phonemic%20awareness - LSHSS Phonological Awareness...

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LSHSS Phonological Awareness Intervention: Beyond the Basics C. Melanie Schuele Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN Donna Boudreau Portland State University, Portland, OR A large body of research has linked deficient phono- logical awareness, specifically phonemic awareness, in kindergarten and the early grades with poor read- ing achievement (Blachman, 1997). Although not all children with poor phonological awareness have difficulties learning to read, most do. Torgesen, Wagner, and Rashotte (1994) reported that chil- dren who began first grade with phonological awareness skills below the 20th percentile lagged behind their peers in word iden- tification and word decoding throughout elementary school. In fifth grade, their average grade-level attainment for word decoding skills was 2.3 (i.e., second grade, third month), as compared to 5.9 for children who scored above the 20th percentile in phonological awareness at the beginning of first grade. Children with communi- cation disorders are often among children identified with poor phonological awareness (Boudreau & Hedberg, 1999; Kamhi & Koenig, 1985; Kamhi, Lee, & Nelson, 1985). Several critical reviews of the general efficacy of phonological awareness instruction and intervention have provided conclusive evidence that phonological awareness can be improved through instruction and intervention, and improvement in phonological awareness leads to improvement in word decoding (Bus & Van IJzendoorn, 1999; Ehri et al., 2001; National Institute of Child Health and Human Development [NICHD], 2000a, 2000b; Troia, 1999). As a result, in addition to the inclusion of phonological awareness instruction in preschool and kindergarten general educa- tion curricula, reading researchers have called on practitioners to provide intervention to children with poor phonological awareness as early as kindergarten. At the same time, practitioners often are asked to provide phonological awareness intervention to older students who demonstrate poor reading achievement in word de- coding skills. To bridge the gap between research and practice, and ensure benefit for all children, intervention practices that have been shown to be efficacious under ideal circumstances must be applied in everyday practice settings. The challenge facing speech-language pathologists (SLPs) and teachers as they seek to implement research- based practices should not be underestimated (Carnine, 1997; Gersten, 2001), and neither should the potential positive impact on children s literacy achievement. Practitioners need concise infor- mation on the characteristics of intervention that are associated with successful outcomes for children (cf. Smith, Simmons, & Kame enui, 1998). Fortunately, the extant literature provides much ABSTRACT: Purpose: The purpose of this article is to advance practitioners knowledge base of best practices in phonological awareness intervention to facilitate the implementation of evidence- or research-based practices in everyday clinical prac- tice. Although most speech-language pathologists (SLPs) have a
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