The relations of phonological, orthographic, and morphological awareness and vocabulary to word reading and spelling were examined for 304 first-grade children who were receiving differentiated instruction in a Response to Intervention (RtI) model of instruction.


First-grade children were assessed on their phonological, orthographic, and morphological awareness; expressive vocabulary; word reading; and spelling. Year-end word reading and spelling were outcome variables, and phonological, orthographic, and morphological awareness; expressive vocabulary; and RtI status (Tiers 1, 2, & 3) were predictor variables.


The 3 linguistic awareness skills were unique predictors of word reading, and phonological and orthographic awareness were unique predictors of spelling. The contributions that these linguistic awareness skills and vocabulary made to word reading and spelling did not differ by children's RtI tier status.


These results, in conjunction with previous studies, suggest that even beginning readers and spellers draw on multiple linguistic awareness skills for their word reading and spelling regardless of their level of literacy abilities. Educational implications are discussed.


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