EECERA edition:26 location:Dublin date:30 August - 3 Septembre 2015
Speech problems affect preschoolers' social and emotional development (Guralnick,1997), and are related to later reading problems (van Druenen e.a., 2012). Nevertheless, Flemish preschools do not regularly target articulatory proficiency and phonemic awareness in a systematic way.
The aims of this project were to develop an evidence-based playful program for preschool classes to stimulate phoneme awareness and articulatory proficiency, and to investigate its effectiveness.
Relationship to previous research works
The scientific evidence for the program was found in literature on phonemic awareness (e.g. Gillon, 2000, 2005, 2008; Ukrainetz e.a.., 2011) and articulatory therapy (e.g. Baker & McLeod, 2011).
Theoretical and conceptual framework
The basic idea is that prevention or early treatment is more efficient than later treatment (Almost & Rosenbaum, 1997; Gillon, 2005; Zijlstra, 2015).
Paradigm, methodology and method
The program was implemented daily during 12 weeks in 6 classrooms (n=93). Its effect on phoneme awareness and articulatory proficiency was measured by comparing the test scores with a control group of 5 classrooms (n=78).
Parents gave their consent for testing the children.
Main finding or discussion
A multilevel analysis revealed a significant positive effect of the method on the results of the posttest phoneme awareness. Other important determinants were the mother's educational level, the child's age and the pretest scores for sound and rhyme awareness and articulatory proficiency. Dual-language-learners did not perform differently from monolinguals.
Implications, practice or policy
Kaatje Klank stimulates children's phoneme awareness. Children with a mother with a low educational level need extra support.