, Volume 38, Issue 1, pp 208-225

Phoneme segmentation training: Effect on reading readiness

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Recent evidence suggests that the ability to segment words into phonemes is significantly related to reading success, and that training in phoneme segmentation appears to have a positive influence on beginning reading. In this study, we evaluated the effect on reading readiness of phoneme segmentation training in kindergarten. Ninety nonreaders with PPVT-R standard scores of 78 or higher were randomly selected from six kindergarten classrooms and assigned to one of three treatment conditions: a) phoneme segmentation group; b) language activities group (control group I); and c) no intervention (control group II). The phoneme segmentation group received seven weeks of instruction in segmentation and in letter names and sounds. Also for seven weeks, the language activities group received the identical instruction in letter names and sounds and additional language activities. Prior to the intervention, the three groups did not differ in age, sex, race, PPVT-R phoneme segmentation, letter name and letter sound knowledge, or reading ability. After the intervention, the phoneme segmentation group outperformed both control groups on phoneme segmentation and reading measures. This study provides additional strong support for including phoneme segmentation training in the kindergarten curriculum. Clinical suggestions for teachers are included.

This project was supported in part by USDE grant # G008630421 and a Syracuse University Senate Research Grant.