Menu

Developing Phonological Awareness and Word Recognition Skills: A Two-year Intervention with Low-income, Inner-city Children

Blachman, B. A., Tangel, D. M., Ball, E.W., Black, R. S., & McGraw, C. K. (1999). Developing phonological awareness and word recognition skills: A two-year intervention with low-income, inner-city children. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 11, 239-273.

Abstract:
Low-income, inner-city children were involved in a two-year intervention delivered in the regular classroom by regular classroom teachers to develop phonological awareness and word recognition skills. For the treatment children, an 11-week phoneme awareness program in kindergarten was followed by a first grade reading program (extended to grade 2 for some children) that emphasized explicit, systematic instruction in the alphabetic code. Control children participated in the school district’s regular basal reading program. Both groups participated in a phonetically-based spelling program mandated by the district.
At the end of grade 1, treatment children (n = 66) significantly outperformed control children (n = 62) on measures of phonological awareness, letter name and letter sound knowledge, and three measures of word recognition, and reached marginal significance (0.056) on a fourth. They also significantly outperformed the control children on two measures of spelling. One year later, at the end of grade 2, the treatment children (n = 58) significantly outperformed the control children (n = 48) on all four measures of word recognition.
For the groups as a whole, there were no differences on the one measure of spelling re-administered at the end of grade 2. However, there were significant differences in spelling between the treatment (n = 16) and control children (n = 13) who remained in the bottom quartile of spellers at the end of grade 2 when partial credit was given for phonetically correct spelling, and significant differences in reading favoring these treatment children on all four measures of word recognition.

"I used to walk to school with my nose buried in a book." — Coolio