Authors: van Kleeck A, Gillam RB, McFadden TU
Title: A study of classroom-based phonological awareness training for preschoolers with speech and/or language disorders
Source: American Journal of Speech Language Pathology 1998 7(3): 65-76
Year: 1998
Research Design: Non Randomised Controlled Trial
Rating Score: 04/10
This rating is confirmed
Eligibility specified - Y
Random allocation - N
Concealed allocation - N
Baseline comparability - N
Blind subjects - N
Blind therapists - N
Blind assessors - Y
Adequate follow-up - Y
Intention-to-treat analysis - N
Between-group comparisons - Y
Point estimates and variability - Y

Sixteen preschool children with speech and/or language disorders received phonological awareness training for a period of 9 months. Eight children attended a preschool classroom, and 8 children attended a pre-kindergarten classroom. The classrooms were located in a private school for children with speech and language disorders. A group of older children with speech and/or language disorders served as a nontreatment comparison group. Children in the treatment groups received 15 minutes of small-group lessons twice each week for two semesters. Classroom-based treatment focused on rhyming the first semester and on phoneme awareness the second semester. Rhyming and phoneme awareness activities were adapted from the literature on the development of phonological awareness in typically-achieving children. Results revealed that preschool children with speech and/or language disorders made significant improvement in rhyming and phoneme awareness. Comparisons with the non-treatment group indicated that gains in phoneme awareness were likely a result of the treatment rather than maturation or other aspects of the curriculum. We recommend the inclusion of some form of phonological awareness training, particularly phoneme awareness training, in intervention programs for preschoolers.

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