Hierarchical loglinear analyses (HLA) used to study the order of acquisition of phonological sensitivity skills according to linguistic and task difficulty. There were consistent patterns in the order of skills acquired. There did not appear to be discrete stages of development but some skills were acquired simultaneously.
Controlling for task complexity, children mastered
word-level skills before syllable-level skills
syllable-level before onset/rime
onset/rime before phoneme-level
Results "support the developmental theory of phonological sensitivity proposed by Adams (1990) and Goswami and Bryant (1990) that children's progression of sensitivity to linguistic units follows a hierarchical model of word structure (p. 481)."
Example overlap of skills: a child learning to blend onset-rimes could also be blending phonemes. Skills at one stage did not need to be mastered before moving to another stage.
Numerous limitations to this study: however, it may suggest development of more refined PA task assessment instruments and help practitioners in determining level of word reading (Ehri stages).