PORTUGUESE JOURNAL OF SPEECH THERAPY
RPTF | VOLUME 1 | YEAR II
The effect of phonological awareness training in the performance of preschoolers and its influence on word reading in first graders
Sara Ferreira |João Veloso
Purpose: The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of a phonological awareness training program in phonological awareness skills for pre-school children and in word reading skills for first graders.
Methods: This research gathered 47 pre-school participants, 24 boys and 23 girls, with a mean age of 5 years and 6 months, who were randomly divided into an experimental group and a control group. The children were assessed with the Assessment tool for Phonological Awareness - pilot version in a pre-test and post-test setting. For five months the experimental group was stimulated with a phonological awareness training program, with two weekly interventions of 30 minutes each and increasingly difficult syllabic, intrasyllabic and segmental tasks. In the first grade the children were assessed on their reading skills with the Word Recognition Test, on two occasions.
Results: The results showed significant differences between the experimental and the control groups for syllabic and segmental tasks. Descriptive statistics showed that the experimental group had a better performance. The influence of the training program on reading abilities was not significant. A positive correlation between phonological awareness tasks and word reading was established, for the experimental group in particular. It was noticed that the groups’ outcomes became closer in the second screening, as a result of the impact of the alphabetic principle.
Conclusions: The implementation of a phonological awareness program may promote syllabic and segmental awareness learning in pre-school children.
KEYWORDS: Training programs, Phonological awareness, Word reading