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Phonological awareness intervention and the acquisition of literacy skills in children from deprived social backgrounds

Lookup NU author(s): Alexandra Nancollis, Professor Barbara Dodd


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Purpose: This study examined the effect of phonological awareness intervention that focused on syllable and rhyme awareness on the acquisition of literacy and the development of phonological awareness skills 2 years post intervention. The longitudinal study compared two groups of children from deprived socioeconomic backgrounds in the United Kingdom. One group received a program of phonological awareness intervention and one did not. Method: Ninety-nine children received a 9-week program of phonological awareness intervention in the summer term of their final preschool year. These children were then assessed on measures of phonological awareness and language in the first term of their first year at school (M age = 4;7 [years;months]) and again 2 years later (M age = 6;8) on measures of phonological awareness and literacy. One year earlier, a control group of 114 children from the same schools were also assessed at these two points in their schooling on the same measures. This group did not receive any phonological awareness intervention. Results: At the second assessment, the group of children who received phonological awareness intervention performed better than those children who received no intervention (control group) on rhyme awareness and nonword spelling. Surprisingly, however, the control group performed better than the children who had received intervention on the phoneme segmentation task. Conclusion: The phonological awareness intervention that was implemented, which focused on enhancing syllable and rhyme awareness, had little effect on later literacy development and may have interfered with the acquisition of phoneme awareness. Implications for intervention with children from deprived socioeconomic backgrounds are discussed in the context of current research. © American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Nancollis A, Lawrie B-A, Dodd B

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools

Year: 2005

Volume: 36

Issue: 4

Pages: 325-335

ISSN (print): 0161-1461

ISSN (electronic): 1558-9129

Publisher: American Speech - Language - Hearing Association


DOI: 10.1044/0161-1461(2005/032)

PubMed id: 16389704


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