Research-Based Practices Understanding the Link between Oral Language, Reading, and Writing
Language is not only important in communicating thoughts and ideas; language is important to school success. Research findings indicate a complex relationship between oral language and developing skills in literacy. The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (2005) conducted a longitudinal study following children from age 3 through third grade to examine the role of oral language in developing reading competence. The results suggest that oral language (language including grammar, vocabulary, and semantics) plays both an indirect and a direct role in word recognition and serves as a better foundation for reading than vocabulary alone.
In addition to reading, a child's difficulties in oral language also may affect written language, although the research is more limited in this area. Mackie and Dockrell (2004) examined the nature and extent of children's written language using two groups of 11-year-old children, one group of children with specific language impairments and a second group of children without disabilities. Their research found that children with specific language impairments wrote fewer words and produced more errors in syntax than children without disabilities.
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