The Effects of Explicit Phonemic Awareness Training on Reading Levels of Kindergarten Students
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Reading research identifies phonemic awareness as a key factor in literacy development. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of explicit phonemic awareness training on the reading levels of low-achieving kindergarten students. All students in one kindergarten classroom in a low socio-economic urban elementary school were pre- and post-tested using the strip initial consonant (isolation) and blending components of the Phonemic Awareness Test (revised) and the Y opp-Singer Test of Phonemic Segmentation. Reading levels were determined using running records and benchmark books from the Reading Recovery program. The five lowest scoring students were provided a six-week intervention using Teaching Phonemic Awareness to Young Children. These students were offered this programming for fifteen minutes daily. Using paired t tests, significant growth was evident in blending, isolating and segmenting sounds in words as well as reading level. The Spearman correlation matrix was used to determine ifthe change phonemic awareness ability had an impact on reading level. While both skills showed significant improvement, neither showed a measurable impact upon the other. This study confirmed that phonemic awareness can be developed in the struggling kindergarten students in this sample.
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