Nonword Repetition and Vocabulary Knowledge as Predictors of Children's Phonological and Semantic Word Learning Purpose This study examined the unique and shared variance that nonword repetition and vocabulary knowledge contribute to children's ability to learn new words. Multiple measures of word learning were used to assess recall and recognition of phonological and semantic information. Method Fifty children, with a mean age of ... Research Note
Research Note  |   March 01, 2017
Nonword Repetition and Vocabulary Knowledge as Predictors of Children's Phonological and Semantic Word Learning
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Suzanne M. Adlof
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of South Carolina, Columbia
  • Hannah Patten
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of South Carolina, Columbia
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Suzanne M. Adlof: sadlof@mailbox.sc.edu
  • Editor: Sean Redmond
    Editor: Sean Redmond×
  • Associate Editor: Filip Smolik
    Associate Editor: Filip Smolik×
Article Information
Development / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Language / Research Notes
Research Note   |   March 01, 2017
Nonword Repetition and Vocabulary Knowledge as Predictors of Children's Phonological and Semantic Word Learning
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, March 2017, Vol. 60, 682-693. doi:10.1044/2016_JSLHR-L-15-0441
History: Received December 22, 2015 , Revised May 20, 2016 , Accepted July 11, 2016
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, March 2017, Vol. 60, 682-693. doi:10.1044/2016_JSLHR-L-15-0441
History: Received December 22, 2015; Revised May 20, 2016; Accepted July 11, 2016

Purpose This study examined the unique and shared variance that nonword repetition and vocabulary knowledge contribute to children's ability to learn new words. Multiple measures of word learning were used to assess recall and recognition of phonological and semantic information.

Method Fifty children, with a mean age of 8 years (range 5–12 years), completed experimental assessments of word learning and norm-referenced assessments of receptive and expressive vocabulary knowledge and nonword repetition skills. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses examined the variance in word learning that was explained by vocabulary knowledge and nonword repetition after controlling for chronological age.

Results Together with chronological age, nonword repetition and vocabulary knowledge explained up to 44% of the variance in children's word learning. Nonword repetition was the stronger predictor of phonological recall, phonological recognition, and semantic recognition, whereas vocabulary knowledge was the stronger predictor of verbal semantic recall.

Conclusions These findings extend the results of past studies indicating that both nonword repetition skill and existing vocabulary knowledge are important for new word learning, but the relative influence of each predictor depends on the way word learning is measured. Suggestions for further research involving typically developing children and children with language or reading impairments are discussed.

Acknowledgments
We thank the participants of this study, as well as the teachers and schools who assisted with recruitment. We thank research assistants from the SCROLL Lab at the University of South Carolina for their help with data collection and processing, including Sheida Abdi, Spencer Babb, Allison Brazendale, Alex Cattano, Rebecca Duross, Adrienne Low, Logan Judy, Elaine Miller, Joanna Scoggins, Caroline Smith, and Sheneka White. This research was supported, in part, by funding from the University of South Carolina Vice President for Research and from the National Institutes of Health (R03DC013399).
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