Usually high readers have high phonological awareness and vice versa. This correlation can begin to be seen as early as preschool years. It is a good predictor as to how children will do in the future years with their reading skills. There are interventions that can be used to improve phonological awareness.
These interventions have been proven to be very successful. Improved literacy can also help improve phonological awareness. In order for students to make improvements in their phonological awareness, students must have developed listening skills. Since listening is a foundational skill, most interventions with young children start as practice with listening and recognition of word sounds.
One way to do this is to use nursery rhymes, games, and songs to expose students to sound patterns like rhyming words. It is important that students not only hear the sounds but also are required to listen and show an action when it is heard like raising hands or clapping when they hear certain sounds.
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Stimulating Learning Through Educational Games Research Papers discusses different games that can help unmotivated children learn. Yopp presents a similarly brief assessment instrument and offers detailed evidence for its validity and reliability. What is needed, and what many practitioners probably already actually implement, is a balanced approach to reading instruction--an approach that combines the language- and literature-rich activities associated with whole language activities aimed at enhancing meaning, understanding, and the love of language with explicit teaching of skills as needed to develop fluency associated with proficient readers.
Honig offers a review of reading research supporting such a balanced approach and presents detailed guidelines on how to integrate whole language principles with the necessary foundation reading skills. The following recommendations for instruction in phonemic awareness are derived from Spector :.
Yopp offers the following general recommendations for phonemic awareness activities:. Spending a few minutes daily engaging preschool, kindergarten, and first-grade children in oral activities that emphasize the sounds of language may go a long way in helping them become successful readers and learners. Griffith, Priscilla, and Mary W. Olson Griffith, Priscilla, et al. Harris, Theodore L.
Hodges Honig, Bill Lundberg, I. Olson, Mary W. Spector, Janet E.
South African Journal of Communication Disorders
Stanovich, Keith E. Yopp, Hallie Kay Library Reference Search. During this period, educational research continued to grow, but relatively few studies were considered of high quality, and their influence on literacy instruction was minimal. This was despite the increasing number of studies questioning the fundamental assumptions and practices of Whole Language. There was little well-designed research, and the most common perspective was that failure to learn to read was primarily a visual-perceptual issue Allington, , though there were numerous other targets.
The explanation from the whole language advocates for failure to learn to read was that insufficient attention was being paid to comprehension and too much attention to word attack Smith, All words of a language are created from combinations drawn from a few dozen phonemes, with exact numbers and identity of phonemes differing across languages.
Since vast numbers of combinations can be created from the set of phonemes available, the number of meanings that can be transmitted is virtually unlimited. A central function of phonemic structure, then, is to make large vocabularies possible A. Liberman, An alphabetic orthography places this structural feature of spoken language at the disposal of a reader-writer.
Anyone who knows the alphabetic code need not rely on rote memory to recognize written words. Capitalizing on the phonemic basis of word construction, alphabetic systems employ only two dozen letters give or take a few to write the myriad words of the language. Numerous studies of increasing sophistication over the last 30 years period have cemented phonemic awareness as central to reading development, and gradually the teaching profession began to take an interest. However, many of the studies were correlational, and the question of whether the relationship is causal has been difficult to resolve even in training studies.
There is invariably an opportunity cost when time is devoted to any new focus incorporated into the school day, so it is crucial that any instructional initiative must have evidence that it has a beneficial effect. More on the causality question later. The interest in phonology is unsurprising when one considers that phonological abilities of which phonemic awareness is a subset are recognised as the most powerful predictors of reading success.
However, see Blomert and Willems for a contrary finding.
Learning to Read: The Importance of Both Phonological and Morphological Approaches
Indeed, Frost argued that skilled reading, even in shallow orthographies, requires the use of phonological skills. The early letter name knowledge is merely a marker for other individual differences such as IQ, attention span, or early literacy experience. However, Walsh, Price and Gillingham provide a more optimistic view of the value of teaching letter names to the stage of automaticity. A major problem for the outcomes of correlational studies is their facility for predicting good reading outcomes, but inability to shed light on just which children will not make progress Felton, The extent of the variance explained is impressive in either case, but also indicates that much variance remains unexplained.
In addition to the correlational evidence indicating that phonemic awareness is strongly predictive of reading attainment, there have accumulated a number of longitudinal training studies suggesting that the relationship between phonemic awareness and reading progress is indeed causal. This second finding is of great significance, for without it one could argue that phonemic awareness is purely a consequence of reading development, or alternatively merely related to a third variable the true cause such as intelligence, or social class.
The authors were interested in whether high levels of phonemic sensitivity were associated with later reading success, and low levels associated with reading difficulty over the following four years. Selecting 65 of the students with low phonemic awareness scores, Bradley and Bryant randomly assigned them to either a training group, or a non-training group. The first group was taught in 40 sessions over two years to attend to the sound structure of words, while the second was taught to categorise words in terms of their meaning.
The children received normal reading instruction in school, and at the end of the project were re-assessed. The training group had made significantly more progress in reading, an effect specific to reading, as the two groups were similar in a standardised mathematics test. Bradley retested the original experimental and control groups 5 years after the training was completed, and the differences were still present in all four reading and spelling tests.
The arrival of phonemic awareness acted as something of a circuit breaker to the acrimonious battles between Whole Language and phonics approaches. Educators who were unwilling to contemplate phonics teaching perhaps because it had attracted the negative connotations described earlier saw phonemic awareness as a less rigid, more friendly literacy option — sort of game-like, without drill or worksheets. However, there remains the niggling concern that the relationship has not yet been definitively determined as causal. More on that later. Various terms have been employed to describe phonemic awareness: such as, phonological awareness, acoustic awareness, phonetic awareness, auditory analysis, sound categorisation, phonemic segmentation, phonological sensitivity, and phonemic analysis.
There has also been much discussion about how best to define phonemic awareness. Ball and Blachman refer to the ability to recognise that a spoken word consists of a sequence of individual sounds. Stanovich initially defined it as the "conscious access to the phonemic level of the speech stream and some ability to cognitively manipulate representations at this level" p.
Later, he suggested , that the terms "conscious" and "awareness" themselves have no acceptable definitions, and he subsequently recommended phonological sensitivity as a generic term to encompass a continuum from shallow to deep sensitivity. This term acknowledges the wide range of tasks used to assess levels of sensitivity. Read too was concerned about the term awareness, but because it implies a dichotomy rather than a continuum. He preferred the expression access to phonological structure. As these alternatives have not gained currency, phonemic awareness will continue to be used here as implying both the knowledge of, and the capacity to manipulate, phonemes - acknowledging that the definition continues to have limitations.
What is clear is that phonemic awareness concerns the structure of spoken words rather than their meaning.
Phonological Awareness Research Paper Custom Written
To understand the construction of our written code, readers need to be able to reflect upon the spelling-to-sound correspondences. To understand that the written word is composed of graphemes that correspond to phonemes the alphabetic principle , beginning readers must have or quickly develop some understanding that spoken words are composed of individual sounds phonemic awareness , rather than their conceiving of each word as a single indivisible sound stream. This awareness appears not to be a discrete state, but rather a sequence of development ranging from simple to complex, or as Stanovich , b would prefer - from shallow to deep.
A problem arising from differing definitions is that the tasks used to assess phonological or phonemic awareness also differ significantly. This problem of no common metric makes it difficult to compare study outcomes, and obtain a high degree of consensus concerning causality. Although some authors suggest variations in the sequence Ehri et al. It may also be that the sequence is at least partly dependent on the experiences of individual students.
The more focussed and structured the experience either instructional or self taught , the more likely a student will have progressed to higher levels compared with same-age peers Samuelsson et al. Phonemic awareness is clearly more complex than auditory discrimination, which is the ability to perceive, for example, that cat and mat are different speech productions or words.
To be able to describe how they are similar but different, however, implies some level of phonemic awareness. Auditory discrimination entails hearing a difference; whereas, phonemic awareness entails a level of analysis of the constituent sounds. Young children are not normally called upon to consider words at a level other than their meaning, although experience with rhymes may be the first indication for children that they can play with the structure of words.
It seems surprising that such an obvious distinction may elude children; however, Adams and Blachman pointed out that word consciousness the awareness that spoken language is composed of words should not be assumed even in children with several years schooling. Fortunately, they report evidence that it may be taught easily enough, even at a pre-school level.
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That school age children can lack such fundamental knowledge may be difficult for adults to accept, but it highlights the need in education to assume little, and assess pre-requisite skills carefully. Their warning also challenged the view, held by some Whole Language advocates Goodman, , ; Smith, , , that speaking and reading involve equivalent "natural" processes for all children.