Reading and Writing

, Volume 27, Issue 2, pp 237–253 | Cite as

The contributions of vocabulary and letter writing automaticity to word reading and spelling for kindergartners

  • Young-Suk Kim
  • Stephanie Al Otaiba
  • Cynthia Puranik
  • Jessica Sidler Folsom
  • Luana Gruelich


In the present study we examined the relation between alphabet knowledge fluency (letter names and sounds) and letter writing automaticity, and unique relations of letter writing automaticity and semantic knowledge (i.e., vocabulary) to word reading and spelling over and above code-related skills such as phonological awareness and alphabet knowledge. These questions were addressed using data from 242 English-speaking kindergartners and employing structural equation modeling. Results showed letter writing automaticity was moderately related to and a separate construct from alphabet knowledge fluency, and marginally (p = .06) related to spelling after accounting for phonological awareness, alphabet knowledge fluency, and vocabulary. Furthermore, vocabulary was positively and uniquely related to word reading and spelling after accounting for phonological awareness, alphabet knowledge fluency, and letter writing automaticity.


Letter writing automaticity Semantic (vocabulary) knowledge Alphabet knowledge Phonological awareness Spelling Word reading 



This work was supported by a grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (P50 HD052120). The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and have not been reviewed or approved by the granting agency.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Young-Suk Kim
    • 1
  • Stephanie Al Otaiba
    • 2
  • Cynthia Puranik
    • 3
  • Jessica Sidler Folsom
    • 4
  • Luana Gruelich
    • 5
  1. 1.Florida Center for Reading Research and Florida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA
  2. 2.Southern Methodist UniversityDallasUSA
  3. 3.University of PittsburghPittsburghUSA
  4. 4.Florida Center for Reading ResearchTallahasseeUSA
  5. 5.Andrews UniversityBerrien SpringsUSA

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