Literacy and phonological skills: a reciprocal relationship? Symposium

Anna Cunningham, Julia Carroll, Marketa Caravolas, Gabriella Seidlova Malkova, Regine Kolinsky

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


    The existence of a possible reciprocal relationship between literacy and phonological skills (particularly regarding reading and phonological awareness) has important theoretical and practical implications. For example, such a relationship provides support for the orthographic influence hypothesis, and implies an effect of reading remediation on phonological abilities. However, while there is a large body of evidence showing that phonological awareness predicts reading, there is little extant research showing a convincing effect in the opposite direction. Talks 1 (Cunningham) and 2 (Malkova) present evidence that a bi-directional relationship exists between letter-knowledge and phonemic awareness in Kindergarten. Cunningham through structural equation models based on a large sample of British Kindergartners, and Malkova through an intervention study with Czech pre-schoolers. Talks 3 (Carroll) and 4 (Kolinsky) present evidence that a reciprocal relationship extends to the middle school years and adulthood. Carroll presents data from school children with phonological deficits, showing mutual predictive effects between phonological awareness and word reading accuracy. Finally, Kolinsky presents an intervention study showing that Portuguese adults who acquire literacy experience associated improvements in phonological skills. Talk 5, the Discussion (Cunningham) combines evidence from the four talks and compares with existing research to arrive at novel conclusions about the nature of reciprocity between literacy and phonological skills.


    ConferenceAnnual meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Reading
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