An Investigation of Kindergarten Children’s Concepts Related to Reading in Emergent Literacy
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AuthorMannara, Rhonda Aileen Smith
KeywordConcept About Print
California Achievement Test
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AbstractThe primary purpose of this study was to investigate the literacy concepts related to reading that children have acquired by the end of kindergarten. A secondary purpose was to examine the relationship between these concepts and reading comprehension ability as indicated by performance on a standardized reading achievement test. The subjects of this study were twenty kindergarten children randomly selected from six heterogeneous classes totaling 122 students. The students were interviewed individually and administered Clay's (1979) Concepts About Print test (CAP) entitled "Stones." The semi-structured interview was given to each child to determine the child's understanding of the purpose and process of reading. The following questions were asked: 1) "What is reading?" 2) "Can you read? When do you think you will learn to read?" 3) Why do you read or want to learn to read?" 4) "How is reading done?" 5) "What must you do to learn to read?" 6) "What is a word?" The interview was tape recorded and observations recorded. Following the interview, the child was administered the Concept About Print test. The responses to each item of the test were scored and summarized in table form to show the items which most children responded to accurately. The responses to the interview questions were analyzed and categorized to answer the following question: What concepts related to reading do children possess at the end of kindergarten? Based on the results of the analysis of the responses to the interview questions and the analysis of the CAP test results, it was found that the children in this study have varied concepts of reading at the end of kindergarten. Each child's concept of reading was based on his experience and was unique. Also investigated in this study was the relationship between children's Concepts About Print (CAP scores) and their reading comprehension ability (scores obtained from the California Achievement Test). The raw scores from the CAP test and the CAT test were recorded and a Pearson Product Moment Correlation analysis was calculated to determine if a statistically significant relationship existed between children's concepts and reading ability. The coefficient of correlation (r) was found to be .68 which indicated a moderately strong, positive association between the level of print awareness (CAP) and the level of reading comprehension ability (CAT) for the children in this study.