This study evaluated the reading abilities between 8 and 12 years in bilingual Catalan-Spanish children with Specific Language Impairment. The difficulties of oral language of these children at preschool age can affect the subsequent acquisition of reading.
The results showed that, in effect, these children had problems of decoding and reading comprehension at 8 years, although only reading comprehension abilities of texts were still deteriorated at 12 years. The reading abilities of children at the age of 12 years could be predicted by semantic verbal fluency at preschool age (ability to say words from a semantic field, for example animals). Therefore, the semantic capacity in the initial stage of the developmental of oral language have great importance for the subsequent consolidation of the acquisition of reading.
In this way, it is very important to stimulate that semantic capacity in the early stages of oral language development, because a deterioration in this is a risk factor for the difficulties of learning to read.
Reference: Buil-Legaz L, Aguilar-Mediavilla E, Rodríguez-Ferreiro. J. (2015). Reading skills in young adolescents with a history of Specific Language Impairment: The role of early semantic capacity. Journal of Communication Disorders, 10;58:14-20.