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Developmental Gradations of Kindergartners' Concept of Word in Text: An Examination of the Relationship between Fingerpoint Reading Skills and Other Early Literacy Measures
AuthorSmith, Regina E.
AdvisorBear, Donald R.
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This study examined the relationships between concept of word development and other early literacy measures (rhyme awareness, beginning sound awareness, alphabet knowledge, letter sound knowledge, spelling, and word recognition in isolation) using data from the PALS-K. Supporting previous research by using a much larger data set than had been used to date, Pearson Product-Moment correlations were used to describe the relationships between total concept of word scores and the literacy measures and multiple regression analysis were used to examine the ability of the literacy measures to predict total concept of word scores. Extending previous research, this study examined the developmental gradations in children's concept of word, a novel approach to examining concept of word data. Discriminant Analyses were used to build and test a model to identify the literacy measures from the PALS-K that best predict a child's level of concept of word development - developing, rudimentary, or firm. Pearson Product-moment correlations indicated significant relationships between all variable on the PALS-K and total concept of word scores with word recognition in isolation scores and spelling scores demonstrating the largest correlations. Standard multiple regression indicated that the subtests on the PALS-K were able to significantly predict a large portion of the variance in total concept of word scores with word recognition in isolation scores and spelling scores contributing the most unique variance. Discriminant analyses indicated the measures were able to classify students' concept of word development into the categories of developing, rudimentary, and full/firm, with word recognition in isolation score and spelling scores being most associated with the functions generated. Implications for teaching and future research are also discussed.