Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic: Typical and Atypical Cognitive Development

A special issue of Behavioral Sciences (ISSN 2076-328X). This special issue belongs to the section "Cognition".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2023) | Viewed by 11225

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Faculty of Psychology, University of Lisbon, 1649-013 Lisbon, Portugal
Interests: literacy (the ability to read and write) acquisition; literacy predictors and the influence of orthographic consistency on the development of reading and spelling abilities
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Guest Editor
Egas Moniz Interdisciplinary Research Center (CiiEM), Egas Moniz University Institute (IUEM), Monte de Caparica, 2829-511 Almada, Portugal
Interests: orthographic knowledge; reading; writing development
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The goal of this Special Issue is to increase our understanding of how children acquire the proverbial three Rs: reading, writing, and arithmetic. Several cognitive skills such as phonological awareness, orthographic knowledge, and rapid automatized naming have been recognized as fundamental for reading and writing development. Likewise, number sense and counting have been pointed out as crucial for the development of arithmetic skills. Recent research has even suggested a considerable overlap in the cognitive predictors of reading, writing, and/or arithmetic skills. Clarifying cross- and within-domain predictors is important since they may carry significant implications for cognitive developmental theories and practice. Within this scope, we welcome contributions from research groups worldwide, focusing on typical and/or atypical acquisition of reading, writing, and arithmetic skills.

We intend to select new empirical research and studies that use a systematic framework that has not been published elsewhere. Research issues may be addressed employing quantitative methodologies or provide a systematic review on a topic of the three Rs.

Dr. Sandra Fernandes
Dr. Luís Querido
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • reading
  • spelling
  • writing
  • arithmetic
  • development

Published Papers (7 papers)

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15 pages, 520 KiB  
Article
Learning to Read in an Intermediate Depth Orthography: The Longitudinal Role of Grapheme Sounding on Different Types of Reading Fluency
by Sandra Fernandes, Luís Querido and Arlette Verhaeghe
Behav. Sci. 2024, 14(5), 396; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs14050396 - 10 May 2024
Viewed by 826
Abstract
Phonological processing skills, such as phonological awareness, are known predictors of reading acquisition in alphabetic languages with varying degrees of orthographic complexity. However, the role of multi-letter-sound knowledge, an important foundation for early reading development, in supporting reading fluency development remains to be [...] Read more.
Phonological processing skills, such as phonological awareness, are known predictors of reading acquisition in alphabetic languages with varying degrees of orthographic complexity. However, the role of multi-letter-sound knowledge, an important foundation for early reading development, in supporting reading fluency development remains to be determined. This study examined whether two core foundational skills, phonemic awareness and grapheme sounding, have a predictive role in reading fluency development in an intermediate-depth orthography. The participants were 62 children learning to read in European Portuguese, and they were longitudinally assessed on phonemic awareness, complex grapheme sounding, and reading fluency (decoding, word, and text) from Grade 2 to Grade 3. The results showed that grapheme sounding predicted reading fluency development controlled for nonverbal intelligence and vocabulary, short-term verbal memory, and phonemic awareness. Grapheme sounding plays a prominent role in predicting reading fluency outcomes, whereas phonemic awareness (both accuracy and time per correct item) did not contribute to any of the three types of reading fluency. The fact that grapheme-sounding predicted reading fluency is likely due to complex grapheme-phoneme correspondences being required to achieve proficient reading. These findings provide insights into the cognitive processes underlying reading development in intermediate-depth orthographies and have implications for early literacy instruction. Full article
11 pages, 287 KiB  
Article
Domain Specific and Cross Domain Associations between PASS Cognitive Processes and Academic Achievement
by Sergios C. Sergiou, George K. Georgiou and Charalambos Y. Charalambous
Behav. Sci. 2023, 13(10), 824; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs13100824 - 7 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 931
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to examine the role of intelligence—operationalized in terms of Planning, Attention, Simultaneous, and Successive (PASS) processing skills—in reading and mathematics. Two hundred and forty-two Grade 6 Greek-speaking students (114 boys and 128 girls, Mage = 135.65 [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to examine the role of intelligence—operationalized in terms of Planning, Attention, Simultaneous, and Successive (PASS) processing skills—in reading and mathematics. Two hundred and forty-two Grade 6 Greek-speaking students (114 boys and 128 girls, Mage = 135.65 months, SD = 4.12 months) were assessed on PASS processes, speed of processing (Visual Matching), reading (Wordchains and CBM-Maze), and mathematics (Mathematics Achievement Test and Mathematics Reasoning Test). The results of the hierarchical regression analyses showed that, after controlling for family’s socioeconomic status and speed of processing, Attention and Successive processing predicted reading and Planning and Simultaneous processing predicted mathematics. Taken together, these findings suggest that different PASS processes may account for individual differences in reading and mathematics. Full article
11 pages, 277 KiB  
Article
Do Performance-Based Measures and Behavioral Ratings of Executive Functioning Complement Each Other in Predicting Reading and Mathematics in Chinese?
by George K. Georgiou and Li Zhang
Behav. Sci. 2023, 13(10), 823; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs13100823 - 6 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1034
Abstract
We examined what executive functioning (EF) components predict reading and mathematics within the same study and whether the effects of behavioral ratings of EF overlap or complement those of performance-based measures. One hundred and nine Grade 2 Mandarin-speaking Chinese students from Chengdu, China [...] Read more.
We examined what executive functioning (EF) components predict reading and mathematics within the same study and whether the effects of behavioral ratings of EF overlap or complement those of performance-based measures. One hundred and nine Grade 2 Mandarin-speaking Chinese students from Chengdu, China (55 girls, 54 boys, Mage = 8.15 years), were assessed on measures of EF (planning, inhibition, shifting, and working memory), speed of processing, reading and mathematics. Parents also rated their children’s EF skills using the Childhood Executive Functioning Inventory. Results of hierarchical regression analyses showed that only working memory among the performance-based EF measures predicted reading and mathematics. In addition, none of the behavioral ratings of EF made a significant contribution to reading and mathematics after controlling for mother’s education and speed of processing. Taken together, these findings suggest that working memory is a domain general predictor of academic achievement, but only when measured with cognitive tasks. Full article
17 pages, 361 KiB  
Article
The Role of Emergent Literacy Assessment in Brazilian Portuguese Literacy Acquisition during COVID-19
by Érica Prates Krás Borges, Gabriella Koltermann, Carla Alexandra da Silva Moita Minervino and Jerusa Fumagalli de Salles
Behav. Sci. 2023, 13(6), 510; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs13060510 - 19 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1229
Abstract
The contributions of emergent literacy skills to reading and writing development have been evidenced in different linguistic contexts. The worsening of the Brazil literacy scenario during the pandemic denoted the importance of a better understanding of these contributions’ specificities in Brazilian Portuguese to [...] Read more.
The contributions of emergent literacy skills to reading and writing development have been evidenced in different linguistic contexts. The worsening of the Brazil literacy scenario during the pandemic denoted the importance of a better understanding of these contributions’ specificities in Brazilian Portuguese to support evidence-based mitigation strategies. This study aimed to analyze the associations between emergent literacy components (emergent writing, alphabet knowledge, vocabulary, and phonological awareness) and word/pseudoword reading and spelling performance in first grade students during COVID-19. A total of 42 children (Mage = 6.29 years, SD = 0.45, 52.4% female) participated remotely in this study. Correlations and multilinear regression analyses were conducted. The results show significant associations between emergent literacy components and reading and spelling performance. Stronger associations were found with specific emergent skills such as letter writing, spontaneous writing, letter-sound production, and alliteration. Regression models indicated that children’s performance in early literacy skills explained 49% of the variance in reading and 55% of the variance in spelling. This study highlighted the role of emergent writing and alphabet knowledge as reading and spelling predictors during literacy acquisition in Brazilian Portuguese. Implications for educational context and directions for remediating the negative impact of the pandemic on learning were discussed. Full article
23 pages, 1051 KiB  
Article
Verbal, Figural, and Arithmetic Fluency of Children with Cochlear Implants
by Renata Skrbic, Vojislava Bugarski-Ignjatovic, Zoran Komazec and Mila Veselinovic
Behav. Sci. 2023, 13(5), 349; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs13050349 - 22 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1649
Abstract
Cochlear implantation gives children with prelingual severe hearing loss and deafness the opportunity to develop their hearing abilities, speech, language, cognitive abilities and academic skills with adequate rehabilitation. The aim of the research was to analyze verbal, figural and arithmetic fluency and their [...] Read more.
Cochlear implantation gives children with prelingual severe hearing loss and deafness the opportunity to develop their hearing abilities, speech, language, cognitive abilities and academic skills with adequate rehabilitation. The aim of the research was to analyze verbal, figural and arithmetic fluency and their interrelationship in children with a cochlear implant (CI) and children with normal hearing (NH). A total of 46 children with CI and 110 children with NH, aged 9 to 16, participated in the research. Verbal fluency was assessed using phonemic and semantic fluency, and non-verbal fluency using figural fluency. Arithmetic fluency was assessed using simple arithmetic tasks within the number range up to 100. The results showed that children with CI achieved poorer results in phonemic fluency (z = −4.92; p < 0.001), semantic fluency (z = −3.89; p < 0.001), figural fluency (z = −3.07; p = 0.002), and arithmetic fluency (z = −4.27; p < 0.001). In both groups, a positive correlation was obtained between the measured modalities and types of fluency. In the group of children with CI, a sex difference was obtained on the phonemic fluency test, in favor of girls. The age of children with CI was correlated with arithmetic fluency. Verbal, figural and arithmetic fluency of children with CI speak in favor of the importance of early auditory and language experiences. Full article
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16 pages, 1268 KiB  
Article
Visuo-Spatial Working Memory and Mathematical Skills in Children: A Network Analysis Study
by Luigi Macchitella, Giorgia Tosi, Daniele Luigi Romano, Marika Iaia, Francesca Vizzi, Irene C. Mammarella and Paola Angelelli
Behav. Sci. 2023, 13(4), 294; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs13040294 - 30 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2430
Abstract
Visuo-spatial working memory is one of the main domain-general cognitive mechanisms underlying mathematical abilities and their development in children. However, if visuo-spatial working memory involves different processes and components, then the term ‘mathematics’ refers to a broad concept that includes multiple domains and [...] Read more.
Visuo-spatial working memory is one of the main domain-general cognitive mechanisms underlying mathematical abilities and their development in children. However, if visuo-spatial working memory involves different processes and components, then the term ‘mathematics’ refers to a broad concept that includes multiple domains and skills. The aim of this present study was to investigate the relationship between different visuo-spatial working memory components and several mathematical abilities in a sample of third- to fifth-grade Italian children. To assess the relationships between different visuo-spatial working memory components and different mathematical abilities, we relied on Network Analysis (NA). Results indicate that some but not all visuo-spatial working memory components are associated with some mathematical abilities. Full article
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23 pages, 2431 KiB  
Systematic Review
Empirical Support for the Involvement Load Hypothesis (ILH): A Systematic Review
by Sylvia Liu and Barry Lee Reynolds
Behav. Sci. 2022, 12(10), 354; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs12100354 - 23 Sep 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2029
Abstract
The Involvement Load Hypothesis (ILH) has become a widely used framework for predicting second language (L2) vocabulary learning from task completion. The purpose of this systematic review was to analyze the predictive ability of the ILH in the acquisition of aspects of knowing [...] Read more.
The Involvement Load Hypothesis (ILH) has become a widely used framework for predicting second language (L2) vocabulary learning from task completion. The purpose of this systematic review was to analyze the predictive ability of the ILH in the acquisition of aspects of knowing a word, its application in different target populations, the effective vocabulary learning task types designed based on the ILH, and the occurrence rate of the ILH components in vocabulary learning tasks. We searched IEEE, ERIC, WOS, Scopus, and ProQuest databases for empirical studies published between 2001 and 2021, using a vocabulary-focused keyword string combined with an ILH-focused keyword string. A total of 78 studies were selected using a set of inclusion and exclusion criteria. The content analysis of these studies showed that researchers have used the ILH to investigate the acquisition of six aspects of knowing a word. Four types of tasks (i.e., fill-in-the-blanks, reading, composition writing, and meaning-inferring) provided more positive evidence for the validation of the ILH. The search component was least present in the vocabulary learning tasks. Researchers have supported the use of the ILH to predict the vocabulary learning potential of tasks completed mainly by adult learners. This systematic review provides direction for future reviews and empirical studies in L2 vocabulary teaching and learning framed by the ILH. Full article
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