Despite empirical evidence of a relationship between sensitivity to speech rhythm and reading, there have been few studies that have examined the impact of rhythmic training on reading attainment, and no intervention study has focused on speech rhythm sensitivity specifically to enhance reading skills. Seventy-three typically developing 4- to 5-year-old children were randomly allocated to one of three treatment groups and received a speech-rhythm-based intervention, a phonological-awareness-based intervention, or a control intervention over 10 weeks. All children completed pre-test, post-test and delayed post-test measures of speech rhythm sensitivity, single-word reading, phonological awareness and vocabulary. The results show that it is possible to train speech rhythm sensitivity in this age group and that children who undertook the speech rhythm intervention showed a significant improvement in their word reading performance compared to children in the control group. Group differences were maintained 3 months later.
Harrison, E., Wood, C., Holliman, A., & Vousden, J. (2018). The Immediate and Longer Term Effectiveness of a Speech Rhythm-Based Reading Intervention for Beginning Readers. Journal of Research in Reading, 41(1), 220-241. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9817.12126