Background: Early, intensive phonological awareness and phonics training is widely held to be beneficial for children with poor phonological awareness. However, most studies have delivered this training separately from children's normal whole-class reading lessons. Aims: We examined whether integrating this training into whole class, mixed-ability reading lessons could impact on children with poor phonological awareness, whilst also benefiting normally developing readers. Sample: Teachers delivered the training within a broad reading programme to whole classes of children from Reception to the end of Year 1 (N=251). A comparison group of children received standard teaching methods (N=213). Method: Children's literacy was assessed at the beginning of Reception, and then at the end of each year until 1 year post-intervention. Results: The strategy significantly impacted on reading performance for normally developing readers and those with poor phonological awareness, vastly reducing the incidence of reading difficulties from 20% in comparison schools to 5% in intervention schools. Conclusions: Phonological and phonics training is highly effective for children with poor phonological awareness, even when incorporated into whole-class teaching.
Bibliographical noteReproduced with permission from British journal of educational psychology © The British Psychological Society 2008.
- phonological awareness
- phonics training
- poor phonological awareness
- class reading lessons.