Chapter published in:Narrative, Literacy and Other Skills: Studies in intervention
Edited by Edy Veneziano and Ageliki Nicolopoulou
[Studies in Narrative 25] 2019
► pp. 21–41
Chapter 1The developing language foundation for reading comprehension
Vocabulary, complex syntax and extended discourse from preschool to grade one
Oral language is a strong predictor of reading, but few studies have described the development of multiple strands of language ability from preschool through grade one. The development of vocabulary has been thoroughly examined, but few large studies have examined the emergence and interrelationships among vocabulary, syntax and extended discourse between preschool and grade one. This study describes the development of these three strands of language ability and changing patterns of interrelationships among them, with data from 356 African-American children from low-income homes in the United States. Data were collected at the beginning and end of preschool and the end of kindergarten and first grade. Constructs for vocabulary and extended discourse were closely related in preschool and kindergarten, with syntax being less related. By grade one all three constructs were more closely associated. Our results indicate that syntax may draw on linguistic and cognitive capacities that are different from vocabulary and extended discourse, but over time all language capabilities become more closely associated and mutually reinforcing. These findings further support the importance of educational approaches that foster all dimensions of language.
Keywords: predictors of reading abilities, multiple strands, vocabulary, syntax, extended discourse, African-American children
- Language and reading comprehension
- Narrative, extended discourse and reading
- Current study
- Data source
- Sample selection
- Development of language strands from pre-k to end-of-grade one
- Strength of our constructs
- Longitudinal performance
- Dimensionality of language
- Early language and literacy development
- Implications for practice
- Data source
Published online: 06 May 2019
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