Drawing on the cognitive and ecological domains within the componential model of reading, this longitudinal study explores heterogeneity in the sources of reading difficulties for language minority learners and native English speakers in urban schools. Students (N = 150) were followed from first through third grade and assessed annually on standardized English language and reading measures. Structural equation modeling was used to investigate the relative contributions of code-related and linguistic comprehension skills in first and second grade to third grade reading comprehension. Linguistic comprehension and the interaction between linguistic comprehension and code-related skills each explained substantial variation in reading comprehension. Among students with low reading comprehension, more than 80% demonstrated weaknesses in linguistic comprehension alone, whereas approximately 15% demonstrated weaknesses in both linguistic comprehension and code-related skills. Results were remarkably similar for the language minority learners and native English speakers, suggesting the importance of their shared socioeconomic backgrounds and schooling contexts.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This research was supported in part by challenge grants to Rose K. Vukovic from New York University and the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.
- language minority learners
- longitudinal research
- oral language
- reading difficulties