This longitudinal study explored the relation betweenpreschool phoneme awareness and initial reading development. Distinctions were made between formal and functional letter knowledge and between foundation and subsequent phases of reading development. 44 children with at least average language comprehension were followed from the beginning of grade 1(7 years) until the end of grade 2. They were divided intotwo groups: one group of 21 children with high phonemic awareness (HPA) and 23 children with low phonemic awareness (LPA) on entering grade 1. The results showed persistent group differences in favour of the HPA children regarding letter-knowledge and word reading. The results confirmed a significant impact of functional letter knowledge on the length of the foundation period and on later reading development. Length of foundation period was shown to have a significant impact on reading development at the end of grades 1 and 2. It is argued that phonemic awareness is an indispensable catalystin the development of initial word processing ability.
Reading and Writing – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 3, 2004
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