Applied Psycholinguistics

Articles

Roles of morphological awareness in the reading comprehension of Spanish-speaking language minority learners: Exploring partial mediation by vocabulary and reading fluency

MICHAEL J. KIEFFERa1 c1, GINA BIANCAROSAa2 and JEANNETTE MANCILLA-MARTINEZa3

a1 Teachers College, Columbia University

a2 University of Oregon

a3 University of Illinois, Chicago

ABSTRACT

This study investigated the direct and indirect roles of morphological awareness reading comprehension for Spanish-speaking language minority learners reading in English. Multivariate path analysis was used to investigate the unique contribution of derivational morphological awareness to reading comprehension as well as its indirect contributions via three hypothesized mediators for students in sixth, seventh, and eighth grade (N = 101). Results indicated a significant unique contribution of morphological awareness, controlling for phonemic decoding, listening comprehension, reading vocabulary, word reading fluency, and passage reading fluency. Results further indicated significant indirect contributions of morphological awareness via reading vocabulary and passage fluency, but not via word reading fluency. Findings suggest that morphological awareness may play multiple important roles in second-language reading comprehension.

(Received September 11 2010)

(Accepted April 02 2011)

Correspondence

c1 ADDRESS FOR CORRESPONDENCE Michael J. Kieffer, Teachers College, Columbia University, 525 West 120th Street, Box 66, New York, NY 10027. E-mail: mk3157@columbia.edu

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