Cognitive and environmental predictors of early literacy skills

Cognitive and environmental predictors of early literacy skills Not all young children benefit from book exposure in preschool age. It is claimed that the ability to hold information in mind (short-term memory), to ignore distraction (inhibition), and to focus attention and stay focused (sustained attention) may have a moderating effect on children’s reactions to the home literacy environment. In a group of 228 junior kindergarten children with a native Dutch background, with a mean age of 54.29 months (SD = 2.12 months), we explored therefore the relationship between book exposure, cognitive control and early literacy skills. Parents filled in a HLE questionnaire (book sharing frequency and an author recognition checklist as indicator of parental leisure reading habits), and children completed several tests in individual sessions with the researcher (a book-cover recognition test, PPVT, letter knowledge test, the subtests categories and patterns of the SON, and cognitive control measures namely digit span of the KABC, a peg tapping task and sustained attention of the ANT). Main findings were: (1) Children’s storybook knowledge mediated the relationship between home literacy environment and literacy skills. (2) Both vocabulary and letter knowledge were predicted by book exposure. (3) Short-term memory predicted vocabulary over and above book exposure. (4) None of the cognitive control mechanisms moderated the beneficial effects of book exposure. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Reading and Writing Springer Journals

Cognitive and environmental predictors of early literacy skills

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Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright
Copyright © 2010 by The Author(s)
Subject
Linguistics; Language and Literature; Psycholinguistics; Education, general; Neurology; Literacy
ISSN
0922-4777
eISSN
1573-0905
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11145-010-9233-3
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Not all young children benefit from book exposure in preschool age. It is claimed that the ability to hold information in mind (short-term memory), to ignore distraction (inhibition), and to focus attention and stay focused (sustained attention) may have a moderating effect on children’s reactions to the home literacy environment. In a group of 228 junior kindergarten children with a native Dutch background, with a mean age of 54.29 months (SD = 2.12 months), we explored therefore the relationship between book exposure, cognitive control and early literacy skills. Parents filled in a HLE questionnaire (book sharing frequency and an author recognition checklist as indicator of parental leisure reading habits), and children completed several tests in individual sessions with the researcher (a book-cover recognition test, PPVT, letter knowledge test, the subtests categories and patterns of the SON, and cognitive control measures namely digit span of the KABC, a peg tapping task and sustained attention of the ANT). Main findings were: (1) Children’s storybook knowledge mediated the relationship between home literacy environment and literacy skills. (2) Both vocabulary and letter knowledge were predicted by book exposure. (3) Short-term memory predicted vocabulary over and above book exposure. (4) None of the cognitive control mechanisms moderated the beneficial effects of book exposure.

Journal

Reading and WritingSpringer Journals

Published: May 9, 2010

References

  • Working memory and phonological awareness as predictors of progress towards early learning goals at school entry
    Alloway, TP; Gathercole, SE; Adams, AM; Willis, C; Eaglen, R; Lamount, E

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