Early Positive Predictors of Later Reading Comprehension for African American Students A Preliminary Investigation Clinical Forum
Clinical Forum  |   January 01, 2003
Early Positive Predictors of Later Reading Comprehension for African American Students
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Holly K. Craig
    University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • Carol M. Connor
    University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • Julie A. Washington
    University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • Contact author: Holly K. Craig, PhD, University Center for the Development of Language and Literacy, University of Michigan, 1111 E. Catherine Street, Ann Arbor MI 48109-2054.
    Contact author: Holly K. Craig, PhD, University Center for the Development of Language and Literacy, University of Michigan, 1111 E. Catherine Street, Ann Arbor MI 48109-2054.×
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: hkc@umich.edu
Article Information
Development / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / School-Based Settings / Clinical Forum: Literacy Issues in Multicultural Populations
Clinical Forum   |   January 01, 2003
Early Positive Predictors of Later Reading Comprehension for African American Students
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, January 2003, Vol. 34, 31-43. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2003/004)
History: Received March 22, 2002 , Accepted September 23, 2002
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, January 2003, Vol. 34, 31-43. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2003/004)
History: Received March 22, 2002; Accepted September 23, 2002

Purpose: This investigation examined the performance of 50 African American children on a reading comprehension test.

Method: Longitudinal data were compared for two groups of students who were preschoolers or kindergartners at Time 1 and elementary-grade students at Time 2. Outcomes were examined for positive predictive relationships based on their oral language and cognitive skills as preschoolers and kindergartners at Time 1. The Time 1 preschoolers were all from low-income homes, whereas the Time 1 kindergartners were all from middle-income homes. All students were urban dwellers and speakers of African American English.

Results: Two measures predicted later reading comprehension levels for the Time 1 preschoolers: use of complex syntax and shape matching. The Time 1 preschoolers and kindergartners showed no significant differences in reading comprehension at the end of first grade, but the preschoolers were significantly ahead of the kindergartners in reading by third grade.

Clinical Implications: The potential of preschools that emphasize early language and literacy for improving the reading outcomes of African American students is discussed.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
This investigation was supported by the Center for Improvement of Early Reading Achievement (CIERA) at the University of Michigan—U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement, Grant R305R70004; U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement Research, Grant R305T990368; and Research Grant 1 RO1 DC 02313-01A1 from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, National Institutes of Health. The authors thank the participating administrators, teachers, parents, and students, and Stephen Raudenbush for helpful comments on the statistical aspects of the study.
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