, Volume 39, Issue 6, pp 465-484
Date: 24 Dec 2009

Speech Perception Among School-Aged Skilled and Less Skilled Readers

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This study investigated the relationship between speech perception, phonological processing and reading skills among school-aged children classified as ‘skilled’ and ‘less skilled’ readers based on their ability to read words, decode non-words, and comprehend short passages. Three speech perception tasks involving categorization of speech continua differing in voicing, place and manner of articulation were administered and compared to phonological processing skills in phonological awareness, speeded naming and verbal short-term memory. The results obtained suggested that (a) speech categorization among skilled readers differed from that of less skilled readers, (b) speech perception skills were associated with both reading and phonological processing skills among both skilled and less skilled readers, however, (c) a strong association between speeded naming and both word and passage reading skills found among skilled readers was absent among less skilled readers. These results suggested that phonological representations and/or activation may not be as well developed in less skilled readers.