Segmentation and Representation of Consonant Blends in Kindergarten Children’s Spellings Purpose The purpose of this study was to describe the growth of children’s segmentation and representation of consonant blends in the kindergarten year and to evaluate the extent to which linguistic features influence segmentation and representation of consonant blends. Specifically, the roles of word position (initial blends, final blends), class ... Research Article
Research Article  |   July 01, 2012
Segmentation and Representation of Consonant Blends in Kindergarten Children’s Spellings
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Krystal L. Werfel
    Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN
  • C. Melanie Schuele
    Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN
  • Correspondence to Krystal L. Werfel: languagelab@vanderbilt.edu
  • Editor: Marilyn Nippold
    Editor: Marilyn Nippold×
  • Associate Editor: Kenn Apel
    Associate Editor: Kenn Apel×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosody / Research Articles
Research Article   |   July 01, 2012
Segmentation and Representation of Consonant Blends in Kindergarten Children’s Spellings
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, July 2012, Vol. 43, 292-307. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2012/11-0005)
History: Received January 24, 2011 , Revised June 20, 2011 , Accepted January 10, 2012
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, July 2012, Vol. 43, 292-307. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2012/11-0005)
History: Received January 24, 2011; Revised June 20, 2011; Accepted January 10, 2012
Web of Science® Times Cited: 1

Purpose The purpose of this study was to describe the growth of children’s segmentation and representation of consonant blends in the kindergarten year and to evaluate the extent to which linguistic features influence segmentation and representation of consonant blends. Specifically, the roles of word position (initial blends, final blends), class of blends, homorganicity, and nasality were considered.

Method Forty kindergarten children completed a developmental spelling measure (26 words with initial or final blends) 3 times at 6-week intervals. Responses were analyzed for logical representation of speech sounds to describe developmental change and differential accuracy of segmentation and representation across blend types.

Results Kindergarten children showed varied ability to segment and represent consonant blends and were differentially successful depending on the linguistic features of the blends. Children were more likely to represent initial blends than final blends, final nonnasal blends than final nasal blends, nonhomorganic blends than homorganic blends, and initial nasal blends than final nasal blends.

Conclusion During the period of emergence, the properties of phonemes that comprise consonant blends influence children’s ability to segment and represent blends. This finding has implications for how phonemic awareness and spelling instruction and intervention might proceed.

Acknowledgments
Funding for this study was provided by an American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Students Preparing for Academic and Research Careers (SPARC) Award to the first author and a United States Department of Education Personnel Leadership Grant (H325D080075; PI: Schuele), which supported the research training of the first author. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association or the U S Department of Education. The authors thank the parents, students, and faculty of the schools that participated, including St. Henry School.
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