2016-11-16Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01803
Training Early Literacy Related Skills: To Which Degree Does a Musical Training Contribute to Phonological Awareness Development?
Kultur-, Sozial- und Bildungswissenschaftliche Fakultät
Well-developed phonological awareness skills are a core prerequisite for early literacy development. Although effective phonological awareness training programs exist, children at risk often do not reach similar levels of phonological awareness after the intervention as children with normally developed skills. Based on theoretical considerations and first promising results the present study explores effects of an early musical training in combination with a conventional phonological training in children with weak phonological awareness skills. Using a quasi-experimental pretest-posttest control group design and measurements across a period of 2 years, we tested the effects of two interventions: a consecutive combination of a musical and a phonological training and a phonological training alone. The design made it possible to disentangle effects of the musical training alone as well the effects of its combination with the phonological training. The outcome measures of these groups were compared with the control group with multivariate analyses, controlling for a number of background variables. The sample included N = 424 German-speaking children aged 4–5 years at the beginning of the study. We found a positive relationship between musical abilities and phonological awareness. Yet, whereas the well-established phonological training produced the expected effects, adding a musical training did not contribute significantly to phonological awareness development. Training effects were partly dependent on the initial level of phonological awareness. Possible reasons for the lack of training effects in the musical part of the combination condition as well as practical implications for early literacy education are discussed.
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