WWC review of this study

The effects of syllable instruction on phonemic awareness in preschoolers. [Syllable tasks or multiple phoneme tasks vs. first phoneme tasks]

Ukrainetz, T. A., Nuspl, J. J., Wilkerson, K., & Beddes, S. R. (2011). Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 26(1), 50–60. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ906814

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    39
     Students
    , grade
    PK

Reviewed: April 2022

At least one finding shows promising evidence of effectiveness
At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards without reservations
Reading & Literacy Related outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Phonological Awareness Test (PAT) - phoneme blending

Syllable tasks or multiple phoneme tasks vs. Intervention

0 Days

Aggregated sample: (SP+MP) vs. (FP);
39 students

5.43

2.80

Yes

 
 
32
 
More Outcomes

Phonological Awareness Test (PAT) - first phoneme isolating subtest

Syllable tasks or multiple phoneme tasks vs. Intervention

0 Days

Aggregated sample: (SP+MP) vs. (FP);
39 students

9.03

7.00

No

--

Phonological Awareness Test (PAT) - phoneme segmenting subtest

Syllable tasks or multiple phoneme tasks vs. Intervention

0 Days

Aggregated sample: (SP+MP) vs. (FP);
39 students

1.40

0.30

No

--
Show Supplemental Findings

Phonological Awareness Test (PAT) - phoneme blending

Syllable tasks or multiple phoneme tasks vs. Intervention

0 Weeks

(SP) vs. (FP);
27 students

5.70

2.80

Yes

 
 
36

Phonological Awareness Test (PAT) - partial phoneme segmenting

Syllable tasks or multiple phoneme tasks vs. Intervention

0 Days

(SP) vs. (FP);
27 students

8.30

3.10

Yes

 
 
30

Phonological Awareness Test (PAT) - first phoneme isolating subtest

Syllable tasks or multiple phoneme tasks vs. Intervention

0 Days

(MP) vs. (FP);
24 students

9.20

7.00

No

--

Phonological Awareness Test (PAT) - phoneme segmenting subtest

Syllable tasks or multiple phoneme tasks vs. Intervention

0 Days

(MP) vs. (FP);
24 students

1.90

0.30

No

--

Phonological Awareness Test (PAT) - phoneme blending

Syllable tasks or multiple phoneme tasks vs. Intervention

0 Days

(MP) vs. (FP);
24 students

5.10

2.80

No

--

Phonological Awareness Test (PAT) - phoneme segmenting subtest

Syllable tasks or multiple phoneme tasks vs. Intervention

0 Days

(SP) vs. (FP);
27 students

1.00

0.30

No

--

Phonological Awareness Test (PAT) - partial phoneme segmenting

Syllable tasks or multiple phoneme tasks vs. Intervention

0 Days

Aggregated sample: (SP+MP) vs. (FP);
39 students

8.08

3.10

No

--

Phonological Awareness Test (PAT) - first phoneme isolating subtest

Syllable tasks or multiple phoneme tasks vs. Intervention

0 Days

(SP) vs. (FP);
27 students

8.90

7.00

No

--

Phonological Awareness Test (PAT) - partial phoneme segmenting

Syllable tasks or multiple phoneme tasks vs. Intervention

0 Days

(MP) vs. (FP);
24 students

7.80

3.10

No

--


Evidence Tier rating based solely on this study. This intervention may achieve a higher tier when combined with the full body of evidence.

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • Female: 51%
    Male: 49%
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    Wyoming

Setting

The study took place in two childcare centers in Laramie, Wyoming. The two centers served a middle-class neighborhood and that each had an enrollment of 100 infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.

Study sample

According to the study authors, no demographic data were collected. However, the research team observed that most of the participating children were White with English as a first language. The mean age of participants was five years one month and ranged from four years to five years eleven months.

Intervention Group

The intervention condition in this review is an aggregation of the author-reported syllable plus multiple phoneme tasks (SP) condition and the multiple phoneme tasks without syllables (MP) condition. Intervention sessions were twenty-five to thirty minutes, twice per week. Students in the syllable plus multiple phoneme tasks (SP) condition received two weeks of syllable tasks followed by four weeks of multiple phoneme tasks, whereas students in the multiple phoneme tasks without syllables (MP) condition received only four weeks of multiple phoneme tasks. Specifically, syllable plus multiple phoneme tasks (SP) condition students were taught syllable blending and segmenting for two weeks (four sessions) prior to receiving phoneme awareness instruction. Any child who scored less than five out of ten at midpoint on a criterion probe were given additional instruction. Children who scored seven out of ten or less at the final session of the initial four sessions did not proceed into the phoneme phase of instruction. For the four weeks of phoneme instruction for both syllable plus multiple phoneme tasks (SP) condition and multiple phoneme tasks without syllables (MP) condition students, instruction addressed phoneme isolating, blending, and segmenting.

Comparison Group

The first phoneme tasks only (FP) condition serves as the comparison condition which addressed only first phoneme tasks (e.g., generating, isolating, and matching). Sessions were twenty-five to thirty minutes twice per week for four weeks. At the two-week mark, students who met criterion (i.e., a score of ten out of ten on first phoneme isolating) graduated from treatment and waited two weeks for post-testing. Children in the Syllable plus Multiple Phoneme (SP) condition and Multiple Phoneme condition (MP) also participated in the first phoneme tasks.

Support for implementation

Three instructors provided instruction (the second, third, and fourth authors of the study) and the first author trained the other authors. Training included observing demonstrations, viewing videotapes, role-playing, and teaching pilot children from the university preschool. Instruction sessions were conducted in isolated areas of the childcare centers.

 

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