Non-orthographic consonant cluster manipulation by good and poor spellers

Power, Luke (2005) Non-orthographic consonant cluster manipulation by good and poor spellers. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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This research examined the correlations between spelling, reading ability and phoneme awareness. A group of university undergraduate students were tested on measures of reading (Woodcock Reading Mastery Test, Woodcock, 1998), spelling (Test of Written Spelling, Larsen et al., 1999), phonological processing (Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing, Wagner et al., 1999), and finally on an experimental phoneme awareness task (Squires, 2004). The phoneme awareness task used examines phoneme awareness without the effects of production and orthography by presenting participants with auditory stimulus. In the task, participants were asked to compare two words and determine if the first phoneme or sound was deleted from the second word compared to the first. When good and poor spellers were compared in terms of reaction time and score for the phoneme awareness task, there was no significant difference found. However, there was a significant effect of deletion type in the phoneme awareness task found. Specifically, confusion of manipulation of an analytic form of phonological unit (phoneme in a complex consonant cluster) and a more holistic form of phonological unit (complex consonant cluster) was observed in all participants. Lastly, manipulation of "real" consonant clusters and "fake" consonant clusters (Is/+ obstruent) were not found to be significantly different despite structural differences. These results allow a number of conclusions to be made, including that phoneme awareness may not be the crucial element or stage in reading and spelling, that phoneme awareness itself should be viewed as a continuum of abilities with two levels (holistic and analytic), and finally that there is evidence that onset consonant clusters and initial consonant representations are somehow confused by the majority of readers and spellers tested regardless of ability.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 11282
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 78-81.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Linguistics
Date: 2005
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Phonemics; Reading comprehension--Newfoundland and Labrador--St. John's; Spelling ability--Newfoundland and Labrador--St. John's.

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