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Purpose: According to the Lexical Quality Hypothesis, word knowledge and reading skills are intrinsically and reciprocally linked. One's "lexical quality" is determined by the number of words one knows as well as the specificity of phonological, orthographic, and semantic representations. Following this framework, we examine relationships between individuals' existing word knowledge and reading skills and their ability to learn new word forms and word meanings. This presentation will synthesize findings from two completed studies of word learning from context and an ongoing study of word learning from direct spoken instruction. Method: Two samples of 4th-6th grade students and one group of adults completed studies of word learning from context. During the teaching phase, participants read four high-constraint sentences containing very rare target words (e.g., jactancy) and generated synonyms for them. Pretests, immediate posttests, and one-week delayed posttests assessed knowledge of the spellings and meanings of target words and untaught control words. The ongoing study targets 7-9-year-old children and examines the quality of phonological and semantic representations of novel words following explicit auditory instruction. Results: The studies revealed a strong relationship between vocabulary and/or comprehension skills and memory for target word meanings at posttest, and a smaller but significant relationship during the teaching phase. Effects of existing skills on learning word spellings were even smaller. Conclusions: The present research shows the importance of learning profiles to be observed in direct auditory instruction as compared to contextual learning. Implications for the assessment and treatment of vocabulary deficits will be discussed.
Noor Al Dahhan (Queen's University); John Kirby; Donald Brien; Douglas Munoz - Saccadic eye movements and pause/articulation components during a letter naming speed task: children with and without dyslexia
Purpose We aimed to identify how Naming Speed (NS) is related to reading and what cognitive processes are involved (Kirby et al., 2010). We used three methods to examine this relationship: by (a) changing stimulus composition to emphasize phonological and/or visual aspects (Compton, 2003); (b) decomposing NS times into pause (PT) and articulation (AT) components (Georgiou et al., 2006); and (c) analyzing eye movements during a NS task. Methods Participants were in three groups: dyslexics (aged 9/10), chronological age (CA) controls (age 9/10), and Reading Level (RL) controls (aged 6/7). Reading ability was determined by Woodcock Word Identification. We used a letter NS task and three variants that were either phonologically and/or visually confusing (Compton, 2003), while subjects' eye movements and articulations were recorded. Results The three groups significantly differed in all conditions on NS, AT, PT, and fixation duration (FD). In each case, RL controls were significantly slower than CA controls, and dyslexics consistently scored in between. Overall, participants were significantly slower on the two visually confusing conditions than on the non-visually confusing conditions. Conclusion There are clear developmental changes in NS, AT, PT, and FD in normally achieving children from ages 6 to 10 that occur more slowly for dyslexics. Because dyslexics are the same age as CA controls and have probably had the same exposure to letters, this discrepancy is more likely due to the quality of their orthographic representations. Discussion will evaluate the orthographic interpretation with respect to each of the dependent variables.
Stephanie Al Otaiba (Southern Methodist University)Young-Suk Kim; Jessica Folsom; Luana Greulich; Jeannie Wanzek - Writing and responsiveness: Examining results of a text structure reading and writing intervention delivered within a first grade multi-tiered intervention
PURPOSE: The primary purpose of the study was to examine growth in writing in response to multi-tiered intervention in first grade. A secondary purpose was to examine associations between writing performance and end of year writing, spelling, and reading performance. METHOD: This study presents a subset of data from a larger study examining response to literacy intervention in first grade and included 7 schools, 34 teachers and 100 students who received supplemental intervention. We explore weekly writing progress during an 8 week module of reading and writing intervention and examine relations among writing and other literacy skills. Prior to the 8-week module, students were screened on letter sound fluency, sight word and phonemic decoding fluency, and on word identification fluency. Weekly measures included picture prompts; end of year reading, spelling, and writing were also assessed. RESULTS: Preliminary analyses suggest that on average, students in Tier 2 increased the words written correctly from 16 to 25 and students in Tier 3 increased from 12 to 20 words written correctly. Writing was moderately correlated to all early literacy skills. Additional analyses are being conducted. CONCLUSIONS: To date,studies examining the effects of multi-tier reading interventions have not typically examined spelling and writing development. Results indicate that integrating these components into the interventions may help children at risk for reading problems reach Common Core Writing Standards.
Tarja Alatalo (Dalarna University, Sweden),;Elisabeth Frank - Divergent views among Swedish preschool teachers and primary school teachers regarding exchange of information on children's linguistic development in the sensitive transition from preschool to school.
Purpose The study's overall purpose is to increase the knowledge of how children's linguistic skills are taken advantage of and transmitted from preschool to school. The study focuses on teachers' assumptions and statements of the linguistic work, with particular attention to the transmission of information on children's early reading development from preschool to school. The following research questions are essential: * How do teachers in preschool and school define the language work in respective practices? * Does transfer of information on children's linguistic development take place from preschool to school and in that case, which methods are used? Method To collect data on preschool and school linguistic work as well as priorities and transmission of information on children's linguistic development, a questionnaire was constructed. During fall 2012, 100 preschool and school teachers from different parts of Sweden responded to the questionnaire. The questionnaire concentrates on questions about the work on children's linguistic development with main focus on the transition phase from preschool to school. Results and Conclusions Our preliminary results show that focus in preschool teachers' and primary school teachers' linguistic work seem to differ from each other in some domains. Nor do they agree about if, what and how information on children's linguistic development is transferred in the transition from preschool to school.
Purpose. The aim of the present study, based on data from 21 countries (the PIRLS countries, which are also OECD countries), is to detect the pattern of variables (at country, school and student levels), which are typical of students performing below the Low International Benchmark compared to students performing at the Advanced Performance Benchmark, in PIRLS 2011. The theoretical framework of the study is consistent with the PIRLS 2011 assessment framework, which considers a large number of contextual factors influencing students' performance in reading. Method. The criterion variable of the analysis is a dichotomous variable, the values of which represent the two different performance groups of students. The predictor variables are a set of OECD educational indicators, variables and indices based on data obtained from questionnaires for teachers, schools, parents and students. The analysis is based on classification and regression trees (CART), which is a full hierarchical non-parametric method suited to detecting and interpreting complex reciprocal influences between a large number of predictor variables. A multilevel logistic regression model is subsequently computed to replicate and extend the CART findings. Results. First results are not available, since PIRLS 2011 data is under embargo until December 2012. However, we will try to replicate results from the previous cycle of PIRLS, which were analysed in the same way. Conclusions. The study will provide a detailed and readily interpretable description of pupils with great disparities in reading proficiency. Results could be useful in order to plan and implement interventions and measures aiming to improve the performance of these students and bridge the most significant gaps between them.
Purpose. Writers compose in bursts, that is stretches of text continuously produced to a given pause threshold (commonly 2 s). In adult writers, bursts' size average about nine words, and it has already been shown that bursts are constrained by several factors including language proficiency, verbal working memory, language related learning disabilities, and transcription skill. Presumably, young writers do not start showing adult like bursts, but a progression ought to be found. Thus, we set to find the progress of bursts' size throughout schooling and test if bursts predict text quality. Method. Here, we report a study conducted with a sample of Portuguese 2nd to 7th graders (7 to 12 years old; N = 531). On two sessions, children performed in a range of transcription tasks (viz. alphabet task, spelling, and copying) and wrote stories and opinion essays to verbal prompts. All writing data was collected using smartpens running HandSpy logging software. Results. As expected, we found steady increases of burst size throughout schooling and across the two text genres. Noticeably, stories showed longer bursts than opinion essays. Moreover, burst size predicted text quality but only in the older students. Conclusions. These findings are new and of educational relevance. Bursts are markers of writing efficiency and fluency. The picture that emerged in this study was that of writing becoming progressively more efficient, but crucially the online measures studied here also help to identify those children that struggle with writing. Thus opening a window to track difficulties and progresses in writing.
Purpose: Psycholinguistic investigations of skilled readers typically rely on average data reflecting an implicit assumption that all skilled readers read in the same way. This research challenges this view by demonstrating systematic differences amongst skilled readers in lexical retrieval processes. Method: Samples of 100 university students assessed on reading comprehension, spelling and vocabulary were tested in masked priming tasks that tap early, automatic lexical retrieval processes. Separate experiments assessed effects of orthographic and morphological similarity between primes and targets. Results: Mixed linear regression analyses revealed that high general proficiency (the average of reading, spelling and vocabulary) predicted inhibitory priming from word primes but facilitatory priming from nonword primes, while lower proficiency was associated with facilitatory priming regardless of prime lexicality. Inhibitory priming was particularly marked in individuals whose spelling ability was higher than their reading or vocabulary. Morphological priming was also sensitive to individual differences in spelling relative to vocabulary. High vocabulary was associated with selective priming for true morphological relatives (eg hunter-HUNT) while high spelling predicted equivalent priming from morphological and pseudo-morphological primes (eg corner-CORN). Conclusions: The most proficient skilled readers appear to have established orthographic representations of most words that precisely specify the identity and order of their component letters and support direct access to lexical information and rapid suppression of competing words. Accurate spelling appears to provide the best index of these 'high quality lexical representations' suggesting that orthographic learning is a protracted process which may be facilitated by instructional methods that foster development of accurate spelling.
Inthraporn Aranyanak (Department of Computer Science, NUI Maynooth, Ireland);Ronan G. Reilly - A study of orthographic uniqueness point effects in braille reading using a high-resolution finger-tracking system
The aim of the study described here is to determine if there are orthographic uniqueness point (OUP) effects in Grade 2 braille word reading. The OUP is the position in a word, proceeding from left to right, at which there is only one possible word candidate. The presence of an OUP effect (e.g., an acceleration of the hand following the uniqueness point) would indicate whether online language processing is used by readers to modulate their finger movements. In the past, a major challenge in studying braille has been to track accurately readers' hand and finger movements. We have developed a system using the infrared camera built into Nintendo's Wii Remote to track braille readers by attaching small infrared light sources to their reading fingers (Aranyanak & Reilly, 2012). This higher temporal resolution picture (100 samples per second) of the reading process allows us to detect more subtle movement effects than has heretofore been possible. Eighteen braille readers participated in the study. They were asked to read sentences containing words where the OUP was either early or late. We found that the location of a word's OUP affected participants' reading; readers moved out of early OUP words faster than the late OUP words. This finding agrees with results found for naming and lexical decision studies involving words with early and late OUP in the visual word recognition domain.
Joanne Arciuli (University of Sydney);Renae Nash; Natalia Henderson-Feranda; Kirrie Ballard - Do acoustic measures of stress contrastivity reveal a link between expressive prosody and reading ability in typically developing children?
Previous studies have shown that prosody awareness is associated with reading ability in typically developing children. Whalley and Hansen (2006) used a 20-item Compound Noun Task, drawn from the Profiling Elements of Prosodic Systems (PEPS-C: Wells & Peppe, 2003), as a measure of prosody awareness and showed a correlation between children's performance on this task and their reading of single words using the Woodcock Reading Mastery Tests - Revised (WRMT-R: Woodcock, 1988). We replicated this result in a sample of 32 typically developing children aged 8-11 years (mean age of 9.54 years; 15 female participants). In a novel extension of this work we collected productions of polysyllabic words (e.g., 'potato') from these same children in a picture naming task and undertook acoustic analyses to determine the degree of contrastivity between stressed and unstressed syllables for the first two vowels of each of these words. We used the Pairwise Variability Index (PVI: Low, Brown & Nolan, 2000) as our measure of contrastivity. We calculated a PVI for each word in relation to each of the acoustic variables of duration, pitch and intensity. Our aim was to determine whether acoustic measures of children's stress contrastivity are associated with prosody awareness and with reading ability. We discuss these results with a view to furthering our understanding of the relationship between prosody and reading.
Purpose The aim of this study is to investigate the metacognitive awareness of reading strategies of 160 Egyptian undergraduate students. We compared the reading strategies used when reading Arabic and English languages, including global reading strategies, problem-solving strategies, and support reading strategies. Validity and reliability of the Metacognitive Awareness of Reading Strategies Inventory (MARSI) Version 1.0 (Mokhtari & Reichard, 2002) was also established in this context. Method This is a cross-sectional analysis of data collected from 160 first-year and fourth-year college students (73 males and 87 females). An ANOVA was used to compare the reading strategies of the students in the two languages. To establish construct validity, confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was used. Internal consistency was estimated using Cronbach's alpha. Results Undergraduate students use significantly more reading strategies when reading a foreign language as opposed to Arabic regardless of their year in college. The CFA supported the same three-factor structure in the Arabic version of the MARSI as found in the original (CFI = .97, TLI = .99, and RMSEA = .06). The overall scale and all subscales were found to be internally consistent (α ≥ .70). Conclusions The Arabic version of the MARSI is valid for college students in the Egyptian context. Further research should collect data from a larger sample from this population. More data would enable a greater degree of generalization and the ability to employ item response theory. More in-depth research should be conducted to better understand the metacognitive process in Arabic and English.
Purpose: The New Zealand education system is often considered to be one of the best but has one of the largest achievement gaps in the developed world. Effective differentiated instruction necessary to reduce this gap depends on linguistic and literacy development knowledge. This paper summarises three studies of New Zealand teacher knowledge of linguistics and literacy development to identify strengths and gaps in knowledge. Method: In the first study 19 early childhood teachers were surveyed on their understanding of the linguistic structures of English, and on the nature of emergent literacy development in young children. In the second study 47 primary teachers were surveyed on their understanding of literacy development of primary school children. In the third study 9 primary teachers were questioned on their teaching practices for children on school entry. Results: Across the three studies all teachers believed in providing literate environments for their students. In the first two studies a lack of understanding as to how reading develops was illustrated; early childhood and primary teachers unable were to define or explain how to teach phonological awareness. Primary school teachers found the teaching of fluency the easiest to explain but did not know how children learned to read. Conclusions: Primary school and early childhood teachers in New Zealand have literacy instructional practices that provide holistic approaches to understanding print. The studies summarised here indicate that teachers in classrooms are not yet equipped to provide the range of instructional strategies required for effective differentiated instruction.
Purpose: This study investigated the impact of mothers' and English-speaking foreign domestic helpers' (FDHs) home literacy practice on children's language and reading development in Chinese and English. To our knowledge, it is the first study which included FDHs' report of home literacy practice with their employer's children, examined its links with the children's language and reading abilities in Chinese and English, and compared FDHs' with mothers' home literacy practice. Method: Ninety primary grade two children's families in Hong Kong participated in this study. The children's mother and FDHs (if any) completed questionnaires about home literacy practice. Children were individually tested on word reading in English and Chinese, and were administered tests of receptive vocabulary in English and Chinese, interest in reading and nonverbal cognitive skill in a group. Results: Mothers demonstrated significantly more literacy practice with their children than FDHs, including library and bookstore visit, and model reading. In families with working mothers, children with FDHs demonstrated significantly better English receptive vocabulary than children without FDHs. Also, FDHs-child joint reading and FDHs' model reading behaviors positively correlated with English receptive vocabulary ability. Conclusions: The findings have provided a more comprehensive picture of the impacts of home literacy environment on children's language development by including both mothers' and FDHs' report of home literacy practice. Results have indicated that FDHs play an important role in children's English vocabulary knowledge in families with working mothers. Even in these families, mothers still take a main role in language and reading teaching at home.
This study investigated the contribution of morphological awareness to vocabulary in Chinese and English and across the two languages in Chinese-speaking English language learners (ELLs). The participants were one hundred and seventeen high school and undergraduate Chinese ELLs. Their age range was from sixteen to nineteen. Measures of non-verbal reasoning, English phonological awareness, English derivational awareness, English and Chinese word reading, English and Chinese compound awareness, and English and Chinese vocabulary were administered to all participants. English word reading, English derivational awareness, and Chinese compound awareness were significant predictors of English vocabulary. Notably, Chinese compound awareness was negatively related to English vocabulary after all other variables were controlled. Regarding Chinese vocabulary, Chinese word reading and Chinese compound awareness were significant predictors. Results of the study have several theoretical implications. First, we replicate the finding of previous research that English derivational awareness facilitates English vocabulary learning and extend it to older students. Second, unlike previous studies, we demonstrate negative transfer from Chinese compound awareness to English vocabulary. This could be due to the fact that older Chinese-speaking ELLs tend to be more unbalanced in their Chinese and English proficiency. Students who have stronger English proficiency tend to have weaker Chinese proficiency, and vice versa. Finally, consistent with previous research, Chinese compound awareness contributes to Chinese vocabulary. Thus, our findings suggest that different aspects of morphological awareness contribute to vocabulary in English and Chinese. Moreover, transfer of morphological awareness is conditioned by students' levels of proficiency in their first and second languages.
Purpose When people are asked to look for two target items in a series of rapidly presented letters or shapes, there is a reduced ability to report the second target when it appears within 500 ms of the first target. This lapse in performance is known as the Attentional Blink (AB) and reflects a temporal limitation in the capacity to consolidate stimuli for conscious recall. This AB has been applied to developmental dyslexia to examine the temporal allocation of attention, considered to have a distal relationship with dyslexia. This study reports on an application of the AB in adult dyslexics compared with typical readers. Method The AB task involves a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) of letters. Observers are required to identify a white letter and detect a black letter X in the RSVP. Results The results indicate poorer overall performance in dyslexic readers but the critical group interaction is non-significant. Therefore this evidence does not support a specific difficulty in the allocation of attention overtime in dyslexia. Conclusions The literature on the AB and dyslexia is reviewed and alternative explanations for the differences are considered.
This study tested 98 and 95 kindergartners (ages 4-5) living in rural and urban communities, respectively, for one year to examine whether copying skill explains unique variance of word reading and writing after controlling for cognitive-linguistic skills. Children were given tasks of copying unfamiliar print in Vietnamese and Hebrew at Time 1, cognitive-linguistic skills (Raven's nonverbal intelligence, syllable deletion, phoneme coda deletion, visual spatial relationships, and lexical decision) at Time 1 and Hangul word reading and writing at Times 1 and 2. Results showed that copying skills at Time 1 uniquely explained significant variance in word reading at Time 1 and writing at Times 1 and 2 after controlling for age, community type, and cognitive-linguistic skills at Time 1. Final beta weights showed that syllable deletion, coda deletion and Hebrew copying at Time 1 explained reading at Time 2 whereas coda deletion and Hebrew copying at Time 1 explained word writing at Time 2. Similarly, syllable deletion, coda deletion, Hebrew copying and Vietnamese copying at Time 1 independently explained Hangul word reading and writing at Time 1. Results suggest that copying skill contributes to Hangul literacy acquisition concurrently and longitudinally. The strong relations of syllable and phoneme coda awareness to Hangul reading and writing support previous findings regarding Hangul as an alphasyllabary.
Purpose- Book title checklists are widely used for measuring print exposure. Martin-Chang ＆ Gould (2008) study attempted to differentiate primary and secondary print exposure tapped by this type of tests, by requiring participants to report whether they actually read the books. This study aims to develop a title recognition test for Taiwanese elementary students (TRT-T) and test whether similar design is feasible in the Taiwanese context. Method- The test is consisted of 49 real and 49 foil book titles. Participants were asked to mark whether they read the book, heard of the book, or never heard of the book. The 4th and 6th graders from four classes (N=110) participated in this study. Their Language Arts test scores in last two years were also collected. Results- The reliability of the number of correct items checked was .87 (Cronbach's alpha), which is similar to other title recognition tests in different languages. The Pearson's correlation between TRT-T and participants' 2-year average Language Arts class performance is .43 (p<.001), which indicate a good converge validity. However, participants marked an average of 5.2% of foils as "read", which is much higher than previous research. Conclusions- The results showed that TRT-T is a good measure for estimating Taiwanese children's reading experiences. The possible reasons of higher rate of checking foils as "read" is discussed, including culture difference in social desirability, age difference, etc.
Doris Luft Baker (Center on Teaching and Learning)Yonghan Park; Scott K. Baker - Effect of English Language proficiency and Spanish and English literacy on English reading comprehension for Spanish-speaking English Learners
Purpose: This longitudinal study examines the effect of initial status and gains on English language proficiency and Spanish and English literacy, measured at the beginning of first grade, on English reading comprehension at the end of second grade. The target population is Spanish-speaking students who are learning to read in Spanish and English in the United States. Method Design: Quasi-experimental Participants: 858 students attending 37 schools in Oregon, Washington, and Texas. Measures: Spanish: Aprenda Lectura de Palabras; IDEL Fluidez en la Lectura Oral; IDEL Fluidez en las Palabras sin Sentido. English: SAT-10 Word Reading; DIBELS Oral Reading Fluency and Nonsense Word Fluency; Bilingual Verbal Ability Test, English Language Proficiency Cluster; SAT-10 English reading comprehension. Data Analysis: Hierarchical linear modeling with two levels: students nested within schools. Results: Findings indicate that both English language proficiency, and Spanish and English literacy initial status have a significant effect on English reading comprehension. There is also a significant interaction between English language and English Literacy in the prediction of English reading comprehension. Gains on all measures significantly predict English reading comprehension at the end of second grade. Conclusions: This study suggests that English language proficiency plays an important role in improving the reading comprehension of students whose native language is Spanish. In addition, our findings help advance research on cross-linguistic transfer of reading skills by providing further evidence of the indirect effect of Spanish reading skills (initial status and gains) on English reading comprehension.
Purpose A large literature supports an association between working memory deficits and reading difficulties ("dyslexia"; e.g. Swanson et al., 2009). This literature is often interpreted as evidence that working memory is a causal deficit of dyslexia. However, recent research suggests that reading competence may have a causal influence on memory (Nation & Hulme, 2011). The present study attempts to further tease out the direction of the causal link between memory and reading deficits by investigating the effect of reading training on short-term and working memory. Method 70 children with dyslexia participated in a within-subjects double-baseline study. Children were included if their sight-word and/or nonword reading fell one SD below the mean for their age on the Castles & Coltheart 2 (Castles et al., 2009). Children received 8 weeks of phonics-based reading training, and 8 weeks of sight-word reading training. Participants were assessed at baseline, 8 weeks later, and after each training period, on the digit span of the WISC-IV, as well as on several measures of reading and language. Results The results to date show that phonics-based and sight-word reading training have a large effect on reading skills, and a small-to-moderate effect on working memory, depending on the working memory profile of the child. Conclusion The results of this study have the potential to increase the efficacy of current training programs for both working memory and reading deficits. Further, the outcomes have implications for the hypothesis that working memory is a distal cause of dyslexia, which will be discussed.
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to identify (a) what forms of AAE are present in the oral narratives of kindergarten through third grade students; (b) the factor structure of AAE; and (c) the predictive utility of dialect and listening comprehension to narrative quality. Method The sample included 251 children in grades kindergarten through third grade in ten high poverty schools. Data were collected on several measures of listening comprehension, narrative quality, and morpho-syntactic AAE dialect use. Confirmatory factor analyses (CFAs) were used to test factor structure of the morpho-syntactic features of AAE dialect. Structural equation modeling was used to predict narrative quality from listening comprehension and dialect. Results In our sample, fewer features of AAE are found in the language of children aged five and six, while a higher number of AAE dialect features are found in the language of children older than six. Despite a limited number of dialectal features present, the factor structure for AAE may be more complex than a simple single factor model. Additionally, preliminary results indicate that the use of dialect may be negatively correlated with listening comprehension and narrative quality; dialect preliminarily negatively predicted narrative quality while listening comprehension positively predicted narrative quality. Additional data are in process for analyses. Conclusions The current results indicate that dialectal features increase with children's age. A single factor may not explain the underlying structure of AAE dialect for children in early elementary school. Further investigation into the factor structure of AAE is necessary.
Adeetee Bhide (University of Pittsburgh); Soniya Gadgil-Sharma; Courtney M. Zelinsky; Charles Perfetti - Does reading in an alphasyllabary affect phonemic awareness? Inherent schwa effects in Marathi-English bilinguals
Purpose: In Marathi (which uses the Devanagari script), diacritics are used to mark all vowels following consonants, except for the schwa vowel, which is inherent in every consonant. Schwas occurring at the beginning of a word are given their own character. Schwas in the middle of words are unmarked. Schwas at the ends of words are marked with a dot above the consonant, but this is only done when phonetically transcribing spoken Marathi. This study used English-Marathi bilinguals to compare phonological awareness for the schwa vowel in Marathi with awareness for the other vowels, which are marked for diacritics, and with vowel awareness in English. Method: 23 Marathi-English bilinguals participated in this study. Participants were given a Marathi or English word and had to break it up into its component phonemes and recite them back to the experimenter. Data about the participants' fluency in both languages and their familiarity with the stimuli was also collected. Results: In Marathi, participants were significantly more accurate at identifying initial schwas than medial or final schwas. Participants were also significantly more accurate at identifying other vowels in the medial or final positions than the schwa. Across languages, participants were significantly more accurate with medial and final schwa vowels in English than in Marathi. Conclusion: Previous studies have shown that literacy fundamentally changes phonological awareness. This study furthers this research by showing that, within the same person, which script they are utilizing affects how they perform on phonological awareness tasks.
Purpose According to Gürel (1999), the meaning of words is accessed by analyzing smaller units of meanings (morphemes activation or decomposition view), or recognizing the whole structure of words (full-listing view). Studies have shown that high-frequency words are more likely to be recognized through whole-word representation while low-frequency words are more likely to be accessed through morphemic analysis. However, whether this is true for bilinguals has not been explored much and this is the purpose of the present study. The main research question is whether the Turkish English as a foreign language speakers tend to recognize English words of different frequency levels through decomposition or whole-word representation. As Turkish is a highly agglutinative language compared to English, the authors hypothesize that participants are more likely to activate each morpheme of the English words for understanding. Method Forty Turkish adult English as a foreign language learners are administered 60 high-frequency and 60 low-frequency English words with 2 to 4 morphemes, selected from Educator's Word Frequency Guide. Their word recognition accuracy and rate are measured. Results Preliminary results of ANOVAs favor the recall of high-frequency words over low-frequency ones generally. The participants also recognize both low- and high-frequency words with fewer morphemes more accurately and quickly than words with more morphemes. Conclusions The results are discussed in relation to the agglutinative nature of Turkish orthography and its impact on analyzing morphemes in English words. The role of word frequency in EFL lexical access is also discussed.
Maryse Bianco (Université P. Mendès France)Gwenaelle Joet, Laurent Lima, Aurélie Nardy, Martine Rémond, Pascale Colé and Hakima Megherbi - Text reading fluency and text reading comprehension in 8 to 11 year-old French children.
Purpose: To examine the nature of text reading fluency construct and its relationships to decoding and word fluency, oral language and text comprehension in French developing readers. Method: 309 children from 3rd to 5th grade were assessed for text comprehension, both reading and listening, vocabulary knowledge and reading fluency. Reading fluency was assessed at the decoding (pseudo-words), word and text levels. Non-verbal development was controlled for. Results: Structural equation modeling showed that at each grade, listening comprehension, vocabulary and text fluency are the three unique contributors to text reading comprehension, the influence of decoding and word fluency being fully mediated by text fluency. Text fluency is explained by decoding and word fluency and vocabulary at each grade. Two further results are worth to notice: 1/ word reading fluency contributed more than decoding fluency to text fluency with the younger children (grade 3 and 4) while the reverse was true for grade 5. 2/ text fluency appears independent from listening comprehension in grade 3 and 4 but listening comprehension explains a significant part of the text fluency construct in grade 5. Conclusion: These results bring converging evidence with recent research (Kim & al., 2012; Eason & al., 2012; Silverman & al., 2012,) showing that text fluency is an important construct to consider in explaining reading comprehension. They further show that the relationships between the components skills are changing over time and suggest that text fluency integrates automatized comprehension skills over and above word identification skills as children are becoming expert readers.
Gary Bingham (Georgia State University); Nicole Patton-Terry - Examining the role of pre-kindergarten environments in the oral narrative skills of African American pre-kindergarteners who speak nonmainstream American English
Purpose: Although researchers have studied the narration skills of African American children (Curenton & Justice, 2004), as well as the relationship between children's academic achievement and NMAE use (Terry & Connor, 2012), few have investigated the relationship between children's nonmainstream English use, narrative skills, and early literacy development, within the context of early childhood classrooms. This study had two primary purposes: (1) to examine relations among typically developing African American pre-kindergarten children's oral narrative skills, spoken dialect use, and early language and literacy achievement and (2) to examine the relative influence of children's pre-kindergarten classrooms on the development of these skills. Method: One hundred forty-six children (82 girls) across 26 pre-kindergarten classrooms provided story retells of Frog Where Are You? (Mayer, 1969) at the beginning and end of the school year. Retells were analyzed using the Narrative Assessment Protocol (Pence, Justice, & Gosse, 2007). Children also completed measures of spoken dialect use, vocabulary, print knowledge, and phonological awareness. Pre-kindergarten classroom quality was assessed with the Classroom Assessment Scoring System and Early Language and Literacy Classroom Observation Scale in the fall and spring of the school year. Results: Children's complex syntax, oral vocabulary, and story comprehension were consistently associated with narrative ability. Children's spoken dialect use was weakly associated with oral narrative measures. HLM analyses will be used to examine if pre-kindergarten classroom quality indicators are related to children's oral narrative skills. Conclusions: The results are useful in interpreting the literacy and language performance of African American children in early childhood settings.
*Purpose: Phonographic writing systems such as Malay (which uses the Latin alphabet) and Tamil (which uses a different script) provide their users with experience using phoneme-to-grapheme correspondences. Chinese, a logographic writing system, does not. We asked whether such experiences influence phonological spelling in English. *Method: We analyzed English spelling errors made by 47 Chinese, 42 Malay, and 36 Tamil adult users who had undergone the same English literacy instruction in Singapore for ten years. Participants spelled 56 words from the WRAT-4 spelling test. We measured the Levenshtein distance of their error responses from phonologically plausible versions of the words; a closer phonological distance indicates more phonological spelling. The Chinese group was also given a Chinese character knowledge task and a pinyin transcription task to test their knowledge of the Chinese alphabetization system. *Results: Controlling for number of correct responses on the spelling task, errors by the Chinese had significantly greater average phonological distance from the target than errors by the Malays and Tamils. The Chinese were also more likely to fail to attempt a word and to omit phonemes. Pinyin knowledge, not Chinese character knowledge, predicted closer phonological distance from the error to the target for the Chinese. *Conclusions: Controlling for spelling ability, logographic writing system users spelled less phonologically than phonographic writing system users, even ones that use a non-Latin script. Learning pinyin, the alphabetic version of Chinese, helps in phonological spelling as it provides experience with phoneme-to-grapheme correspondences. Findings are discussed using the dual-route model of spelling.
Purpose: Narratives offer a rich source of information about a child's language and tend to be substantially more engaging for children than standardized tests. However, narratives have seen limited use as measures of language skills in educational and research settings because they typically involve tedious and time-intensive transcription and complicated scoring that requires technical training. Method: In this presentation, we describe the development of the Narrative Assessment Protocol (NAP), a method of scoring narratives for children ages 3 to 6. The NAP expands a previous version (Justice, Bowles, Pence Turnbull, & Gosse, 2010) to incorporate a broader examination of language, including grammatical elements, storytelling conventions, and story grammar. The NAP employs a narrative retelling approach using a wordless picture book. We have created four books and associated retelling scripts designed to be parallel. The NAP narratives are scored directly from video using a simple event-based scoring system. Results: We report results from an ongoing validation study examining the measurement properties of the NAP. The validation study consists of two narratives collected from each of 507 children. All narrative collection and scoring is complete. Analyses will use an item factor analytic approach to examine the measurement characteristics of the NAP and whether the four books yield equivalent scores. Conclusion: The NAP fills a need for a broad and usable assessment of language using narratives. It is a potentially valuable tool for tapping into the rich opportunities narratives provide for understanding language development.
Purpose: There is increasing interest in the role of phonological awareness across languages. Research is uncovering consistent cross-language effects of phonological awareness (PA) upon English reading, even from non-alphabetic languages. However, most of this research is very recent and little of this research has focused on examining the fundamental construct validity of these measures. Method: The current paper updates two recent meta-analyses by fitting rival a priori models of multiple measures in order to test hypotheses of within and across-language structure among multiple phonological awareness tasks. 24 samples from 21 studies of the original 38 studies reported enough information to fit models. These studies included bilingual children's performance in English and one other language, including Greek, Spanish, Korean, Cantonese, and Mandarin. First, we tested the extent to which PA was unitary within language. Second, we tested the extent to which PA was a unitary ability across languages. Results: In Korean, the 3 studies suggest PA is a single construct across languages. In Spanish, most of the studies fit a two-factor model with a high cross-language correlation (r = .66 to .98). In Cantonese and Mandarin, results were mixed. Conclusions: While the number and types of languages covered was limited, the results demonstrate high convergence across multiple measures and lend some empirical support to PA as a universal construct in all languages. The results highlight the limitations of the current research base and important areas for future investigation with respect to the cross-language functioning of PA skills.
PURPOSE: Scientific studies of alphabetic-language readers have consistently shown a strong and predictive relationship between phonological skills and efficient reading (Snowling & Hulme, 2005). This doctoral research study surveyed the phonological awareness skills of over 700 Hong Kong secondary school learners of English and further investigated whether these skills could be enhanced in an intensive, summer reading intervention. METHODS: (1) Opportunistic testing of simple pseudoword reading was conducted in a range of secondary schools. (2) A 20-item spelling test was administered to the applicants for a summer-school reading programme. A post-test was given to the 70 selected participants at the end of the three-week long "Word Wizards" course. The participants in this programme also wrote personal reflections on their learning. Both quantitative and qualitative analyses were conducted. RESULTS: (1) Very few Hong Kong secondary students could sound-out even the simplest of CVC pseudowords (e.g. pid, dar, weg). (2) The 135 applicants' frequent pre-test misspellings were analysed for their error patterns. Most difficulties were found with the final consonants and the central vowels of syllables. The post-test results showed slight improvements. The qualitative data was highly informative and insightful, with many participants commenting on being unaware of the word-building roles of root words and affixes, let alone fine, phonemic distinctions. CONCLUSIONS: Generally speaking, Hong Kong's learners of English display very weak word-building knowledge and poor phoneme-level decoding skills. There is a significant need for word-level exploration and analysis in schools, ranging from etymological insights to enhanced phonemic-level awareness.
Purpose: Dyslexia is usually diagnosed once reading begins. Dyslexia risk is higher in children with  1 dyslexic parent. This 5-year longitudinal study aims to specify in Control and At-Risk-for-Dyslexia (ARD) infants (i) acoustic bases of speech perception, (ii) precursors of language development and delay. It is known that: * Infants attune to native language from 6-12 months; it is possible attunement does not occur in ARD infants (Herald & Kitamura, 2009) * Newborns attend to speech prosody, older infants to speech phonetics; parents' infant-directed-speech (IDS) accommodates these preferences (Kitamura & Lam, 2009). * 4-year-olds' perception of rise-time to maximum amplitude and metricality are good predictors of dyslexia (Goswami et al, 2002; Richardson et al 2004). Hypotheses - Rise time and metricality perception, and attunement to native speech predict later reading. Method: 60 Control and 60 ARD 5-month-old infants are being tested monthly and then later 3-6 monthly for (i) perception of Rise Time (tones and speech sounds), Metricality (using infant-adapted threshold tests), (ii) Native/Non-Native Speech Perception, (iii) parents' IDS. Later, Vocabulary, Phonological Awareness, Non-Word Repetition, Articulation, Rapid Automatized Naming, and yet later Reading Knowledge, Experience, and Ability tests will be incorporated. Results: Recruitment is ongoing. Results so far with 15 Control and 6 ARD infants indicate a tendency for smaller discrimination limens in Control than ARD infants especially around 9-10 months. Conclusions: Results are promising. Analyses of IDS are progressing and ERP MMN tests will soon be added. Components of this test battery may provide early indices of literacy.
Kate Cain (Lancaster University); Tiffany Hogan; Jill Pentimonti; and the Language and Reading Research Consortium - Reading and listening comprehension from 6 to 9 years: are attention and memory equally important for both?
Purpose. Our aim was to determine if comprehension of written and spoken text place different demands on memory and attention. The visual presentation for reading comprehension means that the text is (to some extent) permanent; there is an opportunity to re-read, which may aid text integration and other comprehension processes. In addition, the reader can determine the pace of delivery to suit their information processing speed. In contrast, the aural presentation for listening comprehension means that the text is temporary; if the reader is distracted and/or fails to attend, there is no opportunity for recovery. Further, the pace of delivery is not under the control of the comprehender. For those reasons, memory and attention skills may make a greater contribution to listening than to reading comprehension. Method. We measured reading (Qualitative Reading Inventory, Gates-MacGinitie, Woodcock Reading Mastery Test) and listening (QRI, CELF understanding spoken paragraphs) comprehension in readers from Grades 1 through to 3 (approx. N=120 in each). We also assessed memory (nonword repetition, forward digit span, backward digit span, memory updating), attention and hyperactivity, and word reading/decoding (Test of Word Reading Efficiency; WMRT). Results. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses demonstrated that memory was related to both reading and listening comprehension but explained a greater proportion of variance in listening comprehension. Attention was significantly related only to listening comprehension. Conclusions. Our findings are interpreted in relation to the cognitive processes that support comprehension of discourse and how, in relation to these, the modality of presentation may influence young children's comprehension outcomes.
Purpose - The main purpose of the present study was to examine the performance of a computerized diagnostic tool using brief stimulus presentation and to compare it to the classic paper and pencil tests used for the assessment of dyslexia in higher education. Method - The results are based on administrations of a fully computerized tool (Reversals, Lexical decision, Flash typing words/pseudowords/English words) and classic pen and paper tests (e.g. word dictation, word reading and spoonerisms) in a group of 100 students with dyslexia and a control group of 100 students without dyslexia. To analyze the data a 10-fold cross validation technique was used to estimate the mean prediction accuracy of each model. Results - This computer-based test performs almost as well as the classic tests. In particular, classic tests in which participants have to process as many stimuli as possible in a fixed period of time, are doing well (a feature that can easily be integrated in computer-based assessment). Reaction time and type duration measurements did not contribute to the prediction accuracy. However, we did find that errors are associated with longer reaction times in both groups but the difference between right and wrong answers tended to larger in the controls. Further analyses suggest that a combination of a limited number of computer-based tests and classic paper and pencil tests may be better for diagnosis than each type of test alone. Conclusions -
Purpose. While several studies have examined the relationship between how parents talk with their young children about books and reading achievement (e.g., Evans, Mansell, & Shaw, 2006), much less is known about the effects of parent-child text talk in middle childhood. The purpose of this study was to examine whether the types of questions parents asked their fourth grade children about an informational text predicted children's oral retell scores. Method. As part of a larger experimental evaluation of READS for Summer Learning, a scaffolded summer reading intervention, 120 families of fourth graders from 10 low-income schools participated in a home visit study, in which parents and children discussed an informational passage that the child read independently. Each parent question was coded for level of abstractness (Ozuruo, Rowe, O'Reilly, & McNamara, 2008). Each child oral retell was coded for central and non-central content units (Omanson & Formosa, 1983). Results. We used mixed-effects regression to estimate the effect of various parent questions on fourth graders' oral retell scores, controlling for third grade reading comprehension. Parents' asking at least one low abstraction question (e.g., text-based and rewording questions) was positively and significantly related to the total content units that the children retold. In contrast, there was no relationship between asking at least one high abstraction questions (e.g., knowledge-based inferences) and oral retelling. Conclusions. These findings suggest that the types of questions parents ask their children about texts are related to children's oral retelling, which has implications for family literacy programs in middle childhood.
Jane Carroll (University of Canterbury);Gail Gillon; Brigid NcNeill - The effect of professional development on early childhood teachers' personal phonological awareness knowledge and implications for teacher content knowledge.
Purpose Research suggests that the phonological awareness (PA) skills of Early Childhood Teachers (ECTs) may be insufficient to provide explicit PA instruction. Examination of methods to enhance PA skills of ECTS, however, is relatively scarce. This study examined the effectiveness of two professional development models in enhancing the PA knowledge of ECTs. Comparison of teachers' performance in written and verbal formats of PA assessment was also conducted to further elucidate teachers' PA skills. Method A quasi-experimental design was employed to measure the intervention's effectiveness. The participants' PA skills were examined in written and verbal assessment formats at the start and end of the first 9-week phase. In phase 2 (10 weeks), Group A (n=19) received 1.5 hours of PA professional development with 3.5 hours of in-class coaching to aide implementation of PA activities. Group B (n=11) received 1.5 hours of professional development alone. Group C (n=13) received no input. All groups PA skills were re-assessed immediately the intervention. Alternate assessment forms were employed to negate practice effects. Results There was no difference between the groups' PA skills at pre-intervention. Post-intervention testing showed significant difference in skills across groups [F(2,34)=5.895, p=.006] with Group A out-performing Group C (p=.005), but no difference between Groups A and B or B and C. Participants also scored significantly better in verbal administration of PA testing (p=.003). Conclusion Results indicate that the PA skills of ECTs can be enhanced in a relatively short period. Implications for classroom practice and PA testing in professional groups are discussed.
Karyn Carson (University of Canterbury, New Zealand); Gail Gillon; Therese Boustead - Classroom-based phonological awareness intervention for children with spoken language difficulties in the early years of schooling
Purpose: This study examined the effect of classroom phonological awareness instruction on raising reading achievement and reducing inequality in literacy outcomes for children with spoken language impairment. Method: End-of-year reading outcomes between children with spoken language difficulties who received classroom phonological awareness instruction (n = 7) was compared to: 1) children with typical language development (TD) who received classroom phonological awareness instruction (n = 27), 2) children with spoken language impairment who followed the 'usual' reading programme (n = 21), and 3) children with TD who followed the 'usual' reading programme (n = 74). Results: Children with spoken language impairment who received classroom phonological awareness instruction showed significant improvements in phonological awareness, reading and spelling acquisition immediately and up to six months following instruction. However, this cohort, in comparison to children with TD, appeared less able to transfer their enhanced phonological awareness knowledge to reading and writing tasks. Notably, children with spoken language impairment who received phonological awareness instruction performed significantly higher than children with spoken language impairment who followed the 'usual' reading curriculum; and on par with children with TD who followed the 'usual' reading programme. Children with TD who received classroom phonological awareness instruction significantly outperformed all other cohorts in this experiment on end-of year reading measures. Conclusions: These results indicate that both children with TD and children with risk for reading difficulties can benefit from classroom-wide teacher-directed phonological awareness instruction. These findings have positive implications for elevating reading achievement and reducing inequality between good and poor readers.
* Purpose The role of morphology is explored in two difficulties of the French orthography: inconsistent phoneme-to-grapheme correspondences (several graphemes corresponding to one phoneme) and final silent letter. In the first case, correct spelling of derived forms should be retrieved from the knowledge of the orthography of the base word, leading to a superiority of derived forms over non-derived forms matched on frequency. In the second case, the silent final letter in base word may be retrieved from the phonological forms of derived words, leading to the superiority of base words over non-base words. Hypotheses were as follows: 1) the morphological advantage could be observed more precociously in the second situation (phonological help); 2) by contrast, poor readers would benefit less from the related morphological forms in spelling silent letters. * Method - 30 third, 30 fifth graders and 15 poor readers had to spell series of words : 8 morphologically complex words and 8 simple words matched in frequency, all containing inconsistent graphemes; 14 base words ending with a silent final letter, half related to a derived form (morphological condition) and half non-related (opaque condition). Results. While fifth graders outperformed third graders and poor readers, the oldest group benefited from morphological information to a larger extend. Poor readers had especially poor performance in the silent letter spelling conditions and did not benefit from the morphological information. * Conclusions - the influence of morphology on spelling performance depends on both the specific difficulty at stake and the course of literacy development.
Purpose: Research indicates that reading comprehension can be described as the product of decoding and language comprehension. Based on this view, we sought to determine if language abilities observed prior to reading instruction could predict individual differences in reading comprehension following instruction. Method: Participants were 366 kindergarten children selected over two consecutive years. At the beginning of the school year (mid-September), participants were administered a battery of screening measures which included assessments of receptive and expressive vocabulary and narrative abilities. At the end of second grade, children were given multiple measures of word reading and reading comprehension. Results: In our initial analyses, we used multiple regression to examine the contributions of kindergarten language abilities to 2nd grade reading comprehension. Because 2nd grade reading comprehension is particularly dependent on word reading ability, we first entered 2nd grade word reading and then kindergarten language abilities. Our results indicated that language abilities observed at the beginning of kindergarten explained sizable variance in each of the measures of reading comprehension after controlling for word reading. Because we have multiple measures of each of our constructs, we have also begun additional analyses using structural equation modeling, which could prove to be more insightful than our other analyses. Conclusions: These results suggest that to better identify children with difficulties in reading comprehension, early screening batteries should include measures oral language abilities in addition to measures related to word reading (i.e., phonological awareness, letter knowledge).
Jessica Chan (Faculty of Education, Queen's University, Kingston, ON Canada)Derek H. Berg; Lesly Wade-Woolley - Exploring the cognitive underpinnings relating children's arithmetic calculation and word recognition.
Purpose: This study investigated the cognitive processes involved in the relationship between arithmetic calculation and word recognition in children. While studies in the field of mathematical cognition often report a reading¬-arithmetic association when studying related constructs (e.g., word problem solving) little attention has been directed at identifying the cognitive processes that underlay this association. Cognitive domains central to arithmetic calculation (e.g., working memory), word recognition (e.g., rapid automatized naming), and that proposed related to both areas (i.e., executive processes) were examined in the current study. Method: In addition to measures of arithmetic and word recognition (WRAT3), two measures within each of 4 cognitive domains and sub-processes were administered to a group of 110 Grade 2 children: rapid automatized naming (RAN), short-term memory (STM), inhibitory attention (EF), switching attention (EF), verbal working memory (VWM), and visual-spatial working memory (VSWM). Results: Results indicated that no cognitive domain completely accounted for the arithmetic-word recognition relationship (R2 = .22); however, VWM emerged was the strongest individual contributor, reducing the shared variance to 4%. Subsequent regression models revealed that RAN, STM, inhibition, and VWM formed the most complete model, fully accounting for the arithmetic-word recognition relationship; F(6, 103) = 11.24; p < .001; R2 = .40. Conclusion: Review of emergent regression models and inspection of individual tasks across the cognitive domains, suggests that that verbal-related cognitive processes are central in explaining the relationship between arithmetic and word recognition. Further, the cognitive contributors represent a combination of lexical access (e.g., RAN), phonological representations and complex processes.
Purpose This study investigated the cross-language transfer of morphological compound awareness across Chinese and English amongst Chinese-English bilingual children. This intervention study has extended past research by demonstrating the causal links between compound awareness and vocabulary knowledge in the two languages. Method This study included 69 second graders (37 boys and 32 girls) in Hong Kong. Children were administered tasks of compound structure, compound analogy, and receptive vocabulary in both Chinese and English. Children were then randomly divided into three groups, including 1) Chinese compound awareness intervention; 2) English compound awareness intervention; and 3) control. Five 1-hour sessions which trained children's compound awareness in either language were given to the intervention groups. Children were administered the same tasks in the posttest, except nonverbal cognitive ability task. Results Compared with the control group, the Chinese compound awareness group performed significantly better in English compound structure and receptive vocabulary tasks, and the English compound awareness group performed significantly better in Chinese compound structure, compound analogy and receptive vocabulary tasks. Conclusions This study demonstrated that cross-language transfer of compound awareness occurred both from Chinese to English and English to Chinese. Also, compound awareness training in one language facilitated the vocabulary acquisition in the other language. This study has extended former correlational studies by demonstrating casual links between compound awareness and vocabulary knowledge in Chinese and English. Practically, these findings suggest that educators can facilitate bilingual students' vocabulary acquisition by explicitly stressing on compound awareness in both languages in their teaching.
Purpose: This study aims to find out the potential language and cognitive skills that can predict later reading abilities in Mandarin Chinese-speaking young children. Method: Seventy-seven kindergarteners (34 boys and 43 girls) from New Taipei City, Taiwan participated in this study. They received a battery of tests for assessing their cognitive and language abilities, including phonological awareness, oral vocabulary, speech perception, rapid automatic naming, phonological working memory, visual perception and memory, phonetic symbols (zhu-yin fu-hao), oral narrative, and print knowledge at the mean age of 5;4 (Time 1). They were assessed again on their language, cognitive and word recognition abilities when they were at the first grade (Time 2). Correlation and regression analyses were conducted to understand the relationship between children's early cognitive and language skills and their later word recognition abilities. Results: As predicted, significant correlations were observed between most of children's cognitive and language skills assessed at Time 1 and their word recognition abilities at Time 2. Results of multiple regression analyses show that print knowledge, phonetic symbols and depth of vocabulary were the three strongest predictors, explaining 49.1% of the variance in word recognition in total, after controlling receptive vocabulary skill. Conclusions: Follow-up studies will be conducted to investigate the long term relationship between children's early cognitive and language skills and later reading comprehension abilities. Results of this project enrich our knowledge of the connection between early language and later reading, and will provide important educational implications for policy making, curriculum design and language/literacy intervention programs for young children.
Purpose: This study aimed at investigating how Chinese as a foreign language (CFL) learners' orthographic representation can be enhanced via contrasting encoding methods: hand-writing, implicit writing, visual chunking, and reading. Based on the Lexical Constituency Model (Perfetti, Liu, & Tan, 2005), we hypothesized that different levels of encoding processing would variously strengthen two connections between three lexical constituents - orthography-phonology, and orthography-semantics- and further result in different learning rates in terms of Chinese orthographic knowledge. Methods: 48 novel characters were systematically selected based on their orthographic properties. In four consecutive days, 95 Chinese-American students learned 12 characters with one encoding method every day, while the learning sequence was counterbalanced via a Latin square arrangement. After each learning session, students received recognition tasks (i.e., a lexical decision task, a form-meaning matching task, and a form-sound matching task) and production tasks (i.e., characters and pinyin writing tasks). Moreover, a series of Chinese orthographic awareness task was conducted before and after the learning sessions. Results: When Chinese proficiency was controlled, for the recognition tasks, no encoding method differences were found; whereas, for character and pinyin production tasks, there were main effects of encoding methods. Participants performed better writing quality in chunking and reading conditions than explicit writing condition and then implicit writing condition. Additionally, all participants performed higher accuracy in the post-test of orthographic awareness task. Conclusions: The results reveal that encodings involving different visual-motor processing enhance CFL learners' character recognition and facilitate their character writing in different rates.
Purpose: Sentence comprehension involves semantic retrieving, selection, and integration. To date, few cognitive neuropsychological studies have examined the neural substrates associated with sentence comprehension in children with normal vs. poor reading abilities. The brain models of sentence processing have been debated on whether anterior middle/superior temporal gyri are involved in semantic integration. Whereas the bilateral activation, integration, and selection (BAIS) model suggested an important role of anterior middle/superior temporal gyri in semantic integration (Jung-Beeman, 2005), the memory, unification, and control (MUC) model proposed that semantic unification involved the activation of inferior frontal gyrus (Hagoort, 2005). The present study investigated semantic integration in children by examining the ambiguity effects in Chinese sentences. Method: Two groups of children with normal and poor reading abilities (4th graders) were tested using a sentence legality judgment task. The degrees of semantic ambiguity of sentences were manipulated. The blood flow changes in both frontal and temporal areas were monitored applying optical imaging technique. Results and Conclusions: Results of normal children indicated that both frontal and temporal areas were involved in semantic integration during Chinese sentence comprehension and thus supported the important role of anterior temporal gyri in semantic integration proposed by BAIS model. Comparing to normal readers, children with poor reading abilities showed weaker ambiguity effects in both frontal and temporal areas, suggesting the poorer neuropsychological functioning associated with semantic integration during sentence comprehension.
Si Chen (ECNU); Jing Zhou; Joshua Lawrence; Fanli Meng; Shuqin Yang; Lanbin Min - The Xinjiang project Chinese literacy Intervention in bilingual kindergartens: helping Uyghur young children improve Chinese vocabulary
Purpose To estimates the effectiveness of a Chinese literacy intervention aimed at improving Chinese literacy outcomes of bilingual Uyghur young children living in Xinjiang, the poorest area of China. Our research questions are: 1. Does participation in the Xinjiang Project improve Chinese vocabulary development of Uyghur children? 2. Does participation in the Xinjiang Project improve Uyghur vocabulary development of Uyghur children? Methods We used hierarchical linear models to estimate the impact of program participation from data collected in a cluster-randomized design. We randomly selected half of 48 classes to implement the program across 12 Xinjiang bilingual kindergartens in two cities. In every class, pre and post test data was collected from 8 randomly selected children. Pretest Chinese and Uyghur receptive vocabulary (PPVT) were used as covariates and posttest Chinese and Uyghur receptive vocabulary (PPVT) and expressive vocabulary (EVT) are our outcome variables. Results After 4 months intervention, the Xinjiang Project caused Uyghur young children's Chinese receptive vocabulary score to increase by 5.82 points more than control children (p < 0.01) on average, (Cohen's d = 0.353). Participating in the program also improved Uyghur children's Chinese expressive vocabulary score by 4.69 point (p < 0.05) on average (Cohen's d = 0.17). However, the Xinjiang Project had no detectable effect on children's Uyghur receptive or expressive vocabulary. Conclusion The study provides empirical evidence that appropriate early literacy intervention programs can be an effective and economical way to improve Uyghur young children's Chinese learning, which as important implications for Chinese national educational policy.
Purpose- Self-explanation can improve understanding of knowledge and problem-solving skills in many aspects, possibly including children's morphological awareness. However, how Chinese children comprehend and reason their own morphological insights have remained mostly unknown. This research aims to investigate how children explain their understanding of Chinese morphology and how different probe questions elicit different explanations. Method- Participants were asked to self-explain after every oral morphological task in order to investigate their morphological concept, problem-solving strategy and the influence of probe questions. Interview data were coded and analyzed in qualitative research tradition. 24 Taiwanese students from the second, fourth and sixth grade participated in this research. They were nominated by their homeroom teachers to represent different genders and language abilities. In addition, standardized tests were administered to measure participants' Chinese character recognition, vocabulary, and reading abilities. Results- The participants' responses had patterns. Students with higher language abilities used more "syntactic relation" explanations, whereas students with lower abilities used more "general association" explanations. In addition, "homophone constraint" notions were mentioned mostly by 2nd and 4th graders. A developmental model was proposed to account for above patterns. Moreover, some students could self-correct their initial wrong- answers after series of probing questions. Conclusions- The results may be helpful in designing developmentally appropriate instructions for morphological awareness. The results suggest that self-explanation activities may facilitate children to change their insufficient morphological concept into more refined one.
Purpose: The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effects of use of print referencing strategies during shared storybook reading sessions on preschoolers' Chinese characters recognition. Method: A total of 94 preschool children aged from 3 to 6 from three nursery schools in Tao-Yuan County (Taiwan) participated in this study. Children were evenly divided into an experimental group and a control group. Both groups underwent shared reading with a total of 20 story books guided by adults twice a week for ten consecutive weeks, using the methods of print referencing reading and dialogic reading in the respective groups. Results: 1. The children that participated in print referencing reading showed a significant improvement in word recognition than their counterparts in the dialogic reading group. 2. Adult instruction of orthography, sound, and meaning of target words in the storybooks and provision of morphological training associated with those words substantially increased the children's abilities of target word identification. Conclusions: Print referencing strategy in shared book reading elevates children's Chinese word recognition and target word identification abilities.
Shin-Feng Chen (National Pingtung University of Education)Hsiu-Shuang Huang; Chin-Ya Fang; Yea-Mei Leou - Using the Vertical Equating to Test the Assessment of Elementary School Students' Chinese character Size
Purpose: The purposes of this study were to design an assessment of Chinese character size with anchored items for the elementary school students, to use vertical equating to estimate the Chinese character size of different graders, and to use Partial Credit Model and PCM to do parameters estimating and grading the ability.　Method: The samples were 2795 elementary school students, who were studying in six different grades. Because Chinese character sizes varied with different grades and there were about 25% common items, the researchers used the vertical equating to combine the six editions into one and used it to estimate different graders' character size. Results: First, there were 300 items in the assessments for this study, including 28 common items, so the items were numerous enough to test the students' character recognition ability. Second, the assessment had good reliability and validity, and the alpha was above .70. It was an effective character recognition assessment with the distinction of genders and graders. Third, the character sizes of the first, second, third, and fourth graders increased steadily, but the fifth and sixth graders' increased slowly. The phenomenon fitted the stages of reading development. Conclusions: Using the parameters estimate and the vertical equating to connect the word recognition assessments in different grades was worth trying because there would be fewer items in the assessment. Therefore, it would take less time and be more convenient for the students to take the assessment.
Purpose: This study examines the hypothesis that, besides phoneme-word-efficiency, the visual attention skill also predicts dyslexic readers' reading comprehension. Method: we test visual span task, phoneme decoding efficiency, sight word efficiency, and rapid naming tests on 105 subjects (age 16-18) who have been diagnosed with dyslexia. The subjects' reading comprehension is assessed by Gate's MacGinitie Reading Tests (Level 10). Result: We find the visual span score to be a significant predictor for reading comprehension scores, controlling for the other factors. One standard deviation increase in visual span is associated with .23 standard deviation increase in comprehension score. In addition, we find the visual span score to be strongly correlated with phoneme decoding, sight word and rapid naming scores, suggesting the traditional TOWRE test to be containing a strong visual attention component. Conclusions: This study strongly supports at least part of the dyslexic symptoms can be explained by visual attention abilities. It also suggests that some traditional phonological tests, such as pseudo-word reading, may not be entirely phonological.
Purpose. Phonological awareness instruction plays a vital role in facilitating reading skills of at-risk readers (National Reading Panel, 2000). However, few investigations have explored the impact of early phonological awareness intervention in the Canadian French Immersion (FI) context, where school instruction is given in French. Because most children have little French proficiency when they begin the program, assessment of reading risk is generally not attempted until Grades 2 or 3, and at-risk readers do not receive timely interventions (MacCoubrey et al., 2004). This study investigates the effectiveness of phonological awareness training on the reading development of at-risk FI students in Grade 1. Method. Participants were 23 children who scored below the 50th percentile on English phonological awareness and word identification at the beginning of Grade 1 (n= 7 for the intervention group and n=16 for the control group). The intervention group received phonological awareness training in English, whereas the control group engaged in English vocabulary-building activities. Both groups attended two 25-minutes sessions per week for 18 weeks. Post-tests were given at the end of Grade 1 and in Grade 2. Results. The intervention group outperformed the control group on English phoneme deletion and French word reading at the immediate post-test. The difference in French word reading showed greater significance at the delayed post-test. Conclusions. Results indicate that phonological awareness intervention given in English can effectively improve French word reading for at-risk FI students in Grade 1. Thus, early intervention is possible for FI children before they develop sufficient French proficiency.
[Purpose] This study investigated age of acquisition (AoA) effects on processing grammatical category information of Chinese single-character words. [Method] In Experiment 1, nouns and verbs that were acquired at different ages were used as materials in a grammatical category decision task. In Experiment 2, AoA and predictability from orthography to grammatical category were manipulated in a grammatical category decision task. In Experiment 3, a semantic category decision task was used with the same materials as in Experiment 2. [Result] The results showed that the grammatical category information of earlier-acquired nouns and verbs was easier to retrieve and larger AoA effects under lower predictability from orthography to grammatical category. [Conclusion] We conclude that AoA affects the retrieval of grammatical category information. Our results provided new evidence in support of the Arbitrary Mapping Hypothesis.
Fabienne Chetail (LCLD, Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium); Rebecca Treiman; Alain Content - How the alternation of consonant and vowel letters determines the orthographic structure of written words
Purpose: While it is largely accepted that visual recognition of polysyllabic words operates on multiletter groups, the nature of the groupings is still a matter of discussion and various units have been proposed. We outline recent evidence showing that the categorization of letters as consonants or vowels constrains perceptual structure, with each vowel letter or vowel cluster determining one perceptual unit. Method: Data will be reported from a hierarchy of tasks tapping into different levels of processing, from explicit segmentation (syllable counting) to early perceptual encoding (physical length estimation) and word recognition. The basis of the design consisted in comparing items matched for length and typical linguistic variables but varying in the number of vowel clusters (e.g., EVASION vs. REUNION, three vs. two vowel clusters respectively). Results: Systematic differences were obtained both in French and in English, demonstrating that the alternation of consonants and vowel letters acts as a powerful determinant of perceptual organization. Data in children show that the effects emerge gradually and increase with reading expertise. Conclusion : We conclude that letters are categorized as consonants and vowels early on and that the sequence of consonants and vowels provides important cues to orthographic structure. We discuss the implications of those results for current theories of orthographic processing and representation of polysyllabic words in French and English.
This review synthesizes research on English reading outcomes of all types of programs for Spanish-dominant English language learners (ELLs) in elementary schools. It is divided into two major sections. One focuses on studies of language of instruction and one on reading approaches for ELLs holding constant language of instruction. A total of 13 qualifying studies met the inclusion criteria for language of instruction. Though the overall findings indicate a positive effect (effect size = .21) in favor of bilingual education, the largest and longest term evaluations, including the only multiyear randomized evaluation of transitional bilingual education, did not find any differences in outcomes by the end of elementary school for children who were either taught in Spanish and transitioned to English or taught only in English. The review also identified whole-school and whole-class interventions with good evidence of effectiveness for ELLs, including Success for All, cooperative learning, Direct Instruction, and ELLA. Programs that use phonetic small group or one-to-one tutoring have also shown positive effects for struggling ELL readers. What is in common across the most promising interventions is their use of extensive professional development, coaching, and cooperative learning. The findings support a conclusion increasingly being made by researchers and policymakers concerned with optimal outcomes for ELLs and other language minority students: Quality of instruction is more important than language of instruction.
This paper estimates the gender ratios of students with LD in Taiwan for academic years 2009-2010 and explores the effects of multi-tier remedial intervention on Chinese literacy performance for different gender during the same period. Turn-around school project (TASP) implemented a 2-tier remedial intervention with treatment group and control group in a remote area in Taiwan, and the data were collected and analyzed in this paper. The data were compared with the LD data from Taiwan Ministry of Education (MOE). Additionally, TASP data were used to explore if different gender performs differently in Chinese literacy ability under treatment group and control group. The findings include: (1) the estimated gender ratios of students with LD using Taiwan official MOE database are similar with Badian (1999), which reported that male students with LD are twice more than female students with LD (2) the gender (male-to-female) ratios of low-achieving students estimated from TASP are below 2 and significantly lower than LD gender ratios of MOE database; (3) Chinese literacy performances of low achieving male students in TASP at baseline are not significantly different from those of female students; (4) the growth trend for male and female low achieving students are different depending if the students have received 2-tire intervention or not; (5) 2-tier remedial intervention mitigates the gender differences among the students with LD.
As studies showed that young children's listening comprehensive performance is indeed similar to those identified in the literature as reading comprehensive performance. This study is designed to investigate the effects of listening to expository and narrative text on the listening comprehension in 114 five-year-old children. Participants with cognitive difficulties or emotional problem will be excluded from the study. All Participants undergo two testing sessions to assess receptive vocabulary(as the score of PPVT-R), listening recall(as verbal working memory capacities), and listening comprehension test. Two groups of experimental children hear expository and narrative texts with providing children text information by advance organizer strategy as intervention, while the controlled group will be with no intervention. The involvement of sentence comprehension skills, working memory capacities, and vocabulary are confirmed in our participants. Furthermore, a cluster analysis provides evidence of early profiles of comprehenders who differ in their ability to respond to either surface or inferential questions in a listening comprehension test. Additionally, a MANOVA with the children's listening com-prehension of the experimental groups will be improved if they are provided with information prior to being exposed to the text. In expository listening comprehension of the experimental groups is supposed to reveal a significant increase show although they score significantly higher on narration during pretesting.
Purpose: Dynamic assessment (DA) is an assessment procedure that incorporates instructional prompts into a single testing session to measure student's learning process. Empirical evidence exists that supports the predictive validity of DA within a certain academic domain. However, less is known about whether DA measures learning process that is domain-specific or domain-general. We developed a DA that taps basic cognitive process involved in decoding: learning letter-sound correspondence, blending, and rule-based learning. The number of prompts required to master each process was the outcome of the decoding DA. This study investigated whether this decoding DA is a unique predictor of reading or a measure of general learning. Methods: 96 first grade students were tested in measures of reading (phonological awareness, rapid letter naming, letter sound knowledge, word identification, and decoding), math (number sense, computation, and arithmetic), IQ, and decoding DA. Path analyses were used to examine whether (a) decoding DA predicts reading beyond that is explained by other reading predictors, and (b) the paths from decoding DA to math is significant. Results: Decoding DA explained unique variance in nonword reading but not in real word reading controlling for other reading predictors. Also, the path to math from decoding DA was not significant controlling for other math predictors. Conclusion: Results indicated that the amount of scaffolds needed to acquire decoding skill was a unique predictor for nonword reading but not for word reading, and learning process involved in decoding DA was not generalizable to math. These findings suggest that DA is a measure of domain-specific not a domain-general learning mechanism.
Jeung-Ryeul Cho (Kyungnam University)Bong-Hee Kim; Young-Suk Kim - Semantic knowledge in listening and reading comprehension among Korean children living in urban and rural communities: A 1-year longitudinal study Semantic knowledge in listening and reading comprehension among Korean children living in urban an
Purpose and Method: This study tested 98 and 95 kindergartners (ages 4-5) living in rural and urban communities, respectively, for one year to examine the contributions of semantic knowledge at a word level (vocabulary knowledge) and at a morpheme level (morphological construction awareness) to listening and reading comprehension in Korean. Results: Results showed that children living in urban community performed better than those living in rural area at Time 1 in many tasks such as word reading and writing, CV (consonant + vowel) Gulja reading, coda deletion, number naming speed, whereas the differences were not found at Time 2. Hierarchical regression analyses showed that semantic knowledge at Time 1 explained significant variance of listening and reading comprehension at Time 2 after controlling for age, mother's education, community type, Hangul word and Gulja reading, phonological awareness, and number naming speed at Time 1. Analyses with Time 2 concurrent data showed similar results. Final beta weights showed that morphological awareness and CV Gulja reading at Time 1 uniquely explained listening comprehension at Time 2, and vocabulary and Gulja reading at Time 1 explained reading comprehension at Time 2. Concurrent data at Time 2 showed that morphological awareness uniquely explained listening and reading comprehension. Conclusion: Results suggest that vocabulary and morphological awareness contribute to reading and listening comprehension over and above phonological awareness and reading skills.
Abstract: Purpose - Baddeley et al. (1998) proposed that the phonological loop component of working memory functions as a language-learning device that links stored representations of words and processing demands. The loop's capacity is typically operationalised as nonword repetition ability but few researchers have examined bilingual children's use of stored knowledge when English is their second language (ESL). In Singapore, Mandarin-ESL and Malay-ESL children are exposed to different phonology-orthography mappings in their respective first languages but learn to spell in English in the same classrooms, allowing for study of the relationship between phonological representations and spelling acquisition in bilinguals. Method - Mandarin-ESL and Malay-ESL children (18 pairs, aged 7-8 years) were matched for English vocabulary then assessed for nonverbal and spelling abilities, and nonword repetition performance. CVC high and low phonotactic probability (PP) nonwords were adapted from Gathercole et al. (1999) and combined to form 36 2-, 3- or 4-syllable nonword stimuli. These stimuli were presented in random order and responses phonetically coded with reference to Standard English (StdE) and Singapore Colloquial English (SCE) pronunciation norms. Results - Results showed no group differences for spelling accuracy or nonword repetition, but a group by PP interaction for both StdE and SCE scorings such that the Mandarin-ESL children performed significantly better for low PP nonwords. Additionally, unlike the Mandarin-ESL children, the Malay-ESL children's spelling scores correlated with their nonword repetition scores. Conclusion - The different patterns of correlations of variables across groups suggest different cognitive-linguistic factors influencing nonword repetition and spelling development.
Purpose - Computers can serve as potentially useful tools in developing children's early literacy skills. Despite this, the characteristics of parent-child early writing interactions using computers have not yet been studied. The current study aimed to characterize the meaning of incorporating technology into parent-child writing interactions. We compared the nature of parent-child writing interactions using a computer versus those using pencil and paper. Method - 51 children (M = 63.84 months) were videotaped in their homes during a parent-child joint writing task, half of which was written with pencil and paper and half with a computer. The children were also videotaped when writing independently and when presented with a choice to write with either tool. The parent-child writing interactions were transcribed and coded. Parents' writing-specific support (Grapho-Phonemic and Printing) and general support attributes (e.g., demand for precision, intrusions) were assessed. Results - Parents showed a consistent writing-support style across the two writing tools. Nonetheless, parents' writing-specific support measures and part of the general support attributes were higher when using the computer than when using pencil and paper (controlling for the children's independent writing level). The writing interactions on the computer were playful and included references to technical aspects of using a computer. Children preferred to write using the computer. Conclusions - There is a need for more research that explores parental literacy support with a variety of technologies. Supporting children's writing with technologies can complete the traditional early literacy and writing support.
Purpose: This study investigated the ability to learn meanings and names of novel written symbols through paired associate learning (PAL). So far, the access of word pronunciation predominates over that of meaning in the research of early stages of reading development. Past PAL studies have focused on print/symbol to sound mapping and word pronunciation ability in children reading alphabetic scripts (such as English). This study has extended past studies by investigating the ability to learn both meanings and names of novel written symbols through PAL, and its links with Chinese word meaning knowledge and word pronunciation skill. Method: This study included 80 Chinese primary second graders. Children were individually administered tasks of nonverbal reasoning ability, PAL (Condition 1: Symbol-name pair; Condition 2: Symbol-meaning pair), Chinese word meaning and Chinese word pronunciation at their school. Novel items were used in the PAL task to control over prior exposure. Results: Scores in PAL and Chinese word reading tasks were significantly correlated with each other. Results of hierarchical regression showed that PAL symbol-name pair performance significantly predicted Chinese word pronunciation skill and Chinese word meaning knowledge after age and nonverbal reasoning were controlled. However, PAL symbol-meaning pair performance did not predict Chinese word reading skills after age and nonverbal reasoning were controlled. Conclusions: The ability to associate novel symbols and names is important not only to word pronunciation skill, but also to word meaning knowledge, even in reading Chinese which has relatively ambiguous print-sound mappings.
Micaela Christopher (Department of Psychology & Neuroscience, University of Colorado- Boulder);Jacqueline Hulslander; Brian Byrne; Stefan Samuelsson; Richard K. Olson - Biometric growth modeling of early literacy measures in the U.S., Australia, and Scandinavia
Purpose Recent studies exploring the genetic and environmental influences on individual differences in early reading development have shown growth to be primarily influenced either by genetic influences (Christopher et al., in press) or shared environmental influences (Hart et al., in press; Logan et al., in press; Petrill et al., 2010). All previous studies, however, have only used subjects from the United States. The present study is the first to include samples from other countries, allowing us to compare the genetic and environmental etiologies of early reading development. Method Individual differences in reading growth from post-kindergarten to post-2nd grade were explored using data from 487 twin pairs tested in the US, 267 pairs from Australia, and 280 pairs from Scandinavia. Biometric latent growth curve modeling was used to partial out how much variance in initial reading ability and subsequent growth was driven by genetic and environmental factors. Results Individual differences for the reading measures at post-kindergarten in the U.S. and Australia were due primarily to genetic influences, and to both genetic and shared environmental influences in Scandinavia. In contrast, individual differences in growth generally had large genetic influences in all countries. Conclusions These results suggest genetic influences are primarily responsible for individual differences in early reading development, but that the timing of the start of formal literacy instruction may affect the etiology of individual differences in early reading ability. Importantly, differences in the timing of formal literacy instruction may only have limited influence on the etiology of individual differences in growth.
Wei-Lun Chung (The University of Memphis School of Communication Sciences and Disorders)Linda Jarmulowicz - English stress in word production, perception, and reading by Chinese-speaking English learners
Purpose In Mandarin Chinese, prosodic features distinguish morphemes through tone (tang1 'soup' and tang4 'hot'); whereas in English relative syllable prominence is a critical prosodic feature, which results in metrical patterns and lexical stress (CONtract and conTRACT). However, little study has examined (a) how Chinese-speaking English learners (ELs) produce and perceive English stress? and (b) whether English stress assignment in reading associated with stress production and perception? Method The preliminary study recruited 11 adult Chinese-speaking ELs in Memphis, USA. The following were given in English: stress production in a multisyllabic derived word production task (DWPT), stress perception in a multisyllabic-pseudoword judgment task (Wade-Woolley, upcoming), and stress assignment in disyllabic-word reading (Arciuli & Cupples, 2006). To exclude the effect of English immersion, 30 Chinese-speaking college students majoring in English in Taiwan will also be tested. Results Based on preliminary data, Chinese-speaking ELs in the USA demonstrated poorer stress production than stress perception (t(10)=2.67, p<.05) and stress assignment in reading (t(10)=2.56, p<.05). Stress assignment in reading was significantly associated with stress production (r=.70, p<.05) but not with stress perception (r=.32, p=.34). Conclusions Producing stress in reading was easier than in the DWPT, suggesting that stress production in multisyllabic words is not easily mastered. Stress perception was the only variable not associated with others. The asymmetrical improvement might result from English immersion facilitating stress perception but not production. The relationship between stress perception and other variables will be further explored in the performance of ELs not in an English immersion environment in Taiwan.
Kevin Kien Hoa Chung (Department of Special Education and Counselling, The Hong Kong Institute of Education) - Second language learning difficulties in developmental dyslexia: What are the cognitive-linguistic skills that influence English reading among Chinese dyslexic adolescent readers?
This study investigated the relations between cognitive-linguistic skills and reading of Hong Kong Chinese-speaking adolescent readers with dyslexia learning English as a second language (ESL), as they learn both Chinese and English language beginning at the age of three. A total of 54 adolescent readers, 27 with dyslexia and 27 chronological age (CA) controls participated and were administered measures of Chinese word reading, English word reading, English reading comprehension, English phonological skills, English morphological skills, English visual-orthographic and English syntactic skills. Results showed that the dyslexic readers performed significantly worse than the CA in all cognitive-linguistic and reading measures. In addition, hierarchical regression analyses indicated that four cognitive-linguistic measures significantly predicted English word reading and reading comprehension. These findings have implications for understanding the reading of Chinese dyslexic adolescent readers, and the nature of reading English as a second language in general.
*Purpose: Examining the reliability and validity of reading and language proficiency progress measures for assessing student growth at the secondary-school level. *Method: Two parallel studies were conducted. In study one, participants were 100 second-language learners, aged 12 to 19. In study two 70 low performing students from grade 7 to 9, aged 12 to 18, participated. Students of both studies were monitored weekly with the maze and word-vocabulary task. Over a period of four months, students completed 10 parallel forms of both tasks. Mazes were passages where every 7th word was deleted and replaced by multiple-choice items. Students read silently through the passages and circled the correct answers for two minutes. The number of correct and correct minus incorrect answers were scored. With the word-vocabulary task students read a definition of a word, and chose the correct answer out of five possibilities for two minutes. The number of correct and correct minus incorrect answers were scored. Criterion variables consisted of scores on standardized reading achievement tests, and course grades. *Results: Analyses will be completed in the summer of 2013 and will examine the reliability and validity of the maze and word-vocabulary task for assessing student growth in reading and language proficiency by using multilevel analysis. *Conclusions: Although a Response-to-Intervention (RTI) approach is being implemented at the secondary-school level, little is known about the technical adequacy of progress measures used in such a system. These studies provide information about the technical adequacy on progress measures for secondary-school students.
Yiling Chung (National Cheng Kung University); Hsinhsuan Wu; Yushu Chiang; Jonfan Hu; Chiuhua Huang; Hsuehchih Chen; Chienchih Tseng; Liyun Chang - Eye movement patterns alternated by radical position regularity and radical frequency in word decision task of chinese characters
Purpose: We considered whether the eye movement patterns could be taken as useful indicators that radical properties involved the processes of Chinese character recognition. In addition, we hypothesized that there could be two different cognitive processes underlying Chinese recognition according to the decision criteria of judging the legality of Chinese characters. Method: Eye movement patterns were recorded in two task groups: character decision task and radical position regulation task in which different instructions were delivered for participants perform word decision judgment. Sixty Taiwanese university students took part one of the two task groups. Pseudo Chinese characters in either task were created according to the following rules: radical position-based frequencies (HH, HL, LH, LL), and character-like degrees (P-WN, SN-WN, and P-SN). Results: The results showed that the two different instructions led to different eye movement patterns: (1) radical position regularity effect was only significant for the radical position regulation task; (2) position effect was only significant for the character decision task; (3) frequency effect appeared in both character decision task and radical position regulation task. Conclusions: The radical position regularity effect was attenuated if there were no clues of radical position offered while the frequency effect was a rather apparent property in Chinese recognition. To sum up, the present eye movement study indicates that eye movement patterns can promptly reflect the weightings of radical properties of Chinese characters when different instructions are given in the word decision tasks.
socioemotional adjustment in adolescents referred for psychiatric treatment and in nonreferred comparison youth. In adolescence the demands on figurative HOL increase. Youth with HOL impairment (HOLI) are likely to have difficulty in school and in social relationships, for instance, in drawing inferences from what they read or hear. Method: The sample included 39 clinically referred and 14 nonclinical youth with HOLI and 50 comparison youth with typical HOL. Mean ages were14.3-years and 15-years for the clinical and nonclinical groups, respectively. We administered measures of nonverbal intelligence, working memory, HOL, word decoding and reading comprehension. Results: Youth with HOLI underperformed the comparison youth on all measures. MANCOVA was used to compare the performance of youth with and without HOLI on all these measures and on socioemotional symptom characteristics (externalizing and internalizing problems). Cognitive factors and ability to interpret others' intentions contributed significantly to the severity of internalizing and externalizing symptoms in youth with HOLI. Additional analysis indicated that expressing intent contributed to internalizing and externalizing behaviors in youth with HOLI after controlling for nonverbal abilities. Conclusions: Youth with HOLI are more prone to having difficulty in their peer group and in class because they are unable to understand others and express their ideas clearly. This may put them at a greater risk for internalizing and externalizing behaviors. When the language problems are left unidentified this is likely to lead to misinterpretation of the youth's behavior and failure to provide relevant services.
Purpose: The purpose of the study was to investigate the interaction between end of first grade reading skill and group membership (i.e., treatment vs. control) in predicting reading performance at varying quantiles across a distribution of second grade scores. We hypothesized the end of first grade skill would differentially predict end of second grade skill depending on group membership, especially for children at the upper range of second grade reading skill. Method: Screening measures identified 228 first grade students who were potentially at-risk for reading disabilities. Participants were randomly assigned to intervention or control, resulting in 111 students receiving supplementary tutoring for 14 weeks and 66 receiving tier 1 instruction only. Tests of word identification and decoding were administered at the end of first and second grade. Results: Using quantile regression methods, results indicated no statistically significant interaction between word identification and group across the distribution of second grade scores. Paradoxically, a statistically significant interaction was detected between decoding skills and group, but this was only true for students at the higher end the distribution. Specifically, of the students at the upper end of second grade reading skill, decoding skills in first grade were less predictive of later reading performance in students for who received intervention in comparison to students who remained in Tier 1. Conclusions: Treatment appears to change the covariance of prior to later reading skills, at least for part of the reading skill distribution. Implications for instruction and future research will be discussed.
Purpose: This cross-sectional study examined if English learners showed the sequence of vocabulary acquisition as that shown by native English speakers. Method: A sample of 182 primarily native Spanish speaking English learners in grades 1 through 5 was recruited from an urban Southern California school district. Children's ovocabulary was assessed using the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT), the Expressive Vocabulary Test (EVT) and the Root Word Inventory (RWI; Biemiller & Slonim, 2001; Biemiller & Boote, 2006). While this study replicated procedures used Biemiller and Slonim, (2001), two additional analyses nesting student achievement within PPVT and EVT achievement bands were also calculated. Results: We found evidence for a sequence of vocabulary acquisition for English learners that is similar to the one observed among native English speakers (Biemiller & Slonim, 2001), whether student achievement bands were based on performance on the RWI or on the standardized measures of vocabulary. Conclusions: Vocabulary acquisition in English appears to follow the same sequence for English learners as has been found for native English speakers. The findings from the current study also provide additional support for using Biemiller's (2010) framework for selecting words, which focuses on words that are partially known or still being learned. The implications of the development of more efficient vocabulary intervention curricula to help close the achievement gap are also discussed.
How are strings of letters represented mentally ? What is the influence of the characteristics of writing systems on perceptual structure ? How do such structured representations emerge during reading acquisition and how do they evolve with experience ? What is the relative weight of statistical regularities, print-speech mapping, and linguistic structure on the organisation of perceptual representations ? I will discuss those issues on the basis of the studies and findings reported in previous presentations. I will also suggest future directions for the study of the structure and development of orthographic representations in skilled and beginning readers.
It is widely recognized that reading consists of cognitive, perceptual and neurological processes. but perceptual processes have been generally ignored. Research has found that reading is much more easily acquired in transparent European languages than in the irregular English, and that the reading of pseudowords in English is even more delayed. The purpose of the present research is to compare a perceptual account of pseudoword learning (Gibson (1965; 1971) with the psycholinguistic theory of Ziegler and Goswami, (2005). Both these accounts proposed that children became able to read pseudowords by forming small units of graphemes and phonemes, but they proposed different theories of how this happened. These theories were compared in a longitudinal study from preschool with 130 through fifth grade when 84 remained in the study. The results were interpreted to support Gibson's theory that children developed the ability to read pseudowords by discriminating small grapheme-phoneme units in specific word environments and generalizing these small units to pseudowords.
Lei Cui (Shandong Normal University);Denis Drieghe;Guoli Yan;Xuejun Bai;Hui Chi;Simon P. Liversedge - Constituent-type matters: parafoveal processing in Chinese reading across grades evidence from eye-movement
[Purpose] We aimed to investigate whether the linguistic category of a two character Chinese string affects how the second character of that string is processed in the parafoveal during reading. [Method] We used a boundary paradigm to obtain clear preview effects in all conditions, but more importantly, parafoveal-on-foveal effects where by a nonsense preview of the second character influenced fixations on the first character. Also in the developmental design, we assessed kids of different grades. [Result] The effect occurred for monomorphemic words, but not for compound words or phrase. We demonstrate that the Chinese readers' lexical quality representation increases as their age increase and as well as their reading skills develop. [Conclusion] We conclude that information regarding the combinatorial properties of characters in Chinese is used online to moderate the extent to which parafoveal characters are processed.
Purpose: Phonological accounts of reading implicate three aspects of phonological awareness tasks that underlie the relationship with reading; a) the language-based nature of the stimuli (words or nonwords), b) the verbal nature of the response, and c) the complexity of the stimuli (words can be segmented into units of speech). Yet, it is uncertain which task characteristics are most important as they are typically confounded. By systematically varying response-type and stimulus complexity across speech and non-speech stimuli, the current study seeks to isolate the characteristics of phonological awareness tasks that drive the prediction of early reading. Method: Four sets of tasks were created; tone stimuli (simple non-speech) requiring a non-verbal response, phonemes (simple speech) requiring a non-verbal response, phonemes requiring a verbal response, and nonwords (complex speech) requiring a verbal response. Tasks were administered to 570 2nd grade children along with standardized tests of reading and non-verbal IQ. Results: Three structural equation models comparing matched sets of tasks were built. Each model consisted of two 'task' factors with a direct link to a reading factor. The following factors predicted unique variance in reading: a) simple speech and non-speech stimuli, b) simple speech requiring a verbal response but not simple speech requiring a non-verbal-response, and c) complex and simple speech stimuli. Conclusions: Results suggest that the prediction of reading by phonological tasks is driven by the verbal nature of the response and not the complexity or 'speechness' of the stimuli. Findings highlight the importance of phonological output processes to early reading.
Purpose: Canadian French immersion students who do not speak English as a first language (EL1) are faced with the challenging task of learning English and French simultaneously. The present study investigated the independent and combined effects of cognitive factors on the rate and growth of English and French reading outcomes for EL1 and ELL French immersion students. Method: Participants were 41 EL1 and 40 ELL students from an early total French immersion program located in a large, multicultural city. Students were assessed in the fall of Grade 1 and then tested yearly in both English and French from Grades 1-3 using a battery of literacy assessments. Results: Hierarchical linear modeling was used to compare growth patterns over time and to identify English predictors of Grade 3 vocabulary and reading outcomes in English and French. This study is the first to demonstrate that ELL students develop skills at a significantly faster rate than EL1s, despite lower initial scores on English and French tasks. By Grade 3, ELL students were outperforming EL1s in French word reading. Phonological awareness, rapid automatized naming, and letter-sound knowledge predicted English and French reading outcomes for EL1 and ELL students. Similarly, morphological awareness predicted English and French vocabulary knowledge. Conclusion: Results suggest that English reading skills predict English and French reading ability in EL1s and ELLs. Moreover, findings demonstrate that early French immersion is beneficial for both EL1 and ELL students. This study has practical implications for parents and educators in making informed French immersion placement decisions.
Purpose For dyslexic children, learning to read and write constitutes a great challenge (Snowling, 2006). A consensual explanation for these learners' delay relates to their phonological deficit (Ramus et al., 2003; Sprenger-Charolles & Colé, 2003). Results from studies designed to describe dyslexics' spelling errors are not always as clear as those in reading concerning the role of phonological processes (Cassar et al., 2005; Friend & Olson, 2008). In irregular languages like French, the use of the orthographic code involves not only phonological knowledge, but also morphological, visuo-orthographic and lexical knowledge. The main goal of this study is to describe the relative contribution of those types of knowledge in dyslexics' spelling ability. Method In total, 32 francophone dyslexic children aged 11.5 were compared to 24 reading-age matched controls (RA) and to 25 chronological-age matched controls (CA). All had to write a text that was analysed at the graphemic level. In total, more than 55 000 graphemes were analysed. All errors were classified as either phonological, morphological, visuo-orthographic or lexical errors. Results Results indicate that dyslexic children's spelling ability falls behind not only that of the CA, but also of the RA. In all groups, a large majority of errors is phonologically plausible. Also, for all groups, morphological and visuo-orthographic errors are the most frequent. Conclusions If most morphological errors relate to grammatical knowledge/processes, visuo-orthographic errors speak about the mental representations of the written words. The importance of visuo-orthographic knowledge/processes will be discussed as a complementary explanation of dyslexics' delay in writing.
Sophie Dandache (Sophie Dandache K.U.Leuven); Jan Wouters; Pol Ghesquière - Exploring the power of between phonological and morphological awareness in explaining reading abilities within Arabic readers
Arabic is the most widespread of the five Semitic languages and is spoken by approximately 200 million people in 23 countries. Arabic language has a highly synthetic root-based morphology where most words are build of two or three morphemes. Words formation is then based on phonological patterns built on consonantal roots which are abstract entities that generally constitute the semantic core of Arabic words. Accordingly, many researchers claim morphology plays an important role in reading and spelling in Arabic. It is however noteworthy that Arabic is characterized by having two scripts: one that is shallow when diacritical marks are used and one that is opaque when they are not. Authors have then claimed that phonological skills would be the best predictor of reading Arabic in early grades where children are presented with transparent fully vowelized Arabic texts. Our study was carried out to investigate the power of phonological and morphological skills in explaining reading abilities within beginners poor and normal Arabic readers. Methods The participants of the study are beginners Lebanese readers (n = 150, 6 years of age, normal intelligence). The children were tested on two different skills: phonological, morphological and skills. The phonological testing involved: phonological awareness: phoneme deletion, spoonerism; verbal-short-term memory: non-word repetition, digit-span forward, digit-span backward and Rapid Automatized Naming: digits, letters, colours, objects. Morphological tests included: turning from past to present, turning from singular to plural. The children's reading abilities were assessed through word and non-word reading tests. Conclusions Preliminary results suggest that, in the group of normal readers, phonological skills were the only significant predictor of reading abilities within normal readers. However, in the group of poor readers, morphological skills also significantly predict the reading outcome.
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the cognitive profile of two adults with a different kind of reading disability: one with poor reading fluency but average reading comprehension, and one with average reading fluency but poor reading comprehension. More specifically, we were interested to see if these two individuals would differ in a predictable manner on the PASS (Planning, Attention, Simultaneous, and Successive; Das, Naglieri, & Kirby, 1994) cognitive processes, which are distal to reading. We expected that the former individual would experience primarily difficulties in successive processing, because it is directly related to reading accuracy/fluency (e.g., Das, Georgiou, & Janzen, 2007), and that the latter individual would experience difficulties in simultaneous processing, because it is directly related to reading comprehension (e.g., Georgiou & Das, in press). Method: This is a single-case study in which we assessed two university students with different reading profiles. Beyond the screening measures (TOWRE reading fluency and Nelson-Denny reading comprehension), the participants were assessed on planning, attention, simultaneous and successive processing (Naglieri & Das, 1997), working memory, phonological processing, vocabulary, and motivation. Results: The poor comprehender had a selective deficit in simultaneous processing and in vocabulary. In contrast, the dysfluent reader had a selective deficit in successive processing and in phonological processing. Conclusion: These findings suggest that we may be able to distinguish between different kinds of poor readers by examining their performance on simultaneous and successive processing.
Purpose - According to Happé and Frith's (2006) working hypothesis, weak coherence is a tendency to focus on details, often found in individuals with autism. It contrasts with strong coherence, i.e. a tendency to focus on gist and global form. Weak coherence can also be found in the non-autistic population (Happé & Frith 2006). In relation to reading comprehension weak coherence is often assumed to be associated with poor inferential comprehension. However, some studies have found that scores on the Embedded Figures Test (EFT), previously used to measure weak coherence, were related to good reading comprehension in children without autism. The present study investigated the relationship between weak coherence and specifically inferential comprehension. Method - Twenty-seven 5th grade students read short expository texts and answered inferential and literal questions. A subset of items from the Group Embedded Figures Test (GEFT) was also administered to students. Correlation and regression analyses were used to examine the relationship between GEFT-scores and inferential comprehension. Results - A positive moderate correlation between GEFT-scores and inferential comprehension was found. GEFT-scores contributed significantly to the explanation of inferential comprehension after the contribution of literal comprehension was accounted for. Conclusions - Results do not support the assumption that weak coherence is associated with poor inferential comprehension. Rather is seems that weak coherence/GEFT is related to good inferential comprehension. The question is raised whether some aspects of inference tests reward a detail-focused style.
Purpose: Pausing during speech serves several cognitive and communication functions (Esposito & Marinaro, 2007). In adults and children, more and longer pauses in speech production and slower rates of speech have been linked to reading disabilities (Smith et al., 2008). This study examines the relation between pausing in narrative retells and language and reading comprehension skills in young children. Method: We applied an automated pause analyses (Green et al., 2004) to examine the relation between pausing in oral narrative retellings and reading and listening comprehension skills in a sample of approximately 1200 preschool through grade 3 children in 4 sites across the U.S. The dataset offers an opportunity to examine pausing behaviors and their relation with multiple language and reading measures. Results: Preliminary results from a subset of participants in PreK, Grade 1, and Grade 3 indicate percent pauses decreases by grade, as expected (Nip et al., in press). Lower pause percentage was significantly correlated with higher language skills (p = .048; R = -.370) in the full sample. The relation was greatest in Pre-K (R = -.328) followed by Grade 1 (R = -.238) and Grade 3 (R = -.104). The highest correlation was found between pause percentage and CELF Word Structure standard scores in Pre-K (R = -.764). Conclusions: Preliminary findings suggest that there is a relation between pausing and comprehension skills and that an automated pause analyses offers promising potential for an efficient and reliable way to analyze narrative retells related to language and reading comprehension.
Purpose Morphemic knowledge maintains many inter-relationships among reading comprehension and meta-linguistic skills (viz, phonemic awareness, orthographic knowledge, vocabulary, spelling). Nearly 80 per cent of all vocabulary of upper elementary students is made up of complex words, and it is helpful to understand how morphemic knowledge promotes more complex word choice in writing. To date, very few studies have explored the contribution of morphemic knowledge in writing. The purpose of this study is to examine the contribution of derivational morphemic knowledge in complex word choice among English language learners (ELLs) with and without learning disabilities (LDs) beginning in Grade 5. Method The following instruments are administered to typically developing students in grade 5 as well as a group classified as having LD : Carlisle's (2000) morphological structure tests, WRAT 4 Sentence Comprehension, Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test Third Edition A, Comprehension Test of Phonological Processing (CTOPP), Process Assessment of the Learner (PAL) Receptive Coding and Morphological/Syntactic, and a writing sample prompted by a picture. A multiple regression is used to evaluate the predictive power of morphological knowledge to extend what is already known about predictors of reading comprehension. Dichotomous independent variables include: Learning Disabled and Morphemic knowledge. Dependent variables include: type frequency and token frequency of derived words and analyzed with NVivo 10. Results Morphological knowledge may contribute differently to vocabulary and reading comprehension among ELLs compared to English learners and also those who are typically developing and LD students. Conclusions It appears that morphological knowledge contributes to reading comprehension even among ELLs.
Purpose. The purpose of this study is to identify the factors associated with reading achievement in the Program for International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) in 2011 for twenty European Union Member States. Methods. We measure the effects of variables identified in previous investigations using PIRLS data and variables identified in psycholinguistic research as predictors of reading attainment. We use multilevel analysis controlling for country effects and include student, class and school characteristics. Our multilevel model will include the same levels and variables we considered to examine PIRLS 2006 data, which explained 43% of the variance in the achievement of a 93,113 student sample and was presented at the SSSR conference in 2012 in Montreal. Results. The results of the analysis carried out with the PIRLS 2006 database indicated that home educational resources and students' attitudes toward reading produce the largest effects in reading performance, followed by children's knowledge of the alphabet before school starts, the language spoken at home and parental book reading. At the class level, we found small effects for teacher gender, class compositional effects and instructional approaches. At the school level, differences relate to parental occupational status, the percentage of students from economically disadvantaged homes, school climate and parent-teacher relationships. Importantly, these findings suggest that the reciprocal relation between alphabet knowledge and phonological skills is detectable at the fourth grade level and they have implications for policy related to curriculum design and equity measures (Piasta & Wagner, 2010). As the 2011 PIRLS data will be available in December 2012 we will have a chance to replicate our analysis and assess whether results are stable over time. Conclusions. A comparison between the results obtained with the previous PIRLS assessment in 2006 and the more recent 2011 survey will add to our understanding of the stability or lack thereof of the factors that explain reading achievement in different countries and help inform educational policy.
Purpose - Digitized books for beginning readers differ from traditional books. But they can take different forms. One digitized format presents the print and illustrations on screen. In other digitized formats oral text is available while print highlights simultaneously, which may facilitate making connections between printed and spoken words. Decoding words may not absorb all attention at the expense of attention for story content. In a third format the reader is visible on screen while he dramatizes the meaning of the story text by making gestures, pointing and facial expressions which may help to understand the story text. Method - A randomized field control trial with pre- and post-testing was carried out. Nine first graders were randomly assigned to the condition in which they read print from screen. Fifteen children were assigned to a digitized format with oral text available and print highlighting while it is read. Part of this group (N = 9) received the version with the reader on screen. The intervention was equally long (four 10-minutes-sessions) resulting in a variable number of repetitions. As independent reading took more time, these books with read less often than the books with oral text included (1.75 times vs. 2). Word spelling, word recognition, word reading rate, text reading rate and reading comprehension were all pre- and post-tested. Results - Conditions differed in word spelling, word recognition, and word reading rate. Spelling benefited most from independent reading or listening to the digitized version without reader on screen, word recognition most from independent reading, and word reading rate most from the two digitized versions. Conclusions - Reading the text independently is advantageous for storing word specific knowledge. Listening to fluent reading (while print highlights simultaneously) benefits reading rate. There is no support for the hypothesis that children pay more attention to content with the digitized versions and outperform the independent reading condition in comprehension.
Purpose This paper examines the Comprehensive Language Approach (CLA) hypotheses that language and print are mutually reinforcing and broad-gauged measures of language best predict reading. Method Head Start children were assessed at the end of preschool, kindergarten and first grade. Mediational analyses examined the effects of language and print knowledge on grade one outcomes. A Language variable was created by compositing sets of variables that exhibited mid-to-high correlations: Vocabulary (PPVT, EVT), Spontaneous Production (Number of Different Words from LS, Mean Length of Utterance, Complex Syntax, BUS Story Complexity, BUS Sentence Length), Global Language (PLS), and Extended Discourse (BUS Information, BUS Story Grammar, W-J Understanding Directions). Print Knowledge in preschool included W-J Letter-Word Identification; in Kindergarten: W-J Letter-Word Identification and W-J Sound Awareness; in first grade: W-J Letter Identification, W-J Sound Awareness and W-J Word Attack. Reading in 1st grade included W-J Reading Fluency and W-J Passage Comprehension. Data from 389 children were analyzed. Analyses predicting grade one outcomes controlled for nonverbal IQ (Leiter), gender, age and the preschool score on the variable being predicted. Results Preschool language predicted end-of-grade one print and reading. End of preschool print knowledge mediated the relationship between preschool language and grade one reading (indirect effect: 22). Preschool language effects on grade one print were mediated by kindergarten print (indirect effect: .24). The same results were found when the composites included in the Language variable were run separately. Conclusion Results support the CLA hypothesis of mutual facilitation between diverse early language skills and early reading.
This study examined analytic pinyin (a phonological coding system for teaching pronunciation of Chinese words) skills in 54 Children Mandarin-speaking 4th graders by using an invented spelling instrument. Invented pinyin spelling was significantly correlated with Chinese character recognition, Chinese vocabulary definition, and Chinese phonological awareness (i.e., syllable deletion and phoneme deletion). Within this new task, items involved sandhi rules (the tones of words alter according to pre-determined rules) were more difficult to manipulate than were those without sandhi rules. In comparison to high-achieving and average readers, low-achieving readers performed poorly on invented spelling task, whereas such difference was not found between high-achieving and average readers. This newly developed task may be optional for tapping analytic phonological skills in struggling Chinese readers. In addition, the results suggest that phonics manipulations within tasks of phonological awareness can alter their difficulty levels.
Purpose: We report a case study of HE, a published author with pure alexia following a stroke. HE's reading disorder is marked by severe difficulty reading printed words, but with preserved writing ability. Methods: We used eye-tracking to examine the differences in reading patterns between HE and an aged matched normal reader. Both HE and the normal reader were asked to read single words on the screen as quickly as possible, as eye movements and reaction times were recorded. The words differed in length (short vs. long), frequency (low vs. high frequency), position (on left screen vs. on right screen) and order (first vs second presentation). Results: Both HE and the normal reader showed typical word frequency effects (high frequency read faster than lower frequency words) suggesting top-down influences in word reading. Only HE reading times increased as word length increased. The spatial analysis results showed that HE's initial landing location tended to be less frequently on the middle of the words presented on the left during the first presentation comparing with the normal participant, but more frequently on the final consonants of the words presented on the left during the second presentation. The temporal analysis found that alexia patient's fixation duration was significantly longer than the normal reader. However, both participants had significant decreases in word read times for the second presentation of a word. The results suggest that phonological and semantic priming may partially account for decreases in reading times for the second presentation, HE may rely more on the phonological skills to resolve his word reading difficulties. Conclusion: Overall, HE utilizes both bottom-up and top-down processes to read words.
Purpose - The purpose of this study was to investigate the extent to which morphological awareness was related to phonological awareness, orthographic awareness and whether morphological awareness would have independent, direct influence on spelling for monolingual English-speaking children in 3rd grade. Method - Participants were 183 third grade students from two public elementary schools in the U.S. A battery of tasks was devised to assess children's morphological awareness, phonological awareness, orthographic awareness and word spelling skills. These morphological awareness tests included Word Form Exercise (Non words) adopted from Nunes, Bryant and Bindman (1997) and CAL Extract the Base (August, et al., 2001). Structural Equation Modeling was used for data analyses. Results - Morphological awareness was correlated with phonological awareness and orthographic awareness. In addition, morphological awareness, phonological awareness and orthographic awareness all contributed to one factor-metalinguistic awareness. Morphological awareness alone did not have independent and direct influence on English word spelling when phonological and orthographic factors were also included. Conclusions - Teachers should guide students toward an understanding of the interconnectedness of morphemic, phonemic, and orthographic unites by creating deliberate connections to English spellings. Carefully examining all morphemic components for a given word in a given context will increase children's general awareness of morphemic distinctions, which plays a part in their readiness to learn about grammatically based reading and spelling patterns.
Purpose: Oral language skills scaffold written text production. Students with language impairment (LI) and students with ASD are challenged by different aspects of the oral language system. It was hypothesized that the constraints on writing for students with language impairment would be reflected in spelling and grammar (transcription) whereas for students with ASD quality of texts (text generation) would be compromised. Methods: Ninety-three students with language impairment and 64 students with ASD completed standardized measures of language, spelling, handwriting and cognition and produced a written narrative text that was assessed for fluency, grammatical accuracy and text quality. Results: Students with LI were significantly more impaired on transcription measures, both spelling and handwriting. In contrast the two cohorts did not differ in measures of text quality. Regression analyses indicated that measures of fluency, grammatical accuracy and content were predicted by transcription skills for students with LI. In contrast for students with ASD both structural and pragmatic aspects of language contributed to measures of fluency, grammatical accuracy and text quality. Conclusion: The current study highlights the role of both structural and pragmatic language in the written text production of students challenged by writing. The extent to which these patterns of performance reflect delays or qualitative differences in text production are discussed.
Purpose: Individual differences in how often words are skipped during reading (i.e. not directly fixated during first pass) are quite pronounced with some readers skipping words very rarely and others skipping the majority of short words seemingly by default. Readers who skip relatively high numbers of words could do so based on either more efficient parafoveal processing or on a comparatively higher proficiency in predicting the upcoming word on the basis of the preceding context. Methods: In an eye-tracking experiment during reading, a large sample of skilled, adult readers read sentences containing a monosyllabic (e.g. grain) or a disyllabic (e.g. cargo) five-letter word. Previous research (Fitzsimmons & Drieghe, 2011) has indicated higher skipping rates of monosyllabic words, and this effect is taken as a marker for advanced phonological processing in the parafovea. Skipping rates (fixation probabilities) were analysed by means of logistic linear mixed models. Results: After removing those participants who skipped close to no words during reading, monosyllabic words were skipped more often than disyllabic words, partially replicating Fitzsimmons and Drieghe (2011). However, the effect size per participant was strongly influenced by how often the participants skipped target words regardless of experimental conditions. Critically, those participants that skipped a high number of words showed more pronounced effects of phonological complexity. Conclusion: Because the readers who skipped the highest amount of words were also the most sensitive for phonological properties of the parafoveal word, these results speak strongly for more efficient parafoveal processing as one of the main causes allowing these readers to skip words more often.
Purpose: This study focused on the role of executive functions in written composition of Dutch middle elementary school children. Although executive functions are included in most models of writing, their contribution to written composition in developing writers remains underexplored. In order to shed more light on this issue, we compared the contribution of executive functions to written and oral narration skills. Oral language is the foundation of literacy development but is cognitively less costly as it does not require the simultaneous execution of both transcription and content generation. Method: The oral and written skills of 102 Dutch children in fourth grade were assessed using two parallel narrative picture-description tasks. In addition, a large test battery of neuropsychological functions, including transcription, language-related and executive function skills, was administered. Results: We find that, first, executive functions are more predictive of oral narration than written narration. Second, microstructural and macrostructural dimensions of the oral and written compositions are affected differentially by the executive functions involved. Third, lower-level executive functions including attention and inhibition predict the oral and written outcome better than higher-level executive functions such as planning and goal-setting. Conclusions: In accordance with previous literature, we conclude that the written outcome of young writers is still largely constrained by transcription skills. However, our study emphasizes the importance of investigating both microstructure and macrostructure of compositions, in order to acquire a complete overview of the contribution of executive functions to the writing outcome in developing writers.
Kenneth Eklund (Department of Psychology, University of Jyväskylä);Minna Torppa; Mikko Aro; Paavo H.T. Leppänen; Timo Ahonen; Heikki Lyytinen - Literacy skill development of children with familial risk for dyslexia: a follow-up across grades 2, 3, and 8
Purpose: To study the stability of reading and spelling skills through Grades 2, 3, and 8 in transparent Finnish orthography, the effect of familial risk on literacy skill development, and the effect of reading task and material on reading speed. Method: Children (n=173), participants of the Jyväskylä Longitudinal Study of Dyslexia, were allocated to three groups according to reading skills in Grade 2 and familial risk status: Children with reading disability and familial risk (RD_FR, n=35), Children with no RD and with familial risk (NoRD_FR, n=66), and Children with no RD and without familial risk (Controls, n=72). Literacy skills were assessed in Grades 2, 3, and 8 with word list, text, and pseudoword text reading and pseudoword spelling tasks. Results: Stability was high in reading speed, and moderate in reading and spelling accuracy. The RD_FR children lagged behind the other two groups in reading speed and accuracy, and spelling throughout the follow-up period. The NoRD_FR group differed from the Controls in only 1 out of the 27 literacy skill measures. The effect of tasks in reading speed was smaller in the RD_FR group in Grades 2 and 3 than in the two other groups. Conclusions: The RD_FR group showed persisting deficiency in reading speed, and, to a minor extent, in pseudoword reading and spelling accuracy. In children without RD in Grade 2, the familial risk did not affect the subsequent development of literacy skills. The reading speed comparisons of different tasks suggested that the RD_FR children relied heavily on letter-by-letter decoding in Grades 2 and 3.
Purpose: Reading affords opportunities for contextual learning of new L2 words but the nature of the lexical-semantic knowledge established from this learning is not fully understood. Nor is it clear whether lexical proficiency (defined as vocabulary size and fluency of lexical access) is a significant predictor of such learning. This study investigates the effect of lexical proficiency on the knowledge of meaning resulting from incidental contextual L2 word learning. Method: 24 higher- and lower-proficiency adult L2 (English) learners read high-constraint sentences containing 90 very low-frequency nouns and adjectives for general understanding. The following day, their knowledge of meaning of the target words was measured (using behavioural and EEG measures) in an online semantic relatedness judgement task, in which these words were embedded either in the same sentences as in the learning task or in new sentences. The context conditions (old vs. new) provided a test of episodic vs. semantic learning. Results: Only higher-proficiency learners showed reliably faster responses on related decisions (the semantic similarity effect) when the learned words appeared in new contexts. Reductions in central-parietal N400 amplitudes (the semantic congruence effect) was also observed only higher-proficiency participants. Finally, working memory (O-span) modulated episodic memory (P600) of the newly-learned words for the higher- but not lower-proficiency learners. Conclusions: The results suggest that with more robust lexical knowledge in a language, a new word encounter finds a fit with broader lexical-semantic knowledge that allows less context-dependent meaning representation.
Soheila Emami (Islamic Azad University, Damavand Branch)Amir Sadeghi; John Everatt - Comparisons of Morphological, Orthographic and Phonological Processing as Predictors of Persian Reading Comprehension
Purpose Previous research by the authors indicated that Persian reading comprehension levels were predicted by measures of linguistic processing and decoding ability, with the latter being influenced by phonological and orthographic processing skills. However, orthographic processing also predicted reading comprehension independently of word decoding. This may be related to the large number of homographs in Persian written text produced by the elimination of short vowel markers, which leads to children as young as grade 2 in the cohorts tested been required to use context to support word processing. The present study included measures of morphological processing to investigate whether this can inform explanations of this effect. Persian uses the Arabic orthography and the same de-vowelisation occurs in Arabic - and previous work has indicated relationships between orthographic and morphology processing in Arabic. Despite commonalities in orthography, Persian (Indo-European) and Arabic (Semitic) originate from different language families. Method Over 200 school-children in Iran from grades 2 to 5 were given measures of text reading involving Cloze completion or passages followed by comprehension questions. Measures of orthographic and morphological processing were included with the above purpose in mind. Phonological processing was also assessed to ensure that any morphology influences identified were not due to common relationships with phonological skills. Measures of linguistic processing were used for consistency of model interpretation. Results & Conclusions The findings will be discussed in terms of Persian models of reading, but also in comparison with Arabic and English to provide the basis on which to consider cross-language models.
This contribution offers a perspective from a life-long braille reader who is also an academic linguist. It provides an overview of the current state of braille research, proposes a series of topics in need of further investigation, and explores the ways in which a high-resolution finger-tracking system can be employed to address these topics. * I will discuss a series of recent controversies that have arisen concerning the adoption of Unified English Braille in several English-speaking countries. These have brought to light numerous areas in need of scientific clarification regarding the perceptual, cognitive, and linguistic foundations of braille reading. These include: * The extent to which various types of braille indicators (numeric, uppercase, font-type, etc.) may be perceived as either distractors or facilitators in the reading process. * Whether frequent two-cell symbols (such as numbers, arithmetic operators, and two-cell contractions) may be perceived as gestalt single characters; whether readers continue to decompose some or all of them atomically; and the possible affects of linguistic contexts and priming. * The role of contractions in facilitating or inhibiting fluency. In particular, the effects of contractions that bridge or obscure the shapes of frequently occurring and easily recognized morphemes. I will propose ways in which high-resolution finger tracking can fruitfully address these questions, based on measures of speed, focus, and backtracking. The presentation will outline areas of significance to both pedagogy and braille-code development. It will also highlight the relevance of braille research to the wider community of reading researchers.
John Everatt (University of Canterbury, New Zealand )Amir Sedaghi; Louisa Grech; Nasser AlMenaye; Mohamed ElShiekh; Shaimaa Mahmoud; Brigid McNeill; Gad Elbeheri - Assessment of literacy learning difficulties among second language and bilingual learners
Purpose As part of work investigating cross-language theories of literacy acquisition and interactions between first and second language skills, a series of cross-country studies investigated predictors of text reading among Arabic, Maltese and Persian speaking school children who were learning to read and write in English. Method Children were given measures of word and text reading and were assessed on their underlying ability levels using a range of measures investigating language competence, non-verbal skills, phonological ability, orthographic processing and memory. Results Across groups, English reading levels were best predicted by phonological skills at the word level and measures of language comprehension and word decoding at the test comprehension level. Despite its relatively regular orthography, Maltese followed a similar pattern to English, with students showing evidence of phonological decoding skills leading to poor word processing and text comprehension deficits. In addition to the influence of phonological decoding, Arabic text processing was predicted by syntactic processing, and working memory processes increased in importance in text processing when the diacritic marks that support decoding were removed. The Persian data were similar to both Arabic and English findings, with comprehension deficits being related to vocabulary weaknesses and phonological processing deficits, but orthographic processing and speed of processing effects being evident as predictors of literacy levels. Conclusions The data will be discussed in terms of the commonalities across languages that can inform assessment and intervention practices, as well as theories of literacy development. However, influences of orthographic features need to be considered
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore the fourth graders' summary ability in the elementary schools nowadays. Method: The participants were 980 fourth graders coming 14 areas in Taiwan. The measurement was designed by the researchers. The participants needed to read the article and then made a summary of the article. Two experienced teachers graded students' summaries. In order to make good rater consistency, the teachers made clear grading criteria in advance. Participants' grades were collected for analysis and discussions. Results: There were three main results. First, 116 participants, which meant 11.8% of all the participants could make exact and complete summary with the main points of the article. Second, 595, which meant 60.7% of all the participants, could get the minor concepts.　In other words, most participants could not get the main idea of the article. Third, the participants often copied some sentences or words from the article as the summaries or had misunderstandings of the purposed of the article. It showed that more than half of the participants were lack of ability to read long paragraphs and their reading comprehension on long paragraphs needed to be improved. Conclusions: The results showed that merely 11.8% of the students could make appropriate summary and 60.7% of the students could get the minor concepts. It showed that the fourth graders' summary ability was not enough and needed to be improved.
Objectives: We evaluated the effects of two after-school language and literacy intervention programs with ELLs: ALTUR, a low-intensity intervention involving one-on-one tutoring delivered over 6 months through homework assistance by graduate students, and the Vocabulary Learning Program (VLP, First-cohort data), a high-intensity, timed, systematic intervention targeting academic vocabulary and reading strategies, delivered 2/week over 4 months to small groups by trained undergraduate tutors. The effectiveness of the two programs was compared against a matched control group. Method: Both samples involved Grades 9 -10 ELLs living in inner-city, high density, low SES neighbourbood. ALTUR (N=21), VLP (N=48), and wait-listed control (N=20). Various cognitive (e.g., noverbal IQ, working memory) and language measures (e.g., PPVT, morphological awareness, academic vocabulary) were administered. Results: Univariate analyses of covariance with pretest measures entered as covariates indicated that youth in both programs improved significantly on morphological awareness (ALTUR, p <.05; VLP, p <.001) and academic vocabulary (ALTUR, p <.05; VLP, p <.01). A small effect size was found for the ALTUR project, (η2=.02) and a medium effect size of (η2=.07) for the VLP. Conclusions: Performance improved in both intervention programs on vocabulary related measures. However, the two programs produced qualitatively different effects, indicating that regardless of the intensity and/or systematicity of the interventions, adolescent ELLs will benefit from these rich interventions. The discernible improvement in English vocabulary components in the VLP program was associated with a medium effect size of .07. However, one should be mindful that the results may be overstated given the statistical power of the present study.
Purpose - Emergent literacy skills are composed of oral language (OL), phonological awareness (PA), and print knowledge (PK) skills. They develop during the preschool period and predict later reading achievement. Constructs such as Approaches to Learning and attention are associated with the acquisition and development of emergent literacy skills in preschool. Although relations between Approaches to Learning, attention, and emergent literacy skills have been established, no study has examined the separate effects of the three domains of Approaches to Learning. The goal of this study was to evaluate the unique relations between the Approaches to Learning domains, attention, and emergent literacy skills. Method - 210 children between 38 and 75 months were administered measures of standardized measures of OL, PA, and PK during the fall of their preschool year. Each child's teacher provided ratings of Approaches to Learning and attention. Results - To examine the unique predictive relations between each domain of Approaches to Learning and academic achievement, multilevel regression was used. Of the three Approaches to Learning domains, only one -- attention/persistence -- was uniquely related to children's PA and OL skills. However, when entered simultaneously into a regression equation, attention was significantly related to PA and OL skills and marginally related to PK skills, whereas attention/persistence was not uniquely related to emergent literacy skills. Conclusion - The acquisition and development of emergent literacy skills is affected by children's attention. Approaches to Learning appear to reflect children's underlying attentional capacities and not unique learning behaviors that significantly influence literacy outcomes.
The contribution of morphological awareness on English spelling acquisition has been investigated by a growing number of studies (Carlisle, 2010). As the contribution of morphological awareness depends on the way a language encodes morphology, one would expect this contribution to be especially pertinent in the French language. Given that this contribution is little explored in French, the aim of this study is to examine the contribution of morphological awareness on the French spelling performance of third and forth graders. In this study, 76 low-SES students at an elementary school in Montreal were asked to perform several morphological awareness (i.e., word derivation, base extraction and pseudo-word derivation) and spelling tasks. The results of the spelling task were classified by the morphological knowledge involved: related to prefix, base, suffix and morphograms (silent letters). Measures of two predictive variables, word identification and phonological awareness, were also administered to participants. Our results show that the three morphological tasks were correlated with spelling performance in all the conditions, but the explicit level of morphological awareness was most correlated with spelling performance, especially in the suffix condition (r=.62, p=.00). Regression analysis shows that morphological awareness explains unique variance of spelling performance in French after controlling for word identification and phonological awareness. Corroborating data in other languages, our data supports the hypothesis that morphological awareness is an important factor in literacy development (Berninger, Abbot, Nagy and Carlisle 2010).
PURPOSE: Traditional reading comprehension tests provide little information on cognitive processing. New technology-based assessments such as CBAL (Cognitively Based Assessment of, for, and as Learning) and RFU (Reading for Understanding) are designed to improve measurement and inform teachers and students about the underlying cognitive processes. This study examines the design and validity of CBAL and RFU reading assessments by investigating student response processes using a combination of eye-tracking and verbal protocol. METHOD: Thirty 8th grade students participated in a CBAL English Language Art assessment, in which they were asked to reading and summarize multiple articles on a topic from different perspectives and write an essay based on the materials. Evidence was collected using the CogLab+ method (Feng & Sand, 2012): Students were eye-tracked during the assessment using an EyeLink eye-tracker. The eye-movements were played back immediately after the assessment tasks and students were asked to report their thoughts as they watched the gaze replay. Additional data were collected on RFU assessments. RESULTS: Analyses focusing on the design and usability aspects of the assessment suggest that most middle school students had few issues with the increased task demand and interface complexity. Eye-tracking data indicate that they read and followed instructions on the screen and completed the tasks as designed. Eye movements also distinguish high and low performing students and predict student responses on certain item types. Gaze-replay-based retrospective verbal reports corroborate eye-tracking evidence. They also reveal various levels of metacognitive awareness in different reading tasks. CONCLUSION: Results provide evidence supporting the validity argument for the innovative reading assessment. They also uncover aspects of task design that may be improved. The combination of eye-tracking and gaze-replay-based verbal report provides rich data for assessment design and reading research.
Tania Fernandes (University of Lisbon, Portugal); Tânia Fernandes; Ana Paula Vale; José Morais; Régine Kolinsky - The deficit of letter processing in developmental dyslexia: combining evidence from dyslexics, typical readers, and illiterate adults
The link between anomalous letter processing and developmental dyslexia has been unclear. It could correspond to a deficit specific to dyslexia or, alternatively, to a consequence of poor reading-level. Purpose: to unravel that link, examining at what stage of reading acquisition dyslexics display that deficit and what processes are involved. Method: In a same-different matching task, performance was examined considering the congruence effect (CE: better performance when the target was surrounded by a congruent than incongruent shape). Three children groups (n=3 x 18) - phonological dyslexics and two controls, one matched for chronological-age, the other for reading-level - and three adults groups, differing by schooling/ literacy - unschooled illiterates (n=15) and ex-illiterates (n=13), and schooled literates (n=13) - performed the task on letters and pseudo-letters. Illiterates were also tested on letter knowledge and children on non-verbal intelligence; reading abilities; phonological skills; visuospatial memory. To assess the locus of dyslexics' CEs, we examined the association between the letter and pseudo-letter CEs and the explanatory power of latent variables (extracted from Principal Component Analysis), after partialling out the variance explained by age and nonverbal-IQ. Results: For pseudo-letters, all groups showed CE. In contrast, for letters, only dyslexics exhibited a CE, strongly related to their phonological recoding abilities even after partialling out working memory. For illiterates, the higher letter knowledge, the smaller their letter CE. Conclusions: Letter processing by illiterates is already immune (to some extent) to interference from surrounding information; in typical populations, letter-specific processing can emerge before reading instruction. Dyslexics display deficient letter processing, which rests in their phonological recoding deficit.
Purpose The aims of the study are: - to examine k-3 teacher students' linguistic awareness, and the relationship between their actual and perceived knowledge - if and how students' linguistic awareness will change over ten weeks in a course focusing basic reading and writing instruction Method 100 teacher students participated in a course focusing reading and writing process and teaching of reading and writing. The linguistic awareness-factors only implicitly were included via literature. Initially the students responded to a (pre)test focusing linguistic awareness (eg. phonological and morphological awareness). The students also answered questions about how well they managed the test. At the end of the course the test and the questionnaire was repeated. Results Most of the students show uncertainty in many parts. In the pre-test many students failed to answer issues about syllables, phonemes and vowels sound quality. The post-test showed that far from all students had the familiarity needed to assist and support children in their way to early reading and writing development and their conquest of written language. Pre-test and post-test also showed that the students often were unaware of what they could or could not. Conclusions The study shows that students do not have the skills and familiarity with aspects of linguistic awareness required for stimulating and developing the linguistic components associated with early reading and writing. In the teacher-training program factors above must be explicit. Necessary is to allocate time for students themselves to practice to become familiar with the elements they will teach about.
Keiko K. Fujisawa (Keio University);Sally J. Wadsworth; Shinichiro Kakihana; Richard K. Olson; John C. DeFries; Brian Byrne;Juko Ando - Genetic and environmental influences on early Japanese kana reading.
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the extent to which genetic and environmental influences contribute to prereading skills and to correlations among them in Japanese-learning twins at 42 months of age. Method: Participants were Japanese twins (mean = 3.57 years) tested in the Tokyo Twin Cohort Project. They were individually tested on measures of phonological awareness, kana letter name/sound knowledge, receptive vocabulary, visual perception, nonword repetition, and digit span. We performed phenotypic confirmatory factor analysis to assess the structure of prereading skills. Then we conducted univariate and multivariate behavioral genetic analyses. Results: Results obtained from univariate behavioral-genetic analyses yielded little evidence for genetic influences, but substantial shared-environmental influences, for all measures. Phenotypic confirmatory factor analysis suggested three correlated factors: phonological awareness, letter name/sound knowledge, and general prereading skills. Multivariate behavioral genetic analyses confirmed relatively small genetic and substantial shared environmental influences on the factors. The correlations among the three factors were mostly attributable to shared environment. Conclusions: Shared environmental influences play an important role in the early reading development of Japanese children.
Purpose: The purpose of this study is to examine one potential correlate of minority achievement gaps in reading by examining the use of Non-Mainstream American English (NMAE) among a group of second and third grade students. Method: The present study included 200 racially and economically diverse students who were assessed on listening comprehension, decoding skills and reading comprehension. By analyzing individual student's frequency of NMAE dialect use during a language production task, we were able to examine the unique contributions of dialect use in both oral and written format to reading comprehension. Using structural equation modeling, we examined the contributions of students' frequency of NMAE use to reading comprehension, and tested two separate models. For both models we controlled for decoding and linguistic comprehension, and analyzed reading comprehension as the outcome measure. For the first model, we combined oral and written NMAE use onto a single factor, and for the second model, we separated them as single indicators. Results: The results of the study indicate that the model separating oral dialect use from the written use of NMAE features provides a better fit to the data than the model that combined the two into a single latent factor. Conclusions: This study provides support for the dialect shifting/awareness theory, which posits that individual's spoken use of NMAE is not predictive of reading performance, but rather, an ability to dialect shift to Standard American English in literacy contexts is more highly related to reading performance. Implications for practice along with suggestions for future research are discussed.
George Georgiou (University of Alberta); Mariam Abougoush; Meghan Walker; Jessica Hamilton; Eileen Boyd; Jazz Alcock; Julie Walsh; J.P. Das - How could intelligence become appealing again to reading researchers? The role of PASS processes in reading comprehension
Purpose: Intelligence, assessed with traditional IQ tests, has been heavily criticized as insufficient to account for individual differences in word reading. However, expressed in terms of cognitive processes, it has been found to be useful both for diagnostic and remediation purposes (e.g., Das, Janzen, & Georgiou, 2007; Papadopoulos et al., 2004). The purpose of this study was to examine the role of Planning, Attention, Simultaneous, and Successive (PASS) processing skills on reading comprehension. PASS is a theory of intelligence (see Das, 2003). Previous studies have shown that Successive and Simultaneous processes are strong predictors of word reading (e.g., Das et al., 2008; Deng et al., 2011; Papadopoulos, 2001), but their role in reading comprehension has not been examined in detail. Method: One hundred-twenty (65 girls; mean age = 6.41 years) Grade 1 English-speaking children from Edmonton (Canada) were assessed on PASS processes, word reading, and reading comprehension. The children were monolingual and came from middle to upper-middle SES backgrounds. Results: Planning, Simultaneous, and Successive processes were all significant predictors of reading comprehension accounting for 34% of the variance. Controlling for the effects of word reading, reduced the impact of PASS processes on comprehension. However, Simultaneous and Successive processes continued to account for a small amount of unique variance (4%). Conclusion: These findings suggest that IQ scores may be irrelevant for reading, but intelligence - expressed in terms of cognitive processes - is not. Simultaneous processing, which involves logical-grammatical relationships, appears to be a key factor in reading comprehension.
Purpose Young children's writing development is a critical early literacy skill related to children's later achievement (NELP, 2008). Research and theory suggest that emergent writing is made up of a variety of skills (e.g., handwriting, orthography, and composing) however, most early writing tasks include name, letter, word or sentence dictation writing, but not children's composing attempts. One reason for this exclusion is that young children often have difficulty composing, resulting in floor effects (e.g., Puranik & Lonigan, 2010). However, there may be ways to structure the story-writing task to obtain meaningful data on young children's composition. This paper presents two studies of story-writing assessment processes and children's outcomes. Methods Participants include 324 preschool children (15% African American, 14% Asian, 64% Caucasian, 6% Latino, 1% biracial). Study 1 assesses children's writing via a Family Book; children write a story of their family. Study 2 assesses children's writing of conversation bubbles (adapted from Aram, 2011); on an illustrated page with a large, blank conversation bubble, children write what characters are saying or thinking in the bubble. Children's writing was assessed for form (e.g., scribbling, drawing), process (e.g., directionality), and composition (e.g., topic, story structure). Coders were trained to reliability (k = .90) and 25% of samples were double coded. Results Study 1: 68% of children used drawing exclusively in their composing to communicate their ideas in Family Books; even children who wrote using letters when asked to write letters or words. Study 2: children used more forms of writing and less drawing only in their bubble story composing. Relations between children's literacy skills and these two measures of writing composition will be included. Conclusions Consistent with previous research, young children's early writing performance varies across writing task with drawing playing an important role in their communication of ideas.
Children with hearing loss consistently show poorer average reading development than their peers with normal hearing, with the gap between the groups continuing to increase as children age. Poor phonological awareness has been suggested as one reason for some of the reading difficulties experienced by the children with hearing loss. Although the development of phonological awareness has been linked with variations in reading ability for hearing children, its role for children with hearing loss is less well established. Recent findings suggest that PA may play a stronger role in reading development for children who have already acquired some level of spoken language, with children receiving amplification earlier showing better PA than later fitted peers. Increased early identification of children with hearing loss has led to an increase in early intervention and amplification - providing a better environment for PA interventions. However there is a dearth of studies examining the effectiveness of PA interventions for children with hearing loss. This paper will describe the development, along with preliminary findings, of a PA intervention study currently underway between the National Acoustic Laboratories, Macquarie University, and partner intervention agencies. Aimed at preschool children, materials have been designed specifically to investigate the efficacy of a PA intervention on developing PA and reading skills in comparison to a vocabulary based intervention. Recent data examining PA skills for children with hearing loss will also be presented.
Inference making is an important factor involved in reading comprehension (Nation, 2005; Cain, 2010; Yuill & Oakhill, 1991). While reading, learners process information triggering the elaboration of mental representations essential for comprehension (Kintsch 1998). These operations place a heavy cognitive load on readers (Paas et al 2003), especially L2 readers (Yeung 1999). These cognitive processes have been shown to play a decisive role in text comprehension (Erlich, 1994). Otherwise, in a structured oral situation Lloyd et al. (1995,) showed that 9 years old children could give all the informations. The aim of this study is to explore the contribution of cognitive load on inference making and on structured oral production among L1 and L2 learners. We compared 123 students from 9 to 12 years old (44 L1 learners and 79 L2 learners). They performed an oral barrier game task (analysis based on Grice's maxims (1975): quantity, quality and relevance), and a reading task with inference questions. L1 students outperformed L2 students in both measures. Contrary to L1 students, in the oral task, L2 students did not give enough information for task completion. Statistical analyses shows correlations between results on two measures only for the L2 learners. We interprete these results in terms of Yeung theory (1999) and suggest inference making and oral precision of information are more demanding for L2- learners than for L1 . Poor fluency in L2 disturbs text information processing for inference making and for oral production. Based on Kintsch and Erlich's work, we propose future directions for research and for intervention.
Purpose: According to the simple view of reading, successful reading is related to two sets of processes: word recognition (word decoding and visual word recognition) and language comprehension. It has been argued that the comprehension processes of spoken and written language are similar. One component of oral language is oral vocabulary knowledge. There is a consensus that vocabulary knowledge is critical for the development of reading comprehension. Unfortunately, there are few studies that explore these relationships in detail, especially in languages other than English. The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between two levels of oral vocabulary knowledge (breadth and depth) together with reading comprehension and other reading skills in Spanish speaking children. Methods: During pre-testing of reading skills in an intervention study designed to evaluate methods for fostering vocabulary development in Spanish-speaking 3rd graders (N=86), vocabulary breadth (PPVT-III) and depth (WISC-IV Subtest Vocabulary), reading comprehension (CLP), along with word and pseudoword reading (PROLEC-R) were measured. Regression analysis techniques were applied to explore the role of vocabulary knowledge and the different reading skills for reading comprehension. Results: Results are discussed based on the theories of reading processes and compared to studies with English populations.
Purpose: The current study probes how reader and word characteristics relate to sources of word knowledge that contribute to lexical representations for different readers and words. Method: We model reader, item, and word contributions to the lexical representations of 39 morphologically complex words for 172 middle school students using a crossed random-effects item response model with multiple outcomes. Results: We report three findings. First, results suggest lexical representations can be characterized by separate but correlated dimensions of derived-word reading, spelling, and meaning. Second, a reader's morphological knowledge of a root word (e.g., isolate) contributes to that reader's lexical representations of a related derived word (e.g., isolation). When controlling for reader and word characteristics, knowledge of root-word reading, meaning, and morphological relatives contributed to derived-word reading. Knowledge of root-word spelling, meaning, and morphological relatives contributed to derived-word spelling. Also, knowledge of root-word meaning and morphological relatives contributed to derived-word meaning knowledge. Third, after controlling for root-word knowledge, part of the remaining variability in lexical representations can be explained by reader and word characteristics, with different patterns of results for each lexical representation dimension. Significant reader characteristics include reading comprehension, morphological awareness, and vocabulary knowledge. Significant word characteristics include frequency of the derived and root word, orthographic-phonological opaqueness, and phonological opaqueness. Conclusions: With research linking lexical representations to comprehension and word learning, the current study suggests lexical representations are made up of various aspects of word specific knowledge and that root word knowledge and additional skills contribute to building lexical representations for adolescent readers.
Purpose: The current study examined predictors of second language (L2), English word reading in adolescent Chinese-English speakers (N = 48). Although good/ poor reader comparisons are common in first language (L1) research, this methodology is less common in L2 research. Given that not all L2 readers are at-risk for reading difficulties, it is important to determine criteria for risk factors in order to target instruction for at-risk readers. Method: The participants were classified as good and poor readers based on measures of word reading (poor readers < 25th percentile N = 23, good readers > 30th percentile N = 25). Students had been in Canada for an average of 5.8 years, although there was wide group variability. Students were administered standardized measures of English word reading accuracy and fluency as well as measures of phonological awareness, vocabulary and rapid naming. Results: As expected, the good readers outperformed the poor readers on all measures controlling for number of years in Canada. The regression analyses predicting word reading showed different patterns of results for the good and poor readers. For good readers, English word reading was related to phonological awareness. For poor readers, the main variable related to word reading was English vocabulary knowledge. Conclusions: Good readers appeared to use decoding strategies to read English words. In contrast, poor readers in this sample relied on words in their L2 oral vocabulary to read English words. These Chinese-English speaking poor readers appeared to be reading English words as though they were Chinese characters.
Purpose. This study reports one-year follow-up results for 311 struggling adolescent readers who received 60-70 hours of the PHAST PACES reading intervention. Previously reported follow-up results with the first 197 participants revealed decelerated growth on most measures, except for the WRMT-R Passage Comprehension measure which showed continued linear growth (Lovett, Lacerenza, De Palma, & Frijters, 2012). The present study allows analysis of individual differences to explore which adolescents maintain the greatest gains. Method. A total of 311 high school students (Grades 9 to 11) with reading disability participated in the PHAST PACES intervention. Basic reading skills were assessed using the WRMT-R: Word Identification, Word Attack, Passage Comprehension subtests. Growth models over four assessments included phonological blending (CTOPP Blending), English primary language status, and receptive vocabulary estimates (PPVT-R) as static predictors. Results. Results replicated previous findings, with maintenance of absolute skill gains, but deceleration across all outcomes over the following year. Early intervention gains in blending skill and receptive vocabulary were associated with follow-up variation. Growth rate and patterns did not differ across language status; however, for the comprehension outcome, English language status interacted with initial phonological blending ability and intervention blending gains. Relative maintenance of gains on passage comprehension was moderated by vocabulary: adolescents with the highest initial vocabulary scores demonstrated stronger continued growth in comprehension. Conclusion. Individual differences in vocabulary, English language status, and phonological skill growth were associated with varying follow-up outcomes. These findings have implications for identification, intervention design, and post-intervention efforts.
Purpose/Questions: Does morphological instruction improve adult literacy component skills better than traditional phonological instruction? 2) Do adults with poor decoding skills make larger literacy gains after morphological instruction than they do after phonological instruction? Method - This exploratory experiment had pretest, intervention and post-test phases, and random assignment of reading-matched pairs to either morphological or phonological instruction to learn the same 56 morphologically complex words. Participants (n=16) were native English speaking young adults with average IQ (TONI-4) and no reported cognitive, neurological or sensory problems. All were minority GED students with 8-11th grade educations, and 4th- 10th grade reading skills, at least one of which was below average (SS< 85). Testing included: 1) standardized reading tests (WJ-III); 2) an experimental task (morphological fluency); and 3) curriculum measures (word analysis, word recognition, spelling, vocabulary, comprehension). Morphological instruction taught spelling-sound-meaning links between Latin-Greek roots and derived forms; Phonological instruction taught syllable analysis. Instruction was individual, Powerpoint-scripted, and 5 weeks long. Results: ANOVAs using gain scores showed that the morphological instruction yielded: 1) Larger effect sizes for Letter Word ID; 2) Similar effect sizes for curriculum measures, word attack and spelling 3) Significantly larger gains for reading untaught words: Letter Word ID (p = .03); 4) Significantly better gains on Letter Word ID (p = .04) and Reading Vocabulary (p=.03) for subset of poor decoders/encoders. Conclusion: Results support connectionist views of word learning and suggest that morphological teaching may offer a promising compensatory strategy to offset phonological coding deficits in adult literacy.
Purpose: As the population of school-aged English Language Learners (ELLs) in the United States grows, understanding their literacy development has become increasingly important. While the literature is replete with word-level analyses, fewer studies have focused on reading comprehension in ELLs (e.g. Proctor, Carlo, August, & Snow, 2005) and longitudinal studies are even rarer (e.g. Lesaux, Rupp, & Siegel, 2007). This longitudinal study identifies subgroups of Spanish-speaking ELLs based on reading profiles. Next, we examine transitions between profiles from first through fourth grades. Finally, we compare students identified as being at-risk for reading difficulties in first grade with those who were not. Method: We administered a battery of English and Spanish measures to sequential cohorts (N = 459) of ELLs over three years encompassing first through fifth grades. Latent profile analyses identify classes of students at each time point using measures that tap predictors of reading comprehension such as word reading, word attack, vocabulary, rapid naming, and working memory (e.g. Nakamoto, Lindsey, & Manis, 2008; Swanson, Saez, & Gerber, 2006) and models transitions between classes over time. The effects of covariates are analyzed and fifth grade reading comprehension is examined as a distal outcome. Results: Preliminary analyses indicate two and three class models fit the first grade data well, but, a two class solution is more parsimonious. Number of classes and learner characteristics may change over time. Conclusions: These analyses contribute to the literature exploring factors that contribute to ELLs' development of English reading comprehension and may help inform policy and practice.
Vibeke Grover (Institute for educational research, University of Oslo)Veslemoy Rydland, Joshua Lawrence - Learning a second language in preschool: Children with high first-language skills benefit more from rich second-language exposure
Purpose The study examines the extent to which children's L1 vocabulary skills and L2 preschool talk exposure interact in explaining children's L2 vocabulary development, adressing the following research questions: 1. Does teacher-led talk exposure at the end of preschool predict L2 vocabulary concurrently and longitudinally up to age 10? 2. Is the relationship between preschool talk exposure and L2 vocabulary moderated by children's L1 vocabulary skills? Methods The sample consisted of 26 Turkish-Norwegian children, attending 20 preschool classrooms in multiethnic Norwegian neighborhoods. The students were observed from age 5 to 10 across four waves of data collection. Predictors at age 5 were Norwegian talk exposure during teacher-led circle time (density of tokens and types) and Turkish vocabulary skills (PPVT-III). Outcome measures were Norwegian vocabulary skills (PPVT-III). Results Teacher-led talk exposure at age 5 predicted baseline vocabulary scores in Norwegian (β = 2.2, p < 0.001) and these early effects were maintained up to age 10 (controlling for parental education). In addition, an interaction effect was found - indicating that children with higher Turkish vocabulary skills benefited more from talk exposure in Norwegian. Conclusions Initial differences in L1 vocabulary skills appeared to determine the extent to which bilingual children were able to benefit from L2 talk exposure in preschool. Preschool talk exposure and children's L1 skills did not, however, affect the growth in L2 vocabulary skills across the study period. The present study extends previous findings by revealing that L1 vocabulary skills moderates children's ability to make use of L2 input.
[Purpose] The goal of the study is to examine whether and to what extend the writing quality on local and global levels play significant role on lexical representation among learning of non-Chinese speakers. [Method] Two groups of 48 students received either of the two learning conditions (writing to read vs. typing to read). The students' writing quality was assessed on four categories, i.e., stroke, radical, shape and configuration of the written Chinese, typing quality was also assessed on two categories, i.e., pinyin correctness and tone accuracy. [Result] Results suggested that learning increase across five days' training regardless of training treatment. The two local-level writing quality (i.e., stroke and radical) played significant roles in predicting the growth of character acquisition; the one of two global-level writing quality in day 3 and 4 (i.e., shape but not configuration) played significant roles in predicting the students' growth in character acquisition. [Conclusion] We conclude that writing characters as part of learning to read them supports character reading. First, training Chinese-as-a-second-language learners to produce characters with correct stroke sequence is at the top priority to acquire the sense of Chinese written symbols. Second, improving their radical awareness in terms the accurate local form conformity of the Chinese written symbols is somewhat associated with the natural acquisition of the Chinese orthographic forms. Both of these skills are fundamental to Chinese written language learning for the adult Chinese language learners no matter whether they are at the beginning or the developmental stage of written language learning.
Cross-linguistic studies suggest that the language in which children learn to read shapes the reading acquisition process and the weight of the contribution of phonological skills as reading predictors. In transparent orthographies, RAN seems to be a better predictor of reading than tasks of phonological awareness. This is because children seem to face little difficulty with word recognition via phonological recoding but experience difficulties with reading speed. The reading prediction pattern in Spanish was explored here with a sample of 94 5-year-old preschoolers. Children were tested in RAN numbers, RAN Object Dense, RAN Object Sparse, and eight phonological awareness tasks specially designed for this study. Children were re-tested with the same battery at the end of first grade. A broad reading test battery was also administered at different levels (letter knowledge, words, sentences, texts), in terms of accuracy, speed and reading comprehension. The longitudinal prediction corroborated that RAN Number made a larger unique contribution to all reading measures compared to phonological awareness, after controlling for block design, vocabulary, and letter knowledge. However, the primacy of RAN Number was limited in first grade to reading speed measures, and RAN Dense, the Assonant Rhyme and Phoneme Isolation tasks were crucial in explaining reading accuracy and comprehension. The pattern of prediction found also reveals the impact of the transparency of the Spanish language which is expressed in the greater unique contribution of phoneme awareness, followed by syllable awareness, with no significant contribution of the consonant rhyme awareness at all. Educational implications are discussed.
Purpose: This work aims to study whether prosodic awareness is relevant for orthographic learning. In particular, it focuses on stress awareness and on its role in learning the Spanish stress mark, an acute accent placed over the stressed vowel (e.g., cajón: drawer). Method: Participants were 3rd grade children (N= 89), given that in this grade children receive formal and intensive instruction about the Spanish spelling stress rules. A verbal intelligence task and a phoneme awareness task were used, as well as a stress awareness task (i.e., to compare three words and to indicate the one with the odd stress). Furthermore, a spelling task was used in order to score stress errors and grapheme-to-conversion rules errors. Results: Results suggest a double dissociation, so that stress errors are mainly predicted by stress awareness, while grapheme-to-conversion rule errors are predicted by phonological awareness. Moreover, when the stress mark is incorrectly assigned to non-marked words (e.g., canal: canal, written as cánal or canál), correct phonological stress assignment (canál) is predicted by stress awareness, and incorrect phonological stress assignment (cánal) is predicted by phonological awareness. Conclusions: These data are discussed as showing that further to phonological awareness, stress awareness may be considered as another relevant variable in orthographic learning, at least for the learning of the prosodic aspect of writing.
Thomas Günther (RWTH Aachen University Medical Center)Thomas Günther; Wolfgang Scharke; Jennifer Cröll; Christina Kraatz; Ralph Radach - The influence of an attention disorder on eye movement patterns in children with dyslexia
Purpose: Dyslexia and attention disorders are highly associated (e.g. Willcutt et al., 2005) and some authors even suggest that in some children with dyslexia an attention disorder could be the primary cause (e.g. Heim et al., 2008). The aim of this study was to examine the correlation between dyslexia and an attention disorder in more detail. Method: A total of 75 children from 3rd and 4th grade participated in the study. They were divided into three groups: 25 with dyslexia, 25 with dyslexia and attention disorder and 25 healthy controls. All children read 36 age-appropriate sentences in the first condition (sentence reading) and the same sentences in a second condition, wherein each letter was replaced by a Landolt ring with the same size (Landolt reading). Eye movements were recorded with an EyeLink 1000 (SR research). In addition, different computerized attention tasks, a reading test and a reading comprehension test were done. Results: First analyses of the data suggest that spatial and temporal eye movement parameters are disturbed by attentional disorders. Children with dyslexia had no difficulties on the Landolt task, whereas a subgroup of children with an additional attention disorder had difficulties (higher total viewing time and differing landing position). Furthermore, we detect significant correlations between reading performance and the performance on attention test. Conclusions: In sum, the preliminary results of the study indicate that the reading performance in a subgroup of children with dyslexia is influenced by their attentional disorder. The Landolt paradigm appears well suited to detect these children.
Laura Halderman (Educational Testing Service); John Sabatini; Tenaha O'Reilly; Kelly Bruce - Fluency, background knowledge, and reading comprehension of narrative and expository texts in 2nd and 3rd grade readers
Purpose: This study investigated: a) reading comprehension performance on expository vs. narrative text types; b) the relationship of prior knowledge and reading fluency on comprehension; and c) differences by grade level. Prior research has established a strong relationship between background knowledge and reading comprehension in older students, but not younger developing readers. Method: A sample of 80 second and 77 third grade students participated in a 45-minute session. Oral reading fluency measures were administered, along with two experimental, counterbalanced reading comprehension forms. Each form contained the same informational content, but differed in prose structure (expository vs. narrative). The experimental, scenario-based reading comprehension design provides a purposeful, sequenced design to cover a range of skills not usually addressed with young readers. All measures were administered one-on-one on iPads. Reliability of forms ranged from α = .73-.76. Results: A. The difference in performance across the two forms (narrative vs. expository) was non-significant for second and third grade participants (F(1,153)<1. B. A regression model predicting comprehension scores was run. ORF total time and number of errors accounted for 23.6% of variance in step one (F(2,154)=23.8, p<.001). In step two, percent correct on background knowledge questions accounted for an additional 5.3% unique variance (F(1,153)=11.4, p<.005). C. Overall, third grade students (92.0%) performed significantly better compared to second grade students (86.8%) (F(1,153)=16.6, p<.001). Conclusion: The current investigation provides new information on the differences in young readers in comprehension of narrative and expository texts, and the relationships among fluency, background knowledge, and comprehension.
PURPOSE Reciprocal teaching ( RT, Palinscar & Brown, 1984) has been successful in improving reading comprehension in the USA. Can this be replicated in the UK, retaining the format of small groups, but within the whole class? What happens to thinking processes during RT? Can good readers benefit as well as the poor comprehenders for whom RT was originally intended? METHOD Two studies followed RT in intact classes of children aged 7 to 8 by two teachers in two schools. Standardised tests were accompanied by a think-aloud procedure and a reading strategy interview at four time points - baseline assessment, after 10 hours of instruction ,after a further ten hours of instruction with an additional strategy (visualisation), and at one year follow-up. RESULTS Both studies found significant improvement in reading comprehension, with maintenance a year later. There was an increase in the number of comments and strategies, but no correlation between these results and comprehension. Studies of individuals mapped changing approaches to reading, with those reading more actively and using more self-correction, being the most successful. Good readers were shown to respond in addition to those with poorer comprehension. CONCLUSIONS Results indicate that RT can be implemented by class teachers in the UK within the whole class, with benefits to children with a wide range of ability. Qualitative data provided information about thinking processes, indicating those who would benefit from reading more actively, particularly those who have been successful at decoding, but who continue to believe that this is all reading involves.
Abstract: Purpose: To develop a speech rhythm-based reading intervention and evaluate whether pre-school children's speech rhythm sensitivity can be enhanced in a way that will benefit their reading development. Method: 73 reception children (4-5 years) were recruited for a randomised, controlled trial of the immediate and longer-term effectiveness of the intervention in beginning readers. All children completed pre-test assessments of speech rhythm sensitivity, phonological awareness, word reading and vocabulary. Children were then randomly allocated to one of three treatment groups and received either the newly-developed speech rhythm-based intervention, a traditional phonics-based intervention, or a control (maths-based) intervention administered once weekly over a 10-week period. Post-test assessments of word reading, phonological awareness and speech rhythm sensitivity were administered immediately following the intervention, and again in a delayed post-test 3-months later to determine any longer-lasting effects. Results: We are currently in the process of data collection for this study, but it is predicted that training on the speech rhythm based intervention will result in significant gains in reading skills relative to the control group. Conclusions: We anticipate that the data will indicate an increase in reading performance as well as increased speech rhythm sensitivity and phonological awareness.
Sara Hart (Department of Psychology & Florida Center for Reading Research, Florida State University);Christopher Schatschneider; Jeanette Taylor - Describing the environment of reading growth in a diverse sample: The Florida Twin Project on Reading
Purpose: Previous work from this sample has suggested that the shared environment, in part, influences the growth of reading through elementary school (Hart et al., in press). Previously the source of this environmental effect has been unknown. Thus this study explores specific measured family and school environments to determine what aspects contribute to growth in reading. Method: Participants were drawn from the Florida Twin Project on Reading, a representative sample of 2600 pairs twins from Florida. Reading was measured by grades 1-5 Oral Reading Fluency from DIBELS. The home environment was operationalized as family-SES and the home literacy environment, and the school environment was modeled as school-level SES and teacher/classroom effects. Results: First, individual growth scores were derived from a latent growth curve model using the same methods as Hart et al. and the intercept was residualized out. Next, a univariate mediation model was used to partition the shared environmental variance on the residualized growth scores into the specific sources of variance. Approximately 14% of the variance in reading growth scores was due to the shared environment. The largest source of this variance attributable to a measured environment was for teacher/classroom effects (2% total variance), with the other significant influence being the home literacy environment (1% total variance). All others were non-significant. Conclusions: Although the total variance due to teacher/classroom effects and the home literacy environment was small, the results point to a varied environmental etiology affecting how children grow, beyond where they start, in reading.
Purpose: The purposes of this study were to examine (1) the extent to which taking notes about text and writing an extended response about text would enhance reading comprehension for fourth grade students, (2) whether note taking was more effective than extended writing for improving reading comprehension across three measures, and (3) whether the effects of the writing tasks were moderated by student writing ability. Method: Students were randomly assigned to a note taking condition which they took notes about an expository text, an extended writing condition in which they compared and contrasted ideas from the text with their own experiences, or a read and study control condition in which they studied the important ideas from the text. Minimal instruction was provided to the students in each treatment group during a single 45 minute session, primarily to ensure they understood their assigned task. The students then met for another 45 minute session, during which they were asked to read an expository passage and complete their assigned task. Students' reading comprehension was tested using three measures. Results: Students in the two writing groups made significantly greater gains than students in the read and study condition on the multiple choice inference measure. However, the results are tempered by low internal consistency found for the measure. No other statistically significant differences were found between the treatment groups, and no significant moderator effects were found. Conclusions: Implications for future research are framed in terms of the limitations of the study.
Purpose. This study explored the premises of double-deficit hypothesis (DDH) in an extremely regular orthography (Finnish), and extended the view to comorbidity of learning-related problems in mathematics and attention. It was examined 1) if the severity and the prevalence of reading disabilities was greatest in double-deficit group, 2) if the problems in rapid naming and phonological processing had independent roles in descibing the reading problems, and 3) if the existence of these problems increased the prevalence of comorbid learning related problems (arithmetic and attention). Methods. Children referred for evaluation of learning disabilities (n=223, 8-12 years) were divided in four groups according to DDH, namely double-deficit, naming speed deficit only (NSD), phonological deficit only (PD), and no deficit. These groups were compared in reading speed and accuracy, spelling, arithmetic skills, and attention. Results. The premises of DDH were fulfilled: both the prevalence and the severity of dyslexia was greatest in double-deficit group. In accorance to results found in other regular orthographies, naming speed was connected to reading fluency whereas phonological processing was mainly connected to spelling accuracy. The deficit in either naming or phonological processing seemed to increase the probability of comorbid learning difficulties. Conclusions. Double deficit hypothesis was supported in a highly regular orthography with separate roles of phonology and naming. Deficits in these skills also increased the probability of other learning problems, which should be take into account when evaluating children with learning difficulties.
Given the logographic nature of the Chinese orthography, visual skills have been shown to be crucial to Chinese character recognition, with units of processing following a developmental trend from local (strokes or components) to global features (configurational structures), subject to learning experiences. The reported study explored whether the said unit preference, if any, was mediated by character frequency, using a multiple-choice similarity judgment task that varied, in addition to frequency, the three choices in terms of the units shared with the target: component (visual patterns without carrying semantic and phonetic cues), structure, or nothing. The task was administered to 97 Chinese-speaking elementary school students from grade 3 to grade 6. In contrast to earlier findings, as the results showed, although the graders did find components or structures useful cues in judging similarity among characters, the tendencies were not consistent and no significant development changes were found in terms of preferred cues. Instead, frequency was found to play an important role, with a significant preference for configurational structures found for high-frequency characters, though no significant preference was found for either components or structure for low-frequency characters.
Purpose: A growing literature has demonstrated that prosodic sensitivity is related to reading development; however, research investigating the relationship between prosodic sensitivity and reading development in the period prior to reading instruction is sparse. Moreover, few measures of prosodic sensitivity are suitable for children of this age. This study therefore aims a) to produce and validate an assessment of prosodic sensitivity suitable for children who are pre-readers and b) to administer this newly developed assessment to these children along with a battery of emergent literacy assessments in order to investigate how prosodic sensitivity relates to these emergent literacy skills. Method: In this correlational design, four- to 5-year-old English-speaking children (N ~= 120) from Primary Schools in the West Midlands, UK who were identified as being pre-readers completed a new test of prosodic sensitivity and were also assessed for their vocabulary knowledge, non-verbal IQ, phonological awareness, morphological awareness, letter name knowledge, and letter sounds knowledge. Results: The results are pending. Conclusions: The findings from this study will inform current models (and theories) of reading development and will provide unique insights concerning the relationship between prosodic sensitivity and emergent literacy in the period prior to reading instruction.
Josefine Horbach (Child Neuropsychology Section, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University Hospital of the RWTH Aachen); Wolfgang Scharke; Jennifer Croell; Thomas Guenther - Symbol learning task in early identification of dyslexia
Purpose When a child learns to read, it needs to develop an understanding of symbols. A fundamental ability is visual-verbal associate learning. According to a recent theory about the causes of dyslexia, affected individuals show a deficit in this domain. Thus, the aim of the current study was to investigate the role of paired associate learning abilities (PAL) in preschool age for the development of reading or spelling skills. Method We developed two different PAL-tasks for preschoolers targeting symbol acquisition, one measuring the receptive ability of symbol acquisition and the other measuring the productive performance. A total of 88 children with familial risk for dyslexia and 197 children without any familial history of dyslexia were examined with both tasks. One year later in the first grade the reading and spelling abilities were measured. Results In preschool age the children with and without familial risk for dyslexia differed significantly in their performance on the PAL-tasks. The group with familial risk showed significant slower reaction times compared to the control group. Additionally, good performers of the PAL-tasks in preschool age showed better reading and writing performance in first grade. Conclusions Our findings of differential performance between children with and without familial risk on PAL-tasks suggest that the ability for symbol learning already differs in children preschool age. Furthermore the performance in the PAL-tasks is associated with the later reading and spelling abilities. Therefore, PAL-tasks seem to be an appropriate addition to the existing diagnostic instruments for early identification of dyslexia for pre-schoolers.
In contrast to alphabetic languages, Chinese has a logographic writing system where a character typically represents a morpheme and a monosyllabic pronunciation. Chinese characters consist of strokes, which combine to form about 200 basic stroke patterns, which in turn form the characters. Due to its visual complexity, Chinese character processing was thought to involve holistic pattern recognition. Nevertheless, Hsiao and Cottrell (2009) showed that expert Chinese character processing involves reduced holistic processing assessed by the composite paradigm, which is commonly used for examining holistic processing in face and object recognition. Here we test the hypothesis that this reduced holistic processing is related to character writing experience. In the first study, we recruited Chinese readers who were experienced character writers (Writers), Chinese readers who had limited writing exposure (Limited-writers), and non-Chinese readers (Novices). Compared with Novices, Writers showed reduced holistic processing whereas Limited-writers showed increased holistic processing of characters, suggesting that writing experience modulates holistic processing. In the second study, we recruited children who were learning Chinese at a local primary school. We found that children had reduced holistic processing as they reached higher grades; this reduction was driven by enhanced Chinese literacy rather than age. In addition, children's writing performance predicts reading performance through reduced holistic processing as a mediator. In contrast, non-Chinese-speaking children did not show significant changes in holistic processing across grades. These results suggest that writing hones analytic (reduced holistic) processing, which is essential for the development of Chinese orthographic representations, which in turn facilitates Chinese reading.
PURPOSE: Research in alphabetic languages has consistently reported Phonological awareness, the ability to manipulate the sounds of language, as the critical factor for reading acquisition. In contrast, studies of reading acquisition in Chinese suggest that Morphological awareness, the ability to manipulate the morphemes (smallest units of meaning), is also critical for learning to read in Chinese. Neuroimaging studies in English have shown activation in Wernicke's area during Phonological awareness and reading tasks. In contrast, neuroimaging studies in Chinese have shown activation in MFG and Broca's area during Phonological awareness and reading tasks. Together, these findings necessitate a more thorough understanding of the "universal" factors behind reading acquisition - and the neural networks that underlie reading acquisition across orthographies. To achieve this goal, we must better understand the brain bases of auditory language skills important for reading acquisition across different orthographies. QUESTION: What are the brain bases of auditory Morphological awareness in Chinese? METHODS: Bilingual Chinese-English children (ages 6-12, n=12) completed auditory tasks of Morphological Awareness in fMRI. RESULTS & CONCLUSIONS: The auditory Morphological awareness in Chinese elicited activation throughout the "Reading Brain" network - including left MFG, IFG, STG and Parietal. Like a "silver bullet", this auditory language task permeated through what has been considered "Phonological awareness" as well as the "Chinese literacy" brain regions. We suggest that a single set of language skills underlies all reading acquisition - though it may manifest differently across languages. Yet, further inquiry is necessary with monolingual Chinese readers with and without dyslexia.
Purpose Morphological awareness was proved to contribute to the vocabulary learning. By extracting the morphemes from words, it provided learners the lexical and semantic information for understanding the meaning of complex words, and clues for memorizing these words more structurally. However, the Taiwan ESL learners tended to use the Chinese definition rather than morphological decomposition to acquire the meaning and spelling of vocabulary. To understand which approach would be more beneficial on ESL vocabulary learning, the purpose of this study aimed to compare the effects between the clues of morphological decomposition and straight word definition. Method 200 freshman students from six different general English classes participated in this study. All students finished the morphological awareness pretest and were divided into groups: (high / low) morphological awareness. Each group was administered to read the sentences containing target vocabulary aside with two randomly assigned vocabulary glosses (morphological decomposition / Chinese definition), and finished the affix choice posttest of pseudowords. One week later, all students completed the delayed posttest to examine the recall performance of target vocabulary. Results The result of comparing four groups' performance on vocabulary tests showed that the group with higher morphological awareness outperformed others on decomposing affixes from words, and also, the glosses of morphological decomposition were more advantageous on vocabulary maintenance than the Chinese definition. Conclusion The results of this study supported the benefits of morphological decomposition on vocabulary learning, and hopefully the implication could help the ESL instructors focus more on morphological decomposition in their vocabulary instruction.
Introduction Collaborative Reasoning (CR) is an intellectually-stimulating and personally-engaging approach to classroom discussion proved to enhance children's critical reading and thinking. In addition, European American children doubled their rate of talk and produced more complete turns for speaking in CR discussions compared to their performance in conventional classroom discussions (Chinn, Anderson, & Waggoner, 2001). Purpose Based on findings about the benefits of CR on L1 language development, we aim to expand CR to students whose opportunities in reading in English as an L2 greatly exceeds their experiences in producing the language orally. We predict that CR will also benefit young adults' L2 language development and further achieve stronger effects given their limited training in communicative competence. Method Data was collected from two freshman classrooms of comparable language proficiency in a China university in a four-week intervention. English instruction was carried out as usual in both classes. The treatment class participated in four CR discussions on controversial issues tailored to their interests, while the control class had the same discussion materials to read but without CR discussions. Results From discussion videos and analysis of transcribed student responses to a post-intervention individual speaking task, early results suggest that students who took part in CR discussions showed improvement in fluency and were more likely to overcome social emotional barriers to language production. Conclusions Further analysis is under way, and we anticipate the final results to suggest that CR would be a promising supplement to traditional ESL instruction.
Purpose: Morphological awareness plays an important role in acquisition of Chinese reading through various assessments. Our previous study published in the 2011 SSSR conference suggested that morphological awareness predict character reading and reading comprehension concurrently in grade 1 and 3, but not in kindergarten. This study continues investigating the prediction of early morphological awareness in later Chinese character reading and reading comprehension from kindergarten through grade 5. Methods: three cohorts of children from the second year in kindergarten, grade 1 and 3 will be followed into grade 1, 3, and 5, respectively. These cohorts children's reading abilities, receptive vocabulary knowledge, and morphological awareness in (1) meaning discriminating, (2) applying proper morpheme in a sentence, and (3) inventing new vocabulary have been measured in the first test between March and May 2011; and the same set of test will be applied again during the coming March through May in 2013. Data will be analyzed in June 2013 by multiple regression analyses at each cohort with controlled variances of receptive oral vocabulary knowledge and auto regressive variables of reading abilities. Expected results and conclusions: The results will allow us to investigate (1) the development of morphological awareness from kindergarten to grade 5; and (2) the prediction of early morphological awareness to character reading and reading comprehension from (a) emerging literacy (kindergarten to grade 1) through (b) learning to read (grade 1 to grade 3) to (c) reading to learn (grade 3 to grade 5) under controlled vocabulary knowledge in children.
Purpose: Accuracy on inference questions is generally lower than on literal questions, attributed to the demands of integrating multiple ideas. But integration requires remembering the ideas that need integrating, so inferencing difficulty could be due to the different text memory demands of literal and inference questions. We examine the role text memory plays in question accuracy. Method: 39 poor comprehenders (PCs) and 39 Controls, matched on age and word reading skill, read and listened to passages, and recalled and answered literal and inferential comprehension questions. Question accuracy and memory for the text underlying each question was examined. Results: Accuracy was higher for literal than inferential questions, F(1, 76)=69.18, p<.001, and Controls outperformed PCs, F(1,76)=23.81, p<.001. The interaction between question type and group was not significant, F(1,76)<1. When we examined question accuracy on just the questions for which the child demonstrated perfect recall of the relevant text, literal questions were still more accurate than inferential questions, F(1, 72)=29.39, p<.001, but group was no longer significant, F(1,72)=1.96, p=.17, nor was the interaction, F(1,72)<1. Conclusions: Equating questions on text memory did not eliminate the advantage of literal over inferential questions, suggesting that more than text memory underlies the question type effect. It did eliminate the group effect, suggesting that text memory is a crucial factor distinguishing poor comprehension.
Hsiang ling Huang (National Taiwan Normal University)Yu-hsuan Huang; Kuo-ching Chang - An Effective Approach to the Comprehension of English News: students' Perceptual Processes, Difficulty, and Self-efficacy
Few researchers have culled information specifically related to the needs and effects of undergraduate students' learning on news English; this paper thus reports on a mixed method research that explored students' perceptions of the required language proficiency and reading strategies, crucial to their perceptual processes of news articles. The setting was conducted at a university in Northern Taiwan, with the result of the qualitative analyses of 238 administered thematic and multiple-choice questionnaires, together with 175 valid qualitative responses. The three most significant predictors for students' success in reading English news were (a) comprehension of English news requires a good command of English news vocabulary, which has not been emphasized before students enter college, (b) students' vocabulary learning styles and reading strategies/preferences vary from major to major, and (c) support for student learning could be done by optimizing and connecting student reading to real life experiences. Surprisingly, findings revealed that students anticipate a well‐integrated textbook (news English) design relevant to the real world and that teacher enthusiasm and detailed articulation were seen by students as the most positive requirements of a teacher, rather than the training of particular learning strategies per se. Implications for the development of reading News English are made to indicate that the concept of English for special purposes (ESP) can be employed as a methodology of teaching News English different from that of teaching general English. Finally, implications for English teachers are proposed, concerning students' critical thinking abilities and moral issues featured in News.
The purpose of the present study is to explore whether gender stereotype information is invoked when certain occupation role are read in the processes of anaphora resolution which is different for male and female (i.e.,he他/ she她) in Chinese. To that purpose, we investigated the difference of reading times in relation to different pronouns (他/她) and readers' gender stereotypes (match/mismatch) on pronoun resolution. We recruited 40 college students in southern Taiwan. A self-paced reading task was given in the form of short texts comprising two sentences and an interrogative question. The first sentence of each text introduces a stereotypically masculine, feminine, or neutral occupation. The second sentence begins with a pronoun as the subject that could match or mismatch the gender stereotype. By using a mixed model, we found that reading times for the female pronoun (她) were longer for the condition of gender stereotype mismatch. In contrast, the reading times for the male pronoun (他) showed no difference between the match and mismatch conditions. The results indicate that there are different effects of the gender semantic information between male and female pronoun resolution in Chinese. The preliminary results shed lights on future researches which intend to explore the different cognitive processes cause by gender semantic information and the developmental trajectory in Chinese young readers.
What do the finger movements executed during reading reveal about the otherwise invisible cognitive operations required by braille reading? To the naked eye, and in contradistinction to print reading, they tend to be smooth, continuous and exhaustive. However, higher spatiotemporal kinematic analyses of fluent readers reveal that the braille-reading finger tends to move slowly but never smoothly. This is so both when reading is proceeding fluently and when readers engage in reversals or regressions. I report a series of experiments in which readers always exhibit velocity traces that are intermittent: i.e., traces that are characterised by continual fluctuations between acceleration and deceleration, and reveal no evidence of constant, sustained or smooth speeds. I provide evidence that this intermittency is a property of slow movements in general and that braille reading permits no exception. For example, similar intermittency arises even when participants are encouraged to move at as constant a velocity as possible without any reading demands and when reliable haptic information is available. Velocity intermittency seems an inevitable consequence of moving at the slow speeds that characterise braille reading. So braille reading is more impressive than already supposed: readers must overcome the sensory noise induced by contact with braille characters at fluctuating velocities. I speculate on why slow movements are intermittent, how the consequent sensory noise is overcome, and what implications this may have for braille skill acquisition.
This study examined the nature and cognitive predictors of orthographic learning in 20 adults with dyslexia and 27 controls. Orthographic learning was assessed with an orthographic choice task and with eye movements in reading a passage embedded with pseudowords. Participants also completed tasks measuring phonological awareness and rapid automatized naming (RAN). Hierarchical linear modelling was used to analyze the rates of orthographic learning in each group of participants, and hierarchical regression was performed to investigate the role of phonological awareness and RAN on orthographic learning. The results indicated that adults with dyslexia learned new words at a rate comparable to or even faster than that of typical readers, but were slower in recalling orthographic representations. Phonological awareness, but not RAN, accounted for unique variance in orthographic learning. These results confirm some previous findings on the predictors of orthographic learning, but also challenge claims that individuals with dyslexia exhibit impairment in orthographic learning.
Purpose Children acquire English spelling along a predictable developmental continuum. Because spelling and reading develop in synchrony, we often gain insight into children's overall literacy by analyzing their spellings. The current study explored the possibility that there is a similar developmental continuum in Spanish. We hypothesized that there is a predictable order in which children learn to spell specific orthographic features in Spanish. Method Grade 1-3 students (n = 1,605) receiving literacy instruction in Spanish were administered one of two 40-word spelling inventories, each representing the same distinct spelling features (i.e., open syllables, closed syllables, blends, nasals, diphthongs, rule-based consonants, inconsistent consonants, silent H, and affixes/roots). Words were grouped into three sets, based on the nature of the features (i.e., phoneme, structure, or morpheme -related) and their expected level of difficulty (Set 1 = easiest). Data were analyzed using type-token ratios (tokens =total occurrences of a feature; types = errors on the feature). Results Results revealed a clear hierarchy of orthographic features. Type-token ratios ranged from .99 for the easiest feature (open syllables) to .25 for the most difficult (affixes/roots). Mean type-token ratios were .93 for Set 1, .45 for Set 2, and .25 for Set 3. Conclusions Spanish spelling is based on a definable continuum of features that children appear to master in a predictable order. Simple phoneme-grapheme representations are followed by words that require an understanding of contextual constraints and then of derivational relationships. By seeing where students are on this orthographic continuum teacher can design appropriate instruction
Maria Magdalena Isac (Joint Research Center of the European Commission)Daniele Vidoni - Students' literacy skills and their performance in high school national examinations: Evidence from a follow-up of the OECD-PISA 2009 sample in Italy.
Purpose. This study aims at: (a) understanding whether Italian student scores in the PISA 2009 survey regarding Reading are good predictors of student results in the 2012 high school national examination after controlling for student and school level control variables (b) giving particular attention to the extent to which Reading literacy skills predict future success in national examination tests assessing Reading. Method. The dataset used is unique in the sense that is one of the very few successful attempts to link at the individual level data from international surveys to country specific data over time. This database, which is being produced by INVALSI, links individual data for the students participating in the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2009 survey (roughly 31.000 fifteen year old students in about 1100 schools) to the results of the same students in the High School National Exit Exam 2012. The analysis of this data will be carried out by estimating multivariate multilevel regression models. Results. Results will be available at the end of November 2012 when the work required for creating the dataset will be finalized. Conclusions. This contribution exploits the variety of available data to better understand the relationship between individual student skill assessment in international surveys and their attainment of educational credentials later on in life. It falls therefore into a research strand advocating the need for a new research agenda related to the production and impact of human capital, which should incorporate both the analysis of school attainment and different dimensions of skills.
Yu-Cin Jian (National Taiwan Normal University)Chao-Jung Wu - Investigate how people understand diagrams in order to construct a kinematic representation of a physical system by recording eye movement
The purpose of this study was to investigate how people understand diagrams in order to learn about a physical system by recording eye movement and comprehension tests. Specifically, we want to know if readers could construct kinematic representations of a physical system by reading diagrams with arrows to guide attention. Forty-six participants participated in this study. The experiment consisted of a two-stage procedure: readers first read diagrams and then read a text-and-diagram article about a flushing cistern. We investigated whether readers could construct kinematic representations of diagrams with or without arrows (arrow group versus non-arrow group). Results showed that step-by-step question scores were higher for the arrow group than for the non-arrow group after reading the mechanical diagrams; however, this difference disappeared when both groups read the text-and-diagram article and then revised the step-by-step questions. In addition, scores on troubleshooting questions were higher for the arrow group than for the non-arrow group after reading the text-and-diagram article. In our analysis of eye movements, the arrow group had shorter mean saccade lengths on the diagrams and had longer gaze durations toward the first diagram than the non-arrow group. As for the non-arrow group, the strategy they seemed to use was comparing the status between the two diagrams. Therefore, there were more saccades between the two diagrams for the non-arrow group than for the arrow group. The conclusion was that readers have abilities to construct kinematic representation of a physical system by visual cueing on the static diagrams.
In this talk we discuss the current state of knowledge about the cognitive and neural bases of lexical processing in second language (L2) learners. We present a survey of data from the behavioral and neuroimaging literatures seeking to identify both the "how" and "where" of lexical encoding in L2, both at the level of written and spoken words. There is considerable disagreement in the field concerning the extent to which L2 words are learned and encoded in a way that is separate from L1 words. Some researchers have adopted bilingual language-selectivity theories in which words in the two languages are stored either within a single integrated lexicon (e.g., the BIA+ model), or independent L1 and L2 subsystems (e.g., RHM). We summarize some recent studies supporting either of these competing views. Next we propose that much of the disagreement stems from conceptual and methodological inconsistencies related to the tasks that are used to assess processing, the way in which L2 is defined and distinguished from bilingualism, and the cultural setting in which L2 learning occurs in different populations. While it seems too soon to make any definitive statements about the neurocognitive status of L2 lexical processing, we propose a framework in which we might begin to disentangle the many factors influencing it. This is also placed into the context of the present symposium in which presenters have examined these issues across a range of techniques and language populations
Purpose. It is well-documented that so-called 'poor comprehenders' have difficulty making inferences during reading. However, we do not know whether their difficulties occur during initial reading or whether they are due to integration processes, strategy use or in their output (i.e. answering questions). We examined inference-making in children with good or poor comprehension in an eye movement experiment in order to scrutinize whether children spontaneously make inferences during reading, and when and how poor comprehenders differ from controls in their reading of texts requiring inferences, as well as their responses to questions tapping those same inferences. We also examined whether presenting the question before the text affected inference-making. Method. Children's eye movements were monitored as they read short texts, and then answered a question for which an inference was, or wasn't, needed in order to answer correctly. Questions appeared either before or after the text. Results. All children exhibited longer first pass reading times on a target word in the inference than control condition. Poor comprehenders performed worse on the questions overall and presenting the question before the text resulted in poorer performance on question response accuracy for the control group. Differences in the time course of the effects observed between good and poor comprehenders will also be discussed. Conclusions. Poor comprehenders do show evidence of spontaneous inference-making during reading but perform poorly on questions tapping those same inferences. This suggests that their difficulties may be in later stages of processing, or in how they organise their output in responding to questions.
Purpose - The purpose of this presentation is to examine whether written language, similar to spoken language, is a product of natural and socio-cultural forces. Support for this view is based on the fact that scribbles of Arabic speaking very young children resemble Arabic orthography and those of Hebrew speaking and Chinese speaking resemble their respective orthographies. Additionally, very young children have some knowledge of how real English words look like and which ones do not fit into English spelling patterns?. Method - To test the proposed purpose, historical evolution of written language (phylogeny) was compared with children's writing from US and India (ontogeny) through a prompt- write a story about a cat and a dog. Additionally, students in grade 4 were asked to communicate only in writing for 30 minutes for 4 days a week in their language arts class for 12 weeks. Results - An analysis of the children's writing showed that there was a gradual progression from drawing pictures to letters, words, and sentences and this was true for children from both US and India. Further, fourth graders who were required to write for 30 minutes without spoken communication produced more sentences than the control group. Conclusions - Even in written language, ontogeny follows phylogeny and writing should be given more importance along with reading in early grade levels. Intense training in written language can be used for improving not only literacy skills but also comprehension and the quality of spoken language.
Purpose: Preschoolers with language impairment (LI) tend to exhibit elevated risks for deficits in phonological awareness (PA) and, as a result, poor reading achievement. However, not all young children with LI have poor PA and thus may not be candidates for early PA interventions. This study examines profiles of early-literacy skill among preschoolers with LI to identify potentially high-risk profiles with respect to PA (i.e., profiles corresponding to deficits of PA) and predictors of these profiles. Method: Latent-profile analysis (LPA) was used to examine whether specific profiles of early-literacy skill, including a comprehensive measure of PA as well as measures of print-related skills, could be reliably identified in a sample of 218 preschoolers with LI. Analyses of variance was used to identify possible predictors of group membership. Results: LPA results showed there to be four reliable profiles of children with LI with respect to their early-literacy skills. Two of the four profiles, representing 69% of the children, were characterized by very low PA skills: children in Profile 1 (55% of the sample) had poor PA concomitant with poor print-related skills, whereas children in Profile 2 (14% of the sample) had poor PA and very strong print-related skills. Children's oral language skills and features of the home literacy environment predicted profile membership. Conclusions: Specific subgroups of children with LI (two of the four profiles identified) exhibit significant deficits in PA in absolute terms and relative to peers. These children should be prioritized for early PA interventions.
Purpose: According to the simple view of reading (Hoover & Gough, 1990), reading comprehension is influenced by two components: word reading skill and general comprehension ability. Despite a wealth of research on the development of reading skill and its underlying factors, very little is known about developing readers' on-line text processing strategies. The present study investigated the influence of a reading task on readers' on-line text processing strategies in a sample of 2nd, 4th, and 6th graders. Method: A cross-sectional sample of 2nd, 4th, and 6th graders read naturalistic school book (science) texts with two tasks: 1) for comprehension and 2) in preparation to answer a comprehension-encouraging question presented before reading. Participants' eye movements were recorded and they answered two questions after reading each text (a text memory question and a comprehension question). Basic word reading skills and text comprehension ability were assessed with a standardized test. The eye movement data were analyzed with linear mixed effects models in order to examine how reader-level characteristics (i.e., basic word reading skill) influence the ability to adjust on-line text processing strategies to the different reading task instructions (a text-level measure). Results: The results show that basic word reading skills and general comprehension ability are both related to the ability to adjust on-line processing strategies to meet the task demands. Conclusions: The results are relevant to the theories of the development of reading skill as well as to the theories of eye movement control during reading. The findings can also be applied to educational settings.
Bestern Kaani (Texas A & M University)Bestern Kaani; Malt R. Joshi; Xuejun Ji; Veronica Mulenga - Comparing factors predicting reading comprehension in contrasting orthographies: A case of English and Nyanja languages
Purpose: A cross-linguistic study was conducted with grades fourth to sixth students to examine factors accounting for reading comprehension in transparent Nyanja and orthographically opaque English. Method: Equivalent sets of reading comprehension, phonological awareness (PA), word reading, and pseudoword decoding measures were administered to 118 children in Nyanja and 121 in English languages in Zambia. Results: The mean reading comprehension difference between the orthographies was not statistically significant. The three constructs (PA, word reading, and pseudoword decoding) accounted for 50.64% and 61.21% of the total variance in the transparent and opaque orthographies respectively. Pseudoword decoding was strongly related to reading comprehension in the Nyanja and word reading predicted English comprehension. Conclusions: PA had relatively weak predictive power in both languages, but slightly better in the opaque orthography. Differences between orthographies, though marginal, suggest differences in levels of linguistic word processing as postulated by the psycholinguistic grain size theory based on orthographic depth hypothesis; words in opaque languages are processed at large grain unit level (letter patterns and whole words) whereas small grain unit (grapheme-phoneme conversions) are the basis for reading in transparent orthographies. Additionally, the findings also corroborated assertions that PA has more predictive power of reading acquisition in opaque languages even in middle school years.
Sylvia Chanda Kalindi (Chinese University of Hong Kong)Catherine McBride-Chang; Shingfong Chan; Kien Hoa Kevin Chung; Chia-Ying Lee; Urs Maurer; Xiuhong Tong - A Short Test of Word Recognition for English Language Learners
In the present study, we developed a test of English silent word reading, following work by Mather et al. (2004) and Bell et al. (2007), in order to tap Hong Kong Chinese children's reading of English as a foreign language. We created one subtest of individual word recognition and another of word recognition contextualized within sentences; together, these require no more than 10 minutes for administration. In Study 1, following pilot testing, we administered the entire test to 552 second grade Hong Kong Chinese children (290 boys; 262 girls) between the ages of 70 and 121 months old (Mean = 89.85, SD = 5.26), from five different primary schools. The correlation between the subtests of English silent word reading and contextual reading was .78 (p<.001). In Study 2, 77 Hong Kong Chinese second graders were tested on our newly developed English silent word reading test, together with non-verbal IQ, an English word reading and a Chinese character recognition test (both read aloud). With age and non-verbal IQ statistically controlled, the correlation between English silent word reading and the more standard English word reading, read aloud, was .78 (p<.001); the correlation between English silent word reading and Chinese character recognition was .49 (p<.001). This newly created test is a quick and reliable measure, suitable for both educators and researchers to use to identify poor readers who learn English as a foreign or second language.
Purpose: Eye movements of the adult native readers of Thai, an alphabetic scriptio continua language, show similar oculomotor control as those of European spaced languages. The Thai Preferred Viewing Location (PVL) is always near the word center regardless of spacing conditions of the text and the position-relative frequency of word-initial and word-final characters appears to help locate word boundaries. It is interesting to investigate if the eye movements of Thai children are the same as the adults. Here we investigated the effects of frequency of word, word-initial and word-final character, and word-boundary bigram on Thai children's eye movements. Method: 18 Thai children were tested. Their eye movements during reading were recorded via EyeLink II eye tracker. Linear mixed-effects model analyses of landing sites and viewing time measures (first fixation, single fixation, and gaze duration) were conducted. Results: The results showed that Thai children had similar eye movement patterns as Thai adults. The position-specific frequencies of word boundary characters played an important role in determining landing site location. Readers tended to land their eyes closer to the word center on words with high-frequency initial and final characters. Younger children tended to land their eyes earlier in the word. Spacing did not affect their landing site locations. Reading ability came into play with the reading time measures; younger poor readers' gaze durations on low-frequency words were longer than good readers. Conclusions: In general, Thai children appear to use the same oculomotor control mechanisms when reading spaced and unspaced texts as Thai adults.
Substantial research has shown that L1 reading skills can be transferred and facilitate in L2 reading tasks. Nevertheless, it is unclear as to how transfer occurs and affects L2 reading acquisition. This research sets out to investigate cross-linguistic transfer in Chinese-English biliteracy acquisition by synthesizing empirical studies in extant literature. Synthesis questions are as follows: (1)What is the effect of L1 reading ability on L2 reading? To what extent can L1 reading skills facilitate in L2 reading? (2) What are the possible moderators of the transfer effect? Firstly, term searching was conducted among PsycINFO, LLBA, ERIC and EBSCO using key words combining biliteracy or L2 reading with cross-linguistic transfer or transfer of reading skills. Afterward, studies were selected based on the following inclusion/exclusion criteria: (1) studies (a) related to Chinese/English biliteracy acquisition, (b) focusing on cross-linguistic transfer or transfer of reading skills, (c) published in peer-reviewed journals and book chapters after 1980, and (d) based on quantitative analysis are included. (2) Studies that (a) are of interventional nature and (b) only focus on writing skills are excluded. Finally, 24empirical studies have been included in this synthesis research. Preliminary results indicate that there is transfer facilitation effect attributed to the metalinguistic skills established in L1 reading experience, such as phonological awareness and morphological awareness. However, L2 reading processing is also influenced by the structural variations between the Chinese and English writing systems. More in-depth analysis will be conducted.
The current project was designed to determine the effects of child skills and word characteristics on the ability of elementary-age readers to read polysyllabic words. To examine these features, 201 3rd and 4th grade children were tested on a list of 45 polysyllabic target words that varied in frequency and consistency and were matched for other descriptive features. To determine the differential effects of word-specific skills (i.e., children's ability to perform tasks related to the 45 target words), children were tested on their ability to read sublexical features of the polysyllabic words (onsets and rimes; grapheme-phoneme correspondences; stems and affixes) and to make orthographic choices about the 45 words. To determine the effects of general reading-related skills, namely, vocabulary knowledge, morphological awareness, phonological awareness, and orthographic processing), tests of these competencies were given. Data were analyzed using a series of cross-classified random effects models. First, the effects of word-specific skills were examined alone. There were effects of root word reading and orthographic choice but not the reading of other sublexical units of the target words. Second, the effects of word characteristics and general reading-related skills were examined. There were word characteristic effects due to frequency and the interaction of frequency and consistency. There were no effects due to number of syllables or measures of orthographic N specific to polysyllabic words. There were effects of general reading-related skills due to overall orthographic choice, morphological awareness, and root word reading. In the final model, the prior models were combined to determine whether general skills and word features retained importance when accounting for word-specific skills. Word-specific root word reading and orthographic choice remained significant. Word characteristics of frequency and the interaction of frequency and consistency remained. For general reading-related skills, effects of orthographic choice, morphological awareness, and root word reading remained significant. In addition, an effect of general vocabulary knowledge contributed to the prediction of word reading skill. These results suggest that children's word-specific skills are important but that their outcomes also depend on their general reading-related skills and particular features of the words. The results indicate an important role for orthographic knowledge, both at the specific-word and general levels. The finding of an interaction of frequency and consistency indicates that the degree to which readers rely on sublexical orthographic-phonological coding depends on how often they encounter the word. The emphasis on higher-level skills in these data is also noteworthy; for polysyllabic word reading, general vocabulary and morphological awareness are important.
Purpose: Many studies find that the more central an idea is to a passage, the more likely it is recalled - the "centrality effect". Miller & Keenan (2009) found that having a reading disability (RD) modulated this effect; RD resulted in what they termed a "centrality deficit" - a greater deficit compared to matched controls in retention of central ideas than peripheral ideas. We examine the extent to which other individual differences produce a centrality deficit - specifically, ADHD, reading in a second language, and stress - and present a theory that explains why all these different conditions would impact central information more than peripheral information. Method: Participants read passages and then retold them immediately after reading. Retellings were scored using an idea unit checklist. Centrality of passage idea units was based on ratings obtained from norming the passages on college students who rated each idea for centrality. Results: ADHD (matched with controls on word reading skill), reading in a second language, and stress were all found to result in a centrality deficit - i.e., a greater negative impact on recall of central ideas than peripheral ideas. Conclusion: We explain our findings with a resource allocation hypothesis. What all the conditions we examined have in common is that they divert resources required for comprehension to other cognitive processes. Having fewer resources for connecting ideas affects central ideas more than peripheral ideas because central ideas need more interconnections to emerge as central.
Nenagh Kemp (School of Psychology, University of Tasmania); Damon Binning; S. Hélène Deacon - Can seeing errors affect your spelling? Effects of textese-like and conventional misspellings on adults' and children's nonword spelling
Purpose: Adults' spelling of individual words can be helped by exposure to correct spellings, and hampered by exposure to incorrect versions, but these effects are not clear in children (Dixon & Kaminska, 1997, 2007). The advent of text-messaging-style language ('ppl' for 'people', 'skool' for 'school') means that exposure to (deliberate) misspellings is now widespread. We investigated whether memory for newly-learned nonword spellings was disrupted any more by exposure to textese-like misspellings than to more conventional misspellings. Method: Undergraduates (N= 43) and Grade 5-6 children (N = 25) read stories containing 24 nonwords, and were then re-exposed to these nonwords written in their original form (e.g., 'dreager'), in a textese form (vowels omitted, 'drgr', or phonetic re-spelling, 'dreega') or as a more conventional misspelling ('dreagar'). Participants were then asked to recognize the original spellings in an immediate and a delayed orthographic choice task. Results: Compared to re-exposure to target spellings, exposure to conventional misspellings significantly reduced recognition of target spellings for adults, but exposure to textese misspellings did not. For children, exposure to the three types of misspelling led to no more significant disruption than re-exposure to target spellings, although responses were very variable. These patterns remained over one week. Conclusions: The ability to recognise newly-learned spellings was not specifically disrupted by seeing textese respellings, compared to more conventional errors. When participants erred, they were more likely to select a conventional misspelling than a textese one. These results do not support media concerns that exposure to texting language is 'ruining' spelling.
James Kim (Harvard University)James Kim; Thomas G. White; Helen Chen Kingston; Lisa Foster; Lauren Capotosto; Jonathan Guryan - A Randomized Experiment of a Teacher- and Parent-Scaffolded Voluntary Summer Reading Intervention for Grade 3 Children
Purpose. We developed and tested a teacher- and parent-scaffolded voluntary summer reading intervention for grade 3 children. At the end of the school year, teachers modeled how to make a story guess using content drawn from narrative text, answer text-based questions, and check similarities and differences between the story guess and actual story. Teachers also modeled how to use content drawn from informational text to understand the macrostructure of expository texts (books about famous people, animals, physical science). In addition, parents were invited to a family literacy event where they learned how to encourage and monitor their children's use of the teacher-directed routines with summer books. During the summer months, children received 8 books matched to their reading levels and interests. Method. Children in 14 schools were randomly assigned to a control condition, or a teacher lesson and family night condition, with and without summer scaffolding. In the summer scaffolding condition, parents received a phone call during the summer if their child did not return a trifold that included comprehension questions for each summer book. Children (n=702) were pre and posttested on standardized test of reading comprehension. Results. There were no main effects on reading outcomes. However, the treatment effects were significantly larger in high poverty schools, with effect sizes ranging from .11 to .14, than in moderate poverty schools. Conclusions. The results suggest that the program may be most effective in high-poverty schools where children are most at-risk of falling behind in reading during the summer months.
Purpose Recent research in dyslexia has identified general cognitive impairments. Cognitive dysfunction associated with processing print may affect processing of graphic displays as well. This study was designed to compare college students with and without dyslexia on 1) their rate and accuracy of graph comprehension, 2) eye gaze during graph viewing, and 3) relationship between graph processing and working memory and executive function. Method Ten dyslexic readers (DR) and 15 typical readers (TR) were presented 144 graphs varied by graph- and question- types and asked to answer comprehension questions. Two cognitive construct, working memory (visual and verbal) and executive function, were assessed. MANOVAs, subsequent ANOVAs, and correlation analysis were conducted. Results This study yield three major findings: (1) DR were significantly poorer than TR both in comprehension accuracy, F(1,33) = 7.28*, and speed, F(1,33) = 15.36***; (2) DR spent longer first pass time on text areas, F (1, 28) = 17.24***, and longer total viewing time on graphic areas, F (1, 28) = 6.82*, than TR; (3) DR's graph comprehension was highly correlated to working memory (r = -.65** for verbal and r = -.54* for visual WM), compared to TR. (* p < .05. ** p < .01. *** p < .001) Conclusions Dyslexic subjects were less accurate than their peers even though they spent significantly longer time on graphs. Thus, longer processing times did not guarantee better accuracy in graph comprehension. In addition, they were at a particular disadvantage with the increasing complexity of graphs. Their difficulties may be influenced by working memory ability which was depressed in both verbal and visual domains.
Young-Suk Kim (Florida State University & Florida Center for Reading Research)Denise Bishop, Yaccov Petscher, & Jeung-Ryeul Cho - Comparison of a unique contribution of rapid serial naming to reading in English and Korean
Purpose: We had two goals in the present study: to examine (1) whether rapid serial naming (RAN) is uniquely related to word reading after accounting for other important predictor of word reading such as letter naming fluency, phonological awareness, morphological awareness, and orthographic awareness; and (2) if so, whether it is more strongly related to word reading in a transparent orthography (e.g., Wimmer et al., 1998). English and Korean provide a unique opportunity to examine these questions because Korean has a fairly transparent orthography. Method: A total of 350 English-speaking first graders and 143 Korean-speaking kindergartners were assessed on an elision task for phonological awareness, an orthographic choice task for orthographic awareness, a morphological awareness task, a RAN task, and a letter naming fluency task. Measures were highly similar in the two languages while also taking into consideration language features (e.g., morphological awareness tasks were somewhat different in Korean and English due to different morphological structures in the two languages). Results: RAN was statistically significant for English- and Korean-speaking children with the same strength of associations (βs = -.21***). Letter naming fluency and orthographic awareness were significant in both languages. In contrast, morphological awareness was not uniquely significant (p = .81) for Korean-speaking children whereas phonological awareness (p = .53) was not for English-speaking children. Conclusion: Results suggest that RAN is uniquely to word reading over and above the other important predictors both in English and Korean. Furthermore, the strength of relation was highly similar in both Korean and English.
Purpose: The present study examined the effects of regularity and frequency on the processing of inflectional words in Korean and English, and tested whether the processing is rule-based or lexicon-based. Because Korean irregular verbs are less irregular than English counterparts, there should be cross-language differences in processing the inflectional words. Method: Using a masked priming lexical decision paradigm (prime duration = 47ms) in two experiments with native Korean (N = 39) and English (N = 36) adult readers, respectively. Results: We showed that for both Korean and English, the response time on the present-tense form as the target was significantly faster when the prime was its corresponding past-tense form, than when the prime was the orthographic control or unrelated control. A significant effect of stem frequency was found in both languages, suggesting that the processing of both Korean and English inflectional verbs are rule-based. However, in comparison to Korean readers, English readers showed a significant interaction between regularity and whole word frequency. The whole word frequency effect was stronger for irregular verbs than for regular verbs, suggesting that irregular verbs in English are more likely to be processed via lexical-based mechanism, whereas regular verbs are more likely to be processed via rule-based mechanism. Conclusion: Taken together, these findings in our study suggest that there are both universal and language-specific mechanisms underlying inflectional processing.
Purpose We evaluated the effectiveness of a reading remediation program and examined which student characteristics predict success in the program. The program (offered by The Reading Clinic, www.thereadingclinic.ca) includes intensive, direct, systematic, scaffolded instruction in phonological awareness, phonics, syllabification, morphology, spelling, fluency and metacognition using extended practice and multisensory teaching strategies. Method Participants were 50 children (age 6 to 12) who had participated in the reading intervention. Each participant was administered phonological awareness, naming speed, and phonological memory measures (CTOPP) prior to the intervention. Participants also completed measures of real word reading speed, accuracy, and fluency, nonword decoding, reading comprehension, and spelling performance before and after participating in the reading remediation program. Results Participants improved in all reading and spelling skills approximately three times as fast as they had been improving prior to participating in the program, and approximately twice as fast as normally-achieving children would have in the same period of time. Hierarchical regression analyses indicated that pre-test phonological memory significantly predicted all reading outcomes when controlling for pre-test performance, age, and number of sessions. Naming speed predicted improved performance on reading speed measures. Contrary to the majority of previous research, phonological awareness did not predict any reading outcomes. Conclusion Results indicate that the program was effective, though the lack of a control group is a limitation. The failure of phonological awareness to predict improvement suggests that the program had improved it. Naming speed predicted gains in word and text reading speed. Discussion focuses on the role of phonological memory in intervention.
Purpose: We investigated the effects of hyperlinks on children's comprehension of digital texts. Links in digital texts may affect the building of a situation model, which is crucial for reading comprehension. It is assumed that children's construction of situation models can be measured by eliciting structural knowledge representations (e.g. mind-maps, networks, concept maps). We used an innovative computer algorithm (Pathfinder) to evaluate children's situation models, which was validated by comparing the outcomes with a computer generated sequential model and an expert situation model. Method: 93 children from 6th grade read four digital texts in a 2x2 within-subjects design ((with/without embedded hyperlinks) x (with/without hyperlinks in graphical overview)), answered 20 MC comprehension questions during reading and rated the relatedness of 105 word pairs. The relatedness judgment task was analyzed using the Pathfinder algorithm to gain insight in children's situation models. Results: Repeated measures ANOVA's revealed that hyperlinks in the text had a negative effect on comprehension. Furthermore, the similarity to the sequential and expert network did not differ for texts without and with embedded links. However, in texts without overviews, the students' situation models were more similar to the sequential network than in texts with overview. Conclusions: Children show to have comprehension difficulties in digital text with embedded hyperlinks, regardless if a graphical overview is presented or not. Our results evidence that children follow a more linear approach in forming a model of the text, which seems more in line with the construction of a textbase than of a situation model.
Purpose. Word reading proficiency is linked to reading comprehension (Gough & Juel, 1991). While phonological awareness has been found to be a strong predictor of word reading in both L1 and L2 children (Durgunoglu, Nagy & Hancin-Bhatt, 1993), the association of oral language proficiency (vocabulary, morphology and syntax) with word reading is less-established (Geva, 2006). However, research has shown that the importance of oral language proficiency increases with age as reading demands increase. Level of exposure to L2 also affects word reading(Lesaux & Geva, 2006). Therefore, we investigated the contributions of oral language proficiency to English and Chinese word reading in Chinese-English adolescent ELLs from Canada and Beijing, China. Method. 121 undergraduate Chinese-English ELLs were administered word reading, vocabulary and morphological awareness tasks in both English and Chinese. Phonological awareness, measured by the CTOPP Elision task, nonverbal reasoning, measured using the matrix analogies task and self-reports of length of residence in Canada from the Canadian sample were included as controls. Results. Multiple regression analyses showed that for Canadian ELLs, English vocabulary was a unique predictor of English word reading, but none of the oral language proficiency measures predicted English word reading for the Beijing participants. For Chinese word reading, Chinese vocabulary and morphological awareness were unique predictors for the Canadian sample while only Chinese vocabulary was a predictor for the Beijing sample. Conclusions. The findings suggest that association between oral language proficiency and word reading is dependent on exposure and overall proficiency level in L2 learners as well as unique characteristics of the language.
We researched the effect of mother-child e-book reading compared to printed book reading on children's early literacy. Ninety pre-kindergarten children (aged 3-4) from a low socioeconomic status (LSES) and their mothers were randomly assigned to one of three groups: (1) Mother-child e-book reading (N=30); (2) Mother-child printed book reading (N=30); (3) Receiving the regular kindergarten literacy program (control) (N=30). Mothers of children in the intervention group (N=60) received short guidance in their homes on how to read to the child, and had five sessions of reading within a period of two weeks. The fifth reading session was videotaped and transcribed. Children were tested pre and post intervention in word recognition, phonological awareness, letter-sound correspondence and letter naming. Mothers showed a more distancing behavior in printed book reading, while joint e-book reading yielded a higher level of distancing. Children in both reading activities showed significant progress in early literacy skills compared to the control group, and this progress was retained in most skills after one month. Children's initial knowledge in each skill and both interventions contributed to children's early literacy progress more than mothers' education, frequency of shared book reading and computer use. This study contributes to our knowledge on the potential benefits of e-book reading with parents and pose it as a possibility for shared book reading which is as good as reading with printed books.
Purpose: Language Minority (LM) children in the United States enter Kindergarten with varying degrees of English oral language proficiency; however children who struggle to develop basic oral English skills after one year of formal instruction are at risk of academic problems in reading, math, and science from elementary to middle school. The purpose of the current study was to examine whether LM children with delayed oral language development were also at risk of developing interalizing and externalizing behavior problems. Method: The Kindergarten to Grade 8 data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study Kindergarten Cohort of 1998-1999 was used. LM children's oral language proficiency was assessed at the beginning and end of Kindergarten using subscales from the PreLAS. Parents and teachers rated the children's internalizing and externalizing problem behaviors at the beginning and end of Kindergarten, and Grades 1,3,5, and 8. Children reported their self-perceived internalizing problems in grades 5 and 8. Results: Longitudinal structural equation modeling results showed that LM children with poor English oral language at the end of Kindergarten were at increased risk of developing internalizing problems after grade 5, according to the teacher and self-report, even after controlling for initial ratings of internalizing problems at the beginning of Kindergarten. Conclusion: LM children with low oral language ability at the end of Kindergarten were at heightened risk of developing not only academic but emotional problems. Classroom and instructional factors related to oral language development of Language Minority Kindergartners were discussed.
Purpose Although it has been widely recognized that age and reading proficiency influence a reader's capacities to monitor his/her reading comprehension, the findings on whether young children are also effective at monitoring their comprehension during reading have not been consistent. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the development of comprehension monitoring capacities among early elementary school students. Additionally, the study also examined the effect of working memory on students' development of comprehension monitoring abilities. Method The participants included 58 first graders and 55 second graders. Two standardized tests were administered to measure their reading abilities and working memory capacities. Students were assigned to read two passages, one containing inconsistent information. The study employed both on-line (eye-tracking) and off-line (probe interview) measures to collect different processes in the comprehension monitoring. Results The results indicated that students' reading abilities seemed to affect students' global reading behaviors, such as the total reading time, but students of high and low reading abilities didn't perform significantly different when they encountered inconsistencies. Furthermore, the results showed that students with more working memory outperformed their counterparts in identifying inconsistent information and they also spent longer time on the inconsistencies. Conclusions When employing eye tracking to study young children's comprehension monitoring activities, it is evident that they are cable of evaluating their level of comprehension, even though they are unable to verbally demonstrate how they monitor their text comprehension. Additionally, working memory capacities play an important role in directing young children's attention during reading comprehension.
This study aims to track the time course of learning to examine whether individuals with dyslexia have difficulties at the encoding stage (when forming new representations) or with consolidating and retaining new representations after a delay. This experiment investigates the process of how an initially unfamiliar nonword becomes familiar as a result of training and experience. Adults with dyslexia and the control group named 4- and 7-letter nonwords 10 times in each of two separate sessions on week apart. The reaction times of the control group in session 1 decreased over the 10 blocks and the effect of length became nonsignificant in the later blocks. There was good retention over 7 days. Compared to the group of skilled readers, adults with dyslexia were significantly slower and demonstrated length effect in most of the blocks. They also showed substantial forgetfulness over the one-week interval. These results suggest that repeated reading did not alter the predominantly sub-lexical reading procedure of the dyslexic readers. The results are discussed in terms of the cognitive processes involved in learning new written words and the notion of building word-specific orthographic knowledge to create lasting representations in the mental lexicon.
Purpose: Whilst it is widely acknowledged that many deaf children have reading difficulties, diagnosing dyslexia in deaf children is difficult due to a lack of normative data. We report findings from a study investigating reading achievement and dyslexia in a large UK sample of oral deaf children age 10-11 years. Method: 79 oral severe/profoundly deaf children (10-11 year olds) and 20 hearing dyslexic children participated. Children were administered a large battery of standardised reading, language and phonological tasks. Deaf children's scores were compared with dyslexic scores in order to identify a deaf dyslexic profile. Results: Standard scores on all measures were skewed towards the lower scores. Deaf children were categorised into good, average and poor deaf readers based upon hearing norms. A substantial proportion of deaf children achieved average scores for reading (more than have been identified in previous research) and 9% were classified as poor deaf readers. There were no significant differences in literacy skills between deaf children with cochlear implants and hearing aids. Across the whole sample of deaf children, strong links were found between several of the phonological awareness tasks (including spoonerisms and phoneme deletion), expressive vocabulary and decoding skills. Conclusions: Our findings show that some measures sensitive to dyslexia in the hearing population also discriminate among the poorest deaf readers.
Purpose: This longitudinal study examined the cross-language contributions of morphological awareness to the development of vocabulary and reading comprehension skills in English and French among Grade 1 and 2 students enrolled in a French Immersion program. Method: Participants included 78 first-grade students and 69 second-grade students. All were non-native speakers of French, and demonstrated average English word reading and vocabulary skills. They received instruction entirely in French at school. Children were tested at two time points spaced nine months apart with tasks tapping inflectional and derivational morphological awareness, vocabulary, and reading comprehension. Additionally, they completed measures of phonological awareness, word reading, and non-verbal reasoning. The first graders were assessed in English only at pretest, and in English and French at posttest. The second graders were assessed in English and French at both time points. Results: Results from hierarchical linear regressions revealed that for the first graders, early measures of English inflectional awareness but not derivational awareness cross-linguistically predicted later French vocabulary and reading comprehension, after controlling for non-verbal reasoning and within-language phonological awareness, word reading, and morphological awareness. For the second graders, both English inflectional and derivational awareness predicted later French vocabulary; English derivational awareness further explained unique variance in French reading comprehension. There was evidence for "back transfer" among the Grade 2 children in that early measures of French derivational awareness predicted later English vocabulary. Conclusion: Our findings substantiate cross-language relations among morphological awareness, vocabulary and reading comprehension in emergent English-French bilinguals. More importantly, we showed that these relations change over time as children develop stronger language and literacy skills.
Purpose: Stephen Toulmin's theory of argument (1958/2003) has been widely used in research and practice in various fields including education. This paper revisits Toulmin's monological model in light of the more comprehensive dialogical argumentation framework of Douglas Walton (1989/2008). It explores methods of argumentation discourse analysis on collaborative critical discussion with multiple participants. Method: Eighteen Hong Kong senior secondary school students were randomly placed into stratified groups of six to participate in 25-minute long discussions. A total of 276 turns of conversation and 1,116 idea units were identified based on Halliday's (1985) functional grammar with modification for Chinese. Idea units formulating the process of interaction were analyzed using the NVivo software to illustrate specific methods of argumentation discourse analysis. Results: Toulmin's monological model focuses on how the link among components of an argument contributes to its conclusion. Walton's dialogical framework focuses on how the interaction between proponents, who provide presumptive justification to support their conclusion, and opponents, who refute the justification and conclusion in a defensible manner, contributes to dispute resolution. Collaborative critical discussion can be better analyzed, evaluated, and comprehended with the revisited Toulmin model within Walton's framework. The approach is also compared with Anderson and Reznitskaya's (2002) idea of argument schema. Conclusions: The new argumentative discourse analysis provides insight into thinking and learning.
Purpose: The main aim of this longitudinal project was to further specify the differential predictive patterns of standard verbal measures (phoneme awareness, phonological short-term memory, rapid automatized naming) for measures of reading and spelling in the consistent German orthography. Method: A sample of 240 German speaking children was followed from the beginning to the end of Grade 1. At t1, children were screened for any early word or nonword reading skills and only nonreaders were admitted to the sample. At t1, children were individually administered age-adequate measures of phoneme awareness (deletion), phonological short-term memory (nonword repetition, digit span forward), rapid automatized naming (colours, digits), and letter knowledge. The same measures were again administered at the end of Grade 1. In addition, word and nonword reading fluency and spelling skills were assessed. Data collection will be completed in May 2013. Results: Separate structural equation models are going to be specified for each dependent variable (word and nonword reading, spelling). Each model will include all predictor measures so that predictive patterns can be compared. Conclusions: A special feature of this study is that children who were already able to read words or nonwords when they entered school were excluded. Thus, findings are more informative with respect to early prediction of reading and spelling development than most other studies that did not sufficiently control for early reading skills.
Linda Larsen (ARC Centre of Excellent in Cognition and its Disorders)Saskia Kohnen; Genevieve McArthur - The effect of phonics and sight word instruction on grapheme-phoneme knowledge in children with developmental dyslexia
Purpose The self-teaching hypothesis proposes that successful decoding of unknown words using grapheme-phoneme correspondence (GPC) knowledge helps develop whole-word written representations of words (Share, 1996). Decoding of unknown words is typically trained via phonics instruction. However, research has also found that children may learn the mappings between graphemes and phonemes when they learn to read whole words "by sight" (Thompson, Fletcher-Flinn, & Cottrell, 1999). In this study we compare the size of the effect of phonics instruction versus sight word instruction on GPC knowledge in children with developmental dyslexia. Methods At Test 1, children (N=72) were tested on the screening and outcome measures. After 8 weeks of no training, they were retested on the outcome measures to index test-retest effects (Test 2). Half the children then did 8 weeks of phonics training and half did sight word training. Finally, all children were retested on the outcome measures (Test 3). Results Analyses so far suggest that phonics instruction has a moderate effect on GPC knowledge, while sight word instruction has little or no effect of GPC knowledge in children with dyslexia. It appears that gains in GPC knowledge in the phonics instruction group is modulated by level of prior GPC knowledge. Conclusion We conclude that eight weeks of phonics training, but not sight word training, has an effect on GPC knowledge in children with developmental dyslexia. We discuss the implications of this finding in terms of GPC knowledge as a proximal cause of dyslexia.
Purpose: The current study aims at investigating the importance of Pinyin knowledge in promoting phonological awareness and Chinese reading development. Method: 45 grade 2 children studying at three mainstream primary schools in Shenzhen, China were recruited. The children's Chinese character naming abilities, onset and rhyme awareness, and Pinyin knowledge (in terms of naming Pinyin symbols in isolations and naming real and pseudo-syllables written in Pinyin) were tested. Results: Correlations among variables (Pearson's r) were calculated. Results show that rhyme awareness correlates with the abilities to name rhyme Pinyin symbols (r = .387, p < .01) but onset awareness is only weakly correlated with the abilities to name onset Pinyin symbols (r = .315, p <.05). Although strong correlation between Chinese character naming abilities and the abilities to name rhyme Pinyin symbols is observed (r = .439, p < .01), the Chinese character naming abilities correlates with neither the abilities to name real nor pseudo-syllables written in Pinyin (r = .209, p =.16 and r = .209, p = .18 respectively). Conclusions: Results suggest that Pinyin knowledge may facilitate rhyme awareness but its effect in facilitating onset awareness is minimal. Moreover, naming real and pseudo-syllables written in Pinyin do not seem to facilitate Chinese reading abilities in children. It is more reasonable to interpret the strong correlations between the abilities to name Chinese characters and rhyme Pinyin symbols as a reflection of the significance of pair-associate learning - a common skill required in learning to read Chinese characters and Pinyin symbols.
Purpose -Event-related potential (ERP) was employed to investigate the underlying deficits in processing Chinese characters by young poor readers (PR). Due to the excellent temporal resolution of ERP, the processing stage(s) at which brain responses of PRs deviate from those of normal readers (CA) would be revealed. Method - Sixteen P3-P5 pupils with normal non-verbal intelligence, including six PRs scoring > -1.25 SDs in HKT-SpLD and 10 CAs matched in age, participated in a lexical decision task. Semantic-phonetic compound characters taught by P2 differing in phonological regularity were chosen. Pseudo-characters were random combinations of semantic and phonetic radicals from the real characters. The ERP components of interest were N170 (200-260ms post-onset from PO5, PO3, PO4, PO6) indexing visual/orthographic processing, P200 (200-260ms from FC3, FC1, FC2, FC4) reflecting access to phonology, and N400 (375-500ms from Fz, Cz, Pz) revealing lexico-semantic processing. Results - Above-chance performance (>75%) on accuracy was found in PRs and CAs. The most important findings concerning lexicality were more negative N170 in the left hemisphere only in CAs, and stronger N400 to pseudo-characters by both groups. Regarding regularity, we observed more positive P200 to irregular characters by CAs, and marginally larger N400 to irregular characters in PRs. Conclusions - CAs demonstrated significant effects of regularity and lexicality in P200 and N400, indicating sensitivity to phonological form and meaningfulness, respectively. PRs differed from CAs in the absence of left-lateralized responses to verbal stimuli and a delayed regularity effect, suggesting inefficient character processing and poor quality of lexical representation.
Joshua Lawrence (University of California, Irvine); E. Juliana Paré-Blagoev; Amy Crosson; Jin Kyoung Hwang; Catherine Snow - Word Generation Randomized Trial: Discussion Mediates the Impact of Treatment on Academic Word Learning
Purpose This study evaluates the capacity of a dilemma-focused academic vocabulary intervention, Word Generation (WG) through three specific research questions: 1) Did WG schools demonstrate improved classroom discussion? 2) Did WG participation impact students' academic vocabulary? 3) Did improved classroom discussion mediate the impact of the WG on academic vocabulary knowledge? Method Twenty-eight schools from two districts were randomized to treatment (n = 15) or control (n = 13). We documented Support for Participation, Student Engagement, Teacher Talk Moves, and Substantive Contributions across 213 observations. WG vocabulary tests were administered before and nine months after the program implementation (n = 1554). We used HLM to calculate average effect sizes of treatment on classroom discussion levels and student vocabulary. Results WG classes in each content area had higher average ratings of classroom discussion (Cohen's d = 0.58). Students participating in the WG program had higher average WG vocabulary posttest scores, controlling for school- and cohort-level characteristics (Cohen's d = 0.16). Post hoc analysis demonstrated 14% of the total effect of WG was mediated through improved discussion. Conclusions This study shows how the nature of classroom discourse can be influenced by manipulating curricular content rather than pedagogy. Dilemmas fostered authentic discussion with the absence of an easy answer to the question. Improved discussion mediated the treatment effect on students' vocabulary learning. This is one of the only large scale empirical studies of how improved discussion impacts vocabulary learning.
Kathleen Lee (Ontario Institute of Studies in Education - University of Toronto );Kathleen Lee; Xi Chen; Nadia D'Angelo - Reading fluency among children in a Canadian French immersion program: Development and cross-language transfer
Research has shown that compared to native English speakers (EL1), English language learners (ELL) lag behind on English proficiency. In particular, they have poor oral language skills and read text with less fluency (Geva et al., 1997). Oral reading fluency is purported to be a reliable indicator of reading competence and is predicted by phonological processing abilities (Fuchs et al., 2001). This study investigates English and French oral fluency in ELL children enrolled in an early French immersion program. For ELLs in French immersion, learning French, a third language, may pose additional concerns as these students come from environments in which exposure to English may be limited. This study assesses reading fluency as part of a longitudinal study investigating English and French language skills in early French immersion students. The students were assessed in grade 1 on phonological awareness, rapid automatized naming, letter-word identification and vocabulary in English and French. Now in grade 3, the students were assessed on word and text reading fluency in English and French. First, this study examines whether the student's native language impacts the development of English and French reading fluency by comparing EL1 and ELL students. Secondly, this study investigates cross-language transfer of reading skills by assessing whether early phonological processing abilities in one language predict later reading fluency in the other. These findings can help to address the suitability of early French immersion for all students, as well as inform the development of reading fluency among children who are exposed to multiple languages. References Fuchs, L. S., Fuchs, D. F., Hosp, M. K., & Jenkins, J. R. (2001). Oral reading fluency as an indicator of reading competence: A theoretical, empirical, and historical analysis. Scientific Studies of Reading, 5, 239-356. Geva, E., Wade-Woolley, L., & Shany, M. (1997). Development of reading efficiency in first and second language. Scientific Studies of Reading, 1, 119-144.
The purpose of the present study was to examine the cognitive, language, and inattention profiles among 427 first graders. The first research question of the present study examined the cognitive, language, and inattention correlates among poor, average, and good readers at the end of first grade. To answer this question, several sets of multivariate analyses of variance was conducted on literacy measures that was represented by the following constructs: word reading accuracy, word reading efficiency, spelling, oral reading fluency, and passage comprehension. The second research question examined whether the cognitive, language, and teacher judgment correlates that distinguished one reading subgroup was similar or different from the correlates that distinguished children in other reading subgroups. Specifically, several sets of discriminant function analyses were conducted to examine the cognitive, language, and teacher judgment variables that characterize the poor, average, and good readers based on the literacy skills. We also examined the differences in the literacy skills between poor, average, and good readers defined by word reading accuracy while controlling for socioeconomic status. Preliminary findings suggest that differential and comprehensive profiles were observed when outcome measures included speeded word reading, spelling, and passage comprehension measures. The implications for early identification and intervention of literacy and language skills among the subgroups of readers with varying abilities are discussed.
About 80% of Chinese characters are phonetic compounds that are composed of a semantic radical and a phonetic radical. Studies have showed that, by learning to read a large number of Chinese characters, children gradually realize that some characters with a phonetic radical correspond to the same or similar pronunciations and become sensitive to the function of Chinese phonetic radicals. In this presentation, we will introduce an interactive computer game which is designed for helping students to develop the phonetic awareness. To evaluate its remediation effect, two groups of children (normal readers and poor readers) were invited to play this game for a month. A set of behavioral measures for basic reading skills and an ERP experiment to assess the lexicality effects were administrated before and after the remediation program. In the ERP experiment, the phonetic radical that appeared in the game were used to construct a set of noncharacter, pseudocharacter and real characters and participants were asked to judge whether a stimulus was pronounceable. The children with normal reading ability showed a graded lexicality effect on N400 (non-character> pseudocharacter>real character). For the poor readers, the three types of stimuli showed no difference before remediation. However, after remediation, both non-character and pseudocharacter elicited greater N400s than the real character did, though there is still no difference between non-character and pseudocharacter. The results support that exposure to orthographic neighbors and their pronunciations through an interactive computer game helps the children to acquire the orthographic knowledge of Chinese characters.
Christopher Lemons (University of Pittsburgh)Cynthia Puranik; Stephanie Al Otaiba; Deborah Fidler - Integrating writing and encoding instruction into reading interventions for children with Down syndrome
PURPOSE: The primary purpose of this study is to examine the impact of integrating writing and encoding instruction into reading interventions for children with Down syndrome (DS). METHOD: A series of multiple-baseline across participant, single-subject design research studies are being conducted to evaluate the efficacy of early reading intervention for children with DS. Two studies involving 9 children were completed last year. Two additional studies involving 10 children are currently underway. The focus of this presentation will be to explore the feasibility and instructional utility of integrating writing and encoding instruction into the reading intervention. Reading gains will be evaluated using traditional single-subject analyses (e.g., visual analysis, percentage of non-overlapping data [PND]). Additionally, descriptive and qualitative information will be presented on the writing samples from participating students. RESULTS: Initial results indicate that writing and encoding instruction are feasible supplements to early reading intervention for children with DS. Descriptive and qualitative data indicate that the visual nature of writing and encoding instruction may be beneficial to the learning of letter-sound correspondences and decoding. CONCLUSIONS: Evaluations of reading interventions for children with intellectual disabilities (ID) and DS have rarely examined writing or encoding components. Results of the present set of studies indicate that integrating these components into the interventions will be beneficial.
Purpose: This symposium reports on two related projects on a genre-based research program on students' text analysis and writing based on Halliday's systemic grammar (Halliday & Matthiessen, 2004), and students' argumentation discourse and collaborative learning predicated on Toulmin's (1958/2003) and Walton's (1989/2008) theories of reasoning and argument. The other two studies relate to the effect of watching television and paying attention to program subtitles on Chinese and English performance in 1,202 Grade 4 Chinese students; and helping ethnic minority kindergartners in using different strategies to learn Chinese words. Methods: The genre-based pedagogy uses class observations, interviews and textual analysis of students' writing. The argumentation study analyzes turns of conversation and idea units with the help of the NVivo software to probe critical discussion and reasoning. The study of the effect of watching television and paying attention to program subtitles in a large sample of Grade 4 students uses analysis of variance and regression analyses to examine results from questionnaires and reading scores. The study of ethnic minority kindergartners uses a pre- and post-test design to examine the effect of teaching strategies in learning Chinese words. Results: The genre-based teaching helps students to discuss effective ways of expressing their subject knowledge and teachers in making their teaching more explicit. The in-depth study of argumentation as a process of thinking and social interaction emphasizes the importance of critical questions in learning. The other two papers point to ways of learning Chinese reading literacy. Conclusions: The theory-based studies have implications for learning Chinese in different groups of learners.
Purpose The guided reading was known to be the most effective teaching in the balanced reading, but it was seldom used in the Taiwan classrooms. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to explore if a guided reading program influenced the ESL seventh graders' word recognition ability and reading motivation. Method The participants in this study were 30 seventh graders in a class. The program lasted for six weeks, ninety minutes per week. Before and after the program, a standard assessment called "English Word Recognition" was taken by each student respectively in order to collect their pronunciations and understanding of the words. The results of the word recognition pretest were used as the criteria to divide the students into three groups of high, intermediate and low ability. Besides, Motivation for Reading Questionnaire (MRQ) was taken by the participants before and after the guided reading program to explore their change of reading motivation. Leveled picture books were used in this study. The teacher prepared three teaching materials and worksheets for the three-group students. T-test and Scheffe were used to analyze the data. Results The results showed that the students' posttest of word recognition and MRQ were significantly higher than the pretests. Besides, the scores of the high level groups were significantly higher than the intermediate group, and the intermediate group' scores were significantly higher than the low group in the two assessments. Conclusions The students' word recognition ability and reading motivation were improved. Some suggestions based on the results were provided.
Paavo H.T. Leppänen (Department of Psychology, University of Jyvaskyla)Anna Karen; Leena Ervast; Kaisa Lohvansuu; Jarmo A. Hämäläinen; Heikki Lyytinen - Brain responses to temporal speech cues differ both in children with specific language impairment (SLI) and dyslexic children with familial risk at pre-school age
Purpose: Phonological and language problems found in children with dyslexia and specific language impairment (SLI) could be related to common neural substrates reflected in speech processing deficits. Here we studied the brain event-related potentials (ERPs) to temporal cues in children with SLI and those with dyslexia and familial risk at pre-school age. Associations to later reading skills were also investigated in children with dyslexia. Method: ERPs for pseudowords varying in consonant duration were measured in an oddball paradigm in 4-7-year-old children. Reading skills of 10 children with dyslexia and 27 with typical reading skills were assessed at 9 years. Children with SLI (24) were diagnosed before the ERP measurements and compared to 12 control children. Results: Brain responses of both the SLI and dyslexic groups differed from those of control children with clearest effects for the short /ata/. N250 response for the second syllable had enhanced amplitude and atypical laterality in the clinical groups. Differences between the clinical groups also existed; only SLI children showed atypical obligatory P1 response. The ERPs of children with dyslexia and controls were also associated with reading accuracy and speed at school age. Conclusions: Children with SLI and dyslexia show atypical processing of temporal cues in speech. Enhanced N250 responses could be related to less specific neuronal activation and poorer formation of stimulus representations during the experiment and less specific long-term phonetic representations. The results also suggest, that speech processing problems underlie, at least in part, later reading problems in children with familial dyslexia.
Purpose: Many studies agree that oral language, in addition to decoding, is the main component in developing reading comprehension skills (i.e., The Simple view of reading). There is also agreement to the fact that vocabulary is one of the main indicators of oral language skills. There is, however, less agreement to whether skills concerning working memory, inference, morphology, syntax and nonverbal abilities are able uniquely explain the development of reading comprehension beyond the impact of vocabulary. Several recent studies suggest that this might be the case, but no consistent pattern has been established. The current study investigates whether any of the above mentioned constructs are able to explain the development of reading comprehension beyond the impact of decoding and a general oral language factor. Method: A total of 288 children (first-language learners n = 198, second-language learners n = 90) were assessed six times from second to seventh grade. Results /conclusion: Using piecewise growth modeling it was found that a general oral language factor consisting of the common variance of vocabulary skills, morphology, syntactic skills and inference skills, explained in addition to decoding (and to some degree the interaction of oral language and decoding), a large part of the variance in both initial status and early growth (2nd-4th grade). Only syntactic skills and nonverbal abilities were able to explain small potions variance in later growth (4th-7th grade) of reading comprehension skills. It is argued that the contributions of other variables beyond decoding and the general oral language factor are small.
Purpose - Studies that examine whether literacy skills benefit from encouraging children to invent spelling are scarce, and tell us little about the impact on literacy of different types of feedback provided to the child. Previous studies share the assumption that teaching spelling should be developmentally appropriate - that is, confronting the child with a slightly more advanced feedback than one's own spelling. We compared the impact of three different feedback routines on children's early literacy skills. The study included four groups: (1) Comprehensive grapho-phonemic feedback: segmenting the word into CV/C units, mapping sounds on letter-names, and displaying the spelled word (2) Partial feedback: displaying the spelled word and naming its letters (3) No feedback: after inventing spelling no feedback was provided. (4) Control group: not participating in the intervention. Method -197 kindergartners from low-SES backgrounds participated in a five-phase study: pretest, training, mid-posttest, training, and final-posttest. Training involved spelling five words, both before and after the feedback, bi-weekly for 16 weeks. Results - Comprehensive feedback promoted spelling, segmentation, and mapping letters onto sounds, more than all other treatments. Additionally, comprehensive feedback promoted word decoding more than no intervention. Generally, other intervention groups did not gain more than the no intervention group. Comprehensive feedback was best for children at all literacy levels. Conclusion - This study provides insights into what kind of feedback on kindergartners' invented spelling contributes to their literacy skills. It sheds some doubt on the assumption that feedback on invented spelling to kindergartners should be sensitive to their level.
Diana Leyva (Harvard University); Virginia Nolivos; Mariana Simoes; Tara Tasuji - Spanish-speaking parent-child interaction around writing and narratives and children's growth in writing and reading skills
Purpose - This study examined whether and how aspects of parent-child interaction in writing and narrative tasks were related to growth in low-income Spanish-speaking children's writingandreading skills from the beginning of prekindergarten to the end of kindergarten. Our research question was: Are there differences in reading and writing trajectories between children whose parents provided more support and those whose parents provided less support in writing and narrative tasks? Method-Participants were 212 low-income Spanish-speaking parent-child dyads living in Chile. Children's mean age was 53.27 months at the beginning of prekindergarten,51% were girls. Children's writing and reading skills were assessed three times (at the beginning and at the end of prekindergarten, and at the end of kindergarten) using the Woodcock-Muñoz subtests: dictation, passage comprehension, and letter-word identification.Parent-child interactionin writing and narrative taskswas assessed at the beginning of prekindergarten. Parent's support in both tasks was coded based on quality of talk, structure and regard for children's perspective. Results-Individual growth modeling analyses indicated thatthere were significant differences in children's writing and reading trajectories as a function of parental supportin the writing and narrative tasks. Low-income Spanish-speaking children whose parentsprovided more support in these tasks had steeper growth in writing and reading skills from prekindergarten to kindergarten. Conclusions-This study contributes to the literature by highlighting the important role that parental support in writing and narrative tasks play in children's writing and reading skills. Implications for family and school programs in Latin America are discussed.
Purpose The purposes of this study are to examine (1) the effects of home literacy environments on English reading comprehension in Chinese ESL students, and (2) whether home literacy differs in unexpected good, expected average, and unexpected poor comprehenders. Method The participants were 246 Grade 8 students in an English immersion program in China. Measures included the Gates-MacGinitie (reading comprehension), Test of Word Reading Efficiency (word reading), several vocabulary breadth and depth tests (Gates-MacGinitie, word definitions, multiple meanings, and morphological awareness), inference, strategy, and listening comprehension (Woodcock). The students' parents completed a home literacy questionnaire. Results Two factors were produced from the questionnaire, one measuring mother's and father's education, and a second measuring characteristics of home literacy (number of English books in the home, hours of English TV program, and hours at English tutoring school). The home literacy factor significantly predicted reading comprehension and vocabulary breadth after word reading, listening comprehension, inference, and strategy were controlled. Regression was employed to identify three groups: unexpected good comprehenders, expected average comprehenders, and unexpected poor comprehenders (Tong, et al., 2011; White & Kirby, 2008). However, these groups did not differ on the parents' education or home literacy factors. Conclusion Home literacy has a small but significant effect on English reading comprehension in Chinese ESL students. The fact that home literacy does not discriminate unexpected good, expected average, and unexpected poor comprehenders suggests that cognitive and psychological factors, rather than ecological factors, are more responsible for explaining differences between groups of comprehenders.
Purpose This study examined the early neural development of Chinese character processing in preschool children with the use of the Event Related Potential (ERP) methodology. We specifically linked children's reading experience (indexed by their sight vocabulary) to the major neural marker of specialized visual word processing-N170. Method 81 5 to 6 years old children participated in the study. They were monolingual native Chinese speakers. The stimuli were Chinese characters, stroke combinations, line-drawings, and schematic face drawings. Children were required to compare the color of the stimulus with that of the preceding grid. One pair of channels on the occipito-temporal area was selected to conduct analyses according to the topographic maxima in the negative field over both hemispheres. Results The latency of N170 analyses showed that there was only significant difference among different categories. Specifically, the N170 latency for Chinese characters was significant longer than that of stroke combination and line-drawings in 6 year olds. In 5 year olds, the N170 latency for Chinese characters was only significant longer than that of line-drawings. Interestingly, only children with high sight vocabulary in 6 year olds showed greater N170 amplitude for Chinese characters than children with low vocabulary. Moreover, children in this group demonstrated a left-lateralized N170 for Chinese characters and stroke combination. Conclusions These findings show that young Chinese children demonstrated the left-lateralized N170 for Chinese characters although they have not received formal reading training. Our results also show that both reading ability and age contribute to the development of specialization for visual word processing.
Purpose: Previous literature suggested that the functional phonological unit in planning spoken word production is phoneme in English but it is syllable in Chinese. The present study investigated whether this difference would affect the functional phonological unit in English as a second language (L2) among Chinese-English bilinguals. Method: Chinese-English bilinguals and English monolinguals were recruited in two spoken word production tasks using the form preparation paradigm. In a simple picture naming task (Experiment 1), participants named lists of pictures as quickly as possible. The names of the pictures may share the same onset, or same rhyme, or have nothing systematically in common (i.e., be heterogeneous). In a memorization-recall task (Experiment 2), participants studied prompt and response picture pairs, then named the response picture as quickly as possible as the prompt pictures unpredictably appeared. The response pictures also may share the same onset or same rhyme, or be heterogeneous. Results: In the simple picture naming task, both groups showed significant onset facilitation and rhyme inhibition compared to the heterogeneous condition, suggesting that both groups planned onsets and rhymes separately in spoken word production in English. In the memorization-recall task, English monolinguals still showed significant onset facilitation and rhyme inhibition. However, no clear trend was shown among Chinese-English bilinguals. Conclusion: Task demands may influence the functional phonological unit in spoken word production in L2. Chinese-English bilinguals may involve their native language (L1) in spoken word planning in an L2 task that demands memory. Nevertheless, the influence from L1 is minimized in a simple L2 naming task without memory demand.
Hong Li (Beijing Normal University, China)Yixun Li; Xiuqi De; Ulla Richardson; Heikki Lyytinen - Early identification of poor readers and preventive training in Chinese using Pinyin Graphogame: results from a pilot study in mainland
Previous studies have showed that visual-verbal paired association learning is linked to reading skill both in typically developing and impaired readers. Children with dyslexia were significantly poorer in visual-verbal paired association learning not only in alphabetic scripts, such as English, German, Dutch, but also in Chinese. The current study aims to examine whether the support provided via Graphogame to the readers during the first step of reading, ie. when acquiring0 Pinyin learning. Pinyin is a consistent phonological coding system used in Mainland China to teach the pronunciations of new Chinese characters. Children usually spend the first eight weeks of primary school to learn it. Seventy-six 6 year-old first graders were assigned to 1 of 3 groups based on their pre-test results: (a) training first group (n=26) (b) waiting list group (n=25), and (c) control group (n=25). Only the training first group played Pinyin GraphoGame from the beginning of the intervention period. After two months, an intermediate assessment was administered after which the waiting list group started to play the game. All the participants were tested at the same time at pre-, intermediate- and post-test points. The results showed that the intervention helps children to learn faster Pinyin. We expect being able to inform the audience whether the rate of this initial learning predicts acquiring the next step Chinese children have to make to learn to read.
Chi-Shun Lien (National Chung Cheng University); Ssu-chieh Chang; Hsin-Ying Chien - Can we foster children's moral theme comprehension by text revision? An investigation into the effects of causal cohesion and writing perspective in moral stories
Purposes The purposes of this study were (1) to examine whether principles of revision that improve the causal cohesion of text, which have been successfully used on in historical texts, can also be used in revising children's moral stories; (2) to investigate whether different perspectives of writing (i.e., from first person's or third person's point of view) affect children's moral comprehension; (3) to look at the interaction between writing perspective and reading level. Method One hundred and twenty 3rd-grade and 6th-grade students were recruited from a school in Chia-Yi, Taiwan. Two authentic moral stories were revised according causal theory. The casual cohesive gaps and temporal order were repaired in order to facilitate children's moral comprehension. In addition, the two stories were rewritten into two different versions, first person's perspective and third person's perspective to explore the effect of writing perspective. Four versions of moral stories were formed and participants were randomly assigned to read either one of the versions. Participants' comprehension was measured by free recall, questions assessing knowledge of the textbase (which assessed a shallow level of comprehension), inference questions (which assessed a deep level of comprehension), and theme questions (which assessed the level of moral comprehension). Results Results indicated that children's comprehension was superior when the coherent version of the texts was read. Sixth-grade readers performed better than third-grade readers. Participants who read stories that were written in first-person perspective outperformed those who read the version of third-person perspective. Conclusions Revision of moral stories benefits children's different levels of comprehension and moral understanding. This finding is discussed in terms of its educational implications.
The study examined the associations of speech-print mapping awareness to metalinguistic awareness and particularly to Chinese word reading developmentally in kindergarten first grade (K1) with 97 children and second grade (K2) with 91 children. Speech-print mapping awareness was measured in two tasks of syllable mapping and word mapping. The results showed that children's speech-print mapping awareness increased steadily and significantly from K1 to K2. Notably, speech-print mapping awareness was found to be uniquely predictive of Chinese word reading and emerged as the only predictor in the final Beta weight in regression analyses, with age, non-verbal reasoning, visual skills, morphological awareness, phonological awareness, and orthographic awareness statistically controlled in the K1 grade. However, in the K2 grade, interestingly, with the same variables controlled, orthographic awareness and phonological awareness became significant predictors of Chinese word reading, although significant correlations were found with Chinese word reading to morphological awareness and speech-print mapping awareness. The results highlight the importance of speech-print mapping awareness in Chinese beginning readers. The understanding of how speech is mapped to print may be fundamental for beginners to learn to read. Perhaps after children have got the basic concept of speech-print connections, they can more consciously attend to the structure of phonology, orthography, or meaning within syllables or words, thus phonological, orthographic, and morphological awareness becomes more important in K2 as compared in K1.
*Purpose: The present study examined Chinese, English and Spanish adult readers‚ visual-spatial orthographic skill in Chinese. *Method: Three groups of adults participated in this study (21 Chinese, 33 English native speakers, and 33 Spanish-English bilinguals). They received a computer-based Chinese character structure task, which reflects the seven traditional Chinese character structures (Horizontal structure type 1 and 2, Vertical structure type 1 and 2, P-shape, L-shape, and Enclosure) and three levels of stroke density (high, medium, low levels). The accuracy of each item were recorded by E-Prime and analyzed with Rasch item response model. *Results: Our findings indicate that adult readers with different language backgrounds were more sensitive to particular character structures than the others. Several response patterns were found among three groups: Vertical structures were the most difficult for all three groups. In contrast, Horizontal structures were easier for Chinese and English readers than other structures. Items with P shape were relatively difficult for Chinese and Spanish readers, whereas they were relatively easy for English readers. Moreover, Enclosure and L shape structures were easy for Chinese and Spanish readers while these structures were relatively difficult for English readers. *Conclusion: Our results indicate that character structures did affect item difficulty of readers with different language backgrounds. It is important to consider the effects of character structure on item difficulty when designing curriculum and instruction for students learning Chinese as an additional language or native language.
*Purpose: The present study investigated Chinese, English and Spanish adult readers' Chinese character reading strategies. *Method: The sample consisted of 21 Chinese adults, 33 English native speakers, and 33 Spanish-English bilinguals. They received a computer-based Chinese character structure task, which reflected the seven traditional Chinese character structures (Horizontal structure type 1 and 2, Vertical structure type 1 and 2, P-shape, L-shape, and Enclosure) and three levels of stroke density (high, medium, low levels). After finishing this task, each participant received a semi-structured interview and completed a language experience and proficiency questionnaire. *Results: Chinese readers employed a universal strategy by memorizing components within each target pseudo-character that were the same or similar to other Chinese characters they had learned. In contrast, English and Spanish readers used five unique reading strategies that were distinct from Chinese readers. These strategies included (1) applying background knowledge: interviewees frequently made associations between the pseudo-characters and their background knowledge, including tangible objects, English letters and symbols; (2) decoding analytically: most of interviewees broke down the target characters into chucks; (3) using visual chunking skills: characters were decomposed into smaller units that were easier to remember; (4) recognizing salient features: a few of salient features that did not include in any of the distractors facilitated respondents' information processing; and (5) following horizontal reading patterns: respondents tended to read the characters horizontally more often than vertically. *Conclusion: Our findings suggest that educators should take learners' language experience and backgrounds into account because these factors significantly influence their Chinese character reading.
Purpose The purpose of this study was to identify potential latent classes (i.e., subtypes) in a sample of typically developing and poor readers in grade 5. We then compared the overlap between latent classes and the theoretically derived classes of early RD, late RD, and typically developing poor readers in comprehension (-C). Methods Word ID and passage comprehension scores from spring of grades 1-4 were entered into latent transition analysis to develop theoretical reading profiles (i.e., ERD, LERD, TD). A subset of students (n=119) who were classified into ERD-C, LERD-C, and TD groups were assessed during 5th grade in two domains: language and knowledge, and executive function. In these domains, latent profile analysis was used to produce latent classes. Results Latent transition analyses used word ID and passage comprehension scores to group participants into the following subtypes: ERD-C (n=18), LERD-C (n=37), and TD (n=64). Latent profile analyses used 5th grade measures to identify subclasses based on the following domains: language/knowledge, and executive function. The language/knowledge model produced three subgroups of performance: low, medium, high. The greatest overlap between the theoretical and empirical classes occurred between the low language/knowledge and the ERD-C groups. The medium and high performing classifications appeared to overestimate participant performance in language and knowledge. However, the executive function model identified only one latent group, suggesting no differentiation among theoretical classes on latent executive function ability. Conclusions Theoretical and empirical groups were selected based on different, yet related reading constructs. However, the overlap between theoretically derived and empirically derived subgroups was less than expected, especially in the classes of comprehenders on executive function.
Purpose- Children with dyslexia exhibit specific deficits in visual-verbal paired associate learning (PAL) that cannot be explained by general associative learning deficits (e.g. Vellutino, Steger, Harding, & Phillips, 1975).These deficits are observed across languages, despite variations in orthographic, phonological, and morphological complexity (Li, Shu, McBride-Chang, Liu, & Xue, 2009; Mayringer & Wimmer, 2000; Messbauer & de Jong, 2003). However, whether these deficits reflect difficulties in crossmodal mapping or verbal learning is less clear. We present a series of experiments investigating this question. Method- Experiment 1 investigated the specificity of PAL deficits by dissociating crossmodal and verbal demands. Children with dyslexia (N = 18) and age-matched controls (N = 18) were compared across the following mapping conditions: visual-verbal, verbal-verbal, visual-visual, and verbal-visual PAL. One mapping condition was tested per week for four weeks. Participants completed a computerized PAL task comprised of two presentation blocks and five test blocks with feedback. Accuracy across trials was analyzed in a logistic linear mixed effects model. Experiment 2 investigated whether visual-verbal PAL deficits reflect difficulties in the verbal learning or associative learning component of the task. Children with dyslexia (N = 14) and age-matched controls (N = 14) were tested across two days. On day one, children were pre-exposed to the phonological forms in a nonword learning task. On day two, children learned to pair the same nonwords with visual forms. Performance was analyzed in a linear mixed effects model. Results- Children with dyslexia exhibited selective deficits in visual-verbal and verbal-verbal PAL, but performed as well as their peers in verbal-visual and visual-visual PAL. These results implicate verbal demands in poor dyslexic performance. Results of Experiment 2 revealed an item-specific relationship between nonword learning and later associative learning success. Additionally, associative learning deficits were fully accounted for by verbal learning deficits. There was no evidence for an additive relationship between the two. Conclusions- Although children with dyslexia experience difficulty learning orthography-phonology mappings, this may be best characterized as a consequence of underlying verbal deficits, rather than difficulty with crossmodal associative learning.
Purpose: The importance of morphological awareness (MA) for reading in Chinese has been established. However, the design of most of the MA tasks did not allow us to explore the details in participants' responses. In the present study, the errors the participants made in constructing novel compound words in the compounding production task were analyzed, and thus the relationship between MA and word reading was further explored. Method: 32 third-grade Chinese children in Hong Kong participated in this study. Besides the compounding production task and the character reading task, these children were also administered with phonological awareness and non-verbal intelligence. Results: Moderate correlation between MA and word reading was found in the present study (r = .47, p < .01). The errors children made in the compounding production task were analyzed. Seven types of errors were identified, including: 1) using redundant morpheme, 2) missing critical morpheme, 3) incorrect structure, 4) using relevant morpheme, 5) using improper relevant morpheme, 6) using unrelated morpheme, and 7) no response. The most frequently happened errors were the first, second and fifth types. More interestingly, after controlling for phonological awareness and non-verbal intelligence, the first two types of errors uniquely explained 27.4% (p < .01) of the variance in Chinese character reading. Conclusions: The results in the present study indicated that it was more difficult for our participants to precisely identify critical morphemes to construct compound word; and such ability, as one core component of MA, was important for them to learn new words.
Purpose Previous studies have showed the importance of orthographic knowledge for Chinese reading development (e.g., Ho, Yao, & Au, 2003; Leong, Tse, Loh, & Ki, 2011; Tong, McBride-Chang, Shu, & Wong, 2009). This study examined children's understanding of sub-character level orthographic knowledge about components and strokes. Method 17 preschoolers and 17 kindergartners participated in this study and were individually tested in a quiet room on two tests within 20 minutes. The orthographic knowledge test contained 7 sets of pseudo-characters and symbols, each set with 12 stimuli, along with 84 characters as fillers, visually presented individually and asked to decide whether it is a Chinese character. The character recognition test contained 267 characters familiar by first and second graders, selected from a survey (Ke & Yin, 1987). Results The results had three major findings. First, the correct rejection rates for the symbol set, symbol combination set, symbol + legal component set, and stroke omission set were much higher than component's position violation set, bound radical set (radicals couldn't form a character by itself), and stroke direction violation set. Second, there was no group difference by age for both tests. Third, dividing participants into two groups by character recognition scores showed significant difference on symbol set, symbol combination set; showed marginal group difference on bound radical set and component's position violation set. Conclusions First, children formed different sets of orthographic knowledge at different pace. Second, more knowledge of characters did not warrant more precise orthographic knowledge in all conditions.
This study was to identify cognitive-linguistic abilities that might distinguish Hong Kong Chinese improved adolescent readers with developmental dyslexia from non-improved. A total of 84 adolescent readers with 28 improved dyslexics, 28 non-improved dyslexics, and 28 average readers participated and were administered measures of morphological skills, visual-orthographic skills, rapid naming skills, verbal working memory, reading comprehension, writing, word reading, word dictation, and one-minute word reading. Results showed that the improved dyslexics performed better than the non-improved dyslexics in visual-orthographic, word reading, one-minute reading, writing, and reading comprehension. In addition, the improved dyslexics showed comparable performance in the measures of morphological skills, one-minute reading, and reading comprehension to their average readers. Among these measures, morphological and visual-orthographic skills showed the greatest power in discriminating improved and non-improved dyslexics. Findings underscore the importance of cognitive-linguistic processes underlying the manifestations of improved and non-improved dyslexia in Chinese adolescent readers.
Ming Lo (Institute of Linguistics, Academia Sinica); Yu-Chen Huang; Yu-Lin Tzeng; Chia-Ying Lee - How phonetic position and consistency shape the lexicality effect in Chinese children: An event-related potential study
Purpose The lexicality effect, that is how readers react to real words, pseudo-words, and non-words, has been used to reflect whether readers acquire the orthographic rules in a writing system. Orthographic structure is determined by the phonological space and their mapping to semantic meaning of a language. The present study aims to investigate whether the lexicality effect would be modulated by the properties of the phonetic radical. Method We measured the event-related potentials from children at the 5th to 6th grades when they were deciding whether three types of stimuli, real, pseudo- and non-characters, were pronounceable. Two kinds of properties of phonetic, one was its position (on the left: PS, on the right: SP) and the other was the phonetic consistency (high, low), were manipulated in real and pseudo-characters. Results & Conclusion The pseudo-characters elicited greater frontal N1 than the real characters did, but only when the phonetic radical appeared in a typical position (SP structure). The data also showed that the lexicality effect on N400 was contingent with the phonetic position and consistency. The larger N400 for pseudo-character than real character was mainly observed when the phonetic radical with high consistency and was located in a typical position, or when the phonetic radial was low in consistency and was located in an unusual position. The data suggests that the typicality of a sub-lexical unit in representing the phonological information would modulate how children evaluate the word-likeness of an orthographic input and affect early and late stages of lexical processing.
Purpose: Kindergartens (KG) in Hong Kong use English, Chinese, or both Chinese and English as medium of instruction (MOI). This study aimed at designing a school-based curriculum, teaching materials and teaching strategies for ethnic minority (EM) kindergartners in learning Chinese characters; and examined the effect of different MOI in learning Chinese. Method: This one-year teaching study consisted of 42 second year KG EM students compared with 44 third year KG EM counterparts as controls. Teachers were trained to use the curriculum, teaching materials and teaching strategies. Pre- and post-tests (items include "matching characters with pictures", "matching pictures with characters", "read aloud characters", " association of mental lexicon: family, school, community") were conducted to assess and compare children's Chinese characters learning performance. Results: The target children's pre- and post-tests results showed significant improvement in Chinese character reading as compared with control children (effect sizes ranging from 1.07 to 3.56). Students from Chinese MOI kindergartens had the lowest scores in the pre-test, but their progress in post-test (effect sizes ranging from 1.99 to 3.56) generally outperformed their counterparts. Conclusions: Results indicated that the curriculum, teaching materials and teaching strategies could help ethnic minority students' to learn Chinese characters effectively. Kindergartens using Chinese as MOI would provide a rich language environment which can further enhance their learning progress.
Kaisa Lohvansuu (University of Jyväskylä, Finland)Maiju Uusipaikka; Heikki Lyytinen; Paavo H.T. Leppänen; Jarmo A. Hämäläinen - Source analysis of brain responses reveals atypical processing of phonemic length in 9-year-old children with dyslexia
Purpose Speech processing deficit is thought to be one of the neurocognitive risk factors causing dyslexia. The brain's ability to discriminate between acoustic features crucial for formation of speech sound representations may be insufficient in dyslexic readers. Here, we studied in dyslexic and typically reading children the source waveforms of brain responses to pseudowords varying in the consonant duration, marking phonemic length, a semantically distinguishing feature in Finnish language. Method Participants were 9-year-old children taking part in Jyväskylä Longitudinal Study of Dyslexia (JLD). Event-related potentials (ERPs) of 30 dyslexic and 57 typically reading risk children, as well as those of 60 typically reading control children were recorded in an oddball paradigm with a high density 128-channel EEG system. Stimuli were naturally produced pseudowords, /ata/ and /atta/, varying only in consonant duration. Both stimuli were presented as the standard and the deviant stimuli with the reversed probabilities in two different conditions. Results We found that in control and typically reading at-risk children the tangential source waveforms of response to the deviant /ata/ were larger than to the standard /atta/ at both hemispheres at N250/MMN latency, but this difference was not significant in dyslexic children. In addition the radial source at P1 latency at the left hemisphere differed between dyslexic and typically reading control children. Conclusions These results indicate that dyslexic and typical readers differ in their brain activation reflecting processing of temporal structure of speech sounds. This suggests deficit in speech perception which may underlie poor phonological skills of dyslexic readers.
Purpose: This study's purpose was to identify the component skills that underlie reading comprehension for elementary-school-age children and to examine the degree to which the relations between reading comprehension and these component skills vary as a function of children's ages and reading comprehension abilities. Method: Data for this study were obtained from 681 third-, fourth-, and fifth-grade students from a diverse selection of schools in the southeastern U.S. At least three standardized measures of each construct--reading comprehension, decoding, and various language-related constructs (i.e., vocabulary, syntax, listening comprehension, background knowledge)--were completed by children. Results: Confirmatory factor analysis was used to determine the underlying structure of the data. Separate decoding and reading comprehension factors were identified, and although distinct factors were identified for the language-related constructs, they were highly correlated with each other (i.e., rs = .86 - .99). The combination of the decoding factor and any of the language-related factors accounted for over 90% of the variance in reading comprehension, and no other language construct contributed unique variance. Quantile regression revealed that the amount of unique variance accounted for by the decoding and language factors varied as a function of children's reading comprehension skills; however, at least 94% of the variance was accounted for at each quantile and the largest amount of predictive variance was shared variance. Conclusions: These results provide strong confirmation of the Simple View of Reading with elementary-school-age children and suggest that findings from studies that have used single measures for constructs may be due to task-specific variance.
Min Lu (School of Foreign Languages and Literature, Shandong University)Zhimei Xu; Xue Zhou - The effect of instruction on the development of phonological awareness of early Chinese learners of English
This study was intended to investigate the effect of an interventional instruction on the development of phonological awareness of both the first and second languages among early Chinese learners of English. Two intact classes of grade three (N=33, N=36) were randomly chosen from a primary school, and one was treated as experimental group, the other control group. The experimental group received a term long phonological awareness instruction in English and the control group received no such training. Pre- and post-tests of phonological awareness in both English and Chinese were administered to both groups. Each test included the following phonological awareness tasks: rime oddity, onset oddity, and onset-rime blending in both English and Chinese, and Chinese tone detection. Results indicate that there are significant improvements for the experimental group in both English and Chinese phonological awareness. And the differences between the experimental and control group on English and Chinese phonological awareness are significant as well. This study shows that instruction cannot only help improve phonological awareness in English but have a transfer effect from English to Chinese phonological awareness.
I argue that there are interactions among these language skills, therefore, only through a comprehensive instruction including multiple strategies that can improve students' writing skills. I design a writing instruction include several components. First, I will use stories from commercial books to improve students' decoding and reading comprehension skill, the students will need to retell the stories and a story map will be used to guide the student to summarize a story. A keyword list will be used to broader students' vocabulary knowledge, and a cognitive strategy will be used to help students' meta-cognitive skills in writing. Finally, I will use a strategy that focuses on memory encoding and retrieval to improve students' spelling skills. I will include two groups of students with writing difficulties in the intervention group: students with learning disabilities and students without learning disabilities. The goal of this study is to answer the following questions: (1) Is a multi-dose writing instruction an effective instruction for both disabled and non-disabled students? (2) Do these two types of students respond to this novel instruction differently? I will conduct this study during January to May in 2013. Although currently I don't have results in this abstract, I shall have done the analysis and get a conclusion in July when the conference is held in Hong Kong. I expect this study will add our understanding on how preceding oral language and reading skills impact writing skills and how an instruction with multiple components help students with writing difficulties.
Purpose: Numerous studies suggest that working memory is correlated with reading and math skills. Moreover, previous quantitative genetic work has established that reading and math skills share 2/3 to 3/4 of their genetic variance and nearly all of their shared environmental variance. The present study extends this work to examine whether working memory accounts for the overlap between psychometric reading and math, and whether different types of memory differentially relate to reading and math outcomes. Method: Participants from the larger ongoing Western Reserve Reading and Math Project (N=103 MZ (identical) and N=138 DZ (same-sex fraternal) twin pairs with data to date), took part in home visits at which reading and mathematics assessments were collected. Children were approximately 12 years old at the time of testing (M=12.20, SD=1.20). In addition to psychometric measures of reading and mathematics, children completed two memory tasks: spatial working memory (Corsi Blocks) and verbal working memory (Memory for Digits). These measures were examined using Mx to estimate additive genetic, shared environmental and nonshared environmental contributions to the relationships among working memory, math, and reading. Results: Univariate results showed that variance in reading was largely due to genetic influences and shared environmental influences were modest and non-significant . Multivariate results indicated that verbal memory accounted for a greater proportion of the genetic variance in reading whereas spatial memory accounted for a greater proportion of genetic variance in mathematics. Interestingly, shared environmental influences were confined to reading and mathematics, and not memory. Discussion: The results suggest that the type of memory tapped may be differentially related to reading and math achievement. We are currently examining whether these relationships remain stable longitudinally.
Independent studies examined the use of new scientifically sound educational technologies for the acquisition of reading skills. These technologies have been developed on the basis of the knowledge gained from the Jyväskylä Longitudinal Study of Dyslexia (JLD). In JLD children with and without familial risk for dyslexia have been followed from birth almost twenty years now. The knowledge gained from JLD underscores that one of the strongest predictors of reading skills is letter-sound knowledge. Another relevantly recent discovery is that the orthographies of the languages have a significant effect on both the method for and rate of learning to read. Taking onboard these central issues for learning to read the new training methods were developed in Jyväskylä. The method aims to preventively strengthen the readiness to acquire reading skills among at risk children by focusing on training the connections between items of written and spoken language. The preventive training of the association building is administered in the context of enjoyable computer and mobile games versions of Graphogame. It is hypothesised that the intensive practice during short but frequent playing sessions within a month helps to minimize the lag behind peers that is faced by at risk children without such preventive practice. Overall, our recent results of such preventive training among thousands of Finnish children have been promising. In the symposium, findings from behavioural studies are presented from intervention studies using the technologies in several different language contexts (including English and Finnish).
This study examines underserved ELLs' ability to organize text information and bridging inferences into coherent causal chains, a process called multi-link reasoning. 257 fifth-grade Spanish-speaking ELLs from low-SES urban neighborhoods in a northern Illinois city received a 9-week unit on wolf management in which they role-played being wolf agency charged with deciding whether a community should be allowed to eradicate wolves. The unit presented three subsystems of knowledge (ecosystem, economy, public policy) via two types of instruction, collaborative group work or direct instruction. CG classrooms were formed into heterogeneous groups, each of which studied one subsystem of knowledge through peer-managed collaborative reading and discussion, which they then shared with the whole class via poster presentations. DI classrooms learned the three subsystems sequentially through teacher-guided reading and whole-class discussion. At the end of the unit, students individually wrote letters presenting personal decisions about whether the wolves should be killed. CG and DI students presented more high-order relational concepts and explicit links among the concepts than the letters of uninstructed control students. A multinomial logistic regression analysis showed CG students generated significantly longer chains of reasoning (many 3-5 link chains) than DI students (mostly 1-2 link chains), while most control students failed to produce any multi-link chains even after controlling for level of conceptual knowledge. The results suggest collaborative group work is an effective instructional approach to foster ELLs' causal reasoning. Reading is more than collecting a basket of facts. Reading worthy of the name is learning to reason with these facts.
Ben Maassen (University of Groningen); Natasha Maurits; Aryan van der Leij; Peter de Jong; Titia van Zuijen; Elsje van Bergen; Anna Plakas - Longitudinal analysis of early neurolinguistic functions in determining reading fluency and dyslexia.
Purpose - In the Dutch Dyslexia Programme (DDP) 180 children with a familial risk of dyslexia (FR) and 120 control children (Ctrl) have been followed from age 2 months to 9 years, in order to study early developmental precursors of dyslexia. Aim of the here presented study was to assess the relative contribution of performance on neurolinguistic tasks during the pre- and early literacy stage as determinants of reading fluency and reading disability in grade 2 and 3. Method - At Kindergarten and first to third grade elementary school neurolinguistic tasks to assess verbal fluency (rapid naming), phonological skills (phoneme deletion), and verbal working memory were administered. At second and third grade, reading tasks were administered to diagnose dyslexia and assess reading fluency. On the basis of family background and reading fluency, the children were divided into three groups: FR-dyslexic, FR-nondyslexic, and controls (Ctrl; dyslexic controls were excluded). Results - Significant correlations were found between verbal short-term memory, phonological skills, and rapid naming administered across the pre- and early literacy stages on the one hand, and reading fluency and dyslexia on the other. Also, performances on the different neurolinguistic tasks showed high inter-correlations. All correlations tended to be higher in the FR-groups than the control group. Conclusions - The present study, firstly, corroborates the earlier reported role of neurolinguistic functions as predictors of reading fluency, and, secondly, further specifies for each function whether it reflects the familial liability (indicated by a difference in performance between FR-nondys and controls), or more specifically is related to reading fluency (only FR-dyslexic children showing poor performance). Further analyses that more specifically trace the developmental paths will be available at the conference.
Lucie Macchi (Ureca, Université de Lille 3 (France). IPSY, Université catholique de Louvain (Belgium)) Séverine Casalis, Marie-Anne Schelstraete - Investigation of the dual route in French children with specific language impairment
Purpose : Children with a specific language impairment (SLI) often experience difficulties in reading acquisition, particularly in decoding. However, their precise profile in reading is still unclear. Therefore, the purpose of the present study is to analyse written word identification procedures, according to the Dual Route Cascaded Model (Coltheart, Rastle, Perry, Langdon, & Ziegler, 2001). Method : Twenty two children with SLI from 8 to 13 years were recruited. Their skills were compared to those of as many younger children matched for aloud reading performance. The efficiency of the lexical and sublexical reading procedures was evaluated by pseudoword, regular and irregular word reading aloud from the EVALEC battery (Sprenger-Charolles, Colé, Piquard-Kipffer, & Leloup, 2010). Results : Regarding lexicality, regularity, and complexity effects, group analysis shows few difference between SLI and typically developing children. However, multicase analysis shows that, while most children with SLI have a disorder of similar magnitude on both reading procedures, some of them suffer of a predominant impairment on the sublexical route. These latter children present a spoken language profile quite specific, with, in particular, a more important disorder on expressive phonology than the former children. Conclusions : As a group, development of reading procedures by children with SLI seems delayed rather than deviant. However, multicase analysis reveals heterogeneity in reading profiles, which need to be more studied, particularly in link with the oral language skills. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
Norbert Maïonchi-Pino (Université Clermont-Ferrand 2 - Blaise Pascal - LAPSCO - UMR CNRS 6024); Yasuyuki Taki; Annie Magnan; Jean Écalle; Satoru Yokoyama; Hiroshi Hashizume; Kei Takahashi; Ryuta Kawashima - Does the misperception of unattested onset clusters depend on universal phonological sonority-based markedness and linguistic experience?
Purpose: We present results from an ongoing research that tested whether - and how - all native speakers of French (i.e., whatever the age range) misperceived and repaired unattested onset clusters. We were interested in whether misperception ensues from an active phonological process related to linguistic experience (e.g., reading level) and based on the universal phonological sonority-related markedness. Method: We tested 75 native speakers of French who were subdivided into 5 groups from school-aged children (M = 6.6; M = 8.4; and M = 12.8) to young (M = 23.9) and elderly adults (M = 68.0). Participants were instructed to decide whether visually administered pseudowords embedded 1 or 2 syllables (e.g., 'zgal' vs. 'e'-inserted counterpart). Pseudowords, whose clusters were unattested in word-initial position in French, were distributed from phonotactically-unmarked ones ('gmal') to phonotactically-marked ones ('rbal'). Results: Response patterns in all participants conformed to universally optimal sonority-based onset clusters: response times and errors to count syllables progressively decreased as markedness decreased (e.g., 'gmal' < 'bdal' < 'rbal'). Further analyses revealed that misperception elicited an active phonological syllable-related repair process, which was based on an illusory epenthetic vowel (e.g., 'rebal') to conform to French phonotactic constraints, regardless reading level, statistical properties and articulatory or acoustic-phonetic cues. Conclusions: Our results did not account for developmentally-constrained segmentation strategies; rather, our results suggested an early, uniform and long-lasting sensitivity to universal sonority-related markedness. We discussed our results to propose that markedness sensitivity is universal, phonological, and sonority-based and does not primarily depend on linguistic experience.
Purpose: Dyslexia is characterized by long lasting short-term memory (STM) impairment. Recently, it has been shown that the retention of serial order information - the serial position of items within a memory list - is particularly impaired, as opposed to item information, suggesting a critical role of serial order for understanding STM impairment in dyslexia. This study explored the neural correlates of STM for serial order in adults with a history of dyslexia, for both verbal and visual stimuli. Method: Sixteen adult subjects with a history of dyslexia and sixteen age- and IQ-matched control subjects participated in an fMRI study; they were presented with lists containing four nonwords or faces and were instructed to focus on the items or their order; after a maintenance delay, two probe stimuli occurred and participants decided whether they were the same (item condition) or in the same order (order condition) as in the memory list. Results: The item STM conditions elicited no differential brain activity in the dyslexic group relative to the control group. For the order STM conditions, however, the dyslexic group showed abnormally reduced activation, and this in a network encompassing the right intraparietal sulcus and superior frontal sulcus, a network that has been previously identified to support order STM. Conclusions: Adults with a history dyslexia show a reduced specialization of order STM networks in line with their poor performance in order STM tasks, indicating long-lasting alterations in non-linguistic processes and neural substrates. The possible causal relation to dyslexia will be discussed.
Purpose: Most research that examines the applicability of first language (L1) reading models to second language (L2) reading comprehension has not included working memory in their investigation. Also, there is limited research on the validity of working memory measures, especially with English language learners (ELLs). Therefore, the current study aimed to determine the relationship between L1 and L2 working memory and L2 reading comprehension and to test the validity of four commonly used working memory and short-term memory measures with ELLs. Method: Forty-seven Chinese-speaking ELL children (mean age = 130.09 months, SD = 17.25 months) in Southwestern Ontario were recruited. Participants were tested on a battery of reading (GMRT, 1992; NARA, 1999; Word Identification), language (PPVT), and memory measures (digit span tests and working memory measures) in both English and Chinese. Results and conclusions: Regression analyses revealed that in addition to word reading and vocabulary, performance on one measure of English reading comprehension was significantly predicted by working memory as measured by English and Chinese backward digit span and verbal working memory tests, F(5, 40) = 13.163, p < 0.001. Furthermore, short term memory (i.e. English & Chinese forward digit span) and non-verbal working memory did not significantly predict English reading comprehension. Results suggest that similar to monolinguals, verbal working memory is important for ELL children's L2 reading comprehension skills, and careful consideration should be given when choosing measures for assessing working memory. Theoretical and practical implications based on differential relations to measures of reading comprehension will be discussed.
Purpose: It is axiomatic that the majority of South African primary school readers are at least 4 years delayed in both their L1s and English and that they fail to make a seamless transition from learning to read to reading to learn. The purpose of the study was to investigate the effectiveness of a culturally responsive pedagogy for reading development in an African language and English. Method: Sixty grade 4-6 learners (n=60), with a mean age of 11.8 months, from a rural village of South Africa participated in a quasi-experimental design program, which lasted for 12 months. The program activities increased reading events more in the local language than in English: books at home and enriched print environment as well as an engagement with parents and teachers through a series of reading and cultural appropriation workshops. Results: Both ONE WAY ANOVA and Multiple Regression analyses of test scores showed (1) statistically significant mean gains to appropriate levels in the local African language (Sepedi) post-tests and (2) linear and positive correlations between L1 and L2 reading gains on low and high order cognitive reading skills. Conclusion: Using the working memory model, I argue that 'symptoms' of dysexecutive syndrome in reading delay (impairment of executive control functioning) can be challenged and modified through culturally sensitive pedagogic model for reading development.
Purpose: The lexical quality hypothesis (LQH) purports that fully specified word representations in memory underpin fluent reading. Therefore, words with high quality representations should be accessed more efficiently than words with lower quality representations. This hypothesis was tested by examining the relationship between lexical quality (as measured by spelling accuracy) and single word reading speed. Method: Undergraduate students (N=74) first read a bank of 20 words. Measures of single word reading speed were gathered using e-prime software. One week later, the students were asked to spell the same bank of words over five different trials. Words that were 'always' spelled correctly (all five trials) were assumed to have the highest quality representations. Words that were 'sometimes' spelled correctly (1 to 4 times out of five trials) were presumed to have representations that were underspecified and still developing. Words that were 'never' spelled correctly (and yet still read accurately) were taken to have the lowest quality representations. Results: Words that were always spelled accurately were read faster than words that were sometimes spelled correctly; words that were never spelled accurately were read the slowest. Conclusion: Our results suggest a positive relationship between the specificity of orthographic representations in memory and reading speed. These observations were made on a word-by-word level (e.g., over and above general spelling ability, individuals read words they could spell, faster than words they could not). These data lend direct support for a central role of lexical quality in both spelling and reading, as suggested by the LQH.
Purpose: The phonological core deficit in dyslexia may originate from an underlying deficit in speech sound processing, possibly indicated by a deviant MMN to speech sound deviance. This phoneme MMN was reduced in dyslexic readers and its left-lateralization predicted subsequent reading acquisition. Given inconsistencies in the literature, however, we aimed at replicating previous dyslexia effects with familiar speech sounds and tested whether they would extend to unfamiliar speech sounds. Method: We investigated 10 dyslexic and 52 nondyslexic children in first grade using an MMN paradigm (standard: da, familiar deviant: ta, unfamiliar deviant: tha, duration/SOA: 170/450ms). ERPs were computed from a 129-channel EEG after standard preprocessing. Familiar and unfamiliar speech sound deviance was indicated by the ERP differences between ta and da, and between tha and da, respectively. Time windows with significant mismatch responses (TANOVA, p<0.01) were further analyzed regarding amplitude (frontocentral electrodes) and lateralization (temporal electrodes) using ANOVAs. Results: At frontal electrodes, the late MMN was stronger for familiar than unfamiliar phoneme deviance and was generally increased in dyslexia. At temporal electrodes, the late MMN was left-lateralized, which was more pronounced in dyslexia. In addition, the late MMN was larger for familiar than unfamiliar phoneme deviance, which again was more pronounced in dyslexia. Conclusions: The dyslexia effects regarding amplitude and lateralization were contrary to expectations and suggest additional factors modulating these effects and contributing to inconsistencies in the literature. Additional analyses will be presented that may allow a better interpretation of the results and more meaningful integration in the literature.
Genevieve McArthur (ARC Centre of Excellent in Cognition and its Disorders)Erin Banales; Saskia Kohnen; Anne Castles - The effect of reading training on the self-esteem of children with developmental dyslexia
Purpose Around 5% of primary children have a significant difficulty learning to read. We have known for a long time that reading difficulties lead to long-term academic failure. However, we are just starting understand the association between reading failure and self esteem. In this study, we ask (1) what types of emotional difficulties are associated with reading difficulty ("dyslexia"); (2) what proportions of children with dyslexia have these types of emotional difficulties; and (3) is it possible to boost these children's self-esteem by training their reading? Methods We tested four types of self-esteem with standardised scales (academic, general, parental/home, and social) in seventy 7- to 12-year old children with developmental dyslexia before and after a no-training period (8 weeks), and before and after a phonics or sight-word training period (8 weeks). Results Preliminary analyses suggest that poor academic, general, and social self esteem scores is more closely associated with dyslexia than parental/home self esteem; that 30 per cent of children score below the average range for these three types of self esteem; and that reading training has a small to moderate impact on children's self-esteem, depending on their self-esteem level prior to training. Conclusions Around 1/3 of children with dyslexia have poor academic, general, or social self-esteem, which can be improved to some degree by reading training. The implications of these findings in terms of the causal direction between poor reading and poor self-esteem will be discussed.
Using a subset of data from the Alphabetic Braille and Contracted Braille Study, researchers analyzed the patterns and characteristics of hand movements as predictors of reading performance. This was a longitudinal study involving beginning braille readers across the United States and Canada. Participants were video recorded while reading familiar braille passages each year from kindergarten through fourth grade. Hand movement patterns and the characteristics of the individual fingers were coded using momentary time sampling in 6 second intervals. Visual analysis, growth models, and multiple regression models revealed statistically significant differences between one-and two-handed readers. Differences were also noted between patterns of hand movements and reading rates. Children who began reading with a one-handed pattern were less likely to progress to a two handed pattern. Hand dominance did not have a statistically significant impact on the potential of hand movement patterns. This provides a strong basis for recommending beginning braille readers always read with both hands. However, even two-handed readers' speeds fell as low as the 10th percentile and below when compared with typical peers. This raises questions about the role of both hands and each finger in the reading process. Furthermore the results raise questions about whether the interventional strategies currently being employed, modeled off reading instruction with children who learn to read print visually, are as efficacious for children learning to read braille tactually or if a fundamentally different approach to teaching reading is warranted.
The interactive e-book presented here was developed as a direct result of basic research that examined fifth-graders' (n = 42, 47% lower SES) eye movements during a task designed to test processing of semantic relations between verb and object concepts within the constraints of an ongoing event and how individual differences in oral language skill affected performance. While tracking eye movement, children read items comprised of two related sentences on the computer where the target word in the second sentence was or was not primed by the first sentence (see below). Last week Kyle flew to visit his family. The large plane quickly transported them. Or The large truck quickly transported them. HLM revealed that the difference between time reading plausible and implausible sentence-pairs (plausible < implausible) was greater for students with stronger compared to weaker semantic skills. Surprisingly, semantic skills had no effect on the difference in time fixated on plausible/implausible words. However students with weaker semantic skills spent significantly less time re-reading implausible sentence pairs compared to students with stronger semantic skills. As a result of these findings we developed and tested an interactive online e-book that specifically targeted word knowledge and comprehension monitoring. The book embeds comprehension and word knowledge questions within an engaging text. Assessment data are automatically collected as children read and interact with the book including time reading each page, answers in response to comprehension and word knowledge questions, and decisions made during the reading regarding movement through the book and re-reading pages.
Purpose: To investigate the relationship between writing quality and metacognitive knowledge in ESL and EL1 grade 4 writers within the functional writing system framework (Berninger & Amtmann, 2003). Cognitive, linguistic and literacy measures were administered to grade 4 Canadian children to examine the relationship between writing performance and metacognitive knowledge. Differences in metacognitive knowledge in skilled and less-skilled writers across language groups were also examined. Method: Seventy-four (44 ESL, 30 EL1) grade 4 children participated from five schools. ESL children had been immersed in English classrooms since kindergarten. Cognitive (RAN, verbal span, working memory), linguistic (vocabulary, syntactic knowledge, phoneme deletion), and literacy (word-level reading, decoding, spelling, handwriting fluency, paragraph writing) measures were administered. A metacognitive knowledge questionnaire examined knowledge about text generation, planning, audience and purpose, organization and revision. Results: ESL and EL1 groups did not differ in metacognitive knowledge, despite a disparity between groups in oral vocabulary and syntactic knowledge in favour of EL1 writers. Groups were collapsed to examine skilled and less-skilled writers. Skilled writers scored significantly higher on the questionnaire and were more knowledgeable about organization and the importance of the audience and purposes for writing. Reading and writing component skills and processes were strongly associated across language groups. Students displaying more sophisticated metacognitive knowledge demonstrated proficiency in higher-level writing aspects, writing well-organized, lexically diverse paragraphs. Conclusion: Children's metacognitive knowledge - including knowledge of audience, purpose, genre, writing process and some writing strategies - is related to performance in a paragraph writing task, including higher-level analytic scores.
Purpose: The reading outcomes of children with isolated developmental speech disorder (i.e., without accompanying language impairment) are variable. Such variability may be due to the heterogeneous nature of the population whereby different underlying cognitive deficits are attributed to different profiles of surface speech errors across children. This study examined word identification and reading comprehension in a relatively homogenous subgroup of children with speech disorder (i.e., those with inconsistent speech errors on repeated productions). Method: The phonological awareness, speech, language and reading skills of 45 children with inconsistent speech disorder and 45 children with typical speech and language development aged 5-7 years were examined. The study sought to establish the phonological awareness and reading performance of participants, and to identify the predictors of reading comprehension performance across groups. Results: Results showed that 48.9%, 35.6%, and 37.8% of children with inconsistent speech disorder performed below expected range on standardised phonological awareness, word identification and reading comprehension measures respectively. Logistical regression indicated phonological awareness (p =.016), speech accuracy (p<.001), and age (p=.004) explained unique variance in word identification skills for the speech disordered cohort. Further, word identification (p<.001), non-verbal intelligence (p =.024), and age (p =.012) explained unique variance in reading comprehension for the speech disordered cohort. Language (p=.621) made no additional contribution in word identification or reading comprehension. Conclusion: Results are consistent with the multiple deficits model (Pennington et al., 2009) whereby phonological deficits interact with other cognitive risk and protective factors in determining the literacy outcomes of children with speech disorder.
Brigid McNeill (University of Canterbury, New Zealand); Gail Gillon; Barbara Dodd - Factors influencing the longer term effectiveness of phonological awareness intervention for children with apraxia of speech
Purpose: This study investigated the immediate and longer term effectiveness of an integrated phonological awareness approach that combined speech, phonological awareness and letter knowledge goals for children with Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS). Opportunities for explicit phonological awareness teaching in the general classroom setting over the follow-up period were also examined. Method: A controlled multiple single-subject design was employed. Twelve children aged 4-7 years with CAS participated in two 6-week intervention periods. The effects of the intervention were monitored immediately following conclusion of the therapy and at 6-months follow-up. Change in speech, phonological awareness, letter knowledge, word decoding, and spelling skills were examined. Results: Nine children with CAS made significant gains in speech production that was transferred to a connected speaking context. Eight children showed significant gains in at least one target phoneme awareness skill, and these children demonstrated transfer of skills to novel phoneme awareness tasks. As a group, participants demonstrated improvement in phonological awareness, letter knowledge, word decoding, and spelling ability. Over the follow-up period, participants' classroom literacy programme focused primarily on implicit phonological awareness instruction and continued accelerated growth in phonological, reading and spelling skills was not observed. Conclusions: An integrated phonological awareness programme was an effective method of simultaneously improving speech, phoneme awareness, word decoding, and spelling ability for some children with CAS. Ongoing intervention support and collaboration between specialist intervention and classroom instruction is needed to ensure continued growth in targeted skills for this population.
Melina Melgarejo (University of California, Santa Barbara);Michael Gerber; Lee Swanson; Michael Orozco, Danielle Guzman-Orth - Effective Instructional Practices Predicting Reading Growth for English Language Learners
Purpose: Between 1980 and 2009, the number of school-age children who spoke a language other than English at home increased from 4.7 to 11.2 million or from 10 to 21 percent (NCES, 2012). As the population of English Language Learners increases, better ways of addressing the needs of these students is necessary. Research indicates that ELLs learn in relatively the same-way non-ELLs learn and the same instructional practices that are effective for one group holds true for the other group. However, due to factors such as language development modifications are necessary in instruction. Meaningful and engagement curriculum, opportunities to practice, and explicit teaching have been found beneficial to ELLs as well as non-ELLs (Goldenberg, 2008). Teaching phonological skills and decoding skills also boost reading achievement in ELLs (Goldenberg, 2008). Studies have found highest reading growth for ELLs in classrooms where literacy instruction actively engaged and challenged students (Gersten, 2005). Method: We administered a battery of English and Spanish measures to sequential cohorts (N = 438) of ELLs over three years. The current study focuses on the first two years of the project, following cohorts of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders over two years as they transition 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade. Real letter-word reading efficiency was assessed by the Letter-Word Identification from the Woodcock Reading Mastery Test-Revised. From this data, students were grouped into three reading level groups in order to identify whether certain classroom characteristics are more beneficial to specific students. Reading comprehension was measured by Passage Comprehension from the WMLS-R. Reading efficiency was assessed by Word Attack from the Woodcock Reading Mastery Test-Revised. Qualitative notes were taken during observations of classrooms composed mainly of English Learners. From these qualitative notes, the Gersten/Graves English Language Learner Observation Instrument was completed. Results: Preliminary analyses indicate that similar to research literature, explicit instruction, modified instruction and phonemic awareness significantly predicted students' reading outcomes. Further analysis will identify if similar characteristics of teaching significantly predict reading growth for different groups of ELLs, specifically those at risk for reading disabilities. Conclusions: This analysis contributes to research on effective instructional practices for ELL reading outcomes and expands by exploring different groups of ELL students.
Alejandra Meneses (Facultad Educación Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile); Lorena Medina; Ernesto San Martín; Andrea Valdivia; Marcela Ruiz; Malva Villalón; Sergio Martinic; Carla Förster - The effective teacher`s interactions for learning to read: literacy gains of PreK to 2th Chilean graders
Purpose This study analyses the effect of literacy teaching interaction and instructional management on students`literacy outcomes from preK to 2th grade in Chilean schools. Method To determine the classroom factors involved in reading learning, 150 classroom were observed twice during 2010 using an instrument to measure the quality of literacy interaction. Phonological awareness, print concepts, word recognition, fluency, oral and reading comprehesion of 3601 students were assessed at the begnning and end of the school year. By cluster analysis two dimensions were considered to determine the quality of classroom interaction: interactive teaching (IT: socioemotional climate, students participation and type of feedback) and instructional management (IM: number of teaching episodes and consistency between stated objectives and teaching episodes). Results To determine the teacher effectiveness, three types of interaction were considered: low IT, medium IT and high IT. Value-added analysis showed that primary-grade reading achievement was explained by the interaction level in classroom (Teacher estimate -0.79, 0.44, p-value 0.08). The literacy students outcomes in preK, K and 2th grade were not explained by interactive teaching. Conclusions The findings offer evidence about classroom factors related to reading achievement. Specifically, the most effective teachers promote students verbal participation through open questions and, in consequence, the students produce an extended discourse. Additionally, teachers' feedback was oriented to learn in a positive climate. Future research need to explore the teacher`s effectiveness interaction and instruction in low-income context where the students do not have the opportunity to develop this type of discourse at home.
Researches indicate that children have implicit morphological knowledge, even before they consciously manipulate it, and this knowledge contributes to the learning of reading, writing and vocabulary. The guiding question of this study was about the relation between morphological knowledge and vocabulary in early childhood education and in the early grades of literacy, with the hypothesis that this relationship is positive according to the school progression. Purpose: The aim of this study was to verify the morphological derivational skills in the use of oral language and its correlation with the expressive vocabulary. Method: We conducted a cross-sectional study involving 66 students distributed across school years: 24 children from Early Childhood Public Education, 21 from 1st year and 21 from 2nd year from the Fundamental Public Education. Were controlled nonverbal intelligence and phonological awareness. Was evaluated the expressive vocabulary, and the morphological skills were investigated by production of neologisms and a word definition task. Results: there were investigated differences in student performance for each school year both in relation to morphological knowledge, as the vocabulary. Both correlations are stronger among the 2nd year, more than in the 1st year and this more than in Early Childhood Education. Conclusion: We confirmed that the children investigated have the morphological knowledge and this relates positively with increasing vocabulary, because the progress in both should have a productive factor due to the expansion and use of their semantic lexicon.
Amanda Miller (Regis University);Amanda C. Miller; Doug Fuchs; Lynn S. Fuchs; Donald L. Compton; Devin M. Kearns; Wenjuan Zhang; Loulee Yen; Samuel Patton; Danielle Peterson - A longitudinal study of the influence of behavioral attention on the development of word reading and comprehension among at-risk readers
Purpose We examined the extent to which teacher ratings of behavioral attention predicted responsiveness to reading instruction and future reading comprehension performance among first grade students identified as at-risk for reading difficulties. We compared the direct and indirect influence of attention on the development of word reading, listening comprehension, and reading comprehension in third grade. Method Our sample comprised 134 students (mean age = 6.43, SD = .37). Students represented 19 public schools in a metropolitan school district, and each received 20 weeks of intensive, one-on-one reading intervention in combination with classroom instruction. We report variables representing reading, language, and cognitive skills in the fall and spring of first grade, as well as word reading, reading comprehension, and listening comprehension scores in spring of third grade. Results Path analysis indicated that teacher ratings of student attention significantly predicted students' word reading growth in first grade even when controlling for other relevant predictors (phonological awareness, nonword reading, sight word efficiency, vocabulary, listening comprehension, hyperactivity, nonverbal reasoning, and short term memory). Also, student attention demonstrated a significant indirect effect on third grade reading comprehension via word reading, but not via listening comprehension. Conclusion Results suggest that student attention (indexed by teacher ratings) is a powerful predictor of at-risk readers' responsiveness to reading instruction in first grade and that first-grade reading growth mediates the relationship between students' attention and their future level of reading comprehension. The importance of considering ways to manage and improve behavioral attention when implementing reading instruction will be discussed.
Purpose: Lexical inferencing, or informed guessing of the meanings of unknown words encountered during reading, has been found to be a significant contributor to reading comprehension and vocabulary acquisition both in first language (L1) and second language (L2) reading. This study explored the components of L2 lexical inferencing, including L2 linguistic knowledge (vocabulary and grammar), L2 morphological analysis (morphological awareness and knowledge), and L1 lexical inferencing. Method: Participants were 45 adult L1 Japanese learners of English. All participants completed measures of L2 vocabulary breadth, L2 grammatical knowledge, L2 morphological awareness, L2 morphological knowledge, L1 lexical inferencing ability and L2 lexical inferencing ability. Results: Hierarchical step-wise regression revealed that the strongest predictor of L2 lexical inferencing ability was L2 linguistic knowledge, with vocabulary being a stronger predictor than grammar. L2 morphological analysis (awareness and knowledge) made a weaker contribution, and was subsumed within L2 vocabulary knowledge. The contribution of L1 lexical inferencing was consistent across different levels of L2 linguistic knowledge (vocabulary and grammatical knowledge). Together, all variables accounted for 63% of variance in L2 lexical inferencing ability. Conclusions: Results show the important role of L2 linguistic knowledge, especially vocabulary knowledge, in L2 lexical inferencing, and the weaker role of L2 morphological analysis. In addition, the findings suggest that lexical inferencing skills can be transferred across languages.
Aim: This study aimed to test how early handwriting quality (at ages 6) was associated with Chinese writing composition performance (at age 9, 10) among children from Hong Kong. Method: Handwriting were administrated at age 6, while Chinese writing composition and writing fluency task were administrated at age 9, 10 with 138 children sampled. A composite score of Chinese writing composition was made up from a 5 elements coding scheme. Writing fluency task required children to write numbers within 1 minute, reflecting writing speed. Handwriting quality was coded according to six dimensions, including legibility, neatness, spacing, slant, Character size appropriateness , as well as variation in Character size. A composite score of 6 dimensions was used to represent overall handwriting quality. Both handwriting fluency and quality were used as longitudinal predictors of writing ability at age 9 and 10, in order to test the unique predictive power of each. Results: In regression analyses, Handwriting quality at age 6 uniquely accounted for 21.3 % of writing composition variance at age 10, and 9.7% of the writing composition variance at age 9.While handwriting fluency accounted for 8.3% and 7.6% of the variance at 10 and 9 respectively. Even with writing composition at age 8 controlled, handwriting quality and handwriting fluency contributed to 11.2% and 3.6% of the variance respectively. Meanwhile, the correlation between handwriting quality and handwriting fluency were not significant at all, indicating they were two distinguished predictors. Conclusion: Along with handwriting speed (Hong Kong) Chinese children's handwriting quality uniquely explains writing composition performance at age. And it appears to be more powerful than handwriting fluency (speed) to predict subsequent writing composition performance.
Tilly Mortimore (Bath Spa University, United Kingdom); A Northcote; M Hutchings; L Hansen; C Ansell; K Saunders; L Horobin; J Everatt - Literacy acquisition problems amongst ESL learners: Interventions combining phonological awareness and vocabulary
Purpose: The present work investigated whether interventions developed to overcome first language literacy learning problems can also support improved reading and writing amongst children who have English as an additional language (EAL). Method: The research was undertaken in 52 schools within the UK, focussing on school years 4, 5 and 6 (age 8 to 11 years old). From an initial sample of 359 bilingual children identified by school special needs coordinators as failing to develop literacy skills, a screening process identified 211 children at risk of dyslexia. These 211 children were divided into three groups. Trained teaching assistants delivered a 15-week daily intervention programme targeting reading and phonological skills to the first group and a paired reading programme to a second group, with both programmes also emphasising English vocabulary. A third group was a waiting control group who experienced typical school teaching methods only. Pre and post-intervention standardised assessments of children's reading, spelling, phonological decoding, receptive language and writing skills were undertaken. Results: The findings supported evidence for specific effects from the interventions, with the phonological-based programme improving phonological decoding and spelling more than the paired reading condition, but both intervention groups showing greater improvements in word reading, writing and vocabulary compared to the waiting control group. Conclusions: The findings argue for the efficacy of structured interventions that combine phonological and vocabulary training for children whose first language is not English.
Introduction: Cross-linguistic research comparing the predictive power of phonological awareness (PA) show that while it predicts word reading fairly accurately across orthographies, its influence diminishes significantly as children approach fourth grade. Aim: The purpose of this study was to evaluate constructs predicting word recognition among fourth graders in an indigenous Zambian language, Nyanja. Nyanja is based on the Latin script, and like most Africa languages, has a highly transparent orthography. Methods: Apart from the word recognition test, phonological awareness assessments measuring letter identification, initial word-to-sound matching, initial picture-to-sound discrimination, and initial picture-to-word sound discrimination skills were administered to 40 fourth graders. Results: The results show all the four constructs had very modest predictive power with an effect size of only 4%. In comparison to other constructs, initial picture-to-word sound discrimination (β = .312) accounted for significantly large variance of word reading followed by the discrimination of initial picture-to-sound (β = .228). Initial picture-to-sound matching contributed the smallest amount of variance (β = .006). Conclusions: Results reflect a weak association between phonological awareness constructs and word reading, and corroborate previous studies that phonological awareness' predictive power declines as learners progress and gave more reading experience.
Maria Murray (SUNY Oswego - Curriculum and Instruction Dept)Benita Blachman; Christopher Schatschneider; Jack Fletcher; Kristen Munger; Michael Vaughn - Intensive reading remediation in grade 2 or 3: are there effects a decade later?
Purpose The purpose of this study was to investigate the longitudinal effects of an 8-month reading intervention on reading and spelling outcomes more than a decade after its completion. The original intervention (Blachman et al., 2004) used a randomized design with second and third graders selected on the basis of poor word-level skills. Method Sixty-nine children participated in the original study. Fifty-eight (84%) of the original 69 subjects participated in the longitudinal follow-up study. Results The treatment group demonstrated a moderate to small effect size advantage on reading and spelling measures over the comparison group more than a decade after the intervention. Specifically, there were statistically significant differences with moderate effect sizes between treatment and comparison groups on standardized measures of word recognition (i.e., Woodcock Basic Skills Cluster, d = 0.53; Woodcock Word Identification, d = 0.62), the primary, but not exclusive, focus of the intervention. Statistical tests on other reading and spelling measures did not reach statistical significance, but demonstrated small to negligible effect sizes favoring the treatment participants ranging from .28 to .06. Patterns in the data related to other educational outcomes, such as high school completion, favored the treatment participants, although differences were not significant. Conclusion Despite significant gains during the original study and a 1-year follow-up, reading intervention for remedial students did not appear to be adequate to strongly accelerate growth in subsequent years. Students in need of early intervention are likely to require ongoing evidence-based support to acquire more complex skills.
Purpose: Research with monolinguals suggests that phonemic manipulation is harder in CV than VC sequences (C = consonant, V = vowel). It is however unclear whether such differences will be seen in bilinguals when VCs are mainly salient in a later learnt language. We chose to study this in Kannada-English bilingual children: Kannada is a southern Dravidian language with a predominantly CV phonology and English is a western Germanic language in which VCs are common. Since in Kannada some phonemes are written off-the-line we also examined if location in symbol blocks matter. Method: We examined phoneme deletion accuracy on nonword lists styled after Kannada and English phonology among sixty 3rd-4th graders who were sequential bi-literates with English typically learnt after age four. We asked whether children have more difficulty with processing when phonemes are a) in CV strings and b) represented off-the-line. Results: The results showed that the profile of attainments was broadly similar across lists with manipulations being most difficult in the middle of nonwords. Phonemes in CVs were harder to delete than in VCs. Phonemic processing in simple syllables was less accurate for off-the-line units but in complex syllables, both in- and off-the-line units were prone to errors. Conclusion: The results confirm that phonemic manipulation is harder with CVs than VCs and with some off-the-line units. This implies that children's demonstration of explicit phoneme processing skills is dependent on material-specific factors which go beyond the phonology of the first language and taps into phonology- orthography mappings as well.
Hannah Nash (UCL Division of Psychology & Language Sciences)Charles Hulme, Genevieve McArthur, Yatin Mahajan, Debbie Gooch, Ruth Leavett, Maggie Snowling - Linking letters and speech sounds: is a lack of automaticity a proximal cause of dyslexia?
Purpose: Drawing on evidence from neuroimaging studies Blomert (eg Blomert & Willems, 2010) proposed that the proximal cause of dyslexia is a deficit in forming automatic connections between letters and speech sounds. Using fMRI Blau et al, (2009; 2010) found reduced activation to isolated letter-sounds and reduced integration of letter-sound pairs in dyslexics and using the cross-modal MMN the same research group found evidence for integration in adults and older children but not in younger or dyslexic children (Froyen et al, 2008; 2009; 2010). Method: We collected behavioural and EEG data from English speaking dyslexic children, age-matched and reading -matched controls. Using a priming paradigm we compared targets in related (prime was the same letter/sound) and unrelated (neutral baseline) conditions. Results: In the behavioural experiments, children in all 3 groups were faster to respond to the target in the related condition. Therefore, exposure to a letter/ sound facilitated the subsequent processing of the same sound/letter, suggesting that the two representations are integrated. However, preliminary analyses of ERPS to the targets suggest group differences. The age-matched controls showed an effect of related letters on sounds in the central region and an effect of related sounds on letters in the left parietal region, but these effects were weaker in the dyslexics and reading-matched controls. There was some evidence of an effect emerging later in the latter 2 groups, perhaps reflecting differences in latency or the role of attentional processing. Conclusion: Taken together these data suggest that integration is a consequence of reading level rather than a cause of reading difficulties per se.
Purpose: This study characterizes the relationship between the quality of components of word knowledge (orthographic, phonological, and meaning) and eye movements during reading. Method: We employed a rare-word training paradigm to control which components of knowledge a reader learned about a word and the quality of that knowledge (by varying the number of exposures). We then recorded eye-movements as the learners read each target word in a sentence. Additionally, we accounted for individual skill differences that affect how well each reader can learn from exposures to words. Results: Words with poor orthographic and phonological representations had relatively shorter first-pass reading times with longer re-reading times, whereas partially known words had longer first-pass reading times with less re-reading. Words with the highest quality forms had both shorter first-pass reading times and less re-reading. Meaning training affected the probability of re-reading in a similar way: less experienced readers were more likely to re-read the word when meaning was trained, whereas more experienced readers were less likely to re-read the word when meaning was trained. Conclusions: When a word is highly unfamiliar, it may benefit the reader to quickly move on, so as to maintain the overall text meaning without disruption from the unknown word, later re-reading the word to establish knowledge. In comparison, partial knowledge can increase first-pass fixation durations as the word is slowly accessed, with corresponding decreases in re-reading. High lexical quality results in the most efficient reading. Each component of knowledge showed a similar pattern, but across different measures.
Purpose. The usefulness of environmental print in helping young children to read is debated. Its highly contextualised nature may draw attention away from the letters and result in logographic reading. However, other research suggests it can be used to teach emergent literacy skills. The present study used eye tracker technology to measure what children attended to when exposed to environmental print. Method. Preschool children aged 3 to 5 years viewed photographs of nine environmental print items and their standard print equivalents while their gaze and fixations were recorded using a Tobii TX300 eye tracker. The environmental print items consisted of three child logos, three community logos, and three household logos. The standard print equivalents consisted of letters of the same size and spatial location as the environmental print, but in standard black font on a grey background. Photograph duration was 8 seconds. Children completed a battery of emergent literacy assessments (letter and number identification, letter sound knowledge, word reading, name writing, letter writing, concepts about print). Results. The data are presented to highlight (a) the reduced attention to letters for environmental print items, (b) age-related differences in attention to print, and (c) the relationships between attention to the letters and emergent literacy skills. Conclusion. While attention to letters is reduced for environmental print, it nevertheless can have a role to play in the development of literacy skills in young children.
Purpose-Environmental print(EP) in the form of signs and product labels provide young children with their earliest print experiences.The present study aimed to document the frequency and nature of EP referencing by mothers and children and to examine if EP referencing is related to emergent literacy skills. Method-Mother-child dyads (N= 35; Mean child age = 4.30 years) were videotaped playing for 15 minutes in an EP rich grocery shop setting and the frequency of verbal and non-verbal EP referencing was measured. Each childwas assessed on emergent literacyskills (letter name and sound knowledge, print concepts, phonological awareness, name and letter writing, EP reading). Results- The majority of mothers (69%) but minority of children (37%) spontaneously referenced EP letters and/or words. Eleven percent of mothers and 8% of children referenced letters, whereas 66% of mothers and 37% of children referenced words. Greater EPreferencing was related to higher scores on letter and name writing and print concepts. Child EP referencing was positively related to letter and name writing as well as to maternal EP referencing. The most common maternal EP mediation strategies observed were demonstrating, labeling and direction-giving. Conclusions-EP referencing may play a role in fostering emergent writing and print concepts. As not all mothers referenced EP and some maternal strategies were infrequently observed (e.g., extending and feeding-back) encouraging parents to use these print strategies may help scaffold emergent literacy in young children.
Purpose: Quantitative research on reading motivation predominantly explains students' motivation to read based on pre-determined variables. Students' reasons for reading engagement and disengagement, especially of those coming from disadvantaged backgrounds, have seldom been studied from students' perspectives using qualitative methods. The current interview study is part of a 3-year longitudinal project addressing this significant research gap. Method: 60 Year 5 students were drawn from schools situated in low SES suburbs in urban and rural Queensland, Australia. Both engaged and disengaged readers were included for semi-structural interviews on reasons for reading engagement and disengagement. Each interview began with interviewees' comments on pictures showing engaged and disengaged readers and gradually moved to the discussion of personal reasons for engaging in and disengaging from reading in interviewees' classes. Results: Results showed that engaged and disengaged readers had contrasting patterns of reasons to explain their reading engagement and disengagement. Engaged readers focused on intrinsic reasons such reading enjoyment and interest while their disengaged counterparts talked more about external pressure such as avoiding punishment to explain their engagement in reading. In terms of disengagement, engaged readers attributed it to being interrupted and noisiness while their disengaged counterparts talked mostly about boredom and the lack of interesting materials. Conclusion: Results demonstrated the importance of understanding both positive and negative motivational factors impacting on disadvantaged students' reasons for engagement and disengagement. This study challenges a commonly-held representation that takes disadvantaged students as a generic group with low levels of motivation.
Semantic-phonetic compounds represent the majority of Chinese characters (about 80%), and are a major part of Chinese language learning for non-native speakers. Insight into semantic radicals, which provide meaning information of the character, plays an important role in learning Chinese characters. Two studies were conducted 1) to investigate the development trajectory of semantic radical awareness among non-native-Chinese speaking Vietnamese learners, and 2) to investigate the effect of semantic radical teaching on semantic radical awareness. In study 1, 173 undergraduates majoring in Chinese Language from a university in Hanoi, Vietnam, were asked to choose an appropriate semantic-phonetic compound character among four options given a sentence context. All four options had the same phonetic radicals and different semantic radicals. Results suggested that semantic radical awareness improved with the time of learning Chinese. Students who learned Chinese for 3 years performed significantly better than the first-year beginners. In study 2, 54 students with 1-year Chinese learning experience from study 1were randomly assigned to two experimental groups, who received a 50-minute intervention of semantic radicals, and one control group. Pretest and posttest were the semantic radical awareness task used in study 1. Results show that the pre- and post-test scores for the experimental groups differed significantly, and that the control group's pre-post test scores did not differ significantly. Taken together, the results indicate that semantic radical teaching is an effective way to promote the development of semantic radical awareness in Vietnamese speaking adult Chinese learners.
*Purpose - Reading fluency assessments primarily entail oral reading rate, and therefore do not capture the development shift, around grade 4, to silent reading. It is problematic that there is no established measure for silent reading fluency, given that silent and oral reading have been shown to be independent. The present study examines complexity metrics as a potential alternative to assessing fluency of silent reading. *Method - A self-paced reading task was given to cross-sectional groups of children in grades 2, 4, and 6, and adults. Half were randomly assigned to read silently and the other half read aloud. All read the same passage of a grade 2-level story, and thus varied in their fluency. Word-by-word reading time series' were subjected to fractal and recurrence quantification analysis. Metrics from these analyses, including fractal scaling, percent recurrence and determinism, were compared across the age and reading mode groups, and were related to reading comprehension. *Results - Recurrence and determinism increased with age, and for silent reading. Fractal scaling also showed more random structure for oral compared with silent reading. The fractal measures revealed differences in oral vs. silent reading by 4th and 6th graders, whereas traditional reading time measures showed no difference. *Conclusions - More fluent reading across age was marked by more stable but flexible structure found previously with adult readers. Complexity metrics were more sensitive to fluency changes across grade and reading mode compared with traditional reading rate measures, and thus show promise for an alternate way to characterize reading fluency.
Research on universal design for learning has increasingly shown new ways in which digital text can be used to support reading instruction, such as providing scaffolding for reading comprehension and vocabulary. In this study, we examined the use of digital text for teaching letter-sound correspondences to at-risk kindergarten children. Twenty-eight children in an urban afterschool program were given 22 lessons using See Word Reading - an iPad-based interactive teaching tool that embeds image-cues into alphabetic letters. Children learn letter-sound correspondences in each lesson through three levels of the tool: the letter, word, and text levels. In addition to providing support for the reader, the See Word tool was developed to assist teachers in individualizing instruction. To this end, the tool collects data during the interactive learning sessions by tracking children's spoken and tactile interaction with the letters. Grapho-motor and visual recognition is assessed at the letter level, as children trace then visually match and sound out the letter. Encoding is assessed at the word level as children use the letter to build words and pronounce them. Letter-sound decoding is assessed at the text level as children search for letters in a text that correspond to a given sound. Children's response time and accuracy data on these measures was poorer for those with lower baseline letter-sound knowledge, but also showed greater improvement on these measures over the course of the program. Results demonstrate how interactive digital text can serve as a pedagogical tool for tracking student progress.
Purpose: The goal of the present study was to examine the developmental sensitivity of individual differences in the rapid automatized naming (RAN) task on eye movement control during Chinese sentence reading. Method: Thirty third-graders, 28 fifth-graders, and 36 adults were administrated the psychometric RAN task and their eye movements were recorded during Chinese sentence reading (including 80 common sentences and 40 age-appropriate sentences). Linear mixed models were used to correlate individual differences in RAN with fixation durations in reading. Results: There was a significant decrease in fixation durations from 3rd to 5th grade, but differences between fifth-graders and adults were not significant. Individual differences in RAN significantly predicted fixation durations for grade-5 children, but not for the other two groups. Similar results were obtained for reading of common and age-appropriate sentences. Conclusions: RAN predicts fixations in Chinese sentence reading only in a critical period during development. Alternative accounts of why there could be differential patterns between RAN-based performance measures and fixation durations among different age groups will be outlined.
Korean Hangul literacy acquisition among children and mothers from multicultural families in Korea Soongil Park1, Jeung-Ryeul Cho2 1Nambu University, 2Kyungnam University Email: firstname.lastname@example.org & email@example.com This study tested 51 kindergartners (ages 4-5) and their mothers from multicultural families living in rural areas in Korea. The mothers immigrated to Korea for marriage from Philippine, Vietnam, China, Uzbekistan, and Japan. The average age of mothers were 36.3 years (range: 25-49 years) and their average years of staying in Korea were 9.7 (range: 3 - 16 years). Forty-five percentages of the mothers graduated high school in their own countries. The purpose of this study was to examine which of mothers' cognitive skills in Korean contribute to mother's word reading and vocabulary skills in Korean as a second language (L2), and which of mothers' vocabulary and children's cognitive skills contribute totheir children's reading and writing in Korean. Results showed that mothers' syllable deletion explained unique variance of mothers' Hangul word reading after controlling foronset and coda deletion, number naming speed, lexical decision and vocabulary, whereas mothers' orthographic knowledge of lexical decision explained mothers' vocabulary. In addition, mothers' vocabulary, children's syllable and onset deletion explained unique variance of children's word reading after controlling for coda deletion, morphological awareness, orthographic knowledge, and mothers' education. Children's syllable and onset deletion explained unique variance of word writing of children, whereas mother's vocabulary explained children's vocabulary.Results underscore the importance of mothers' vocabulary skills in early Hangul reading acquisition of their children.
(Purpose) The purpose of this study is to explore how modifying texts to highlight syntactic structure influences adolescents' comprehension across grade levels. Using three studies, we examined whether syntactic scaffolding improved adolescents' comprehension and the domains of language that were influenced. (Method) All three studies compared students who read texts in Visual-Syntactic Text Formatting (VSTF, cascaded according to phrase and clause structure) or traditional block formatting. (Results) In study one, 243 sixth grade students in California read their English and Social Studies texts throughout the school year, either in traditional formatting (n=76) or in VSTF (n=151). Students in the VSTF condition had higher scores on the 6th grade California Standards Test (CST) when controlling for 5th grade scores. VSTF students outperformed their peers on the vocabulary analysis, written conventions, and writing strategies CST subtests. In study two, eighth grade Korean students in Korea read their English texts in traditional formatting (n=18) or in VSTF (n=36) throughout one semester. Treatment students performed significantly better than the control students on school-level reading and listening comprehension tests when controlling for pretest performance on reading and listening comprehension. In study three, twelfth grade Korean students read their English texts in traditional format (n=98) or in VSTF (n=72). VSTF readers outperformed their control peers on reading comprehension after one semester of treatment. (Conclusions) Results from these three independent studies converged to confirm that using texts that are modified to highlight syntactic structure leads to greater gains in literacy achievement even when tested using standard text formatting.
Current research in alphasyllabic akshara languages has produced conflicting findings about the importance of phonological processes in general and phoneme awareness versus syllable awareness in particular for developing reading skills (see e.g., Nag, 2007; Nag & Snowling, 2011; Prakash, Rekha, Nigam, & Karanth, 1993). We examined the extent to which phonological processes (phoneme awareness, syllable awareness, honologicalmemory, and rapid naming speed) predict word reading performance of good (n=60) and poor (n=60) grade 3 Sinhalese-speaking students using four different kinds of words: (1) short words (1-3 syllables) with no consonant clusters, (2) long words (4-8 syllables) with no consonant clusters, (3) short words with consonant clusters, and (4) long words with consonant clusters. We expect that phoneme awareness is more important for good readers and for words with consonant clusters, whereas syllable awareness and phonological memory are more important for poor readers and for longer words, and that the importance of RAN will not vary across the stimuli and reading groups. Preliminary analyses of the data show that (a) all tasks have sufficient reliabilities (all alphas > .8), and that (b) there is variability in word reading conditions with expected ceiling effect in condition 1 in the good reader group and floor effect in condition 4 in the poor reader group. We believe that the data has sufficient information to allow us to examine the role of phonological processes across the remaining conditions.
Purpose: Research has shown that word reading and reading comprehension have similar, as well as independent, processes that contribute to each skill. Other evidence suggests that while phonological processing is important in the early years, rapid naming is more important in subsequent years. The purpose of this paper was to evaluate the longitudinal contribution of phonological processing, rapid naming, working memory, and syntactic skills to word reading and reading comprehension in children from 7 to 13 years old. Method: Participants included 569 children who were part of a longitudinal cohort from Grade 2 to 7. Children completed measures of word reading, reading comprehension, pseudoword decoding, rapid naming, working memory, and oral cloze. Linear regressions were conducted using word reading and reading comprehension as the dependent variables with the remaining variables as predictors. Results: The largest predictor of word reading and reading comprehension was performance on that test from the previous year (B=0.37-0.64). Significant predictors of word reading included pseudoword decoding across all grades (B=0.15-0.33) and rapid naming from Grades 3 to 6 (B=0.06-0.09). Consistent predictors of reading comprehension included oral cloze for all grades (B=0.08-0.22) and working memory for Grades 3, 4, 6, and 7 (B=0.09-0.13). Conclusions: Our results show that the largest predictor of reading and reading comprehension was the child's performance from the previous year. Also, the processes that contribute to word reading and reading comprehension are separate and consistent over time; phonological processing and rapid naming predicts reading, while syntactic skills and working memory predicts reading comprehension.
Adrian Pasquarella Pasquarella (Ontario Institute for Studies in Education)Xi Chen; Poh Wee Koh; Jie Zhang; Vedran Dronjic - Chinese and English reading comprehension in adolescent English language learners: Examining the roles of vocabulary, morphological awareness and syntactic awareness
Purpose. Listening comprehension is related to reading comprehension (Gough & Tunmer, 1986; Mahony, Singson, & Mann, 2000), and this relationship grows stronger throughout childhood and adolescence (Catts, Hogan, & Adolf, 2005). While listening comprehension is often assessed as one holistic construct, it consists of several component skills including vocabulary, morphology and syntax (Geva, 2006). Our purpose is to examine the direct and indirect contributions of these three aspects of listening comprehension to reading comprehension in Chinese-English bilinguals in both Chinese and English. Method. 117 adolescent Chinese-English bilinguals completed parallel measures of reading comprehension, vocabulary, syntactic awareness and morphological awareness (derivational and compound awareness). Measures of English pseudoword reading, Chinese character reading, and non-verbal reasoning were also administered, and length of residence in Canada was recorded. Results. Within language predictors of reading comprehension for Chinese and English were identified through Structural Equation Modelling in two separate models, with non-verbal reasoning and length of residence in Canada entered as control variables. Vocabulary, derivational awareness and compound awareness were direct predictors of Chinese reading comprehension. With respect to English reading comprehension, vocabulary, derivational awareness and pseudoword reading were direct predictors, and compound awareness and syntactic awareness were indirect predictors via vocabulary and derivational awareness. Conclusions. Our results demonstrate strong similarities among predictors of reading comprehension in Chinese and English and thus support the universal importance of listening comprehension for reading comprehension. At the same time, there are several differences between the two models, which may be attributed to language-specific features.
Purpose: Recent national achievement data indicate that a shocking 84% of African American 4th graders are not reading at grade level. Multiple factors have been proposed to explain this achievement gap, including children's spoken African American English (AAE) use. Unlike many mainstream American English (MAE) dialects, AAE is not aligned well with standard English orthography. The purpose of this presentation is to review recent research findings on the relationship between children's spoken AAE use and reading achievement. Method: Collectively, these studies examine the role of linguistic differences between AAE and MAE in development of specific reading and reading-related skills. Findings will be presented from three different but synergistic research approaches: descriptive studies (correlation and prediction), behavioral experiments, and computational modeling. Results: Collectively, the results show (1) that spoken dialect use is related to and predictive of reading achievement, (2) that linguistic differences between AAE and MAE are related to performance on various reading and related-related measures, and (3) that dialect variation can affect the word reading acquisition process. Conclusions: In sum, the results suggest that spoken AAE use important to consider as children learn to read. The results will also be discussed in relation to the identification and treatment of reading difficulties and disabilities among African American children in the US, where disproportionately more African American children live in poverty, attend lower performing schools, and receive special education support to alleviate emotional/behavior and mild intellectual disabilities than reading disabilities.
Purpose: Deficits in the executive function system are one contributing factor for reading difficulties. However, the executive function profile in children with reading difficulties is unclear. The purpose of this study was to investigate the executive function deficits of Chinese children with reading difficulties. Method: A battery of non-verbal IQ, character reading, and calculation tests were conducted to 805 fifth graders from 5 average-performing public elementary schools in one county of Beijing, China. We identified 22 children with only reading difficulties (RD), 24 children with reading and math difficulties (RDMD), and 31 typically developing children (TD). Working memory, inhibition, updating, and processing speed were systematically examined with paired verbal and numerical tasks among RD, RDMD, and TD. Results: compared to the TD group, children with RD exhibited deficits in verbal working memory, inhibition, and processing speed, whereas children with RDMD had deficits in all these executive functions and processing speed in both verbal and numerical content. Processing speed mediated working memory and inhibition differences between the TD and the reading impaired groups, but processing speed could not explain the group differences in updating or the numerical working memory difference between children with RD and children with RDMD. Conclusion: The executive function deficits of Chinese children with reading difficulties vary by task modality (verbal and numerical) and subtype (RD and RDMD). Our findings suggest that type of executive function, task materials, and processing speed are important factors for designing executive functions training for subtypes of reading difficulties.
Jill Pentimonti (The Ohio State University);Kimberly Murphy; Laura Justice; Joan Kaderavek - Empirical investigation of the three-dimensional model of school readiness for children with language impairment
Purpose Policy-makers, practitioners, and researchers are invested in understanding the construct of school readiness as a means for identifying children who may enter school without the skills necessary to learn to read. The present study aims to examine this construct and the extent to which it captures three dimensions of readiness skills (academic, social, and behavioral), as well as how these dimensions relate to children's end-of-kindergarten literacy skills. Moreover, this study addresses these issues among children with language impairment (LI), a population of children known to be at risk for reading difficulties. Method Participants were 136 preschool-aged children with LI drawn from 83 special education classrooms in a Midwestern state. Children were assessed on measures of academic, social, and behavioral skills. Results Confirmatory Factor Analyses indicated that school readiness for this sample of children with LI is best characterized as three separate dimensions (academic, social, and behavioral). Of these components, academic readiness was found to be predictive of children's later performance on measures of literacy (i.e., decoding and spelling). Conclusions The results of the present study further our theoretical understanding of the dimensions of school readiness by empirically testing the nature of school readiness models. Further, this work extends our knowledge of how these skills are related among children with LI. The present findings have practical significance, as identifying domain-specific readiness skills that are predictive of kindergarten success can help to identify efficient means of early assessment, high-quality targets for intervention, and key components of instructional programming.
Purpose: This presentation aims to review and update the Lexical Quality Hypothesis (LQH) and thus set the stage for subsequent presentations at this symposium. The review will examine the assumptions of the LQH, recent evidence for these assumptions, and implications for acquisition of reading skill. Method: The presentation places the LQH in a broader framework of theories of reading skill and examines its core assumptions within a systems view of reading. Evidence for the LQH is presented, drawing on experiments showing the immediate effects of lexical knowledge on comprehension, the effects of spelling knowledge on word reading, and the role comprehension skill in new word learning. The evidence includes new experiments not yet published. Results: The studies reviewed show specific effects of individual differences in word knowledge on text integration and new word learning, supporting the basic assumptions of the LQH. They also suggest implications for the acquisition of knowledge of word form constituents (phonological and orthographic representations) and word meanings. Conclusions: The presentation concludes that the acquisition of lexical constituents (orthography, phonology, semantics) and the integrated lexical knowledge that results from increasing experience and skill are key components in the development of reading skill. Further, the evidence reviewed suggests that lexical knowledge continues to show specific effects in reading among adults. The implications include the need for studies on the functions of specific lexical constituents and the conditions that support the acquisition and integration of these constituents as well as the functioning of lexical knowledge in comprehension tasks.
Yaacov Petscher (Florida Center for Reading Research, Florida State University)Cynthia Puranik, University of Pittsburgh - Development of letter writing skills: effects of student and letter characteristics
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the contribution of student and letter characteristics to the acquisition of letter-writing in preschool children. We addressed this question using cross-classified multilevel models that allows for correct partitioning of variation among student factors and letter characteristics. In addition, we used Latent Regression Rasch Modeling (LRRM) to estimate the probabilities of writing each of the 26 letters of the alphabet based on age, letter name knowledge and the interaction between the two. Method: Participants for this study were 415 preschool children aged 3 to 5 years, recruited from 59 public and private pre-K centers from two geographically different sites. At the student level, we examined the contribution of letter name knowledge and phonological awareness to letter writing skills. At the letter level, we examined five factors: (a) first letter of name, (b) letters in name, (c) letter-order, (d) textual frequency, and (e) letter-type. Results & Conclusion: Results of the LRRM indicated that, variation in letter writing skills was accounted more for by differences between students rather than by differences between letters. Most of the variation between students was accounted for by letter name knowledge. The only letter characteristic that made a significant contribution to letter writing skills was if the letter was the first letter in the child's name. Fifteen letters were observed to have increases of 20% or more in their probability of correct letter writing conditional on name knowledge. The findings have direct implications for instructional and educational practices.
Purpose. There is growing evidence that reading problems, especially in more transparent orthographies, like Finnish, are manifested as problems in reading fluency, rather than problems in accuracy. Evidence from longitudinal studies also show that slow reading seems to be a highly persistent problem. One major approach for training of reading fluency has been assisted reading practice, which aims at increasing the amount of reading activities. Positive outcomes have been found in assisted reading interventions on reading fluency. The aim of this study was to assess the development of reading fluency and amount of reading activities during paired-reading intervention through senior volunteers. Method. The study was piloted in the autumn 2012 and the main study will be conducted in the spring 2013. Participants consist of approximately 60 children with problems in reading fluency at Grade levels 2-6. Assisted paired reading is carried out in a school setting, where senior volunteers will read one-on-one with the poor readers for 20 minutes, twice a week for 7 weeks. A switching replications design will be applied. The design consists of a pre-test, the training/control period, a mid-test, the control/training period, and a post-test. Results. Preliminary results from the pilot study show that paired reading may improve reading fluency and increase the amount of reading activities according to individual reports. More detailed results of the study will be analyzed and presented. Discussion. The role of paired reading training through volunteers in enhancing reading fluency and amount of reading activities will be discussed.
Beth Phillips (Florida Center for Reading Research); Christopher Lonigan; Yaacov Petscher; Galiya Tabulda - Predictions of growth in preschool children's emergent literacy skills from their home language and literacy environments
Purpose: Robust evidence supports the importance of the preschool period for developing emergent literacy skills. Numerous studies support relations between home experiences and these early skills. However, until recently the home literacy environment was narrowly conceptualized as focused primarily on the frequency of shared reading, ignoring home teaching activities likely more relevant for developing phonological awareness (PA) and print knowledge (PK) skills, and ignoring the quality of parent-child interactions. We addressed these limitations in a large, diverse sample assessed three times during the preschool year. Method: The sample was ascertained through enrollment in 43 public and community prekindergarten settings. Participants included 834 3-4 year old children, who were 54% male, 50% white, and 42% African American, and represented a wide range of socioeconomic status. Parents completed surveys addressing dyadic interaction frequency and quality in home reading, speaking, and teaching behaviors. Results: Analyses revealed four unique components from the parent survey including shared reading frequency and quality, teaching frequency, and language interaction quality. Analyses simultaneously including IRT-based scores of these constructs in growth curve models for multiple measures of oral language (OL), PA, and PK indicated that reading frequency significantly predicted intercepts for constructs and slope for OL, reading quality significantly predicted intercepts for OL and PK, and language interaction quality significantly predicted intercepts for OL and PA. Notably, home teaching significantly predicted growth in PA. Conclusions: Results support a model of multiple distinct home language and literacy interactions and support the unique predictive validity of varied home interaction behaviors for key emergent literacy constructs.
Shayne B. Piasta (Children's Learning Research Collaborative, The Ohio State University, USA)Laura M. Justice; Ann O'Connell - Exploring the language and literacy knowledge of early childhood educators
Purpose: Educators' knowledge about language and literacy is related to elementary students' reading achievement (e.g., Kelcey, 2011) and the proximal focus of typical professional development models (Hindman & Wasik, 2011). However, little research has documented the language and literacy knowledge of early childhood educators (ECEs), which was the purpose of this study. We also examined hypothesized relations with ECEs' education, qualifications, and professional development experiences. Method: Data concerning knowledge of English language structure, effective language and literacy practices, and children's literature were collected from 86 ECEs (99% female; 67% Caucasian) using validated survey measures (Cunningham et al., 2009; Cunningham & Neuman, 2009; Pentimonti et al., 2011). All ECEs taught preschool-aged children at early childhood centers (48% Head Start, 14% state-funded). Data were analyzed via descriptive statistics and correlations. Results: ECEs averaged 64% and 65% correct on measures of knowledge of language structure (range 16%-89%) and effective practices (range 43%-81%) and correctly identified 56% of children's books (range 26%-100%). Knowledge of language structure was positively associated with education level and negatively associated with amount of professional development. Knowledge of effective practices was positively associated with state teaching certification and educational major. Knowledge of children's literature was positively associated with years of teaching experience. Conclusion: ECEs' knowledge about language and literacy shows great variability and is not necessarily linked to typical indicators of broader educator knowledge or quality. Understanding ECEs' knowledge may be key in improving efforts to better prepare those responsible for supporting young children's emergent literacy development.
Purpose The purpose of this study is to examine the quality of literacy instruction that first grade students receive and its relationship to their literacy outcomes. It was hypothesized that there would be significant variability in the quality of the instruction that first grade students received, both within and between classrooms because the quality of literacy instruction might vary for individual children in the same classroom. The specific research questions are as follows: What is the variability of the quality of the literacy instruction that first grade students experience? How is the quality of the literacy instruction related to students' literacy outcomes? Method Twenty-eight first grade teachers and their children (N= 350) were observed twice (fall and winter) during the school year. The video observations are currently being coded at the individual child level in terms of teacher's warmth and responsiveness, individualized instruction, and class organization (Conner et al., in press) .The students were assessed in the fall and in the spring using multiple measures of language and reading skills including word identification, reading comprehension, and listening comprehension. Results The preliminary results from multilevel modeling suggest that there is wide variability in the quality of the literacy instruction that first grade students experience. In addition, the instructional quality at the individual level was positively related to students' literacy outcome measures in the spring. Conclusions These results could provide researchers and policymakers insight into the important ingredients for instructional quality for first grade students' literacy outcomes.
Sharolyn Pollard-Durodola (University of Denver, Child, Family, and School Psychology);Jorge Gonzalez; Laura Saenz; Denise Soares; Oiman Kwok; Leina Zhu;Heather Davis;Nora Resendez - Measures of classroom quality in dual language learning preschool settings and children's development of emergent literacy and social skills
Purpose This study examines the development of emergent literacy and social skills among Spanish-speaking dual language learner (DLL) 4-year olds in 42 low socioeconomic and diverse preschool classrooms in relation to three ways of measuring preschool quality - namely, observations of overall classroom quality (classroom organization) and observations of teacher's emotional and instructional support interactions. Participants were part of a larger randomized efficacy study that evaluated the effects of a theme-based interactive shared reading intervention designed to accelerate vocabulary and build background knowledge. Method Setting. The study was conducted in South Texas in two school districts. The school districts enroll just under 28,000 students with 99.2% Hispanic, 95.9% economically disadvantaged, and 70.9% are at-risk. Participants. In the fall of 2011, preschool teachers were randomly assigned to an interactive shared book reading intervention (n=23) and a comparison condition referred to as Business-as-Usual (n=19). There were 252 Spanish dominant preschoolers from low-income households. Data Analytic Strategy. The study involves a nested design that includes 6 children participating within each classroom. Hierarchical linear modeling provides the conceptual framework for specifying two-level models that examine associations between classroom quality, teacher-child interactions, and individual child emergent literacy and social skill outcomes controlling for pre-tests performance. Results Adjusting for prior skill levels, child characteristics, and teacher variables, we anticipate that teacher instructional interactions will predict emergent literacy/language outcomes whereas teacher emotional interactions will predict social skills in DLL student outcomes. Conclusions Findings have implications for policies and professional and program development efforts for DLL preschool settings.
Purpose: The persistence of phonological deficits in adults with a history of dyslexia is well documented. However, the cognitive profile of adults who are poor readers without a formal history of dyslexia is poorly understood. The aim of this study was to determine whether poor readers show deficits in phonological processing tasks as do adults with dyslexia. Method: Twelve adults with a history of dyslexia, 12 adult poor readers and 12 adult normal readers participated in the study. The adult dyslexic group had received a formal diagnosis of dyslexia in childhood. Dyslexic and poor reader groups had a comparable reading level which was established via a standardized reading test, and which was significantly below the reading level in the control group. The three groups were matched on age, non verbal and verbal intellectual efficiency, as well as academic achievement. Participants were administered different phonological processing tasks measuring phonemic awareness, phonological short-term memory and rapid naming. Results: For all phonological processing tasks, the dyslexic group showed inferior performance relative to both the control and poor reader groups. Moreover, the poor readers showed similar performance to control groups on the phonological processing tasks. Conclusions: These data show that, in adulthood, dyslexics can be distinguished from poor readers on the basis of their phonological abilities, and further confirm the specificity of phonological processing deficits in adults with dyslexia.
Purpose: In text comprehension, knowledge of syntax is crucial to establishing who did what to whom. Furthermore, efficiency in applying this knowledge may help accurate text comprehension because efficiency releases resources for higher cognitive processes, such as inference generation. The main purpose of the present study was to investigate to what extent sentence processing speed explains variance in text comprehension beyond reading fluency, vocabulary and working memory. A secondary purpose was to investigate whether knowledge and processing of infrequent syntactic constructions (e.g. passive and object relative clauses) pose special barriers for comprehension and/or is a better predictor of reading comprehension than knowledge of parallel frequent constructions (e.g. active and subject relative clauses). Method: Eighty Danish Grade 5 students completed tests of reading comprehension, word reading fluency, vocabulary, working memory, and sentence processing. In the sentence-processing task, students read one sentence at time and answered comprehension questions to the contents of the immediately preceding sentence. We measured accuracy and response times on the answers. The sentence materials consisted of a balanced number of frequent and infrequent constructions. Results: Both sentence question answering accuracy and response time on correct answers explained unique variance in reading comprehension beyond control measures. Accuracy, but not speed, on infrequent constructions explained unique variance in comprehension beyond frequent constructions. Conclusion: Text reading comprehension appears to rely on both accuracy and efficiency of sentence processing. There was some, but limited, evidence that the effect stemmed from the ability to process infrequent syntax.
Daisy Powell (Institute of Education, University of Reading); Rhona Stainthorp; Lynette Chesson; Anna Tsakalaki - Long-term educational outcomes for children with rapid automatized naming (RAN) difficulties: follow-up at the end of compulsory schooling in the UK
Purpose: Rapid serial naming (RAN) is a robust predictor of reading development at primary level, though little is known about long-term, educational consequences of RAN-related reading difficulties. Previously, we compared a low RAN group (N = 40), with a matched control group (N = 40) in the middle primary years. The low RAN group revealed a complex profile, including poorer word reading, slower visual discrimination, but strong visual memory, relative to controls. We report a follow-up of these students, to the end of compulsory schooling in the UK when they took national examinations at the age of 16. Method: The low RAN and control groups were followed up at Time 1 (aged 11, transitioning to secondary school and Time 2 (aged 16). Time 1 measures were RAN, PA, word reading and reading comprehension. At Time 2, performance on national examinations was investigated. Results: At Time 1, the low RAN group revealed a persistent RAN deficit and associated word reading difficulty, while phonological awareness was still equivalent to controls. Reading comprehension, however, appeared to be relatively unimpaired. At Time 2, there was little evidence of an enduring educational disadvantage for children with an early-identified RAN difficulty, who performed similarly to controls on national examinations. Conclusions: In spite of a persistent deficit in speed and accuracy of word reading, enduring into secondary school, the low RAN group performed as well as controls on national examinations marking the end of compulsory education in the UK. Implications for potential compensatory mechanisms are discussed.
Purpose. Studies have suggested that the amount of independent reading practice is related to reading achievement. In the present study we examined the relation between the amount of time spent for reading at home and the reading fluency of Finnish children. Of additional interest were the interindividual variation and the possible gender-related differences in reading practices. Method. In the study conducted in autumn 2012 altogether 388 students from grade levels 2 to 6 filled out daily diaries evaluating the time spend on different kinds of out-of-school activities, including reading, playing, and hobbies. The reading-related activities consisted of book reading, magazine/newspaper/comic reading, homework, and also reading on a computer, smart phone or watching tv programmes with subtitles. Students kept the diary for altogether three weeks, in three periods. The reading fluency of the students was assessed before the first week and after the last. Results. Preliminary results from the study show large variation in time spent for reading-related practices. The girls used more time for reading than boys, whereas boys spend more time with electronic equipment, like game consoles. More detailed results of the study will be analyzed and presented. Discussion. The amount of time spend for reading and its relation to reading fluency, as well as their implications for educational practice and future research will be discussed.
Purpose. Serial rapid automatized naming (RAN) is significantly related to reading fluency across ages and orthographies. Naming of isolated words, thought to assess lexical access, is relatively less strongly related to fluency. We aimed to explore this difference in order to examine the structure of the RAN-reading relationship. We were particularly interested in developmental differences in the underlying pattern of interrelations. Method. 107 Greek children from Grade 2 and 107 from Grade 6 were tested with discrete and serial naming of digits, objects, and words in 50-item arrays. Results. The correlation between discrete and serial word reading was very high in Grade 2 but only moderate in Grade 6. In confirmatory factor analysis, a reading-naming latent structure fit the Grade 2 data well; in contrast, a serial-discrete structure fit the Grade 6 data. Discrete RAN failed to account for any word fluency variance in either grade, whereas serial RAN was a significant unique predictor in both grades. Conclusions. The superficial longitudinal stability of RAN-reading correlations belies vastly different patterns of relations, indicative of changes in developing cognitive processes. Word fluency tasks in Grade 2 are apparently accomplished as a series of isolated individual word naming trials. In contrast, specifically serial procedures are applied in Grade 6. This must be achieved via simultaneous processing of multiple individual words at successive levels, a feat that requires endogenous (not stimulus-driven) control and monitoring of cognitive cascades. We hypothesize that RAN indexes the development of this executive control, concurrently, and the requisite propensity, longitudinally.
PURPOSE: Selection error is a type of character reading error proposed in a study by Shu, Meng, Chen, Luan and Cao (2005), defined as "naming the target character as a character that forms a highly frequent two-character compound word with it" (p.318). An example of a selection error is reading 甚 /sam6/ as 麼/mo1/, from which these two characters form a disyllabic word 甚麼 /sam6-mo1/ [why]. This error type reflects an imprecise decomposed morpheme representation, coupled with a holistic representation of the compound word, for such error cannot occur randomly without a whole word representation. Since young readers in Hong Kong learn print vocabulary by the whole word approach, we have reservations whether automatic decomposition of words into morphemes would occur. This, in turn, is a key factor guiding lexical compounding, as it presumes morphemes are lexicalized and their meanings can be readily retrieved in order to form a compound. METHODS: The first study is on selection errors made authentically by 340 young Chinese readers during a character reading task. The second study is an character name judgement task with 161 young Chinese readers exploring how frequency and morpheme boundedness may affect selection errors. RESULTS: Around 20% of the error types in grade one were selection errors. The selection error rate declined across grades, suggesting that older readers start to form more precise morpheme representation. Apart from age, selection errors were also affected by the frequency and boundedness of morphemes. Low frequency morphemes embedded in high frequency words were more prone to selection errors. Morphemes that existed as bound-only form elicited more selection errors than hybrid morphemes, i.e. morphemes that can both exist as bound and unbound morphemes. CONCLUSION: The higher occurrence of selection errors at lower grade and high frequency bound morphemes suggested the possibility of imprecise representation of morphemes, which in turn is a factor affecting lexical compounding. The study calls for further investigation into the morphological decomposition process in order to understand morphological awareness and lexical compounding among young Chinese readers.
Cynthia Puranik (University of Pittsburgh)Melissa Patchan, Christopher Lemons, Stephanie Al Otaiba - Examining the effect of using peer assisted strategies to improve writing outcomes for kindergarten children
PURPOSE: The primary purpose of this study is to examine the effects of peer assisted intervention on students' writing outcomes. The focus of the writing intervention is on teaching key transcription skills (handwriting automaticity and spelling) and text-generation skills. The study is currently underway in 4 classrooms, provided in small group settings, three times a week over 16 weeks. Classroom peers who receive the existing language arts curriculum will serve as control children. METHOD: Pre- and post-test assessment data will be available. CBM measures for reading include three subtests from Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills-Next, a standardized measure of writing, Test of Early Written Language, Third Edition (TEWL-3), and a standardized assessment of Spelling from the Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Achievement: Third Edition. CBM for writing include the following tasks: letter writing fluency, sentence copying fluency, sentence writing, and story writing. RESULTS: To examine differences between the intervention and control children on important transcription skills (handwriting automaticity and spelling) and text generation (sentence combining and composition) skills from pre- to post-test we propose a two-fold analysis: a) a residualized change ANCOVA model with pretest scores as the covariate, and b) a repeated measures ANOVA to examine the amount of change from pre- to post-test to ascertain if gains made by children were more than that expected due to maturation. CONCLUSIONS: Peer assisted strategies have proven to be efficacious in improving reading outcomes for children and could be successfully used to improve writing outcomes for beginning writers.
PURPOSE: Research has identified an association between behavioural difficulties and the propensity to offend amongst young people. The exact nature and severity of these difficulties, however, is poorly understood. Further, most studies have included participants with severe behavioural difficulties and/or juvenile offenders, with less attention paid to students at risk of offending. This study examined the literacy and language abilities of a behaviourally lower risk group of students - those who remained in mainstream education, but presented with challenging classroom behaviours. METHOD: A between-groups design was employed to ascertain the literacy and language abilities of twenty-six students aged 13-14 years, eleven who presented with challenging classroom behaviour, and fifteen matched controls with no behavioural difficulties. Comprehensive assessment was undertaken to determine lower and higher level influences over reading comprehension (i.e., receptive language and vocabulary, word recognition, inferencing and summarising, non-verbal intelligence and working memory). RESULTS: Preliminary results indicate that students with relatively mild behavioural difficulties demonstrated lower receptive language and literacy abilities than their typically behaving peers. Further analysis is currently underway to explore the relative contribution of lower and higher level influences on reading comprehension in both groups. CONCLUSIONS: Results contribute to our growing understanding of the relationship between behavioural, language and literacy difficulties. The findings also have important implications for further specifying lower level and higher level language contributions to reading comprehension development in adolescents. These results may help to further understand some of this population's underlying difficulties, and how difficulties can be supported to prevent exacerbating their behaviour.
This study identified the frequency and precision of cohesion markers used in 4th and 6th grade students' persuasive essays. Textual cohesion is believed to be one of the strong predictors for high-quality academic writing (Snow & Uccelli, 2009), yet the developmental trend indicating how adolescents learn to incorporate global (discourse-level) and local (sentence-level) cohesion markers in academic writing remains unclear. To explore such developmental trend, two questions guided this study: * Does frequency of cohesion markers in persuasive essays differ by grade level? * Does precision of cohesion markers in persuasive essays differ by grade level? Sixty students (including thirty 4th graders and thirty 6th graders) were randomly selected from a larger sample of a language intervention program conducted in urban public schools. Each student produced one persuasive essay per week as participating in the intervention program throughout the semester. Five essay topics that prompted the most productive writings on average were selected for analysis in this study. Borrowing instrument from metadiscourse analysis (Hyland, 2005) and developmental linguistics (Berman and Verhoeven, 2002), essays were coded for global and local cohesion markers using CHILDES language analysis tools. Regression analysis indicated that the overall frequency of cohesion markers used in 6th grade essays is statistically significantly higher than those in 4th grade essays. Nevertheless, no significant developmental trend was found in terms of precision of their application, highlighting the need for explicit instruction not only on the form but also on the function of cohesion markers in academic writing.
Purpose - Children are influenced by the presence of morphological units when spelling morphologically complex words. Indeed, root spelling is more accurate when followed by a suffix (turning vs. turnip, Deacon & Bryant, 2006) and suffix spelling is more accurate when preceded by a root (smarter vs. ladder, Deacon & Bryant, 2005). However, the cognitive processes underlying morphological decomposition when spelling need to be further investigated. In particular, children might rely on two different information when processing morphologically complex words through their components: orthographic and semantic information. The aim of the present study was to investigate the influence of morpheme's form and meaning properties when spelling derivational suffixes in French children. Methods - The participants were French-speaking children in grade 3 and in grade 5. They were asked to spell three types of words: derived words (e.g., cachette; example in English: smarter), pseudoderived words (i.e., simple words including two morphemes; e.g., baguette; example in English: corner) and pseudosuffixed words (i.e., simple words including a suffix-ending; e.g., alouette; example in English: hover). Each target word was inserted at the end of a short sentence. Results - Overall, spelling accuracy was higher in grade 5 than in grade 3. In addition, children's spelling of suffixes was more accurate when preceded by a root than not. More importantly, there was no difference in suffix spelling accuracy between derived and pseudoderived words in both grades. Conclusion - These results confirms that children are influenced by morphemes when spelling, and this processing relies on the orthographic properties of morphemes.
Purpose: The ability to recognize and extract information related to the main topic of a passage is generally seen as a core component of high-level comprehension. Seen from an educational perspective, the monitoring of main ideas constitutes a major goal and achievement of reading instruction. The present work examines individual strategies used by elementary school students attempting to master this task. Methods: Materials included 20 five sentence passages with either the first or last two sentences being related to a topic (e.g. "the sun" vs. "the moon") that was presented as a headline. In addition to the headline, we varied the position of the corresponding two sentences within the paragraph, resulting in a 2 (topic) x 2 (order) design. Elementary school students (n=72; 5th grade) were asked to read the passages with a focus on the headline and to subsequently answer comprehension questions, which were always related to the critical topic. Results: We hypothesized that if preferential processing of critical information takes place, viewing times on the two sentences related to the headline should be increased regardless of order. Looking at initial reading before presentation of the question, this prediction was confirmed for slow readers (based on a median split of passage reading time), while faster readers showed no significant viewing time difference. However, these readers had a strong preference for the re-reading of relevant topic-related information during the second phase of text presentation after questions were presented. Conclusion: The present design allows identifying individual strategies of comprehension monitoring during reading in a well-controlled setting. Interestingly, differences between more and less successful students emerged primarily during re-reading. A major source of variability in this process is the efficiency with which students find relevant information, pointing to spatial memory as a major determinant of success in comprehension monitoring.
Purpose: This study followed longitudinally the development of preliteracy and literacy skills of Kindergarteners in schools serving Aboriginal and non-aboriginal low SES children, assessed the effectiveness of an early language and literacy enrichment program, and examined predictors of vocabulary knowledge. Method: Participants were 110 Kindergartners from six elementary schools in three small towns in BC, Canada. Phonological awareness (PA), letter-sound knowledge, pseudoword decoding, word reading, morphological awareness (MA) and vocabulary were tracked over 5 months. Pretesting took place at the beginning of January (Time1). Subsequently, teachers implemented targeted literacy and vocabulary strategies for 4-6 weeks. Post-testing occurred in June (Time2). Results: Repeated measures ANOVAs indicated significant gains on all measures. There were no significant differences in gains across groups (e.g., weakest vs. strongest; aboriginal vs. non-aboriginal). Regression analyses indicated that at Time1, both PA and MA were significant concurrent and longitudinal predictors of vocabulary skills, but MA was the strongest predictor of vocabulary. At Time2, PA was not a unique predictor, letter-sound knowledge was a significant predictor, as was MA. Conclusions: This study provides unique insights into the needs of Aboriginal Kindergartners and other vulnerable low SES children. Findings highlight the importance of MA. All Kindergartners benefit from intentional teaching of MA, and MA is the strongest predictor of vocabulary in kindergarten, over and above PA, letter-sound knowledge, and word level reading skills. Findings have theoretical implications for a more comprehensive developmental model of reading and language development, and practical implications for enhancing language skills and the assessment of literacy skills in vulnerable groups.
The aim of this paper is to explore the brain mechanisms that underly skilled braille reading. It has been established that skilled braille readers, particularly those born blind can make use of their visual cortex to help their reading. We will present evidence that the auditory cortex may also be implicated in supporting reading via an existing pathway between the somatosensory and auditory cortices. Our hypothesis is that once the vibro-tactile stimulus generated at a reader's fingertip goes above the audible threshold (20 Hz), the signal processing machinery of the auditory cortex can be engaged to enhance reading. This hypothesis is in keeping with a metamodal theory of the brain where functions developed for one domain can be re-purposed for another (Pascual-Leone & Hamilton, 2001). To test our hypothesis we asked readers to read 18 pages of popular science texts on braille paper while we tracked their fingers. For some texts we played noise over headphones that mimicked the kind of vibrations generated from vibrotactile braille stimulation - the "braille noise" condition. We also used a higher frequency noise condition and a silent condition. The idea was that the braille noise condition should maximally interfere with braille reading and that this would be most apparent in the skilled population. Our results showed that braille noise did indeed selectively affect reading performance but, surprisingly, in a positive direction: braille noise appeared to enhance reading speed for the faster readers. We explain our results and draw a number of pedagogic implications from them.
Maria_Adelaida Restrepo (Arizona State Univesity )Shelley Gray; The LARRC Consortium - Language bases of language comprehension in preschool bilinguals learning to read in English as a second language
Purpose. The purpose of this study was to examine the oral language predictors of reading comprehension in Spanish-speaking preschool English language learners from low income homes in the US, a population at high risk of poor reading comprehension skills by 4th grade (National Education Assessment Progress, 2012). Given that preschoolers are not yet reading, we examined two oral language measures: comprehension monitoring and understanding paragraphs. Method. Two hundred and eighty one children ages 4 and 5 participated in the study. Children received measures of English and Spanish receptive and expressive vocabulary, and Spanish a morphology (screener for language impairment), word structure, semantic relations, paragraph comprehension, and knowledge violations. Other measures of decoding skills and reading were also administered but not reported here. Results. Stepwise regressions analyses were run on understanding paragraphs and on knowledge violations. Results indicated that the best and significant predictors for understanding spoken paragraphs were the word structure subtest and the morphology screener, with a R2 = .37. The best and significant predictors for knowledge violations were expressive vocabulary in English and Spanish and the morphology screener, with an R2 = .33. In both regressions the morphology screener accounted for the most variance. Conclusions. These results indicate that grammar although often not addressed in preschool predictors of reading has an important role in overall oral language comprehension, which in turn has an important role in reading comprehension in subsequent years. Further, as in previous studies vocabulary measures are important in predicting oral and reading comprehension skills.
Purpose. Systems devised for hand-scoring spelling errors in English usually take account of the child's phonological as well as orthographic knowledge of English (see Treiman & Bourassa, 2000). These systems are useful for research, but they are too labour intensive for routine screening of childen at-risk of language and literacy problems. More importantly, they may be unreliable for heterogeneous groups of bilingual children, and those who have been exposed to non-standard phonology at home (e.g., dialect-speakers and diglossic children, Jalil & Rickard Liow, 2008). In this paper, we assessed whether Davis' (2001) computerised metrics for orthographic matching can capture spelling sophistication (e,g,, Kohnen et al., 2008), and provide an objective and efficient method of cfor from contrasting language backgrounds. Method. A total of 92 English-L1/Mandarin-L2 or Mandarin-L1/English-L2 kindergarten children (46 pairs of 5-6 year olds matched for whole-word spelling accuracy and nonverbal ability) completed conventional cognitive- lingustic assessments as well as an experimental spelling task which included 36 monosyllabic 4-letter CVC words. Results. Regression analyses, predicting eight different sets of spelling scores from WRAT-4 reading ability, receptive vocabulary, phoneme awareness, and working memory, were computed from archival data on 5-6 year-old bilinguals. Davis' metrics proved sensitive to group differences and may be viable alternatives to hand-scoring systems. Conclusions. Clinicians and researchers working with groups of children from different language backgrounds could explore the use of computerised algorithms based on orthographic matching.
Purpose: To analyze if the reading competence of deaf readers and hearing readers is influenced by the same variables. Method: Following a reading level (RL)-matched design, 28 deaf students were selected (mean age = 15.68 years old), two control groups were also selected. The CA-matched group was composed of 28 typically developing adolescents (mean age = 15.5 years old) who were matched to the deaf students on age. The RL-matched group was composed of 28 typically developing children (mean age = 10.7 years old) selected to be of the same reading level as the deaf students. Reading level was determined by the TECLE test (Carrillo & Marín, 1997). As evaluation measure five tests were carried out: Spanish Peabody's Picture Vocabulary Test, Phonological Awareness Test, Ortographic Awareness Test, Syntactic Strategies Test, and Speechreading Test. Results: In deaf students the reading level was positive correlated with vocabulary, syntactic knowledge, reading speed, phonological awareness and speechreading. The three first variables were also correlated with reading proficiency on both control groups. Only in the case of deaf students, the speechreading has an influence on reading level. Deaf adolescents and RL-matched group use syntactic strategies in their reading with lower frequency than CA-matched group, but in all three groups, those readers with high scores on the use of syntactic strategies are those that get high scores in reading. Conclusions: The only specific trait in the deaf adolescents' reading is the influence of speechreading.
Purpose: Compared to first-language learners, second-language learners seem to struggle with reading comprehension. These poor reading comprehension skills has, in earlier studies (e.g., Lervåg & Aukrust, 2010), been associated with poor oral language comprehension skills in the second language. The current study examines the effect of oral language comprehension training in preschool trying to increase the oral language comprehension skills of second-language learners before the onset of formal reading instruction. Method: A randomized trial study (RCT) was designed to examine the effect of the oral language training program. One hundred and sixteen second language learners (age 5 at study onset), learning Norwegian as their second language were included and allocated randomly into a treatment- or control group. The treatment group received oral language comprehension training in Norwegian for 18 weeks (3 sessions a week) the last semester before they started school. The control group received ordinary kindergarten program. The children were tested prior (January 2012) and after the intervention (June 2012). Results: Results show that systematic oral language comprehension training in kindergarten is an effective tool for improving second language learners' second language skills, with effects generalized to distal measures of both expressive language (grammar and vocabulary) skills in addition to narrative comprehension.
Amir Sadeghi (1Islamic Azad University, Damavand Branch, Iran & 2University of Canterbury, New Zealand); John Everatt; Brigid McNeill - Predictors of biliteracy levels in refugee community populations in Australasia
Purpose Research will be reported focusing on cognitive-linguistic predictors of reading comprehension levels within children from non-English-language background refugee families. The purpose of the work was to inform educational practices aimed at supporting children who are being educated in English-medium mainstream schools but whose home language differs from the language of education. Method Children from families living in New Zealand (N=59) and Australia (N=60), but originally from Afghanistan, were given measures of text reading comprehension. Ability levels on these measures were compared to scores on additional measures of language competence, non-verbal skills, phonological ability, orthographic processing and speed of processing. Children were learning English literacy in mainstream schools and Dari literacy during weekend community schools. Measures were conducted in both languages. Results The results indicated that reading comprehension levels in both languages were predicted by measures of linguistic competence and word decoding, with the latter being predicted by phonological and orthographic processing skills. These results were generally consistent with monolingual English language findings and data from English-second-language cohorts within similar educational contexts. Predictors were also consistent with data obtained from Farsi-monolingual Iranian children: Dari and Farsi are dialects of the same language and both use the Arabic orthography. Conclusions The findings will be discussed in terms of cross-orthography influences indentified in the data and contrasted with previous findings in the field of second language/bilingual literacy learning. They provide the basis on which to develop cognitive-linguistic predictors of literacy learning difficulties within such at-risk populations.
Purpose: The research addresses the effect of the linguistic distance in diglossic Arabic between the language that children acquire naturally (Spoken Arabic, hereafter, SpA) and the language they acquire primarily formally (Standard Arabis, StA) on the acquisition of basic language and literacy skills in Standarad Arabic, the language of literacy. Method: Our design is grounded in examining linguistic processing (mainly phonological) in the two languages by comparing the processing of linguistic structures that are used in both languages with those that exist only in StA . Results: The results show that children (as old as 11 years: 5th garde, the oldest group tested so far) find it significantly more difficult to represent and process linguistic structures that exist only in StA and even when they show no difficulty in articulating these structures.These efects were observed in phonological awareness, word decoding, word spelling, word repetition, picture naming, as well as lexical awareness tasks. Conclusions: We argue that these results are attributed to difficulty in the linguistic representation of StA linguistic structures, which stems from the limited exposure and experience that children have with this language.
PURPOSE: Persons with autism have been found to show limited inferencing during reading comprehension. The present study aims at further exploring inference production manipulating the explicit or automatic nature of inferences required and working memory demands. METHOD: Three groups of adolescents and young adults with autism (ASD), poor comprehension (PC), and typically developing (TD) (N = 66), were matched on chronological age, reading speed, working memory, and gender. Experiments 1 and 2 involved stories with a target phrase that explicitly included an emotion either consistent or inconsistent with a character's emotion previously implicit in the text. The target appeared immediately after the text necessary to infer the emotion (exp. 1) or after some filler sentences (exp. 2). In Experiments 3 and 4, the emotion was not made explicit, and participants were asked to identify characters' emotions in nonmentalistic (exp. 3) and mentalistic texts (4). RESULTS: In Experiments 1 and 2, reading times for targets were significantly longer when the explicit emotion was inconsistent. However, in the first experiment no interaction of consistency and group was found. In the second, there were no differences between consistent and inconsistent target times in the PC group. In Experiments 3 and 4, participants with ASD had the lowest accuracy rate of all three groups. CONCLUSIONS: Readers with autism produce automatic inferences during reading, unaffected by increased memory load. This is not the case for poor comprehenders. However, the same readers with ASD are poor at responding to questions about textual inferences when explicitly asked.
Purpose. Studies have indicated that reading problems, especially in more transparent orthographies are manifested as slow reading speed. Thus, enhacement of reading fluency is of great importance for Finnish dyslexic children. One approach to train reading fluency has been to accelerate the presentation of reading materials, such as sentences. With a sample of dysfluent Finnish readers we assessed firstly, whether reading acceleration training at sentence level can enhance reading fluency, and secondly, whether learning was item specific or whether training effects were generalized to untrained items at word, sentence and text level. Method. The study was piloted in the autumn 2012 and the main study will be conducted in the spring 2013. Participants consist of approximately 60 children at Grade levels 3-6, with problems in reading fluency. A switching replications design will be applied. The training period will last for 3 weeks and consist of 9 sessions. Children practice with a computer program, which adapts to the performance level of the child. The design consists of a pre-test, a training/control period, a mid-test, a control/training period, a post-test, and a follow-up assessment. Results. Preliminary results from the pilot study show that accelerated reading improved reading fluency of poor readers. More detailed results of the study will be analyzed and presented. Discussion. The role of acceleration training in enhancing reading fluency will be discussed.
One of the challenging issues affecting reading acquisition in Africa is that there is very little reading material in the languages children speak. This is why they have to learn also English or French. In Zambia children are nowadays instructed to learn to read first a local language. Since the learning results have been far from acceptable we have made an attempt to support children's learning to read Chinyanja, the local language spoken most widely in Lusaka (Zambia) using Graphogame. Our hypothesis is that acquiring reading skill of one's L1 helps in the acquisition of that of L2, i.e., the better child is instructed to read Chinyanja, here supported by Graphogame, the better s/he can benefit from ordinary school teaching of reading skills of English. We will present data in which we compared groups of children who had or had not participated in Graphogame training in their proceedings in learning to read English. Our results supported the hypothesis. The children whose skill of reading Chinyanja was elevated as a result of Graphogame training learned to read English faster.
Robert Savage (Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology);Robert Savage; Giovani Burgos; Eileen Wood; Noella Piquette - The simple view of reading as a framework for national literacy initiatives: A hierarchical model of pupil-level and classroom-level factors
Purpose: The Simple View of Reading (SVR) describes Reading Comprehension as the product of distinct child-level variance in Decoding (D) and Listening Comprehension (LC) abilities. The model has become a framework for National Literacy Policy in England guiding classroom teaching (Rose, 2006) and has influenced policy elsewhere. As a model of classroom-level literacy teaching, unique classroom-level influences on the components of the SVR model have been assumed but not demonstrated. Method: Hierarchical modeling of classroom-level variance in the components of the SVR is thus explored here. The sample were 702 unselected children in 50 grade 1 (year 1) classrooms across Canada Results: Hierarchical Linear Models of data suggested: a) independent unique classroom-level effects for both D and LC; b) a product model (D x LC) not an additive model (D + LC) best fitted the nested classroom-level data concurrently at the end of Grade 1 but the additive model best predicted longitudinally from the fall of Grade 1, explaining 61% of the classroom-level variance in RC at the end of Grade 1. Conclusions: The SVR model accurately describes both pupil-level and distinct classroom-level variance in D and LC on RC in year 1. The SVR is thus a useful framework for understanding RC in classrooms in year 1 where growth in both D and LC are strongly implicated in early reading success.
Purpose. The main source of Hebrew spelling errors is homophony, the result of historical phonological neutralizations. For example, t can be spelled as either ת (TAF) or ט (TET). Knowledge of morpho-orthographic patterns can mitigate homophony, since affix functions are signaled by only one of the possible letter options. Thus affixal (non-root) t can only be spelled as ת. It is therefore critical for spellers to clearly demarcate the root core of the word from its affixal envelope in learning to spell homophonous letters (Ravid, 2012). However, this demarcation may be obscured by morpho-orthographic factors. Method. A spelling task of 26 words with homophonous affix letters was dictated to 276 Hebrew-speaking typically developing and dyslexic 3rd, 6th, 8th and 11th graders and a group of University students. Task items were classified into three levels of predicted difficulty by degree of morpho-orthographic regularity. Participants were also administered a morpho-phonological task and an inflectional morphology task. Results. Homophonous affix letters regularly coded in the function envelope were correctly spelled early on, while the blurring of affixal and root roles resulted in spelling errors of affix letters even in adult students. Morpho-honological awareness explained variance in the regular category while morphological performance explained variance in the two irregular categories. Finally, dyslexic participants lagged behind their typically developing peers, closing the gap on spelling regular, but not irregular, homophonous affix letters at older ages. Conclusions: Hebrew spelling knowledge relies on morpho-orthographic cues. Dyslexic students find it difficult to extract these cues from irregular structures.
Matthew Schneps (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics); Jenny Thomson; Gerhard Sonnert; Marc Pomplun; Chen Chen; Amanda Heffner-Wong - E-reader formats can facilitate readers with dyslexia: an eye-tracking study
PURPOSE: People with dyslexia sometimes remark that reading with e-readers is considerably easier than reading on paper. We explore this hypothesis to specifically investigate whether the presumed beneficial effects are linked to differences in the way e-readers format the text. METHOD: We use eye-tracking methodologies to observe reading in a sample of 26 high school students with dyslexia as they read using popular e-reader devices (Apple iPod Touch and iPad). RESULTS: We found that by simply varying the formatting of the text, by abbreviating the displayed linewidths to about 2 words per line, reading speeds increase, comprehension improves, and the number of ineffective eye movements (regressive saccades) is reduced in readers who are impaired. The observed effect is highly significant and substantial (of order 30%). Furthermore, supporting previous results, we found that increasing the spacing between letters to reduce effects of crowding facilitates reading among those in our sample who struggle most. CONCLUSIONS: We interpret these observations to suggest that processes of visual attention that ordinarily inhibits perception of text previously read are impaired in dyslexia, and that this enhances sensitivity to regressive attentional prompts that impair reading efficiency. We suggest that e-readers ameliorate this effect by altering the statistical properties of the page to reduce the amount of text presented to the left of fixation. Importantly, our experiments demonstrate that relatively minor changes in formatting, easily accommodated by modern technologies for reading, can lead to significant improvements in those who otherwise struggle to read.
Purpose: German orthography is generally considered being transparent with fairly regular phoneme to grapheme correspondences and, even more, vice versa. Nevertheless, many pupils and teachers view German spelling acquisition as difficult. Yet, with systematic and explicit instruction, German spelling can be mastered more easily. Consequently, pre-service teachers should gain insight into orthographic structure of German language during their university education. However, based on the US data (Peter Effect), university teachers may lack the necessary knowledge to teach literacy skills and hence, they cannot be expected provide their students with knowledge they do not possess (cf. Binks-Cantrell et al. 2012). The purpose of this study is to investigate whether there are signs for a Peter Effect in German elementary teacher qualification. Method & Results: University teachers of all 40 German universities offering courses for elementary teachers were invited to participate in a survey. To allow for cross-country comparisons, the questionnaire implemented in this study was a German version of the questionnaire applied in the original study by Binks-Cantrell et al. (2012). Conclusions: It appears that German university teachers possessed higher levels of knowledge of relevant concepts compared to US Universities. The results are explained in terms the orthography of German language as well as of instruction in German elementary schools.
Purpose: Recent research with monolingual dyslexic young adults and young poor readers has indicated that the ability to encode serial phoneme position might be a crucial factor when describing the quality of short-term memory phonological representations. The results from a Nonword Repetition Task (NRT) showed that both dyslexic young adults and young poor readers did not differ from matched controls in their retentions of phoneme identity in NRT errors but performed significantly worse in their retentions of the phonemes' serial position (Geudens, Schraeyen & Sandra, SSSR 2010; Schraeyen, Geudens, Sandra & Ghesquière, SSSR 2011; Schraeyen, Geudens, Ghesquière & Sandra, submitted). As learning to read in a child's second language also hinges on high-quality phonological representations, we will report the results of a study in which the NRT was administered to young bilingual children. Method: NRT (Scheltinga, 2003) data of 50 Dutch second language learners (mean age: 9;0) will be analyzed with respect to the retention of both the phonemes themselves and their serial position, using logistic and linear mixed effects models (MLE) for correct responses and error analyses. Results and conclusion (theoretical importance): If our results with monolingual young adults and young readers can be replicated, we will have shown that memory for serial position is a key factor in explaining the difference between the quality of poor and better second language readers' phonological representations. In contrast with monolingual readers, we might also find typical phoneme retention errors, reflecting the influence of bilingual children's native language (L1) phonology. Theoretical implications will be discussed.
* Purpose: Investigating development of written language between grades 4 and 6 in children who are native speakers of English (L1) and children for whom English is a second language (L2). * 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 and nonverbal cognitive ability (Raven Test score). Study included analysis of the stories written by the same children as part of TOWL-3 test in grades 4 and 6 in response to the picture stimulus. This poster focuses on results from the experimental subtest of TOWL-3 test, complementing Subtest 7, "Contextual Language ", which tests the familiarity with linguistic structures in English. Data analysis was carried through Repeated Measures ANOVA with language group (L1/L2) and cognitive ability (Low/High) as the independent variables. * Results: The interactions of language and cognitive ability were significant. High cognitive ability children significantly outperformed low cognitive ability children in each group. Specific tasks, eg., writing more complex sentences and producing less run-on sentences were performed significantly better by the L2 children than by the L1. Total score for complex linguistic structures was significantly higher for high cognitive ability L2 children than for other groups. * Conclusions: In mastering complex linguistic structures in English story writing it was not the language status but the cognitive ability that determined performance, with high cognitive ability children outperforming low cognitive ability children. The high cognitive ability L2 children outperformed the other groups.
Purpose: The art of deduction is at the heart of scientific thinking. Following up on the work of Siddiqui, West and Stanovich (1998) and Osana et al. (2007) in adults, we investigated how reading skills facilitate verbal and nonverbal syllogistic reasoning in primary school children, taking into account such known cognitive predictors as working memory and inhibition. Methods: Children in second (n=40), fourth (n=44) and sixth (n=51) grade participated in this cross-sectional study. They performed a verbal syllogistic reasoning task (based on Schröder et al., 2000) consisting of 36 syllogisms, and a nonverbal syllogistic reasoning task (slightly adapted Wason selection task) which taps children's ability to apply logical rules. Furthermore, nonverbal intelligence, word decoding, reading comprehension, inhibition (Stroop task), and working memory ( digit span backward and forward) were assessed by means of standardized tests. Results: Age and intelligence were main factors in predicting syllogistic reasoning. On top of that, verbal syllogisms were predicted by reading comprehension scores and working memory, whereas non-verbal syllogisms were predicted by decoding skills and working memory. Inhibition only predicted the scores on incongruent syllogisms (in which the syllogism is correct, but counter-intuitive). Conclusion: Reading skills indeed facilitate syllogistic reasoning. Verbal reasoning was found to be strongly related to reading comprehension, whereas the more abstract task of nonverbal reasoning was predicted by word decoding. Especially the younger children had large difficulties with this task. The unique role of reading in relation to reasoning highlights the cognitive consequences of reading skills.
* Purpose Purpose: to test one of the predictions of the allophonic theory of dyslexia, namely that children with severe reading problems (DYS) perceive subphonemic segments. Specifically, DYS children should have an enhanced perception of vowel subsegments inside a CVC sequence and their CVC/CC boundary, generated by temporal reduction of the central vowel, should therefore be shifted towards a shorter V duration. * Method Stimuli varying along an acoustic continuum between two different French words differing in the presence/ absence of a vowel inside a consonant cluster ('parole'/'parle') were used for collecting identification and discrimination responses. 19 DYS children and 52 neurotypical (NT) children participated to the study. Identification functions were analyzed with logistic regression, fitted individually for each participant. Differences in boundaries and slopes between groups were tested with ANOVA. Discrimination peaks were estimated separately for each participant. Differences in the location and size of the peaks were tested by ANOVA. Discriminant analyses were run to predict group membership (DYS/NT) with identification boundary and peak location as predictors * Results The identification boundary and discrimination peak were both located at a shorter V duration for the DYS vs. NT (p<.001). Boundary location allowed 89% correct classification into DYS and NT. * Conclusions Results confirm the implication of the allophonic theory for the perception of speech segments. DYS seem to perceive more segments than are phonemes inside a word, at least for vocalic segments inside consonant cluster. This would hamper the set-up of relationships between letters and speech sounds and might explain severe reading problems.
Purpose A series of studies investigated influences on English second language writing performance. The aim was to inform theories about the processes underlying writing levels, as well as models of second language writing development - including views related to critical periods of acquisition. Method The research focused on students undertaking English classes who had another language as their main language of communication/education. The studies considered a range of language backgrounds, but the main groups comprised those with Bangla, Malay and Arabic as their first language. Measures of writing performance were administered by asking students to write an essay to a prompt/title. Essays were assessed on low-level performance measures (e.g., number of words, grammatical errors) and higher levels of written output (such as coherence of argument). Participants were also given measures of English language skills (vocabulary, rapid naming, grammatical/syntactic ability) and their background in writing and language was assessed via questionnaires/interviews (strategies in writing, length and time of exposure to English, first language/literacy). Results & Conclusions Findings indicated that English writing scores were related to English language competence, consistent with associations between the two. This level of competence was also related to the type of strategies that students reported using in second language writing tasks: as language competence increased, strategies became more sophistication. However, findings also indicated interactions between first language skills and second language output, as well as influences of exposure to English that were dependent on the level of writing performance assessed.
Brian Shek-kam Tse (The University of Hong Kong)Xiao-yun Xiao; Hwa-wei Ko; Yi-ling Chan - Do reading practices make a difference? The analysis of PIRLS data for Hong Kong and Taiwan fourth-grade students.
Purpose. The study set out to examine the difference in reading attainment levels between Hong Kong and Taiwan fourth-grade students in the PIRLS 2006 assessment and to examine the reason that caused the difference by evaluating the relative contribution of various factors (i.e., reading attitudes, home educational resources and reading practices) to reading achievement among Hong Kong and Taiwan students. Specifically, we asked two research questions, i.e., whether students' and parents' reading attitudes, home educational resources and students' reading practices were significantly related to Hong Kong and Taiwan fourth-grade students' reading attainment and if yes, whether the relationship of the variables to reading performance differed across the two groups of students. Methods. The Hong Kong and Taiwan portions of data from the PIRLS 2006, a large-scale international assessment, which was designed to measure fourth-grade students' reading literacy and its home, school and national contexts, were used for secondary analysis in this study. Reading scores from 4712 students from Hong Kong and 4589 from Taiwan together with indexes and variables derived from the student, home and teacher questionnaires were used for multilevel analysis. Results. The results show that independent reading in school made a unique contribution to the reading performance of Hong Kong and Taiwan students after controlling for the effect of students' and parents' reading attitudes, home educational resources and other types of reading practices (i.e., outside-school informational reading and in-class reading aloud). Outside-school informational reading was found to be negatively associated with reading attainment of Hong Kong and Taiwan students and this association was moderated by homework reading, while a negative association between in-class reading aloud and reading attainment was found in Taiwan students. Conclusions. It was concluded that independent reading was responsible for Hong Kong students' better reading attainment and reading aloud responsible for Taiwan students' poorer reading attainment.
Purpose: Family environment has long been recognized as an important predictor of children's school performance in western countries. We are interested in how familial factors exert an influence on language and reading development of Chinese children. In the following studies, we tried to figure out the developmental trajectories of children's language and reading skills and find if and how the familial indicators, such as mother's education and social economic status (SES), could play a role in language development and reading achievement. Method: By using a longitudinal design, 264 native Chinese children from Beijing were annually administered a set of reading, cognitive and linguistic tasks over 9 years between ages of 3 to 11. Growth mixture modeling and intercept-slope clustering were used to see the growth paths of language and reading. Familial indicators were then examined in relation to children's developmental trajectories for language and reading. Results: Both reading and lexical development were classified into different subgroups. Children in the poor and catch-up groups were from families with relatively lower mother's education level than normal group. More specifically, mothers' lower educational attainment was associated with relatively low metalinguistic skills and vocabulary growth in young children. Moreover, an interaction between SES and phonology on reading was observed. Children with both low phonology at age 4 and SES experienced a continuous delay in reading at age 10 while children with low phonology but high SES acquired normal reading ability. Conclusions: Consistent with previous studies on western countries, the experience based factors, mother's education and SES, play essential roles in Chinese children's language and reading development.
Mark Shiu Kee Shum (Faculty of Education, University of Hong Kong) - Developing genre pedagogy to enhance Chinese students' writing ability in liberal studies Studies Developing Genre Pedagogy to Enhance Chinese Students' Writing Ability in Liberal
Purpose: This paper aims at developing effective pedagogy to enhance students' writing ability in the subject of Liberal Studies (LS) which is one of the four compulsory subjects in the New Senior Secondary (NSS) Curriculum in Hong Kong since 2009. Method: Based on Functional Linguistics (Halliday, 1994) and Genre theory (Martin, 1999), a research team led by the presenter previously identified major genres in the subject and their characteristic linguistic features that students are expected to master. Based on these research findings, the research team designed and conducted genre teaching in three schools to enhance Chinese students' writing skills in Liberal Studies. Results: This paper reports the strategies of the genre pedagogy and the outcomes of the genre based teaching through class observation, interview and students' text analysis. For teachers, genre teaching derived from genre analysis of the subject helps to make their teaching more explicit. For students, genre teaching provides opportunities to discuss in the class effective ways of expressing their subject knowledge. Conclusions: The finding confirmed that genre approach can enhance students' mastery of the patterns of discourse and their competence in expressing concepts in Liberal Studies. This finding throws light on issues related to teacher training and students' higher order thinking skills, which are essential components of the current education reform.
Sulpizio Simone (University of Trento) - On the autonomy of the representation of lexical stress in reading: Evidence from Italian On the autonomy of the representation of lexical stress in reading: Evidence from Italian On the autonomy of the representation of lexical stress in r
There is a growing interest in the study of lexical stress in the reading literature. The issue is particularly relevant for those languages with no fixed stress position like English or Italian, since in such languages a polysyllabic stimulus cannot be articulated until its stress pattern is specified. Until now, research on stress has focused more on how readers assign stress to words and nonwords, but little effort has been devoted to the investigation of how the reading system processes stress information. In this regard, an important question to ask is how stress information is represented in the reading system. According to what is postulated in the speech production literature (Levelt et al., 1999), we may ask whether stress information is part of an abstract representation that is autonomous from segmental information. In three reading aloud experiments conducted in Italian, we tested the above questions by adopting a priming paradigm. Both primes and targets were three-syllable words and either shared the stress pattern (congruent condition) or did not (incongruent condition). All the experiments showed a stress priming effect: Participants were faster when reading a target word preceded by a congruent stress prime. Moreover, the effect was not modulated by the list composition (Colombo & Zevin, 2009). The results of the present study suggest that, in single word reading, information about stress position is automatically activated in the lexicon, independent of segmental information.
Purpose: To compare neural mechanisms for reading acquisition in biliterate children provided simultaneous instruction in native Hindi and non-native English Method: We used functional neuroimaging to compare cortical activity while 19 right-handed children (8-10 years) and 15 adults (22- 27 years) read stimuli in Hindi, the native language written in the Devanagari script and non-native English written in the Roman script. In a block design, participants read 60 high frequency words and non-words in both languages alternating with rest, during which the subjects fixated on a string of symbols. A total of 480 volumes were acquired and analysed using SPM5. Participants underwent behavioural assessment in both languages and IQ testing (WASI). Results: Biliterate adults activated distinct bilateral neural circuits, fronto-temporal for English and occipito-temporal for Hindi, whereas children recruited a common network with a signature recruitment of right hippocampus. Region of interest analysis of the hippocampus showed significantly higher activity for English suggesting visual memorization. Brain behaviour correlations revealed emerging language specificity, when phonological awareness (PA) scores in English correlated with neural activity in the right mid frontal gyrus while PA scores in Hindi correlated with activity in the right superior temporal gyrus. Conclusion: Our results indicate a a unique role for hippocampus in reading acquisition. They also suggest distinct neural strategies for for learning to read native and non-native languages, namely increased reliance on visual working memory for learning to read the non-native language and phonological processing for the native one.
Silvia Siu-Yin Lam (The Chinese University of Hong Kong); Catherine McBride-Chang - Parent-child joint writing in Chinese kindergarteners: Explicit instruction in radical knowledge and stroke writing skills
Purpose - It aimed to investigate the effectiveness of stroke order writing and radical awareness training in the context of parent-child joint Chinese writing. Method - Eighty kindergarteners were pretested on nonverbal IQ, word reading, vocabulary, semantic-radical awareness, dictation, and single character reading. Then they were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: stroke order, radical, or control. Their parents attended an assigned training workshop. After eight weeks of training, the kindergarteners were post-tested on semantic-radical awareness, dictation, and character reading. Results - ANOVAs were conducted to compare scores on the RSPM, the Chinese character recognition, and the vocabulary definitions. No significant differences were found on these control measures. ANCOVAs were conducted on six tasks of character reading, copying, counting, dictation, semantic radicals with pictures, and semantic radicals with characters to investigate group improvement after the 8-week intervention. A significant group effect was found on three of the tasks, ps < .05, including dictation (F (2, 76) = 4.109), semantic radicals with pictures (F (2, 76) = 3.47), and semantic radicals with characters (F (2, 76) = 5.33). There were no main effects for other tasks. Conclusions - These findings highlight the potential influences of parental involvement on children's Chinese literacy development. The improvement shown in the radical condition suggests that children can learn characters better by categorizing them into appropriate semantic and phonetic radicals. Therefore, explicit patterns in teaching Chinese characters can guide children better in learning and also raise children's sensitivity towards the structural elements of Chinese characters.
Purpose The current study examines how children's behavioral self-regulation in preschool relates to their initial level of four reading-related skills (i.e., decoding, passage comprehension, phonological awareness, and vocabulary) as well as the rate of growth exhibited in these skills from preschool through second grade. Method Participants (n = 383) were recruited from several preschools located in one school district in the Midwest. The majority of children were Caucasian (n = 222) and lived in high SES households. Children's literacy and language skills were tested individually twice each year, once in the fall and once in the spring, for up to four years (i.e., 8 times). Four subtests from the Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Cognitive Abilities (WJ-III; Woodcock, McGrew, & Mather, 2001) were used: sound awareness, letter-word identification (i.e., decoding), passage comprehension, and picture vocabulary. In addition, at preschool entry, children's behavioral self-regulation was assessed using a version of the Head-to-Toes task (Cameron et al., 2009) Results Latent basis growth curve models indicated that, for all four literacy skills, lower self-regulation was associated with lower literacy skills at preschool entry. Self-regulation was not associated with the amount of growth in decoding or passage comprehension. However, lower self-regulation was associated with more rapid growth in phonological awareness and vocabulary during the years of early formal schooling. Conclusions Findings suggest that, for children with lower self-regulation, a school setting may be helpful to improve those literacy skills often learned, at least in part, more implicitly in other environments.
Purpose: The purpose of the study was to examine changes in performance on language sample measures in a story retelling task by English language learners with low, intermediate, and high second language proficiency levels. Method: Sixty typically developing English language learners (ELLs) speaking Spanish as a first language ages 5 years 3 months - 8 years (M = 6 years 8 months, SD = 10 months) participated. Participants met the following criteria: parents reported that they spoke Spanish at home more than 50% of the time, teachers identified them as ELLs, and children passed cognitive and hearing screenings. Children were given a story retelling task based on a wordless picture book, Frog Goes to Dinner (Mayer, 1973). Story retells were orthographically transcribed using SALT and segmented into T-units and analyzed for: mean length of utterance, number of grammatical errors per T-unit, number of different words, and percent of mazed words. Results: Four one-way ANOVAs were conducted, with language proficiency as a factor with three levels (a low, intermediate, and high level) with Holm's sequential procedure for family-wise Type I error. Results indicated an effect of language proficiency on all language sample measures, except percent of mazed words. Results also suggested that the number of grammatical errors and MLU may be more sensitive to differences among children at the lower proficiency levels, while number of different words is sensitive to differences across all proficiency levels. Conclusions: This study highlights the value of story retelling in the study of second language profiency among ELLs.
Maggie Snowling (University of Oxford)Fiona J. Duff, Charles Hulme, Katy Grainger, Samantha Hardwick, Fiona J. Duff1 Charles Hume2 Katy Grainger3 Samantha Hardwick3 Margaret J. Snowling1 - Effectiveness of a combined reading and language intervention for children at-risk of dyslexia
Purpose Children at family risk of dyslexia can be identified and therefore supported early on. Literacy interventions with this population have focused on training in letter knowledge and phoneme awareness. Short-term effects on these skills have been demonstrated, but typically with limited transfer to reading. We report the results of a comprehensive reading and language intervention for at-risk children. Method A randomised controlled trial was used to evaluate the intervention, which was delivered to 56 6-year-olds at risk of dyslexia, owing to family risk and/or pre-school language impairment. The experimental group received 18 weeks of intervention, while the waiting control group received teaching as usual for 9 weeks, followed by 9 weeks of intervention. Results Children who received 9 weeks of daily intervention made greater progress than the controls on phoneme awareness, word reading, phonetic spelling and expressive vocabulary. A longer course of intervention (18 versus 9 weeks) produced greater progress in word reading, phonetic spelling, and reading comprehension. Children with weaker initial literacy skills showed greater benefits. Phoneme awareness and letter-sound knowledge predicted response to intervention as measured by growth in word reading. Conclusions An integrated reading and language intervention improved the word-level literacy skills of children at risk of dyslexia, with a later-emerging effect on reading comprehension. Follow-up data is needed to assess whether these benefits are maintained in the absence of the intervention.
Brooke Soden-Hensler (Department of Psychology, The Ohio State University);Stephen A. Petrill - Genetic contributions to longitudinal similarity in reading and related outcomes influences across the "learning to read" and "reading to learn" years
Purpose: Behavioral genetic studies have investigated the extent to which genetic and environmental influences on early reading skills influence later reading skills. Extant longitudinal genetic studies, though limited to relatively narrow developmental windows, have suggested genetic stability, but also novel genetic influences at specific ages. Although important, these results cross the important developmental boundary of "learning to read" when decoding demands are high and "reading to learn" when demands shift to comprehension. Method: Participants were 318 identical and 434 same-sex fraternal twins from the Western Reserve Reading and Math Project. Twins were in kindergarten or first grade at the start of the study (M age = 6.07, SD = 0.68) and reading comprehension (WRMT-R), decoding (WRMT-R), and rapid automatized naming (CTOPP) were collected annually for a total of six home visits. Simplex models estimated the stable and age-specific genetic and environmental influences on each measure across six annual assessments. Results: For reading comprehension, genetic stability was statistically significant across all waves. Age-specific influences were statistically significant in early waves. The modest shared environmental influences were largely continuous and nonsignificant. In contrast, nonshared environmental influences were primarily novel and significant. A similar pattern of genetic results was observed for the other measures. Conclusions: Though it is well-established in the phenotypic literature that environmental factors influence mean levels of reading, the shared environment is not contributing significantly to variability in reading comprehension, particularly once reading skills have developed. Instead, stability in reading development was largely mediated by continuous genetic influences. The relationship among all measures will be discussed.
Purpose: Stress patterns are an important component of morpho-phonological variation in language, and their effects are most strongly felt on vowels. Accordingly, vowels in unstressed syllables present a particular challenge to spellers in English, as they are often phonologically indistinct. This study explores whether information about grammatical category can support spelling of these vowels. Most nouns in English have trochaic stress patterns (CIRcus), whereas most verbs have iambic stress (comPARE). However, there are exceptions (caNAL; CANcel). We examine whether children demonstrate sensitivity to this regularity in their unstressed vowel spelling. Method: Sixty-three English-speaking children in grades 1-6 completed a 16-item spelling task. Items were disyllabic words whose stress patterns were either typical (trochaic noun; iambic verb) or atypical (iambic noun; trochaic verb) of their grammatical category, creating two conditions that were balanced for word frequency (p=.96). Participants heard each item, then completed the missing letters in partially provided words (c_rc_s). Scores reflected the number of unstressed vowels spelled correctly. Results: Participants spelled unstressed vowels more accurately in the typically stressed condition than the atypically stressed condition. This effect was driven by children in grades 4-6 (p<.001). Ongoing data collection, to be complete by March 2013 and presented at SSSR, will further explore these potential developmental effects. Conclusions: Participants' unstressed vowel spelling differed as a function of the statistical association between word stress and grammatical category, suggesting sensitivity to this feature of English. These results invite further consideration of the language regularities that might be implicated in children's spelling.
Purpose The purpose of the current study was to test several latent change score models of working memory and vocabulary knowledge. The aims were to accurately model change in these skills longitudinally and to determine whether or not and the degree to which these skills significantly influence each other over time. Method Participants were 118 elementary-aged children assessed at four time points (i.e., ages 4, 5, 6, and 8 years of age) in a previous study by Gathercole, Willis, Emslie, & Baddley (1992). Participants were given multiple measures of phonological working memory (test of nonword repetition, Sound Mimicry subtest of the Goldman-Fristoe-Woodcock Sound Symbol Tests) and a single measure of vocabulary knowledge (Peabody Picture Vocabulary Task). Results The best-fitting model provided a good fit to the data. Parameter estimates showed that working memory and vocabulary knowledge account for significant amounts of variance predicting change in their corresponding skills in addition to significantly accounting for rates of growth in one another. Conclusion Latent change score modeling provides an excellent way to model variance and change in constructs longitudinally by including multiple sources of variance in addition to including several potential sources of change within a single model. Latent change score modeling is an effective technique for understanding the ways in which important literacy-related skills grow and affect each other over time.
Links between phonological processing, morphological skills, and decoding in learning to read in the early school grades remain unclear. The different linguistic analysis skills, from auditory input to reading, are generally studied in isolation, making it difficult to come up with a picture of various language deficits simultaneously present in children with reading disorder (RD). In this study, we compare children with RD to typically developing children. When half the data had been collected, the scores of children with and without reading difficulties were submitted to a preliminary analysis for auditory discrimination, phonological processing, phonological awareness and morphological awareness. The performance of RD children was significantly lower for linguistic tasks that specifically involve phonological processing, working memory and morphological awareness. The preliminary factorial and discriminant analysis further suggest that one factor (phonological short term memory) explains a large part of the differences observed between children with and without reading difficulties especially in tasks of phonological awareness and working memory. However, several factors seem involved in the phonological processing task (including stimuli with different syllabic structures) and in the morphological awareness task. With the complete set of data, this study aims to confirm the differences previously observed between the groups. Sixteen tasks relating to the above skills were administered to 178 children, aged between 6 and 7 years, having completed first grade (41 RD, 137 controls). This larger set of data highlights a variety of challenges in oral and written language that distinguish children with RD with possibly a common source.
Rhona Stainthorp (Institute of Education, University of Reading)Daisy Powell; Lynette Chesson - National assessment of regular and nonword reading in the early years in England: Is there Valued Added?
Purpose: To investigate whether a newly introduced national phonics screening check (PSC) provides teachers with useful information to plan for literacy instruction for in the early years of primary education in England. The PSC is composed of twenty graded regular words and twenty nonwords. Method: The participants are 39 children in Year 2 (age 7 years) in two mainstream schools in a SE area of England. Data were collected on literacy related skills at the start of school (age 5 years; Time 1). These included phonological awareness, letter knowledge, RAN, and exposure to print. In Year 1 (age 6 years) two standardised assessments of word reading were administered prior to the children taking the PSC. These were first the early word reading element of the York Assessment of Reading Comprehension (YARC) and then the Diagnostic Test of Word Reading Processes (DTWRP). YARC involved reading single regular and exception words; DTWRP involves reading single regular, exception and nonwords. Results: Regression analysis showed that phonological awareness and RAN at Time 1 were the best predictors of performance on the standardised reading tests and of performance on the PSC. Concurrent correlations of performance on YARC, DTWRP and PSC were all significant ranging from .65 (PSC and YARC) to .79 (DTWRP and YARC). Conclusions: The study suggests that the PSC was assessing similar skills to standardised assessments of word reading and may provide useful information to aid early diagnosis of poor word reading skills.
Laura Steacy (Vanderbilt University)Laura M. Steacy; Douglas Fuchs; Donald L. Compton; Lynn S. Fuchs; Jennifer K. Gilbert; Amy Elleman; Devin Kearns - Sight word acquisition: An examination of word- and child-level predictors of the number of word exposures necessary for mastery
Purpose: As children progress in reading development, exposure plays a crucial role in building sight vocabulary (Ehri, 1995). The number of exposures required to create a representation varies among individuals (Reitsma, 1983), with students with disabilities forming less complete representations of words in memory than average readers (Ehri, 1997). This study's purpose was to extend the sight word literature by exploring child and word factors that affect sight word acquisition, using an item-response crossed random-effects model. Method: Our sample included 111 60 first graders at-risk for reading difficulties who participated in a one to three minute sight word activity in each of 60 lessons constituting a decoding and fluency intervention. The number of exposures each child required to master each word was recorded throughout the intervention. For these analyses, 150 words were used. Our random-effects model included both child-level characteristics (e.g. phonological awareness, letter knowledge, and vocabulary) and word-level characteristics (e.g. orthographic neighborhood size, number of phonemes, and number of syllables) to predict the number of exposures required for mastery. Results: Preliminary analyses indicate that the average number of exposures to mastery was 5.97. The random effects model indicates that phonological awareness (p=.004) and rapid letter naming (p= .013) were significant child-level predictors of number of exposures while word length (p=.0001), number of phonemes (p=.013), number of syllables (p=.014), and vocabulary age of instruction (p <.001) are significant word-level predictors. The random effects model will also permit exploration of person-by-word interactions, which allowed us to address why particular words are especially difficult for particular children. Conclusions: The results of this study are consistent with previous findings of the number of exposures required to mastery and extend the literature by addressing why particular words are especially difficult for particular children. Implications for practice and directions for future research are discussed.
Purpose: The purpose of the study is to examine 11th grade students' English reading motivation, language problems that EFL students generally encounter while reading in English, and how these affect their motivation to read as well as reading achievement. Method: 302 11th grade students from an urban high school in southern Taiwan participated in the study. Measures included an English reading comprehension test, a questionnaire for English reading motivation, and a language problem in reading English questionnaire. A factor analysis validated the items of the motivation questionnaire and the factor loadings were interpreted as motivational orientations. Multiple regression and correlation analysis were performed to examine the relationship among reading motivation, language problems, and reading achievement. Results: These 11th grade Taiwanese students mostly reported motivation for knowledge and social purposes in reading English. Self-reported lack of grammar knowledge and overall reading comprehension problems had significant influence on reading achievement. Moreover, motivation for compliance, lack of grammar knowledge, and overall reading comprehension problems were significantly associated with reading achievement when controlling for parental educational levels. Conclusions: The study found that Taiwanese 11th grade students were both motivated by intrinsic motivation, wanting to read English to gain knowledge, and extrinsic motivation, reading English for purposes or fulfillment. However, extrinsic motivation was the most significant predictor on reading achievement; grammar knowledge and reading comprehension problems had significant influence on reading achievement as well. The results contradict with some studies that extrinsic motivation is a more important factor to EFLs' reading achievement than intrinsic motivation.
Purpose - A special feature carried by Chinese third person pronouns is the unbalanced weight of gender information between "他" (ta, he, with a human radical, 人) and "她" (ta, she, with a female radical, 女). While "他" is used generically to every individual including male and female, "她" is used specifically for females only. The goal of the present study is to investigate how gender explicitness of an antecedent interacts with gender specificity of a Chinese pronoun. The gender explicitness here refers to explicit gender information provided by real proper names (e.g., Dalai Lama: male) and implicit gender information provided by stereotypical nouns (nanny: female). Osterhout and colleagues (1997) found a P600 effect for gender mismatches on pronouns with stereotypical antecedent. However, the impact of explicitness and the generalization to other languages such as Chinese with a poor morphological marking is still unclear. Since the gender information in an antecedent and a pronoun here is semantic, an N400 instead of P600 effect should be expected when a pronoun mismatches its antecedent. Method - This is an ERP study designed as 2 (explicitness of antecedent) x 2 (gender of antecedent) x 2 (specificity of pronoun) and with the SOA of 400 ms word + 400 ms blank. Forty native Chinese speakers participated for payment. The critical word was set to be the pronoun in each sentence. Participants' task was to answer 30% comprehension questions. Results - N400 effect was found for pronoun mismatches in stereotypical nouns (e.g., porter-她自己). However, whereas an N400 effect was elicited for pronoun mismatches to male proper names (e.g., Dalai Lama-她自己), a P600 effect was found for pronoun mismatches to female proper names (e.g., Lady Gaga-他自己). Conclusions -The N400 effect found in Chinese stereotypical pronoun resolution is different from that of English. The P600 effect found in pronoun mismatches to female proper names illustrated the influence of gender specificity on a pronoun and further evidenced two-stage processing in pronoun resolution. The P600 effect here should be integration difficulty instead of syntactic reanalysis.
Purpose: The present study examined the genetic and environmental etiology of the connection between speech and word reading in Chinese. Method: A total of 371 pairs of Chinese twins (278 pairs of monozygotic twins and 93 pairs of same-sex dizygotic twins) were tested on speech, phonological skills, semantic skills, and Chinese word reading at the mean age 7.5 years. Results: Results of univariate genetic analyses showed moderate genetic influences on speech, semantic skills, and Chinese word reading, while moderate shared environmental influences on phonological skills. The genetic correlations among all the variables were significant. Results of testing several models on the link between speech and reading supported a common genetic factor underlying speech, phonological skills, semantic skills, and word reading in Chinese. Conclusions: The present findings suggest that around 50% of individual differences of speech, semantic skills, and word reading in Chinese are due to genetic factors. Individual differences of phonological skills are relatively less heritable while semantic skills are more heritable in Chinese than those in English. This may be partly due to the fact that more phonics instruction was carried out in English-speaking schools while more word compounding activities in Chinese-speaking schools. The genetic linkage between speech and Chinese word reading is both phonological and semantic in nature. A single common genetic etiology for speech, phonological skills, semantic skills, and word reading suggests that those who are good in speech, may also develop better phonological and semantic skills, and in turn facilitates the development of reading skills.
The aim of this paper is to outline the way in which English polysyllabic words might be orthographically represented in adult lexical memory and retrieved during visual word recognition. An account will be favoured whereby codas are maximized in the representation, and the word is retrieved via a mechanism that involves imprecise left-to-right assignment of letters to onset and coda slots. A survey of experimental results, both old and new, will be presented as evidence for this account, mostly from "lexical decision" experiments where the speed and accuracy with which adult readers can discriminate words from non-words is measured. Older studies have primarily looked at the impact of highlighting different structures within the word, while more recent studies have drawn inferences about orthographic structure from manipulations of letter position. Attempts have also been made to look for individual differences in the way in which orthographic structure of polysyllabic words is represented and to relate this to reading ability. However, success in relation to this endeavour has been limited. If the optimal way of representing and retrieving the orthographic form of words can be established, it would provide the basis for developing teaching programs that accentuate those mechanisms.
Luisa Tarczynski-Bowles (Coventry University);Nuria Calet; Clare Wood; Nicolás Gutiérrez-Palma; Janet Vousden; Sylvia Defior - Speech rhythm sensitivity in english and spanish speaking monolingual 7- and 8- year-old children: a cross-linguistic study
Purpose: Prosodic sensitivity is a growing area of interest in the reading development literature (e.g. Wood et al., 2009). Here we present a cross-linguistic comparison of English and Spanish monolinguals' sensitivity to speech rhythm and its relationship to reading. Similarities between these relationships across languages were investigated. Additional aims were to pilot a new Spanish speech rhythm measure (adapted from Tarczynski-Bowles and Wood, 2010) and to assess whether speech rhythm contributes to reading skills after age, intelligence (IQ) and phonological awareness (PA) have been controlled for. Method: Sixty-four English and sixty-four Spanish speaking primary school children (Grades 2 and 3) were assessed on a range of tasks (including PA, IQ, reading and speech rhythm sensitivity). Data collection is currently being finalised, thus results are preliminary. Results: A link between reading and speech rhythm was found in Spanish (similar to the link observed in English children). Significant correlations of speech rhythm with decoding, comprehension and fluency but not with age, IQ or PA were found in the Spanish sample. Regression analyses showed that speech rhythm was not able to predict word reading or fluency, but was able to account for 5.6 % of reading comprehension (p = .020) after accounting for the control variables. Conclusion: Although Spanish differs from English in terms of rhythm, similar relations between stress sensitivity and reading were observed which provide further support for the inclusion of this skill in literacy research across languages; implications of these findings will be discussed for English and Spanish literacy development.
Elizabeth Tighe (Florida State University)Christopher Schatschneider - Investigating the relationship between morphological knowledge, vocabulary knowledge, and reading comprehension in Adult Basic Education students.
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the factor structure of morphological and vocabulary knowledge and the relationship of these skills to reading comprehension in Adult Basic Education (ABE) students. Method: The participants included 136 native-English speaking adults enrolled in GED-level ABE courses. Participants were administered a battery of tasks, which included seven morphological knowledge tasks, two vocabulary tasks, and two reading comprehension assessments. Results: Confirmatory factor analyses (CFAs) were utilized to determine whether morphological and vocabulary knowledge best represented the same underlying factor or separable factors. The results indicated that morphological and vocabulary knowledge are correlated (r = .62) but separate constructs in this population. Next, Multiple Indicator Multiple Indicator Cause (MIMIC) models were utilized to look at the unique contributions of morphological and vocabulary knowledge to reading comprehension. The results revealed that both morphological and vocabulary knowledge were unique predictors of reading comprehension and accounted for a substantial amount of the variance in reading comprehension (approximately 78%). Conclusions: The results from our CFAs stands in contrast to some research with children, which has found that morphological and vocabulary knowledge tap the same underlying ability and are therefore best represented as a single construct (Muse, 2005). Therefore, in ABE students the developmental trajectory of acquiring morphological and vocabulary skills may not mirror the trajectory of children. The results from our MIMIC models indicate that both morphological and vocabulary may be important to improving reading comprehension and help to build a reading comprehension model for this under-studied population.
Purpose: Prior to formal instruction of writing, children develop relevant knowledge about the formal and functional features of written language. We conducted a longitudinal study to examine the role of early knowledge of writing on first graders' achievements in spelling and separation between words in three transparent orthographies: Basque, Catalan, and Spanish. Method: A battery of linguistic and literacy tasks was administered to 215 kindergartners attending 32 first-grade classrooms in socioeconomically diverse schools in Spain (115 monolingual Spanish, 70 bilingual Spanish /Catalan and 30 bilingual Spanish/Basque speakers). Participants were assessed, inter alia, in phonological awareness, letter knowledge, vocabulary depth, and word writing when starting kindergarten (M = 5 years 4 months) to detect predictors of spelling and separation between words. Word spelling and sentence writing were, in turn, measured at the end of first grade of elementary school (M = 7 years 4 months). Results: In the three orthographies, kindergarten performance in writing and parent's education level appear as explanatory factors for both spelling and separation between words. Moreover a similar pattern of interaction between child-level variables emerged: the higher children's attainments at literacy related abilities the lower the explanatory power of children's background explanatory variables (parents' education and level of literacy). In contrast, letter knowledge uniquely explained spelling whereas knowledge of vocabulary was primarily related to conventional separation between words. Conclusion: While early knowledge of writing contributes directly to children's achievements in written language, specific abilities are required for learning to spell and to separate conventionally between words.
Purpose: This study aimed to examine the correlate between syntactic awareness and writing composition in Hong Kong Chinese children. Method: 135 Hong Kong children, age 11 years old, from a longitudinal study, were administered a set of cognitive and linguistic measures. Among those tasks, there were two syntactic tasks including syntactic judgment / correction task and conjunction cloze task. Children's writing compositions were scored according to a 5-element scheme used in Hong Kong children including relevance, depth, sentence level organization, paragraph level organization, and intelligibility. Correlational and a multiple regression were performed to test the association between syntactic awareness and writing composition. Results: Correlational analysis showed that children's performance in conjunction cloze task was significantly correlated with their writing composition (r = .34). However, there was no significant association found between the syntactic judgment/correction task and children's writing composition. A multiple hierarchical regression analysis indicated that the usage of conjunctive words still accounted for 4.0% of variance in the total variance of writing composition even when controlling for the variance from age, nonverbal IQ, phonological awareness, morphological awareness, and vocabulary knowledge in this study. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that syntactic awareness, in particular the skill in conjunctive word usage, may be an independent component of Chinese children's writing composition.
Xiuli Tong (The University of Hong Kong); S. Hélène Deacon; Jean Saint-Aubin; SuiPing Wang - Searching for meaning: effects of positional specificity and functional regularity of semantic radicals in reading Chinese
Purpose: Most Chinese characters consist of semantic and phonetic radicals, and these radicals can stand alone and have their own meaning and sound, respectively. Moreover, these radicals exhibit positional and functional characteristics. For example, the compound character唱 /chang4/ (sing) consists of a semantic radical口 (mouth) on the left (indicating the semantic category of the compound character) and a phonetic radical 昌/chang1/ on the right (providing a clue to the sound of the compound character). An important unresolved question in Chinese reading is about how radicals -especially semantic radicals- are represented in a person's mental lexicon. In this study, we examined Chinese readers' processing of the position and function of radicals. Method: We asked 80 Chinese undergraduates to cross out the character-component 口while they were reading a 1000-word passage. The positional specificity (top, left, right, inside, bottom) and function (semantic radical or non-semantic radical) of the character-component 口were manipulated in the characters embedded the target character-component. Results: When the target functioned as a semantic radical, participants were more likely to miss the target when it was on the right or at the bottom of the character. In contrast, when the target was a non-semantic radical participants are more likely to miss the target when it was on the left or at the top. Conclusion: These results suggest that the radial representation is constrained by both positional specificity and functional regularity. It seems that characters are processed on the basis of the orthographic information contained within them .
Purpose This study compares the oral reading rates of Virginia first-grade students to published norms (Hasbrouck & Tindal, 2006) and examines the relationship of reading rate to reading level and comprehension. Research Questions For first-grade students in Virginia: 1. How do reading rates compare to published norms? 2. How do reading rates compare across reading levels? 3. What range of reading rates is associated with proficient reading? 4. Do slow readers also demonstrate low comprehension? Method Five-hundred first-grade students were randomly selected from the Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening archival database. The following variables were analyzed: oral reading accuracy, oral reading rate, and comprehension. Students were designated as below, at, or above grade-level readers based on accuracy. Results 1. The mean rate for the sample (n=475) was 43.48 word correct per minute (WCPM), significantly lower than the grade-level norm of 53 WCPM. 2. Students reading below grade-level (M=25.44), at grade-level (M=42.70), and above grade-level (M=55.10) demonstrated different rates. 3. Proficient readers demonstrated a wide range of rates (13.16 to 79.20 WCPM), as did below-proficient readers (12.75 to 44 WCPM). 4. 85% of slow readers demonstrated strong or adequate comprehension. Conclusions While reading rate demonstrates some relationship to reading level, there is considerable overlap in reading rates across levels. Comprehension and reading rate are not closely aligned. This study raises questions about the use of reading rate norms as screening assessments for first-grade reading proficiency.
Purpose: Writing is a second-order symbol: a written word symbolizes a spoken word, which is itself a symbol. A picture, in contrast, is a first-order symbol. Some theories suggest that young children do not understand this distinction, but few studies have addressed the issue experimentally. Method: We tested 52 U.S. children aged 3 years, 5 months to 5 years, 0 months. Half participated in a writing condition, in which they saw a series of printed words and were told what each one said. The other children participated in a drawing condition, in which they saw realistic drawings and were told what they were. On each trial, a puppet who had not heard the original label labeled the word or drawing. The child was asked whether the puppet's label was correct.The critical trials were ones in which the puppet said, for example, "puppy" for an item originally labeled as "dog."If children understand that a written word symbolizes a specific spoken word, they should often respond that the puppet was wrong when he used the label "puppy" in the writing condition.In the drawing condition, children should more often say that the puppet was correct. Results: On critical trials, children in the writing condition were less likely to say that the puppet was correct than children in the drawing condition. The size of the difference did not vary significantly across the age range studied. Conclusions: Even nonreaders show some understanding that writing is a second-order symbol, different from drawing.
PURPOSE: This study addresses two research questions: (1) What is the nature of the Common Core State Standards for writing and language (CCSS-WL) with respect to content breadth, frequency, and balance? and (2) To what degree do the CCSS-WL represent evidence-based practices. METHOD: Using a coding taxonomy derived from writing theory (e.g., Dean, 2008; Hayes, 1996; Prior, 2006), we coded all of the K-12 CCSS-WL with a mean inter-rater reliability of .88. Using a checklist of evidence-based practices derived from all available meta-analyses of writing instruction, we identified those evidence-based practices included in the CCSS-WL. RESULTS: CCSS-WL are generally comprehensive in their attention to writing processes, context, and components. In contrast, CCSS-WL address a limited array of writing purposes, knowledge/metacognition, and conventions. They do not address motivation for writing. Content breadth tends to increase across grades. CCSS-WL have a low frequency of coverage of the range of content represented, meaning that once an aspect of writing content is addressed in the standards, there is not much repetition of that content elsewhere for a given grade. They place relatively equivalent emphasis on the content covered within them, and thus are well balanced. We are in the process of analyzing data regarding the alignment of the CCSS-WL with evidence-based practices. CONCLUSIONS: Based on frequency and balance characteristics, the CCSS-WL are likely to be easily interpreted by educators and lead to relatively easy development of scope and sequence curriculum guides. Nevertheless, the CCSS-WL do not address some important aspects of writing, which will require targeted professional and materials development efforts to buttress the standards.
Mastering spelling skills is demanding even for good readers, and may be particularly problematic for children with literacy learning difficulties. This study aims to investigate misspelling patterns in both dyslexic and non-dyslexic children. Additionally, it examines whether, beyond single word spelling, the demands of composing their own texts may lead to higher misspelling rates. Nineteen dyslexic and 132 non-dyslexic children (age 8-11years) participated. In Phase A, cognitive skills were assessed with standardized tests and the dyslexic group was matched with chronological, reading and spelling age controls. Phase B, consisted of three experimental spelling tasks: single-word spelling, orthographic choice, and text composition. Children were asked to spell various orthographic patterns (e.g. double consonants, silent clusters, plural suffixes) included in 60 target words. Spelling performance among groups and across tasks was examined, and regression analyses identified the Phase A measurements which could predict Phase B performance. Results show that different orthographic patterns impacted differentially on performance. Higher misspelling rates were found when comparing dyslexic participants with their chronological controls. However, some phonological and morphological mistakes were common to both the dyslexic pupils and their non-dyslexic younger peers. Under some conditions, the effect of written context (e.g. text composition) on spelling target words was beneficial for both cohorts. Phase A measurements in spelling, grammar, phonological and RAN tasks predicted Phase B spelling performance. Results suggest that written composition may make a valuable contribution to spelling skills acquisition. Misspelling patterns revealed have the potential to enable early identification of spelling difficulties independently from reading performance.
Purpose: This study examined the effects of watching television and program subtitles on Hong Kong students' reading performance in Chinese and English. Method: Standardized reading scores in Chinese, the first language, and in English, the second language, were collected from 1,202 Primary 4 students in Hong Kong. The students also completed questionnaires on the amount of time watching television (TV) programs each day, the types of program preferred and if attention was paid to subtitles. Results: Multivariate analyses of variance and regression analyses were used to examine the effects of different kinds of program on reading comprehension in the two languages. There was a closer association between the students' English reading comprehension and the time spent watching English-media TV than between their Chinese reading and the time they spent watching Chinese-media TV. Conclusions: Interpretation of the results was complicated by the fact that the Hong Kong students' mother tongue, Cantonese, differs in terms of syntax and form from Modern Standard Written Chinese (MSC) taught in schools. Students watching TV for a purpose rather than indiscriminately for over three hours per day had higher reading scores. The best readers made better use of the subtitles to aid understanding than students who usually skipped over subtitles. These students had lower levels of reading competence both in Chinese and in English. The implications for parents are discussed.
Purpose The purpose of this study was to develop an online reading test for 5th, 6th graders in Taiwan and investigated the performance of different background children. Method The Online Reading Test (ORT) was a standardized test. The factor analysis was applied to analyze the 119 5th and 6th graders' performance on the pretest to form the formal test. There were 600 target graders participating in the ORT. SEM were applied to analyze the performance to examine the latent variables of ORT. In addition, the grade of the Chinese and computer of participants were also analyzed to explore the relationship between online reading and language art ability and information ability. Results The ORT had 14 items, including closed ended questions and open ended questions. Results of SEM indicated the ORT contained three latent variables: information retrieval, integration and explanation, and reflection and evaluation. The correlation between latent variables was significant and had the best goodness of fit. In addition, gender and grade difference were found, but location difference wasn't. The printed reading ability, language art ability and computer skill were related to online reading performance. Besides that, children's language academic performance and computer skills influence their online reading comprehension. Conclusions The findings would help to design the curriculum to strengthen the online reading ability. Suggestions for test development, teaching and research that focus on online reading related issues were provided.
Yu-Lin Tzeng (The Institute of neuroscience, National Yang-Ming university, Taiwan);Chunhsien Hsu;Wanhsuan Lin;Chiaying Lee - The orthographic processing in children with or without dyslexia: An Event-related potential study
Purpose Learning to read is to master an orthographic system that describes the set of symbols used in writing a language and the rules for how to use those symbols. The present study aims to investigate how normal developing and dyslexic children process the Chinese orthographic principles. Method Two groups of Children (normal and dyslexia) from 3rd to 6th grade were asked to perform a go/nogo semantic category judgment task. We measured the N400 responses to three types of stimuli: real character (RC), pseudo-character (PS) and non-character (NC) that served as NO trails. The pseudo-characters were constructed by a novel combination of a phonetic radical and a semantic radical with legal orthographic structure, though it is meaningless to readers. The non-characters were created by having radicals with illegal combination of strokes and in wrong position. Result and conclusion Children with normal reading ability showed a graded lexicality effect on the amplitude of N400 (NC>PS>RC). The amplitude of N400 showed an inversed function to the degree of word-likeness. It suggests that normal developing children treat all types of stimuli as potential lexical items to look for their semantic representations, even for non-characters. In dyslexic children, both pseudo-characters and non-characters elicited greater negativity of N400 than the real characters did. However, no difference between pseudo-character and non-characters was found. It suggests that, although the dyslexic children exhibited a familiarity effect on N400 (NC=PS>RC), they may have difficulty in distinguishing the orthographic legal (pseudo-character) and orthographic illegal characters (non-characters).
Yuhtsuen Tzeng (National Chung Cheng University)Chiung-hsien Tsai; Wanshin Chang - Examining interactions between anaphoric and causal inferences during reading for Taiwanese young readers: Two-year longitudinal data
Anaphoric and causal are essential inferences for text comprehension and they are key theoretical concepts in several comprehension models. However few studies examine their interactions not to mention describing their developmental patterns simultaneously. We take advantage of a discourse property of Mandarin Chinese- zero pronoun to orthogonally manipulate the degree of anaphoric connections (overt versus zero pronoun) and causality (strong versus weak causality) of short texts. Each text consisted of two sentences describing two characters engage in an event in the first sentence, and a consequence or another event in the second. A question followed to probe their pertinent anaphoric or causal resolution. Care was taken to ensure age appropriate wordings. A total of 36 experimental texts and 18 fillers were constructed. In the first year, about 210 2nd to 4th grade Taiwanese students read sentence by sentence and answer questions on computer by press designated keys in a self-paced manner. Accuracy rates for question answering and reading time for each sentence were recorded. These same students were tested again one year later when they were in the 3rd to 5th grade respectively. Each year is a 2 x 2 x 3 design. Clear developmental patterns were found across two-year data: the higher the grade, the shorter the reading time and better accuracy rates indicating steady progress in these years. Consistent two-way interactions also emerged with causal dimension gradually became more dominant than anaphoric one. However some subtle differences exist such as a 3-way interaction only appeared for the second year cohort and it leads to open questions for more explorations.
Purpose The aim of this study is to investigate the characteristics of developmental reading and spelling difficulties in the Russian language. In terms of the regularity of print to sound mappings, Russian is usually assumed to be a highly transparent orthography. This assumption has resulted in relative neglect of reading difficulties in Russian speaking children. However, despite of an absolute regularity at a lexical level for reading words, Russian words also can be characterized by a varying degree of regularity at a sublexical level for both feedforward and feedback mappings. Method 150 first graders were tested in typical Russian schools on word and nonword reading, spelling, RAN, first and final phoneme isolation, phoneme and syllable deletion and letter knowledge. Two groups - of proficient and poor readers - were then identified. The characteristics of the poor reading group in comparison to proficient readers will be reported with special focus on the impact of varying regularity of bidirectional mappings between phonology and orthography. Results and Conclusions Based on the reported findings it will be argued that developmental reading difficulties might be prevalent in Russia. Furthermore, the theoretical claim of spelling to sound transparency in the Russian writing system is challenged given the present results. It is concluded that such properties of the Russian writing system as irregularity of sound to print correspondences as well as inconsistency at sublexical level have impact on reading and spelling of both proficient and poor readers resulting in slower responses and lower accuracy rates of the latter group.
Purpose: The immediate and longer term effectiveness of an integrated phonological awareness intervention was evaluated for 10 children with Down Syndrome aged 4;04 to 5;05. Method: The study employed a multiple single-subject design to evaluate the effect of the intervention on speech, letter knowledge and phonological awareness skills. The intervention consisted of a parent-implemented home programme; centre-based speech-language therapy sessions, and 'Learning through Computer' sessions with a total intervention time of 20 hours over 18 weeks. Participants were assessed immediately following the intervention's completion and after two terms of formal schooling. Results: Post-intervention assessment showed: all children made significant gains in speech, 6 children demonstrated gains in letter Knowledge, and 9 children achieved higher scores on phonological awareness (albeit still below chance). Group scores on letter knowledge measures were higher at follow-up than at post-intervention, with nine participants maintaining or improving on post-intervention performance. The majority of participants exhibited higher phoneme awareness scores at follow-up. Some transfer of phonological awareness and letter knowledge was evident, with five children able to decode some words on the single word reading test and three children able to represent phonemes correctly in the experimental spelling task. Conclusions: The findings demonstrated that dedicating some intervention time to facilitating the participants' letter knowledge and phonological awareness was not at the expense of speech gains. Results also highlighted the need for ongoing monitoring of children's ability to transfer their improved phonological awareness and letter knowledge to decoding and spelling performance.
Purpose. In 2011 both PIRLS (reading comprehension) and TIMSS (math and science) assessments were, as in some other countries, conducted on the same sample of Norwegian fourth graders. This 'coincidence', which can only happen every 20 years, allowed us to look into how the basic skills of reading, math and science go together and where they differ. More importantly, we are interested whether the development of these skills is driven differentially or in the same way by contextual factors at country, student and home, and teacher and school levels. Method. We first ran a Principal Component Analysis with PROMAX rotation (Kaiser Normalization) on all subtests of reading, math and science in a random half of the Norwegian sample. Then we cross-validated the structure matrix on the other part of the data. A confirmatory factor analysis with structural equation modeling was finally conducted. We are currently checking whether the results of the confirmatory factor analysis fit on data from countries with similar educational systems (for example Sweden) and with very different educational systems in Europe. We will also look at which factors at student and home, and teacher and school levels affect the performance within and across countries. Results. The factor analyses revealed a clear-cut three-factor model that cannot be interpreted other than consisting of a reading, a math and a science factor. However, these factors are highly intercorrelated. Conclusions. The results of this study will provide indications on how further to improve the teaching of basic skills given constraints at country, home and school levels.
Purpose The present study concerns the post-primary development of reading in Dutch adolescents. We investigated whether there is a cross-linguistic transfer of L1 (Dutch, which has a regular orthography) to L2 (English/French) reading skills. Moreover, we tested whether there is an additional effect of rapid automatized naming (RAN) ability on reading development. Method Our study contained 1013 Dutch adolescents (age 12). We tested participants' L1 (pseudo-)word decoding, reading fluency, RAN pictures/letters, and L2 word decoding (English/French). All tests were administered twice, with an interval of six months. Outcome measures are a combination of accuracy and speed. We analyzed the data by means of structural equation modeling. Results Our data suggest a significant effect of alphabetical RAN (controlling for the other tasks) on the development of L1 word decoding. We then investigated the cross-linguistic relation between L1 and L2 development of reading. We found significant effects of L1 (pseudo-)word decoding on the development of English word decoding, and a strong relation between L1 pseudo-word reading and the development of French word decoding. We did not find consistent effects of RAN on the development of L2 word decoding. Conclusions The present study indicates that, even in the post-primary phase of reading development, alphabetical RAN skills predict L1 reading skills. This suggests that the retrieval speed of alphabetical information uniquely contributes to the development of accuracy and speed of reading skills. L1 reading development, in turn, predetermines the rate of L2 reading development. Implications for future research and educational practice will be discussed.
Aryan van der Leij (University of Amsterdam, Holland)Haytske Zijlstra; Anne Regtvoort - Effects of the computer- and tutor assisted program Build! on the reading ability of poor readers in the course of Kindergarten to grade 2
As an extension of an earlier study (Regtvoort & Van der Leij, 2007), the computer- and tutor assisted program Build! was developed, which covers the full range from early phonics, grapheme learning to reading one- and two syllable words (Kindergarten to Grade 2). To facilitate the learning process, the computer-assisted program is supervised by a tutor (non-professional, i.e., parents, older children, volunteers) who delivers the instructions which are shown on the screen. Children in Kindergarten were selected who, according to their teachers and test scores, were at risk of developing reading problems, and randomly assigned to a training or no-training group. About half of them were from Dutch families with one reading disabled parent, the other half consisted of children from a variety of immigrant families (including North and Middle Africa, Turkey and the Caribbeans). They received intervention 3-4 times a week for about 10-12 minutes per session. Results clearly indicate that the children who finished all parts of this two year program, improved their reading skill up to an average level and outperformed the no- training at risk group significantly. The merits of this cost-effective program will be discussed.
Purpose: Known phonological precursors to literacy are speech decoding skill, phonological awareness, and lexical specificity (i.e., the richness and specificity of phonological representations in the emerging mental lexicon). What are the causal relations between these phonological precursors? According to lexical restructuring theories, early word representations in infants' vocabularies are initially holistic and global. As the vocabulary expands, representations in the lexicon are gradually enriched so that words can still be disambiguated. This restructuring is important in the process of learning to read: More specific lexical representations are thought to facilitate the emergence of phonological awareness and hence, of literacy. To investigate the effects of enhancing lexical specificity on early literacy skills, an intervention study with a pretest-posttest design was carried out. Method: Forty-two pre-reading Dutch children (mean age = 53.4 months) were randomly assigned to either a group trained on lexical specificity (they were taught pairs of new words that differed minimally), or a control group (that received numeracy training). Results: Results indicated that the lexical specificity group gained more (i.e., comparing pretest and posttest performance) on a rhyme awareness task. Conclusions: This suggests that training lexical specificity enhances phonological awareness, in particular rhyme awareness. These results are in line with a longitudinal study with pre-reading Dutch children (mean age = 50.46 months at T1, 67.46 months at T2), which used structural equation modeling to explore the mediating role of lexical specificity within early literacy skills.
A proportion of braille readers have specific reading difficulties that cannot be easily explained. In the current paper we report the results of a case study investigating the braille reading ability and related cognitive and perceptual sub-skills of a visually impaired girl (K), who is suggested to be dyslexic. K has been visually impaired (remaining rest vision less than 6/60) since birth, she has normal intelligence (IQ > 85) and normal hearing (PTA thresholds < 25 dB HL). Also both K's father and grandmother have experienced serious and persistent difficulties with reading. K's performance was first assessed at the age of 11 (2009) and will be reassessed at the age of 15 (2013). The assessment battery: (1) Reading-ability (word, pseudoword, story-reading); (2) Speech perception (speech-in-noise perception tasks: words, sentences; categorical perception); (3) Phonological processing (phonological awareness: phoneme deletion, spoonerism; Verbal-short-term memory: non-word repetition, digit-span forward; Rapid automatized naming: digits, letters); (4) Tests for auditory processing (Gap, 2Hz frequency modulation and tone-in-noise detection tasks); (5) Tactile perception (Grating orientation task). K's performance will be compared with a group of normally developing braille readers, who are comparable in age, in age of the onset of blindness and in the duration of braille reading experience. Preliminary results indicate that K's reading scores differ from the rest of group with more than 3 SDs. Additionally, her problems seems to result from a deficit specific to phonological representations while her auditory processing appears intact.
Lakshmi Venkatesh (Dr. S .R. C. Institute of Speech & Hearing (India)); Vani Rupela; Sonali Nag - Syllable awareness in an alphasyllabary: Observations from syllable segmentation abilities of Telugu speaking children
Purpose: The focus of this paper is the role of literacy in determining children's "intuitive knowledge" about their language. We examined syllable processing among children speaking Telugu, a southern Dravidian language with an alphasyllabic writing system which is often taught as a syllabary even though the orthographic units called akshara may be segmented into its phonemic parts. Method: Syllable segmentation skills of thirty children each in 2nd and 5th grades were examined with instructions to segment an orally presented word into its parts. Stimuli comprised words with open syllables, geminates, clusters and homorganic nasals followed by stops, representing varied orthographic mappings which allowed for determining if syllable processing followed the universal sonority principle of segmentation or was biased by orthography. Results: The results showed that accuracy of segmentation increased with grade. Although segmentations of words with geminates and clusters followed both sonority principle and orthographic representations, segmentations were biased by orthographic representations with increase in exposure to orthography. Segmentation of words containing homorganic nasal, represented as a 'zero' in the orthography, was particularly more difficult for young children. Conclusion: Children's syllable segmentations in Telugu aligned with the syllabic 'akshara' symbols with increase in literacy skills. The influence of orthography evidenced even among children in 2nd grade who have had less than two years of formal literacy instruction possibly reflects the instruction practices in schools where the symbols are taught as wholes with limited focus on the akshara formation rules that exploit its phonemic architecture.
Purpose: A meta-analysis was conducted on the effects of computer-supported intervention programs meant to enhance lexical quality during the past fifteen years. The aim was to examine the role of components of lexical quality to be trained, target group and intervention design. About half of the studies were related to English, the others to more transparent orthographies so that the factor of orthographic depth could also be examined. Method: Out of 1141 studies, 41 studies were identified for inclusion in the current analysis leading to a total amount of 263 effect sizes. A multilevel approach was used to analyse the data with the option of inclusion of multiple effect sizes from the same study. Starting from four separate models, for treatment, dependent variable, and population and design characteristics, the variables that significantly predicted variance in the effect sizes were combined into final model. Results: The data showed a substantial global intervention effect (d=.49) with orthographic depth (d=.22) as second main factor showing that the intervention was generally more successful in English as compared to more transparent orthographies. Greater effects were evidenced for meaning than form, for speed than accuracy, for larger linguistic units than shorter units, for longer than shorter programs, and for children with reading problems than normals. Conclusions: It can be concluded that computer-supported may intervention help children to enhance lexical quality, more so in English as compared to other languages showing that orthographic depth can be seen as a critical factor in training lexical quality.
The purpose of this study is to examine how different dimensions of prosodic awareness relate to word reading and reading comprehension. Specifically, we examine awareness of prosody in spoken language at the word level and at the phrasal level. Previous work in this area has shown that prosodic awareness is correlated with both types of reading, but little work has been done to differentiate the relative contribution of word- and phrase-level prosody. Our study improves on that of Whalley and Hansen (2006) by using a word level prosody task that operates within the word boundary, unlike their Compound Nouns task, which compares noun phrases composed of several words. Ninety children in grades 3, 5 and 7 completed a test battery that included standardized measures of word reading, reading comprehension, working memory, vocabulary and phonological awareness. Experimental measures in the battery included prosodic awareness tests of word prosody (Participants must identify the syllable that holds the main stress in the word, e.g., "SOlitary" - then pronounce the word as it would sound if stress moved one syllable to the right, e.g., "soLItary") and phrase prosody (Participants are shown two pictures, each one representing a scene which is described by the same set of words, made unambiguous by the use of prosody, e.g., "only one remembered, the lady in red/only one remembered the lady in red". When one of the sentences is pronounced, the participant must identify the matching picture.) We predict that both dimensions of prosodic awareness will be related to both types of reading, but that word level prosody will be more strongly related to word level reading while phrase level prosody will be more strongly related to reading comprehension.
Richard K. Wagner (Florida State University)Yusra Ahmed; Mercedes Spencer; Jamie Quinn; Elizabeth Tighe; Florida State University - The development of writing in context: A latent change score modeling approach
Purpose The purpose of this study was to examine the development of writing in the context of developing reading and oral language. Some aspects of written language are likely to be specific to writing whereas other aspects are likely to be general to reading or oral language. Our goal was to model the co-development of writing, reading, and oral language using latent change score modeling. Method Participants included 316 boys and girls who were assessed annually in grades 1 through 4 as part of the Florida Longitudinal Study. Measures of writing included spelling, a sentence combining task and a writing prompt. Measures of reading included pseudo word decoding, sentence reading efficiency measures and passage comprehension. Measures of oral language included vocabulary and listening comprehension. Results We have completed analyses of the co-development of reading and writing and have just begun analyses that incorporate oral language. The latent change score models provide a good fit to the data. We tested models that posited (a) writing-to-reading influences, (b) reading-to-writing influences, (c) bi-directional influences, and (d) no cross-construct developmental influences. The reading-to-writing model provided the best fit to the data. Conclusions The results completed to date indicate that learning to read influences learning to write rather than vice-versa. Because early elementary school instruction in the US emphasizes reading over writing, it is not clear whether the reading-to-writing influences reflect instructional practice or a deeper developmental phenomenon. Cross-cultural studies could be informative about the developmental nature of relations among writing, reading, and oral language.
Two studies investigated the possible cause of deficits in the colour word Stroop task in children with reading difficulties. In Study 1, a colour word Stroop task and a nonverbal task that involved responding to locations associated with pictures were administered to 23 children with single word reading difficulties and 22 typically developing children matched for age and nonverbal ability. Children with reading difficulties showed disproportionate interference effects in the Stroop, but not the nonverbal task. In Study 2, groups of poor and typical readers were recruited to complete a spatial Stroop and a flanker task that have print input but do not require overt reading, and their nonverbal analogues. Both groups showed comparable interference in these four tasks. It is proposed that the reported problems in the colour word Stroop task in children with reading difficulties may arise from their weak phonological processing skills that compete for limited attentional resources with the need to control irrelevant information rather than from more general impairments in the inhibitory control.
Purpose: We examined whether children's sensitivity to the prosodic cues for stress would relate to their reading ability. We asked: 1) What are the developmental changes in sensitivity to stress, both when presented in a native (English) and nonnative (Mandarin) language? 2) To what extent do skilled and less skilled readers differ in their stress sensitivity? Method: Three tasks were designed to tap into children's stress sensitivity. First, an ABX (matching) task was used to assess children's perception and encoding of stress information in phonological memory. Target words were disyllabic and trisyllabic words matched for length and word frequency. Second, a lexical decision task examined children's use of stress vs. phonemic information in word identification; nonwords were created by either shifting the stress position in the word or by changing phonemes. Third, same-different judgment task taps into children's sensitivity to tonal and stress information in Mandarin Chinese. Stimuli selection and procedures are completed for all the tasks. Three groups of children, 6, 8 and 10 years of age, 20 in each will be recruited in spring 2013. Woodcock Johnson III Reading Test and PPVT will also be administered. Results: We hypothesize that across ages, children improve their ability to perceive different stress positions in the ABX task and better able to utilize the stress information in lexical decision. The developmental change may be greater for lexical access than perception. Skilled and less skilled readers may not differ in stress perception but skilled readers are better able to utilize stress information in lexical access and to perceive the prosodic information in a novel language. Conclusion: Prosodic sensitivity develops across ages and contributes to reading skills.
Students need to develop scientific literacy in order to participate fully as citizens in the globalized world. Cromley (2009) compared three international data sets from PISA and found strong correlations between reading literacy and science literacy across countries. In Taiwan, elementary school students above G3 begin taking scientific courses in formal curriculum. The subjects are usually taught by science teachers who have no much expertise in reading instruction. How can they help students deal with the contents of scientific textbooks? In the study, 112 fourth graders and 122 fifth graders were given two kinds of scientific texts, learned and new, and later were asked to answer comprehension questions of four types. They are retrieving explicitly stated information, making direct inferences, interpreting and integrate ideas, and examining and evaluating contents. Results indicate that students performed best on retrieving explicitly stated information, and worst on examining and evaluating contents, no matter the texts they have learned or not. Fifth graders performed better than fourth graders, no matter simplified, revised textbooks were offered or not. It means elementary school students depend more on teachers' explanation than independent reading by themselves. Regarding to the data of interview, we found that science teachers seldom taught students reading strategies to deal with special formats of science textbook. In sum, science teachers have to spend time in deepening students' higher scientific thinking and enhance their reading literacy. Otherwise, students may lack self-educated ability when they encounter more and more informational texts in the future.
Purpose Previous research suggests that phonological decoding is the key to successful sight word learning (orthographic learning). However, children with surface dyslexia have normal phonological decoding skill yet impaired sight word reading. In contrast, children with phonological dyslexia have impaired phonological decoding skill yet normal sight word reading. This study aims to investigate the proximal causes of impaired orthographic learning in surface dyslexia, and the means by which phonological dyslexic children succeed in orthographic learning. Method Two 10 year-old children, BM (surface dyslexia) and PD (phonological dyslexia), and 5 age-matched controls participated in the study. Two experiments were conducted to explore key components involved in learning to read: paired-associate learning, and the effect of context on orthographic learning. Results Consistent with their reading profile, BM's orthographic learning was indeed worse than PD and the controls. Secondly, BM showed impaired paired-associate learning abilities while PD was no different from controls. Lastly, PD's performance on orthographic learning benefited from contextual information while the controls and BM's performance was no different with or without context. Conclusions BM's impairment in orthographic learning may have been caused by his impaired paired-associate learning ability. Thus, despite his normal phonological decoding skill, he still encountered difficulties in acquiring orthographic representations. On the other hand, although PD had impaired phonological decoding skills, she may have used paired-associated learning and contextual information to assist her orthographic learning. These findings helped to better understand the proximal mechanism of orthographic learning and to identify where the breakdown may occur.
Purpose: Word spelling in English tends to follow a relatively unidirectional path in which phonological sensitivity is critical. In contrast, the writing system of Chinese is morphosyllabic; each character occupies a two-dimensional space with relatively visually complex components. The purpose of this research was to examine unique correlates of Chinese second graders' dictation/spelling skills in both Chinese and English in order to test the extent to which these might be similar and different. Method: Sixty-eight Hong Kong second graders were tested in our ongoing study, aged from 7;6 to 10;4 (mean 8;1). All the children were given tasks of copying unfamiliar print (in Hebrew and Vietnamese-copying was later scored for accuracy based on pre-established scales), nonverbal reasoning, phonological awareness, morphological awareness, vocabulary knowledge, PPVT, rapid automatized naming (RAN), Chinese word dictation, and spelling in English. Results: Beyond nonverbal intelligence, "pure" copying skill was significantly associated with Chinese dictation (r=.27), but not with spelling in English (r=.18). The results further showed that with nonverbal IQ and vocabulary skill/PPVT statistically controlled, RAN and "pure" copying skill independently explained 24% and 3% of the variance in Chinese word writing; while phonological awareness and RAN explained 9% and 4% of the variance in English spelling. Conclusion: These findings suggest different correlates of writing skill in Chinese and English. Copying skill and RAN were associated with Chinese writing skill, while phonological awareness and RAN were associated with English spelling. These results may suggest a unique role of copying skill particularly for Chinese word writing.
Purpose: We examined pre-service and in-service teachers' self-perceptions about literacy instruction as well as their knowledge of language constructs related to literacy, and popular adult and young-adult texts. Method: Pre-service and in-service teachers in Canada, England, and the US were administered a survey of knowledge of language constructs important for literacy development as well as their self-perceptions about teaching literacy skills. Additionally, in-service teachers in Canada were administered a survey that tapped knowledge of adult and young-adult popular texts. Results: Both pre-service and in-service teachers from all three countries rated their teaching ability to be "very good". However all groups scored below 70% correct on the survey. Further analysis showed that US and Canadian participants had significantly higher scores on items that tapped into phonological knowledge, whereas English participants scored higher on phonics items. Further, Canadian participants focused more on literal-details than main ideas and inferential questions. Even though there was a positive correlation between teacher knowledge of popular young-adult texts and inference questions, and 'ability to foster the love of reading', the relationship was not significant between popular adult texts and generating inference questions. Conclusions: Even though participants from all the three countries rated themselves as "very good" in teaching reading, their explicit knowledge did not reflect strength in these areas. Further, as different countries emphasize different aspects of literacy development, better teacher preparation is needed in all the countries.
This cross-sectional study explored relationships among vocabulary breadth, vocabulary depth, and reading comprehension. A sample of 164 primarily native Spanish speaking English learners in grades 1 through 4 was recruited from an urban Southern California school district. Children's language and reading skills were assessed using measures of word reading, reading comprehension, and oral and reading vocabulary that required children to orally define words, produce one-word responses to pictures, and distinguish the multiple meanings of polysemous words. A confirmatory factor analysis suggested that, for this English learner sample, both breadth and depth of vocabulary can tentatively be considered distinguishable dimensions of vocabulary knowledge. In addition, fixed hierarchical linear regression analyses suggested that depth of vocabulary knowledge predicted reading comprehension for English learners in the primary grades, whereas vocabulary breadth did not. Conversely, in the intermediate grades, both breadth and depth of vocabulary knowledge shared variance in explaining reading comprehension. An additional hierarchical regression analysis entering the reading vocabulary measure before the oral measures demonstrated that the reading vocabulary measure significantly predicted reading comprehension while the oral breadth and depth measures did not contribute any additional unique variance to reading comprehension. The implications of the development of more efficient vocabulary intervention curricula to help close the achievement gap are also discussed. The findings from the present study provide additional insight into the cognitive processes and domains of knowledge which have been found critical to reading comprehension in native English speakers may also apply to English learners.
[Purpose] The current research was designed to contribute to knowledge about character recognition by revealing how the properties of semantic radicals influence character recognition developmentally among Chinese children and adults. [Method]Semantic radical consistency and character transparency are coincidentally examined. (1) In the behavioral study, we assessed about 120 students per grade (from grade 1 to 6) on lexical decision task and post-lexical recognition task. (2) In Experiment 2, we examined the semantic radical processing using EEG among adults. [Results]Results suggested an interaction effect of Consistency by transparency, which high graders performed better than the lower graders. [Conclusion]Therefore we conclude that (1) Semantic radicals with high consistency are more informative than those with low consistency in determining the meaning of the whole character; they therefore benefit more from semantic cue. (2) There is a developmental trend in lower-level character (i.e., semantic componential) recognition ability. Instruction on semantic radicals should be emphasized considering the consistency and transparency features of the characters in Chinese word acquisition.
Purpose: This study investigates the relationship between two aspects of prosodic skills that have been examined separately in reading research. One area of research has demonstrated that prosodic awareness/ sensitivity, the ability to discern and manipulate prosodic structure in words or phrases, significantly predicts children's word-level reading skills and reading comprehension. Another area of research has focussed on prosodic or expressive reading; making effective use of prosodic features such as stress, intonation, appropriate speech-like duration and pause to read in a speech-like and expressive way. Children who read prosodically have been shown to have better reading comprehension than those who read word by word, lacking expressiveness. The current study seeks to address a research gap by examining the relationship between these two aspects of prosody. Method: Sixty Grade 4 children completed a test battery assessing word level reading, listening and reading comprehension (using both syntactically complex sentences and story passages), prosodic sensitivity, as well as reading aloud sentences for later prosodic analysis. Results: Correlation and regression analyses uncovered differential relationships between these different aspects of prosody and different reading outcomes. Prosodic sensitivity predicted unique variance in reading syntactically complex sentences, which were designed to assess the relationship between prosodic sensitivity and syntax. However, prosodic sensitivity was not correlated with expressive prosodic reading of stories. Conclusion: These data suggest a more fine-grained analysis is needed of the relationship between reading and prosody to further elucidate the way that prosodic skills are used in various aspects of reading
Maximiliano Wilson (Département de réadaptation, Faculté de médecine, Université Laval); Marianne Chapleau; Gabrielle Asselin-Jobin; Emmanuelle Gagnon; Karel Potvin; Maxime Montembeault; Simona M. Brambati - Exception word reading and aging: The trade-off between better performance and less brain lateralisation in the elderly.
Purpose. To examine the accuracy and brain activation changes for exception word (EW) reading during normal aging. Unlike the other end of the continuum (literacy acquisition), very few studies addressed the changes in reading in normal aging. Method. Two studies with the same reading aloud task with low-frequency EW, regular (RW) and pseudowords (PW) were conducted. Thirty-five young adults (mean=22 y.o.) and 35 older adults (mean=68) participated in the behavioural study. Thirteen young (mean=27) and 14 older adults (mean=67) underwent the block design fMRI study. All of them were French-speaking and were matched for education. Behavioural data were analysed by means of ANOVAs, t-tests and chi-square tests. Image pre-processing and statistical analyses were performed using standard methods in SPM8. Results. Young adults made significantly more regularisations than older subjects for EWs with no difference in RTs. Conversely, young readers read RW and PW significantly faster with no differences in error rates. The EW brain activation pattern showed significant activation in the anterior temporal lobes (ATL) bilaterally for the elderly and only left for the young. Conclusions. Older participants read EW more accurately -and as efficiently as- young adults. The lack of relationship between EW mispronunciations and semantic knowledge (measured with a word-picture matching task using the same EW) indicates that these differences can be ascribed to genuine differences in reading skills. The improvement in performance seems to be associated with a compensatory bilateral ATL mechanism in the elderly, similar to that already described for working memory by the HAROLD model.
Through examining spelling development in children, we can gain greater insights into what young learners know about the orthographic conventions of a particular script (Pollo et al., 2008). The regularity of the relations between phonemes and letters is considered to be a crucial factor in spelling development. In fact, the difficulties that children face in learning to spell are often attributed to irregularities in the writing system. According to the statistical-learning perspective, children's strategies are informed by the unique properties of the language and writing system they are learning (Pollo et al., 2008). Moreover, part of becoming a competent speller is learning to deal with the complexities that a particular writing system possesses (Treiman & Kessler, in press). Thai poses distinct challenges to young learners due to its irregular or opaque characteristics, where mapping between phonemes and graphemes does not have a regular one-to-one correspondence. Thai has inherent vowels that occur with some consonants, silent consonants or vowels and other irregular spellings. These irregularities include rule based and more arbitrary or opaque irregularities. It is predicted that the rule based spelling conventions will be acquired prior to the more arbitrary spellings. The aim of the current study is to probe the strategies utilised by children as they learn to spell Thai. Ninety children from Grades 1 to 3 were recruited. They were tested on (1) regular (transparent) words, (2) irregular words where there is not a one-to-one correspondence , and (3) regular pseudowords.
Simpson W.L. Wong (The Hong Kong Institute of Education)Bonnie W. Y. Chow; Connie Suk-Han Ho; Mary M.-Y. Waye; Dorothy V. M. Bishop - The interplay among speech, phonology and word recognition in Chinese children learning English as a second language
Purpose: The relationships among speech, phonology and reading abilities in first language reading development are postulated by various theoretical viewpoints, for example, 1) Autonomous Phonology, 2) Bootstrapping, 3) Independent Phonology, and 4) Lexical Restructuring. In this study, we studied the extent to which these theoretical frameworks are applicable to explain second language (L2) reading development among Chinese learners of English. Method: A sample of 287 Chinese children aged from 3 to 11 years was tested with a battery of English tasks measuring speech perception, phonological awareness, phonological memory, vocabulary and visual word recognition. Adopting the "component skills analysis" approach, we constructed four path analysis models and evaluated the overall fit of the models. Using a model-modification approach, the models with optimal goodness-of-fit were obtained. Results: First, the model fitting results confirmed the significance of all the component skills in English reading development among the Chinese learners. Second, the results showed that each component skill influenced the L2 reading system in multiple ways. Conclusions: Speech, phonology and reading abilities in second language reading development are not only linked casually but interactively. Therefore, it is important to keep track of the dynamics in the L2 reading system in the course of L2 reading development.
The present study was designed to explore radical combinability effects in a semantic category task when event-related potentials were recorded. Two types of radical combinability were manipulated: the number of characters that share a radical irrespective of position (position-free radical combinability or RC) and the number of characters sharing a specific radical at a particular position (position-specific radical combinability or PRC). Both RC and PRC effects were found to be associated with P200 and N400. Because a radical's combinability to some extent reflects the density of orthographic neighborhood of a character that contains this radical, these findings confirmed the orthographic neighborhood effects on visual character recognition and demonstrated that the orthographic information could exert influence in the early stages of character processing, i.e. before the semantic processing of the character.
Hsinhsuan Wu (National Cheng Kung University); Yiling Chung; Yushu Chiang; Jonfan Hu; Chiuhua Huang; Hsuehchih Chen; Chienchih Tseng; Liyun Chang - The priming effects of instruction on orthographic awareness of Chinese character recognition based on manipulating radical position regularities and radical frequency
Purpose: Although the effects of radical properties on Chinese word recognition processing were examined frequently in literature, how people use different strategies to build orthographic knowledge with radical properties of Chinese characters are still unclear. This study investigated the effects of different instructions on the performance of Chinese character recognition decision by orthographic awareness in terms of manipulating radical frequency and radical position regularity. Method: 60 participating Chinese-speaking undergraduates were randomly assigned into two groups and asked to perform character decision tasks under two experimental instructions. 160 pseudo words used for the tasks were composited by Chinese radicals: 80 characters in upper-half-and-lower-half format and 80 in left-half-and-right-half format were prepared for the study. For the 'Typical Rule' group, participants were informed to use the Chinese orthographic rules they know to judge if the presented words are real words. While for the 'Ancient Rule' group, participants were instructed that they might encounter Chinese ancient words and they have to decide whether the words were characters. Both reaction time and the accuracy were recorded and analyzed. Results: Longer reaction time and higher accuracy rate of radical position regularity task were found for the 'Typical Rule' group. Frequency effect was revealed in both two groups, while radical position regularity effect was revealed only in the 'Typical Rule' group. Conclusions: In addition to the effects of radical frequency and radical position regularity, it suggested that the priming of instruction would play a moderate role for the processing of Chinese orthographic Chinese awareness.
Purpose A valid screening test of a child's reading fluency is very important for literacy instruction and evaluation. It also helps identifying children with literacy difficulties at an early stage because reading fluency is an important indicator of literacy difficulties. The present research attempted to construct a Standardized Chinese Reading Fluecny Test (SCRFT) with local norms for primary school children based on a database of Hong Kong Chinese primary school texts. Methods and Results In the first phase, a database of 3033 Chinese characters was constructed based on six widely used primary texts in Hong Kong. Difficulty level of each character was determined through a series of procedures. Then, we divided the database into six sub-databases and determined the difficulty level (L1-L5) of each character in the corresponding grade based on the passing rate. Two forms of a reading fluency test with 200 characters were developed to measure character reading fluency for six grades. In the formal testing phase, twelve schools from three bandings were selected to join the study. A total of 2056 students from grade-one to grade-six were tested. Two forms of the SCRFT and related validity measurements (i.e., Taiwan Chinese Character Recognition Test) were administered. The results showed that: (1) The SCRFT had high reliability coefficient. (2) Grade and age development norms were constructed and the related percentile conversion tables and standardized-score conversion tables were created. (3) It is highly correlated with the child's Chinese language achievement in school. In the validation phase, some students with reading difficulties and average students from another study were tested by the SCRFT. The results showed that two groups with different reading levels demonstrated significant difference on the SCRFT. Conclusion The SCRFT, developed on the basis of a corpus of Hong Kong Chinese primary school texts, is a reliable and valid assessment tool of Chinese character identification achievement of Hong Kong primary school children.
Purpose This longitudinal study investigated orthographic processing in monolingual and bilingual children. We considered 3 main questions: Do monolingual and immersion-educated bilingual children perform similarly? Do bilingual children perform differently in their L1 and L2? How does performance between and within groups change over time? Method Participants were 53 monolinguals and 55 bilinguals enrolled in primary schools in Northern Ireland where they experienced the same curriculum regardless of the medium of instruction. The bilinguals were L1 English children educated through the medium of Irish. Two age groups were recruited (7-8 years and 9-10 years). Children were tested at four 6-monthly intervals over two years. Monolinguals performed the orthographic choice test in English while bilinguals performed the test in English (L1) and Irish (L2). Response time and accuracy were recorded, and RT differences between the three types of stimuli were used an indicators of automaticity. Participants also completed the British Picture Vocabulary Scale and Raven's Coloured Progressive Matrices. Teacher, parent and child questionnaires on language proficiency and use were administered. Results Performance improved across all orthographic choice measures at each time point. Responses were slower and less accurate for misspelt words than for correctly spelt words or letter strings, with older children significantly outperforming younger children. When bilingual L1/L2 differences were compared, a similar pattern was evident for both languages. Conclusions Despite a significantly different educational experience, and context-specific language use, immersion-educated children are developing balanced orthographic representations. Furthermore, their L1 knowledge is comparable to that of their monolingual peers.
Quansheng Xia (Department of Linguistics and Modern Languages, CUHK)Gang Peng, Feng Shi - Hemispheric lateralization in the semantic processing of verb and verb-noun ambiguous words in Chinese: an ERP study
Lexical ambiguity is common in reading and related to the issue of mental lexicon in human brains. In Chinese, there is a large number of class-ambiguous words which can be used as nouns and verbs in the sentence without morphological changes. This study intends to investigate whether the processing of Chinese unambiguous verb (UV) and verb-noun ambiguous word (VN) are different in isolation and how the two word classes are processed in the left hemisphere (LH) and right hemisphere (RH). This experiment, combining ERP with half visual fields, consisted of three sets of stimuli: UV, VN and non-words. The variables, such as concreteness, word frequency, strokes, were matched between the two word classes. 17 Chinese native speakers participated in the experiment. They were instructed to judge whether the stimulus, randomly presented to the left or right visual field, was a real word or not. The results showed that the amplitude values of N400 corresponding to semantic processing were greater for UV than for VN in both the LH and RH. Besides, a new component, late positive component (LPC), was found. It may reflect the amount of semantic activation in the processing. VN elicited more positive LPC than UV in the RH. However, such difference disappeared in the LH. The results indicated that, without context, the processing of verb and verb-noun ambiguous words in Chinese were different in the LH and RH. And the results also provided supporting evidence for fine/coarse coding hypothesis in the LH and RH (Beeman 1998).
Purpose: Our primary goal is to study the interlexical influence on levels of sentence processings by orthographic and phonological information across words within a single sentence. Method: In the present experiment, word-initial orthographic and phonological information was repeated separately or together in the major portion of a single sentence as shown below. We created four conditions and 36 items for each. (1) O+P+: (repeated word-initial phonemes & letters): e.g. The wretched wrestler had the two wrapped wrists all along. (2) O+P-: (repeated word-initial letters but not phonemes): e.g. The wretched wrestler had the two weakened wrists all along. (3) O-P+: (repeated word-initial phonemes but not letters): e.g. The wretched wrestler had the two reddened wrists all along. (4) O-P-: (mixed word-initial phonemes and letters) e.g. The wretched wrestler had the two broken wrists all along. We used eye tracking to answer the two questions by monitoring the online processing of sentence: 1, Will the repeated word-initial phonemes and/or letters compromise reading performance by prolonging the processing time? 2, Is the processing time in O+P+ condition additive as compared to that in O-P+ or O+P- conditions? Results: Data from 40 native English-speaking participants revealed the most robust interference effects in condition (3). Processing times in (1) and (2) are basically the same and much longer than (4). Conclusion: the current finding suggested the repeated word-initial phonemes with mixed letters caused the largest reading difficulties, while the consistent orthographic and phonological repetition might lessen this interference.
[Purpose] We aimed to explore the effect of stroke removal from Chinese characters on eye movements during reading to examine the role of stroke encoding in characters identification. [Method] Experimental sentences were comprised of characters with different proportions of strokes removed (15, 30, and 50%), and different types of strokes removed (beginning, ending, and strokes that ensured the configuration of the character was retained). Reading times, number of fixations and regression measures all showed that Chinese characters with 15% of strokes removed were as easy to read as Chinese characters without any strokes removed. [Result] when 30%, or more of a character's strokes were removed, reading characters with their configuration retained was easiest, characters with ending strokes removed were more difficult, whilst characters with beginning strokes removed were most difficult to read. [Conclusion] The results strongly suggest that not all strokes within a character have equal status during character identification, and a flexible stroke encoding system must underlie successful character identification during Chinese reading.
Purpose. While bilinguals are found to have their lexical and conceptual processes intertwined during the comprehension, how this intertwining affects text processing and individual differences in L2 proficiency interacts with it remains to be addressed. Here, we address how L2 proficiency constitutes critical sources of comprehension problem at different levels of L2 text processing/representation (i.e., lexical/conceptual /situational, Kintsch (1998)). Methods. Event-related potentials (EPRs) were recorded while native Chinese speakers (adult L2/ESL, English as the second language, low and high L2/ESL proficiency 25 each), read two-sentences passages in English that varied in the referent availability for a target word (e.g. "explosion") that appeared across a sentence boundary at the beginning of a second sentence. The relation of the target word to the text ("referential matching") represents three levels of text representation (Kintsch, 1998): A surface level match as in "…exploded.. The explosion…"; a textbase match as in "…blew up.. The explosion…"; and a situation model level as in "…bomb…dropped. The explosion…". The N400, an ERP index of semantic processing difficulty, on the target word was measured and analyzed to examine the temporal dynamics of levels of text process/representation that vary in L2/ESL proficiency. Results. L2/ESL proficiency difference is observed mainly on the inference-making. The N400 for situational-level match was reduced for high L2/ESL but elevated for low L2/ESL; while the N400 for the surface-level and textbase match remained the same for both low and high L2/ESLs. Thus, bilinguals' levels of semantic stratification (e.g., lexical/semantic/conceptual) are not as well-refined as monolinguals, reflecting the intertwining effect regardless bilingual proficiency Conclusions. The results suggest that a major source of comprehension problem at the text level for L2/ESLs lies in their less refined lexical-knowledge structure, compared with monolinguals (Perfetti & Hart, 2002). This leads L2 readers to draw on additional inferences to compensate processing efficiency. Bilingual experience in proficiency facilitates processes of text comprehension more by recourse to inference-making than by lexical-semantic processing, which may continue to be non-native like (Clahsen & Felser, 2006).
Purpose- The correlations between English word reading and spelling are rather high ranging from .77 to .86 (from a review, see Ehri, 1997). It is believed that the mechanism is similar between English word reading and spelling, which is phonological decoding and phonological encoding. However, it is not the case in Chinese. In Chinese, it is possible to use Phonetic Radical clue to read a word (e.g.衣and依all pronounce as "yi1"), but it's almost impossible to spell a Chinese character using known Phonetic Radical.( e.g. 衣and醫all pronounce as "yi1", but completely differ in shape ). There might be different cognitive mechanism between Chinese reading and spelling. Therefore, the present research is to investigate these differences. Method- The subjects included 223 elementary school students. The assessment materials included: Chinese character recognition test (Hungh, 1999), Chinese basic reading and writing test (Hong, 2003), Naming speed test (Tzeng, 2003), Phonological process test (Tzeng, 1997). Results- According to the performance on character recognition and spelling, the subjects were divided into four groups: Poor Reader Good Spellers 8%(n=18), Good Reader Poor Spellers 4.5%(n=10), Poor Reader Poor Spellers 37.07%(8.19) and Good Reader Good Spellers. The results show that the RAN score of Good Reader Poor Spellers is significant better than Poor Reader Poor Spellers. Conclusion- RAN might be related to the ability for poor speller to read better. Implications for educational applications are also discussed.
Readers are found taking perspectives naturally while reading no matter whether they are told to do so or not. Many empirical studies have revealed how perspective taking may be an effective technique for literacy teachers to adopt in order to enhance students' reading comprehension. In order to know if practices of perspective taking are worth to pursue on reading classes, we calculated the effect sizes of the practices and reviewed related studies qualitatively. A total of 28 relevant studies between 1985 and June of 2012 were collected through keyword searches performed from electronic databases (e.g., perspective taking, comprehension). The weighted effect sizes ranged from d=0.04 to d=1.28, with a mean effect of d=0.55; 15 out of 28 studies were found to have medium to high degrees of interventional effects on reading comprehension (d >0.40). The mean effect size of those studies in which students read with either an assigned perspective or by following the character's perspective (d=0.55) was higher than those where students were asked to read naturally (d=0.42). A higher effect size was found when the participants were asked to read with a shifted perspective (d=1.20). Results of qualitative review revealed that the illusory transparency of intention might be risky to students' comprehension accuracy. To summarize, this study suggests that taking perspectives while reading could be an effective strategy, but the repetition effects of a shifted perspective taken while reading shall further help readers get their comprehension better tuned and reach a fuller comprehension of texts.
Purpose: Metalinguistic awareness skills (i.e., phonological, orthographic, morphological awareness) contribute to children's spelling as well as reading. However, little research has been conducted on the simultaneous investigation of these three metalinguistic awareness skills, and it is especially true for Korean Hangul. The purpose of this study was to simultaneously examine these three inter-related Korean metalinguistic constructs and the unique and shared contributions of each construct to Korean spelling (dictation skills) of typically developing fourth, fifth and sixth grade Korean-speaking children (N = 287). Method & Results: The first-order factor hypothesized measurement model was tested with CFA, using M-Plus and the fit was excellent. Then, the Structural Equation Model (SEM) with three first-order factors (i.e., phonological, orthographic, and morphological awareness) was tested onto the Korean spelling. The results indicated that morphological awareness alone made a unique contribution to spelling; orthographic awareness as well as phonological awareness did not explain unique variance in Korean spelling. These predictors explained 83% of the total variance in Korean spelling. Conclusions: Findings from the present study provide strong support for the critical role of metalinguistic awareness skills in literacy development, particularly in Korean spelling and the concrete relationship between morphological awareness and spelling. Implications of results for Korean metalinguistic awareness model in relation with spelling are discussed in more detail.
Purpose: Research suggests that both phonological awareness (PA) and rapid automatized naming (RAN) are important processes implicated in word recognition and efficiency for English monolingual children, but less is known about whether similar processes are involved for bilingual or ESL children. This study investigates the relationships among PA and RAN with English word recognition and word reading efficiency in Mandarin-English bilingual and English monolingual children. Method: Three groups of 11 year old children (n=25 English L1-Mandarin L2; n=25 Mandarin L1-English L2; n=25 English monolingual) were tested on the elision and blending subtests from the Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (CTOPP), the digit naming and letter naming subtests from CTOPP, the reading subtest from the Wechsler Individual Achievement Tests-2nd Edition (WIAT-2) and the sight word efficiency subtest from the Test of Word Reading Efficiency (TOWRE). Results: There were no significant group differences in performances on word recognition and word reading efficiency. However, the monolingual children performed significantly better in PA than the bilingual children, while the bilingual children performed significantly better in RAN than the monolingual children. Results from separate regression analyses found PA predicted word recognition in both groups of bilingual children and RAN predicted reading efficiency in all three groups. Conclusions: Bilingual children and English monolingual children may show different profiles in underlying component processes, despite similar proficiencies in word recognition and reading efficiency. Our findings also suggest bilingual children relying on different skills compared to English monolingual children but this depends on the nature of the reading task.
Pui-sze Yeung (The University of Hong Kong); Connie Suk-han Ho; David Wai-ock Chan; Kevin Kien-hoa Chung - What are the cognitive-linguistic skills important to Chinese written composition in elementary grades?
Purpose The present study examined the various cognitive-linguistic skill correlates of Chinese written composition among writers in different elementary grades. Method Participants in this cross-sectional study were 85 Chinese children in Grade 2, Grade 4 and Grade 6 in Hong Kong. They were administered measures of written composition and cognitive-linguistic skills (including rapid naming, verbal working memory, orthographic-motor skills, transcription skills, oral narrative skills, and syntactic skills) that were expected to be significant predictors of written composition. Results The findings showed that Chinese written composition was significantly correlated with word spelling in Grade 2, stroke sequence knowledge and oral narrative skills in Grade 4, and working memory and oral narrative skills in Grade 6. Conclusions These results were consistent with the hypothesis that the relationships between cognitive-linguistic skills and written composition are different in different phases of development, consistent with the suggestions of Berninger, Mizokawa, and Bragg (1991) that children are faced with the constraints of attaining automaticity in producing written graphic units in early elementary grades and with linguistic constraints that affect the production of written words, sentences and paragraphs in higher elementary grades. The findings showed that the importance of orthographic-motor skills and transcription skills extended beyond Grade 2 and that working memory and oral narrative skills only become significant to written composition in Grade 6. Together, results underscore the importance of the unique characteristics of Chinese orthography and the impact of the discrepancy in oral language (Cantonese dialect) and written language (Standard Chinese) on children's writing development.
Most Korean compound words, especially Sino-Korean ones, are composed of two syllables. Each syllable (or Gulja) of an S-K word stands for a Chinese character. In the past, they were written in Chinese characters, but are now written only in Hangul. One major consequence of this change is that Gulja-morpheme correspondence of S-K words has become irregular. One Gulja, or Korean character corresponding to a syllable, can stand for several morphemes of S-K words, sometimes dozens of morphemes. The present study tried to compare the role of each syllable in compound words between Korean, Chinese, and Japanese. In Chinese and Japanese, several studies using the repetition priming paradigm already showed that a character prime could facilitate the processing of the compound which had the prime as its component (Hirose, 1992; Zhou, Marslen-Wilson, Taft, & Shu, 1999). The results were interpreted as evidence for morphological processing and representation in Chinese and Japanese visual word recognition. We adapted the same procedure as Hirose (1994). For each trial, a Gulja was presented before a target compound with the SOAs of 50, 100, 200 msec and participants were asked to judge whether the target was a word or not. Our results showed that lexical decision times were longer for targets with the same Gulja as the prime. This kind of negative priming is not in line with the positive one from the Chinese and Japanese studies. Our conclusion is that this result reflects the ambiguous mapping between orthography and morphology in Korean and suggests relatively slow processing of morphological information for Korean compounds.
Purpose: Studies show that Chinese first-graders use orthographic knowledge (structural, radical, and positional) in spelling novel characters. Here we examined to what extent Chinese kindergarteners use such knowledge in learning to read novel characters. Method: 45 4 year olds and 45 5 year olds (mean ages 4;9 and 5;7) in Beijing participated in the study. Children took a character-learning task, a Chinese word reading test, and a nonverbal reasoning test. In the character-learning task, children were taught to pronounce 6 sets of 5 novel spellings that were based on 3 visual conditions (pseudo-character, non-character, and random stroke combination) and 2 phonetic conditions (with and without phonetic cue). Pseudo-characters contain real radicals in legal positions, non-characters contain real radicals but in illegal positions, and random stroke combinations do not contain real radicals in positions they typical fall in real characters. The pronunciations were familiar to children and the visual complexity of spellings was matched across condition. Results: The 4 year olds learned pseudo-characters better than non-characters and random stroke combinations when phonetic cues were available (p < .001). The 5 year olds learned pseudo-characters better than random stroke combinations in both with- and without-phonetic cue conditions (p < .001 for both). When phonetic cues were not available, the 5 year olds learned pseudo-characters better than non-characters (p < .001). Chinese reading ability correlated significantly more highly with performance in pseudo-character and non-character conditions than with performance in random stroke condition. Conclusions: Chinese 4- and 5-year-olds are analytic learners of characters. The analytic skills are important in learning to read Chinese.
Lisa Yoshikawa (Nagoya University); Junko Yamashita - A study of phonemic awareness and reading comprehension: How phonemic awareness contributes to predicting the reading comprehension in English of L1-Japanese learners
Purpose According to English reading research, children must develop phonemic awareness (PA) in order to comprehend, through reading, an alphabetic language, such as English. Accordingly, PA functions as a predictor of reading comprehension (RC). However, a person with a non-alphabetic language as their first language (L1) develops a qualitatively different reading process, and their L1 reading strategies may influence when they read a second language (L2). Therefore, the role of PA may be different for L2-English RC for a non-alphabetic L1 speaker. Method Hence, this study investigated, using path analysis, if PA can predict the RC of Japanese readers of English (N = 71) in conjunction with decoding skills and vocabulary knowledge (VK). We also analyzed the predictive relationship between decoding and VK. Results Our results show that PA did not play a vital role in predicting RC because: PA only significantly predicted decoding; decoding and VK predicted each other; they showed possible but not significant prediction in RC. Conclusions From these results, we conclude that, for L1-Japanese readers, PA only makes an indirect contribution to RC through decoding, whereas decoding and VK directly support RC.
Purpose: This study investigated the connection between oral narrative and literacy skills in Chinese children. Method: Ninety-one Chinese first-graders were assessed on oral narrative skills with three measures (narrative recall, narrative comprehension, and anomaly detection). Results: Results of hierarchical regression analysis showed that children's performance in narrative comprehension significantly accounted for variance in both word reading and sentence reading comprehension, independent of vocabulary and morphosyntatic skills. In the prediction of passage reading comprehension, both narrative recall and anomaly detection made unique contribution when children's working memory, vocabulary, morphosyntatic skills, as well as their word reading and sentence reading comprehension abilities were controlled. Conclusions: To conclude, these findings supported the importance of oral narrative skills to early Chinese literacy development. They also showed how different kinds of narrative skills might contribute to different aspects of reading ability. While children's general listening comprehension ability might be important for lower-level reading, it appears that passage-level reading comprehension might distinctively requires specific discourse skills (e.g., narrative structuring and comprehension monitoring), even at the beginning stage of reading comprehension development.
Juan Zhang (Learning Research and Development Center, University of Pittsburgh);Charles Perfetti;Joseph Stafura;Zhan Wang;Haixia wang;Susan Dunlap - The role of compounding training on Chinese word learning of CFL (Chinese as a Foreign Language) learners
Purpose: This study investigated the role of compounding training on Chinese word learning of CFL (Chinese as a Foreign Language) learners. Method: Participants were 24 undergraduates taking a Chinese course at the University of Pittsburgh whose native languages were not Chinese. They were evenly divided into two groups according to their Chinese proficiency levels, with each group being assigned to a training condition. All participants learnt 36 two-character Chinese words for consecutive three days, 12 words per day. In holistic training condition, participants learnt the pronunciation and meaning of each word in a whole-word format. While in decomposed compounding training condition, they additionally learnt the meanings and pronunciations of constituent characters and were explained how the meaning of a whole word could be inferred from the meanings of two constituent characters. Participants were tested on several character and word tasks on the fourth day when both behavioral and ERPs (event-related potentials) data were collected. Results: Compounding training group performed better at orthographic representation of constituent characters and showed larger N170 effect than holistic training group. They were also better on a homophone discrimination task, suggesting that they have more refined representation of character meanings. In addition, participants in compounding training condition were better in three new word generation tasks. However, no group differences were found on a word-level lexicon decision task. Conclusion: Results indicate that compounding training may facilitate refined character-level lexical representations of multisyllabic words, which is important not only for word learning itself but also for new vocabulary development.
Previous research suggests that the presence of word spellings facilitates children's oral vocabulary learning in English. Chinese children also benefit from character orthography in vocabulary learning. Whether a similar orthographic facilitation effect exists in second language (L2) vocabulary learning is unknown. The current study aims to examine whether the presence of orthography (Chinese characters and Pinyin, a phonetic script of Chinese) would aid oral vocabulary learning for adult learners of Chinese as a foreign language (CFL). Nineteen American undergraduates enrolled in an intensive Chinese program in the US were taught the names (Chinese monosyllables) of 15 novel-object pictures. One third of pictures were presented with either characters, Pinyin, or no orthography. All characters were pseudo compound characters and contain familiar phonetic radicals that provide consistent pronunciations with the picture names. Participants were not alerted to the orthography, nor were they instructed to use it. They were asked to name all pictures after each of three learning trials. Results showed a Pinyin, but not character, facilitation effect. Students performed significantly better on the items presented with Pinyin than on the orthography absent items. There was no significant performance difference between the character present items and orthography absent items. Student character knowledge and insight into the positional constraints and functions of phonetic radicals were strongly associated with the ability to use characters in learning oral vocabulary. The findings extend the evidence of orthographic facilitation to L2 vocabulary learners and support the practice of emphasizing Pinyin and Chinese orthography in L2 vocabulary teaching.
Purpose Developmental dyslexia (DD), is a complex cognitive disorder that affects 5% - 10% of school-aged children (Shaywitz et al., 1992) and characterized by difficulties in the acquisition of reading and spelling skills independent of intelligence, motivation or schooling. A number of independent studies with western populations have suggested that variation in the TTRAP gene confers risk of dyslexia. In view of the different languages used in Caucasian and Chinese populations, it is therefore worthwhile to investigate whether there is an association of TTRAP in Chinese children with dyslexia. Methods One single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), rs2143340, at TTRAP was genotyped for 1,130 individuals of Chinese origin, including 278 dyslexia children, 265 children controls and 587 adult controls. All dyslexics full fill the criteria of an IQ ≥ 80 (WSCI) and a reading score ≥ 1.5 SD below the average. Analyses for association with reading were performed with the PLINK program version 1.07 (Purcell et al., 2007). Results The SNP rs2143340 was significantly associated with categorical DD (P = 0.0019) with all subjects included. As reading data was only collected for children, association analyses in the next step were performed with children sample. Significant association with DD was again found (P = 0.0014). Further, the association between rs2143340 and quantitative reading measures were also tested and the similar association trend was found for several reading phenotypes, such as morphological production. Conclusion Our findings suggest that TTRAP is associated with dyslexia in people of Chinese ethnicity in mainland China.
Purpose: The question whether auditory processing deficits are associated with reading problems is still open. In a longitudinal behavioral and ERP study we investigated: 1) whether 8-year-old normal children would be mature in the processing of Chinese lexical tones, and 2) how ERP responses recorded at age 8 could be associated with later cognitive skills known to be important for the development of literacy skills. Method: The same group of children was tested at age 8 and age 10. The /pa2/ and /pa4/ tonal continuum was used in a behavioral identification test. Auditory event-related potential responses to the endpoint stimuli were collected with a passive listening oddball paradigm. Cognitive skills, such as phonological awareness, were also tested. Results: The early MMN was elicited in 8 year-old children during the traditional time window, and followed by a late MMN after 500 ms. The early MMN template of the 8 year-old children is slightly different from that of the adults. Furthermore, the MMN peak amplitude at age 8 was positively correlated with their subsequent performance in the speech perception and phonological tasks. Conclusions: Our findings indicate that the MMN responses to lexical tones are still immature at age 8. However, the early MMN can predict children's follow-up performance two years later. The lower-level auditory processing abilities could be associated with reading related skills.
A novel ERP response, referred to as the centro-parietal N200, has recently been identified for Chinese visual word recognition. It is a widespread negative deflection elicited by one- or two-character Chinese words 200 ms post-stimulus onset showing largest amplitude in centro-parietal regions. When a word is presented second time, the N200 magnitude is significantly enhanced, demonstrating a very unusual effect of repetition enhancement. This ERP response seems to be specific to Chinese reading as no similar finding has ever been reported in visual word recognition studies on alphabetic scripts. The N200 response is sensitive to orthographic but not semantic or phonologic factors, indicating it is a neural marker associated with a word's orthographic representation. This paper presents data showing that the N200 repetition enhancement effect was greater for real characters than pseudo-characters (consisting of legitimate radicals), suggesting that orthographic recognition of single Chinese characters has been completed around 200 millisecond after the characters' presentation. Explanation of the N200's specificity to Chinese reading leads to a new theory conceptualizing written Chinese as a meaning-spelling script at the vocabulary level which is more thoroughly a vision-based script, different from alphabetic scripts which are more audition-based.
Purpose The purposes of this study are to investigate (1) the relationship between Chinese morphological awareness, phonological awareness, and orthographic awareness, and Chinese reading comprehension in elementary school students in China, and (2) examine the cognitive profile of Chinese children with reading difficulties. Method The participants were 287 students from one class of Grades 3, 4, 5, and 6 in an elementary school. Measures were PPVT vocabulary, phonological awareness, morphological awareness, orthographic awareness, and Chinese reading comprehension. Results The regression results showed that morphological awareness and orthographic awareness significantly predicted reading comprehension in Chinese after controlling age and vocabulary. Morphological awareness is the most significant predictor of Chinese reading comprehension. 20 Chinese reading difficulties (RD), 20 chronological age (CA) controls and 20 reading-level (RL) controls were selected to determine the impact of cognitive factors in Chinese reading difficulties. The results showed that RD group and RL group were not significantly different on phonological awareness, morphological awareness, and orthographic awareness. RD group' performance on morphological awareness and orthographic awareness was significantly lower than CA group. There was no significant difference on phonological awareness among three groups. Conclusion Results support the hypotheses that the Chinese learning difficulties is a developmental delay. This kind of delay is mainly reflected in the development of morphological awareness and orthographic awareness, especially on the lag of Chinese morphological awareness at ages 8 and 11.
Purpose - The purpose of the present study was to examine elementary school English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teachers' knowledge and skills on basic language constructs relevant to teaching English reading. Method - In-service teachers' knowledge of basic language constructs, self-rated teaching ability of teaching English reading, phonemic awareness, alphabetic principle, and vocabulary as well as knowledge about teaching strategies were examined through an adapted version of the Reading Teacher Knowledge Survey. The survey included 34 items. All participants (n= 306) were from Guangzhou, China. Reliability, item difficulty and item discrimination coefficients of the survey scores were calculated. Structural Equation Modeling was used for analysis. Results - Teachers' self-rating of teaching vocabulary was the highest, and teaching English reading to struggling readers was the lowest. A majority knew what phonological awareness was, and the percentage of correct responses for syllable counting was high; however, only a third knew what phonemic awareness was and even fewer knew what a morpheme was. Teachers' procedural knowledge of basic language constructs were positively correlated with professional development completed and explicit knowledge of teaching strategies. Conclusions -Findings suggest that elementary school English teachers in China, on average, were able to display implicit skills related to certain basic language constructs, but less able to demonstrate explicit knowledge of others, especially sub-lexical units (e.g., phonemes and morphemes). The high perceived ability of teaching vocabulary reflected the focus on larger units in their reading curriculum.
In Hong Kong, Mandarin Chinese is taught in most English speaking international schools as a foreign language to non-native Chinese speakers. This study examined Chinese and English word reading related skills in a group of non-native Chinese young learners and compared with their native Chinese speaking peers who are going to the same English speaking international schools. 49 non-native Chinese speaking (29 girls and 20 boys) and 39 native Chinese speaking children (17 girls and 22 boys) 3rd and 4th graders from two international schools were recruited for this study. They were compared on both Chinese and English word reading related skills, including vocabulary knowledge, phonological processing skills, morphological awareness, working memory skills in both languages. In addition, they were also assessed of their pure visual skills as well as Chinese language related orthographic skills. The results showed that the two groups did not differ on their English reading related skills, but differ significantly on all Chinese reading related skills. Chinese vocabulary knowledge was the most significant predictor in reading Chinese words for both native and non-native Chinese speaking children. English phonological processing skills significantly predicted English word reading for both groups. The results demonstrated a clear language input and use effects. Chinese vocabulary knowledge was shown the basic step to reading Chinese words in non-native Chinese children. This may also shed some lights on foreign language pedagogy.
Single deficit theories, which tend to focus on distal causes, dominate the field of developmental dyslexia. They run into problems when it comes to explaining the heterogeneity of dyslexia. Here, we argue that the heterogeneity of dyslexia can be explained by investigating the proximal causes, that is, the efficiency/inefficiency of the subcomponents of the reading network, as implemented in a computational model of reading. In the present work, we combine the most influential account of reading development (Share's self-teaching hypothesis) with a successful computational model of reading aloud, the CDP+ model (Perry et al., 2007, 2010). We then investigate through simulations to what extent different deficits that occur in the learning loop would lead to different developmental trajectories and reading profiles.