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Phonological awareness versus teaching letter/s-sound links

 
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debbie



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 1:19 pm    Post subject: Phonological awareness versus teaching letter/s-sound links Reply with quote

This is a really, really important paper about a frequently misunderstood issue regarding the role, or suggested requirement, of discerning rhyme and alliteration in spoken language, and ability or requirement to perform phonological activities such as deleting and manipulating parts of spoken words. Such language activities are simply not pre-requisites prior to getting on with learning letter/s - sound links of the alphabetic code - alongside learning the phonics skills of blending all through the printed word for reading - and oral segmenting all through the spoken word for spelling.

Many academics continue to suggest that phonological and phonemic awareness skills are pre-requisites to later reading success - and this is simply not the case.

This is very important as many people also believe that when learners struggle with acquiring the ability to read, they therefore need to spend time on phonological and phonemic awareness activities - not in the presence of print - in order to make later progress in reading.

This is simply not the case:


http://www.forumonpublicpolicy.com/archive07/stockall.pdf

Quote:
Time Well Spent: Phonemic awareness training or paired associate learning for children with language impairments?

Nancy Stockall, Associate Professor, University of Arkansas Fort Smith

Abstract

This paper addresses several inconsistencies in the phonological deficit theory of dyslexia in relation to children with language impairments. Results from studies in the reading and language literature inform readers of the critical elements of phonemic awareness that predict later reading success. These elements combined with explicit instruction of paired associations of phoneme-grapheme symbols are critical to generating reading curriculum that is efficacious and parsimonious for children with language impairments.


Quote:
Conclusion

An analysis of reading research studies in addition to language development research can help us determine the best and most efficient ways to teach reading to all children. However, for children who come to school with limited language from which teachers can build upon, our models of reading must be rigorous, effective and parsimonious. Waiting to teach the alphabetic principle or paired associate learning of sounds and letters until children master rhyme or alliteration only places these children farther behind in the race for academic success. Time is of the essence. As Bart reminded us earlier, these children can’t afford to go slower to catch up!

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debbie



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the summary of findings in the Clackmannanshire studies, Professor Rhona Johnston and Dr Joyce Watson found that systematic synthetic phonics teaching develops phonemic awareness very well without any prior phonemic awareness training.

[See: 2004 article in 'Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal' 17/4. On 'phonemic segmentation, the synthetic phonics group improved far more in 16 weeks than either of the other two groups. At the start, the synthetic phonics group got 4.1% right, while the other two groups got 2.7% and 4.5% - after 16 weeks, the figures (in the same order) were 64.9%, 17.2% and 34.7%.]
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debbie



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sue Lloyd, co-author of 'The Phonics Handbook' (Jolly Learning Ltd) has this to say about teaching phonemic awareness as a 'pre-requisite' prior to explicit phonics reading instruction:


Quote:
Unfortunately researchers do not realise how easy it is to teach the children to hear the sounds in words, from beginning to end all-through-the-word, especially with the letters providing the link and the purpose for doing it.

As Diane [McGuinness] has often said, the pre-reading PA training is more difficult than teaching PA with the link to the letter-sound correspondences, blending and segmenting.

It seems logical to just get on and teach phonemic awareness with letters.


...which is exactly what Nancy Stockall points out in her paper above.
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debbie



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dr Bonnie Macmillan notes the importance of teaching phonemic awareness 'in the presence of print' in her analysis of various phonics programmes and practices:


http://www.rrf.org.uk/archive.php?n_ID=34&n_issueNumber=46

Quote:
RRF Newsletter 46

Classroom Research Findings and the Nutshell Programme


Quote:
Interestingly, it was found that out of these ten activities, only two were highly correlated with success in reading and spelling. These two were: ‘phonics’ (which included all phonics activities involving print, letter-sound correspondences, blending, segmenting, detecting sounds in words all with printed form of the word), and ‘letter formation’ (which involved talking about the shapes of letters, writing letters and words in context of learning letter-sound relationships). These were the only activities that mattered in terms of subsequent reading and spelling performance.

However, equally important was the finding that six activities made no difference whatsoever to reading and spelling success, and two activities were actually related to worse reading and spelling achievement. The six activities that made no difference were: ‘Auditory phonological awareness’ (in the absence of print), ‘sight word learning’ (learning to recognise whole words as units without sounding out), ‘reading/grammar’ (grammar or punctuation explanations, reading by children that appeared to be real reading usually with the teacher), ‘concepts of print’ (learning about reading chanting pattern books), ‘real writing’ (included any attempts to write text), ‘letter name learning’ (included only the learning of letter names, not sounds).

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debbie



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Indications from the early stages of this SPELD South Australia longitudinal study are strong that pre-testing in aspects such as phonological processing do not necessarily predict later reading and spelling success when a specific synthetic phonics and grammar programme (Jolly Phonics and Jolly Grammar) is put in place:

http://auspeld.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/2012studySA.pdf

SPELD(SA) Longitudinal Study of the Effects on Reading and Spelling of a Synthetic Phonics and Systematic Spelling and Grammar Program
2010-2011 Interim Report


Angela Weeks, Clinical Director, Speld(SA)
Jill Ozols, Educational Consultant


Quote:
These correlation coefficients provide a measure of the degree to which two sets of numbers are correlated. To be highly correlated (in other words, that one is a good predictor of the other), coefficients should be of the order of .85 or better.

 It can be concluded that none of the pre-test scores were useful in predicting the scores obtained in the Waddington tests at the end of Reception or Year 1.


Quote:
In many respects, this may be expected because there has been emerging evidence from the Waddington test results that the program which has been provided to these students has had a significant and positive impact.

 The pre-test scores may well be good predictors of performance at the end of Reception and Year 1 without this program, but the positive effects of the program have negated this predictive ability.

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Susan



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://reading.uoregon.edu/big_ideas/
Quote:
There are 5 Big Ideas in Beginning Reading:

Phonemic Awareness
Alphabetic Principle
Fluency with Text
Vocabulary
Comprehension

Quote:

Where did the Big Ideas in Beginning Reading come from?

In 1997, congress asked the NICHD, along with the U.S. Department of Education, to form the National Reading Panel to review research on how children learn to read and determine which methods of teaching reading are most effective based on the research evidence.

Here's the NRP report:
http://www.nichd.nih.gov/publications/pubs/nrp/Pages/report.aspx

Here's what the report actually says about PA:
Ch2 p4 http://www.nichd.nih.gov/publications/pubs/nrp/Documents/ch2-I.pdf
Quote:

‘’Instruction that taught phoneme manipulation with letters helped normally developing readers and at-risk readers acquire PA better than PA instruction without letters’’
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debbie



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, Susan! Very Happy
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debbie



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 9:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

From the 'National Centre for Learning Disabilities' site:


Quote:
Effective Reading Instruction In the Classroom

The following summary of effective reading instruction has been excerpted from a 64-page booklet, designed by teachers for teachers, that summarizes what researchers have discovered about how to successfully teach children to read. Put Reading First: The Research Building Blocks for Teaching Children to Read describes the findings of the National Reading Panel Report and provides analysis and discussion in five areas of reading instruction: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and text comprehension.


http://ncld.org/students-disabilities/ld-education-teachers/effective-reading-instruction-classroom


Quote:
Phonemic awareness instruction

Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate individual sounds—phonemes—in spoken words. Phonemic awareness is important because it improves children's word reading and reading comprehension and it helps children learn to spell.

Phonemic awareness can be developed through a number of activities, including asking children to:

Identify phonemes;
Categorize phonemes;
Blend phonemes to form words;
Segment words into phonemes;
Delete or add phonemes to form new words, and
Substitute phenomes to make new words.

Phonemic awareness instruction is most effective when children are taught to manipulate phonemes by using the letters of the alphabet and when instruction focuses on only one or two rather than several types of phoneme manipulation.


Note the comment directly above which I have emboldened and coloured red.

Further, I recommend that activities which best develop phonemic awareness are those focused on ALL THROUGH THE PRINTED WORD blending (for reading) and ALL THROUGH THE SPOKEN WORD oral segmenting followed by selecting/writing correct letters or letter groups to spell/write the word.
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debbie



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Developing, or 'training' pupils in, phonemic awareness along with the following features below, are exactly what is involved in a full systematic synthetic phonics programmes including Phonics International and the Oxford Reading Tree Floppy's Phonics Sounds and Letters programme.

Both PI and FP can, OF COURSE, be used for intensive and effective intervention - they are entirely 'fit for purpose' - and Phonics International can be used with older learners without appearing babyish or patronising.



Quote:
Phonics instruction

Phonics instruction helps children learn the relationships between the letters of written language and the sounds of spoken language. Phonics instruction is important because it leads to an understanding of the alphabetic principle - the systematic and predictable relationships between written letters and spoken sounds.

Programs of phonics instruction are effective when they are:

Systematic - the plan of instruction includes a carefully selected set of letter-sound relationships that are organized into a logical sequence.
Explicit - the programs provide teachers with precise directions for the teaching of these relationships.

Effective phonics programs provide ample opportunities for children to apply what they are learning about letters and sounds to the reading of words, sentences, and stories. Systematic and explicit phonics instruction significantly improves children's word recognition, spelling, and reading comprehension and is most effective when it begins in kindergarten or first grade.

Fluency instruction

Fluency is the ability to read a text accurately and quickly. Fluency is important because it frees students to understand what they read. Reading fluency can be developed by modeling fluent reading by having students engage in repeated oral reading.

Monitoring student progress in reading fluency is useful in evaluating instruction and setting instructional goals and can be motivating to students.

Vocabulary instruction

Vocabulary refers to the words we must know to communicate effectively. Oral vocabulary refers to words that we use in speaking or recognize in listening. Reading vocabulary refers to words we recognize or use in print. Vocabulary is important because beginning readers use their oral vocabulary to make sense of the words they see in print and because readers must know what most of the words mean before they can understand what they are reading

Vocabulary can be developed:

Indirectly, when students engage daily in oral language, listen to adults read to them, and read extensively on their own.
Directly, when students are explicitly taught both individual words and word learning strategies.

Text Comprehension Instruction

Comprehension is the reason for reading. If readers can read the words but do not understand what they are reading, they are not really reading. Text comprehension is important because comprehension is the reason for reading.

Text comprehension is purposeful and active. It can be developed by teaching comprehension strategies:

Through explicit instruction.
Through cooperative learning.
By helping readers use strategies flexibly and in combination.

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debbie



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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This piece makes an important contribution to the issue of whether phonological awareness is as much of a 'pre-requisite' to later reading ability as many people claim or seem to believe:

Phonological Awareness and Deaf Children


http://www.maryhare.org.uk/cache/downloads/4pvujo6y3dog4g8s04sgww8ss/BATOD%20March%202014.pdf
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debbie



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kerry Hempenstall on phonemic awareness:


http://nifdi.org/news/hempenstall-blog/456-phonemic-awareness-yea-nay

Quote:
Is the suggested developmental sequence important?

Should you gently guide students through the sequence, using only activities related to that level, or can you provide students with a wider range of activities at any one time? Should you focus directly on phoneme awareness (rather than on less sophisticated phonological processes like rhymes) from the beginning (Foorman et al., 2003)?

Should you include letters (graphemes) in your otherwise oral phonemic awareness curriculum (Byrne & Fielding-Barnsley, 1993; Hatcher, Hulme, & Ellis, 1994; National Reading Panel, 2000)?



This issue was raised some time ago.

"Thus phonological training that is integrated with phonics training may be as effective as phonological training conducted separately from phonics training" (Hart, Berninger, & Abbott, 1997, p.279).

“Stimulation of phonological awareness should never be considered an isolated instructional end in itself. It will be most useful as part of the reading curriculum if it is blended seamlessly with instruction and experiences using letter-sound correspondences to read and spell words” (Torgesen & Mathes, 1998, p. 9).

A question often asked about phoneme awareness training that precedes reading instruction is the degree to which the phonological skills will transfer to the reading task. Will students have forgotten such oral skills by the time reading instruction commences? Will they remember them, but not perceive the benefits in making use of them? Will they remember them, and appreciate the potential benefits in making use of them, but can’t see how to incorporate the oral skills into the decoding task? Presumably, one role for a beginning reading teacher is to make salient to the reading task those phoneme awareness skills previously developed. If this is to be part of the teacher’s curriculum, then a closer knit between the phoneme awareness training and the beginning reading instruction is advisable. Certainly, if the teacher’s initial instruction is meaning-dominated or has an initial whole word emphasis, then students are unlikely to notice that phonological skills can be helpful.

“Overall, the data suggest that there is little value in training pre-schoolers in either letter forms or sounds in isolation in advance of providing instruction on the links between the two” (Castles, Coltheart, Wilson, Valpied, & Wedgwood, 2009, p.6Cool.

So, perhaps one should bypass the oral phonemic awareness activities, and move directly to the phonic processes of segmenting and blending (including letters not solely sounds) because they are activities more directly salient to reading? Additionally, it has been argued that letter-sound knowledge enhances phonemic awareness skills (Carroll, 2004), so a link between letter-sound associations and phoneme awareness may have several benefits.

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