Assessing Language for Literacy: A Microanalysis of Children’s Vocabulary, Syntax and Narrative Grammar

  •  Janet Scull    


This paper examines the oral language resources that enhance children’s reading and comprehension processes. Using data from a study of 16 children, the microanalysis of the three more successful readers, identified salient factors from the individual children’s learning profiles that were observed as associated with their positive comprehension outcomes. The results indicate vocabulary knowledge, syntactic competence and an understanding of narrative grammar as important to the concurrent development of children’s oral language abilities commensurate with text reading. The study emphasises the facilitative role of oral language to early reading acquisition processes, the need for teachers’ detailed knowledge of children’s oral language competencies and improved access to assessment tools that capture a range of complex language skills to inform classroom practice.

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