Public School Talk: Language, Phonological Awareness and Reading Success Speech-language pathologists have long known that children with oral language impairments are at risk for reading failure. Researchers have quantified that children with deficits in morphology, syntax, and semantics frequently develop reading disabilities (Catts, 1997). More recently, phonological awareness has been identified as a critical foundation skill for the ... Article
Article  |   October 01, 1998
Public School Talk: Language, Phonological Awareness and Reading Success
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Professional Issues & Training / Articles
Article   |   October 01, 1998
Public School Talk: Language, Phonological Awareness and Reading Success
SIG 11 Perspectives on Administration and Supervision, October 1998, Vol. 8, 13-14. doi:10.1044/aas8.2.13
SIG 11 Perspectives on Administration and Supervision, October 1998, Vol. 8, 13-14. doi:10.1044/aas8.2.13
Speech-language pathologists have long known that children with oral language impairments are at risk for reading failure. Researchers have quantified that children with deficits in morphology, syntax, and semantics frequently develop reading disabilities (Catts, 1997). More recently, phonological awareness has been identified as a critical foundation skill for the development of reading. Phonological awareness is the awareness of the sounds of spoken language. It includes phonemic awareness—an individual’s awareness of the phoneme—and manipulation of phonemes by blending, splitting syllables, rhyming, syllabification, and alliterations.
The research conducted under Reid Lyon’s leadership at the National Institutes of Health has clearly established the importance of phonological awareness as a necessary, but not sufficient, prerequisite to becoming a reader (Lyon & Chabra, 1996). Phonological awareness is one of the five skills that undergird successful reading. These five skills include general intelligence, vocabulary, phonological awareness, reasoning, and concept formation. Without phonological awareness skills, children are unable to automatically decode the written word into the phonemes of speech and will have reading deficits. Juel (1988)  reports that 90% of the children leaving first grade lacking phonological awareness and behind in reading will be remedial readers in the fourth grade. The supporting research is not limited to the reading discipline. Speech-language pathologists and speech and language scientists have similarly been studying this relationship (McMahon, Stassi, and Dodd, 1998; Swank, 1994, 1997).
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