Language Bases of Reading Comprehension

Project: Research project

Description

This Reading for Understanding Core Group project, titled Language Bases of Reading Comprehension, comprises a multidisciplinary set of studies designed to increase (a) fundamental understanding of the role of lower- and higher-level language skills in listening and reading comprehension, and (b) knowledge of how to effectively increase language and comprehension skills in prekindergarten (PK) through grade three (G3) through systematic classroom-based interventions. Executed by a four-university team of researchers at Ohio State University (OSU), University of Kansas (UK), Arizona State University (ASU), and University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), this project brings together the substantive disciplines of speech and hearing sciences, developmental psychology, experimental psychology, quantitative psychology, education, and educational research methodology to fundamentally increase what we know about the contributions of language skills to reading comprehension. Project activities span four states, involve more than 3,000 PK to G3 children in more than 300 classrooms, and integrate the activities of four core teams: the Cognitive Team (Stephen Petrill, Hugh Catts, Kate Cain, Tiffany Hogan), the Intervention Team (Laura Justice, Shelley Gray, Adelaida Restrepo, Ron Nelson, Diane Nielson), the Evaluation Team (Ann OConnell, Jim Bovaird, Richard Lomax, Shayne Piasta), and the School Team. Team leads are all situated at OSU. Study 1 addresses three specific aims using a cohort-sequential longitudinal research design. The overarching aim is to characterize the explicit contributions of lower- and higher-level language skills during early and middle childhood to individual differences in the development and achievement of reading comprehension through third grade. We propose that those language skills that account for the greatest amount of variance in reading comprehension, measured concurrently or predictively, represent the most promising candidates for intervention and therefore will be targeted in our intervention development activities. Study 1 features the involvement of 1,200 PK to G3 children sampled for national representativeness; children complete a comprehensive battery of language and comprehension-related measures annually from the year of ascertainment until G3. The primary goal of the intervention research line (Study 2 and 3) is to develop and test a set of classroom-based language interventions that can effectively increase childrens lower- and higher-level language skills, based on their presumed relations to skilled reading comprehension. We intend to develop three distinct instantiations of the theory of change that frames this research, namely that an increase in the quality and quantity of language instruction in PK to G3 classrooms will lead to increases in childrens lower- and higher-level language skills; in turn, childrens listening and reading comprehension will be positively affected. Embedded in each of the primary studies (Study 1, 2, 3) is a complementary and parallel study that addresses the language bases of reading comprehension for Spanish-speaking English Language Learners (ELLs). For the ELL complementary studies, a sample of 300 PK children are enrolled at the ASU study site and followed longitudinally through G3. The inclusion of parallel ELL studies embedded in each of the primary studies will allow us to test key project hypotheses among an increasingly important subgroup of American school-children.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date7/1/106/30/16

Funding

  • DOEd: Institute of Education Sciences (IES): $5,354,023.00

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comprehension
language
English language
classroom
school grade
experimental psychology
language of instruction
developmental psychology
project group
educational research
schoolchild
research planning
speaking
candidacy
psychology
justice
childhood
inclusion
university
methodology