Auditory word recognition, passive vocabulary and comprehension of oral expository texts in preschoolers

The relationship between vocabulary and memory, on the one hand, and comprehension of oral descriptive texts, on the other, is investigated in preschoolers. We hypothesized that lexical development and memory not only have a significant correlation with performance in comprehension, but these variables can also predict the performance at the discursive level. A study was conducted with 36 children (age range 4; 5 and 5; 7). Participants were tested in passive vocabulary, lexical discrimination, memory, and oral comprehension of descriptive texts developed ad hoc for this study. The results confirmed that both memory and the lexicon are significantly correlated with comprehension. In a regression analysis, however, only the lexicon (in the measures used) was a statistically significant predictor of text comprehension skills development. Taken together, the evidence supports those theoretical proposals that emphasize the role of vocabulary in the early development of discourse skills.

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