Year 1 initial results are in!
We're happy to have the results from our Year 1 administration of our assessment! The results are very encouraging and we hope to build on them for next year:
We found that our assessment of morphological awareness predicted standardized scores on word reading, reading comprehension, vocabulary, and syntax! This means that what we're measuring (morphology) is related to other dimensions of reading, which is important to understand. In fact, our measure predicted 61% of the students' reading comprehension scores and 55% of their vocabulary score. The cool thing about this is that we weren't trying to assess their comprehension or vocabulary skills--we targeted our items to focus only on the morphology. We think that teaching morphology (a limited number of roots and affixes) might be easier to teach than thousands of vocabulary words--and these results suggest that morphological awareness is a big part of vocabulary.
A few more technical details:
The other interesting report from our modeling expert, Dr. Petscher at the Florida Center for Reading Research, was that our assessment fit into a model with a general language factor that accounts for much of the variance in comprehension scores. That's no surprise--we know that morphology is part of language knowledge. But the interesting thing about the regression models is that they showed that scores on our assessment significantly predicted each outcome over and above the general language factor. This shows that morphological awareness is a particular dimension of reading that is relevant for instruction in its own right, and gives good rationale for devoting extra instructional attention to it.