Presentation on theme: "The Roots of Learning to Read and Write: Acquisition of Letters and Phonemic Awareness in English Language Learner and English only children. Dr. Theresa."— Presentation transcript:
1The Roots of Learning to Read and Write: Acquisition of Letters and Phonemic Awareness in English Language Learner and English only children.Dr. Theresa Roberts
2Delighted to be here! Working with professionals who are: KnowledgeableMotivatedInfluential
3Professional orientation to research Frame the questionsAsk for the dataScrutinize the dataRespond to the data
4Major Purposes Explain the relationships between speech and print Explain why alphabet letters are very important for early literacyDiscuss instructional approaches for teaching alphabeticsEngage in discussion about “hot topics”Emphasize how all the above relates to research studies with ELLs
5Reading: connecting speech and print Essential task in reading is to connect word pronunciations with written representations of those wordsNecessary for comprehension to get a pronunciation of a word
6Speech and printLearning 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/instructionGraphemes - letter names/sounds knowledge/instruction
7What makes speech easy makes reading hard In speech sounds are interleaved and overlapped (coarticulated)Speeds speech processing and lowers cognitive demandIn reading, must unconnect these sounds in somewhat artificial mannerphonemic awareness
8A few misunderstandings English, while more variable than other languages, is largely systematic in phoneme- grapheme correspondencesLearning to read is somewhat of an “unnatural” process
9Phases in learning the speech to print connection (Ehri, 1999) Pre-alphabeticPartial alphabeticFull alphabeticConsolidated alphabetic
10Pre-alphabetic phase (pre-k - grade 1) Lack letter knowledge and phonemic awarenessChildren resort to use of visual or contextual cuesMcDonalds sign, Pepsi labelDo not have word awareness as shown by fingerpoint readingCharacteristic of children with limited informal and formal experience with the alphabet (preschool to grade 1 range)
11Partial alphabetic phase (pre-K - grade 1) Know some names/sounds and have some phonemic awarenessForm partial connections between speech and print/jp/ for “jump”Very evident in writingInitial and final sounds more salientCharacteristic of preschool middle class and children with extensive informal and formal PA and alphabetic experiences
12Full alphabetic phase (k- grade 2) Know how to segment and blendKnow major vowel and consonant phoneme-grapheme relationshipsHave both PA and alphabet knowledgeCharacteristic of first grade children with rich PA and alphabetic instruction
13Consolidated alphabetic phase (Grades 1-3) Know larger spelling patternsSilent eAcquiring extensive sight vocabularies (pronunciation and word spelling glued together in memory)Accuracy and speed in decoding are importantCharacteristic of grade 2 children with extensive reading and good fluency
14Instructional approaches for developing PA Purpose of PA instruction is to help children be able to connect letters to phonemes when they read or write lettersHelps children move from pre-alphabetic to partial alphabetic phase
15Informal and formal approaches to PA Both informal and formal approaches to teaching phonological/phonemic awareness have been suggested
16Informal experiences for PA Nursery rhymesChallengedLetter knowledge more powerful than nursery rhymes (Johnston, Anderson & Holligan (1996)Meaning may get in the wayInventive spellingReading of alphabet books with initial sounds of words emphasized
17Instruction for PA Differentiate: Phonological awareness Phonemic awareness
18Instruction for PA Developmental progression should guide instruction: Syllable/word countingIsolating initial phonemes/rhyming/onset-rimeSegmenting and blendingDeleting phonemesSubstituting phonemes
19Instruction for PAMany programs are effective at kindergarten and some studies show programs effective at pre-kConcurrent and later reading-related performance improves with instructionInstruction most beneficial for those most at risk
20Alphabet letters are our friends Knowledge of alphabet letters and phonemic awareness are the two best predictors of beginning reading competenceAlphabet letter knowledge influences later reading as well, but less stronglyIncludes knowing shapes, names, soundsWhich is most critical?
21Learning alphabet letters Is substantially a paired associate learning taskIs difficult- there are 40 shapes to be learned whose names are arbitraryRequires significant practiceChildren 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 ?
22Alphabet letter factoids All but one letter name contains clues to a phoneme it representsLetters 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 lettersThere are 40 different shapes to be learnedSome letters are highly confusable with other letters
23Informal and formal approaches to the alphabet Like PA, both informal and formal learning approaches have been suggested
24Informal experience for learning letters Singing the alphabet songManipulating alphabet lettersLearning to write personal namesWatching Sesame Street etc.Reading alphabet booksReading storybooksAttending to environmental printRank these from most to least effective
25Writing your name gets your letter name learning engine going Name and letter knowledge linked (Bloodgood, 1999)3-year old’s name knowledge in advance of other literacyKnow names of letters in own name best (Treiman & Broderick, 1998)Names, not sounds, promoted by personal name knowledge
26Book readingDuring storybook reading, little attention directed to lettersAlphabet book reading with attention to letters and words containing them (usually initial sounds) can be effectiveFor ELLs, alphabet letter instruction decontextualized from storybook reading more effective.What might be the reasons for this?
27Alphabet song Familiarizes children with the letter names Depends on how it is used whether it teaches the letter names and the letter shapesHow might teaching ensure the alphabet song helps with learning letter shapes?
28Environmental printChildren are actually learning the visual signs and are not attending to printStudies where arches removed from McDonald’s and Pepsi written separately show children cannot recognize the printFail to recognize changes in the print“xepsi” for “pepsi”
29Instructional principles for learning letters Learn to recognize visually and write lettersConnect the letter names/sounds with the grapheme repeatedlyOral production importantNeed sufficient instruction and practice
30Methods of teaching alphabetics MnemonicsHelp with making the letters efficientlytemplatesNames versus soundsAll letters but one contain clues to the soundsLetter names are more stable than letter sounds-important for ELLsMake letters and sounds concrete and stable
31Mnemonics principles Link letters to sounds in words Integrated picture mnemonicsWhen 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 advantageMay be best used for initial learning
33Help with making the letters efficiently Templates with directionalityModeling of correct letter makingAttend to the fine motor control challenges of young childrenWhite boardsWriting experiences
34Names versus soundsAll letter names but one contain clues to a sound for that letterLetter names are more stable than letter sounds-important for ELLsMore sounds than letters so ultimately need to systematically include all sounds/sh/
35Making alphabetics concrete Particularly important for Ells with limited EnglishUse markers, tiles, movable lettersA reason letter names may be preferred over letter sounds for initial instructionParticularly important for PA instruction- why?
36A big worryLow income and English learners are much more likely to enter K with limited letter knowledgeTeachers are also more reluctant to offer such instruction to these same childrenPrograms for low income children have not had a strong emphasis on and effectiveness in teaching letters
37Hot 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?
38Research study citations: Roberts, T. (2003). Effects of alphabet letter instruction on young children’s word recognition. Journal of Educational Psychology, 95,Roberts, T. & Neal, H. (2004). Relationships among preschool English language learner’s Oral proficiency in English, instructional experience and literacy development. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 29,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 New York, NY: Guilford Press.Roberts, T. (2005). Articulation accuracy andvocabulary size contributions to phonemic awareness andword reading in English language learners. Journal ofEducational Psychology, 97(4),
39Purpose of my studiesDevelopment of alphabetic knowledge in preschool and kindergarten English Language Learners from two language groupsDevelopmental patterns in the context of instructional experience (explicit, small group, decontextualized)Relationships among alphabetic knowledge and other components of language and reading (oral proficiency, pronunciation)
40ParticipantsPreschool and kindergarten ELLs from low socioeconomic familiesTwo preschool studies (35-44 children)Two kinder studies (126 and 27 children)Children attended one siteDrawn from all 4 preschool classes and all 5 kindergarten classes at the schoolHmong, Spanish and English primary languagesAll learning to read in L2 only (70-80% of ELLs in US)
41Preschool instructional variation Random assignment across teachersTreatments:Alphabet letter/rhyme instructionComprehension/vocabulary instructionDecontextualized vs contextualized alphabet instructionDifferences in the studies:Duration (8 or 16 weeks)Frequency (2 or 3X weekly)Type (decontextualized vs contextualized )
42Preschool measures Letter naming (0-16) Rhyme generation (0-10) Storybook vocabulary (0-30)Paired associate learning of simplified word spellings (6 word pairings, 7 trials) (0-42)Phonetic (“BL” for “ball”, “JMP” for “jump”)Visually distinct (“QN” for “ball”, “cFy” for “jump”)Pre-IPT test of English oralproficiency
43Is knowing letters causally connected to word reading? Experimental study (Roberts, 2003)Previous evidence correlationalStudies from 1980s concluded not causalEhri (1983) critiqued these studiesI decided to retest this with improved methodology in predominantly ELL population
44MethodologyRandom assignment to explicit alphabet letter instruction or storybook reading instructionTaught 16 letters- 16 weeks- letters A-PAfter instruction ended taught children paired associate word spellings and tested their learning of these words over one session
45Word learning trials Children taught to spell three kinds of words: simplified phonetic spellings based on letters included in the letter instruction (e.g. “BL” for “ball”; “KND” for “candy”);simplified phonetic spellings with letters not included in letter instruction (e.g. “ZR” for “zipper”; “RYS” for “rice”)visually distinct spellings (e.g. “sT” for lunch; “cFy” for “apple”)If letter knowledge a cause, what shouldhappen?
51ResultsAlphabet letter instruction children learned the phonetic spellings using letters they had been taught significantly better than either a) phonetic spellings with not taught letters or b) visually distinct lettersStorybook instruction children learned visually distinctive spellings best
52ConclusionLearning alphabet letters is a cause in learning phonetically spelled words in ELL and EO children.Letter name instruction helped move children from the pre-alphabetic to the partial alphabetic phase of reading
53How much alphabet letter instruction was needed? Sixteen weeks of instruction that covered one letter a week for 3 X week with no more than 30 minute lessons was adequate for relatively high levels of alphabet letter learning.24 hours of explicit alphabet letter instruction, or no more that 1 ½ hours per week was adequate for significant alphabet learning.
54Amplification of letter name learning instruction In our studies children who received instruction began knowing about 2.75 letters and ended knowing an average of 11/16 letters taughtPut them very close to middle class counterparts1/2 year programLimited to 20 mins. 3X per weekIncluded 3 year oldsComparison scores of 50% (no formal instruction) to 78% (instruction)
55But is it “developmentally appropriate”? However, preschool children’s participation in skill-oriented, explicit small group instruction of the type used in this study has been argued against. For example, the most recent statement on developmentally appropriate practice published by the National Association for Young Children (1998) concludes, after reviewing studies showing positive effects of explicit training on phonemic awareness for kindergarten and grade 1 children, “Yet, whether such training is appropriate for younger-age children is highly suspect” (p.4). They also state, “In the preschool years sensitizing children to sound similarities does not seem to be dependent on formal training but rather from (sic) listening to patterned, predictable texts while enjoying the feel of reading and language” (p. 4). Yet no direct evidencewas used to support these assertions.
56But is it “developmentally appropriate”? One might argue that just because the instruction worked, it could still be out of alignment with the cognitive characteristics and inclinations of children.“Children’s apparent utilization of letter names for learning to recognize words without instruction or guidance to do so provides strong evidence that the instructional experiences and simple word learning tasks were developmentally appropriate.” (Roberts, 2003)
57Oral language proficiency Children with the lowest levels of oral language proficiency (level a-b) showed the same pattern of resultsOral language proficiency more related to vocabulary than alphabetics
58Correlations between oral language and posttest letter naming and vocabulary MeasureOralLanguage 1Language 2VocabLetterNamingOral Language 1.80***.67***.42*Oral Language 2.57***.30Vocabulary.14p .05p .01**p .001***
59What’s up with rhyming?Preschool ELL children were not successful with learning to rhyme in either the 8-week or 16-week studyLearning to generate rhymes is a very difficult task for preschool English language learnersAlliteration may be better?Kinder ELL children can learn rhyming
60What’s up with rhyming? Controversy in the primary language literature Phonological or phonemic?How relevant to reading?Different issue- task difficulty?Phoneme identity? (Roberts, 2003)Vocabulary?Verbal memory?In kindergarten, only task on which EObetter than both groups of ELLs
61Decontextualized small group instruction Pre-K ELLs were able to learn alphabet letters in small group and decontextualized instructionInstructional Press concept: The nature and focus of instruction directs attention and activates strategies (Roberts & Neal, 2004)
62But does knowing letters influence later reading in ELLs?
63Kindergarten measures Upper case letter name (0-26) and letter sound (0-26) productionRhyme, blend, segment phonemic awareness test (0-30)Word recognition (2-4 letters) (0-16)High frequency (4), decodable (6), decodable pseudowords (6)IPT- 1 Test of English oral proficiency (1-5)
64Preschool to kindergarten Preschool explicit alphabet instruction was linked with kindergarten letter name knowledgeEnd of preschool letter knowledge was associated with kindergarten letter names, letter sounds and word readingEnd of preschool phonetic spelling was associated with kindergarten PA and word reading
66Preschoolers as super literacy people Preschool phonetic word learning ability was related to word reading at the end of kindergarten.Previous work has demonstrated importance of PAChildren’s earliest attempts to use phonetic information in learning written words is also an important component of phonological sensitivity.Using phonetic information to read and write words may be warranted in preschool.
67Preschool to kindergarten conclusion Not only are preschool ELL children capable of using letter name knowledge in learning to read words, their ability to do so supports phonemic awareness and decodable word reading one year later.
69Between language differences ELL= EO on alphabetics, word reading & number recognitionEO > ELL on rhymeSpanish = English on blend, segmentEnglish > Hmong on blend, segmentSpanish > Hmong on blend
70Between language differences Differences exist between groups of ELLs.Differences between Hmong and Spanish-primary children were as great as differences between ELL and EO childrenDifferences on PA, but not alphabeticsWhat may be going on?
71Between language differences Between language variability within the ELL population merits more careful studyDifferences strongest between ELL groups on more linguistically mediated tasks
72First and second language literacy Similarities in reading of ELL and EO childrenELL children are capable of inducing important understandings between alphabet letter knowledge and word reading (preschool study).Preschool literacy was also predictive of kindergarten literacy, showing another similarity between ELL and English only children (kindergarten study).
73First and second language literacy English learner’s alphabet knowledge is in advance of their phonemic awarenesspotential educational significanceIt appears easier to promote alphabetics than a measure of phonological awareness (Rhyming) in ELLsUse of alphabet as a tool for PA learning should be explored
74First and second language literacy Possible differences in reading of ELL and EO childrenELL children may have greater challenges on tasks that are more linguistic (PA) compared to alphabetics.Alphabet knowledge may precede and prepare a foundation for phonological awareness.
75Possible teaching sequence for letters to phoneme awareness Teach lettersShow/teach simplified phonetic spellings (use taught letters) and word meaning“BT” for “bat” (letters with sounds at beginning of letter name)Introduce markers, tiles, movable letters and delete/switch letters
77Separate content from quality Separate content of instruction from quality of instructionAssume alphabetics and “drill and kill” the sameAnd much practice is needed
78Quality of instruction Instruction was designed to ensure thatchildren understood task instructions, to draw on children’s competencies and to engage and respond to children’s language use.Less participatory and activity-based group instruction with preschool English learner children may not have been as successful. (Roberts & Neal, 2004)
79Quality of instruction Concrete activitiesLanguage simplificationHighlighting the most important languageRoutine within lessonsRepeated exposure to and practice with lesson content, reviewOngoing oral participationCarefully designed sequence ofincreasing difficulty
80Curricula/program evaluation tool Shapes and names, sounds?Letter writing?Integrated mnemonics?Articulation cues, oral production?Use of personal names?Concrete supports for name, SOUND learning?
81Curricula/program evaluation tool Use of alphabet books?Upper/lower, confusable letters?Use of Alphabet song?Opportunity for practice, review?Interest, motivation?
82Evaluation specific to ELL Instructional language appropriate level?Verbal memory load?Level of vocabulary?Concrete activities, TPR?Signal to noise good?Articulation support and oral production?Routinized instruction?Opportunity for ethnic specific experiences and models?Pet show book
83New “hot topic”Does the quality of ELL children’s pronunciation influence their beginning reading?Pronunciation is only a surface feature and will self-correct?Pronunciation reflects children’s phoneme knowledge which will influence their ability to learn the phoneme-grapheme equation necessary for word reading?
84New “hot topic”What is the importance of teacher oral proficiency on children’s literacy and language development?Alphabetics and phonemic awarenessVocabulary, language acquisitionWhat are the implications of this for workforce preparation and certification?
85New “hot topic”Vocabulary differences at preschool entry are huge and related to quantity of language in the homeHow to support language development from birth to age 3?What about children who speak a language other than English?
86Engender open discussion on: Role of child oral proficiencyEffectiveness of small group instructionDecontextualized and contextualized instructionWhat areas of speech matter for ELL preschool literacyIntensity and duration of instruction (practice, review, amount of instruction)Role of teacher oral proficiency