Understanding how morphological awareness longitudinally contributed to reading comprehension: Examining mediating factors

Understanding how morphological awareness longitudinally contributed to reading comprehension: Examining mediating factors

First Author: Siu Sze Yeung -- The Education Universit of Hong Kong
Additional authors/chairs: 
Shen Qiao
Keywords: Reading comprehension, Morphology, Vocabulary, Second Language, Word reading
Abstract / Summary: 

This longitudinal study examined how morphological awareness (MA) contributed to the development of reading comprehension among Hong Kong Chinese-speaking children, who learn English as a second language (ESL). Prior studies that found unique contributions of MA on reading comprehension only employed vocabulary breadth as control variable or mediating factor, without including vocabulary depth as part of vocabulary knowledge. The novel aspect of this study is that three potential mediators (vocabulary depth, vocabulary breadth and word reading) were examined simultaneously in a longitudinal model. Third- and fourth-grade children (N=184) were assessed on English morphological awareness, word reading, vocabulary depth (i.e., word definition, synonym, semantic awareness and collocation), vocabulary breadth (i.e., receptive and expressive vocabulary) and reading comprehension for two times at 6-month interval. Age and nonverbal intelligence were included as control variables. Results revealed vocabulary breadth, vocabulary depth and word reading fully mediated the relations of MA at Time1 and reading comprehension at Time 2. All indirect paths were significant with word reading made the strongest effects, followed by vocabulary depth and then vocabulary breadth. Findings clarified the mechanisms in which how MA contributed to the development of reading comprehension for Chinese-speaking ESL children.