Sensitivity to speech rhythm explains individual differences in reading ability independently of phonological awareness

Holliman, Andrew; Wood, Clare and Sheehy, Kieron (2008). Sensitivity to speech rhythm explains individual differences in reading ability independently of phonological awareness. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 26(3) pp. 357–367.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1348/026151007X241623

Abstract

This study considered whether sensitivity to speech rhythm can predict concurrent variance in reading attainment after individual differences in age, vocabulary, and phonological awareness have been controlled. Five- to six-year-old English-speaking children completed a battery of phonological processing assessments and reading assessments, along with a simple word stress manipulation task. The results showed that performance on the stress manipulation measure predicted a significant amount of variance in reading attainment after age, vocabulary, and phonological processing had been taken into account. These results suggest that stress sensitivity is an important, yet neglected, aspect of English-speaking children's phonological representations, which needs to be incorporated into theoretical accounts of reading development.

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