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Graphophonemic Awareness: Development in Elementary Students

by Linnea C. Ehri, Alison G. Soffer
Scientific Studies of Reading ()

Abstract

Graphophonemic (GP) awareness, the ability to match up graphemes to phonemes within individual words, was examined in 78 2nd, 3rd, 5th, and 6th graders who were grouped by spelling performance into 3 literacy levels: Young, Middle, Older. Students marked 24 words by circling letters and digraphs that represented the smallest sounds in words and crossing out letters that represented no sound. The Older group exhibited greater GP awareness and greater digraph knowledge than the Young group, but silent letter markings were not related to literacy levels. GP awareness was correlated with spelling scores only in the Young group, suggesting that it contributes mainly to early reading and spelling acquisition. In general, students' markings conformed to the conventional system, although there was a greater than expected tendency to attribute sounds to individual letters. The Middle group was more apt to mark units larger than single phonemes. Results are interpreted to bear on Ehri's phase theory of word reading acquisition and on connectionist models of word reading. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2003 APA )

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