subtypes and their predictive developmental characteristics from one year of age
We examined whether we can identify heterogeneous developmental paths of decoding and reading comprehension (to test simple view on reading hypothesis, Gough & Tunmer, 1986) if we use a large sample, omit classroom variation, and use the most advanced clustering technique available. Secondly, we studied what kind of early skill profiles and reading experiences characterize the children with differing reading development. Third, we include a follow up of the children's development in later grades. The findings come from the Jyvskylä Longitudinal Study of Dyslexia (JLD). Approximately 100 children with familial risk of dyslexia and 100 control children have been followed from birth; we report data on the reading development of the JLD children and classmates (n=1750) from four measurement points during the first two school years and the early language and literacy skill development and print exposure of the JLD children between 1 and 8 years. A two-level mixture modeling of longitudinal data was used here. Five subtypes were found: poor readers, slow decoders, poor comprehenders, average readers, and good readers. Children with familial risk for dyslexia performed on average at a lower level in all reading tasks than their classmates and controls and were over-represented in the slow decoders subtype. Differences between the subtypes were found in several early language and literacy skill development as well as in the reading experiences of the reading subtypes. Follow-up results will be reported until grade 5. Findings supported heterogeneous reading development during first two grades and showed heterogeneity in the early predictors.
Dianna Townsend (University of Nevada, Reno)Penny Collins; Alexis Filippini - The importance of academic aocabulary knowledge for middle school students formerly designated as English language learners
Purpose In 2005 the National Assessment of Educational Practice (NAEP; Institute of Educational Sciences, 2007) began tracking the reading performance of secondary students who were formerly designated as English Language Learner (F-ELL), and they have consistently lagged behind their native-English speaking (NS) peers. This understudied population often struggles in mainstream, content-area classrooms. Because of vocabulary's close relationship with reading comprehension (McKeown, Beck, Omanson, & Perfetti, 1983; Snow & Kim, 2007; Stahl & Fairbanks, 1986), and the rich academic vocabulary use in content-area classrooms (Schleppegrell, 2007; Zwiers, 2007), we will examine the relationship between academic vocabulary knowledge and reading comprehension for F-ELL and NS middle school students. Method 162 seventh grade students were administered one test of general vocabulary (Gates-MacGinitie Vocabulary Subtest; MacGinitie, MacGinitie, Maria, & Dreyer, 2000), one test of academic vocabulary knowledge (Vocabulary Levels Test; Schmitt, Schmitt, & Clapham, 2001), and the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS). Results Using regression analysis, we found different patterns for F-ELL (n = 125) and NS (n = 37) students. For NS students, general vocabulary knowledge accounted for 54% of the variance of the ITBS reading comprehension subtest, and academic vocabulary knowledge accounted for an additional 6% of unique variance. However, for F-ELL students, academic vocabulary knowledge accounted for 26% of the variance in reading comprehension, and general breadth of vocabulary knowledge did not account for any additional variance. Conclusion These findings suggest that, while all students benefit from general vocabulary knowledge, F-ELL students may particularly benefit from increased academic vocabulary knowledge.
Purpose: The symbols of a script are similar to one another. One similarity among the Latin letters is that many of them have a vertical stem and an appendage. The appendage is more often on the right, as with b, than on the left, as with d. We tested the hypothesis that young children learn about this graphic pattern and thus have more difficulty producing d-type letters than b-type letters. Method: We examined data from a number of previous studies in which children copied letters and wrote them from memory, and also data from a study in which children wrote words containing /b/ and /d/. Results: Children were more likely to place the appendage of a d-type letter on the right than the appendage of a b-type letter on the left. This asymmetry was found in children as young as 4 and 5 years of age. Simner (1984) reported such an asymmetry in a study that is now largely forgotten; the present results show that his findings replicate and generalize. Conclusions: Young children attend to orientation, implicitly tracking the frequencies of the stem + right appendage and stem + left appendage patterns. Learners of the Latin script, having observed that the former pattern is more common than the latter, tend to guess the more common pattern when their memory for an experienced shape is weak. Statistical learning, previously implicated in the learning of correspondences between sounds and letters, is also involved in the learning of letter shapes.
Purpose The aim of this study was to look at interferences of the first acquired language (German) onto the spelling performance in the second language (French) at the lexical and grapho-phonemic level within a bilingual educational setting in primary school. Method In Luxembourg literacy skills are acquired in German in grade 1 and French is added to the educational curriculum from grade 3 on. A group of 33 good and 31 poor spellers in French attending grade 4 completed a French word dictation and a French nonword dictation. The French word dictation included words with and without German cognates. The French nonword dictation included phonemes exisiting in both languages, but which are transcribed by a different grapheme in each language. Results For French words with an incongruent German cognate, i.e. where the German spelling was misleading, children produced more spelling errors. In the French nonword dictation,children produced mostly French graphemes, but also a certain amount of German graphemes. For both tasks, poor spellers were more affected by cross-language interferences from German when spelling French, suggesting that they rely on the first acquired language (German) to a greater extent. Conclusions Both at the lexical and the grapho-phonemic level, we found support for a bilingual nonselective language access. Based on our results, we propose a theoretical model of bilingual spelling based on connectionist principles, in which children build their grapho-phonemic knowledge of the second acquired language on the first.
Purpose This study builds on an earlier examination of representations of vowels in 88 kindergartners' invented spellings (Uhry, 2008). In the present study we examined both vowels and consonants in terms of articulatory proximity in comparing the spellings of children for whom English was the home language with those for whom Spanish was the home language. Method Twenty-six spelling words were administered including a 12-word list developed by Morris (1999) and 14 additional words selected to represent a range of final consonants including phonemes in which there are English/Spanish differences in voice onset time (VOT). Results Correlation and regression analyses confirmed the strong role of phonemic awareness, letter name knowledge, and invented spelling in predicting early reading ability. Vowel substitutions followed patterns found by Trieman (1993) and Uhry (2008); unconventional use of vowel representations was associated with proximity of articulation. Most of these end-of-year urban kindergartners spelled initial consonants conventionally (mean = 21.7 out of 26 words). Most initial-consonant errors involved substituting letters representing phonemes with similar voicing and manner of production (e.g., F for TH in THICK). Final consonant substitutions were more prevalent than in onsets, and more varied in type, but were also associated with proximity of articulation. Some substitutions (e.g., LLAP for JOB) suggested the influence of Spanish as the home language and were consistent with findings from Raynolds and Uhry (under review). Conclusions Findings have implications for teaching as well as for developing research instruments that are sensitive to the phonological knowledge of emergent readers. References Morris, D. (1999). Case Studies in teaching beginning readers: The Howard Street tutoring manual. New York, NY: Guilford Press. Raynolds, L. & Uhry, J. K. (Under review). The invented spellings of non-Spanish consonant sounds by Spanish-English bilingual kindergarteners. Treiman, R. (1993). Beginning to spell. New York: Oxford. Uhry, J. K. (2008). Vowel representations in kindergarten. Paper presented at the annual meeting of SSSR in Ashville.
Catherine Ullman (Tufts University);Elizabeth S. Norton; Stephanie Gottwald; Kathleen Spencer; Robin Morris; Maureen Lovett; Maryanne Wolf - Evidence for a reading fluency-specific deficit in dyslexia
Purpose: Research has suggested as many as four possible subtypes of dyslexia, characterized by deficits in four reading sub-skills: phonology, naming speed, language comprehension, and/or orthography. However, a subset of children with RD do not demonstrate any of these deficits. We asked whether this uncategorized group could constitute a separate subtype with a primary deficit in text-level reading fluency, unrelated to other linguistic or cognitive weaknesses. Method: A group of 416 first through fourth grade children with RD involved in a reading intervention study completed a battery of standardized language, reading, and cognitive measures. Results: 62 of the 416 children did not exhibit deficits in phonology, naming speed, language comprehension, or orthography, yet scored on average below the tenth percentile in text-level reading fluency (GORT-4). Furthermore, these children did not exhibit difficulty in vocabulary, executive functioning, or general cognitive ability. Conclusions: We found that a group of readers reveal a pronounced and isolated weakness in text-level reading fluency. We propose that these readers may constitute a formerly-unidentified subtype of dyslexia defined by a primary deficit in the higher-level integration required for text-level reading fluency. This finding has implications both for the identification of reading disability, and the targeting of interventions. Assessment batteries based on reading sub-skills may fail to identify these children, and intervention curricula based on reading sub-skills may not adequately address their deficits.
Purpose This study tested the hypothesis that words written in a phonologically transparent script would show stronger priming effects than the same words written in an opaque script. Two types of prime target relations - form-based and morphological - were tested in biscriptal readers of Hindi and Urdu - two widely used languages from South Asia that share a core lexicon and grammar but differ in their written form and script transparency. Method Fifteen proficient adult readers of Hindi and Urdu from north India were tested individually on a speeded naming task. Bisyllabic targets in Hindi or Urdu were preceded at short or long SOAs by visually- and phonologically-matched same-script monosyllabic primes that were either morphologically related or unrelated to the target (e.g., ghar-gharbaar vs. hal-halva, respectively). Results Naming latencies and accuracy were analyzed in separate analyses of variance by Script, Prime Type, and SOA. The RT analysis showed a main effect of Script (a Hindi naming advantage) and SOA. The accuracy analysis showed a main effect of SOA and an interaction of Script by Prime Type. The latter revealed an advantage for Hindi over Urdu for form-related but not morphologically related primes. Conclusions Differences in script transparency affect word naming speed and accuracy, with the more transparent Hindi words showing a processing advantage over words written in the more opaque Urdu script. This finding extends a recent finding of greater phonological priming in Hindi than in Urdu (Vaid et al., 2008) and provides clear support for the orthographic depth hypothesis.
Purpose Studies on children at a genetic risk of dyslexia have often reported differences on various precursors among groups of at risk dyslexic, at risk normal and not at risk normal readers. Early differences between the latter groups provide evidence for a continuity of risk for dyslexia. The current study was concerned with reading development and its precursors in Dutch children differing in family risk status for dyslexia. Additionally, we examined the reading skills of parents in the three groups. Method Children were followed from kindergarten through 5th grade. Measures were selected for letter knowledge, phonological ability, rapid naming and word and pseudoword reading. In 5th grade groups of at risk dyslexic (n = 26), at risk not dyslexic (n = 57) and control children (n = 13) were distinguished. Results The groups differed on the word and pseudoword reading skills of the parents, with the highest level in the control group and the lowest in the at risk dyslexic group. Word reading performance of the children showed the same clear ranking among the groups. Letter knowledge differed among the groups in kindergarten, but in 1st grade normal reading at risk and not at risk performed similar. Stable differences among groups were found for rapid naming. Unexpectedly, the groups did not differ on phonological ability. Conclusions The results of this study support the notion that the genetic risk of dyslexia is continuous.
Purpose: In educational practice, and in remedial teaching in particular, a word written incorrectly by a child most probably becomes a target of instruction and practice. It is assumed, clearly, that otherwise the child would persevere in making that error. The purpose of this paper is to investigate this assumption of spelling error consistency, to determine the stability of children's faulty spellings over time and explore determining factors (word and child characteristics). Method: Children in grades 6 and 7 spelled the same 40 words on dictation, at two occasions, two weeks apart. Words were chosen to represent the spelling topics characteristic for the spelling curriculum in those grades. Erroneous spellings were classified as violating the phonological structure of the spoken word, as phonologically correct but breaking orthographical rules, or as phonologically correct and orthographically legitimate. Results: The number of words spelled correctly at T2 was only marginally higher than at T1, and the correlation between numbers was nearly perfect. At the item level, however, the probability of the spelling quality (correct or incorrect) being identical on both occasions, although above chance, was far from perfect, with marked differences in stability between error categories. Although the spelling quality at T2 is significantly dependent on that at T1, this relation is modified by the nature of the T1 error, and by word characteristics and speller characteristics. Discussion: The results show an interesting conflict between general competence and performance at the item level. Practical and theoretical implications will be discussed.
We examined which factors underpin spelling skill in children who learn English and Norwegian at the same time. Skills we were specifically interested in included phonological processing and orthographic processing. We categorized the children as English second language learners (ESL children) in case they had more been exposed to Norwegian and only later had learnt English, bilingual if they had been exposed to English and Norwegian to the same extent, and as Norwegian second language learners (NSL children) if their background was English. The children were given 4 spelling tasks: Norwegian words and nonwords (no real words, but Norwegian-like words), and English words and nonwords. Examples are VI, DÆ, HIS, and TIS, respectively. We did not find any differences between the three groups of learners, suggesting that learning two languages at the same time is no harder than first learning your mother tongue and later on a second language. The spelling of Norwegian words was influenced by orthographic skills, whereas the spelling of nonwords was determined by the quality of the phonological skills. For spelling English words children relied on both orthographic and phonological skills. For spelling English nonwords, however, the children profited most from their Norwegian phonological skills, which may suggest that they try to use a simpler sound system for a harder language.
Purpose: In the present study, it is examined to what extent beginning readers, including dyslexic readers and more advanced readers of Dutch make use of morphological access units in the reading of polymorphemic words. Therefore, an experiment was carried out in which the role of singular root form frequency in reading plural word forms was investigated in a lexical decision task. Method: 37 children from grade 3, 43 children from grade 6, 33 dyslexic readers, and 23 adult readers were presented with a lexical decision task in which we contrasted plural word forms with a high vs low frequency of the singular root form. Results: The results showed a strong developmental effect as regards the accuracy and speed of reading plural word forms. Furthermore, it was found that the singular root form frequency had an impact of the reading of the plural word forms in all groups. In the normal reading an dyslexic children, the plurals with a high frequency singular root form were read more accurate and faster than plurals with a low singular root frequency. For the adults, still an effect on accuracy was evidenced. Conclusions: It can be concluded that free morphemes have an impact on the reading of polymorphemic words. The results can be explained in the light of the cascaded dual route model leaving room for morphological constituency to play a role in the lexical access of complex words.
Purpose: To evaluate learning processes of non-linguistic encoding and sequence acquisition, and to differentiate poor from good readers on those parameters. Method: 130 first grade Hebrew speakers from 4 different Israeli elementary schools, with no neurological problems were included. All participants went through reading (syllable and word reading, reading comprehension) and phonological awareness tests, Raven Matrices non-verbal intelligence test, and a test designed for the current study for evaluation of encoding and sequence acquisition. The test was based on combination of Serial Reaction Time (SRT) task and Digit Symbol Substitution Test (DSST): Participants received a computerized version of the DSST, in which in the first 4 blocks the participants encoded the same sequence of symbols, while in the 5th block they received a different sequence of symbols, and then on the 6th block they received the original set. The improvement in time in the first 4 blocks reflects motor and encoding learning, while the difference between the 4th, 5th and 6th blocks shows implicit sequence learning. Results: There was a significant interaction between word reading time and encoding learning (p=.001): While the faster readers showed significant improvement in encoding learning, the slow readers failed to learn to encode. Implicit sequence learning had significant interaction with reading comprehension (p<.005): While good comprehenders showed implicit sequence learning, bad comprehenders showed almost no implicit learning. Conclusions: Learning to encode non-linguistic materials was significantly related to the ability to read accurately, while implicit sequence learning was related to reading comprehension.
This talk will act as an overarching discussion of the themes from the four prior papers. It will examine their findings in the context of exisiting models of how speech rhythm senstivity might contribute to the skills associated with word decoding and spelling, especially in relation to multisyllablic word reading (e.g. Wood, Wade-Woolley & Holliman, in press; Thompson, in press).
The purpose of the present study was to examine the robustness of findings from classification studies of students based on their developmental trajectories in reading. With increasing frequency, multiple classes or categories of development in literacy are being reported. A common method used in such studies is some form of mixture modeling (e.g., latent class analysis, latent profile analysis, latent transition analysis). Mixture models are a form of latent variable modeling in which the latent variables are constrained to be dichotomous. As commonly implemented, the approach is exploratory in that solutions based on alternative numbers of underlying classes are examined. Statistics are available that facilitate comparing models that specify different numbers of classes, but these comparisons are indirect compared to chi-square difference testing and how many classes to report is somewhat subjective. Typical sample sizes of published studies tend to be modest relative to the demands of the statistical analyses that are carried out. In the present study, we used a large-scale database (the Progress Monitoring and Reporting Network) to examine the robustness of findings from classification studies across method and samples. Regarding method, we compared findings from approaches based on mixture models with findings arising from taxometric analysis. Regarding samples, we were able to compare results across replication samples. The results showed both reassuring examples of robustness and disconcerting examples of results that were specific to method or sample. Implications for classification studies will be discussed.
Our study aims to explore Chinese children's sensitivity to auditory cues to amplitude envelope structure and relationships with phonological skills and reading abilities. A series of psychometric, literacy, phonological, orthographic and auditory tests were given to all participants. We report data from 86 native speakers of Mandarin with an average age of 9.2 years. 27 children had a diagnosis of developmental dyslexia, 29 were age-matched controls (CA controls) and 30 were reading-matched controls (RL controls). Chinese dyslexics were significantly poorer than CA and RL controls across almost all phonological tasks and in phonological recoding proficiency. They were not deficient in orthographic processing, suggesting that phonological deficits are associated with Chinese reading failure. Chinese dyslexic children also showed significant impairments in the basic auditory processing tasks, with the exception of intensity. Regression analyses demonstrated that tone awareness, rime awareness, sound segmentation and rapid automatic naming predicted unique variance in Chinese character recognition. The auditory measures of amplitude rise time and frequency discrimination also accounted for unique variance in Chinese character recognition, as well as most phonological processing skills. Our results indicate that individual differences in rise time and frequency sensitivity are associated with individual differences in Chinese phonological awareness and literacy. The findings support the hypothesis that accurate perception of the speech envelope is critical for phonological development and consequently reading acquisition across languages. Nevertheless, the combination of suprasegmental auditory cues that contribute to reading impairment may be language-specific, depending on which aspects of phonology are reflected in the orthography.
Purpose. This short-term longitudinal study followed 50 Chinese-English bilingual children from grade 1 to grade 2 to investigate the contribution of phonology, orthography, and morphology to biliteracy acquisition across time and across languages. Method. Conceptually comparable measures in English and Chinese were designed to assess children's phonological, orthographic, and morphological awareness in grade 1 and grade 2 spring semesters. Word-level reading skills in English and Chinese were also tested at each time point. Oral vocabulary was also tested as a controlled variable. Results. We found that Chinese onset awareness in grade 1 was significantly correlated with English real word reading in grade 2. English phonemic awareness in grade 1 made a unique contribution in predicting English pseudoword reading in grade 2 after controlling for reading- related variables in English in grade 2, and Chinese rime awareness in grade 1 predicted Chinese character reading in grade 2 after controlling for reading-related variables in Chinese in grade 2. However, we did not find any significant cross-time cross-language prediction from variables in grade 1 in one language to reading skills in grade 2 after controlling for within-language variables in grade 2. Conclusions. These results suggest that there may be a causal relationship between phonological awareness and reading within both Chinese and English; however, cross-language cross-time contribution may be limited among the Chinese-English bilingual children.
Erin Washburn (Binghamton University)Emily Binks; and R. Malatesha Joshi - Preservice Teachers' Knowledge of and Beliefs about Dyslexia Preservice Teachers' Knowledge of and Beliefs about Dyslexia Preservice Teachers' Knowledge of and Beliefs about Dyslexia Preservice teachers' knowledge of and beliefs about dyslexia
Purpose Several studies (Moats, 1994, etc.) have indicated teachers often lack the essential knowledge of basic language constructs necessary to teach reading. Few studies have assessed what teachers know and believe about dyslexia, despite that an understanding of the nature of reading difficulties such as dyslexia is considered essential for teachers (Snow, Griffin, & Burns, 1998). The purpose of this study is to assess what preservice teachers know and believe about dyslexia. Method Preservice teachers (n=200) were administered a survey that assessed knowledge and beliefs about dyslexia. The survey was modeled after the Dyslexia Belief Index (Wadlington & Wadlington, 2005). The first section assess background and confidence, while the second section consists of true/false (on a 4-point Likert scale) items about the nature of dyslexia. The items on the survey were constructed using the released findings of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) (Lyon, 1998) longitudinal studies on dyslexia. Structural equation modeling (SEM) and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) were used to analyze the data. Results Survey results indicate preservice teachers maintain some prevailing misconceptions about dyslexia, even despite having taken several courses in reading education. Some of the most common misconceptions include that (1) an individual can outgrow dyslexia, (2) seeing letters and words backwards is an indicator of dyslexia, and (3) the use of colored lenses if an effective intervention for treating dyslexia. Other interesting results include inability to identify the core deficits of dyslexia (decoding language processing). Also interesting was that the participants rated their confidence from somewhat confident to confident. Conclusions With an understanding of the misconceptions about and missing knowledge of dyslexia common to preservice teachers, such information will be beneficial in making needed changes in teacher preparation to better meet the needs of their students with dyslexia. References Lyon, G. R. (1998). Overview of reading and literacy initiatives (Report to Committee on Labor and Human Resources, U.S. Senate). Bethesda, MD: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health. Moats, L.C. (1994). The missing foundation in teacher education: Knowledge of the structure of spoken and written language. Annals of Dyslexia, 44, 81-102.
Erik Willcutt (University of Colorado, Boulder)Chris Schatschneider; Jack Fletcher; Martha Denckla; Richard Wagner; Richard Olson - Facilitating collaboration for the next generation of studies of reading disability
Purpose: This presentation describes a collaborative research network that has been initiated as part of the NICHD Learning Disabilities Research Centers (LDRCs) to obtain the large samples that are needed to answer key questions regarding the etiology, neurophysiology, and treatment of reading disability. Method / Results: The presentation will first describe procedures that were used to resolve important issues that arose during the development of the collaborative network. These included Institutional Review Board requirements for data to be shared across sites, procedures to ensure that the rights of individual laboratories and investigators are protected, and agreements regarding authorship on publications that result from collaborative analyses. One of the greatest challenges for effective collaboration is the diverse range of measures collected across studies. Several key reading constructs were assessed by all LDRCs, but the specific measures of each construct were often different at each of the four sites. A comprehensive handout will be distributed that summarizes the measures administered by each LDRC, and specific examples will be highlighted to illustrate this issue. The subsequent presentation by Dr. Schatschneider will then discuss the strengths and weaknesses of different analytic approaches for combined analyses of these data. Conclusions / future directions: Two specific resources may help to expand collaborations beyond the LDRC network. We will first describe a core battery of measures identified by LDRC investigators that may be useful for laboratories that are collecting new data. We will then discuss opportunities for laboratories outside the LDRCs to contribute existing data for future collaborative projects.
There has been growing interest in the relationship between prosodic aspects of language and the processes involved in reading. Certain features of speech have been shown to contribute to reading ability in development but considerably less research has investigated their role in adult cognitive processing. This paper reports a study investigating adults' relative sensitivity to different aspects of syllable stress in multi-syllabic English words. Sixty-one participants completed a set of standardised reading assessments and a series of priming tasks where non-speech acoustic stimuli associated with lexical stress were used to prime performance on a same-different lexical judgement task. We are interested to see which auditory features associated with stress are best able to prime performance on the judgement task, and whether performance on this measure might be linked to reading ability. The results will be discussed in terms of the relationship between prosodic features in reading and associated cognitive processes.
Maximiliano Wilson (Institute for Cognitive Sciences and Technologies (ISTC-CNR), Rome, Italy); Cristina Burani - When stress assignment is unpredictable, age of acquisition affects Italian word naming
Purpose: To test the effects of word age-of-acquisition (AoA) in reading aloud in a transparent language by manipulating the proportion of inconsistently stressed words. Italian has very consistent orthography-to-phonology (O-P) mappings at the segmental level. Nevertheless, it is inconsistent at the suprasegmental level since stress for three-syllable or longer words should be assigned lexically (Burani et al., 2007). According to the arbitrary mapping hypothesis (Ellis & Lambon Ralph, 2000; Zevin & Seidenberg, 2002) AoA effects should be found if mappings are inconsistent. Method: Two word naming tasks. In Experiment 1 all 3-syllable words varied orthogonally in AoA (early and late) and stress (penultimate consistent and antepenultimate inconsistent). Sets were presented either mixed or blocked by stress. In Experiment 2, AoA and length (2 and 3 syllables) were manipulated. Students from the university of "La Sapienza" in Rome participated in the experiments. ANOVAs on RTs and error rates (F1 and F2) were conducted. Results: In Exp. 1 AoA effects were found in all conditions, except for the most 'consistent' one, i.e., when all the three-syllable words had the consistent /predictable stress. In Exp. 2 the mixed condition (2- and 3-syllable words together) reproduced the results of Burani et al. (2007): No main effect of AoA. Nevertheless, when only 3-syllable words were read, again AoA effects were found. Conclusions: Stress assignment unpredictability renders O-P mappings arbitrary at the suprasegmental level in Italian. In accordance with the arbitrary mapping hypothesis, only under this condition AoA affects word naming.
PURPOSE: Spelling is a complex, linguistic skill that requires knowledge and awareness of phonology, orthography, semantics, and morphology, as well as clear and concise mental orthographic images (MOIs; Apel & Masterson, 2001). Spellers must access and apply one or more of these linguistic resources to be successful in conveying their intended written messages. In this study, we examined the utility of the Spelling Sensitivity Scoring procedure (SSS; Masterson & Apel, 2007). The SSS is a scoring procedure that accounts for children's phonological, orthographic, and morphological knowledge and MOIs. Of interest was whether the SSS could be used to mark developmental changes across an academic year at three time points and its possible advantages over traditional correct/incorrect scoring. METHOD: We applied both a traditional correct/incorrect scoring and SSS scoring to the spellings of 28 at-risk (low SES) kindergarten children on a five-word spelling dictation task. RESULTS: The SSS system was sensitive to developmental changes within an academic year, F(2) = 75.58, p< .001, partial η2=.74 (differences between each time were significant at p<.001) and provided a better understanding of the linguistic knowledge the children used in their spellings than the correct/incorrect scoring. CONCLUSION: The SSS procedure appears to be a viable mechanism for marking developmental changes in spelling at an early age. Discussion will focus on the utility of the SSS and suggestions for future use in studies of children's developing literacy skills.
Heinz Wimmer (Universitat Salzburg)Heinz Wimmer; Matthias Schur; Martin Kronbichler - How word-lenght and lexicality is reflected in the reading brain: A dual-route perspective familiarity of letter strings.
This fMRI study manipulated length (4.5 vs. 7.5 letters) and orthographic and phonological familiarity of letter strings (words, pseudohomophones, nonwords) in a phonological lexical decision task (Does xxx sound like an existing word?). Eighteen adolescents participated. Response latencies exhibited the expected length by lexicality interaction (i.e., a small length effect for words and a marked one for nonwords). Due to an unexpected difficulty to accept short pseudohomophones as sounding like a word, no length effect on latencies was present for pseudohomophones. Length of the letter strings independent from orthographic and phonological familiarity affected large occipital region engaged by low-level visual processes. Dominance of the lexical route for words was reflected in complete absence of a length effect in regions of the reading network outside of the occipital cortex, that is, in left occipitotemporal, parietal and inferior frontal/precentral regions. In contrast, dominance of the serially operating sublexical route for nonwords was reflected in a length effect on activation in the regions of the reading network. Similar to the length contrast for nonwords, the contrast of unfamiliar with familiar letter strings (e.g., Taksi and Tazi vs. Taxi) also led to increased activation regions of the reading network. An interpretation of the brain activation results in terms of key assumptions of the dual-route model of visual word processing will are provided.
Pupose: The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of rime neighborhood density (RND) on a RAN Objects task. Based on the theory of lexical restructuring (Metsala & Walley, 1998), we hypothesized that the underlying phonological representation of words from high-dense neighborhoods is more highly specified than that of words from low-dense neighborhoods. Thus, we predicted that naming times would be facilitated by high neighborhood density. Method: Thirty-three normal readers, ages 18-43 participated. Participants completed two experimental RAN tasks controlled for RND, as well as a control RAN task (Wolf & Denckla, 2005) of mixed density. Two presentation methods were used: a traditional matrix presentation and a computer presentation in which each picture was presented one-at- a-time. Results: The mean RND for each of the three tasks differed significantly. Spoken word frequency for the two experimental tasks did not differ from one another, but both were significantly smaller (p<.0001) than the control task. In both presentation conditions, response times (RTs) for naming pictures of words from low-density neighborhoods was significantly slower than for either mixed- or high-density words. Item analysis of the computer generated task indicated that high neighborhood density facilitated naming, but high spoken frequency did not. Conclusions: Because RTs showed a linear negative correlation with rime neighborhood density, but not with spoken word frequency, results from this study indicate that sub-lexical (i.e. phonological) variables influence RAN performance more than lexical variables (e.g. frequency). Results from this study support the phonological theory of RAN (Stringer & Stanovich, 2000).
Purpose: The complexity of semantic knowledge and its role in the reading process has been relatively neglected in research on children with reading disabilities. The present study examined the relationship among several measures of semantic knowledge and word reading and comprehension skills. We asked whether those measures probing greater depth of word knowledge would be more predictive of word reading and comprehension than those probing less elaborated word knowledge. Methods: A battery of standardized and experimental language, reading, and cognitive measures was administered to RD children in the second and third grades. Semantic measures included those that assess different aspects of word knowledge --- receptive word recognition (PPVT), polysemous word knowledge (multiple meanings subtest of the Word-R), and decontextualized word definitions (WISC vocabulary subtest). Reading measures included single word reading and comprehension. Results: Results from a series of hierarchical linear regressions revealed that the measures of decontextualized definitions and polysemous word knowledge each significantly predicted single word reading, polysemous word reading, and comprehension, beyond any variance explained by decoding ability and by the receptive recognition measure. Conclusions: These results attest to the significant role of rich semantic knowledge in reading and comprehension and specifically highlight the importance of the ability to think deeply and flexibly about word meanings. Implications for both assessment and intervention will be discussed.
Julie Wolter (Utah State University)First Author: Julie Wolter, PhD, CCC-SLP Assistant Professor Utah State University Department of Communicative Disorders & Deaf Education 1000 Old Main Hill Logan, UT 84322-1000 office: (435) 797-1384 fax: (435) 797-0221 Membership Status: Active member Second author, etc. (as above) + membership status SECOND AUTHOR: Kenn Apel, PhD, CCC-SLP (Active Member) Professor Dept. of Communication Disorders 107 Regional Rehab. Center Florida State University Tallahassee, FL 32306-1200 - Orthographic Fast-Mapping And Literacy Success for Children With and Without Language Impairments
Purpose: This paper is a four-year follow-up to Apel, Wolter, and Masterson (2006). The purpose was to determine whether kindergarteners' orthographic fast-mapping (OFM), specifically the rapid development of mental orthographic representations (MORs), was related to their fourth-grade literacy abilities. Method: 56 children completed an OFM task (Apel et al., 2006) in kindergarten in which they were presented with pseudowords in the context of a 12 shared story-book readings (1 pseudoword per story). Children then were required to spell the target pseudoword and identify it from an array of three written pseudowords. For this study, word-level reading, reading comprehension, and spelling measures were tested in fourth grade for forty of those children, 20 with and 20 without language impairment (LI). Results: Children with typical language skills performed significantly higher on all tasks compared to their peers with LI. The kindergarten OFM score correlated significantly with real word reading (r =.51, p <.05) with no other significant relations with the remaining fourth grade reading and spelling measures, although the relation between kindergarten OFM and spelling neared significance (r = 44, p =.062). For the children with LI, kindergarten OFM correlated significantly with all fourth grade reading measures (r ranged from .56-.72, p <.05) and spelling (r = .5, p =.05). Conclusions: Results suggest that the ability to quickly develop MORs of novel written words is related to their ability to later recognize and read words, and that OFM may be helpful in identifying later literacy deficits for children with LI.
A fundamental issue for reading research concerns the heredity of language and reading acquisition. Despite the emerging behavioral genetics research on English as a first language, the roles of heredity and environment in learning English as a second language remain unknown. This study extends past research by employing a twin study design to examine the relative contributions of genetic and environmental effects on Chinese children learning English as a second language. We tested 150 pairs of monozygotic (MZ) and 150 pairs of same-sex dizygotic (DZ) twins aged from 4 to 11. We assessed children's word decoding skills, vocabulary knowledge, phonological awareness, orthographic skills, naming speed with a battery of tasks in English and we also measured children's nonverbal IQ. Zygosity was estimated by parent and confirmed with saliva swab. In addition, we asked the parents to complete a demographic and home literacy questionnaire. A series of univariate statistics will be computed and the data will be fitted in the framework of the ACE model to identify the variances of genetic, common environmental, unique environmental factors and gene x environmental interaction controlling for age effect. Based on the results, we will discuss how much genes account for the individual variations in learning to read in a second language and whether an affluent environment can foster the growth of reading abilities in a second language. Fossilization (the phenomenon of which learners of second language are constrained with the cognitive limitations on acquiring a language as native-like) will also be discussed.
Clare Wood (Coventry University, Psychology Department); Emma Jackson; Beverly Plester (make Beverly the first author) - Children's use of mobile phone text messaging and its impact on literacy development in primary school
Purpose: Despite media alarm about degrading effects of text messaging on the traditional literacy skills of young people (e.g., Crystal, 2008; Thurlow, 2006), we have found robust positive associations between pre-teens' knowledge and use of "textisms," text abbreviations, and slang. Our early research (Plester, Wood, & Joshi, 2009; Plester, Wood, & Bell, 2008) could not lead to causal conclusions but one study, a cross-lagged longitudinal study still in progress, has shown the first indications of positive causal links, independent of initial literacy skills and verbal IQ. We report here a direct intervention study, which enables us to draw causal conclusions with greater confidence. Method: Nine- and ten-year-old children who did not own their own mobile phone were assigned randomly to "phone" or "comparison" groups. All children were initially assessed on IQ, reading, spelling and phonological awareness using standard measures (Wechsler Abbreviated Intelligence Test, British Ability Scales, and Phonological Assessment Battery). The "phone" children were given mobile phones to take home on Fridays to send text messages; the phones were collected Monday mornings at school and sent messages collected. Each Friday the children were assessed on reading and spelling. At the end of the school term, the children were assessed again on reading, spelling, and phonological awareness measures. Results: Children in the phone group improved at a greater rate than comparison children on most measures. Conclusion: Results demonstrate that texting may be a useful way of increasing progress on such measures for children within a normal IQ range.
Purpose: The effect of parental instruction on children's writing outcomes was examined during preschool, when considering children's letter knowledge and social skills. Method: Thirty-five parents and their preschoolers were observed writing an invitation together. Parents' graphophonemic (e.g., retrieval of required letters) and print (e.g., assistance writing letters) instruction were coded. Children's writing outcomes were observed (i.e., number of letters written) and letter knowledge was assessed directly. Parents reported on children's social skills (e.g., cooperation, self-control). Results: Children wrote 0 to 50 letters overall (Mean = 9.14). Parents provided varying levels of print instruction, although the majority of parents provided at least some graphophonemic instruction. Two hierarchical regression analyses demonstrated that parental instruction significantly predicted children's independent writing outcomes, controlling for maternal education (beta = .442, p = .010; beta = .616, p < .001 respectively). In addition, the Sobel statistical test for mediation indicated that the relation between parents' instruction and children's written outcomes was mediated by children's early alphabet skills. Social skills did not predict writing outcomes directly, although they significantly predicted parent instruction (print: beta = .363, p = .036, graphophonemic: beta = 2.452, p = .024) when controlling for maternal education and letter knowledge, which also predicted instruction (beta = .486, p = .006, and beta = 2.430, p = .023). Conclusions: Parents' instruction uniquely predicts preschoolers' writing outcomes, controlling for maternal education. Furthermore, our findings indicate that letter knowledge and social skills affect the type of instruction that parents provide to their children during writing activities.
Taeko N. Wydell (Brunel University); Akira Uno; Noriko Haruhara; Masato Kaneko; Noriko Awaya - The importance of phonological processing skills in reading and writing among Japanese secondary school children
Purpose: Dyslexia research in English revealed that older children/young adults with childhood diagnoses of dyslexia have shown persistent phonological deficits. Wydell, et al. (in preparation) also showed that poor phonological skills still influenced adversely the academic success of children aged 14-15 who were educated in a setting for the academically able. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between the phonological processing skills and other cognitive skills (including reading/writing both in Japanese and English) of 180 Japanese children aged 14-15 from two state-run junior-high-schools in Japan. "Poor" readers were also identified using -1.5SD cut-off for Nonword-Reading in English. Method: The following 14 tests were used: In Japanese: RCPM (as an IQ test); Kanji word Reading/Writing; RAN; Nonword Backward Span; Rey Complex-Figure: Copy, Immediate and Delayed Recall In English: Nonword Reading/Writing, Irregular-Word Reading, Homophone and Rhyme Judgements and Phoneme Deletion. Results: While no significant difference was seen on the RCPM between "normal" and "poor" readers, all the other tests, except for Nonword Backward-Span test and Immediate/Delayed Recalls of Rey-Complex-Figure, revealed that the performance of "poor" readers was significantly worse than that of "normal" readers. Conclusions: In the current study the phonological processing deficit seen in the "poor" readers affects not only reading in English but also reading/writing in Japanese Kanji. However, these "poor" readers attend main-stream schools in Japan without showing any apparent sign of dyslexia. Thus there is a strong cultural/linguistic influence in the way dyslexia manifests itself.
Jing Zhang (OISE - University of Toronto); Janette Pelletier - The benefits of cultural and linguistic supports for A family literacy intervention for Chinese immigrant families with preschool children
* Purpose - This study investigated the potential learning outcomes when cultural and linguistic supports were the cornerstone elements of the family literacy program design for Chinese immigrant families in Canada. * Method - The research involved the implementation and evaluation of an eight-week (two hours per week) literacy program in Ontario Canada. A total of 80 children and their family participated in the study. Of this group, 42 children (mean age 50.55 months) participated in the intervention program with their parents and 38 children (mean age 49.58 months) and their parents were assigned to the control group. The parent data were collected before the program started for demographic information and home literacy environment. The child data collection was conducted at three times: pre-test, posttest, and delayed posttest. A series of measures including PPVT, EVT, TERA, Letter Name/Sound Recognition, and Number sense were used for children. A series of 3 (time: pre-test vs. post-test vs. delayed post) x 2 (group: experimental vs. control) repeated-measure ANOVAs were computed to examine whether there were differences in children's learning outcomes between groups across time. Multiple regressions were conducted to exam which elements in home literacy environment contributed to the variances among children's performance. * Results - This study found that children's knowledge of the alphabet, their ability to produce letter-sounds, and their expressive vocabulary (both in English and in Chinese) improved as a result of the intervention. * Conclusions -The findings of this study provide information about effective practices for involving parents of ELL children in fostering their children's literacy learning at home.