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Patterns of analogical reasoning among beginning readers

Educational Psychology
Publication Date
  • Linguistics


Despite compelling evidence that analogy skills are available to beginning readers, few studies have actually explored the possibility of identifying individual differences in young children's analogy skills in early reading. The present study examined individual differences in children's use of orthographic and phonological relations between words as they learn to read. Specifically, the study addressed whether general analogical reasoning, short-term memory and domain-specific reading skills explain 5- to 6-year-olds' reading analogies (n=51). The findings revealed an orthographic analogy effect accompanied by high levels of phonological priming. Single-word reading and use of visual analogies predicted young children's orthographic and phonological analogies in the regression analyses. However, different findings emerged from exploring profiles based on individual differences in reasoning skill. Indeed, when individual differences in composite scores of orthographic and phonological analogy were examined, group membership was predicted by word reading and early phonological knowledge, rather than general analogical reasoning skills. The findings highlight the usefulness of exploring individual differences in children's analogy development in the early stages of learning to read.

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