Exploring the relationship between prosodic sensitivity and emergent literacy skills in a sample of pre-readers.

Andrew Holliman, Clare Wood, Claire Pillinger

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster


A growing literature has demonstrated that prosodic sensitivity is related to reading development; however, research
investigating the relationship between prosodic sensitivity and reading development in the period prior to reading instruction
is sparse. Moreover, few measures of prosodic sensitivity are suitable for children of this age. In this study, four- to 5-year-old
English-speaking children (N = 101) from Primary Schools in the West Midlands, UK who were identified as being
pre-readers completed a new test of prosodic sensitivity (comprising four subtests) and were also assessed for their nonverbal
IQ, vocabulary knowledge, morphological awareness, and phonological awareness (syllable segmentation, rhyme
awareness, phoneme isolation, letter knowledge). The new measure was found to be sensitive to individual differences
in prosodic sensitivity and participants’ scores were significantly correlated with measures of vocabulary, phonological
awareness, and morphological awareness. An exploratory factor analysis revealed that the prosodic sensitivity subtests
loaded onto a single factor, and that prosodic sensitivity and phonological awareness loaded onto different factors. These
findings suggest that prosodic sensitivity and phonological awareness are distinct, but related skills in the early stages of
reading development.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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