The relationship between morphological awareness and literacy outcomes of elementary students: A meta-analysis study
Lee, Sangeun, 1971-
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Lee, Sangeun, 1971-
The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 requires the US educational systems to provide effective instruction for all students to be successful in reading. It is generally accepted that there are five essential components for effective reading instruction: phonological awareness, alphabetic understanding, vocabulary, fluency, and reading comprehension. However, the role of morphological awareness is gaining greater attention. This study focused on understanding the role of morphological awareness in relation to the more commonly accepted aspects of literacy instruction. The purpose of this study was to complete a meta-analysis on how specific aspects of morphological awareness relates to different components of literacy (i.e., word reading, reading comprehension, and spelling) in elementary-aged students of different grade levels and learner types. Specific procedures were used to identify relevant research that examined both morphological awareness and reading measures resulting in the identification of 44 studies. These studies were then coded for specific features and to capture and generate effect sizes for analysis. Results indicated a positive, strong relationship between morphological awareness in general and each literacy skill (i.e., word reading, reading comprehension, and spelling) in elementary students. No significant difference in the mean relationship between morphological awareness and reading outcomes was found for each of the following variables: (a) grade (lower versus upper elementary aged-students); (b) learner type (typical versus struggling and mixed learners); and (c) morphology type (derivational versus inflectional morphology). However, medium to large effects were found across each of these variables. Results were significantly impacted by a number of factors including the implemented coding procedures and features of the studies included in this meta-analysis (e.g., researcher developed measures, variation in defining student populations, etc.). However, a major factor that impacted addressing each specific research question was the limited number of effect sizes available for this meta-analysis. Suggestions for future research and general education implications are provided. Additional research in this area will improve the field by providing a better understanding of the role of morphological awareness within literacy instruction to potentially enable teachers to better meet the needs of all students.
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