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School readiness of children with language impairment: Predicting literacy skills from pre-literacy and social-behavioural dimensions

Background: School readiness generally captures the notion that children do best when they arrive at formal schooling with a certain threshold of skill that will help them thrive in the classroom's academic and social milieu. Aims: To examine the dimensionality of the construct of school readiness among children with language impairment (LI), as well as the extent to which these dimensions relate to children's end-of-kindergarten literacy skills. Methods & Procedures: Participants were 136 preschool-aged children with LI. Children were assessed on measures of pre-literacy, social, and behavioural skills in preschool and reading and spelling in kindergarten. Outcomes & Results: Confirmatory factor analyses indicated that school readiness for this sample of children with LI is best characterized as two dimensions: pre-literacy and socio-emotional. Of the two dimensions, pre-literacy readiness was predictive of children's future performance in reading and spelling. Conclusions & Implications: The results further our theoretical understanding of the dimensions of school readiness, as well as our knowledge of how these skills are related among children with LI. Identifying domain-specific readiness skills that are predictive of kindergarten success can help to identify means of early assessment and targets for speech-language intervention. (author abstract)
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Reports & Papers
United States

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