Head and Coordination



01/2020 – 01/2022

Project LEGA

Elementary School Age Reading Strategies

The LEGA study investigates the use of reading strategies applied by elementary school children. Strategy usage is compared across grades and related to available vocabulary and contextual information. The aim of the study is to understand more about the conditions under which efficient (retrieval-) strategies, which are essential for fluent reading, are used and how this usage can be supported.

The LEGA project focuses on the investigation of reading strategy usage of primary school children in relation to available vocabulary and contextual information. In addition to various important predictors of word reading (such as phonological awareness or phonological working memory), a child's available vocabulary also has an influence on word reading and word recognition. For reading comprehension, vocabulary is predictive only for children with moderate to high reading fluency, i.e., children who are most likely already using more retrieval strategies. In addition, previous research shows, that there is a change in reading comprehension predictors between first and third grade: the importance of vocabulary increases over time, while phonological awareness loses importance.

This project aims to investigate whether different predictors of reading comprehension are important depending on the strategies used, and whether children with higher vocabulary use retrieval strategies faster and more often than children with less developed vocabulary.

Several studies have already shown that contextual information contributes to children's ability to read and recognize words more quickly. Previous studies have shown that younger and less skilled readers benefit more from contextual information than older and more skilled readers. Additionally, contextual information seems to help especially with difficult (compared to simple) words. So far, a more detailed examination of the context effect at the reading strategy level is still pending.

The LEGA project aims to investigate whether context information results in a switch from basal to more efficient strategies and whether the context effect varies according to pre-existing reading strategy skills. In collaboration with cooperating schools and parents, children in grades 2 and 4 will participate in three measurement time points. In addition to reading strategy use, measures will include vocabulary and reading performance as well as fluency. In the long term, we hope to be able to use the results of the research project to support children with reading difficulties in their strategy development.