Natural speech segmentation and literacy

Wood, Clare Patricia (1996) Natural speech segmentation and literacy. PhD thesis, University of Gloucestershire.

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This thesis investigates: the relative predictive ability of spoken word recognition to literacy acquisition, when compared to measures of phonemic and phonological awareness; and the impact of speech perception ability on poor reader's literacy. Research relating to the development of phonemic awareness was reviewed which suggested that speech perception skills may contribute to the development of reading. Consequently, specific theories of speech perception were reviewed, and the developmental literature was examined for evidence that young children do possess the skills which are theoretically necessary for speech perception. A longitudinal project assessed thirty pre-literate children, who each completed twelve assessments designed to provide a phonological profile. On attending school, the children's reading, spelling and phonemic awareness were assessed over a two-year period. Results indicated that rhyme detection ability was the single best predictor of reading, spelling and phonemic awareness. Awareness of word boundaries in speech also contributed to early spelling ability. Ninety children also participated in a cross-sectional study, where poor readers were compared to two control groups: one matched on age and sex, and one matched on reading ability and sex. Each child was tested on a range of skills designed to assess their phonological and speech perception abilities. The results suggest that poor readers show a developmental delay on rhythmic awareness, a skill which is linked to spoken word recognition. There was also a specific rhyme awareness deficit. However, correlations revealed that rhyme detection was only correlated with reading ability in normal readers. For the poor readers, speech perception and phonemic awareness were significantly correlated with literacy. The potential role of speech perception within phonological awareness development is considered alongside the possibility of including rhythmic awareness within current definitions of phonological awareness. The possibility of using rhythmic awareness as an early diagnostic for reading failure is also suggested.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Advisors:
Thesis AdvisorEmailURL
Additional Information: PhD awarded by Cheltenham & Gloucester College of Higher Education which later became the University of Gloucestershire
Uncontrolled Keywords: speech perception; phonemic awareness; phonological awareness; reading literacy
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Business
Depositing User: Anne Pengelly
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2023 15:41
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 08:25

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