Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Christine Brennan

Second Advisor

Christina Meyers-Denman

Third Advisor

Karin Boerger

Abstract

Phonological awareness directly relates to reading skill in children learning to read alphabetic orthographies. One critical issue beginning readers face is management of granularity, or graphemic and phonologic mappings with a mismatched grain size. For example, single phonemes map to combinations of multiple letters (e.g., /S/ maps to “sh”) and single letters may map to combinations of multiple phonemes (e.g., “x” maps to /ks/). There has yet to be direct testing of phonological grain size matching for large and small units to determine if performance on such a task correlates with reading and phonological skill. Ten monolingual, English-speaking children between the ages of 8-12 completed standardized measures of phonological awareness and reading skill and completed a phonological grain size matching task for large and small grain sizes in real words and nonwords. Significant effects were found for phonemic decoding efficiency time and sight word efficiency time (TOWRE-2) and grain size matching in real words. Additionally, significant effects were found for Blending Words (CTOPP) and grain size matching in nonwords. Findings suggest that phonological grain size matching is highly correlated with reading and phonological skill. Future research on reading development and disability may utilize such a task when considering underlying phonological skills supporting reading ability. Further, future research should aim to determine if such a task can be used effectivity to supporting literacy acquisition for alphabetic orthographies, especially for orthographies that are inconsistent and have irregular mappings between large and small grain sizes.

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