Annals of Dyslexia

, Volume 44, Issue 1, pp 250–269 | Cite as

How do illiterate adults react to metalinguistic training?

  • Jean Emile Gombert
Part III The Adult Poor Reader: Causes, Consequences, And Solutions

Abstract

The present study focuses on the capacity of illiterate adults to master three different metalinguistic tasks: judgment of phonological length of words, initial consonant deletion, and lexical segmentation of sentences. Illiterates’ performance, during a pre-test and after training, was compared with that of literates and partial illiterates (adults at the beginning of the process of acquiring literacy) who received the same training. In the pre-test, illiterates were lower than literates in the three tasks; and partial-illiterates were at an intermediate level in two of the tasks. The three groups profited from the training, especially illiterates and partial-illiterates for whom improvement was dramatic across all three tasks. Finally, the results revealed a hierarchy of difficulty across the tasks. The capacity to focus on the phonological dimension seemed to be a prerequisite for the phoneme deletion ability. The task of lexical segmentation seemed to be more a measure of syntactic awareness than a measure of phonological awareness.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Barton, D. 1985. Awareness of language units in adults and children.In A. W. Ellis (ed.).Progress in the Psychology of Language vol.1. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  2. Bertelson, P., de Gelder, B., Tfouni, L. V., and Morais, J. 1989. The metaphonological abilities of adult illiterates: New evidence of heterogeneity.European Journal of Cognitive Psychology 1:239–50.Google Scholar
  3. Berthoud-Papandropoulou, I. 1978. An experimental study of children’s ideas about language.In A. Sinclair, R. J. Jarvella, and W. J. M. Levelt (eds.).The Child’s Conception of Language. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.Google Scholar
  4. Bialystok, E. 1986. Children’s concept of word.Journal of Psycholinguistic Research 29:13–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bowey, J.A., and Francis, J. 1991. Phonological analysis as a function of age and exposure to reading instruction.Applied Psycholinguistics 12:91–121.Google Scholar
  6. Bradley, L., and Bryant, P. 1983. Categorizing sounds and learning to read: A causal connection.Nature 301:419–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Content, A., Kolinsky, R., Morais, J., and Bertelson, P. 1986. Phonetic segmentation in prereaders: Effect of corrective information.Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 42:49–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Fox, B., and Routh, D. K. 1984. Phonemic analysis and synthesis as word attack skills: Revisited.Journal of Educational Psychology 76:1059–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Friederici, A. 1983. Children sensitivity to function words during sentence comprehension.Linguistics 21:717–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Gombert, J. E. 1992.Metalinguistic Development. London: Harvester-Wheatsheaf and Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  11. Goswami, U., and Bryant, P. 1990.Phonological Skills and Learning to Read. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  12. Holden, M. H., and MacGinitie, W. H. 1972. Children’s conception of word boundaries in speech and print.Journal of Educational Psychology 63:551–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Kolinsky, R., Cary, L., and Morais, J. 1987. Awareness of words as phonological entities: The role of literacy.Applied Psycholinguistics 8:223–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Morais, J., Alegria, J., and Content, A. 1987. The relationship between segmental analysis and alphabetic literacy: An interactive view.Cahiers de Psychologie Cognitive 7:415–38.Google Scholar
  15. Morais, J., Cary, L., Alegria, J., and Bertelson, P. 1979. Does awareness of speech as a sequence of phones arise spontaneously?Cognition 7:323–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Morais, J., Content, A., Bertelson, P., Cary, L., and Kolinsky, R. 1988. Is there a critical period for the acquisition of segmental analysis?Cognitive Neuropsychology 5:347–52.Google Scholar
  17. Olofsson, A., and Lundberg, I. 1985. Evaluation of long-term effects of phonemic awareness training in kindergarten: Illustrations of some methodological problems in evaluation research.Scandinavian Journal of Psychology 26:21–34.Google Scholar
  18. Read, C., Zhang, Y., Nie, H., and Ding, B. 1986. The ability to manipulate speech sounds depends on knowing alphabetic writing.Cognition 24:31–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Roazzi, A., Dowker, A., and Bryant, P. in press. Phonological abilities of Brazilian street poets.Applied Psycholinguistics.Google Scholar
  20. Sidàk, Z. 1967. Rectangular confidence region for the means of multivariate normal distributions.Journal of the American Statistical Association 62:626–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Orton Dyslexia Society 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jean Emile Gombert
    • 1
  1. 1.Université de Bourgogne, LEAD/ CNRSDijon CedexFrance

Personalised recommendations