Contributions of the Components of Phonemic Awareness to Letter-Sound Knowledge With Kindergarten Students in High-Poverty Urban Elementary Schools

Matthew K. Burns, Kathrin E. Maki, Lori Helman, Jennifer J. McComas, Helen Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Phonemic awareness (PA) includes rhyming, phoneme isolation, blending, and segmenting, but the relative importance of each component is unclear, especially for students from high-poverty areas. The current study examined the relationship between components of PA and an early literacy measure among 192 kindergarten students from high-poverty urban elementary schools. A researcher assessed the students using the Quick Phonemic Awareness Assessment and a measure of letter-sound knowledge (LSK). The results showed that PA was highly correlated with LSK. Initial phoneme isolation, blending, and segmenting contributed significant variance to LSK, but rhyming did not. The data supported the Quick Phonemic Awareness Assessment as a measure of PA among an urban population but questioned the importance of rhyming as a predictive component of PA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)409-418
Number of pages10
JournalReading and Writing Quarterly
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 3 2018


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