Authors: Ukrainetz TA, Ross CL, Harm HM
Title: An investigation of treatment scheduling for phonemic awareness with kindergartners who are at risk for reading difficulties
Source: Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools 2009 40(1): 86-100
Year: 2009
Research Design: Randomised Controlled Trial
Rating Score: 04/10
This rating is confirmed
Eligibility specified - N
Random allocation - Y
Concealed allocation - N
Baseline comparability - N
Blind subjects - N
Blind therapists - N
Blind assessors - N
Adequate follow-up - Y
Intention-to-treat analysis - N
Between-group comparisons - Y
Point estimates and variability - Y

PURPOSE: This study examined 2 schedules of treatment for phonemic awareness. METHOD: Forty-one 5- to 6-year-old kindergartners, including 22 English learners, with low letter-name and first-sound knowledge received 11 hr of phonemic awareness treatment: concentrated (CP, 3x/wk to December), dispersed (DP, 1x/wk to March), and dispersed vocabulary control (CON). RESULTS: English learners performed similarly to native English speakers. Participants with moderate deficits in letter-names and first sounds showed significant benefits after both treatment conditions. Three times the intensity had no additional effect on phonemic awareness. CP continued to increase significantly during the no-treatment interval. In March, CP and DP were significantly greater than CON, but the 2 conditions did not differ other than with a minor DP advantage on last sounds. By May, there were no significant differences among the 3 conditions in meeting grade-level expectations for phoneme segmenting. CONCLUSION: For phonemic awareness, over the course of a school year, with concomitant classroom instruction, the gains made from short, intense treatment were similar to thosemade from continuous weekly treatment. At-risk kindergartners with moderate deficits benefited more than those with mild deficits. Children, particularly those with mild deficits, may improve substantially with only classroom instruction and incidental self-regulatory gains from treatment for another area.

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