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Associated reading skills in children with a history of Specific Language Impairment (SLI)

Botting, N., Simkin, Z. & Conti-Ramsden, G. (2006). Associated reading skills in children with a history of Specific Language Impairment (SLI). Reading and Writing, 19(1), pp. 77-98. doi: 10.1007/s11145-005-4322-4


A large cohort of 200 eleven-year-old children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI) were assessed on basic reading accuracy and on reading comprehension as well as language tasks. Reading skills were examined descriptively and in relation to early language and literacy factors. Using stepwise regression analyses in which age and nonverbal IQ were controlled for, it was found that a single word reading measure taken at 7 years was unsurprisingly a strong predictor of the two different types of reading ability. However, even with this measure included, a receptive syntax task (TROG) entered when reading accuracy score was the DV. Furthermore, a test of expressive syntax/narrative and a receptive syntax task completed at 7 years entered into the model for word reading accuracy. When early reading accuracy was excluded from the analyses, early phonological skills also entered as a predictor of both reading accuracy and comprehension at 11 years. The group of children with a history of SLI were then divided into those with no literacy difficulties at 11 and those with some persisting literacy impairment. Using stepwise logistic regression, and again controlling for IQ and age, 7 years receptive syntax score (but not tests of phonology, expressive vocabulary or expressive syntax/narrative) entered as a positive predictor of membership of the ‘no literacy problems’ group regardless of whether early reading accuracy was controlled for in step one. The findings are discussed in relation to the overlap of SLI and dyslexia and the long term sequelae of language impairment.

Publication Type: Article
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Language & Communication Science
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