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Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools


Purpose: The merits of collaboration between teachers and speech-language pathologists have been extensively highlighted in literature on multitiered educational frameworks. Studies also illustrate the link between articulation, phonemic awareness, and, ultimately, reading skills. This article describes the impact of an intervention targeting articulation and phonemic awareness provided collaboratively to preschool children to enhance emergent literacy skills with the long-term goal of preventing later reading difficulties.

Method: This pilot study involved a bidirectional collaboration between a speech-language pathologist and a teacher by providing articulatory placement strategies to link accurate speech production with early phonemic awareness activities in the context of a private early childhood center. Seventeen children (N = 17) participated in the study, with ages ranging from 55 to 65 months.

Results: The results indicated significant differences in phonemic segmentation as well as reading phonemically spelled words and nonwords when comparing the baseline to the collaboratively based articulatory placement plus phonemic awareness intervention. Significant differences were also seen when comparing the traditional literacy program to the collaboratively based articulatory placement plus phonemic awareness intervention.

Conclusions: The results suggest there may be a benefit to using articulatory placement strategies with phonemic awareness activities directly in the preschool classroom in collaboration with teachers. This pilot study adds to the literature by transferring principles demonstrated as effective for individual children in the research laboratory to application with a whole class in an authentic setting.