Predicting the early growth of word and nonword reading fluency in a consistent syllabic orthography

Tomohiro Inoue, George K. Georgiou, Naoko Muroya, Miyuki Hosokawa, Hisao Maekawa, Rauno Parrila

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: The present study aimed to examine the early growth of word and nonword reading fluency and their cognitive predictors in a consistent syllabic orthography (Japanese Hiragana). Method: One hundred sixty-nine Grade 1 Japanese children (Mage = 80.12 months, SD = 3.62) were followed until the middle of Grade 2 and assessed four times on word and nonword reading fluency in Hiragana. Nonverbal IQ, vocabulary, phonological awareness, rapid automatized naming, phonological memory and morphological awareness were also assessed at the beginning of Grade 1. Results: Growth curve analysis showed that growth was faster in word reading than in nonword reading and the lexicality effect increased over time. Rapid automatized naming, phonological memory and morphological awareness were associated with the initial status and rate of growth in word and nonword reading. Furthermore, the initial status and the growth rates were highly correlated between word and nonword reading, even when the effects of the cognitive skills were controlled. Conclusions: These findings suggest that, despite the remarkable differences in the growth trajectories of word and nonword reading fluency, they share at least a part of their underlying processes and develop closely in tandem during this period.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)364-381
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Research in Reading
Volume43
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020

Keywords

  • word reading
  • reading fluency
  • growth trajectory
  • syllabary
  • Japanese

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