Two approaches to training phonemic manipulation
Educators are passionately concerned about children who fail traditional types of reading instruction, thus the research in phonemic awareness is pursued with fervor and commitment. Correlational studies revealed strong relationships among phonemic skills and reading, but questions of instructional accessibility, facilitative qualities among phonemic manipulations and the comparative effects of trained and "naturally" developing skills on reading will only be understood through intervention research. This study contrasts the effects of training low-skilled kindergarten children in two types of phonemic manipulation: (1) auditory blending and segmenting, and (2) global training encompassing activities in rhyming, segmenting, blending, identifying the first sound, sound-to-word matching, alliteration, and deletion. Both treatments included training in letter-sound correspondences. Two control conditions were also introduced: (3) letter-sound correspondences only, and (4) no treatment.354 children attending regular kindergarten programs were tested on phonemic manipulation skills, then 99 low-skilled children were randomly assigned to one of the four conditions and instructed in small groups, twice weekly for 15 minutes each session over ten weeks. Following instruction, treatment effects were tested on the acquisition of phonemic manipulation skills, on a reading analog task, and spelling.Posttest measures demonstrated large changes in skill level among initially low-skilled children in the two phonemic treatments, however, I found no differences in phonemic skills and reading between the two types of phonemic training. Children in both phonemic treatments performed higher than other low-skilled children on phonemic tasks, and higher than no-treatment control in reading and spelling. They also scored comparably to children who began the study with high phonemic skills. The children taught only to blend and segment were able to pick off the first sound and to substitute and delete phonemes on the Lindamood Auditory Conceptualization Test as well as children in the group taught to perform these manipulations. Only short term effects (end of the training period) were assessed in this study.The results suggest that prereading children initially low in phonemic skills can be taught phonemic manipulations, that instruction in blending and segmenting generalizes to other kinds of phonemic manipulation, and that training may transfer to initial attempts to read and spell.
- Education - Seattle