Reading and Writing

, Volume 23, Issue 6, pp 607–626 | Cite as

Fostering alphabet knowledge development: a comparison of two instructional approaches

  • Shayne B. Piasta
  • David J. Purpura
  • Richard K. Wagner


Preschool-aged children (n = 58) were randomly assigned to receive small group instruction in letter names and/or sounds or numbers (treated control). Alphabet instruction followed one of two approaches currently utilized in early childhood classrooms: combined letter name and sound instruction or letter sound only instruction. Thirty-four 15 minute lessons were provided, with children pre- and post-tested on alphabet, phonological awareness, letter–word identification, emergent reading, and developmental spelling measures. Results suggest benefits of combined letter name and sound instruction in promoting children’s letter sound acquisition. Benefits did not generalize to other emergent literacy skills.


Emergent literacy Alphabet knowledge Letter-sound correspondence Preschool intervention 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shayne B. Piasta
    • 1
  • David J. Purpura
    • 2
  • Richard K. Wagner
    • 2
  1. 1.Preschool Language and Literacy LabThe Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA
  2. 2.Florida Center for Reading ResearchFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA

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