Predicting the reading skill of Japanese children

Tatsuya Ogino, Kaoru Hanafusa, Teruko Morooka, Akihito Takeuchi, Makio Oka, Yoko Ohtsuka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective To clarify cognitive processes underlining the development of reading in children speaking Japanese as their first language, we examined relationships between performances of cognitive tasks in the preschool period and later reading abilities. Methods Ninety-one normally developing preschoolers (41 girls and 50 boys; 5 years 4 months to 6 years 4 months, mean 5 years 10 months) participated as subjects. We conducted seven cognitive tasks including phonological awareness tasks, naming tasks, and working memory tasks in the preschool period. In terms of reading tasks, the hiragana naming task was administered in the preschool period; the reading times, which is a composite score of the monomoraic syllable reading task, the word and the non-word reading tasks, and the single sentence reading task, was evaluated in first and second grade; and the kanji reading task (naming task) was tested in second grade. Raven's colored progressive matrices and picture vocabulary test revised were also conducted in first grade. Correlation analyses between task scores and stepwise multiple regression analyses were implemented. Results Tasks tapping phonological awareness, lexical access, and verbal working memory showed significant correlations with reading tasks. In the multiple regression analyses the performances in the verbal working memory task played a key role in predicting character naming task scores (the hiragana naming task and the kanji reading task) while the digit naming task was an important predictor of reading times. Unexpectedly, the role of phonological (mora) awareness was modest among children speaking Japanese. Conclusion Cognitive functions including phonological awareness, digit naming, and verbal working memory (especially the latter two) were involved in the development of reading skills of children speaking Japanese.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112-121
Number of pages10
JournalBrain and Development
Volume39
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2017

Keywords

  • Digit naming
  • Japanese
  • Phonological awareness
  • Reading development
  • Verbal working memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology

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