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Exploring English and Spanish rhyme awareness and beginning sound segmentation skills in prekindergarten Spanish-speaking English learners

Twenty-five 4- and 5-year-old Spanish-speaking English Learners (ELs) were tested in order to compare their English and Spanish performance in two phonological awareness skills: Rhyme awareness (RA) and beginning sound segmentation (BSS). The children had received formal instruction of phonological awareness, with an emphasis on RA and BSS for 1 year and in English only, using the Opening the World of Learning curriculum (Schickedanz & Dickinson, 2005). The results showed that the children scored higher on the English BSS than on the English RA tests (p .001), even though RA is generally considered to be an earlier developing skill than BSS among English-monolingual children. No significant difference was found between the English BSS and Spanish BSS tests despite the fact that the children had received English-only instruction in these phonological awareness skills for 1 year. The results are discussed in terms of the possible impact of the similarities and differences between the Spanish and English linguistic structures on the learning and cross-linguistic transfer of phonological awareness skills in young Spanish-speaking ELs. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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