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Phonological awareness training with articulation promotes early reading development

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In a longitudinal intervention study, the effects of phonological training with articulation for children in a preschool class were analyzed. In total, 69 students participated, divided into an experimental group of 39 and a comparison group of 30 students. The intervention consisted of phonological training with articulation and lasted throughout the preschool class year; in total, 2700 minutes were spent on this training for the experimental group. All participants were tested individually on pre-reading skills on four test occasions: before the intervention started, mid-term, immediately after the end of the intervention and, finally, a follow-up 6 months after the intervention was completed. Based on their pre-reading skills, the participants were divided into two different subgroups, those at risk of developing reading difficulties and those not at risk. The results showed greater progress at the follow- up test of both the at-risk and not-at-risk subgroups of the experiment group in word decoding and phonological ability than the comparison group. The positive results applied both to speech-sounds and words included in the training program as well as new speech sounds and words not included in the program, thus providing evidence for transfer effects.
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... One study with pre-reading typically developing preschoolers found that pairing phonemes with visemes improved word reading when compared with presenting written letters (graphemes) alone (Boyer & Ehri, 2011). In another study (Fälth et al., 2017), pre-school children from the general population received over 2700 min of training pairing visemes and their corresponding sounds. The study reports positive results in reading ability and phonological awareness with long-term generalization to new words and speech sounds. ...
... In Study 2, we further examined the influence of facial speech in reading ability, this time when facial speech cues were presented together with written words. Inspired by some positive findings from intervention studies on typically developing readers designed to improve articulatory awareness (Boyer & Ehri, 2011;Fälth et al., 2017), we presented both groups with words and with/without facial speech information and tested them on speed and accuracy of reading. There were no significant group differences based on the presentation condition in speed and accuracy during the offline reading test of the presented words. ...
... That is, while not all dyslexic children look at the mouth in order to decipher difficult speech, those who do are better readers and also tend to benefit from mouth watching when learning to decode words (Study 2). Given what we know from training studies, it is possible that directing visual attention to the mouth can improve reading ability (Boyer & Ehri, 2011;Fälth et al., 2017), but perhaps unless it is part of the training protocol, only some, but not all children with dyslexia, will spontaneously do so. One practical implication in improving the efficacy of training studies would therefore be to determine how a particular child naturally looks at a speaking face. ...
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What role does the presence of facial speech play for children with dyslexia? Current literature proposes two distinctive claims. One claim states that children with dyslexia make less use of visual information from the mouth during speech processing due to a deficit in recruitment of audiovisual areas. An opposing claim suggests that children with dyslexia are in fact reliant on such information in order to compensate for auditory/phonological impairments. The current paper aims at directly testing these contrasting hypotheses (here referred to as “mouth insensitivity” versus “mouth reliance”) in school-age children with and without dyslexia, matched on age and listening comprehension. Using eye tracking, in Study 1, we examined how children look at the mouth across conditions varying in speech processing demands. The results did not indicate significant group differences in looking at the mouth. However, correlation analyses suggest potentially important distinctions within the dyslexia group: those children with dyslexia who are better readers attended more to the mouth while presented with a person’s face in a phonologically demanding condition. In Study 2, we examined whether the presence of facial speech cues is functionally beneficial when a child is encoding written words. The results indicated lack of overall group differences on the task, although those with less severe reading problems in the dyslexia group were more accurate when reading words that were presented with articulatory facial speech cues. Collectively, our results suggest that children with dyslexia differ in their “mouth reliance” versus “mouth insensitivity,” a profile that seems to be related to the severity of their reading problems.
... Interventions using articulatory training have mainly been conducted on typically developing preschool children and novice typical readers (Boyer & Ehri, 2011;Castiglioni-Spalten & Ehri, 2003;Fälth et al., 2017;Torgesen et al., 2001). In reading-delayed samples, the most frequently studied articulatory intervention programme was the Auditory Discrimination in Depth (ADD) and a later version of the same programme called LIPs (Lindamood Phonemic Sequences) (Lindamood & Lindamood, 1998;What Works Clearinghouse (WWC), 2008. ...
... Some studies of the ADD/LIP programmes have failed to demonstrate clear advantages of articulatory training over more traditional phonic approaches in improving phonological awareness and basic decoding skills, concluding that the two approaches provide similar gains (Torgesen et al., 2010;Wise et al., 1999). However, other studies have reported significant advantages of articulatory training compared to traditional phonics instruction in samples with reading problems (Joly-Pottuz et al., 2008;Trainin et al., 2014), particularly for those with the most severe reading problems (Fälth et al., 2017;Trainin et al., 2014). ...
... In conclusion, this study exemplifies that articulatory consciousness training may have positive effects on reading and spelling outcomes for students with severe dyslexia. This is in line with previous studies that have found that students with most severe reading problems benefit most from articulatory consciousness training (Fälth et al., 2017;Trainin et al., 2014). Regarding the functionality of the current intervention programme, this study shows that most participants manage to use the articulatory symbols effectively after 2 weeks of intensive training. ...
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This study evaluates the effect of an intervention whose aim is to make articulatory consciousness a tool in decoding and spelling. The sample comprises 11 students with severe dyslexia (2 SD below the mean pseudoword scores), and the intervention programme consists of 32 individual sessions over 8 weeks. The study applies a multiple baseline/probe design with five baseline tests that correspond to a control condition, eight tests during the intervention and five post-intervention tests. On average, the results show significant improvement in all reading and spelling outcomes. However, there were also significant effects on an irrelevant control task (the pegboard test), perhaps indicating testing effects on the dependent variables, making it difficult to draw firm conclusions from the study. Consequently, testing the intervention in randomised trials of children with severe dyslexia is recommended to draw more firm conclusions about its efficacy for this group.
... Estes resultados sustentam a motivação para o desenvolvimento de programas de intervenção na leitura que pretendem promover o sucesso escolar precocemente. Na educação pré-escolar são vários os projetos internacionais que têm como foco a promoção da consciência fonológica (e.g., Falth, Gustason, & Svensson, 2017;Foorman, Anthony, Seals, & Mouzaki, 2012;Ghoneim & Elghotmy, 2015;Goldstein, 2017;Gonzalez & Hughes, 2018;Milburn, 2017), e da linguagem (e.g., Dickimson, et al., 2018;Foorman et al., 2012;Fricke, Bowyer-Crane, Haley, Hulme, & Snowling, 2013;Johanson, Justice, Logan, 2016;McCoy et al., 2019;Milbrum et al., 2017;Pollard-Durodola et al., 2011;Vaklin-Nusbaum & Nevo, 2017). A avaliação da eficácia destes programas indica melhorias nestas competências nas crianças alvo de intervenção comparativamente às que não foram alvo de intervenção. ...
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The aim of this study is to discuss how foreign language learning can prepare students to be successfully integrated into the job market and to bridge the gap that the literature review reveals in this scientific field. This research adopts a qualitative methodological approach which enables to identify key factors for employment success. Data were collected from a closed-ended questionnaire, aimed at organizations from different sectors in the Autonomous Region of Madeira. The results reveal that employers highly value social and interpersonal competencies, communication skills and foreign language proficiency. The results also suggest that foreign language proficiency plays an important role in the recruitment process, as it increases the applicants’ probability of recruitment. Moreover, this study concludes that English for Specific Purposes (ESP) needs to be introduced as a subject at the college level. This research allows identifying the main skills required by employers when recruiting employees and contributes to assessing the current needs of regional organizations. Keywords: Foreign Languages, Education, Employability, English For Specific Purposes.
... Numerous other studies (Bishop, 2003;Fälth, Gustafson, & Svensson, 2017;Joseph K. Torgesen, Wagner, Rashotte, & Herron, 2003) similarly assert that a strong awareness of how spoken language works provides a better chance for literacy achievement, especially in reading. ...
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