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. 2015 May;28(5):655-681.
doi: 10.1007/s11145-015-9544-5. Epub 2015 Jan 28.

The Structure of Oral Language and Reading and Their Relation to Comprehension in Kindergarten Through Grade 2

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Free PMC article

The Structure of Oral Language and Reading and Their Relation to Comprehension in Kindergarten Through Grade 2

Barbara R Foorman et al. Read Writ. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

This study examined the structure of oral language and reading and their relation to comprehension from a latent variable modeling perspective in Kindergarten, Grade 1, and Grade 2. Participants were students in Kindergarten (n = 218), Grade 1 (n = 372), and Grade 2 (n = 273), attending Title 1 schools. Students were administered phonological awareness, syntax, vocabulary, listening comprehension, and decoding fluency measures in mid-year. Outcome measures included a listening comprehension measure in Kindergarten and a reading comprehension test in Grades1 and 2. In Kindergarten, oral language (consisting of listening comprehension, syntax, and vocabulary) shared variance with phonological awareness in predicting a listening comprehension outcome. However, in Grades 1 and 2, phonological awareness was no longer predictive of reading comprehension when decoding fluency and oral language were included in the model. In Grades 1 and 2, oral language and decoding fluency were significant predictors of reading comprehension.

Keywords: Beginning reading; Literacy; Oral language; Reading comprehension; Structural equation modeling.

Figures

Fig. 1
Fig. 1
Standardized parameter estimates for the Kindergarten structural equation model. Oral language consists of estimates from the FAIR listening comprehension passage 1 and 2, CELF-4 Recalling Sentences and Sentence Structure subtests, and vocabulary subtests from the PPVT-4 and FAIR. Phonological awareness consists of estimates from the CTOPP-2 Elision, Sound Matching, and Blending Words subtests. The second-order factor of the combined oral language and phonological awareness factors (Lang/PA) predicts to the comprehension factor that includes the Listening Comprehension subtest from the Gates–MacGinitie. ***p < 0.001
Fig. 2
Fig. 2
Standardized parameter estimates for the Grade 1 structural equation model. The second-order factor of oral language consists of estimates from the latent variables of listening comprehension (from FAIR listening comprehension passages 1 and 2), syntax (from the CELF-4 Recalling Sentences and Sentence Structure subtests), and vocabulary (from PPVT-4 and FAIR). The factor of decoding fluency consists of estimates from the TOWRE (Sight Word Efficiency) forms A and B and from the Nonword (NW) forms A and B. The phonological awareness latent variable consists of estimates from the Elision and Phoneme Isolation subtests from the CTOPP-2. These factors predict the reading comprehension factor that consists of the Reading Comprehension subtest from the Gates–MacGinitie. ***p < 0.001; *p < 0.05
Fig. 3
Fig. 3
Standardized parameter estimates for the Grade 2 structural equation model. The second-order factor of oral language consists of estimates from the latent variables of listening comprehension and syntax combined (from the FAIR listening comprehension passage 1 and 2 and the CELF-4 Recalling Sentences and Sentence Structure subtests), and vocabulary (from PPVT-4 and FAIR). The factor of decoding fluency consists of estimates from the TOWRE (Sight Word Efficiency) forms A and B and from the Nonword (NW) forms A and B. The phonological awareness factor consists of estimates from the Elision and Phoneme Isolation subtests from the CTOPP-2. These factors predict the reading comprehension factor that consists of the Reading Comprehension subtest from the Gates–MacGinitie. ***p < 0.001

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