Age and schooling effects on early literacy and phoneme awareness

Anna Cunningham, Julia Carroll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Previous research on age and schooling effects is largely restricted to studies of children who begin formal schooling at 6. years of age, and the measures of phoneme awareness used have typically lacked sensitivity for beginning readers. Our study addresses these issues by testing 4 to 6. year-olds (first 2. years of formal schooling in the United Kingdom) on a sensitive dynamic measure of phoneme awareness and tests of early literacy. There were significant effects of both age and schooling on the dynamic measure of phoneme awareness, word reading, spelling, and letter name knowledge, but there were no significant Age × Time interactions. This indicates that older children within this age group generally outperform their younger classmates (although they do not make faster progress) and that this advantage is developed prior to the start of school.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)248-255
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Experimental Child Psychology
Issue number2
Early online date10 Feb 2011
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Age effects
  • Dynamic assessment
  • Letter knowledge
  • Phoneme awareness
  • Reading
  • Spelling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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