The present study investigated the relation among reading skills and attributions, naming speed, and phonological awareness across a wide range of reading skill. Participants were 1,105 school-age children and youths from two understudied populations: African Americans and Hispanic Americans. Individual assessments of children ranging in age from 8 to 15 years were conducted for reading outcomes, cognitive and linguistic predictors of reading, and attributions for success and failure in reading situations. Quantile regressions were formulated to estimate these relations across the full skill span of each outcome. Reading-related attributions predicted contextual word recognition, sight word and decoding fluency, and comprehension skills. Attributions to ability in success situations were positively related to each outcome across the full span. On three reading outcomes, this relation strengthened at higher skill levels. Attributions to effort in success situations were consistently and negatively related to all reading outcomes. The results provide evidence that the strength of the relation between reading and attributions varies according to reading skill levels, with the strongest evidence for ability-based attributions in situations of reading success.
The aim of this study was to examine predictions derived from a proposal about the relation between word-decoding skill and working memory capacity, called verbal efficiency theory. The theory states that poor word representations and slow decoding processes consume resources in working memory that would otherwise be used to execute high-level comprehension processes, such as the generation of inferences. Previous research has yielded inconsistent findings about the importance of word decoding in adult readers, and the hypothesis has never been tested experimentally. Verbal efficiency theory was tested in this experiment by manipulating the difficulty of grapheme–phoneme conversion and assessing the extent to which readers made bridging inferences. Participants read two-sentence passages and then responded to lexical decision targets. Some of the passages required a bridging inference to integrate the first and second sentences. Decoding difficulty was manipulated such that the second sentence in some passages was written using pseudohomophones. Participants also received tasks to assess their working memory capacity and decoding ability. Inference priming was found in both the Standard American English and pseudohomophone contexts but was stronger in the former than in the latter. The advantage in priming for the Standard English relative to the pseudohomophone condition was predicted by an interaction between decoding skill and working memory capacity. Poor decoders who scored high on the span tests were less impaired by the pseudohomophone manipulation than were poor decoders who scored low on the tests. The results suggest that working memory capacity compensates for poor decoding skills even among proficient adult readers.
There is accumulating correlational evidence that the effect of specific types of reading instruction depends on children’s initial language and literacy skills, called child characteristics × instruction (C×I) interactions. There is, however, no experimental evidence beyond first grade. This randomized control study examined whether C×I interactions might present an underlying and predictable mechanism for explaining individual differences in how students respond to third-grade classroom literacy instruction. To this end, we designed and tested an instructional intervention (Individualizing Student Instruction ISI]). Teachers (n= 33) and their students (n= 448) were randomly assigned to the ISI intervention or a vocabulary intervention, which was not individualized. Teachers in both conditions received professional development. Videotaped classroom observations conducted in the fall, winter, and spring documented the instruction that each student in the classroom received. Teachers in the ISI group were more likely to provide differentiated literacy instruction that considered C×I interactions than were the teachers in the vocabulary group. Students in the ISI intervention made greater gains on a standardized assessment of reading comprehension than did students in the vocabulary intervention. Results indicate that C×I interactions likely contribute to students’ varying response to literacy instruction with regard to their reading comprehension achievement and that the association between students’ profile of language and literacy skills and recommended instruction is nonlinear and dependent on a number of factors. Hence, dynamic and complex theories about classroom instruction and environment impacts on student learning appear to be warranted and should inform more effective literacy instruction in third grade.
The aim of the present study was to examine the relation between decoding and segmental and suprasegmental phonology, and their contribution to reading comprehension, in the upper primary grades. Following a longitudinal design, the performance of 99 Dutch primary school children on phonological awareness (segmental phonology) and text reading prosody (suprasegmental phonology) in fourth-grade and fifth-grade, and reading comprehension in sixth-grade were examined. In addition, decoding efficiency as a general assessment of reading was examined. Structural path modeling firstly showed that the relation between decoding efficiency and both measures of phonology from fourth- to fifth grade was unidirectional. Secondly, the relation between decoding in fourth- and fifth-grade and reading comprehension in sixth-grade became indirect when segmental and suprasegmental phonology were added to the model. Both factors independently exerted influence on later reading comprehension. This leads to the conclusion that not only segmental, but also suprasegmental phonology, contributes substantially to children's reading development.
The primary goal was to expand our understanding of text reading fluency (efficiency or automaticity)—how its relation to other constructs (e.g., word reading fluency and reading comprehension) changes over time and how it is different from word reading fluency and reading comprehension. We examined (1) developmentally changing relations among word reading fluency, listening comprehension, text reading fluency, and reading comprehension; (2) the relation of reading comprehension to text reading fluency; (3) unique emergent literacy predictors (i.e., phonological awareness, orthographic awareness, morphological awareness, letter name knowledge, vocabulary) of text reading fluency vs. word reading fluency; and (4) unique language and cognitive predictors (e.g., vocabulary, grammatical knowledge, theory of mind) of text reading fluency vs. reading comprehension. These questions were addressed using longitudinal data (two timepoints; Mean age = 5;24 & 6;08) from Korean-speaking children (N= 143). Results showed that listening comprehension was related to text reading fluency at time 2, but not at time 1. At both times text reading fluency was related to reading comprehension, and reading comprehension was related to text reading fluency over and above word reading fluency and listening comprehension. Orthographic awareness was related to text reading fluency over and above other emergent literacy skills and word reading fluency. Vocabulary and grammatical knowledge were independently related to text reading fluency and reading comprehension whereas theory of mind was related to reading comprehension, but not text reading fluency. These results reveal developmental nature of relations and mechanism of text reading fluency in reading development.
Researchers and educators use the term emergent literacy to refer to a broad set of skills and attitudes that serve as foundational skills for acquiring success in later reading and writing; however, models of emergent literacy have generally focused on reading and reading-related behaviors. Hence, the primary aim of this study was to articulate and evaluate a theoretical model of the components of emergent writing. Alternative models of the structure of individual and developmental differences of emergent writing and writing-related skills were examined in 372 preschool children who ranged in age from 3- to 5-years using confirmatory factor analysis. Results from a confirmatory factor analysis provide evidence that these emergent writing skills are best described by three correlated but distinct factors, (a) Conceptual Knowledge, (b) Procedural Knowledge, and (c) Generative Knowledge. Evidence that these three emergent writing factors show different patterns of relations to emergent literacy constructs is presented. Implications for understanding the development of writing and assessment of early writing skills are discussed.
This study modeled the interrelationships of reading instruction, motivation, engagement, and achievement in two contexts, employing data from 1,159 seventh graders. In the traditional reading/language arts (R/LA) context, all students participated in traditional R/LA instruction. In the intervention R/LA context, 854 students from the full sample received Concept-Oriented Reading Instruction (CORI) while the remainder continued to receive traditional R/LA. CORI emphasizes support for reading motivation, reading engagement, and cognitive strategies for reading informational text. Seven motivation constructs were included: four motivations that are usually positively associated with achievement (intrinsic motivation, self-efficacy, valuing, and prosocial goals) and three motivations that are usually negatively associated with achievement (perceived difficulty, devaluing, and antisocial goals). Reading engagement was also represented by positive and negative constructs, namely dedication to and avoidance of reading. Gender, ethnicity, and income were statistically controlled in all analyses. In the traditional R/LA context, a total network model prevailed, in which motivation was associated with achievement both directly and indirectly through engagement. In contrast, in the intervention R/LA context, a dual-effects model prevailed, in which engagement and achievement were separate outcomes of instruction and motivation. The intervention R/LA context analyses revealed that CORI was associated with positive changes in motivation, engagement, and achievement relative to traditional R/LA instruction. The discussion explains why there were different relations in the two instructional contexts and demonstrates the importance of simultaneously examining both positive (affirming) and negative (undermining) forms of motivation and engagement.
This study employed quantitative and qualitative research approaches to investigate what constitutes “success” in Adult Basic Education (ABE) programs from the perspectives of multiple educational stakeholders: the state funding agency, the teachers, and the students. Success was defined in multiple ways. In the quantitative section of the study, we computed classroom value-added scores (used as a metric of the state’s definition of success) to identify more and less effective ABE classrooms in two Florida counties. In the qualitative section of the study, we observed and conducted interviews with teachers and students in the selected classrooms to investigate how these stakeholders defined success in ABE. Iterative consideration of the qualitative data revealed three principal markers of success: (a) instructional strategies and teacher-student interactions; (b) views on standardized testing; and (c) student motivational factors. In general, classrooms with higher value-added scores were characterized by multiple instructional approaches, positive and collaborative teacher-student interactions, and students engaging in goal setting and citing motivational factors such as family and personal fulfillment. The implications for ABE programs are discussed.
We investigated the roles of classroom supports for multiple motivations and engagement in students’ informational text comprehension, motivation, and engagement. A composite of classroom contextual variables consisting of instructional support for choice, importance, collaboration, and competence, accompanied by cognitive scaffolding for informational text comprehension, was provided in four-week instructional units for 615 grade 7 students. These classroom motivational-engagement supports were implemented within integrated literacy/history instruction in the Concept-Oriented Reading Instruction (CORI) framework. CORI increased informational text comprehension compared with traditional instruction (TI) in a switching replications experimental design. Students’ perceptions of the motivational-engagement supports were associated with increases in students’ intrinsic motivation, value, perceived competence, and increased positive engagement (dedication) more markedly in CORI than in TI, according to multiple regression analyses. Results extended the evidence for the effectiveness of CORI to literacy/history subject matter and informational text comprehension among middle school students. The experimental effects in classroom contexts confirmed effects from task-specific, situated experimental studies in the literature.
This research investigated the concurrent association between early reading skills and phonological awareness (PA), print knowledge, language, cognitive, and demographic variables in 101 5-year-old children with prelingual hearing losses ranging from mild to profound who communicated primarily using spoken language. All participants were fitted with hearing aids (n= 71) or cochlear implants (n= 30). They completed standardized assessments of PA, receptive vocabulary, letter knowledge, word and non-word reading, passage comprehension, math reasoning, and nonverbal cognitive ability. Multiple regressions revealed that PA (assessed using judgments of similarity based on words’ initial or final sounds) made a significant, independent contribution to children’s early reading ability (for both letters and words/non-words) after controlling for variation in receptive vocabulary, nonverbal cognitive ability, and a range of demographic variables (including gender, degree of hearing loss, communication mode, type of sensory device, age at fitting of sensory devices, and level of maternal education). Importantly, the relationship between PA and reading was specific to reading and did not generalize to another academic ability, math reasoning. Additional multiple regressions showed that letter knowledge (names or sounds) was superior in children whose mothers had undertaken post-secondary education, and that better receptive vocabulary was associated with less severe hearing loss, use of a cochlear implant, and earlier age at implant switch-on. Earlier fitting of hearing aids or cochlear implants was not, however, significantly associated with better PA or reading outcomes in this cohort of children, most of whom were fitted with sensory devices before 3 years of age.
This study addressed the effects of multiyear, response-based, tiered intervention for struggling readers in grades 6–8. A sample of 768 sixth-grade students with reading difficulties was randomized to a response-based, tiered-intervention condition or “business as usual,” and initial treatment status was maintained over the three-year study. To estimate the effect of treatment and to address questions about the acceleration of learning, a multiple-indicator, multilevel growth model was fit, representing the likely trajectories of the group of students originally randomized (in the fall of sixth grade) to treatment. Three-year trajectories were fit, with the results representing likely multiyear trends for the three groups. Treatment students, on average, outperformed business-as-usual students. The effect size based on the multiple-indicator, multilevel model was .26. Treated students also outperformed the group of typical readers when achievement was characterized in terms of slope over time. However, a sizable gap remained between treated and typical students in the spring of eighth grade.
Parental writing support was examined over time and in relation to children’s language and literacy skills. Seventy-seven parents and their preschoolers were videotaped writing an invitation together twice during one year. Parental writing support was coded at the level of the letter to document parents’ graphophonemic support (letter–sound correspondence), print support (letter formation), and demand for precision (expectation for correcting writing errors). Parents primarily relied on only a couple print (i.e., parent writing the letter alone) and graphophonemic (i.e., saying the word as a whole, dictating letters as children write) strategies. Graphophonemic and print support in preschool predicted children’s decoding skills, and graphophonemic support also predicted children’s future phonological awareness. Neither type of support predicted children’s vocabulary scores. Demand for precision occurred infrequently and was unrelated to children’s outcomes. Findings demonstrate the importance of parental writing support for augmenting children’s literacy skills.