Vocabulary is important for some, but not all reading skills

Jessie Ricketts*, Kate Nation, Dorothy V M Bishop

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

205 Citations (Scopus)


Although there is evidence for a close link between the development of oral vocabulary and reading comprehension, less clear is whether oral vocabulary skills relate to the development of word-level reading skills. This study investigated vocabulary and literacy in 81 children aged 8 to 10 years. In regression analyses, vocabulary accounted for unique variance in exception word reading and reading comprehension, but not text reading accuracy, decoding, or regular word reading. Consistent with these data, children with poor reading comprehension exhibited oral vocabulary weaknesses and read fewer exception words correctly. These findings demonstrate that oral vocabulary is associated with some, but not all, reading skills. Results are discussed in terms of current models of reading development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-257
Number of pages23
JournalScientific Studies of Reading
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2007


Cite this

Ricketts, J., Nation, K., & Bishop, D. V. M. (2007). Vocabulary is important for some, but not all reading skills. Scientific Studies of Reading, 11(3), 235-257.