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Arnold School of Public Health


Segmentation and Representation of Consonant Blends in Kindergarten Children’s Spellings

The purpose of this study was to better understand the development of phonemic awareness with respect to the segmentation of consonant blends. With a developmental spelling measure, we explored children's ability to segment and represent consonant blends in initial (e.g., skate) and final (e.g., jump) position of monosyllabic words. Specifically, we evaluated the extent to which linguistic and phonetic features influence blend segmentation.

Fifty-seven kindergarten children completed a 26-word developmental spelling measure three times at six-week intervals. Responses were analyzed for logical representation of speech sounds to describe developmental change and differential accuracy across blend types.

Kindergarten children showed varied ability to segment and represent consonant blends and were differentially successful depending on linguistic and phonetic features of blends. The ability to segment and represent consonant blends was positively correlated with word reading.

Contrary to prior evidence, the results of this study indicate that during the period of emergence, the properties of the phonemes that comprise blends affect children’s ability to segment consonant blends.

 

PUBLICATIONS FROM THIS STUDY

Papers
Werfel, K. L., & Schuele, C. M. (2012). Segmentation and representation of consonant blends in kindergarten children’s spellings. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 43, 292-307.

Simon, C. G., Werfel, K. L., & Schuele, C. M. (2011). Vowel representation in the spelling of kindergarten children. Young Scientist, 1, 29-31.

Presentations
Werfel, K.L. & Schuele, C.M. (2009, November). Kindergarten children’s segmentation and representation of consonant blends: Educational implications. Poster presented at the Annual Convention of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, New Orleans, LA.


Werfel, K.L. & Schuele, C.M. (2009, June). A developmental exploration of kindergarten children’s segmentation and representation of consonant blends. Poster presented at the Annual Symposium on Research in Child Language Disorders, Madison, WI.

Werfel, K.L. & Schuele, C.M. (2008, November). Phonological awareness development: Kindergarten children’s segmentation and representation of consonant blends. Poster presented at the Annual Convention of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Chicago, IL.