Phonological Awareness Training: Review

Report Summary


Phonological awareness training was found to have potentially positive effects on communication/language competencies for children with learning disabilities in early education settings.

Program Description

Phonological awareness, or the ability to detect or manipulate the sounds in words independent of meaning, has been identified as a key early literacy skill and precursor to reading. For the purposes of this review, phonological awareness training refers to any practice targeting young children’s phonological awareness abilities.

Phonological awareness training can involve various activities that focus on teaching children to identify, detect, delete, segment, or blend segments of spoken words (i.e., words, syllables, onsets and rimes, phonemes) or to identify, detect, or produce rhyme or alliteration. Phonologic awareness training can occur in both regular and special education classrooms. Various curricula are available to support this training.


Four studies of phonological awareness training that fall within the scope of the Early Childhood Education Interventions for Children with Disabilities review protocol meet What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) evidence standards without reservations. The four studies included 78 children with disabilities or developmental delays attending preschool in four locations across the United States. Based on these four studies, the WWC considers the extent of evidence of phonological awareness training on children with learning disabilities in early education settings to be small for one domain: communication/language competencies. Six other domains are not reported in this intervention report.

Source: What Works Clearinghouse

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Relationship Between Age of Onset and Frequency of Reading and Infants’ and Toddlers’ Early Language and Literacy Development


The effects of age and frequency of reading to infants and toddlers on their early literacy and language development was examined in a meta-analysis of 11 studies that included 4,020 participants. The average age of onset of adult reading to the infants and toddlers was 22 months. Variations in both age of onset and frequency of reading were related to varia- tions in the study outcomes and predicted differences in literacy and language development some 36 months after read- ing was first begun. Both the shortcomings and the implications of the findings for research and practice are described.

Source: Center for Early Literacy Learning

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Effects of Reading to Infants and Toddlers on Their Early Language Development


The effects of reading to infants and toddlers were examined in a meta-analysis of six intervention studies including 408 participants. Results indicated that interventions were effective in promoting the children’s expressive and recep- tive language. The benefits of the interventions increased the earlier the interventions were started and the longer they were implemented. Implications of the findings for research and practice are described.

Source: Center for Early Literacy Learning

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New Early Learning Webinar Series


Beginning on Tuesday, March 6, the Office of Early Learning at the U.S. Department of Education will host a series of four webinars to support SIG schools using high-quality preschool and P-3 structures to improve outcomes for students. Led by Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Education Jacqueline Jones, this first webinar series will cover four topics: high-quality preschool programs, P-3rd grade structures, foundations in early literacy, and foundations in early mathematics learning. 


Webinars will begin at 3:30pm Eastern time/12:30pm Pacific and last for 90 minutes.

Tuesday, March 13: P-3rd Grade Structures 

This webinar will focus on using preschool through third grade structures as a strategy to improve student achievement. Presenters:

  • Ruby Takanishi, President, Foundation for Child Development
  • Linda Sullivan-Dudzic, Special Programs Director, Bremerton School District, Bremerton, WA
  • Kristie Kauerz, Kristie Kauerz, Ed.D.. Research Scientist Project Director, PreK-3rd Education, College of Education, University of Washington

Tuesday, March 20:  Foundations in Early Learning: Literacy

The third webinar will focus on a specific content area, early literacy for young children, including English Learners. Presenters:

  • Dorothy S. Strickland, Ph.D., Samuel DeWitt Proctor Professor of Education, Emerita Distinguished Research Fellow, National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER), Rutgers, The State University of NJ
  • Linda M. Espinosa, Ph.D., Professor of Early Childhood Education (Ret.) at the University of Missouri, Columbia

Tuesday, March 27:  Foundations in Early Learning: Mathematics

The final webinar of the series will focus on the building blocks of early mathematics, research-based mathematics curricula and assessment, and effective coaching models. Presenters:

  • Douglas H. Clements, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor, The State University of New York (SUNY)
  • Julie Sarama, Ph.D., Professor and Department Chair, The State University of New York
  • Jennifer S. McCray, Ph.D., Director, Early Mathematics Education Project, Erikson Institute Graduate School in Child Development
  • Jie-Qi Chen, Ph.D., Principal Investigator, Early Mathematics Education Project, Erikson Institute Graduate School in Child Development

Source: U.S. Department of Education, Early Learning Initiative

Get Ready to Read!

Get Ready to Read! is designed to support educators, parents, and young children in the development of early literacy skills in the years before kindergarten. Intended for use with all children, the resources and information provided on this site promote skill-building, communication between adults, and ways to address concerns.

Source: National Center for Learning Disabilities

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ALL children CAN read…let us show you how!

Development of the “All Children Can Read” website began in 2006 as part of the work of the NCDB’s (National Consortium on Deaf-Blindness) Literacy Practice Partnership. This group envisioned the creation of a central location to provide information and resources to individual state deaf-blind projects, teachers, family members and related service providers interested in beginning or enhancing literacy instruction for children who have combined vision and hearing loss and children with other complex learning challenges. Following literature reviews of literacy learning for all children, children who are blind or visually impaired, children who are deaf or hearing impaired, children with multiple disabilities and children with deaf-blindness, a set of literacy indicators and corresponding strategies was developed to help guide instructional planning.

The “All Children Can Read” website is built on a framework that incorporates stages of literacy development and key components of reading into instructional strategies for children with dual sensory challenges. Content is organized around evidence-based strategies identified as being effective in building emergent literacy skills and moving children along a continuum toward independent reading. The website has been designed to present these strategies in a user-friendly, interactive manner that utilizes existing resources and provides practical examples.

Creating a technical assistance tool such as this requires huge commitment and effort. The individuals listed below have believed in its worth, given generously of their time and shared their knowledge, ideas, examples, technical expertise and thoughtful feedback. Through the inevitable twists and turns of bringing vision into reality they have continued their strong support of this project in order to make a difference in the lives of learners with combined vision and hearing loss.

Source: Literacy for Children with Combined Vision and Hearing Loss

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Fred Rogers Center – 2012 Early Career Fellow in Early Literacy

The Fred Rogers Center announces an exciting fellowship opportunity for an early-career educator with an interest in early literacy, children’s literature, technology, and digital media literacy. Through the ECF program, the Fred Rogers Center acts as a catalyst for innovation in media- and technology-based work that advances early childhood development and learning.

In 2012, the ECF in early literacy will work with a team of videographers and an established expert in early childhood education to create a series of videos designed to demonstrate best early literacy and digital media literacy practices, in cooperation with the Pittsburgh Association for the Education of Young Children (PAEYC). All videos will be used in a new, national initiative of the Fred Rogers Center. The Fred Rogers Center Early Learning Environment™ is being developed as a virtual community of teachers, home-based providers, and families who will be empowered by compelling technology and media-based resources to provide literacy-rich experiences for children from birth through age 5.  The Early Learning Environment will use entertaining and educational media content to deliver resources, and to encourage interaction, in a variety of engaging ways.

Source: Fred Rogers Center

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Learning to Read: A Guide to Federal Funding for Grade-Level Reading Proficiency

Reading proficiency in the early grades lays an essential foundation for acquiring the knowledge and skills required to succeed in school and the workplace. Growing awareness of the high numbers and increasing costs of youth who drop out of school and reach adulthood without fundamental literacy skills has produced a “commonsense consensus” about the need to strengthen basic reading skills before students complete third grade.

At the end of the first decade of the 21st century, 16 percent of young Americans between the ages of 16 and 24 have dropped out of high school without earning a diploma.1 Nearly 75 percent of young Americans ages 17 to 24 cannot join the military—many because they are poorly educated and cannot pass the basic skills entrance exam.2 Employers across the nation, both large and small, struggle to find enough educated and competent workers for jobs that require strong basic literacy skills and some technical training. Institutions of higher education spend significant time and resources on remedial coursework for students who arrive without the literacy levels necessary to succeed in postsecondary programs.

Source: The Finance Project

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Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library USA: How it works!

In 1996, Dolly Parton launched an exciting new effort to benefit the children of her home county in east Tennessee. Dolly wanted to foster a love of reading among her county’s preschool children and their families. She wanted children to be excited about books and to feel the magic that books can create. Moreover, she could insure that every child would have books, regardless of their family’s income.

So she decided to mail a brand new, age appropriate book each month to every child under 5 in Sevier County. With the arrival of every child’s first book, the classic The Little Engine That Could ™, every child could now experience the joy of finding their very own book in their mail box. These moments continue each month until the child turns 5—and in their very last month in the program they receive Look Out Kindergarten Here I Come.

Needless to say the experience has been a smashing success. So much so that many other communities clamored to provide the Imagination Library to their children. Dolly thought long and hard about it and decided her Foundation should develop a way for other communities to participate. The Foundation asked a blue ribbon panel of experts to select just the right books and secured Penguin Group USA to be the exclusive publisher for the Imagination Library. Moreover a database was built to keep track of the information.

Consequently, in March of 2000 she stood at the podium of The National Press Club in Washington, D.C. and revealed the plan for other communities to provide the Imagination Library to their children. And as only Dolly can say it, she wanted to “put her money where her mouth is – and with such a big mouth that’s a pretty large sum of money” and provide the books herself to the children of Branson, Missouri and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina – communities where her businesses now operate. If other leaders in their communities were willing to do the same, well something big might just happen.

You know what? It did!!

Source: Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library USA

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Literacy program links children, books


A brand new book. Every month. Delivered.

For the 50 children in the YWCA Istrouma Early Head Start program on Winbourne Avenue, that’s what they’ll be getting at home each month for the next several years thanks to the Imagination Library announced Friday. The Imagination Library is an early literacy program started by singer Dolly Parton and it provides free books to children under the age of 5 each month.

Source: The Advocate

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