Conversational Language Use as a Predictor of Early Reading Development: Language History as a Moderating Variable PurposeThe present study examined the nature of concurrent and predictive associations between conversational language use and reading development during early school-age years.MethodLanguage and reading data from 380 twins in the Western Reserve Reading Project were examined via phenotypic correlations and multilevel modeling on exploratory latent factors.ResultsIn the concurrent prediction of ... Article
Article  |   February 01, 2010
Conversational Language Use as a Predictor of Early Reading Development: Language History as a Moderating Variable
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Laura Segebart DeThorne
    University of Illinois, Champaign
  • Stephen A. Petrill
    The Ohio State University, Columbus
  • Chris Schatschneider
    Florida State University, Tallahassee
  • Laurie Cutting
    Kennedy Krieger Institute, Baltimore, MD
  • Contact author: Laura S. DeThorne, University of Illinois, 901 South Sixth Street, Champaign, IL 61820. E-mail: lauras@illinois.edu.
Article Information
Development / Normal Language Processing / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Language
Article   |   February 01, 2010
Conversational Language Use as a Predictor of Early Reading Development: Language History as a Moderating Variable
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2010, Vol. 53, 209-223. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2009/08-0060)
History: Received March 14, 2008 , Revised August 25, 2008 , Accepted May 19, 2009
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2010, Vol. 53, 209-223. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2009/08-0060)
History: Received March 14, 2008; Revised August 25, 2008; Accepted May 19, 2009
Web of Science® Times Cited: 8

PurposeThe present study examined the nature of concurrent and predictive associations between conversational language use and reading development during early school-age years.

MethodLanguage and reading data from 380 twins in the Western Reserve Reading Project were examined via phenotypic correlations and multilevel modeling on exploratory latent factors.

ResultsIn the concurrent prediction of children’s early reading abilities, a significant interaction emerged between children’s conversational language abilities and their history of reported language difficulties. Specifically, conversational language concurrently predicted reading development above and beyond variance accounted for by formal vocabulary scores, but only in children with a history of reported language difficulties. A similar trend was noted in predicting reading skills 1 year later, but the interaction was not statistically significant.

ConclusionsFindings suggest a more nuanced view of the association between spoken language and early reading than is commonly proposed. One possibility is that children with and without a history of reported language difficulties rely on different skills, or the same skills to differing degrees, when completing early reading-related tasks. Future studies should examine the causal link between conversational language and early reading specifically in children with a history of reported language difficulties.

Acknowledgments
The Western Reserve Reading Project is supported by National Institute on Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Grants HD38075 and HD46167. In addition, transcription and analyses have been supported by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation New Investigator Award, the UIUC Campus Research Board, and the Children Youth and Families Consortium at the Pennsylvania State University. Interdisciplinary collaborations have been enhanced by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Advancing Academic–Research Careers (AARC) Award. In addition, we sincerely appreciate the time and effort of all participating families and affiliated research staff. Special thanks to Ron Channell for deriving DSS.
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