The effects of the first reading experience of infancy on reading and academic achievement of elementary first graders

Soojeong Jung, Naya Choi, Suji Jung


The purpose of this study was to analyze the structural relationship among the age of first reading, child’s reading motivation, reading ability, and academic achievement in elementary first graders. A total of 267 pairs of elementary first graders and their mothers and teachers were sampled in Gyeonggi province, South Korea. First graders were tested with tasks to measure reading ability and mothers’ responses and teachers’ evaluation were collected to measure students’ age of first reading, reading motivation, and academic achievement. The results were as follows. First, first reading, reading motivation, reading ability, and academic achievement were partly different by socio-demographic factors. Second, earlier age of first reading was associated with higher reading motivation, reading ability, and academic achievement in the first grade. Third, SEM analysis showed that reading motivation and reading ability fully mediated the effect of the age of first reading on academic achievement.


First reading; Reading ability; Reading motivation; Academic achievement; Structural equation model (SEM)

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