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Phonological analysis as a function of age and exposure to reading instruction

  • Judith A. Bowey (a1) and J. Francis (a1)

Abstract

This study was designed to test the prediction that, whereas sensitivity to subsyllabic phonological units might emerge prior to alphabetic reading instruction, phonemic analysis skills develop as a consequence of reading instruction. A series of phonological oddity tasks was devised, assessing children's sensitivity to subsyllabic onset and rime units, and to phonemes. These tasks were administered to three groups of children. The first group comprised the oldest children of a sample of kindergarten children. The second and third groups comprised the youngest and oldest children from a first-grade sample. The kindergarten group was equivalent to the younger first-grade group in terms of general verbal maturity, but had not been exposed to reading instruction. The younger first-grade sample was verbally less mature than the older first-grade sample, but had equivalent exposure to reading instruction. On all tasks, both first-grade groups performed at equivalent levels, and both groups did better than the kindergarten group. In all groups, onset and rime unity oddity tasks were of equal difficulty, but phoneme oddity tasks were more difficult than rime oddity tasks. Although some of the kindergarten children could reliably focus on onset and rime units, none performed above chance on the phoneme oddity tasks. Further analyses indicated that rime/onset oddity performance explained variation in very early reading achievement more reliably than phoneme oddity performance.

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Corresponding author

J. A. Bowey, Department of Psychology, The University of Queensland, Queensland 4072, Australia

References

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Phonological analysis as a function of age and exposure to reading instruction

  • Judith A. Bowey (a1) and J. Francis (a1)

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