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Title: The roles of phonological sensitivity and letter-sound knowledge in reading acquisition
Author: Roberts, L. C.
Awarding Body: University of Wales Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2004
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The research reported in this thesis, sought to examine the relative roles of rhyme awareness, phoneme awareness and letter-sound knowledge in children’s early reading. At the centre of the rhyme-phoneme debate is the clue word paradigm, a central plank of Goswami’s reading theory. In this task children are presented with a clue-word and then asked to read a series of other unfamiliar words. The rationale is that if children use orthographic rime analogy, then they are most likely to read unfamiliar words if they contain the same rime unit as the clue word. There is, however, growing evidence that children do not use rime analogy in this task. An experiment was carried out that closely followed Goswami’s procedure, which found that children rely on phonological, rather than orthographic priming, in the clue-word task. Furthermore, phoneme awareness and letter-sound knowledge were found to be important predictors of successful reading in this task. The role of rhyme and phoneme awareness in early reading was examined further in an intervention study involving 125 four and five year-olds, who were given training in either rhyme, phoneme, or a combination of rhyme and phoneme skills, while controlling for letter knowledge. The greatest improvements in reading skills and phonological sensitivity were achieved when training provided a combination of rhyme, phoneme and letter training in combination, rather than providing these skills separately. As in the rime analogy task, phoneme awareness and letter knowledge were found to be important predictors of children’s reading skills. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed and a new three-dimensional view of reading development is proposed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available