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Zaneta Liu, Alexis Sheid, Marie Kerins, Ph.D.

How Much Phonological Awareness is the Right Amount?

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Over the last decade it has become well established that addressing the skill of accurately detecting and manipulating the sounds in words and syllables, also know as phonological awareness (PA), early in a child’s education prevents later difficulties with reading (National Reading Panel, 2000). The biggest effects for reading targeted the skills of segmenting and blending. While it is well established that PA is critical for reading (National Early Literacy Panel, 2008) it has been not well documented how long it takes to remediate children scoring below grade level norms. With educational and therapeutic resources being at a premium, being able to establish a predictive relationship between assessment performance and length of treatment would assist in resource allocation and treatment planning.

In this study, the relationship between PA test scores and the length of treatment time to reach the exit criteria level was examined in 24 first grade children. Subjects were grouped based on length of time in treatment; those in treatment less than three hours and those in treatment three hours or more. Subtest scores were compared to determine which scores seemed to more consistently predict three or more hours in treatment, which were segmenting and blending subtests. PA scores from these two subtests will be plotted to determine if there was any observed relationship between blending, segmenting and hours of treatment. Ideas for future research and implications of the findings will be discussed.

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