"Importance of Oral Language as a Mediator in the Cultural Capital Model of Kindergarten Achievement"
AERA 2018 Annual Meeting: “The Dreams, Possibilities, and Necessity of Public Education”
April 13-17, 2018
Title: Importance of Oral Language as a Mediator in the Cultural Capital Model of Kindergarten Achievement
Authors: Qing Zhang, George Farkas
We extend the traditional cultural capital model by adding a key component of habitus into a testable quantitative model, in which parenting and habitus mediate the relationship between SES and student achievement. This key component is the individual’s oral language skill, which we include as a mediator of the effects of SES on kindergarten achievement. We take advantage of the oral language screener administered to all children in the ECLS-K: 2011.We found that SES strongly predicts oral language skill, which functions as a strong mediator of the effects of SES on both kindergarten achievement and the teacher’s judgment of this achievement. Oral language skill provides an important addition to cultural capital models of the early achievement process.