Early Phonological Skill as a Predictor of Reading Acquisition in Latvian

Authored by: leva Sprugevica , Ingrida Paunina , Torleiv Høien

Handbook of Orthography and Literacy

Print publication date:  September  2005
Online publication date:  May  2013

Print ISBN: 9780805846522
eBook ISBN: 9780203824719
Adobe ISBN: 9781136781353


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The grapheme—phoneme relationship in Latvian language is reasonably straightforward even though there are some exceptions. This state of regularity is attained by extensive use of diacritical marks. This chapter reports a study that examined the effectiveness of some measures of phonological skills (phonemic awareness), rapid naming, and short-term memory in predicting later reading skills. Of these independent variables, phonemic awareness assessed at kindergarten level turned out to be the only significant predictor of word decoding and sentence comprehension at first and second grade levels. The predictive power of short-term memory and rapid naming turned out to be insignificant. The study also compared the outcome of traditional methods of data analysis with that of the method of growth-curve analysis and found that both yielded comparable results.

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