Prediction of word recognition in the first half of grade 1
Van Leeuwe, J.F.J.
Van der Veld, W.M.
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Early detection of reading problems is important to prevent an enduring lag in reading skills. We studied the relationship between speed of word recognition (after six months of grade 1 education) and four kindergarten pre-literacy skills: letter knowledge, phonological awareness and naming speed for both digits and letters. Our sample consisted of 178 pupils divided over seven classes. In agreement with the literature, we found that all four kindergarten tests were related to speed of word recognition in grade 1. We also performed a multiple regression analysis with a set of background variables and the four kindergarten tests. The model explained 53% of the variance in speed of word recognition. However, only letter knowledge and naming speed for digits had a significant direct effect. Our conclusion is, nevertheless, that all four kindergarten tests should be used to identify children at risk for reading problems. Keywords: word recognition; beginning reading; phonological awareness; letter knowledge; naming speed