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 Grades 1 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.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Brown, T. A. (2006). Confirmatory factor analysis for applied research. New York, NY: Guilford Press.
Catts, H., Fey, M., Zhang, X., & Tomblin, B. (1999). Language basis of reading and reading disabilities: Evidence from a longitudinal investigation. Scientific Studies of Reading, 3(4), 331–361.
Cromley, J., & Azevedo, R. (2007). Testing and refining the direct and inferential mediation model of reading comprehension. Journal of Educational Psychology, 99(2), 311–325.
Dunn, L., & Dunn, D. (2007). Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-4. San Antonio, TX: Pearson.
Enders, C. K. (2010). Applied missing data analysis. New York, NY: Guilford Press.
Florida Department of Education. (2009). Florida Assessments for Instruction in Reading K-2 Technical Manual. Tallahassee, FL: Author. Retrieved October 22, 2014, from http://www.fcrr.org/FAIR/Final_K-2_Technical%20Manual_2010.pdf
Florida Department of Education. (2009–2013). Florida Assessments for Instruction in Reading (FAIR). Tallahassee, FL: Author.
Garcia, J. R., & Cain, K. (2014). Decoding and reading comprehension: A meta-analysis to identify which reader and assessment characteristics influence the strength of the relationship in English. Review of Educational Research, 84(1), 74–111.
Gough, P., & Tunmer, W. (1986). Decoding, reading, and reading disability. Remedial and Special Education, 7, 6–10.
Graham, J., Taylor, B., Olchowski, A., & Cumsille, P. (2006). Planned missing data designs in psychological research. Psychological Methods, 11(4), 323–343.
Hoover, W., & Gough, P. (1990). The simple view of reading. Reading and Writing, 2, 127–160.
Hu, L., & Bentler, P. (1999). Cutoff criteria for fit indexes in covariance structure analysis: Conventional criteria versus new alternatives. Structural Equation Modeling, 6(1), 1–55.
Keenan, J., Betjemann, R., & Olson, R. (2008). Reading comprehension tests vary in the skills they assess: Differential dependence on decoding and oral comprehension. Scientific Studies of Reading, 12, 281–300.
Little, R. J. A. (1998). A test of missing completely at random for multivariate data with missing values. Journal of the American Statistical Association, 83, 1198–1202.
Lonigan, C., Burgess, S., & Anthony, J. (2000). Development of emergent literacy and early reading skills in preschool children: Evidence from a latent-variable longitudinal study. Developmental Psychology, 36(5), 596–613.
MacGinitie, W., MacGinitie, R., Maria, K., & Dreyer, L. (2000). Gates–MacGinitie reading tests (4th ed.). Rolling Meadows, IL: Riverside Publishing.
Muter, V., Hulme, C., Snowling, M., & Stevenson, J. (2004). Phonemes, rimes, vocabulary, and grammatical skills as foundations of early reading development: Evidence from a longitudinal study. Developmental Psychology, 40(5), 665–681.
National Early Literacy Panel. (2008). Developing early literacy: Report of the National Early Literacy Panel. Washington, DC: National Institute for Literacy. Retrieved from http://lincs.ed.gov/publications/pdf/NELPReport09.pdf
Neale, M. (1997). Neale analysis of reading ability II. Windsor, England: NFER-Nelson.
Ouellette, G., & Beers, A. (2010). A not-so-simple view of reading: How oral vocabulary and visual-word recognition complicate the story. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 23, 189–208.
Perfetti, C., Beck, I., Bell, L., & Hughes, C. (1987). Phonemic knowledge and learning to read are reciprocal: A longitudinal study of first grade children. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 33, 283–319.
Perfetti, C., & Stafura, J. (2014). Word knowledge in a theory of reading comprehension. Scientific Studies of Reading, 18, 22–37.
Potocki, A., & Ecalle, J. (2013). Narrative comprehension skills in 5-year-old children: Correlational analysis and comprehender profiles. The Journal of Educational Research, 106, 14–26.
Protopapas, A., Sideridis, G., Mouzaki, A., & Simos, P. (2007). Development of lexical mediation in the relation between reading comprehension and word reading skills in Greek. Scientific Studies of Reading, 11, 165–197.
Raykov, T. (1997). Estimation of composite reliability for congeneric measures. Applied Psychological Measurement, 21, 173–184.
Rayner, K., Foorman, B. R., Perfetti, C. A., Pesetsky, D., & Seidenberg, M. S. (2001). How psychological science informs the teaching of reading. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 2(2), 31–74.
Roth, F., Speece, D., & Cooper, D. (2002). A longitudinal analysis of the connection between oral language and early reading. The Journal of Educational Research, 95(5), 259–272.
Scarborough, H. (2005). Developmental relationships between language and reading: Reconciling a beautiful hypothesis with some ugly facts. In H. Catts & A. Kamhi (Eds.), The connections between language and reading disabilities (pp. 3–24). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Schatschneider, C., Fletcher, J., Francis, D., Carlson, C., & Foorman, B. (2004). Kindergarten prediction of reading skills: A longitudinal comparative study. Journal of Educational Psychology, 96(2), 265–282.
Seidenberg, M., & McClelland, J. (1989). A distributed, developmental model of word recognition and naming. Psychological Review, 96, 523–568.
Semel, E., Wigg, E., & Secord, W. (2003). The Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals (4th ed.). San Antonio, TX: Pearson.
Sénéchal, M., & LeFevre, J.-A. (2002). Parental involvement in the development of children’s reading skills: A 5-year longitudinal study. Child Development, 73(2), 445–460.
Shankweiler, D., Crain, S., Brady, S., & Macaruso, P. (1992). Identifying the causes of reading disability. In P. Gough, L. Ehri, & R. Treiman (Eds.), Reading acquisition (pp. 275–305). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
Share, D. L. (1995). Phonological recoding and self-teaching: Sine qua non of reading acquisition. Cognition, 55, 151–218.
Share, D. L., & Leikin, J. (2004). Language learning impairment at school entry and later reading disability: Connections at lexical versus supralexical levels of reading. Scientific Studies of Reading, 8, 87–110.
Speece, D., Roth, F., Cooper, D., & de la Paz, S. (1999). The relevance of oral language skills to early literacy: A multivariate analysis. Applied Psycholinguistics, 20, 167–190.
Stanovich, K. (1988). Explaining the differences between the dyslexic and garden-variety poor reader: The phonological-core variable-difference model. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 21, 590–612.
Storch, S., & Whitehurst, G. R. (2002). Oral language and code-related precursors to reading: Evidence from a longitudinal, structural model. Developmental Psychology, 38, 934–947.
Torgesen, J. K., Wagner, R. K., & Rashotte, C. A. (2012). Test of Word Reading Efficiency-2. Austin, TX: Pro-Ed.
Tunmer, W., & Chapman, J. (2012). The simple view of reading redux: Vocabulary knowledge and the independent components hypothesis. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 45(5), 453–466.
Vellutino, F., Scanlon, D., Sipay, E., Small, S., Pratt, A., Chen, R., & Denkla, M. (1996). Cognitive profiles of difficult-to-remediate and readily remediated poor readers: Early intervention as a vehicle for distinguishing between cognitive and experiential deficits as basic causes of specific reading disability. Journal of Educational Psychology, 88, 601–638.
Vellutino, F., Scanlon, D., Small, S., & Fanuele, D. (2006). Response to intervention as a vehicle for distinguishing between children with and without reading disabilities: Evidence for the role of kindergarten and first-grade interventions. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 39(2), 157–169.
Verhoeven, L., & Van Leeuwe, J. (2008). Prediction of the development of reading comprehension: A longitudinal study. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 22, 407–423.
Wagner, R. K., Herrera, S., Spencer, M., Quinn, J. (2014). Reconsidering the simple view of reading in an intriguing case of equivalent models: Commentary on Tunmer and Chapman (2012). Journal of Learning Disabilities. doi:10.1177/0022219414544544
Wagner, R., Torgesen, J., Rashotte, C., & Pearson, N. (2012). Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (2nd ed.). Austin, TX: Pro-Ed.
Walley, A., Metsala, J., & Garlock, V. (2003). Spoken vocabulary growth: Its role in the development of phonological awareness and early reading ability. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 16, 5–20.
Wierdholt, J., & Bryant, B. (1992). Gray oral reading test-3. Austin, TX: Pro-Ed.
Woodcock, R., & Johnson, M. (1989). Woodcock–Johnson psycho-educational battery revised. Allen, TX: DLM.
The research reported here was supported by the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, through a subaward to Florida State University from Grant R305F100005 to the Educational Testing Service as part of the Reading for Understanding Initiative as well as by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Learning Disability Research Center Grant P50HD052120. The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not represent views of the Institute of Education Sciences, the U.S. Department of Education, National Institute of Health, the Educational Testing Service, or Florida State University.
Alison Mitchell is now at Lexia Learning.
About this article
Cite this article
Foorman, B.R., Herrera, S., Petscher, Y. et al. The structure of oral language and reading and their relation to comprehension in Kindergarten through Grade 2. Read Writ 28, 655–681 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11145-015-9544-5
- Oral language
- Beginning reading
- Reading comprehension
- Structural equation modeling