The Influence of Morphological Awareness on the Literacy Development of First-Grade Children Purpose The purpose of this study was twofold. First, we investigated whether first-grade children evidenced morphological awareness and whether they used their knowledge of morphological relations to guide their spelling. Second, we sought to determine whether children’s morphological awareness abilities were predictive of their performance on word-level reading and spelling ... Clinical Forum
Clinical Forum  |   July 01, 2009
The Influence of Morphological Awareness on the Literacy Development of First-Grade Children
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Julie A. Wolter
    Utah State University, Logan
  • Alexis Wood
    Utah State University, Logan
  • Kim W. D’zatko
    Utah State University, Logan
  • Contact author: Julie Wolter, Utah State University, 1000 Old Main Hill, Logan, UT 84322. E-mail: julie.wolter@usu.edu.
Article Information
Development / Normal Language Processing / Clinical Forum
Clinical Forum   |   July 01, 2009
The Influence of Morphological Awareness on the Literacy Development of First-Grade Children
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, July 2009, Vol. 40, 286-298. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2009/08-0001)
History: Received January 14, 2008 , Accepted July 23, 2008
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, July 2009, Vol. 40, 286-298. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2009/08-0001)
History: Received January 14, 2008; Accepted July 23, 2008
Web of Science® Times Cited: 48

Purpose The purpose of this study was twofold. First, we investigated whether first-grade children evidenced morphological awareness and whether they used their knowledge of morphological relations to guide their spelling. Second, we sought to determine whether children’s morphological awareness abilities were predictive of their performance on word-level reading and spelling measures.

Method At the beginning of the academic school year, 43 first-grade children were administered an oral morphological awareness production task, a series of single-word morphological spelling tasks, and a battery of language and literacy tasks.

Results The first-grade children were able to generate words reflecting morphological relations before they received explicit instruction regarding morphological relations between words. In addition, the children used morphological information to guide their spelling of single words, as evidenced by a difference in patterns of spellings between 1- and 2-morpheme words. Regression analyses revealed that the children’s performance on the oral morphological production task explained unique variance on their reading and spelling measures above and beyond the variance that was accounted for by phonological awareness.

Conclusion Children as young as first graders evidenced morphological awareness, and morphological awareness influenced the children’s literacy development. Theoretical implications of the findings are discussed.

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