Effect of Phoneme Awareness Instruction on Kindergarten Children's Invented Spelling

Darlene M. Tangel, Benita A. Blachman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

168 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to determine if children trained in phoneme awareness in kindergarten would differ in invented spelling from children who did not have this training. A reliable scoring system was created to evaluate the invented spelling of the kindergarten children. The children were selected from 18, all-day kindergartens in four, demographically comparable low-income, inner-city schools. Prior to the intervention, the 77 treatment children and the 72 control children did not differ in age, sex, race, PPVT-R, phoneme segmentation, letter name and letter sound knowledge, or word recognition. During March, April, and May of the kindergarten year, treatment children participated in an 11-week phoneme awareness intervention that included instruction in letter names and sounds. After the intervention, the treatment children significantly outperformed the control children in phoneme segmentation, letter name and sound knowledge, and reading phonetically regular words and nonwords. Of primary interest in this study is the fact that the treatment children produced invented spellings that were rated developmentally superior to those of the control children. The 7-point scale created for scoring the developmental spelling test was found to be highly reliable using either correlation (r =.98) or percent of agreement (93%).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)233-261
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Literacy Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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