Title page for ETD etd-0703103-140535


Type of Document Dissertation
Author Guidry, Lisa Oliver
URN etd-0703103-140535
Title A Phonological Awareness Intervention for at-Risk Preschoolers: The Effects of Supplemental, Intensive, Small-Group Instruction
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Curriculum & Instruction
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Jill Howard Allor Committee Chair
Earl H. Cheek, Jr. Committee Member
Margaret T. Stewart Committee Member
R. Kenton Denny Committee Member
J. Geaghan Dean's Representative
Keywords
  • early reading intervention
  • early literacy
  • phonological awareness
Date of Defense 2003-06-25
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
Results from phonological awareness research on assessment and intervention support two major suppositions. First, findings from correlational studies revealing that young children's phonological sensitivity is related to the future development of reading skills (Lonigan et al., 1998) validate early screening of phonological awareness to identify children who may be at risk for encountering reading difficulties. Second, experimental studies examining the effectiveness of phonological awareness instruction demonstrate that young children's phonological sensitivity can be promoted, thereby altering patterns of initial weaknesses (Bentin & Leshem, 1993; O'Connor et al., 1995b; Torgesen & Davis, 1996; Warrick et al., 1993)

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of small-group instruction designed to enhance whole-class phonological awareness instruction delivered to preschoolers. Intensive small-group instruction, which supplemented phonological awareness activities conducted with large classroom groups 3 times each week, was provided biweekly to students who demonstrated waeknesses in phonological awareness on pre-treatment measures. The contrast group of low-performing students participated in the whole-class phonological awareness instruction, but received no additional small-group instruction. All students enrolled in 4 different preschool classes participated in phonological awareness instruction delivered to intact classes of 17 to 20 students. Data collected on students participating in the low-skilled treatment and contrast groups and on a sample of average- to high-skilled students, serving as an additional contrast group, were analyzed to examine the effects of supplemental, intensive, small-group phonological awareness instruction delivered to low-skilled preschoolers.

The effectiveness of supplemental, intensive, small-group phonological awareness instruction for preschoolers with little awareness of the phonological structure of language was not supported by the results of this study. Analyses of post-intervention scores revealed that the experimental treatment did not promote subjects' phonological awareness to levels significantly higher than those of the low-skilled contrast students, who participated only in phonological awareness instruction delivered to the whole class. The supplemental small-group instruction also did not promote subjects' phonological awareness to levels similar to those of the average- to high-skilled contrast students.

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