Phonological awareness and phonological memory have been cited separately as two cognitive skills thought to underpin literacy. Few studies, however, have investigated the relationship between these two skills and their relative contribution to early reading and spelling. The aims of this longitudinal study were to evaluate the developmental relationship between these two phonological processing skills and to consider their relative contributions to early literacy. This paper reports results from the first 12 months of the study, which monitored 80 preliterate children during their first year of formal schooling. The findings discussed here suggest that phonological awareness and phonological memory both make significant yet distinctive contributions to early literacy: while early phonological awareness may predict subsequent single‐word reading, early phonological memory appears to play an important part in the development of the decoding strategies needed for later reading. Evidence that a qualitative change in phonological memory takes place during the first year of formal schooling confirms earlier claims that a phonological strategy for spelling may develop before a similar strategy for reading (Frith, 1985; Huxford, 1993).
Journal of Research in Reading – Wiley
Published: Feb 1, 2000
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