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Phonological Processing and Its Relevance to Literacy Development - How Would You Evaluae Each Skill Within the Continuum of Phonological Awareness

Autor:   •  December 27, 2011  •  Case Study  •  1,088 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,379 Views

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What do you understand by phonological processing? Discuss its relevance to literacy development with reference to at least two research studies. Discuss how you would evaluate each skill within the continuum of phonological processing.

Phonological processing refers to the way a person uses the sound structure of the spoken language in order to process either written or oral information. Wagner and Torgesen (1987) have identified 3 interconnected phonological processing abilities which are considered to be essential for the development of reading and writing: phonological awareness, phonological memory and rapid autonomic naming.

According to Phelps (2003), phonological awareness, which starts to develop during the preschool ages, is regarded as the most important step to develop reading abilities later during school ages. Studies on phonological awareness skills present vast connections with developing reading skills and its implementation has positive effects on the development of both reading and spelling abilities.

Phonological awareness covers a number of skills, some which are simple and others which can be regarded as complex. The skills regarded as ‘simple’ include the abilities to split words into syllables, to identify and generate rhymes and to match words which beginning sounds are alike, while the ability to detach and manipulate individual sounds is regarded as ‘complex’. Hence, a child who demonstrates phonological awareness is able to manipulate the structure of sound within oral language. In the figure below, the sequence of phonological awareness skills is shown. It can also be noticed that after the third stage, phonemic awareness is developed simultaneously.

Figure 1 (Boudreau & Schuele, 2008)

As stated by Bradley and Bryant (1985), phonological processing skills facilitate children’s reading and spelling abilities. Through phonological awareness instruction, the pupils’ achievement in spelling and reading is enhanced. According to Bradley and Bryant (1978), children with reading disabilities often lack phonological awareness .

According to Baddeley (1996), “phonological memory refers to the coding of information in a sound-based representation system for temporary storage”. It is usually evaluated according to the immediate recall of verbally presented material and therefore is operated during cognitive exercises which engage the child in processing sound information, hence, using the short term memory.

Rapid autonomic naming (or rapid serial naming) is aimed to describe the efficiency in retrieving phonological codes from the long-term memory. It is usually rated according to the time a child takes to recognise a number of letters, numerals and/or colours.



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