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Improving phonological awareness with Talking Tables in at-risk kindergarten readers

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Abstract

Background For young children experiencing phonological awareness (PA) difficulties, the need for early and targeted intervention to prevent reading disability is unequivocal. There are very few studies, however, on the efficacy of PA interventions delivered at school. Aims This study examined the impact of an early PA intervention embedded within an oral language program designed for at-risk kindergartners. Methods Using a quasi-experimental pretest/posttest design, at-risk readers from four schools received either the 10-week intervention in small groups, three times a week for 30 min as a supplement to the regular classroom curriculum or served as controls not participating in the intervention and receiving the usual classroom instruction. Results Children in the intervention group demonstrated a greater use of phonological awareness at posttest on overall composites of phonological processing, and on several individual accuracy and fluency measures targeting skills at the phoneme level. Conclusions The results add to accumulating evidence on the efficacy and effectiveness of teacher-delivered school-based early literacy interventions.

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... The program effectively promoted phonological awareness and language in children at risk of developing reading disorders. Hodgins and Harrison (2021) developed Talking Table, a specific training program on phonological awareness, which was effective in promoting phonological processing in at-risk kindergarten readers. Justice et al. (2020) proposed a home intervention program ("STAR -Sit Together And Read") for the caregivers of children at risk of reading disabilities. ...
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When students attain reading skill, they learn to read words in several ways. Familiar words are read by sight. Unfamiliar words are read by decoding, by analogy to known words, or by prediction from graphophonic and contextual cues. Five phases of development are identified to distinguish the course of word reading; each phase is characterized by students’ working knowledge of the alphabetic system, which is central for acquiring word reading skill. The phases are: pre‐alphabetic, partial alphabic, full alphabetic, consolidated alphabetic, and automatic alphabetic. The usefulness of this information for teachers of problem readers is explained.
Article
Phonological awareness is one of several key precursor skills to conventional literacy that develop during the preschool period. Significant amounts of research support the causal and predictive relation between phonological awareness and children's ease of learning to decode and spell. However, many preschool curricula and early childhood educational and caregiving settings are still lacking in robust instruction in this area, and many preschool instructors do not yet have a strong grasp of the developmental trajectory of phonological awareness nor of how to incorporate effective support and instruction into a developmentally appropriate teaching plan. This article summarizes what is known from high-quality research about the development of phonological awareness and about how this informs effective pedagogical strategies for its instruction. Numerous examples are given of effective instructional strategies derived from randomized trials of preschool curricula and interventions.
Article
The effects of 2 types of oral-language training programs on development of phonological awareness skills and word learning ability were examined. One of the training programs provided explicit instruction on both analytic (segmenting) and synthetic (blending) phonological tasks; the other program trained synthetic skills only. Effects of these programs were contrasted with a language-experience control group that received no phonologically oriented training. 48 kindergarten children participated in small-group training sessions 3 times per week for 7–8 wks. Children who received both analytic and synthetic training improved significantly on both types of skills, whereas children receiving the synthetic skills training alone improved only on blending skills. Only children receiving training on both types of tasks showed a positive training effect for the word learning or reading analog task. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
This study investigated the classification validity of the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) using a sample of kindergarteners (N = 177). Results indicated the cutoff scores for determining at-risk status on the DIBELS produced substantial false negative rates. Cutoff scores identifying students as at some risk produced substantial false positive rates. At both levels of risk status, the DIBELS showed low positive predictive power, but high negative predictive power, indicating it was far better at identifying students with adequate reading skills than those with inadequate reading skills. Recommendations for appropriate use of the DIBELS for reading screening and suggestions for future research are provided. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Tested the hypothesis that the experiences that a child has with rhyme before he/she goes to school might have an effect on later success in learning to read and write. Two experimental situations were used: a longitudinal study and an intensive training program in sound categorization or other forms of categorization. 368 children's skills at sound categorization were measured before they started to read and then related to their progress in reading, spelling, and mathematics over 4 yrs. At the end of initial testing and during the 4 yrs Ss' IQ, reading, spelling, and mathematical abilities were tested. There were high correlations between initial sound categorization scores and Ss' reading and spelling over 3 yrs. At the onset of study, 65 Ss who could not read and had low sound-categorization skills were divided into 4 groups. Two received 2 yrs of training in categorizing sounds. Group 1 was taught that the same word shared common beginning, middle, and end sounds with other words and could be categorized in different ways. Group 2 was also taught how each common sound was represented by a letter of the alphabet. The other groups served as controls. Group 3 was taught only that the same word could be classified in several ways. At the end of training, Group 1 was ahead of Group 3 and Group 2 was ahead of Group 1 in reading and spelling. This suggests that training in sound categorization is more effective when it also involves an explicit connection with the alphabet. Results support the hypothesis. (5 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Phonological awareness skills are prerequisite to early reading, yet the development of phonological awareness is an understudied phenomenon. To identify factors that contribute to the development of phonological awareness, we investigated the longitudinal relationships among child background factors, structural oral language, and phonological awareness in a sample of 52 children from kindergarten to second grade and a subsample of this group who were nonreaders in kindergarten. Background measures were IQ, family literacy, socioeconomic status, and child's primary language; oral language measures were receptive and expressive semantics, syntax, and morphology; phonological awareness was measured by segmentation and blending. Principal component analysis of the structural language measures yielded a general oral language factor score. Regression analyses indicated that the background variables were unique predictors of kindergarten general oral language skill but did not predict phonological awareness skills. General oral language accounted for significant and substantial unique variance in phonological awareness each year for both the full sample and the subsample of nonreaders, controlling for reading ability. These findings suggest general oral language may contribute to the development of early reading through its significant influence on the development of phonological awareness.
Article
In this study, we tested the outcomes of access to a response to intervention (RtI) model in kindergarten or in first grade on end-of-Grade-2 reading achievement and placement in special education. Across five schools, 214 students who began having access to Tier 2 intervention in kindergarten or first grade were compared in Grades 1 and 2 with 208 cohort peers who were average readers and 102 historical control condition second grade poor readers who did not receive Tier 2 intervention. Results demonstrated significant effects on reading achievement for access to RtI in kindergarten at the end of first grade (effects averaged 0.48), but not in second grade, except for students who were English language learners (ELLs), who showed an advantage through the end of second grade. Students with access to RtI overall had significantly higher outcomes at the end of Grade 2 than students in the historical control, with no differences resulting from ELL status. No significant difference in the proportion of students placed in special education was noted; however, a greater proportion of the students found eligible as with learning disabilities had poor reading scores if they were placed after participating in RtI.
Article
Sixteen Head Start classrooms, involving 128 children, were randomly assigned to three approaches for augmenting early literacy instruction: (a) instruction in phoneme segmentation, blending, and letter–sound relationships, (b) rhyming instruction and (c) vocabulary instruction. The phoneme segmentation approach was more effective in promoting phoneme segmentation skill. Existing research suggests that phoneme segmentation skill is a better predictor of early progress in learning to read than rhyming skill or vocabulary knowledge. Thus, the results suggest that instruction emphasising phoneme segmentation is not only more likely to promote phoneme segmentation skill, but also more likely to promote future reading ability than rhyming or vocabulary activities, even for highly disadvantaged children as young as 4 years old.
Article
Reading words may take several forms. Readers may utilize decoding, analogizing, or predicting to read unfamiliar words. Readers read familiar words by accessing them in memory, called sight word reading. With practice, all words come to be read automatically by sight, which is the most efficient, unobtrusive way to read words in text. The process of learning sight words involves forming connections between graphemes and phonemes to bond spellings of the words to their pronunciations and meanings in memory. The process is enabled by phonemic awareness and by knowl-edge of the alphabetic system, which functions as a powerful mnemonic to secure spellings in memory. Recent studies show that alphabetic knowledge enhances chil-dren's learning of new vocabulary words, and it influences their memory for doubled letters in words. Four phases characterize the course of development of sight word learning. The phases are distinguished according to the type of alphabetic knowledge used to form connections: pre-alphabetic, partial, full, and consolidated alphabetic phases. These processes appear to portray sight word learning in transparent as well as opaque writing systems. Life is indeed exciting but demanding these days for researchers who study read-ing. Because many educators are seeking evidence as the basis for decisions about reading instruction, there is great interest in scientific studies of reading processes and instruction. My studies over the years have focused on how beginners learn to read words. My plan is to review what I think we know about learning to read words, particularly sight words; to present some new findings that involve chil-dren's vocabulary learning and memory for orthographic structure; and to point out some issues that linger. An issue of special interest is whether this research in English is relevant for more transparent orthographies.
Article
Current empirical evidence indicates poor learning trajectories for students with early literacy skill deficits. As such, reliable and valid detection of at-risk students through regular screening and progress monitoring is imperative. This study investigated the predictive validity of scores on the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS). Logistic regression analyses were used to test the utility of the DIBELS first grade indicators for predicting reading proficiency on TerraNova California Achievement Test (CAT) Assessment and Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) in second and third grade, respectively. Results suggest that students' first grade Oral Reading Fluency (ORF) DIBELS risk category scores were the only significant predictor of future TerraNova and PSSA reading proficiency. Although the current data present encouraging results for the predictive validity of ORF as a screening tool for early readers, further investigations of the utility of the remaining indicators (Letter Naming Fluency, Nonsense Word Fluency, and Phonemic Segmentation Fluency) are warranted. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Article
The factorial structure underlying different types of tasks within the domain of phonological awareness was examined in two studies. Large sample sizes allowed for sensitive differentiation of constructs. In the first study, 128 preschool children without any experience of formal reading instruction were tested with a battery of tasks intended to tap various aspects of phonological awareness: rhyme recognition, syllable counting, initial-phoneme matching, initial-phoneme deletion, phoneme blending, and phoneme counting. Three basic components were extracted in a principal component analysis: a phoneme factor, a syllable factor and a rhyme factor. Cross-tabulations indicated considerable dissociation between performance on phoneme, syllable, and rhyme tasks. The structural relationships were replicated on a much larger sample (n=1509) in the second study. Subjects in this study were one year older and were attending grade 1 thus providing an opportunity to test their reading achievement. Multiple regression analyses demonstrated that the phonemic factor was by far the most potent predictor. However, the rhyming factor made an independent (although small) contribution to explaining the reading variance. Among the phonemic tasks, phoneme identification proved to be the most powerful predictor.
Article
Minimal research has been conducted on the simultaneous influence of multiple metalinguistic, linguistic, and processing skills that may impact literacy development in children who are in the process of learning to read and write. In this study, we assessed the phonemic awareness, morphological awareness, orthographic awareness, receptive vocabulary, and rapid naming abilities of second and third grade students (N=56) and determined how these abilities predicted the children’s reading and spelling skills. Regression analyses revealed that morphological awareness was the sole unique contributor to spelling and, together with orthographic awareness, uniquely contributed to word recognition. Morphological awareness also was significantly related to reading comprehension. The results add to a growing literature base providing evidence that early literacy development is influenced by morphological awareness, an ability that has received considerably less educational attention. Additionally, the findings point to the importance of tapping into multiple sources of metalinguistic knowledge when providing instruction in reading and spelling. KeywordsPhonemic awareness–Orthographic awareness–Morphological awareness–Reading–Spelling
Article
Experienced readers show influences of orthographic knowledge on tasks ostensibly tapping phonemic awareness. Here we draw on data from an experimental training study to demonstrate that even preschoolers show influences of their emerging orthographic abilities in such tasks. A total of 40 children were taught some letter-sound correspondences but not others. A selective effect of this training was found on their phonemic awareness task performance for the trained items. These findings point to the multidetermined nature of performance on tasks normally considered as measuring phonemic awareness and have implications for theories of the role of phonemic awareness in reading acquisition.
The contribution of oral language skills to the development of PA
  • Cooper