Modeling the Nature of Grammar and Vocabulary Trajectories From Prekindergarten to Third Grade Purpose This study investigated the longitudinal development of 2 important contributors to reading comprehension, grammar, and vocabulary skills. The primary interest was to examine the trajectories of the 2 skill areas from preschool to 3rd grade. Method The study involved a longitudinal sample of 420 children from 4 ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 17, 2018
Modeling the Nature of Grammar and Vocabulary Trajectories From Prekindergarten to Third Grade
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Hui Jiang
    The Ohio State University, Columbus
  • Jessica A. Logan
    The Ohio State University, Columbus
  • Rongfang Jia
    The Ohio State University, Columbus
  • 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 Laura Justice: justice.57@osu.edu
  • Editor-in-Chief: Sean Redmond
    Editor-in-Chief: Sean Redmond×
  • Editor: Lizbeth Finestack
    Editor: Lizbeth Finestack×
Article Information
Development / School-Based Settings / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 17, 2018
Modeling the Nature of Grammar and Vocabulary Trajectories From Prekindergarten to Third Grade
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2018, Vol. 61, 910-923. doi:10.1044/2018_JSLHR-L-17-0090
History: Received March 6, 2017 , Revised July 20, 2017 , Accepted January 11, 2018
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2018, Vol. 61, 910-923. doi:10.1044/2018_JSLHR-L-17-0090
History: Received March 6, 2017; Revised July 20, 2017; Accepted January 11, 2018

Purpose This study investigated the longitudinal development of 2 important contributors to reading comprehension, grammar, and vocabulary skills. The primary interest was to examine the trajectories of the 2 skill areas from preschool to 3rd grade.

Method The study involved a longitudinal sample of 420 children from 4 sites. Language skills, including grammar and vocabulary, were assessed annually with multiple measures. Multivariate latent growth curve modeling was used to examine the developmental trajectories of grammar and vocabulary, to test the correlation between the 2 domains, and to investigate the effects of demographic predictors on language growth.

Results Results showed that both grammar and vocabulary exhibited decelerating growth from preschool to Grade 2. In Grade 3, grammar growth further flattened, whereas vocabulary continued to grow stably. Growth of vocabulary and grammar were positively correlated. Demographic characteristics, such as child gender and family socioeconomic status, were found to predict the intercept but not the slope of the growth trajectories.

Conclusions Children's growth in grammar skills is differentiated in a number of important ways from their growth in vocabulary skills. Results of this study suggest the need to differentiate these dimensions of language when seeking to closely examine growth from preschool to primary grades.

Acknowledgments
This paper was prepared by a Task Force of the Language and Reading Research Consortium (LARRC) consisting of Laura Justice (Convener), Kate Cain, Hui Jiang, Jessica Logan, and Rongfang Jia. 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, Stephen A. Petrill (LARRC co-investigator from 2010 to 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 from 2010 to 2012).
This work was supported by Grant R305F100002 to The Ohio State University from the Institute of Education Sciences’ Reading for Understanding Initiative. We are deeply grateful to the numerous staff, research associates, school administrators, teachers, children, and families who participated. 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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