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The Relationship between_phonological_awareness_and_word_reading

The Relationship between_phonological_awareness_and_word_reading

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A study in English linguistics shows the relation between phonology knowledge and Reading words
A study in English linguistics shows the relation between phonology knowledge and Reading words

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Poznań Studies in Contemporary Linguistics 43(2), 2007, pp. 5–21 © School of English, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland doi:10.

2478/v10010-007-0011-6

THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PHONOLOGICAL AWARENESS AND WORD READING
YASER AL-TAMIMI The Hashemite University, Zarqa ytamimi@hu.edu.jo GHALEB RABAB’AH University of Jordan, Amman ghaleb.rababah@ju.edu.jo ABSTRACT
This study investigates the effect of phonological awareness instruction on the development of word-reading ability for EFL first-graders in a Jordanian state school. Based on Chard and Dickson’s (1999) phonological awareness hierarchy, a phonological awareness training program was developed by the researchers, and used in training the experimental group whose children after 10 training sessions significantly outperformed their peers in the control group on TampaReads’ (2003) word-reading measures. The study concludes that phonological awareness is relevant to the development of first-graders’ word-reading ability, and that explicit phonological awareness instruction is essential for this development. The study thus provides support to previous research, and implies that phonological awareness can be taught contrary to the notion of the pure whole language approach, and that explicit phonological awareness intervention can help overcome the Jordanian EFL children’s reading problems once it is systematically integrated into their school curricula. KEYWORDS: Phonological awareness; phonemic awareness; word-reading; phonological awareness instruction.

1. Introduction Arab learners of English as a foreign language experience different types of problems and difficulties at word level while reading English texts (Brown and Haynes 1985; Ryan and Meara 1991). More specifically, they, according to Fender (2003), seem to have difficulty with prelexical word recognition processes; i.e. the ability to identify the printed (orthographic) form of a word or lexical item in order to activate the word’s meaning, structural/syntactic information, and other pragmatic or word knowledge as-

Authenticated | 176.44.140.165 Download Date | 12/28/12 8:15 AM

and show understanding of learned simple words about names. French. uses an alphabetic system that encodes language at the level of phonemes. to our knowledge. the subject of such investigation. According to Fender (2003). Greek. facilitates their L1 word recognition. for example. objects. The English phonological system is less consistent and transparent than that of Arabic (Wagner et al. there are basic orthographical differences between both systems. Arabic. though English has many inconsistencies with regard to how vowels are represented in the orthography as well as a variety of context-sensitive grapheme-phoneme irregularities (cf. Considerable research has emphasized the relevance of phonological awareness (i. leads to “a slower and perhaps even less accurate Authenticated | 176. hence graphemes (i. on the other hand. However. developed through dependence on L1 phonological processing skills (see Section 2 below). the mainstream Jordanian first graders often struggle when they attend to these basic skills. and this can be attributed to their impoverished phonological awareness of English. better than IQ. English.165 Download Date | 12/28/12 8:15 AM . Gillet et al. and numbers when reading through different activities” (The English Language National Team 2006: 17). according to King Abdullah II’s National Initiative of 1999. and this.” This has been confirmed in a number of studies including. 2004. actions. 1994). It is on these native skills developed through L1 literacy experience that Jordanian EFL children tend to rely when reading English words in texts and in isolation. might be related to L1 interference. Anthony and Francis (2005: 255) contend that this relation is “evident in all alphabetic languages studied to date. letters) closely correspond to consonant and vowel phonemes (Fender 2003).e. Moreover.g. By the end of the year. Jordanian children are gradually required to become proficient in English basic skills including reading. In Jordan. Arab learners of English as a foreign language have not been thus far. English is simultaneously taught as a mandatory module right from the first grade in both state and private schools. which. Al-Tamimi and G. for instance. This. Anthony and Francis 2005). and this constitutes the rationale behind conducting the present research. This research has already established that phonological awareness is a pre-reading skill or a prerequisite for learning to read. the English orthography encodes a large amount of phonological information through grapheme-phoneme correspondence rules. according to Abu Rabia (1997). 1993. 1988. English is taught as a foreign language in almost all Arab countries. and knowledge of them is crucial for foreign language reading fluency and comprehension (MacDonald 2000). Lundberg et al. first graders are expected to “read English from left to right. in turn. vocabulary and listening comprehension. These processes operate at a prelexical stage and are necessary to identify and activate a word or a lexical item (Siedenberg 1992.6 Y. according to Fender (2003: 294). Berent and Perfetti 1995). Vellutino et al. and Punjabi as tackled from monolingual and/or bilingual perspectives (see Section 3). the metalinguistic ability to manipulate sub-word phonological elements) to reading acquisition (e. According to Sensenbaugh (2000). Spanish.140. Italian. it is the best predictor of the ease of early reading acquisition. Rabab’ah sociations.44. In the context of aspiring to become bilinguals.e. Abu Rabia 1999). In the same vein.

and Read 1991 for an argument). Foorman and Liberman 1989).g. 1993.g. Awareness. 2. as will be shown in Section 3 below. typically begins during preschool years. the purpose of the present paper is to test the hypothesis that explicit phonological awareness instruction can have positive impact on Jordanian first-graders’ English word. and phonemes.44. This can be arguably done through explicit phonological instruction (e. since the former term refers to an awareness that words consist of syllables. in order to obtain a quicker and a more accurate EFL word recognition. Amongst these skills.reading. that is expected to develop their English word recognition (cf. and phonological awareness indicates “one’s degree of sensitivity to the sound structure of oral language”. according to Olofsson and Niedersoe (1999). and the second is pedagogical related to the utility of integrating phonological awareness training into EFL children’s curricula in Jordanian state and private schools.e. 1998. defined by Anthony and Francis (2005: 255) as follows: phonological memory refers to “coding information in a sound-based representation system for temporary storage”. phonological access to lexical storage points to “the efficiency of retrieving phonological codes from memory”. preference will also be given in this work to “phonological awareness” over “phonemic awareness”. onsets and rimes. discriminate. phonological memory. 1991. Thus. 1992. Phonological awareness Research has revealed three interconnected phonological processing abilities required for reading acquisition. Thus. knowing the Alphabetic Principle: a written symbol corresponding to a phoneme. Perfetti et al. 2004: 220) of oral sound structure generally involves one’s ability to recognize. viz.165 Download Date | 12/28/12 8:15 AM . Gough and Walsh. As the later two alternatives have not yet gained currency in the literature. Perfetti. Phonological awareness. Ball and Blachman 1991) which poses challenges to the pure whole language argument that phonological awareness is only truly naturally acquired (e. including phonological awareness of English. 1991). If this were true. The first is theoretical that has to do with corroborating the notion of learnability of phonological awareness. when children with normal hearing can attend to ambient Authenticated | 176. phonological awareness is the component most strongly connected to the ability to read (i.Phonological awareness and word reading 7 [EFL] word recognition”. “Sensitivity” (Anthony and Francis 2005). It is rather dependence on English phonological processing skills themselves. cf.140. “awareness” will continue to be used in this study (see Stanovich 1986. Snow et al. two important implications could be obtained. phonological access to lexical storage and phonological awareness. Consistent with Sensenbaugh (2000). 1987. and hence receiving special attention in this study. 1991). and manipulate the oral sound. and so can be considered as a broader notion than the latter. or “consciousness” (Gillet et al. more attention has to be given to developing the Jordanian children’s phonological awareness of English.

) 3. the correlation between phonological awareness and the ability to read is claimed to be “evident in all alphabetic languages studied to date” (Anthony and Francis 2005: 255). and third. 2004)). Anthony and Francis 2005).44.140. They also provide evidence in favor of the relevance of phonological awareness to reading. English-Greek (Leafstedt et al. Perfetti et al.] being aware of speech sounds helped apprentice readers attend to the relationships between sounds and letters. A huge body of research has already established that phonological awareness is one of the most powerful skills that predict later reading success amongst students (e. As mentioned earlier. Before children learn to read print. second.g.8 Y. Rabab’ah sounds by naming. Similarly. Such studies compare phonological awareness in monolingual and bilingual1 children by testing either one or both of the bilingual child’s languages. This includes identifying beginning. research work reveals three different. Most studies on phonological awareness concentrate on monolingual children despite the predominance of bilingualism in the world’s population (Romaine 1999). Al-Tamimi and G. (2004: 206) contend: [. Based on the levels of phonological awareness assessed.. Review of related literature The relationship between phonological awareness and the ability to read has received much research concern. 1997). English-Italian (Campbell and Sais 1995). and empirical evidence.g. phonological awareness as a precursor skill to successful reading acquisition as evidenced below. 1988. Shapley 2001. 1987). we have used the term in this sense in the present study with the implicit knowledge that such children can be best described as learners of an additional language. 1987. 2004).g. Gillet et al. (See Section 4 below. A number of tests are normally used to measure this awareness. 1993). and learning letter-to-sound correspondences made it possible to recognize more and more words.. correlations: first. imitating and describing them. medial and ending sounds. Lundberg et al. hearing rhythm and rhymes.g. there is a growing research interest in bilingual children (e. Stanovich 1987.165 Download Date | 12/28/12 8:15 AM . Gillet et al. they must become aware of how sounds work in words. Authenticated | 176. 2004. English-Spanish (Durgunoglu et al. though interrelated. 1 It should be noted that the term “bilingual” in such works has been used rather loosely to designate any child exposed to more than one language (Leafstedt et al. Gillis and De Schutter 1996). reciprocity (e. However. According to Shapley (2001: 8). English-French (Bruck et al. Morais et al. Following them. and understanding nuances in spoken words. phonological awareness as a by-product of reading development (e. English-Punjabi (Stuart-Smith and Martin 1999).

Explicit instruction in phonological awareness is reported in the literature to serve as a remedial procedure. which in turn account for the subsequent superiority of the experimental group.140.165 Download Date | 12/28/12 8:15 AM . This calls for considering all possible means to help those children develop their English reading ability. a rural area in the North of Jordan. know letter-to-sound correspondences. the mainstream Jordanian EFL first graders stop short of meeting the expectations of The English Language National Team (2006: 17) with respect to English word reading. it may be predicted that Jordanian EFL first graders need an explicit phonological awareness instruction in order to improve their reading abilities. Based on 52 experimental studies. 4. Vaughn et al. know the letters of the alphabet.Phonological awareness and word reading 9 Arabic. to our knowledge. (2001). Lundberg et al. For many reasons possibly related to L1 interference and lack of attention to the notion of phonological awareness in the Jordanian curricula. to the emergence of alphabetic skills. by King Abdullah II’s National Initiative of 1999 that imposes teaching English as a foreign language right from the elementary stage in both state and private schools. by the end of the year. according to the authors. Because of the distinguished status of English as a world language. for young children at risk for reading difficulties. Ehri et al. has not received. and for poor readers” (Anthony and Francis 2005: 255). Similar conclusions were drawn by Ball and Blachman (1991). Results of post-intervention testing suggest the utility of training in developing awareness of single phonemes leading. Subjects The study was conducted in Judeita Basic School for Boys at Al-Korah District. Moreover. Ryan and Meara (1991) and Fender (2003). The National Reading Panel’s 1998 report to the US Congress strongly advocates “helping children hear sounds in words. though alphabetic. and that explicit instruction is beneficial for typically developing children. as stated above. Jordanian EFL first graders experience English word reading problems in the manner described by Brown and Hyness (1985). Based on this amount of evidence. (1988) investigate the effect of phonological intervention on developing the English reading ability for a number of Scandinavian children. see Rabab’ah 2005). and be able to read words” (Snow et al. there is probably an exceptional concern represented. 1998: 5). it is taught as a foreign language in almost all Arab countries (for a review. This school is just like thousands of state schools distrib- Authenticated | 176. The experimental group (children participating in a pre-school phonological training program) outperformed the control group on measures of single-word reading. In fact.1.44. In Jordan. (2006). Methodology 4. such research attention from either a monolingual or bilingual perspective. (2001) and Littleton et al. the 2000 report confirms the previous one and concludes that phonological awareness instruction has “moderate and statistically significant effects on reading and spelling abilities.

except for its being the largest educational hub in the area. Sample words of increasing difficulty included red. Pre-post word reading test Pre and post-test procedures were adopted in the present research. the children in both groups sat for a word-reading pre-test (see assessment procedures below). white. and by then their age mean was 6. The school has six first-grade classes. One class.10 Y. One hundred forty-five male students from this school.8 years. The raw score of the word-reading test was 100. (2001) and Vaughn et al. (2001). and to make the training process itself most beneficial. wrong. schools’ facilities. and another class. There is no particular reason for choosing this school. Following Ehri et al. students were asked to read a list of letters and a list of 340 real words of increasing difficulty selected by TampaReads as words which Grade 1 students need to master by the end of the school year. In this research. each student in both pre and post word-reading tests was asked to read as many words from the list as he could.0 grade level and typically score in the top 10% on standardized national reading tests such as the Stanford Achievement Test (SAT) or Woodcock-Johnson. she. However. where English is taught as a foreign language. we. According to TampaReads. 4. doesn’t.44. brown. After 8 months of schooling and nearly a month towards the end of the year. the experimental group was divided into 6 sub-groups.2. not to mention obvious similarity in teachers’ qualifications. play. first-graders normally join schools at the age of 6 and. comprising 31 students. they start learning English right from this basic stage. Generally. Assessment procedures 4.140. consisting of 30 students. Rabab’ah uted across the country and run by the Ministry of Education. formed the population of this study. and beautiful. as mentioned above. thumb. gray. In Jordan. bus. to the experimental group. was assigned to the control group. the results obtained from this school can be generalizable given that the curricula adopted for first-graders are the same in all state schools in Jordan. because. tomorrow. while.165 Download Date | 12/28/12 8:15 AM . English word-reading ability was assessed using Grade 1 National Reading Vocabulary developed by TampaReads (2003). students who achieve this goal will be reading at approximately a 2. each comprising 5 students in order to facilitate conducting the intended training sessions. The number of correctly decoded words determined students’ reading accuracy of the 340 real words.1. and parents’ socio-economic status. Jordanian families that cannot afford private education send their children to such schools. A week before phonological awareness sessions were held for the experimental group. The task administration was discontinued when 10 consecutive words were read incorrectly. pretty.2. In this test. Al-Tamimi and G. a pre-reading test was administered to both groups to determine the children’s Authenticated | 176. mother.

far.165 Download Date | 12/28/12 8:15 AM .2. see the Appendix. they were asked. the students in the experimental group underwent ten 40-minute sessions of phonological awareness training carried out by a Jordanian senior English language teacher who holds a bachelor degree in English language and literature and who has been teaching English as a foreign language at state schools for thirteen years now. and told “The word big rhymes with dig”.and post-tests.140. The pre-test results showed that there were no significant differences between both groups. book. the phonological awareness training program (see below) was run for the experimental group by this teacher. from among three words.3. the two words that rhyme. In task 2.g. Authenticated | 176. Thus. as outlined below. For further details. For example. Phonological awareness training program After the word-reading pre-test. Immediately after the end of the training program. Using TampaReads (2003). 4. big). Testing procedures were identical for both groups in both pre. In task 1.2. The sessions were held over two weeks (five sessions a week).2. from among three options. they were asked. they were asked to identify. the students were tested one by one in a quiet room and under a friendly atmosphere by their experienced bilingual teacher (see below) who himself had already received training on phonological awareness and testing from the researchers. “Which word rimes with dig” (cook. “Which two words rhyme date. they were requested to identify. They were also given two tasks of rhyme practice where each consists of ten items. late?. 4. For instance. Ten Little Monkeys) and practiced signing them. the children in the experimental group first listened to some rhyming songs (e. 2003). following an example.44. Level 1: Initial rhyme and rhyming songs Since Chard and Dickson’s model considers rhymes as an earlier developing skill. the one that rhymes with the target stimulus. and they were answered “date and late”. both groups sat for the word-reading post-test (TampaReads. The pre-test was administered during the last month of the second semester of 2006.Phonological awareness and word reading 11 English word-reading ability and to find significant differences (if any) between the two groups. Meanwhile. and in each the students were explicitly taught phonological awareness using the training material developed by the researchers based on Chard and Dickson’s (1999) phonological awareness guidelines which suggest a continuum of complexity of phonological awareness activities ranging from rhyming and rhyming songs to phonemic awareness. Following the pre-test. any later differences between the mean scores of the experimental and control groups expected to be found in the post-test results could be attributed to phonological awareness instruction. the students in the control group continued to receive regular English classes.

Then they were asked to blend the onsets and rimes of 20 pictured-words. Task 2: identifying rime (e. 4. Thus. and the ability to manipulate these pho- Authenticated | 176. Since songs are recommended for this matter at this stage.140.. they were instructed to tell the onsets of 20 words demonstrated in pictures. 4. they were asked to make words out of their syllables. is.4. and friend. Task 1: recognizing onset (e. Then they were asked to tell the rimes of 20 picture-illustrated words.12 Y.uk. Training the children on these activities required three important tasks. shown pictures of 20 words. Then again. and blending onsets and rimes into words. Level 4: Onset-rime. my.2.2. you blend them to make the words. they were shown pictures of 20 different words. Al-Tamimi and G. the children were given a song retrieved from www.5. “If you blend the onset c and the rime ar.org. In task 2. and another extracted from their textbook (Action Pack 1). blending and segmentation Next in Richard and Dickson’s hierarchy comes segmenting words into onsets and rimes. you say it fast as candy”.thedonkeysanctuary.2.g.165 Download Date | 12/28/12 8:15 AM . In task 1.g.44.g. “Say which sound is the onset in fall?” and answered: “The onset is f”). hence Ali is my friend is composed of four words. and as pronounced by the teacher. Level 3: Syllable segmentation and blending At the center of Chard and Dickson’s continuum are activities related to segmenting words into syllables and blending syllables into words. viz. They enjoyed listening to these songs and started to sing them before they practiced breaking each up into its single word constituents. they were trained on blending following this example: “I say the word as syllables. 4. “Say which sound is the rime in fall?” “The rime is all”).2. Level 5: Segmenting and blending individual phonemes Phonemic awareness (as part of phonological awareness) is the understanding that words are made up of individual phonemes.6. the children were taught how to segment sentences into individual words. they were taught that words consist of syllables (e. you will have car”. The students were trained on these activities through two main tasks. Task 3: blending onsets and rimes: They were told. Rabab’ah 4. Then.7. the children were asked. winter: win-ter). and asked to syllabify these words. Level 2: Sentence segmentation Sentence segmentation shows the students’ awareness of the fact that speech can be broken down into individual words. Ali. If I say the word can-dy like a robot.

Results and Discussion In this section. you say man”). each of which necessitated the completion of two pertinent phonological tasks. they were asked to blend phonemes into words (e. The first-graders of the experimental group enjoyed the phonological training material as presented above. 20 words were used in each task.g. Feedback and recommendations as to the phonological awareness activities scheduled in the program were taken into consideration in rewriting the tasks discussed above. they were taught how to segment words into phonemes (e.2. and three senior English language supervisors at the Jordanian Ministry of Education. /d/”).44. For practice. it was referred to a jury including three professors of phonetics and phonology. “If I say the word slowly. /l/. Each phonological level required two sessions.’s (2001) view of effective intervention. In order to train the children on phoneme segmentation and blending. According to Chard and Dickson (1999). “If I say old.g. you should say /o/. our training program is consistent with Ehri et al. The progress of the training program was monitored by the researchers through their frequent visits to the school and their continuous contact with the experimental group teacher. say it fast. In task 1. As such.165 Download Date | 12/28/12 8:15 AM .8. As such. The results of the word-reading pre-test administered for the first-graders in both groups at the beginning of the school year are shown in Ttable 1 below. Authenticated | 176. it is considered a late developing phonological skill (see Section 2 above). If I say Mmmmm aaaaaa nnnnnn. Reliability and validity of research instruments TampaReads’ (2003) word-reading test adopted in the present research is one of the internationally standardized reading tests. and no one was reported to cut out any of the ten phonological awareness sessions which lasted for about 400 minutes over the two weeks. phonemic awareness is the most important and sophisticated level of phonological awareness. In task 2.140.Phonological awareness and word reading 13 nemes as judged by segmenting and blending. 5. and hence its validity and reliability are already established. 4. we demonstrate the results obtained from both control and experimental groups and find out the relevance of explicit phonological awareness instruction to the development of the Jordanian EFL children’s word-reading ability. along with picture cards to facilitate comprehension. two tasks were carried out. But to maximize the validity of the phonological awareness material developed by the researchers following Chard and Dickson’s (1999) model.

40 Std. P = . we can only attribute the relative superiority of the experimental group (though still far below the expectations of TampaReads. Results of word-reading post-test for both groups Group Experimental Control N 31 30 Mean 29. Al-Tamimi and G.50/100). the results remain far below the expectations of the Jordanian Ministry of Education. 2006: 17). Rabab’ah Table 1.140. Table 2.44. Table (2) below illustrates the mean scores and standard deviations for word-reading post-test calculated for both groups using t-test.6924 T 3. Bearing in mind the similar results found for both groups in the word-reading pre-test (Table 1).165 Download Date | 12/28/12 8:15 AM . and this lends some support to the findings of Brown and Hyness (1985) and Ryan and Meara (1991) regarding noticeable reading problems and difficulties encountered by Arab learners of English. Phonological awareness instruction prescribed in the literature as a remedy to reading problems seems to work well with the children in the experimental group.953). as is obvious in Table 2.493. and the t-test analysis denotes significant differences (t = 3.16 19.4179 8. any significant differences to be detected after the treatment will be attributed to the effect of phonological awareness training.053 As expected. the table reveals no significant differences in the mean scores of the two groups in word-reading before conducting the experiment (t = . 2003) to the explicit phono- Authenticated | 176. One may argue that the results are not surprising given that the wordreading pre-test was administered only after eight months of the children’s first-hand experience with English as a foreign language. Deviation 10.5484 T . However. The results also demonstrate an obvious weakness in the children’s word-reading ability (mean score around 19.16) than the control group (19. Therefore. 60). P = . Results of word-reading ore-test for both groups Group Experimental Control N 31 30 Mean 19. Deviation 12.001) in favor of the experimental group.001 The experimental group. and corroborates Fender’s (2003) conclusion that Arab EFL children face difficulties with word recognition processes.059 P .493 P . demonstrates higher mean score in the word-reading post-test (29.54 19.60 Std.8837 8. as those children are anticipated by the end of first grade to “read English” and “show understanding of learned simple words” (The English Language National Team.14 Y.059.

140.8837 12.and post.Phonological awareness and word reading 15 logical awareness instruction they had received. Though the mean score of the experimental group is still relatively low (and this again provides further support to Brown and Hyness (1985).54 in the word-reading pretest it has increased up to 29. Both conclusions provide support to already available research along these lines. Deviation 10.44. and Authenticated | 176. and hence. it nonetheless indicates a noticeable development in the group’s reading ability.929 It is obvious from this table that the control group has not made any advancement in both word-reading tests as their mean scores in both tests are almost identical.165 Download Date | 12/28/12 8:15 AM .16 in the word-reading post-test.40 Std. This can be concluded from the control group results in both pre and post word-reading tests summarized in Table 4: Table 4. P = .002).64 29. pointing to a significant difference in the children’s reading ability (t = 3. there are no significant differences in their reading ability (t = .54 29.929).5484 T .090 Sig. The control group’s results in both pre.002 Distinctly. and (b) explicit phonological awareness instruction is of paramount importance to this development. This noteworthy progress reflects the utility of the group’s phonological awareness program.241.and post.090. Deviation 8. Ryan and Meara (1991). The first.word-reading tests Test Experimental Control N 30 30 Mean 19. while the experimental group mean score was 19. and Fender (2003)). P = . on one hand.16 Std.6924 8.241 P . The experimental groups’ results in both pre.4179 T 3. . is consistent with the causal view that phonological awareness is a “pre-reading skill” (Shapley 2001: 8). This becomes clearer when we compare the experimental group results in both pre and post word-reading tests based on Table 3 below: Table 3. Two main conclusions can be immediately drawn from the four tables given above: (a) phonological awareness is relevant to the development of word-reading ability for Jordanian EFL first-graders.word-reading tests Test Experimental Control N 31 30 Mean 19. and seems to reveal the shortcomings of the English ordinary teaching approach practiced in Jordanian state schools that disregards phonological awareness training and its significance to the development of reading ability.

English-Italian. know letter-to-sound correspondences. it would be interesting to consider two important implications. Littleton et al. Furthermore. confirms many results to this effect obtained by a number of scholars (e. Having provided evidence in favor of the relevance of explicit phonological awareness instruction to Jordanian EFL first-graders’ word-reading. and thus confirming our research hypothesis..44. Based on this. 2001. the combination of both notions (i. Moreover. and for poor readers (Anthony and Francis 2005: 255). Wood 2005. (2002). Lundberg et al. Ball and Blachman 1991. 1998: 5). there is no support to the pure whole language approach that phonological awareness is only truly naturally acquired (e. and be able to read words” (Snow et al. Rabab’ah is one of the most powerful predictors of later reading success (e. corroborates previous results emphasizing the utility of phonological awareness intervention for reading development. it corroborates Leafstedt et al. on the other hand. 2004). Foorman and Liberman 1989). as documented above. notably that of the National Reading Panel’s 1998 report to the US Congress advocating “helping children hear sounds in words. 1998. Snow et al. Gillet et al. and some previous conclusions drawn by Chiappe et al.g. Conversely. The first is theoretical suggesting that phonological awareness can be taught. The usefulness of phonological awareness instruction concluded in the present research also lends support to Lundberg et al. for young children at risk for reading difficulties.]. and that explicit instruction is beneficial for typically developing children.16 Y. 1988. the second implication is pedagogical suggesting that explicit phonological awareness instruction be integrated in Jordanian EFL children’s curricula right Authenticated | 176. Vaughn et al.’s (2004: 253) claim that “intervention that is effective for monolingual students may be similarly effective for EL students”. English-French. 2001. English-Greek. the relevance of phonological awareness to reading as evidenced for our to-be Arabic-English bilingual children provides some support to previous conclusions drawn from bilingual children of other languages e.e. and that of the 2000 one considering phonological awareness intervention as having: Moderate and statistically significant effects on reading [. It. The second.140. moreover. However.g.’s (1988) findings of superior performance in English single-word-reading for their Scandinavian children who underwent a pre-school phonological training program. know the letters of the alphabet..g. It is also congruent with Anthony and Francis’ (2005: 255) observation that the correlation between phonological awareness and the ability to read is “evident in all alphabetic languages studied to date”. and hence the learnability view advocated by some scholars (e. and English-Punjabi.165 Download Date | 12/28/12 8:15 AM . Ehri et al. Al-Tamimi and G. English-Spanish. Ball and Blachman 1991) is supported in the present research.g. explicit phonological awareness intervention and whole language instruction) as viewed by Joslin (1994) and Sensenbaugh (1996) seems to be more appealing and beneficial for the development of reading ability. 2006).g.

and sixth-grade native Arab children”. In Blachman.” American Psychological Society 14(5). L. “A cross-linguistic study of early literacy acquisition”.140. “Accelerated metalinguistic (phonological) awareness in bilingual children”. (ed. In Carr. M. Blachman.). S. The development of language. “A rose is a REEZ: The two-cycles model of phonology assembly in reading English”. Phonological processes in literacy. 369–400. Foundations of reading acquisition and dyslexia: Implications for early intervention. “Development of phonological awareness. 453–465. T. 1997. Genesee and M. L. 191–218. and make it possible for them to meet the expectations of the Jordanian Ministry of Education as set up by The English Language National Team (2006). 39–101. Caravolas.ldonline.. and M. Shankweiler (eds. Haynes. S. E. Hove: Psychology Press. 1991. Anthony. I. Bruck. Authenticated | 176. “The effect of Arabic vowels on the reading comprehension of second. 419–421.E. “Phonological awareness: Instructional and assessment guidelines”.). <www. 1997. 49–66. 2002. especially since the experimental group has shown a noticeable advancement in English word-reading ability. Psychological Review 102.44.e. W. 1995. B.Phonological awareness and word reading 17 from the first-grade. 1985. 65–78.. London: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.H. Journal of Educational Psychology 85.S. Bryant. CA: Jossey-Bass. This can help improve this ability for the first-graders.org/article/6254> Retrieved 12 Oct 2006. “Cross-language transfer of phonological awareness”. Scientific Studies of Reading 6(4). and S. “Linguistic diversity and the development of reading skills: A longitudinal study”. D. and B.E. Siegel and L. 146–184. “Literacy background and reading development in a second language”.. 1983.). and C. Nagy and B. (ed. Wade-Woolley. 1985. Abu Rabia.H. and D. LD online. Hillsdale. 1999. 61–68. Chard. 1999. R. REFERENCES Abu Rabia. Carr T. 1993. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research 28. M.165 Download Date | 12/28/12 8:15 AM . and P. Durgunoglu. (ed. NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. British Journal of Developmental Psychology 13. S. Prudent strategies for this integration should consider the level of phonological awareness required at each school stage (Chard and Dickson 1999) and the degree of explicitness needed (Smith et al. Dickson.). It is also implied here that a systematic incorporation of phonological awareness programs into the curricula of the basic school stages (i. and D. 1998). Grades 1–6) will eventually form a stronger phonological background that helps the children overcome their documented reading difficulties. The development of reading skills. P. 1999.J. F. Hancin-Bhatt. W. L. L. Chiappe. 2005. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal 9. 1991. “Categorizing sounds and learning to read: A causal connection”. Nature 30. Perfetti. Bradley. Berent. (ed. 255–258. “Does phoneme awareness training in kindergarten make a difference in early word recognition and developmental spelling?” Reading Research Quarterly 25. T. A.Y. San Francisco. Brady. “Reading in Arabic orthography: The effect of vowels and context on reading accuracy of poor and skilled native Arabic readers”. 91–34. Sais. 1995. Campbell.). Brown. and E. Francis. Ball. Barrett. A.

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Al-Tamimi and G. Sentence segmentation Students segment sentences into individual words. We like spring.20 Y. What are the syllables in the following words? animals table telephone cartoon B. I say the word quick – ly. Do the same after me: fan-tas-tic hor-ri-fied car-pet Authenticated | 176. Initial rime and riming songs Task 1 1.140. Poem We like autumn. Teacher: Now. What rimes with fan? can 3. Syllable blending Teacher: I say the word as syllables.165 Download Date | 12/28/12 8:15 AM . Song I can feel the wind and the rain on my back. Syllable segmentation and blending A. Level 3. say the word which does not rime. Syllable segmentation Teacher: The name Rachel has two syllables Ra and chel. What rimes with jump? park man day mark can fly hump mat cat Task 2 Teacher: Which word does not rime? but Teacher: The word but does not rime. Rabab’ah APPENDIX Sample activities showing the various combinations of phonological awareness skills. I can hear the train coming down the track. What rimes with fist? best 2. you blend them to make the words. fit hit bat dry fly lay Level 2. We like hearing small birds sing.44. you say it fast quickly. Level 1.

165 Download Date | 12/28/12 8:15 AM . If I say ddddd ooooo ggggg. Teacher: Do the same in the following words. blending and segmentation A. Now segment the following words into their individual phonemes (sounds). Say the sounds slowly. If I say mmmmm aaaaa nnnnn You say man. man and ride. you say dog. The teacher says the sounds slowly. Onset-rime. If I say old. Task 1 Say the onset in the following words. stop sun man B. Phoneme segmentation Teacher: The word pat has these sounds p-a-t. Segmenting and blending individual phonemes 21 A. say it fast. you will have car. fan bell bed Authenticated | 176.Phonological awareness and word reading Level 4. Say it slowly. B. Task 3 Now blend the following onsets with their rimes. Phoneme blending Teacher: If I say the word slowly. n-est b-oy sn-ake c-up Level 5. Teacher: Say which sound is the rime in fall? The rime is all. Blending onsets and rimes into words Teacher: If you blend the onset c and the rime ar. Segment with students go.44. /l/. Segmenting onsets and rimes Teacher: Say which sound is the onset in fall? The onset is f. bee fee can door Task 2 Now say the rime in the same words. you should say /o/. /d/.140.

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