Oral morphosyntactic competence as a predictor of reading comprehension in children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI)

Children with SLI tend to present a deficit in oral comprehension. In that way, the study intends to investigate the influence of oral comprehension on reading comprehension in children of 7 and 8 years in Catalan-Spanish bilingual with SLI.

At the age of 7-8 years, children with SLI had similar results to their age peers in reading comprehension. That was because both children with language difficulties and children without any difficulty, were still acquiring reading comprehension. Nevertheless, there were different comprehension skills amongst children with and without language difficulties. Therefore, the competence of oral comprehension as a significant influence on the comprehension was analysed, as well as the results of reading. This allowed us to see that the oral comprehension of morphosyntax (ability to know if a sentence is correct in a language and to adequately combine the elements and the rules of its composition), is a relevant ability to predict the skill of reading comprehension. From that, it was possible to reach the conclusion that there are common linguistic processes, responsible for oral comprehension and reading comprehension, so it is important to first work on oral comprehension, in order to ensure reading comprehension.

Finally, it is important to emphasize that the oral comprehension deficits that usually appear in children with SLI have to be taken into account early, adopting the necessary measures and trying to alleviate them, because they can later affect the acquisition and reading competence.

Reference: Buil-Legaz L, Aguilar-Mediavilla E., Rodríguez-Ferreiro. J. (2016). Oral morphosyntactic competence as a predictor of reading comprehension in children with specific language impairment. International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, 51(4):473-7.