The role of different levels of phonological awareness in the development of reading and spelling in Greek

Aidinis, Athanasios; Nunes, Terezinha
March 2001
Reading & Writing;Mar2001, Vol. 14 Issue 1/2, p145
Academic Journal
Phonological awareness is a strong predictor of children's progress in literacy acquisition. There are different ways of segmenting words into sound sequences – syllables, phonemes, onset-rime – and little is known about whether these different levels of segmentation vary in their contribution to reading and writing. Does one of them – for example, phoneme awareness – play the major role in learning to read and spell making the other phonological units irrelevant to the prediction of reading? Or do different levels of analysis make independent contributions to reading and spelling? Our study investigated whether syllable and phoneme awareness make independent contributions to reading and spelling in Greek. Four measures were used: syllable awareness, phoneme awareness, reading and spelling. Analyses of variance showed that Greek speaking children found it easier to analyse words into syllables than phonemes, irrespective of the influence of task variables such as position of the phonological element, word length, and placement of stress in the word. Regression analyses showed that syllable and phoneme awareness make significant and independent contributions to learning written Greek. We conclude that phonological awareness is a multidimensional phenomenon and that the different dimensions contribute to reading and writing in Greek.


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