Oral Language and Listening Comprehension: Same or Different Constructs? Purpose The purpose of this study was to add to our understanding of the dimensionality of oral language in children and to determine whether oral language and listening comprehension are separate constructs in children enrolled in preschool (PK) through 3rd grade. Method In the spring of the school ... Research Article
Research Article  |   May 24, 2017
Oral Language and Listening Comprehension: Same or Different Constructs?
 
Author Notes
  • 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 Shelley Gray: Shelley.Gray@asu.edu
  • Editor: Sean Redmond
    Editor: Sean Redmond×
  • Associate Editor: Lisa Archibald
    Associate Editor: Lisa Archibald×
Article Information
Development / Special Populations / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Early Identification & Intervention / School-Based Settings / Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   May 24, 2017
Oral Language and Listening Comprehension: Same or Different Constructs?
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, May 2017, Vol. 60, 1273-1284. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-L-16-0039
History: Received February 2, 2016 , Revised June 8, 2016 , Accepted July 5, 2016
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, May 2017, Vol. 60, 1273-1284. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-L-16-0039
History: Received February 2, 2016; Revised June 8, 2016; Accepted July 5, 2016

Purpose The purpose of this study was to add to our understanding of the dimensionality of oral language in children and to determine whether oral language and listening comprehension are separate constructs in children enrolled in preschool (PK) through 3rd grade.

Method In the spring of the school year, children from 4 states (N = 1,869) completed multiple measures of oral language (i.e., expressive and receptive vocabulary and grammar) and listening comprehension as part of a larger study of the language bases of reading comprehension.

Results Initial confirmatory factor analysis found evidence that measures of oral language and listening comprehension loaded on two separate factors in PK through 3rd grade; however, these factors were highly correlated at all grades.

Conclusions These results suggest that oral language and listening comprehension are best characterized as a single oral language construct in PK through 3rd grade. The implications for early identification and intervention are discussed.

Acknowledgments
This paper was prepared by a Task Force of the Language and Reading Research Consortium (LARRC) consisting of Shelley Gray (Convener), Hugh Catts, Jessica Logan, and Jill Pentimonti. LARRC project sites and investigators are as follows:
•Ohio State University (Columbus, OH): Laura M. Justice (Site PI), Richard Lomax, Ann O'Connell, Jill Pentimonti (now at American Institutes for Research), Stephen A. Petrill (LARRC co-investigator 2010–2013), and Shayne B. Piasta.
•Arizona State University (Tempe, AZ): Shelley Gray (Site PI) and Maria Adelaida Restrepo.
•Lancaster University (Lancaster, UK): Kate Cain (Site PI).
•University of Kansas (Lawrence, KS): Hugh Catts (Site PI; now at Florida State University), Mindy Bridges, and Diane Nielsen.
•University of Nebraska–Lincoln (Lincoln, NE): Tiffany Hogan (Site PI; now at MGH Institute of Health Professions), Jim Bovaird, and J. Ron Nelson (LARRC co-investigator 2010–2012).
This work was supported by Grant R305F100002 from the U. S. Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences (awarded to Laura Justice, PI). We are deeply grateful to the numerous staff, research associates, school administrators, teachers, children, and families who participated. Key personnel at study sites include Lisa Baldwin-Skinner, Garey Berry, Beau Bevens, Jennifer Bostic, Shara Brinkley, Janet Capps, Beth Chandler, Lori Chleborad, Willa Cree, Dawn Davis, Michel Eltschinger, Kelly Farquharson, Tamarine Foreman, Rashaun Geter, Sara Gilliam, Miki Herman, Trudy Kuo, Gustavo Lujan, Junko Maekawa, Carol Mesa, Denise Meyer, Maria Moratto, Kimberly Murphy, Marcie Mutters, Amy Pratt, Trevor Rey, Amber Sherman, Shannon Tierney, and Stephanie Williams. The views presented in this work do not represent those of the federal government, nor do they endorse any products or findings presented herein.
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