Welcome to Parsimony’s blog, where we help K-12 educators identify evidence based ways to maximize student outcomes.

This blog post is part of our What Works Clearinghouse review series. The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) is an initiative by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) which is the independent statistics, research, and evaluation arm of the United States Department of Education. WWC estimates the effectiveness of programs by evaluating the quality and quantity of evidence for that program.

This week’s blog post is about the evidence behind Phonological Awareness Training plus Letter Knowledge Training’s impact on students. Here’s the short version:

Phonological Awareness Training plus Letter Knowledge Training is a general practice aimed at enhancing young children’s phonological awareness, print awareness, and early reading abilities. Phonological awareness, the ability to detect or manipulate the sounds in words independent of meaning, is considered to be a precursor to reading.

The evidence for Phonological Awareness Training plus Letter Knowledge Training covers students in pre-kindergarten.

The outcomes examined include: cognition, early reading/writing, oral language, phonological processing, and print knowledge. Here’s what the evidence suggests about  Phonological Awareness Training plus Letter Knowledge Training’s impact on each outcome:

  • Cognition: No detectable impact
  • Early reading/writing: Positive impact (an average student would be expected to improve by 19 percentile points)
  • Oral language: Negative impact
  • Phonological processing: Positive impact (an average student would be expected to improve by 30 percentile points)
  • Print knowledge: Positive impact (an average student would be expected to improve by 27 percentile points)

The studies looking into Phonological Awareness Training plus Letter Knowledge Training had student samples that were in areas in New York, had students who were White, Black, Asian and Hispanic, were male and female, and were English language learners, and received free & reduced price lunch.

You can find the full report from the What Works Clearinghouse here:

https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/Docs/InterventionReports/wwc_pat_lk_100716.pdf

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