This study examined the relative contribution of letter-name knowledge and phonological awareness to literacy skills and the relationship between letter-name knowledge and phonological awareness, using data from Korean-speaking preschoolers. The results revealed that although both letter-name knowledge and phonological awareness made unique contributions to literacy skills (i.e., word reading, pseudoword reading, and spelling), letter-name knowledge played a more important role than phonological awareness in literacy acquisition in Korean. Letter-name knowledge explained appreciably greater amount of variance and had larger effect sizes in literacy skills. Furthermore, children with greater syllable, body (e.g., segmenting cat into ca-t), and phoneme awareness had higher levels of letter-name knowledge. In particular, children’s syllable awareness and body awareness were positively associated with their letter-name knowledge, even after controlling for children’s phoneme awareness. These results suggest that Korean children’s awareness of larger phonological units (i.e., syllable and body) in addition to phoneme awareness may mediate the relationship between letter-name knowledge and literacy acquisition in Korean, in contrast with previous findings in English that have demonstrated a positive relationship only between phoneme awareness and letter-name knowledge, and the hypothesis that phoneme awareness mediates the relationship between letter-name knowledge and literacy acquisition.
Reading and Writing – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 29, 2008
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