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  • Part III Speech Development, Perception, and Production; Components of Reading; Defining Mathematics Learning Disability
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Phonological awareness, speech development, and letter knowledge in preschool children

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Phonological awareness has been shown to be one of the most reliable predictors and associates of reading ability. In an attempt to better understand its development, we have examined the interrelations of speech skills and letter knowledge to the phonological awareness and early reading skills of 99 preschool children. We found that phoneme awareness, but not rhyme awareness, correlated with early reading measures. We further found that phoneme manipulation was closely associated with letter knowledge and with letter sound knowledge, in particular, where rhyme awareness was closely linked with speech perception and vocabulary. Phoneme judgment fell in between. The overall pattern of results is consistent with phonological representation as an important factor in the complex relationship between preschool children’s phonological awareness, their emerging knowledge of the orthography, and their developing speech skills. However, where rhyme awareness is a concomitant of speech and vocabulary development, phoneme awareness more clearly associates with the products of literacy experience.

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Correspondence to Virginia A. Mann.

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Mann, V.A., Foy, J.G. Phonological awareness, speech development, and letter knowledge in preschool children. Ann. of Dyslexia 53, 149–173 (2003).

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  • Phonological Awareness
  • Speech Perception
  • Word Reading
  • Digit Span
  • Poor Reader