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Effects of phonemic awareness instruction on the encoding skills of children with severe speech impairment

Effects of Phonemic Awareness Instruction on the Encoding Skills of Children with Severe Speech Impairment Introduction Blischak, Shah, Lombardino, and Chiarella’s study is aimed at establishing the effects of phonemic awareness instruction and phoneme-grapheme correspondence on the ability to encode information for persons with Severe Speech Impairment (SSI). Although the researchers have not specifically formulated an hypothesis, from the objective of the study, it may be inferred that the hypotheses of the study are as follows: H0: Phonemic awareness instruction and phoneme-grapheme correspondence has a significant effect on the ability to encode information for persons with Severe Speech Impairment (SSI).H1: Phonemic awareness instruction and phoneme-grapheme correspondence has no a significant effect on the ability to encode information for persons with Severe Speech Impairment (SSI).Four specific research questions were included in the study as noted in page 1297. These related to1. The application of phoneme-grapheme correspondence before the introduction of phonemic awareness assignments2. Phonemic awareness after phoneme-grapheme correspondence instruction CVC pseudo- and real word encoding skills compared to the application of the latter in isolation. 3. The generalization of phonemic awareness instruction to encoding pseudo and real words.4. The maintenance of the effects of encoding instructions after instruction termination.The independent variables in the study include phoneme-grapheme correspondence and Phonemic awareness. On the other hand, the dependent variables include accuracy in encoding CVC pseudo-encoding and real word encoding. They were also able to hear, had corrected vision, normal non-verbal intelligenceMethodsThe study was conducted using one group subjected to multiple tests. Each sample was subjected to three experimental procedures. The sample was composed of pre-reading children who were native English speakers. They also had functionally unintelligible speech, had phonemegrapheme correspondence performance of less than fifty percent for selected letters and a certain level of motor abilities. The independent variable were defined by referring to other researchers’ definitions. For example, Pholonogical awareness was defined as the explicit (conscious) awareness of the sound structure of a language and the ability to manipulate phonological segments (Blischak, Shah, Lombardino, and Chiarella’s, 2004, p1295) – a definition borrowed from Adams. Some of the measures used included peabody picture vocabulary test-iii, and test of nonverbal intelligence. The study engaged correlation analysis in which the researchers sought to determine the relationship between the independent and dependent variables. Result, Discussions and ConclusionsThe researchers are keen to present their literature, facts and results logically and clearly following the usual research format. They also manage to fulfill their objectives as they finally note that phonemic awareness instruction and phoneme-grapheme correspondence has a significant effect on the ability to encode information for persons with speech impairment. They take mention of the fact that their study on phoneme segmentation and phoneme-grapheme correspondence were modified so as to allow for non-speech responses ((Blischak, Shah, Lombardino, and Chiarella’s, 2004, p. 1303). Apart from mentioning the above modification, the researchers do not offer in-depth discussion of the limitations of their study. ConclusionIn my view the study was conducted successfully, the objective of the study having been achieved. The study was conducted following approved research methods although the analysis of the data should have been more in-depth and limitations of the study clearly defined. ReferenceBlischak D. M. *, Shah, S. D., Lombardino, L. J. and Chiarella, K. (2004) Effects of Phonemic Awareness Instruction on the Encoding Skills of Children with Severe Speech Impairment. Disability and Rehabilitation, 2004. VOL. 26, NO. 21/22, 1295–1304

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