We examined the relationships among phonologicalawareness, phonological memory, and development ofreading skills in a longitudinal study, by following222 Finnish preschoolers through the grade 2.The main focus was on the role of phonological memoryin word recognition and comprehension. The skillsassessed were verbal abilities, phonological memory,phonological awareness, word recognition, listeningand reading comprehension, altogether comprising themost extensive set of variables so far used in thestudy of phonological memory and reading. We proposeda structural equation model for the developmentalrelationships among the variables. This model waslargely confirmed by the data. The most significantpredictor of word recognition was phonologicalawareness. Phonological memory had only a weak effecton phonological awareness at preschool age, andvia this connection, a weak indirect effect on grade 1 word recognition. Contrary toexpectations, phonological memory also had asignificant, albeit weak effect on grade 2word recognition. Phonological memory did notdirectly affect reading comprehension. However,it was strongly related to listeningcomprehension at preschool, and via the strongeffects of both listening comprehension and wordrecognition on reading comprehension, there weresignificant indirect effects of phonological memory onreading comprehension. The results also underline thestability of development of phonological memory, wordrecognition, and comprehension from preschool to theend of grade 2.
Reading and Writing – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 3, 2004
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