Predicting Second Grade Listening Comprehension Using Prekindergarten Measures

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The purpose of this study was to determine prekindergarten predictors of listening comprehension in second grade.


Within a large, 5-year longitudinal study, children progressing from prekindergarten to second grade were administered a comprehensive set of prekindergarten measures of foundational language skills (vocabulary and grammar), higher-level language skills (inferencing, comprehension monitoring, and text structure knowledge), listening comprehension, working memory, and nonverbal processing, as well as second grade measures of listening comprehension.


A prekindergarten measure of listening comprehension—the Test of Narrative Language—and a prekindergarten measure of foundational language skills and working memory—the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals-4 Recalling Sentences—were significant predictors of second grade listening comprehension.


Our findings show that a quick, reliable measure of sentence imitation and/or listening comprehension, administered in prekindergarten, provides insight into a child's second grade listening comprehension. Knowing who is at risk for comprehension failure will allow educators to make informed, evidence-based decisions on the need for further in-depth assessment and language-intensive instruction to stave off future reading disabilities.

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