THE RELATION BETWEEN READING AND WRITING DEVELOPMENT
IN ENGLISH AND ESL STUDENTS
By
Susan Elizabeth Ball
A thesis submitte...
1*1 National Library
of Canada
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Bibli...
ABSTRACT
The Relation between Reading and Writing Development in English and ESL Students
Susan Elizabeth Ball
Graduate De...
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
To my thesis supervisor, Dr. Dale Willows, my utmost respect and admiration. Dale’s
professionalism, her ...
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION....................................................................10
Literatu...
CHAPTER THREE: RESULTS AND DISCUSSION......................................... 50
Overview...................................
LIST OF TABLES
Table 1. Stage 1 - Beginning Literacy Development - Kindergarten to Grade 2... 19
Table 2. Stage 2 - Confir...
LIST OF FIGURES
Figure B-l. Mean Spelling by Grade and Language
(WRAT Spelling raw scores)...................................
APPENDICES
Appendix A........................................................................................................
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
For years, much of the research on reading and writing development has had a relatively
narrow f...
discusses the cognitive and language variables that researchers have found to correlate
significantly with the acquisition...
reading comprehension. Other researchers have also stressed the importance of lower-
level component processes in L2 readi...
simple view of reading, a poor reader (i.e., reading comprehender), is a poor word
identifier, a poor language comprehende...
Poorer lower-level processes may impede the development of higher-level processes. For
example, until the lower-level proc...
there are many interdependent processes involved in the development ofboth reading and
writing skills. This has lead resea...
comprehension tasks. Panto (1999) tracked reading and writing development
longitudinally from grade 1to 4, comparing ENG a...
Substantial differences were found across the reading level cohorts, however. For
beginning readers, the relationship was ...
When Chall’s (1983, 1996) model ofthe stages of reading development and Levine’s
(1998) model of writing development are c...
Table 1. Stage 1 - Beginning Literacy Development - Kindergarten to Grade 2
Reading_______________________________________...
Table 3. Stage 3 - Reading and Writing for Learning the New - Grade 4 to 8
Reading________________________________________...
their language skills are also improving which enables the use of context clues to assist in
decoding and comprehension. T...
Interpretation of Stage Theories
While these models provide valuable information regarding expected development, it is
imp...
Because reading and writing are both developmental processes, what is learned at one
stage of development can be qualitati...
other. It can be anticipated that these particular aspects can be a significant problem for
students whose oral language m...
investigation has been done into the relation between phonemic awareness and writing
ability (Griffith, 1991). However, gi...
disadvantage. Subsequent studies have replicated these findings while controlling for IQ,
reading experiences and socio-ec...
Memory: Sequencing, Short Term Memory, Working Memory
As a child learns to decode and spell, she or he must segment words ...
Language Processes
Vocabulary
The literature on reading acquisition and vocabulary shows that once decoding skills have
be...
unfamiliar. Phonological processing and syntactic awareness have been shown to be
significant contributors to the developm...
their first language would exhibit similar difficulties in learning a foreign language.
Conversely, children who have stro...
play a critical role in reading acquisition for both first and second language speakers.
Other than the finding that the E...
Panto (1999) compared the spelling and higher-level writing ability of ENG and ESL
students. She found that ENG and ESL st...
the lower-level word attack, word recognition and spelling skills in each of the language
groups. Measures of oral languag...
In a review ofthe L2 literature, Geva (1998) concluded that a complex interaction of
processes is involved in children’s L...
comparable literacy skills at grades one and two for ENG and ESL students, with
superior OLP skills for ENG students (Geva...
Research Questions:
1. Do ENG and ESL students in grades 3 and 5/6 differ significantly in their
performance on a) reading...
CHAPTER TWO: METHOD
In order to address these research questions, two age/grade groups of ENG and ESL
children (grades 3 a...
4, the main languages spoken by the ESL learners were Punjabi, Chinese, Arabic, Urdu
and Vietnamese. Other languages group...
Table 5. Participant Characteristics - Fall 1999
Grade 3 Grade 5/6
(n= 118) (n=171)
ENG ESL ENG ESL
Language n = 56 n = 62...
Table 6. Test Measures
Type Name Skill
Reading WRMT-R Word Attack * Pseudoword decoding
WRAT-III Reading * Word recognitio...
Reading Measures
Ofthe 4 reading measures, three are representative of lower-level reading skills: word
attack, word recog...
Higher-level reading skill
Reading Comprehension. The Gates MacGinitie Reading Comprehension Test was
administered to asse...
story that went with the visual prompt. According to instructions, stories were only
scored if they contained more than 40...
Productivity - the number of words written in a 45 minute time period. In addition, a
simple count ofthe number of spellin...
first language and second language speakers on each ofthese measures. Then, they were
put into a factor analysis to see ho...
Sequencing. The Sequences subtest ofthe Children’s Memory Scale (CMS) was
administered as a measure of sequencing and work...
therefore included in the composite. The maximum score on this subtest is 40 regardless
of age.
Memory for stories. The St...
shown that this skill discriminates between LI and L2 learners. The maximum score on
this test is 22.
Listening comprehens...
Procedures
As indicated earlier, this research comprised a sub-study within the context of a larger
project, assessing the...
CHAPTER THREE: RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Overview
The results are presented in three major parts corresponding to the three m...
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
The relation between reading and writing development in english and esl students
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  1. 1. THE RELATION BETWEEN READING AND WRITING DEVELOPMENT IN ENGLISH AND ESL STUDENTS By Susan Elizabeth Ball A thesis submitted in conformity with the requirements For the degree of Doctor of Philosophy Graduate Department of Education University of Toronto © Copyright by Susan Elizabeth Ball 2003 Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
  2. 2. 1*1 National Library of Canada Acquisitions and Bibliographic Services 395 Wellington Street Ottawa ON K1A0N4 Canada Bibliotheque nationale du Canada Acquisitions et sen/ices bibliographiques 395, rue Wellington Ottawa ON K1A0N4 Canada Yourfile Votre reference Ourtile Notrereference The author has granted a non­ exclusive licence allowing the National Library of Canada to reproduce, loan, distribute or sell copies ofthis thesis in microform, paper or electronic formats. The author retains ownership ofthe copyright in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author’s permission. L’auteur a accorde une licence non exclusive permettant a la Bibliotheque nationale du Canada de reproduire, preter, distribuer ou vendre des copies de cette these sous la forme de microfiche/film, de reproduction surpapier ou sur format electronique. L’auteur conserve la propriete du droit d’auteur qui protege cette these. Ni la these ni des extraits substantiels de celle-ci ne doivent etre imprimes ou autrement reproduits sans son autorisation. 0- 612- 78365-0 Canada Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
  3. 3. ABSTRACT The Relation between Reading and Writing Development in English and ESL Students Susan Elizabeth Ball Graduate Department of Education, University of Toronto Surprisingly little is known about similarities and differences in how reading and writing skills develop. Most attempts to examine the relation between reading and writing development have used few measures at a single point in time with small samples of children. The current study explored the relation between the lower (decoding and spelling) and higher levels (reading comprehension and story construction) of reading and writing development for students in Grades 3 and 5/6, and also explored many underlying cognitive and language processes that are predictive of reading and writing achievement. In addition, the present study addressed these issues as they relate to students for whom English is either their first (ENG) or second (ESL) language. A series of ANCOVAs revealed few significant differences between ENG and ESL students on reading, writing and cognitive measures; however, significant differences were found on oral language proficiency (OLP) measures in favor of ENG students. Multiple sequential regression was undertaken to investigate the underlying cognitive and language processes that predict reading and writing development. The cognitive ability composite predicted the most variance in lower-level decoding and spelling skills, and the OLP composite predicted the most variance in the higher-level reading comprehension and story construction skills. These results have significant implications for assessment and programming, particularly for ESL students. ii Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
  4. 4. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS To my thesis supervisor, Dr. Dale Willows, my utmost respect and admiration. Dale’s professionalism, her standards ofexcellence, and her wish to be involved in research that makes a difference so that all students can learn to read and write, are exemplary contributions to the field as well as to individual lives. She has been an exemplary role model and mentor to me. To Dr. Tom Humphries and Dr. Esther Geva for their insight and expertise, and to Dr. Lesly Wade-Woolley, thank you for the valuable contributions you made to this thesis. To my parents, who I am sure are quite proud and also quite relieved that I am finished. To Christopher and Scott, for understanding when Mommy had to work on her ‘big paper’ yet again, and finally, to my husband Dave, who has been my biggest supporter all along thisjourney. Thank you so much for your encouragement and your support, and for helping to make this dream a reality. I could not have done this without you. iii Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
  5. 5. TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION....................................................................10 Literature Review.........................................................................................10 Overview....................................................................................................... 10 Reading and Writing Development............................................................11 ENG and ESL Reading and Writing Development.................................. 11 The Simple Views of Reading and Writing..............................................12 The Relation between Reading and Writing............................................. 15 Research on the Relation between Reading and Writing..........................16 The Stages of Reading and Writing Development................................... 18 Reading and Writing Development at Grade 3.........................................20 Reading and Writing Development at Grade 5/6..................................... 21 Interpretation of Stage Theories............................................................... 22 Cognitive and Language Processes Underlying Reading and Writing Development.................................................................................................23 Cognitive Processes..................................................................................24 Language Processes..................................................................................28 Similarities and Differences between ENG and ESL students in Reading, Writing, Cognitive and Language Development.......................................31 Oral Language Proficiency as it relates to differences between ENG and ESL students............................................................................. 33 Goals of the Present Study..........................................................................34 Research Questions......................................................................................36 CHAPTER TWO: METHOD.................................................................................37 Description of Participants and Measures................................................ 37 Participants.......................................................................................37 Measures...........................................................................................39 Procedures.................................................................................................... 49 iv Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
  6. 6. CHAPTER THREE: RESULTS AND DISCUSSION......................................... 50 Overview.......................................................................................................50 Variable Screening.......................................................................................50 Similarities and differences between ENG and ESL students.................51 Reading Measures..............................................................................53 Writing Measures...............................................................................58 Cognitive Measures........................................................................... 58 Language Measures........................................................................... 59 The relation between lower- and higher-level reading and writing skills...............................................................................................................60 Variance accounted for in lower- and higher-level reading and writing.........................................................................................................62 Regression split by language (ENG/ESL)..................................................67 CHAPTER FOUR: GENERAL DISCUSSION....................................................70 Contributions............................................................................................... 70 Limitations....................................................................................................73 Diagnostic and Instructional Implications................................................ 74 References.....................................................................................................76 V Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
  7. 7. LIST OF TABLES Table 1. Stage 1 - Beginning Literacy Development - Kindergarten to Grade 2... 19 Table 2. Stage 2 - Confirmation and Fluency - Grade 2 to 4................................. 19 Table 3. Stage 3 - Reading and Writing for Learning the New - Grade 4 to 8......20 Table 4. Languages Represented in the ESL group............................................... 38 Table 5. Participant Characteristics - Fall 1999..................................................... 39 Table 6. Test Measures............................................................................................40 Table 7. Group Comparisons on Reading, Writing, Cognitive and Language Processing Measures (based on raw scores).............................................54- Table 8. Partial Correlations Between the Lower- and Fligher-Level Reading and Writing Skills by Grade (3, 5/6) and by Language (ENG/ESL)........61 Table 9. Factor Loadings of the Reading and Writing Measures - Principal Component Analysis with Varimax Rotation...........................................64 Table 10. Factor Loadings ofthe Cognitive and Language Processing Measures Principal Component Analysis with Varimax Rotation........................... 65 Table 11. Summary ofthe Variance Accounted for by the Composites on the Lower- and Higher-Level Reading Skills For ENG and ESL............ 67 Table 12. Summary of the Percentage ofVariance Accounted for by the Composites on the Lower- and Higher-Level Writing Skills For ENG and ESL Learners......................................................................68 vi Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
  8. 8. LIST OF FIGURES Figure B-l. Mean Spelling by Grade and Language (WRAT Spelling raw scores)................................................................88 Figure B-2. Mean TOWL - III Spelling Errors (# of errors) by Grade and Language........................................................................................89 Figure B-3. Mean RAN time (measured in seconds) by Grade and Language 90 Figure B-4. Mean Sequences by Grade and Language (CMS raw scores).............. 91 Figure B-5. Mean Receptive Vocabulary by Grade and Language (PPVT raw scores).................................................................................92 Figure B-6. Mean Syntax by Grade and Language (CELF-III Formulated Sentences raw scores)............................................................................93 Figure B-7. Mean Expressive Vocabulary by Grade and Language (EVT raw scores)................................................................................... 94 Figure B-8. Mean Listening Comprehension by Grade and Language (Durrell raw scores).............................................................................................94 vii Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
  9. 9. APPENDICES Appendix A................................................................................................................84 Appendix B................................................................................................................88 Appendix C................................................................................................................98 Appendix D................................................................................................................102 Appendix E.................................................................................................................Ill Appendix F.................................................................................................................113 Appendix G................................................................................................................115 Appendix H................................................................................................................118 Appendix 1..................................................................................................................114 viii Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
  10. 10. Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
  11. 11. CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION For years, much of the research on reading and writing development has had a relatively narrow focus. Although a great deal of programmatic research has been conducted on the lower-level skills involved in reading (e.g., decoding/word identification) and, to a lesser extent, writing (e.g., spelling), until quite recently, much less research has investigated the acquisition of higher-level reading skills (e.g., reading comprehension), and even less has studied higher-level writing skills (e.g., story construction). Moreover, with a few notable exceptions, researchers have largely neglected the study of the interrelations between the development of reading and writing skills. Furthermore, until quite recently, the focus of attention has been almost exclusively on the study of reading and writing processes among children who speak English as a first language and few researchers have studied the development of English reading and writing skills among students for whom English is their second language (ESL). This latter shortcoming of the research literature is particularly concerning given the burgeoning numbers of ESL students learning to read and write in English language schools. The purpose ofthe present study was to investigate the relation between lower-level (decoding and spelling) and higher-level (reading comprehension and story construction) reading and writing skills among students in Grades 3 and 5/6 for whom English was their first (ENG) or second (ESL) language. In addition, the research was designed to explore similarities and differences in the underlying cognitive and language processes associated with reading and writing development in ENG and ESL students. Literature Review Overview This review is presented in five sections. The first examines the literature on reading and writing development for ENG and ESL students, while the second section explores the relation between reading and writing in these two populations. The third section 10 Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
  12. 12. discusses the cognitive and language variables that researchers have found to correlate significantly with the acquisition of reading and writing. The fourth section examines the literature on the similarities and differences between ENG and ESL cognitive, language, reading and writing development. The final section of the literature review outlines the goals of the present study. As mentioned in the Introduction, the literature documenting reading acquisition in English is substantial whereas the literature on writing acquisition in English is, at this point, less developed. Very few studies have explored the relation between reading and writing development in English. Moreover, the research literature relevant to the development of English language reading and writing skills among ESL learners is even smaller. This review will integrate the available literature for ENG and ESL learners throughout, starting with theories of reading and writing development. Reading and Writing Development ENG and ESL Reading and Writing Development. Geva and Verhoeven (2000) document that although a considerable body of research exists on reading acquisition in children’s first language (LI), much less attention has been paid to the acquisition of reading in a second language (L2). The literature in L2 reading research at present is still dominated by LI frameworks. These frameworks - where English is, by far, the most frequent LI represented - conceptualize reading as a complex information processing operation that draws on underlying component processes which can be a potential source of individual differences (Daneman, 1996). Efficient lower-level processing allows the limited capacity system to be devoted to processing higher-order information during reading comprehension (Stanovich, 1991). L2 reading has also been conceptualized as a complex cognitive skill, which is characterized by the development of adequate skill in lower-level graphophonic processing and a gradual automatization of decoding (McLaughlin, 1990). In Bernhardt’s (1990) multivariate L2 reading model, lower-level word recognition processes are important parameters of L2 11 Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
  13. 13. reading comprehension. Other researchers have also stressed the importance of lower- level component processes in L2 reading (Haynes & Carr, 1990; Koda, 1994). While these frameworks exist on reading development in English as a first (ENG) and second (ESL) language, little theory or research exists on writing acquisition for either ENG or ESL, with the exception of Haynes and Carr (1990) who applied the component process framework to writing development in ESL students. The “simple views” of reading and writing offer a common framework for the discussion of lower- and higher-level reading and writing development in both ENG and ESL students. The “Simple Views” of Reading and Writing The simple views ofreading and writing, originally presented by Gough and Tunmer (1986) and Juel (1988), provide a framework by which to conceptualize the representative lower- and higher-level reading and writing skills. Although this theory has been applied specifically to the development of reading and writing in English, the ESL literature has utilized a framework by which the same lower- and higher-level reading skills (Perfetti, 1985) were identified. There is no corresponding model of writing presented within the ESL literature. Gough and Tunmer (1986), Hoover and Gough (1990), and Gough (1996) outlined a “simple view” of reading ability that is composed oftwo factors: decoding (i.e., word identification) and language comprehension, (a) Word identification is the result of the application of decoding skills (word analysis based on phonemic awareness - blending - and grapheme-phoneme correspondences), (b) Language comprehension is the process by which the meanings of decoded words can be integrated into meaningful sentences and text structures. As part of the lower-level reading process, phonemic awareness is required for decoding which then leads to word identification. Once this lower-level skill (decoding) has been consolidated (leading to fluent - automatized - word identification), readers are then able to focus on attributing meaning to the text they have decoded (comprehension). A single underlying process is seen as producing both listening and reading comprehension, despite differences in speech and written text. Thus, in the 12 Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
  14. 14. simple view of reading, a poor reader (i.e., reading comprehender), is a poor word identifier, a poor language comprehender, or both. The sequence by which these reading skills develop is represented therefore, as follows: decoding, word identification, fluency and reading comprehension. Reading comprehension has come to be viewed as the “essence of reading” (Durkin, 1993) because it integrates complex cognitive and language skills, and it depends on accurate and efficient word identification in order to access meaning from print. Juel (1988) outlined a “simple view” ofwriting, also composed of two factors: spelling and ideation, (a) Spelling involves the application of encoding processes, some of the same processes as decoding. Encoding (i.e., analysis of a spoken word’s sounds and the representation ofthe sounds in print, also based on phonemic awareness - segmentation - and phoneme-grapheme knowledge) is the process by which a writer represents the sounds of spoken words in print, (b) Ideation is the ability to generate and organize ideas, encompassing both the generation of creative thoughts and their organization into sentence and text structures. Thus, in the simple view of writing, a poor writer (i.e., producer of written composition) is a poor speller, a poor ideas generator and organizer, or both. The sequence by which these writing skills develop is represented, therefore, as follows: spelling, productivity, the ability to use the conventions of writing, the ability to use the language (sentence structure) of writing, and finally, the ability to organize ideas and to construct written compositions. Written composition is a final common pathway of multiple developmental functions integrating complex cognitive and language skills. As with reading comprehension, written composition depends on the consolidation of lower-level skills and fluency, in order to allow the student to focus, in this case, on the organization of complex ideas into a written composition. Juel acknowledges that these models of reading and writing may seem somewhat simplistic. Only two components seem necessary to characterize both the “lower” word- level skills (i.e., word identification or spelling) and the “higher” text-level skill (i.e., reading comprehension or written composition) of reading and writing; however, each component is complex in its own right, and may be broken down into subcomponents. 13 Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
  15. 15. Poorer lower-level processes may impede the development of higher-level processes. For example, until the lower-level process of spelling is somewhat automatic - at least for a number of high frequency words - the attention of the writer may be diverted from higher-order composing processes (Scardamalia, 1981). In reading, efficient word identification leads to better comprehension. The “simple view” framework will be adopted in examining the relation between the lower- (word identification and spelling) and higher-level (reading comprehension and written composition) reading and writing skills, and also in evaluating the underlying cognitive and language processes that are correlated with those lower- and higher-level reading and writing skills. There are no explicit references to the simple view of reading in the ESL literature; however, Geva and Clifton (1993) describe reading as involving two interrelated factors: word identification, or lexical access, and comprehension. They reference Perfetti (1985) in that “ complex comprehension processes build upon word recognition process”. According to Perfetti, reading comprehension depends upon the efficient operation of lower lexical processes. Skilled readers can direct their attention to text comprehension rather than decoding or word recognition, because of efficient basic processes. There are no references to the simple view of writing in the ESL literature, but there is also a lack of literature evaluating writing development in general, beyond the development of spelling. Within the ESL literature, results from cross-linguistic comparisons of reading, spelling, cognitive and linguistic processes implicitly fit the simple view of reading in that different cognitive and language processes have been found to correlate with higher- leading comprehension) as opposed to lower-level (word identification) skills. This ESL research has identified that oral language proficiency (OLP) is positively related to higher-level comprehension (Geva & Ryan, 1993; Verhoeven, 1990) while cognitive analytical skills are related to lower-level word identification skills. It is clear from both research and models of reading and writing development in ENG and ESL that the processes that are of central importance in the beginning stages of development are not as important (in the sense that they are performed automatically, so they do not require as much attention) at later stages of development. It is also clear that 14 Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
  16. 16. there are many interdependent processes involved in the development ofboth reading and writing skills. This has lead researchers to speculate that the development of reading and writing skills is related. The automatization of lower-level reading and writing skills, which are dependent on similar underlying cognitive and language processes, is required for higher-level skills to develop. Theory and research has evaluated this relation between reading and writing, primarily at the rudimentary stages of decoding and spelling. The evaluation of the similarities and differences in the cognitive and language processes that underlie reading and writing, within the context of stage theories of literacy development, will enable the interpretation of the relation between reading and writing. The Relation between Reading and Writing There are theoretical models (Ehri, 1986; Frith, 1985) and empirical research (Clarke, 1988; Morris & Pemey, 1984) concerning the relation between reading and spelling acquisition during the early stages of literacy development. Ehri (1986) theorized that reading and spelling depend on the same knowledge sources in memory: knowledge about the alphabetic system, and knowledge about the spelling of specific words. Similarly, Henderson (1978) theorized that developing word knowledge, composed of phonemic awareness and orthographic awareness is conceptual in nature and underlies children’s ability to both read and spell words. Empirically, Henderson found changing developmental patterns in spelling with an increasing correlation between reading and spelling in grade-one students as the school year progressed. While there is considerable research on this relation between selected measures of early reading and spelling, there is not much research extending beyond that to later stages of development. There is little research evaluating higher-level reading comprehension as it relates to higher-level writing (as in ideation, organization of ideas and support for arguments). Research does exist on the development of story schema (a person’s conception of what constitutes a story and how a typical story is organized from beginning to end) but the focus has not been related to the higher-level reading 15 Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
  17. 17. comprehension tasks. Panto (1999) tracked reading and writing development longitudinally from grade 1to 4, comparing ENG and ESL learners, but did not focus on the relation between reading and writing measures across grades. She did, however, develop a scoring system for story schema based on the work ofNodine, Barenbaum, and Newcomer (1985). According to this scheme, Panto scored children’s ideas in their understanding and production of stories and found that their story ideation changed with development. As children gained more exposure to different types of stories, their ability to use more complex ideation oftheir own also changed (Stein & Glenn, 1982; Stein & Policastro, 1984), but not as a result of their language status. There were no significant differences between ENG and ESL learners. As indicated earlier, most examinations of the relation between reading and writing development have involved small numbers of measures collected at a single point in time, with small samples of children. Some studies have also attempted to measure underlying cognitive and language processes, but again, most have focused on only one or two specific measures. The broadest work investigated differences in the relation among multiple reading and writing measures in grades 2 and 5, but it did not investigate underlying cognitive and language processes (Shanahan, 1984). Another large-scale study, by Juel (1988), tracked reading and writing development longitudinally from grade 1to 4, but did not focus on the relation between the two skills or the underlying cognitive and language processes. In addition, neither of the above mentioned studies investigated these issues from a second-language perspective. Research on the Relation between Reading and Writing Shanahan (1984) and Shanahan and Lomax (1986,1988) examined 256 students in grade two and 251 students in grade five. An exploratory analysis of multiple reading and writing measures was undertaken using canonical correlational analysis with separate analyses performed for each grade level and for beginning and proficient readers. The word recognition factors drawn from the reading set were most related to the spelling variables ofthe writing set at both grade levels and at the beginning reader level. 16 Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
  18. 18. Substantial differences were found across the reading level cohorts, however. For beginning readers, the relationship was based on word recognition and spelling levels. Thus, the ability to apply basic phonics rules in decoding and the ability to spell accurately were closely related. As students became more proficient as readers, the nature of the relation between reading and writing changed with an increasing importance of sophisticated vocabulary and story structure to writing achievement, and an increasing importance of reading comprehension to reading achievement. For proficient readers, the ability to structure prose in complex ways and use a variety of vocabulary in writing was related to the prose comprehension factor. In none of the analyses was reading or writing found to explain more than 45 percent ofthe variance in the opposite test set. Using these data, Shanahan and Lomax (1986, 1988) then conducted a series of LISREL path analyses of alternative models of reading-writing relations. Their analyses indicated that reading and writing influenced each other. The model that best fit their data was an interactive one. This model postulates that reading can influence writing development and that writing can influence reading development. On the basis ofthe interactive model of reading and writing and other research, Fitzgerald and Shanahan (2000) present an introductory developmental view of the relation between reading and writing. They make a specific theoretical contribution by outlining the critical knowledge required for each of the stages of reading and writing development using Chall’s (1996) framework. They cite research into reading-writing connections that analyzes the shared knowledge and cognitive processes between reading and writing at the different levels of development. This model begins with the proposition that reading and writing are constellations of cognitive processes that depend on knowledge representations at various language levels (phonemic, orthographic, semantic, syntactic, and pragmatic). Reading and writing are related because they depend on similar knowledge representations and cognitive processes across developmental stages. Therefore, it would be expected that reading and writing developments should parallel each other closely. While Fitzgerald and Shanahan (2000) describe critical cognitive features that are likely to be important to both reading and writing proficiency at different stages, their model is most useful as an organizing plan. 17 Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
  19. 19. When Chall’s (1983, 1996) model ofthe stages of reading development and Levine’s (1998) model of writing development are combined, the understanding of reading and writing at different developmental stages becomes more fleshed out and applicable. The Stages of Reading and Writing Development Chall (1983,1996) proposed broad developmental stages of reading, spanning birth through adulthood. She contributed significantly to the field of reading research by showing that reading is not a single skill, and that word recognition, word meaning and reading comprehension are separate aspects of literacy that need to be developed differently at the different stages of literacy development. In contrast to reading, few broad and comprehensive stage theories exist of writing development. Levine’s (1998) six-stage model of writing development, which parallels Chall’s reading stages, provides an important contribution to this literature by outlining comprehensive and detailed expectations regarding the particular components of writing acquired at each stage. In addition, both models contribute by adding the critical elements of language development at each stage that influence literacy development. Chall’s (1983,1996) and Levine’s (1998) models of the stages of reading, writing and language development will be discussed as they relate specifically to the stages of development relevant to the current study. Tables 1to 3 outline the stages of reading, writing and language development from Initial Literacy, Kindergarten to Grade 2 (Table 1), to the developmental stages of Confirmation and Fluency, Grade 2 to 4 (Table 2) and Reading and Writing for Learning the New, expected at Grade 4 to 8 (Table 3). 18 Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
  20. 20. Table 1. Stage 1 - Beginning Literacy Development - Kindergarten to Grade 2 Reading_____________________________________________________________ - phonemic awareness__________________________________________________ - mastery of alphabetic principle (phoneme-grapheme correspondences)___________ - word-by-word (dysfluent) reading________________________________________ Writing _____________________________ - acquisition of letter and number forms _________________ _ - beginning appreciation of spelling accuracy and the use of invented spelling______ - introduction to the conventions of capitalization, punctuation and sentence structure Language____________________________________________________________ - vocabulary expansion ________________________________________________ - use ofunsophisticated language in writing _____________ __________ _ * Adapted from Chall (1983,1996) and Levine (1998) Table 2. Stage 2 - Confirmation and Fluency - Grade 2 to 4 Reading_________________________________________________________________ - growing sight vocabulary___________________________________________________ - increasing speed and efficiency______________________________________________ - reading to confirm existing knowledge________________________________________ Writing_________________________________________________________________ - rapidly increasing spelling ability____________________________________________ - the integration of conventions (punctuation, capitalization) with language (morphology, syntax, narrative organization)___________________________________ Language________________________________________________________________ - linguistic and cognitive contents of materials remain beneath student’s processing ability - written language is less sophisticated than speech_______________________________ * Adapted from Chall (1983,1996) and Levine (1998) 19 Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
  21. 21. Table 3. Stage 3 - Reading and Writing for Learning the New - Grade 4 to 8 Reading__________________________________________________________________ - reading to acquire new knowledge____________________________________________ - reading rate and efficiency improve considerably _______ _ _ _____ ___________ - appearance of new and specialized vocabulary - expanding understanding of morphology Writing__________________________________________________________________ - writing occurs with less expenditure of conscious thought_________________________ - the ability to produce larger volumes of writing develops__________________________ Language________________________________________________________________ - reading content becomes de-contextualized and the linguistic sophistication of what students are reading catches up to and surpasses the contents of everyday speech_______ - written language approximates speech______________ ___________________________ * Adapted from Chall (1983,1996) and Levine (1998) There is research evaluating the underlying cognitive and language processes related with reading and writing at early stages of literacy development, but not much at the more advanced stages of literacy development. In the present research, children in grades 3, 5 and 6 were selected because they would be at stages where enough children would have already developed the lower-level reading and writing skills. This would allow for the extension of knowledge about the interrelation between the underlying cognitive and language processes and reading and writing development by comparing both lower- and higher-level reading and writing skills within the same sample. Reading and Writing Development in English at Grade 3 According to Chall (1983, 1996), children in grades 2 and 3 are generally still learning to read. They read primarily to confirm what they know. The language and ideational content ofwhat they are reading is not as sophisticated as that encountered in daily conversation, magazines, movies and television. They are acquiring a rapidly expanding sight vocabulary by which they can read more efficiently and begin to add greater linguistic sophistication. Concurrently, they are developing word analysis skills, learning more advanced rules of phonics, and beginning to recognize the basic structure of morphology (suffixes, prefixes, compound words, roots and syllables). During this time, 20 Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
  22. 22. their language skills are also improving which enables the use of context clues to assist in decoding and comprehension. The use of context may be particularly more difficult for ESL learners. The emphasis dining this stage is on fluency and using context. In terms ofwriting, according to Levine (1998), children in grades 2 to 4 are learning to gradually incorporate standards of capitalization, punctuation, syntax, and grammar. Writing is more often used to state the obvious or relate an experience than to solve a problem or develop elaborate ideas. During this stage, conversational speech is more sophisticated and syntactically complex than writing. The language content is likely to be uncomplicated with the use of simple declarative sentences and few subordinate clauses. Reading and Writing Development in English at Grades 5/6 Students in grades 4 to 8 are generally at a stage where they read to acquire new knowledge (Chall, 1983,1996). The linguistic sophistication of what they are reading catches up and surpasses the content of everyday speech and the media. Textbooks provide an important source of new knowledge. Comprehension skills play a more decisive role as reading content becomes de-contextualized, removed from everyday experience. There is also a demand for the integration of passage reading and memory, as students must store and recall important facts from what they have read. In addition, new and specialized vocabulary is introduced during reading. A student now confronts words in print that are seldom, or never encountered in daily conversation. Students in grades 4 to 7 write with greater volume (Levine, 1998) and are expected to not only apply the mechanics of writing with increasing automaticity, but also to review their work and correct errors in sentence structure, grammar, capitalization, punctuation and spelling. Language usage becomes increasingly important. Written language starts to approximate spoken language as language usage becomes increasingly important. Sentences become longer and contain more sophisticated vocabulary and conceptual content. For the first time, children use words in writing that they would not likely use in conversation and writing is no longer used as an end or a process in itself. Instead, it becomes a means of communicatioa Thus, greater specificity and accuracy in the use of vocabulary and language gains importance. 21 Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
  23. 23. Interpretation of Stage Theories While these models provide valuable information regarding expected development, it is important to recognize that these stages are meant to be useful as a heuristic. They are not reached automatically by the grades indicated, but are an approximate guideline to when literacy skills are mastered, and outline a developmental sequence in order to understand individual differences. Times vary, particularly for students who have difficulty learning languages, whether it be their first language or second. Some students encounter more difficulties at one stage than another, and some may reach a certain stage and never pass beyond it. There is no research explicitly evaluating the stages of literacy development for ESL students. In the introduction to the second edition of ChalTs Stages ofReading Development (1996), Geva indicated, based on the L2 literature, that there is no reason to believe that ESL students will not reach the same stages of literacy development as ENG students. She did suggest, however, that the pace at which they arrive at each stage may differ. In addition, ESL students may have more difficulty accessing context as required due to insufficient vocabulary development and lexical access. Fitzgerald and Shanahan (2000) provide persuasive evidence that reading and writing rely on correlated mental processes, though the nature of the relation is different at different age or grade levels. The closest correlations between them are best summarized by the aspects of learning that are particularly important or most variant at a given stage of development (such as phonological-orthographic development in the early stages of literacy learning). It is necessary to establish notjust from a proficiency standpoint, but from a normal development standpoint, which cognitive and language processes underlie these lower- and higher-level reading and writing skills. It is also important to understand which cognitive and language processes account for the most variance in lower- and higher-level reading and writing skills at different stages of development for children who represent ENG and ESL populations. 22 Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
  24. 24. Because reading and writing are both developmental processes, what is learned at one stage of development can be qualitatively different from what is learned at another stage of development. If the underlying cognitive and language processes that are associated with reading and writing are the same within, but different across the lower and higher levels of development, more will be understood about the nature of the relation between reading and writing across development. The present study offers the opportunity to examine these issues across the lower and higher levels of reading and writing, while also evaluating the contribution ofvarious cognitive and language processes correlated with that development. Furthermore, the study extends that understanding to ESL students. By evaluating similarities and differences in the amount of variance accounted for by the underlying cognitive and language processes at the lower and higher levels of reading and writing for ENG and ESL students, valuable information will be gained for the assessment of written language difficulties, as well as for initial teaching, and remedial intervention. Cognitive and Language Processes Underlying Reading and Writing Development A vast literature exists on the underlying processes that affect the acquisition of reading and writing skills in English, and how these processes differ in individuals ofvarying abilities (e.g., Ceci, 1984; Denckla & Rudel, 1974; Juel, 1988; Scarborough, 1989; Stanovich, 1986). Researchers have found that the ability to read and write is dependent on a number of complex, interrelated processes, such as phonemic awareness, rapid automatic naming, working memory, cognitive capacity, auditory processing skill and language ability. The majority ofthis research has focused on the acquisition of reading skills with the assumption that if an individual has difficulty learning to read, he/she will also have difficulty learning to write since reading and writing share so many of the same underlying processes. However, writing is generally acknowledged to be the more difficult ofthe two since it is dependent on recall, while reading is dependent on recognition memory (Juel, Griffith, & Gough, 1986). Juel (1988) found that some children who were poor writers had difficulties with both form (e.g., spelling) and process (e.g., content generation), whereas others had difficulties withjust one or the 23 Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
  25. 25. other. It can be anticipated that these particular aspects can be a significant problem for students whose oral language may not be as well developed and understood because both decoding and comprehension skills are required for writing. The present study offers the opportunity to evaluate which of the many cognitive and language predictors associated with reading and writing development, explain the most variance in the lower and higher levels of reading and writing development for ENG and ESL learners. Just as there are lower- and higher-level reading and writing skills, it is theorized that there are lower- and higher-level cognitive and language skills that make a unique contribution to reading and writing development. The assumption is that lower-level cognitive and language processing components (e.g., phonemic awareness, rapid automatic naming, sequencing, working memory, short-term memory) take place prior to higher-level semantic and syntactic processing (e.g., vocabulary, grammaticaljudgment) as the higher-level processes depend on the information supplied by lower-level word identification processes (Haynes & Carr, 1990). The following subsections describe the cognitive and language processes that have been found to correlate very highly with reading and writing achievement. Cognitive Processes Phonemic awareness Research has consistently shown that phonemic awareness is a better predictor of later reading achievement than IQ or even general language proficiency (Griffith & Olson, 1992). In fact, from a considerable body of research on English literacy, phonological (i.e., phonemic) awareness has been highlighted as the single most important predictor (Verhoeven, 2000). It is generally believed that a minimal level of phonemic awareness is required to learn to read and spell, and that phonological awareness develops further as literacy abilities develop (Stanovich, 1992). Children who lack phonemic awareness do not have the tools they need to become successful readers and/or writers. They have not yet attained adequate awareness ofthe sound structure of words. They have insufficient phoneme awareness to allow them to make sense of the alphabetic writing system. Less 24 Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
  26. 26. investigation has been done into the relation between phonemic awareness and writing ability (Griffith, 1991). However, given that the English writing system is essentially phonemic, if a child has not yet grasped that words are made up of individual phonemes, he or she will be unable to master the alphabetic code by which phonemes correspond to graphemes. Thus, just as learning how to read words requires phonological awareness, so does learning how to spell (Bradley & Bryant, 1983; Juel et al., 1986). Research on ESL reading development in school children (e.g., Bruck & Genesee, 1995; Cisero & Royer, 1995; Dorgunglu et al., 1993; Geva, 2000; Geva, 1998; Geva & Gholamain, 1998; Geva & Wade-Woolley, 1998; Service 1992; Service & Kohonen, 1995) strongly implicates underlying cognitive and language factors such as phonological processing skills, phonological memory and naming speed. There is evidence that these same processes are also important contributors for native speakers of other languages, ranging from Chinese (So & Siegel, 1997) to Norwegian (Hoien, Lundberg, Stanovich & Bjaalid, 1995) to Hebrew (Ben-Dror, Bentin, & Frost, 1995). Phonemic awareness and rapid naming tasks contributed unique variance to word recognition performance for both ENG and ESL students (Geva, Yaghoub-Zadeh, & Schuster, 2000). RapidAutomatic Naming (RAN) Rapid automatic naming is another component of phonological processing that researchers have found to play an important role in the acquisition and development of written language skills. Denckla and Rudel (1974,1976) provided evidence for a general naming retrieval deficit. They showed that poor readers were significantly slower than good readers in naming continuous lists of single digits, letters, colours and objects. These tests of naming speed were designed to measure how automatically children recode visual information into a phonologically represented name code. Bowers and Swanson (1991) described the development of automaticity in the use oflower-level reading skills as crucial to developing skilled reading. Children who suffer from a retrieval deficit affecting the rate at which they access and retrieve information are clearly at a 25 Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
  27. 27. disadvantage. Subsequent studies have replicated these findings while controlling for IQ, reading experiences and socio-economic status (Meyer, Wood, Hart & Felton, 1998). Longitudinal studies of early reading development have shown that rapid naming tasks in the pre-literacy period are a major predictor - along with phonemic awareness skills - of later reading skill (Meyer et al, 1998; Scarborough, 1989). They also show that rapid naming tasks contribute variance to reading measures independent of the contribution by phonemic awareness measures. In fact, the ‘‘double deficit” hypothesis, Bowers (1995) and Bowers and Wolf (1993), stress somewhat separate phonological and rapid naming mechanisms. In this two-factor theory, speed ofprocessing is the critical component tapped in rapid naming tasks, and such tasks contribute specific variance to orthographic processing skill. Less research is available on the role of RAN in the acquisition of writing skills in English. However, just as fluent reading is dependent on the automatization of lower- level reading processes such as decoding, it can be surmised that written composition is largely dependent on the automatization of spelling patterns. Until the lower-level spelling and writing conventions (capitalization, punctuation) are automatic, the attention of the writer may be diverted from higher-level composing/ideation (Bereiter, 1980; Scardamalia, 1981). Research on ESL reading development in school children, as previously indicated, strongly implicates naming speed in reading development (e.g., Brack & Genesee, 1995; Cisero & Royer, 1995; Dorgunglu et al., 1993; Geva, 1998; Geva & Gholamain, 1998; Geva & Wade-Woolley, 1998; Service 1992; Service & Kohonen, 1995). In the ESL research literature, the potential relation between RAN performance and writing development is virtually unexplored. 26 Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
  28. 28. Memory: Sequencing, Short Term Memory, Working Memory As a child learns to decode and spell, she or he must segment words into their written symbols and associate those symbols with specific sounds. To identify words, the child must hold the sounds in active working memory and then synthesize them, blending them to form a recognizable word. Poor readers have been found to perform less well than good readers on a variety of short-term and active working memory tasks, such as the digit span test (digits forward and backward), and to have difficulty recalling in order, strings of letters, digits, nonsense syllables or words (Brady & Shankweiler, 1991; Mann & Brady, 1988). In fact, comprehension problems have also been found in some cases to be predominantly due to working memory difficulties (Gottardo, Stanovich, & Siegel, 1996; Mann, Cowin, & Schoenheimer, 1989). Working memory, in particular, has been found to play an important role in second language word identification and reading comprehension (Geva & Ryan, 1993; Geva & Wade-Wooley, 1998; Gholamian & Geva, 1999; Harrington & Sawyer, 1992). Geva and Ryan (1993) found that working memory plays an even more important role in second language reading than in first language reading. These researchers interpreted that this finding was due to the heavier demands posed by working memory because ofthe lack of automaticity in executing lower-level component processes in second language than first language reading. Verbal memory: Memoryfor Words, Sentences and Stories Prediction studies have found that children’s memory for sentences and stories are more strongly related to word identification and reading comprehension skills than are their scores on digit span, word span and word repetition measures (Scarborough, 1998). Among these language measures, phonemic awareness, expressive vocabulary, sentence imitation and story recall were the strongest predictors of skilled word identification and reading comprehension, whereas speech perception and articulation were weakest. In contrast, nonverbal visual and motor tasks provided little or no prognostic information. 27 Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
  29. 29. Language Processes Vocabulary The literature on reading acquisition and vocabulary shows that once decoding skills have become automatized, insufficient knowledge ofword meanings may be a primary cause of academic failure (Becker, 1977, Biemiller, 2001). Robbins & Ehri (1994) showed that children with larger vocabularies learned more words from storybook readings than children with smaller vocabularies. Research has indicated that L2 and economically disadvantaged students who were good decoders in grades one and two start to show a decrease in academic achievement soon after (Becker, 1977; Chall, Jacobs & Baldwin, 1990) which may be due to vocabulary deficits. Therefore, while vocabulary in the early stages of reading may not play a significant role in the acquisition of lower-level reading skills such as word recognition or word attack skills, it becomes increasingly important in higher-level reading comprehension. Since vocabulary deficiencies are a primary cause of academic failure in grades 3 through 12 (Baumann & Kameenui, 1991; Becker, 1977; Stanovich, 1986), children with less-developed vocabularies will become increasingly disadvantaged as the focus on learning to read changes to one on reading to learn (Chall, 1983,1996). Vocabulary, as a measure of oral language proficiency, is of particular significance to the ESL literature. Geva and Petrulis-Wright (1998) found that regardless of ENG-ESL status, children in grades 1 and 2 who have a more expanded vocabulary and a more sophisticated command of grammar, are also better decoders and comprehenders. Syntax/Grammatical Judgment Syntax involves word order and grammatical construction. The inability to understand and use syntax has the potential to interfere with sentence comprehension, even if the child is adept at decoding. Children who have mastered the basic syntax needed to understand simple constructions may have more difficulty with the complex constructions found in more advanced textbooks, especially when the content is 28 Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
  30. 30. unfamiliar. Phonological processing and syntactic awareness have been shown to be significant contributors to the development of reading skills for native English speakers (Siegel, 1993) and for English-as-a-second-language speakers (Geva & Petrulis-Wright, 1998). In addition, Da Fontoura and Siegel (1995) found that the syntactic skills of bilingual children bom in Canada still lagged behind the skills of monolingual children in grades 4, 5 and 6. Oral Language Proficiency (OLP) Rice (1989) identified four major dimensions of oral language proficiency (OLP): phonology (the sound system); semantics (the system of meanings); morphology (the rales of word formation); and syntax (the rales of sentence formation). In addition, OLP includes the ability to understand and use speech appropriately in social contexts (pragmatics). In the L2 research, considerable attention has focused on the contribution of OLP to reading. This is based on the assumption that because L2 OLP and reading are both language based processes, achievement in one should contribute to achievement in the other (e.g., Cummins, 1984). A number of studies have documented the role of oral language proficiency in L2 reading and supported the existence of a positive relationship between OLP and reading comprehension (Geva & Ryan, 1993; Verhoeven, 1990). However, the relationship between OLP and more basic reading skills, such as word recognition and decoding, has been shown to be perhaps less critical (Durgunoglu, Nagy & Hancin-Bhatt, 1993; Geva & Siegel, 1999; Geva & Wade-Woolley, 1998; Geva, Wade-Woolley & Shany, 1997; Gholamain & Geva, 1998). These studies showed that elementary school children can decode and spell words that may or may not be part of their vocabulary, even when their OLP is not fully developed. These findings were surprising as it was generally expected on the basis of theories of language and literacy development that oral language proficiency was related to reading development. Cummins’ language interdependence hypothesis (1979) suggests that there is a significant relationship between children’s skills in acquiring native and foreign languages. That is, only children who have deficient language and cognitive skills in 29 Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
  31. 31. their first language would exhibit similar difficulties in learning a foreign language. Conversely, children who have strong cognitive and language skills in their first language are likely to develop similar strengths when learning a foreign language. Cummins (1980, 1984) also indicated that it takes an ESL student 5 to 7 years to acquire the necessary cognitive academic language proficiency skills to achieve comparably with native-speaking first language students. Cummins indicated that most ESL students are able to communicate in social situations and day-to-day classroom interactions within one or two years (basic interpersonal communication skills). However, students may require from five to seven years to develop the ability to understand the academic language used in textbooks and to express in English the increasingly complex and abstract vocabulary, syntax and concepts encountered in the higher grades. Support for Cummins’s language interdependence hypothesis comes from the studies comparing LI and L2 basic literacy skills among young bilingual or L2 learners (Bruck & Genesee, 1995; Durgunoglu, Nagy & Hancin, 1993; Geva & Clifton, 1993; Geva, Wade-Wooley & Shany, 1993; Geva & Siegel, 1991; Gholamain & Geva, 1997). Results from these studies suggest that parallel LI and L2 reading skills are positively correlated. The positive and moderate-to-high correlations between parallel LI and L2 word recognition skills across different languages, with differing orthographies, suggest that common underlying cognitive and language processes play an important role in explaining the correlations between parallel LI and L2 reading tasks. They also suggest that LI and L2 individual differences in the development ofthese skills can be predicted to some extent on the basis ofthe specific underlying cognitive and language abilities. The cognitive and language processing skills identified in these studies (i.e., phonological processing, working memory, orthographic knowledge and RAN, or speed of lexical access) appear to play a similar role in LI and L2 reading skills acquisition. Chiappe and Siegel (1999) also found evidence to support Cummins’s language interdependence hypothesis in cross-linguistic phonological transfer. For both ENG and ESL children in their sample, reading difficulties appeared to be strongly linked with impaired phonological processing. Thus, phonological processing has been shown to 30 Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
  32. 32. play a critical role in reading acquisition for both first and second language speakers. Other than the finding that the ESL learners had poorer grammatical sensitivity and lower scores on an oral cloze task, the profiles of the ESL children were very similar to those of native English speakers. Reading difficulties in English occurred with approximately the same frequency for native and non-native speakers of English. These findings are consistent with the findings of DaFontoura and Siegel (1995). Although the Portuguese- English bilingual children in their study had no difficulties on word reading tasks, their oral cloze scores were significantly lower than those of English monolingual children. Although it would be hoped that this difference would diminish in time, DaFontoura and Siegel (1995) found that the syntactic skills ofthese children, bom in Canada, still lagged behind the skills of English monolingual children in grades 4, 5, and 6. The present study will compare similarities and differences in the development of ENG and ESL children’s syntactic skills, and also assess the contribution thatjudgement of syntax makes, as part of an oral language proficiency composite, to higher-level reading and writing skills. Similarities and Differences between ENG and ESL students in Reading, Writing Cognitive and Language Development Evidence is accumulating that while there are few differences in reading, writing, or even cognitive measures between ENG and ESL students (Panto, 1999), there are significant differences in language processes (e.g., receptive vocabulary and grammatical judgment), favoring ENG students, which take longer to disappear (DaFontoura & Siegel, 1995; Geva, 1998; Geva & Pefrulis-Wright, 1998). These findings seem to support Cummins’s 5-to-7-year timeline for ESL students to achieve comparable language proficiency (e.g., vocabulary and syntax knowledge) with native speakers. An apparent inconsistency is found in that the ESL research does document that ESL students have achieved comparable performances on some of the higher-level academic tasks (reading comprehension and written language), although at earlier stages of development (Geva & Petrulis-Wright, 1998; Panto, 1999). 31 Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
  33. 33. Panto (1999) compared the spelling and higher-level writing ability of ENG and ESL students. She found that ENG and ESL students performed similarly on a variety of spelling and writing measures, and that there were no differences in the patterns of growth in spelling and writing development in these children across grades 1to 4, as well as no significant differences between ENG and ESL students in their higher-level story schemas. Geva (1998) compared ENG and ESL students’ performance on reading, writing, cognitive and language measures in grades 1 and 2. Measures ofword recognition, spelling, phonemic awareness, rapid naming, working memory, receptive and expressive vocabulary, grammatical judgment and listening comprehension were collected. None of the children categorized as ESL in this study had been in an English-speaking environment for more than 2 years. Literacy instruction in the primary grades in the school setting in which these data were collected involved a balanced combination of activities and instructional approaches (Willows, 1996) designed to enhance children’s general language development, literacy skills and phonemic awareness and alphabetic coding (Lloyd, 1983). The results on the reading and writing tasks did not support an expected ENG advantage. A significant difference was not found on word recognition between ENG and ESL students. Although a significant difference was found on spelling, to the advantage of ENG students, it was noted that the group differences were not that striking. Results comparing the cognitive and language skills of ENG and ESL students indicated that on measures of phonological processing and letter naming speed (RAN), the two groups did not differ significantly. In contrast, ENG children showed an advantage on working memory measures for verbal information and for numbers, and on all of the oral language proficiency measures (receptive vocabulary, expressive vocabulary, grammatical judgment and listening comprehension). A series of multiple regressions was then undertaken to examine the role of the underlying cognitive and language processes in accounting for variance in the reading and listening skills in the ENG and ESL groups. The lower-level phonemic awareness and RAN (letter naming speed) tasks were found to be the only significant predictors of 32 Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
  34. 34. the lower-level word attack, word recognition and spelling skills in each of the language groups. Measures of oral language proficiency played a significant role in accounting for higher-level listening comprehension. Measures of higher-level reading comprehension and written composition were not collected in this study. In addition, the children in this study were in grades 1and 2, during the earlier stage of beginning literacy development. The fact that ESL students had less developed English vocabulary knowledge and less command of English syntax at this stage was not surprising. What was less obvious was the fact that while proficiency on these oral language measures played a significant role in explaining higher-level listening comprehension, it was less crucial in the development of lower-level L2 word recognition skills. Oral Language Proficiency as it relates to differences between ENG and ESL Petrulis-Wright (1998) found that LI and L2 children differed in English OLP, but not on reading tasks in grades 1 and 2. She also found that OLP played a greater role in predicting reading comprehension than in predicting basic reading skills, and that it contributed significantly to the explained variance of L2 basic reading skills, but not to LI. She concluded that LI children are utilizing analytical skills, while L2 children are utilizing OLP skills to achieve the same performance. Three to four percent of the variance of basic reading skills was accounted for by the interaction between language status, and vocabulary and grammatical judgment. That is, the relationship between these two language measures and basic reading skills differed depending on whether the children spoke English as a first or second language. The authors hypothesized that the significant interaction of LI -L2 status with OLP may be due to the fact that cognitive- language resources, such as phonological processing skills and rapid automatic naming speed, ofthe L2 speakers may be more fully taxed. They are forced to use these resources to develop various aspects of spoken language concurrently, in addition to developing reading skills. In summary, although some studies indicate that differences may be found between LI and L2 children in terms oftheir phonological processing profiles, these differences do not appear to be reflected in their ability to learn basic reading and spelling skills. 33 Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
  35. 35. In a review ofthe L2 literature, Geva (1998) concluded that a complex interaction of processes is involved in children’s L2 reading development at both the lower and higher levels of development. Furthermore, Nassaji and Geva (1999) found that L2 reading comprehension is an interactive multivariate process in which the underlying cognitive and language processes are highly intercorrelated. Each of the component processes contributed to each other and to reading comprehension overall. The question that arises is what generalizations and conclusions can be made from comparisons between students assessed in English as their first language (ENG) and students assessed in English as their second language (ESL)? Results from the ENG research literature indicate that if ESL students have adequate exposure and instruction in their second language, strong positive correlations should be expected between parallel ENG and ESL measures of various component reading skills (e.g., accurate and fast word recognition; the ability to decode unfamiliar words; efficient text reading efficiency; and reading comprehension). This finding informs expectations regarding the pace of ESL students’ reading development. However, less research is available to inform decision­ making adequately regarding the expected pace of writing development as compared with first language speakers (ENG). Furthermore, the research on oral language development indicates that there may be delays beyond what would be expected given the positive correlations found between LI and L2 lower- and higher-level reading skills. The present study offers the opportunity to compare reading, writing and oral language development for both ENG and ESL students at more advanced stages ofreading and writing development when it would be expected that lower-level skills would be consolidated (e.g., automatic). Goals of the Present Study Previous studies have compared reading, writing, cognitive and language skills for ENG and ESL students in a comparable multilingual population within Metropolitan Toronto (Geva, 1998; Panto, 1999; Petrulis-Wright, 1998). The results ofthose studies suggest 34 Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
  36. 36. comparable literacy skills at grades one and two for ENG and ESL students, with superior OLP skills for ENG students (Geva, 1998; Petrulis-Wright, 1998) and comparable spelling and writing skills for grades one to four ENG and ESL students (Panto, 1999). Evidence from the reading acquisition literature on second languages has indicated that OLP is not related to beginning word identification skills (Geva & Petrulis-Wright, 1999) but it is documented to be related to later comprehension tasks (Clifton & Geva, 1994; Geva & Ryan, 1993; Verhoeven, 1990). The present study offers the opportunity to examine the cognitive and language processes that are associated with lower- and higher- level reading (decoding and reading comprehension) and writing (spelling and story construction) skills at Grades 3, 5 and 6 within the same sample. It also offers the opportunity to compare the skills and abilities of ENG and ESL students. The present study extends current knowledge in several areas. It contributes to the literature on the relation between lower- and higher-level reading (decoding; reading comprehension) and writing (spelling; story construction). It contributes to the ESL literature by investigating lower and higher levels of reading and writing development at the more advanced stages of literacy development in Grades 3, 5 and 6. It also investigates which ofthe many underlying cognitive and language processes associated with reading and writing achievement explain the most variance for lower and higher levels ofreading and writing skills for both ENG and ESL students. Thus, the following research questions will be asked. 35 Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
  37. 37. Research Questions: 1. Do ENG and ESL students in grades 3 and 5/6 differ significantly in their performance on a) reading, b) writing, c) cognitive, and d) language measures? 2. What is the relation between lower-level and higher-level reading and writing skills across Grade (3, 5/6) and Language (ENG/ESL)? 3. Which cognitive and language composites (Cognitive Ability and OLP) explain the most variance in the lower (word attack and spelling) and higher levels (reading comprehension and story construction) of reading and writing development? 36 Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
  38. 38. CHAPTER TWO: METHOD In order to address these research questions, two age/grade groups of ENG and ESL children (grades 3 and 5/6), representing an “earlier” and “later” stage of literacy development were assessed on a number of reading and writing measures as well as a number of cognitive and language processing measures.1 Description of Participants and Measures The present study was part of a large-scale longitudinal project examining the development of early literacy skills. As a sub-set ofthis larger investigation, it made use of data collected in the fall of 1999, and added measures specific to the current research questions. Participants The participants in the present study were children drawn from eighteen public schools in a lower-middle-class suburb of a large multi-ethnic metropolitan center in Canada. Five years earlier, these children had been in schools that had been part of a “balanced literacy” research project in which teachers and school administrators had participated in professional development (Lloyd, 1993; Willows, 1996).2 At the time ofthe completion ofthe present study (1999), the children were in the beginning ofthe fall term oftheir respective grades (3, 5 and 6). Of the 289 children participating in the study, 110 (34.6 %) were classified as English as a Second Language (ESL). Children were classified as ESL if they spoke a language other than English at home and if a language other than English was their first language. As outlined in Table 1 On the average, children in grade 3 and 5/6 would be expected, to be functioning in reading/writing stages 2 and 3, respectively. 2Especially given the context between ENG and ESL, it would be important to ensure that groups were equated on nonverbal intelligence. In the research proposal, two nonverbal measures had been included, but the school board would not approve their use. As an alternative, cognitive measures, such as short-term and working memory, with extremely little language demands, were used. 37 Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
  39. 39. 4, the main languages spoken by the ESL learners were Punjabi, Chinese, Arabic, Urdu and Vietnamese. Other languages groups that were represented included Tamil, Portuguese, Gujaerati, Patois, Spanish, Italian, German, Korean, Latvian, and French. Table 4 - Languages Represented in the ESL group Home Language # of Students Home Language # of Students Punjabi 51 Gujaerati 2 Chinese 16 Patois 2 Arabic 9 Spanish 1 Urdu 9 Italian 1 Vietnamese 7 German 1 Tamil 5 Latvian 1 Portuguese 4 French 1 In order to compare two samples of children - representative of earlier and later stages of literacy functioning - two age/grade groups were formed, grade 3 and grade 5/6. On the average, grade 3 children (assessed near the beginning ofthe school year) would have been expected to be functioning in reading and writing Stage 2, in which the lower-level skills (decoding and spelling) are not yet automatized, whereas grade 5/6 children (also assessed near the beginning of the school year) would have been expected to be functioning in reading and writing Stage 3 in which the higher-level skills (reading •3 comprehension and written composition) play a more prominent role. Table 5 presents a summary of the participant characteristics. 3 Combining data from these later grades made sense because, according to both Chall’s (1996) and Levine’s (1998) stages of reading and writing development, students in grades 5 and 6 would function similarly. Combining data from grades 5 and 6 also increased the number of ESL students in the “later” literacy stage group. Appendix A provides evidence of the comparability of the 5 and 6 groups on reading, writing, cognitive and language processing measures. 38 Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
  40. 40. Table 5. Participant Characteristics - Fall 1999 Grade 3 Grade 5/6 (n= 118) (n=171) ENG ESL ENG ESL Language n = 56 n = 62 n = 123 n = 48 Mean Age 8.45 years 8.33 years 10.76 years 10.95 years SD Age 3.30 months 3.38 months 6.70 months 6.62 months Measures Table 6 provides a list ofthe measures collected for children in grades 3 and 5/6. Overall, there were 24 measures (4 reading, 7 writing, 8 cognitive, and 4 language). Four standardized reading tests provided measures of word attack, word recognition, fluency and reading comprehension. The seven writing measures were obtained from two sources, a standardized test of spelling provided one measure and a writing sample taken in response to a picture prompt provided six measures of components reflecting different aspects ofwriting. These included contextual conventions, contextual language, story construction and understanding of story schema, as well as number of words written (productivity) and the number of spelling errors (spelling errors). The eight cognitive processing measures included measures of phonemic awareness, rapid automatic naming, short-term auditory memory, working memory, sequencing, as well as memory for words, sentences and stories. The four language processing measures included measures of receptive vocabulary, expressive vocabulary, grammatical judgment and listening comprehension. On the basis of a principal components analysis, an oral language proficiency (OLP) composite score was created, combining sentence memory from the cognitive battery with the four language measures. 39 Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
  41. 41. Table 6. Test Measures Type Name Skill Reading WRMT-R Word Attack * Pseudoword decoding WRAT-III Reading * Word recognition Biemiller Test ofReading Processes Reading fluency (time) Gates-MacGinitie * Reading comprehension Writing WRAT-III Spelling * TOWL-III Writing Sample Spelling Contextual Conventions (TOWL-III) * Capitalization/punctuation Contextual Language (TOWL-III) * Sentence structure/grammar Story Construction (TOWL-III) * Plot/setting/character/theme Productivity Number of words written Spelling errors Number of spelling errors Story Schema (Nodine, 1985) Elements of story structure Cognitive Test ofAuditory Analysis Skills (TAAS) Phonemic awareness RAN (CELF-III) * Rapid Automatic Naming Sequences (CMS) * Sequencing Numbers Forward (CMS) * Short-term memory Numbers Backward (CMS) * Working memory Verbal Learning (WRAML) * Memory for words Sentence Memory (WRAML) * Memory for sentences Story Memory (WRAML) * Memory for stories Language PPVT-III * Receptive vocabulary EVT* Expressive vocabulary Formulated Sentences (CELF-III) * Grammatical judgment/syntax Durrell Analysis of Reading Difficulty Listening comprehension * Asterisks denote standardized tests Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
  42. 42. Reading Measures Ofthe 4 reading measures, three are representative of lower-level reading skills: word attack, word recognition and reading time. The fourth measure is representative of higher-level reading skill: reading comprehension. Each of these measures is discussed in turn. Lower-level reading skills Pseudoword Decoding. The Word Attack subtest ofthe Woodcock Johnson Reading Mastery Test (WJRMT) was used to measure decoding skills. The child is asked to read pronounceable pseudowords, or non-words (e.g., “ift”, “mancingful”) that can be decoded by using English grapheme-phoneme conversion rules. The test consists of 45 items, and is terminated when the child makes six consecutive errors. WordRecognition. The word recognition subtest of the Wide Range Achievement Test - Third Edition (WRAT-3) (Jastek & Wilkinson, 1995) was used to measure context free word recognition. The child is asked to read a list of 42 isolated words. The list starts with simple words (e.g., “in”, “cat”, “book”) and progresses to more difficult words (e.g., “stretch”, “horizon”, and “itinerary”). The test is terminated when a child reads incorrectly ten consecutive words. The maximum score attainable on this test is 57. Reading Speed. The Biemiller Test of Reading Processes is a timed reading task that assesses the student’s ability to use context to facilitate word identification. The student is asked to read the passage as quickly as they can. The maximum score is the time (in seconds) that it takes for the student to read the passage. 41 Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
  43. 43. Higher-level reading skill Reading Comprehension. The Gates MacGinitie Reading Comprehension Test was administered to assess reading comprehension. The child is instructed to pay close attention to the stories as he/she is reading, because he/she will be asked questions about the story. The child is not provided with any assistance while reading. When the child has completed reading the passage, they must read and answer the questions that follow the story. It is important to note that two different test booklets were used. The grade 5 and 6 level booklet had more difficult processing and language demands than at the grade 3 level booklet. The maximum score for both the grade 3 and the grade 5/6 booklets is 48. Writing Measures Two writing measures were collected. The first measure, WRAT spelling, was chosen as a representative lower-level writing skill. The second measure, a writing sample taken lfom the TOWL-III, was chosen specifically to look at the different components of writing in a standardized fashion. However, given the biases of standardized norms with an ESL population, raw scores were used. There are scoring measures that represent lower level skills, such as the conventions of writing (punctuation and capitalization), the language of writing (sentence structure and grammar), productivity (number of words), and number of spelling errors. Scoring measures representing higher-level skills include story construction (the cognitive component of what a story is made of) which involves understanding the importance of a beginning, middle, and end to a story structure as well as the presence of conflict, and the resolution of that conflict for plot development. In addition, a measure called story schema, looks specifically at how the student is able to represent their understanding of a story. Each of these scoring measures is discussed in turn. Writing Sample. A standardized writing sample was collected using the Test of Written Language - Third Edition (TOWL-III). The children were given 45 minutes to write a 42 Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
  44. 44. story that went with the visual prompt. According to instructions, stories were only scored if they contained more than 40 words. The writing sample was then scored according to the last three subtests (the first two represent lower level skills, and the last represents higher level skill) of the TOWL-III. Descriptions follow: Lower-level writing skills Spelling. The spelling subtest of the Wide Range Achievement Test - Third Edition (WRAT-3) (Jastek & Wilkinson, 1995) was used to measure context free spelling. The child is asked to spell a list of 42 isolated words. The list starts with simple words (e.g., “in”, “cat”, “book”) and progresses to more difficult words (e.g., “stretch”, “horizon”, and “itinerary”). The test is terminated when a child spells incorrectly ten consecutive words. The maximum score on this test is 55. Contextual conventions. This subtest ofthe TOWL-III measures mastery of the arbitrary conventions of written language: punctuation, spelling and capitalization. A score is assigned out of 18. Contextual language. This subtest measures the use of language in writing, paying particular attention to sentence structure, grammar and vocabulary. A score is assigned out of 29. Higher-level writing skills Story construction. This subtest evaluates the student’s use ofprose, action, sequencing and theme. A score is assigned out of 21. It measures the cognitive components of story writing in that the student’s understanding of what constitutes a story (beginning, middle, end, conflict and resolution of conflict) is assessed. Three unstandardized measures supplemented the previously reported standardized measures from the TOWL-III. A simple word count was taken as a measure of 43 Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
  45. 45. Productivity - the number of words written in a 45 minute time period. In addition, a simple count ofthe number of spelling errors that occurred within the writing sample was taken as a measure of the students’ spelling errors made within the context of their writing. The third measure was taken from research on children’s development of a story schema. Story schema. This measure assessed children’s understanding ofthe requirements of a story. To study the development of children’s writing, researchers have developed category systems to analyze and classify children’s written compositions. The four categories used as a measure of story schema in this study are based on the work of Nodine et al. (1985) whose four categories used to classify story development are expressive, descriptive, story-like and story. Inter-rater reliability was .87 for composition classification. Children’s writing samples were scored on the basis of which category best described their stories as follows: Expressive: A writing sample wasjudged to be expressive if it did not contain a story line or narrative. Both this category and the next one, descriptive writing, lack a story line, but unlike descriptive writing, the expressive writing does not relate to the story in any manner. Descriptive: A writing sample wasjudged to be descriptive if it described a picture, person, place or thing, but failed to integrate them into a story. There was no evidence of story schema. Story-Like: A writing sample wasjudged to be “story-like” if it identified a setting but failed to describe a complication or resolution. Story: This category was used to describe writing samples that contained a setting, a conflict, and a resolution that related to one another. A story schema was evident. Cognitive Processing Measures Eight processing measures were collected on the basis ofthe research findings. First they were evaluated separately as to whether there were significant differences between the 44 Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
  46. 46. first language and second language speakers on each ofthese measures. Then, they were put into a factor analysis to see how they loaded into factors, in an attempt to simplify the regression analyses. These measures loaded onto two factors: a short-term auditory memory factor (consisting solely of the numbers forward subtest) and a cognitive ability factor which included the TAAS (Rosner), RAN, working memory and sequencing measures. The factor analysis follows in the Results section. Test of auditory analysis skills (TAAS; Rosner & Simon. 197IT The TAAS taps into a child’s syllable and phoneme awareness. The first few items require the segmentation of words into syllables, but the task becomes increasingly difficult as participants are asked to perform more complex phoneme manipulations including the deletion of initial, medial, and final sounds and the splitting of consonant blends. There were two trial demonstration words, followed by test items. The child was asked to repeat a word spoken by the examiner, and then repeat it again but without saying a particular syllable or phoneme (e.g., “ Say ‘dog’. Now say it again without the /d/”). Testing was discontinued after two consecutive errors and the child’s score was recorded as the item number prior to the two errors (consistent with the TAAS instructions). The child’s score was the number of items he/she got correct ranging from 0 to 22. The extended version ofthe TAAS, items 14 to 22, was used to provide items that would challenge the students in grades 5 and 6. This task has been shown to have a moderate to high reliability (a=.78) using Cronbach’s alpha (Yopp, 1988). Rapid automatized naming (RAN). Tests ofrapid automatic naming speed are designed to measure how automatically children recode visual information into a phonologically represented name code. The Rapid Automatic Naming task (RAN) task used in this study recorded how rapidly and accurately children identified a series of geometric shapes presented in a series of 10 in 5 rows. This task was taken from the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals - Third Edition (CELF-III). The maximum score on this test is how many seconds it takes the child to name the objects. 45 Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
  47. 47. Sequencing. The Sequences subtest ofthe Children’s Memory Scale (CMS) was administered as a measure of sequencing and working memory because, like the memory for numbers backwards subtest, the child was required to hold information in his or her memory and manipulate it before recalling it. However, this subtest differs in that it also requires the child to recall sequences of information, from well-learned sequences such as the alphabet, to sequences that required the child to add numbers by 3’s. The maximum score on this test was 84. Short-term auditory memory. The Memory for Numbers Forwards subtest of the Children’s Memory Scale (CMS) was administered as a measure of short-term auditory memory. Each child was asked to remember a series of numbers of increasing length. The maximum score on this test was 16. Working memory. The Memory for Numbers Backwards subtest of the Children’s Memory Scale (CMS) was administered as a measure of working memory. Each child was required to remember a series of numbers of increasing length, manipulate them in memory and recall them in a backward order. Memory for words. The Verbal Learning subtest ofthe Wide Range Assessment of Memory and Learning (WRAML) was administered as a measure of memory for words. Each child was required to recall a long list of words over four presentations with the opportunity to learn the words with repetition. For children 8 years and younger (grade 3), the maximum score is 52, and for children 9 years and up (grade 5/6), the maximum score is 64. Memory for sentences. The Sentence Memory subtest of the WRAML was administered as a measure of memory for sentences. Each child was required to recall a number of sentences of increasing length and complexity. Memory for sentences has been found to distinguish between LI and L2 learners because of the heavy language/syntax demands inherent in the task. This measure was collected as part of the Cognitive battery, but as an individual subtest, it loaded heavily on the Oral Language Proficiency factor and was 46 Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
  48. 48. therefore included in the composite. The maximum score on this subtest is 40 regardless of age. Memory for stories. The Story Memory subtest ofthe WRAML was administered as a measure of memory for stories. Each child was required to recall as many details in two stories that they were able to. This subtest assessed children’s ability to recall verbal detail with the benefit of context. The maximum score for children 8 years and younger (grade 3) is 45, and the maximum score for children 9 years and up (grade 5/6) is 51. Language Measures Four language measures were collected. Their contribution was assessed separately as well as in an Oral Language Proficiency (OLP) composite. This composite was constructed on the basis of a principal components analysis on which these five items loaded heavily. Receptive vocabulary. The Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test - Third Edition (PPVT-III) is a measure of receptive vocabulary. Each child was shown four pictures on a page (e.g., “dog”, “brush”, “chair”, “car”) and was then asked to point to one item (e.g., “can you point to the picture of a chair?”). The test consists of 204 words of increasing difficulty. The test is discontinued when the child responds incorrectly to eight items in a block of twelve questions. The maximum score on this test is 204. Expressive vocabulary. The Expressive Vocabulary Test (EVT) is a measure of expressive vocabulary. Each child was shown a picture (e.g., “bus”) and was then asked, “Can you tell me what this is a picture of ”? The test consists of 190 items of increasing difficulty. The test is discontinued when the child responds incorrectly to 5 consecutive items. Syntax/grammatical judgment. The Formulated Sentences subtest ofthe CELF-III was administered as a measure of syntax and grammatical judgment. Many studies have 47 Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
  49. 49. shown that this skill discriminates between LI and L2 learners. The maximum score on this test is 22. Listening comprehension. The Durrell Analysis of Reading Difficulty (Durrell, 1970) assesses listening comprehension. The test is comprised of three short stories (about a paragraph in length) that are read aloud to the child. Each child was instructed to pay attention while the researcher read the story and then was asked questions about the story. Following each story the child was asked to retell the story. This was followed by 5 questions - 4 factual questions and one requiring inference. The maximum score on this test is 6 (corresponding to attributed grade level). The Sentence Memory subtest ofthe WRAML, as described in the Cognitive Measures section, was administered as a measure of memory for sentences. As previously mentioned, memory for sentences has been found to distinguish between LI and L2 learners because ofthe heavy language/syntax demands inherent in the task. Although this measure was collected as part of the Cognitive battery, it loaded heavily on the Oral Language Proficiency composite. 48 Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
  50. 50. Procedures As indicated earlier, this research comprised a sub-study within the context of a larger project, assessing the development of literacy skills. As part ofthe larger project, children were tested on a variety of standardized reading and writing measures. As part of the current study, children were also assessed on a variety of cognitive and language processing measures. With the exception of the reading comprehension task and the writing sample that were administered within the class setting, the children were seen individually, in a quiet setting, by members of the research team (graduate students in psychology and education). The walls of all testing rooms were purposely bare, without letters, words or writing samples on display that might interfere with the accuracy ofthe testing results. To avoid bias associated with using norms standardized on LI populations, standardized test (e.g., WRAT-III, word recognition) raw scores were not converted to percentiles or standard scores. Instead, all analyses for both standardized and informal tasks were based on raw scores. 49 Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
  51. 51. CHAPTER THREE: RESULTS AND DISCUSSION Overview The results are presented in three major parts corresponding to the three main research questions. The first part examines whether any significant differences exist between ENG and ESL students on the reading and writing academic measures, and the cognitive and language processing measures. The second part examines the relation between lower- and higher-level reading and writing measures by Grade (3, 5/6) and by Language (ENG/ESL). The third part examines how much variance in the lower- and higher-level reading and writing skills is accounted for by the underlying cognitive and language processes. Variable Screening As previously mentioned, analyses were performed on raw scores (i.e., standardized test raw scores were not converted to percentiles or standard scores) to avoid problems associated with using norms standardized on English populations for ESL children. Prior to analysis, all variables were examined for accuracy of data entry, missing values, normalcy of distributions and other assumptions of univariate and multivariate analyses (using SPSS 9.0). When variables were found to possibly violate the normality assumption, two sets of analyses were performed. Analyses were run on both transformed (via square root and logarithmic transformations which brought the distributions within acceptable norms) and non-transformed variables. Differences in the results ofthese analyses were negligible, with no change in the level of significance. Therefore, analyses using non-transformed variables will be discussed, since interpretation of these results is more meaningful. Regression analyses, following the recommendation of Cohen and Cohen (1983) (see also Aiken & West, 1991; Holbeck, 1997), involved the use of z scores. The independent variables used in the interaction terms within the multiple sequential regression (i.e., 50 Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.

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