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Language Bases of Skilled Reading Comprehension


Research Team

Principal Investigator: Tiffany Hogan

Funding Information

Funding Agency: Institute of Education Sciences (IES)

Subcontract from: The Ohio State University

Award Date: Jul 1, 2010

End Date: Jun 30, 2015


This project is funded by a subcontract from The Ohio State University.

This project involves a five-year series of studies that empirically examines the language bases of skilled reading comprehension during the course of early childhood (prekindergarten through third grade, corresponding to ages 4-8). The series of studies builds upon extant literature showing that component language skills—including basic and higher-order comprehension monitoring—explain significant amounts of variance in reading comprehension. 

Therefore, this project pursues a) lines of basic research on the development of reading comprehension and b) applied research on the feasibility and efficacy of reading comprehension interventions.

The primary goal of the basic research lines are to:

  1. Describe the developmental pathways of basic and higher-order language skills from kindergarten through primary grades.
  2. Identify those skills that represent direct or indirect contributors to reading comprehension outcomes.
  3. Identify those skills that appear particularly malleable across early childhood.
To achieve this goal, researchers will use a cross-sectional longitudinal design for a sample of 1,200 children ages 4-8. A sub-sample of approximately 100 English language learners is also included, to explore the research goal within this emerging sub-population of American schoolchildren. 

The primary goal of the applied research line is to determine the feasibility and efficacy of instruction focused on basic and higher-order language skills for improving children’s reading comprehension in the short- and long-term. The development of instructional enhancements include:

  1. Five 30-minute supplemental programs for prekindergarten and kindergarten teachers.
  2. Providing first through third grade teachers with a set of classroom practices that address basic or higher-language learning goals.
The fourth and fifth years of the study will involve two simultaneous multi-state efficacy trials of the prekindergarten/kindergarten program and the first- through third-grade practices.

Early Education & Development, Academic Intervention & Learning