Early positive predictors of later reading comprehension for African American students: A preliminary investigation

Holly K. Craig, Carol M. Connor, Julie A. Washington

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    69 Scopus citations


    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.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)31-43
    Number of pages13
    JournalLanguage, speech, and hearing services in schools
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Jan 2003


    • Child language acquisition
    • Literacy development
    • Minority language
    • Multicultural

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Language and Linguistics
    • Linguistics and Language
    • Speech and Hearing


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