Multi-factorial approach to early numeracy—The effects of cognitive skills, language factors and kindergarten attendance on early numeracy performance of South African first graders

Aunio, Pirjo ; Korhonen, Johan ; Ragpot, Lara ; Törmänen, Minna ; Mononen, Riikka ; Henning, Elizabeth

In: International Journal of Educational Research, 2019, vol. 97, p. 65-76

The aim of the study was to investigate the influence of cognitive skills (executive function), language factors (listening comprehension, English as a second language, ESL) and kindergarten attendance on early numeracy in a cross-sectional sample of South African children (N=442) in the beginning of Grade 1. The mean age of children was 81.62 months (SD=5.40). Structural equation path models... More

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    Summary
    The aim of the study was to investigate the influence of cognitive skills (executive function), language factors (listening comprehension, English as a second language, ESL) and kindergarten attendance on early numeracy in a cross-sectional sample of South African children (N=442) in the beginning of Grade 1. The mean age of children was 81.62 months (SD=5.40). Structural equation path models showed that kindergarten attendance predicted children’s early numeracy performance even when controlling for executive function and language skills. Listening comprehension skills predicted the early numeracy skills more strongly than did executive function skills. ESL was associated with weaker early numeracy performance.