Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Communication Sciences and Disorders


Dr. Genese Warr-Leeper

Second Advisor

Dr. Janis Cardy

Third Advisor

Dr. Marilyn K. Kertoy


Literature supports that development of oral language is strongly related to future reading abilities and hence, academic success. In order to further investigate the oral language skills which may predict reading disorders, the present study reported a longitudinal investigation of the reading abilities of children in early and late elementary school who were originally assessed for their oral language abilities when they were in Junior Kindergarten (JK) and Senior Kindergarten (SK). Findings of the present study indicated that sentence repetition abilities predicted outcomes for reading accuracy, reading comprehension, as well as text levels on the Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA). Further, story comprehension and retell abilities were also found to predict reading comprehension outcomes on the DRA. Overall, the investigated oral language skills predicted reading outcomes better at grade 3 than at grade 6. The oral language skills also predicted reading outcomes differently based on their assessment at JK or SK. Finally, the analysis revealed that significantly more kindergarten students categorized with not average speech and/or language (s/l) skills were distributed into below reading expectation categories on the DRA compared to average speech and language kindergarten students. Results from the present study may add to the literature supporting the use of early language markers to anticipate potential vulnerability for the development of literacy.



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