Training Phonological Awareness With and Without Explicit Attention to Articulation
One hundred twenty-two second- to fifth-grade (7- to 11-year-old) children with reading difficulties studied phonological awareness with or without explicit attention to articulation and with or without manipulation of sounds. They all studied identical phonics and read stories on the computer with speech and decoding support for difficult words. Regular-instruction controls received regularly scheduled language-arts or reading activities. After 40 h of training, children in all three trained conditions outperformed controls on all tests except math. Conditions that manipulated sounds showed advantages over the condition without explicit practice manipulating sounds, but only on the two measures of phonological awareness. Articulatory awareness training yielded no unique benefits during this training period. Individual differences in response to treatment related to initial levels of phonological awareness, naming speed, IQ, and grade. The similar outcomes of the three conditions suggest that specific variations in good phonological training may be less important than once thought for most children with reading difficulties.