An evaluation of computer-assisted instruction in phonological awareness with below average readers

The use of computer-assisted instruction (CAI) to train phonological awareness skills in at-risk first graders was evaluated. Fifty-four children ranging in age from six years two months to seven years eight months participated in an eight-week training study. There were three experimental conditions. The first group received approximately twenty-five minutes a day, four days a week with two phonological awareness training programs. The second group received the same amount of training with a program designed to train alphabetic decoding skills. The third group served as an attentional control group and spent equal time on the computer with several programs designed to provide practice on basic math skills. The children exposed to the phonological awareness training programs made significantly greater improvements on several measures of phonological awareness and on a measure of word recognition, when compared to children in the other two groups. Tentative conclusions were drawn about the use of CAI as means of training phonological awareness skills with at-risk students for reading.

Barker, T., & Torgesen, J.K.
Journal of Educational Computing Research, Vol. 13 (1), 89-103.
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Content Area: 
Grade Level: 
early elementary
intermediate elementary
middle school
IDEA Disability Category: 
emotional disturbance
major-other health impairment
specific learning disability
speech or language impairment
Instructional Support: 
opportunities to learn concepts
practice and reinforcement activities