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Effects of language on initial reading: Direct and indirect associations between code and language from preschool to first grade

David K. Dickinson, Kimberly T. Nesbitt, Kerry G. Hofer


August 20, 2019

Abt’s Kerry Hofer contributed to the analyses of the interrelationships among language abilities, phonological awareness, and letter-word knowledge in a sample of 489 predominantly African-American children from low-income homes. Most studies that use a large sample address a single measure of language; this is the first to use a large sample and multiple measures of vocabulary, discourse, and spontaneous language use, and then examine the interactions among language competencies and discrete strands of language ability and code-related skills (e.g., letter knowledge, decoding skill, phonological sensitivity). The findings can be used to help understand the early literacy development of children who are most in need of support.