, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 273-287

The impact of early metalinguistic competencies and memory capacity on reading and spelling in elementary school: Results of the Munich Longitudinal Study on the Genesis of Individual Competencies (LOGIC)

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Abstract

This paper reports on a longitudinal study dealing with the development of literacy in young children. A total of 163 children were first tested during their last year in kindergarten using a variety of tasks that tapped phonological processing, memory capacity, early literacy, and intelligence. Children’s word decoding, reading comprehension, and spelling skills were assessed in elementary school several years later. As a main result, all of the predictor domains had a significant impact on the acquisition of literacy in elementary school, although the contribution of each domain differed as a function of the criterion measure. An attempt to identify children-at-risk using a kindergarten screening test provided encouraging results. Nonetheless, it was shown that whereas group predictions of reading and spelling performance can be quite accurate, the individual prognosis of school problems is far from perfect.