How Effective Is Morphological Awareness Instruction on Early Literacy Skills?
The present study examined whether morphological awareness instruction in Kindergarten classrooms contributes to the improvement of young children’s early literacy skills (e.g., morphological and phonological awareness, print knowledge, vocabulary). Two quasi-experimental studies were implemented. Study 1 consisted of a treatment and a control group of young children and Study 2 consisted of two treatment groups and a control group. In both studies, the treatment groups received a 5 week intervention scheme with several morphological awareness activities. In Study 2, a second treatment group received an intervention scheme with activities which combined morphological and phonological awareness. Both studies’ findings showed that the treatment groups which received morphological awareness instruction or a blended instruction on morphological and phonological awareness improved the morphological awareness abilities more than the control group. There were small or no transfer effects on the improvement of print knowledge and vocabulary. However, Study 2 showed that phonological awareness abilities improved only in the treatment group which received the blended instruction. According to the present findings, the teaching of morphemes in Kindergarten is beneficial for morphological awareness improvement, but it has to be combined with other early literacy activities in order to have broader effects on young children’s literacy development.
KeywordsPhonological Awareness Word Reading Literacy Skill Morphological Awareness Letter Knowledge
- Adams, M. J. (1990). Beginning to read: Thinking and learning about print. Cambridge, MA: MIT.Google Scholar
- Carlisle, J. F. (1995). Morphological awareness and early reading achievement. In L. B. Feldman (Ed.), Morphological aspects of language processing (pp. 189–209). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- Clay, M. M. (2000). Concepts about print. Auckland: Heinemann.Google Scholar
- Cross Thematic Curriculum Framework for Kindergarten. (2003). Ministerial Decision G2/21072 Government Gazette. p. 304.Google Scholar
- Dunn, L. M., & Dunn, L. M. (1981). Peabody picture vocabulary test-revised. Circle Pines, MN: American Guidance Service.Google Scholar
- Gombert, J. E. (1992). Metalinguistic development. (T. Pownall, Trans.). London: Harvester Wheatsheaf. (Original work published 1990).Google Scholar
- Grigorakis, I. (2014). The development of children’s metamorphological abilities from kindergarten to grade 2 and its relationship with reading and spelling acquisition. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Rethymno, Greece: University of Crete.Google Scholar
- Manolitsis, G. (2000). Mέτρηση και αξιoλόγηση μεταγλωσσικών ικανoτήτων παιδιών ηλικίας 5–6 ετών [Measurement and evaluation of 5–6 years old children’s metalinguistic abilities]. Athens, Greece: Grigoris.Google Scholar
- Manolitsis, G. (2006). H σχέση της μoρφoλoγικής επίγνωσης με την αναγνωστική ικανότητα κατά τα πρώτα στάδια ανάπτυξής της. [The relation of morphological awareness with early reading ability]. In D. Koutsogianis, A. Haralabopoulos, & N. Liosis (Eds.), Studies in Greek linguistics. Proceedings of the 26th annual meeting of the Department of Linguistics. Faculty of Philosophy (pp. 282–293). Thessaloniki: Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.Google Scholar
- Manolitsis, G., & Kandylidou, E. (2011, August). Morphological awareness instruction in Kindergarten and children’s early literacy development. Paper presented at the 17th European conference on reading. Mons, Belgium.Google Scholar
- Nunes, T., Aidinis, A., & Bryant, P. (2006). The acquisition of written morphology in Greek. In R. Malatesha Joshi & P. G. Aaron (Eds.), Handbook of orthography and literacy (pp. 201–219). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- Pittas, E., & Nunes, T. (2014). The relation between morphological awareness and reading and spelling in Greek: A longitudinal study. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal. doi 10.1007/s11145-014-9503-6.
- Protopapas, A. (in press). Learning to read Greek. In T. W. Verhoeven, & C. A. Perfetti (Eds.), Reading acquisition across languages and writing systems: An international handbook. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Ralli, A. (2005). Moρφoλoγία [Morphology]. Athens, Greece: Patakis.Google Scholar
- Raven, J. C. (1956). Coloured progressive matrices, sets A, AB, B. London: H. K. Lewis & Co. Ltd.Google Scholar
- Rothou, K. M., & Padeliadu, S. (2014). Inflectional morphological awareness and word reading and reading comprehension in Greek. Applied psycholinguistics, doi: 10.1017/S0142716414000022.
- Rubin, H. (1988). Morphological knowledge and early writing ability. Language and Speech, 31, 337–355.Google Scholar
- Stavrakaki, Z., & Manolitsis, G. (2007, October). Morphological awareness training in preschool children. Paper presented at the conference “Emergent Literacy: Research and Applications”, Rethymno, Greece.Google Scholar
- Tafa, E. (2005). Greek kindergarteners’ concepts about print. In M. Pandis, A. Ward, & S. R. Mathews (Eds.), Reading, writing, thinking (pp. 88–95). Newark, DE: International Reading Association.Google Scholar
- Tsakris, P. (1970). H ευφυία των ελληνoπαίδων της σχoλικής ηλικίας (5 έως 12 ετών) [The intelligence of Greek children at school age (5 to 12 years old). Athens.Google Scholar
- Wagner, R. K., Torgesen, J. K., & Rashotte, C. A. (1999). Comprehensive test of phonological processing. Austin, TX: PRO-ED.Google Scholar