SASAKI Yasuyuki Naruto Educational University, Faculty, of School Education, professor, 学校科学部, 教授 (60007961)
MUTO Takashi Ochanomizu University, School of Human life & Environmental science, professor, 生活科学部, 教授 (40111562)
UCHIDA Nobuko Ochanomizu Univercsity, Faculty of Letters & Education, professor, 文教育学部, 教授 (70017630)
HANTA Susumu Shirayuri College, Department of Child Study, professor, 文学部, 教授 (10018038)
KASHIWAGI Keiko Shirayuri College, Department of Child Study, professor, 文学部, 教授 (10086324)
関口 はつ江 郡山女子大学, 教授 (10048845)
A 3 year longitudinal project was conducted to examine the acquisition and development of reading ability, writing ability, and vocabulary in pre-school children. In the first year of the study, 400 children in each three age groups(3,4 and 5 yeur olds)were tested for their abilities to read and write hiragana letters, words, and sentences, as well as for their vocabulary. Their parents and teachers were asked about their beliefs about the children's reading and writing abilities as well as certain features of the children's learning environment. The same groups of the children were followed up in the second and third years to yield a iongitudinal data base. When the children were enrolled in an elementary school, their grades in a language class were also analyzed as a function of their linguistic abilities in the pre-school years.
Analysis revealed several patterns. First, there was a statistically significant, albeit weak, correlation between the reading abilities measured before the enrollment in an elementary school. Second, not surprisingly, linguistic abilities improved with age, Third, these abilities were generally higher for girls than for boys in all age groups although the sex difference became somewhat smaller for older children. Finally, results underscored the significance of the quality of learning environment for the development of linguistic abilities.