An investigation into phonological grain sizes and what this suggests about approaches to teaching reading in English

Cufley, Sophie (2016) An investigation into phonological grain sizes and what this suggests about approaches to teaching reading in English. BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    This study focuses on how different grain sizes can be used in the teaching of reading to help minimise the issues that children face when learning to read in English, as suggested in the ‘psycholinguistic grain size theory’. This study investigates three grain sizes; syllables, onset-rime and phonemes and how abilities in each sized unit can inform the teaching of early reading in English. A homogeneous group of six participants were chosen to allow an investigation into each method of teaching reading. The tests investigated their ability to manipulate units of sound at each grain size. It was hypothesised that the participants would perform to the highest level in the phoneme section of each test, due to being explicitly trained in this through their systematic synthetic phonics programme. However, this was not always found to be the case. Although performance in the phoneme section of each test was high, the performance averages were not considerably higher than the onset-rime and syllable scores. With the exception of the reversal task, where the participants scored an average of 20% in the syllable section, the participants performed to a high standard. The finding that abilities in each grain size were considerably consistent indicates that the participants had a similar level of phonological awareness skills, even on the grain sizes that they were not taught through their phonics programme at school. These findings are in line with the psycholinguistic grain size theory and support the notion that the incorporation of multiple grain sizes in reading can help to minimise the difficulties that readers face due to the inconsistencies in smaller grain sizes in English.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Languages and Area Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 17 Oct 2016 14:46
    Last Modified: 17 Oct 2016 14:46
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/22328

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