The Relations of Morphological Awareness with Language and Literacy Skills Vary Depending on Orthographic Depth and Nature of Morphological Awareness
Researchers examined the relation of morphological awareness with language and literacy skills — phonological awareness, orthographic awareness, vocabulary, word reading, spelling, text reading fluency, and reading comprehension. They also examined potential moderators of the relations (grade level, orthographic depth of language, receptive vs. productive morphological awareness, inflectional vs. derivational vs. compound morphological awareness, and L1/L2 status). The review revealed that morphological awareness was, on average, moderately related to phonological awareness, orthographic awareness, vocabulary, word reading, spelling, text reading fluency, and reading comprehension. Importantly, morphological awareness had a stronger relation with word reading in orthographically deep languages than in orthographically shallow languages. The relation with vocabulary was stronger for upper elementary grades than for primary grades. The magnitude of the relation also varied by the nature of morphological awareness. These results underscore the importance of morphological awareness in language and literacy skills, and reveal a nuanced and precise picture of their relations.