Monday, May 23, 2011

Abstracts of older but important studies (for reference purposes)

A. G. Bus and M. H. van IJzendoorn (1999). Phonological Awareness and early reading: A meta-analysis of experimental training studies. Journal of Educational Psychology, 91( 3). 403-414.

In a quantitative meta-analysis, the effects of phonological awareness training on reading were
shown. In a homogeneous set of U.S. studies with a randomized or matched design, the
combined effect sizes for phonological awareness and reading were d = 0.73 (r = .34,
N = 739) and d = 0.70 (r = .33, N = 745), respectively. Thus, experimentally manipulated
phonological awareness explains about 12% of the variance in word-identification skills. The
combined effect size for long-term studies of the influence of phonological awareness training
on reading was much smaller, d = 0.16 (r = .08, N = 1,180). Programs combining a
phonological and a letter training were more effective than a purely phonological training.
Furthermore, training effects were stronger with posttests assessing simple decoding skills
than with real-word-identification tests. In sum, phonological awareness is an important but
not a sufficient condition for early reading.

B. Byrne & R. Fielding-Barnsley. (1991). Evaluation of a program to teach phonemic awareness to young children. Journal of Educational Psychology, 83(4). 451-455.

The purpose of this study was to evaluate a new program designed to teach young children about phonological structure. The program emphasizes recognition of phoneme identity across words.
The experimental group of 64 preschoolers was trained with the program for 12 weeks, and the
62 controls were exposed to the same materials, stripped of reference to phonology. Comparison
of pretraining and posttraining measures of phonemic awareness showed greater gains by the
experimental group in comparison with controls. The increased levels of phonemic awareness
occurred with untrained as well as trained sounds. A forced-choice word-recognition test showed
that most of the children who possessed phonemic awareness and who knew relevant letter
sounds could use their knowledge to decode unfamiliar printed words. The results are consistent
with the claim that phonological awareness and letter knowledge in combination are necessary
but not sufficient for acquisition of the alphabetic principle.

Byrne, B. and Fielding-Barnsley, R. (1995). Evaluation of a program to teach phonemic awareness to young children: A 2- and 3-year follow-up and a new preschool trial. Journal of Educational Psychology, 87(3). 488-503. DOI: 0022-0663/95/S3.00.

This article reports a follow-up study of children in Grades 1 and 2 who had been instructed
in phonemic awareness in preschool. Compared to a control condition, the trained children
were superior in nonword reading 2 and 3 years later and in reading comprehension at 3 years.
Control children furnished a disproportionate number of readers dependent on sight word
reading. The superiority of the experimental condition did not extend to measures of
automaticity in reading. W. A. Hoover and P. B. Gough's (1990) "simple view" of reading
(Reading Comprehension = Listening Comprehension X Decoding) was supported. In a
supplementary experiment, preschool children were trained with the program by their regular
teachers and showed greater progress in aspects of phonemic awareness than the control
condition from the main experiment. However, they did not gain as much as those in the more
intensely trained experimental condition.

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