Rate of Growth of Preschool-Age Children’s Oral Language and Decoding Skills Predicts Beginning Writing Ability

Sonia Q. Cabell, Hope K. Gerde, Hye Jin Hwang, Ryan Bowles, Lori Skibbe, Shayne B. Piasta, Laura M. Justice

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Research Findings: This study examined the extent to which children’s development and growth in oral language and literacy skills during the early childhood period predicted writing ability in the primary grades. Participants were 313 children who were tested on a battery of oral language and literacy measures at four time points, beginning during preschool (M age = 4.2 years) and spaced approximately 6 months apart over 1.5 years. Results provided a novel contribution to the extant literature by demonstrating that both children’s early skill levels and rates of growth in oral language and decoding skills predicted later spelling and written composition when children were in kindergarten or first grade. Practice or Policy: Findings suggest that in addition to having a stronger starting point (i.e., higher initial skill level), the more quickly children can further develop these skills, the more they are able to use them to write productively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1198-1221
Number of pages24
JournalEarly Education and Development
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank the parents and children who made this work possible. We would also like to thank Beth Phillips for her contributions to early discussions about the ideas presented in this manuscript. The research reported here was supported by the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, through Grant R305A110293 awarded to Michigan State University (Bowles, Skibbe) and the Ohio State University (Justice, Piasta). The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not represent views of the Institute or the U.S. Department of Education.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


Dive into the research topics of 'Rate of Growth of Preschool-Age Children’s Oral Language and Decoding Skills Predicts Beginning Writing Ability'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this