The Effectiveness of Explicit Individualized Phonemic Awareness Instruction By a Speech-Language Pathologist to Preschool Children With Phonological Speech Disorders Dissertation

thesis or dissertation chair

fiu authors

  • Nullman, Susan L.


  • This study investigated the effects of an explicit individualized phonemic awareness intervention administered by a speech-language pathologist to 4 prekindergarten children with phonological speech sound disorders. Research has demonstrated that children with moderate-severe expressive phonological disorders are at-risk for poor literacy development because they often concurrently exhibit weaknesses in the development of phonological awareness skills (Rvachew, Ohberg, Grawburg, & Heyding, 2003). The research design chosen for this study was a single subject multiple probe design across subjects. After stable baseline measures, the participants received explicit instruction in each of the three phases separately and sequentially. Dependent measures included same-day tests for Phase I (Phoneme Identity), Phase II (Phoneme Blending), and Phase III (Phoneme Segmentation), and generalization and maintenance tests for all three phases. All 4 participants made substantial progress in all three phases. These skills were maintained during weekly and biweekly maintenance measures. Generalization measures indicated that the participants demonstrated some increases in their mean total number of correct responses in Phase II and Phase III baseline while the participants were in Phase I intervention, and more substantial increases in Phase III baseline while the participants were in Phase II intervention. Increased generalization from Phases II to III could likely be explained due to the response similarities in those two skills (Cooper, Heron, & Heward, 2007). Based upon the findings of this study, speech-language pathologists should evaluate phonological awareness in the children in their caseloads prior to kindergarten entry, and should allocate time during speech therapy to enhance phonological awareness and letter knowledge to support the development of both skills concurrently. Also, classroom teachers should collaborate with speech-language pathologists to identify at-risk students in their classrooms and successfully implement evidence-based phonemic awareness instruction. Future research should repeat this study including larger groups of children, children with combined speech and language delays, children of different ages, and ESOL students

publication date

  • November 5, 2009


  • auditory processing
  • decoding
  • emergent literacy
  • explicit instruction
  • literacy instruction for preschoolers
  • phonemic awareness
  • phonological awareness
  • phonological processing
  • phonological speech sound disorders
  • reading and speech/language disorders

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)