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ERIC Number: EJ772022
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Aug
Pages: 16
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0022-0663
Precursors of Reading Skill from Infancy to First Grade in Finnish: Continuity and Change in a Highly Inflected Language
Silven, Maarit; Poskiparta, Elisa; Niemi, Pekka; Voeten, Marinus
Journal of Educational Psychology, v99 n3 p516-531 Aug 2007
The course of language acquisition from infancy to public primary school was followed in a sample of 56 Finnish children to examine precursors to reading at first grade. Structural equation modeling of continuity suggested effects from growth in early vocabulary to mastery of inflectional forms at preschool age. The early language directly influenced early phonological awareness (PA) and only indirectly influenced later development in PA and word reading. The course of development in PA progressed from detecting larger multiphonemic units toward recognizing and producing phonemes in words, which, in turn, were positively associated with differences in producing new words by deleting and blending phonemes at kindergarten age. Including word reading before school entry levelled out the influence of the concurrent phonemic awareness factor on reading at first grade. Hence, in a highly inflected language with a transparent orthography, the pathway to reading consisted of skills learned in succession, the last phase being characterized by simultaneous development involving phonemic awareness and emerging reading skill. The finding led to the conclusion that, in addition to universal routes, language- and culture-specific routes to literacy must be acknowledged when searching for the precursors to reading at school age.
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Kindergarten; Preschool Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Finland