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Several decades of research have shown that phonological awareness is crucial in literacy acquisition in an alphabetic system. As Morais (Chapter 2) suggests, however, what is less clearly understood is the relationship between phonological awareness and literacy and language. The contributors to this volume have offered many suggestions regarding directions for future research. A consideration of the chapters in this text lead to the identification of three unifying themes around which future research in phonological awareness might profitably focus. These include (1) the emergence of phonological awareness in relation to age and task variables; (2) the need for model construction; and (3) the interactions between phonological awareness and method of instruction in acquiring an understanding of the alphabetic principle. The following discussion represents our interpretation of the issues related to these themes that have been raised within the collective chapters.
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