The Roots of Learning to Read and Write: Acquisition of Letters and Phonemic Awareness in English...

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The Roots of Learning to Read and Write: Acquisition of Letters and Phonemic Awareness in English Language Learner and English only children. Dr. Theresa Roberts Slide 2 Delighted to be here! Working with professionals who are: Knowledgeable Motivated Influential Slide 3 Professional orientation to research Frame the questions Ask for the data Scrutinize the data Respond to the data Slide 4 Major Purposes Explain the relationships between speech and print Explain why alphabet letters are very important for early literacy Discuss instructional approaches for teaching alphabetics Engage in discussion about hot topics Emphasize how all the above relates to research studies with ELLs Slide 5 Reading: connecting speech and print Essential task in reading is to connect word pronunciations with written representations of those words Necessary for comprehension to get a pronunciation of a word Slide 6 Speech and print Learning these associations/connections between sounds in speech and graphemes in print is decoding: To help the child make these connections: Speech sounds - phonological/phonemic awareness knowledge/instruction Graphemes - letter names/sounds knowledge/instruction Slide 7 What makes speech easy makes reading hard In speech sounds are interleaved and overlapped (coarticulated) Speeds speech processing and lowers cognitive demand In reading, must unconnect these sounds in somewhat artificial manner phonemic awareness Slide 8 A few misunderstandings English, while more variable than other languages, is largely systematic in phoneme- grapheme correspondences Learning to read is somewhat of an unnatural process Slide 9 Phases in learning the speech to print connection (Ehri, 1999) Pre-alphabetic Partial alphabetic Full alphabetic Consolidated alphabetic Slide 10 Pre-alphabetic phase ( pre-k - grade 1) Lack letter knowledge and phonemic awareness Children resort to use of visual or contextual cues McDonalds sign, Pepsi label Do not have word awareness as shown by fingerpoint reading Characteristic of children with limited informal and formal experience with the alphabet (preschool to grade 1 range) Slide 11 Partial alphabetic phase (pre-K - grade 1) Know some names/sounds and have some phonemic awareness Form partial connections between speech and print /jp/ for jump Very evident in writing Initial and final sounds more salient Characteristic of preschool middle class and children with extensive informal and formal PA and alphabetic experiences Slide 12 Full alphabetic phase (k- grade 2) Know how to segment and blend Know major vowel and consonant phoneme- grapheme relationships Have both PA and alphabet knowledge Characteristic of first grade children with rich PA and alphabetic instruction Slide 13 Consolidated alphabetic phase (Grades 1-3) Know larger spelling patterns Silent e Acquiring extensive sight vocabularies (pronunciation and word spelling glued together in memory) Accuracy and speed in decoding are important Characteristic of grade 2 children with extensive reading and good fluency Slide 14 Instructional approaches for developing PA Purpose of PA instruction is to help children be able to connect letters to phonemes when they read or write letters Helps children move from pre- alphabetic to partial alphabetic phase Slide 15 Informal and formal approaches to PA Both informal and formal approaches to teaching phonological/phonemic awareness have been suggested Slide 16 Informal experiences for PA Nursery rhymes Challenged Letter knowledge more powerful than nursery rhymes (Johnston, Anderson & Holligan (1996) Meaning may get in the way Inventive spelling Reading of alphabet books with initial sounds of words emphasized Slide 17 Instruction for PA Differentiate: Phonological awareness Phonemic awareness Slide 18 Instruction for PA Developmental progression should guide instruction: Syllable/word counting Isolating initial phonemes/rhyming/onset-rime Segmenting and blending Deleting phonemes Substituting phonemes Slide 19 Instruction for PA Many programs are effective at kindergarten and some studies show programs effective at pre-k Concurrent and later reading-related performance improves with instruction Instruction most beneficial for those most at risk Slide 20 Alphabet letters are our friends Knowledge of alphabet letters and phonemic awareness are the two best predictors of beginning reading competence Alphabet letter knowledge influences later reading as well, but less strongly Includes knowing shapes, names, sounds Which is most critical? Slide 21 Learning alphabet letters Is substantially a paired associate learning task Is difficult- there are 40 shapes to be learned whose names are arbitrary Requires significant practice Children are oriented to meaning rather than print (write apple in red, believe bear should be a longer word than caterpillar) What are the implications for learning of these facts ? Slide 22 Alphabet letter factoids All but one letter name contains clues to a phoneme it represents Letters with the name at the beginning are easier to learn than those with the name at the end (letter b vs. letter f ) Capital letters are easier to learn than lower case letters There are 40 different shapes to be learned Some letters are highly confusable with other letters Slide 23 Informal and formal approaches to the alphabet Like PA, both informal and formal learning approaches have been suggested Slide 24 Informal experience for learning letters Singing the alphabet song Manipulating alphabet letters Learning to write personal names Watching Sesame Street etc. Reading alphabet books Reading storybooks Attending to environmental print Rank these from most to least effective Slide 25 Writing your name gets your letter name learning engine going Name and letter knowledge linked (Bloodgood, 1999) 3-year olds name knowledge in advance of other literacy Know names of letters in own name best (Treiman & Broderick, 1998) Names, not sounds, promoted by personal name knowledge Slide 26 Book reading During storybook reading, little attention directed to letters Alphabet book reading with attention to letters and words containing them (usually initial sounds) can be effective For ELLs, alphabet letter instruction decontextualized from storybook reading more effective. What might be the reasons for this? Slide 27 Alphabet song Familiarizes children with the letter names Depends on how it is used whether it teaches the letter names and the letter shapes How might teaching ensure the alphabet song helps with learning letter shapes? Slide 28 Environmental print Children are actually learning the visual signs and are not attending to print Studies where arches removed from McDonalds and Pepsi written separately show children cannot recognize the print Fail to recognize changes in the print xepsi for pepsi Slide 29 Instructional principles for learning letters Learn to recognize visually and write letters Connect the letter names/sounds with the grapheme repeatedly Oral production important Need sufficient instruction and practice Slide 30 Methods of teaching alphabetics Mnemonics Help with making the letters efficiently templates Names versus sounds All letters but one contain clues to the sounds Letter names are more stable than letter sounds-important for ELLs Make letters and sounds concrete and stable Slide 31 Mnemonics principles Link letters to sounds in words Integrated picture mnemonics When the mnemonic does not link letters to their sounds, only limited benefit (Marsh & Desberg, 1978) Pumpkin picture for /p/ Boy blowing out a candle and saying /p/ When pictures removed, no advantage May be best used for initial learning Slide 32 Integrated mnemonic Slide 33 Help with making the letters efficiently Templates with directionality Modeling of correct letter making Attend to the fine motor control challenges of young children White boards Writing experiences Slide 34 Names versus sounds All letter names but one contain clues to a sound for that letter Letter names are more stable than letter sounds-important for ELLs More sounds than letters so ultimately need to systematically include all sounds /sh / Slide 35 Making alphabetics concrete Particularly important for Ells with limited English Use markers, tiles, movable letters A reason letter names may be preferred over letter sounds for initial instruction Particularly important for PA instruction- why? Slide 36 A big worry Low income and English learners are much more likely to enter K with limited letter knowledge Teachers are also more reluctant to offer such instruction to these same children Programs for low income children have not had a strong emphasis on and effectiveness in teaching letters Slide 37 Hot topics: Preschool reading foundations What to develop? How much attention to decoding skills? Are letter names or letter sounds best? Upper case or lower case, sequence of letters, rhyming? How to develop? Teacher led versus child-initiated? Contextualized versus decontextualized? When to develop? - Is preschool too early? Child interest? English oral proficiency? Slide 38 Research study citations: Roberts, T. (2003). Effects of alphabet letter instruction on young childrens word recognition. Journal of Educational Psychology, 95, 41- 51. Roberts, T. & Neal, H. (2004). Relationships among preschool English language learners Oral proficiency in English, instructional experience and literacy development. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 29, 283-311. Ehri, L. C. & Roberts, T. A. (2005). The roots of learning to read and write. In Newman, S. & Dickinson, D. (Eds.), Handbook of early literacy research, vol.II, pp.113-131. New York, NY: Guilford Press. Roberts, T. (2005). Articulation accuracy and vocabulary size contributions to phonemic awareness and word reading in English language learners. Journal of Educational Psychology, 97(4), 601-616. Slide