Classroom Phonological Awareness Instruction and Literacy Outcomes in the First Year of School Purpose Despite strong investment in raising literacy achievement for all children, significant inequalities in literacy outcomes continue to exist among some of the world's most advanced economies. This study investigated the influence of a short, intensive period of phonological awareness (PA) instruction implemented by classroom teachers on raising the literacy ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 2013
Classroom Phonological Awareness Instruction and Literacy Outcomes in the First Year of School
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Karyn L. Carson
    Flinders University, Adelaide, South Australia
  • Gail T. Gillon
    University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
  • Therese M. Boustead
    University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
  • Correspondence to Karyn L. Carson: karyn.carson@flinders.edu.au
  • Editor: Marilyn Nippold
    Editor: Marilyn Nippold×
  • Associate Editor: Gary Troia
    Associate Editor: Gary Troia×
Article Information
Development / School-Based Settings / Normal Language Processing / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 01, 2013
Classroom Phonological Awareness Instruction and Literacy Outcomes in the First Year of School
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, April 2013, Vol. 44, 147-160. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2012/11-0061)
History: Received August 10, 2011 , Revised December 18, 2011 , Accepted November 6, 2012
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, April 2013, Vol. 44, 147-160. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2012/11-0061)
History: Received August 10, 2011; Revised December 18, 2011; Accepted November 6, 2012
Web of Science® Times Cited: 8

Purpose Despite strong investment in raising literacy achievement for all children, significant inequalities in literacy outcomes continue to exist among some of the world's most advanced economies. This study investigated the influence of a short, intensive period of phonological awareness (PA) instruction implemented by classroom teachers on raising the literacy achievement of children with and without spoken language impairment (SLI).

Method A quasi-experimental design was employed to measure the PA, reading, and spelling development of one hundred twenty-nine 5-year-olds. Thirty-four children received 10 weeks of PA instruction from their teachers. Ninety-five children continued with their usual reading program, which included phonics instruction but did not target PA.

Results Children who received PA instruction demonstrated superior literacy outcomes compared to children who followed the usual literacy curriculum. Children with SLI showed significant improvements in PA, reading, and spelling but had a different pattern of response to instruction compared to children with typical language. Importantly, the number of children experiencing word decoding difficulties at the end of the program was 26% among children who followed the usual literacy curriculum compared to 6% among children who received the PA instruction.

Implications A short, intensive period of classroom PA instruction can raise the literacy profiles of children with and without spoken language difficulties.

Acknowledgments
The authors would like to thank the teachers, children, and families who willingly dedicated their time to this research study. Thanks are also expressed to Ellen Nijhof for her assistance in data collection, assessment reliability, and treatment validity. Grateful thanks are also expressed to the New Zealand Tertiary Education Commission for financial support.
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