Direct and indirect paths from linguistic skills to arithmetic school performance.

In the present study, we explored how linguistic skills (phonological and semantic) influence the multiple components of school arithmetic (numeration, computation, and word problems) by analyzing them sequentially. We studied a sample of 262 schoolchildren, aged 8 to 11, nested in 27 classrooms, using the following measures: semantic skills, phonological skills, numeration, computation, word problems, visuospatial reasoning, and working memory. On the basis of a multilevel path analysis, we found that phonological and semantic skills predict each arithmetic component differently and independently. Phonological skills displayed a direct effect on computation and an indirect effect on word problems, mediated by computation. On the other hand, semantic skills showed a direct effect on numeration and word problems and an indirect effect on computation, mediated by numeration, as well as on word problems, mediated by numeration and computation. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)