This study explored the progress of reading and writing skills from preschool to grade 2 among three groups: a risk group, an early readers group, and a middle group. Differences were observed between these groups through the school years in pre-reading skills, reading and spelling skills, and motivation. These skills were lowest in risk group and highest in early readers group.
Authors: Marja-Kristiina Lerkkanen, Anna-Maija Poikkeus, Timo Ahonen, Martti Siekkinen, Pekka Niemi, & Jari-Erik Nurmi
Source: Lerkkanen, M-K., Poikkeus, A-M., Ahonen, T., Siekkinen, M., Niemi, P., & Nurmi, J-E. (2010). Luku- ja kirjoitustaidon kehitys sekä motivaatio esi- ja alkuopetusvuosina. Kasvatus, 41(2), 116–128.
This study explored the progress of reading and writing skills from preschool to grade 2 among three groups: a risk group, an early readers group, and a middle group. Differences were observed between these groups through the school years in pre-reading skills, reading and spelling skills, and motivation. Parents of early readers had more positive performance expectations and beliefs about their child and they taught reading more frequently to their child.
What is intrinsic motivation?
What is extrinsic motivation?
This study formed part of the larger First Steps study, in which approximately 2000 children were followed from preschool to grade 9. In this particular study, children’s reading and writing skill development was monitored from preschool to grade 2 among three groups: a risk group for reading difficulty (n = 162), an early readers group (n = 469), and a middle group including all the other children (n = 1205).
The study included several assessments (on a yearly basis) of student academic performance, motivation, social skills, and wellbeing.
Children in the risk group had lower pre-reading, reading, and spelling skills, as well as motivation compared to other children. Furthermore, their parents had lower achievement expectations and beliefs as well as guiding their children less towards reading. Children in the risk group may need more motivation and individualised support at school to learn to read. Their vocabulary and listening comprehension skills should already be practiced in preschool. Risk group children (especially boys) might benefit from teaching that includes adventure, action, and movement while learning letters, phonemes, and decoding. In addition, computer-based games might help them to learn to read. One important factor in learning is the teacher–student relationship and the quality of instruction. The quality of teaching practice and emotional support affects the climate of the class and therefore also student motivation and reading skill development.