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Parent teaching and the development of reading skills of at-risk readers Ottley, Pamela M.

Abstract

This study addressed the questions of whether parents can give effective phonological and phonics skills instruction to their own young children, who are at risk for reading difficulties, and whether any positive changes in child attitude and parent confidence occur as a result of the instruction. Early phonological and phonics skills instruction is known to be effective for children at-risk for reading difficulties, but is not always provided in schools. Two groups of families (experimental and "waiting list" control) used a home program (providing phonological and phonics skills instruction, and Paired Reading guidance) for two separate, daily, ten-minute activity and reading sessions, for ten weeks. The program also included a process to address reading motivation, whereby parents used the language of strategies of mediation based on Vygotsky's social learning theories. Significant Time by Group interaction effects were calculated for Word Attack and Phoneme Deletion (Initial Sound). Parent and child pre-test and post-test questionnaires explored changes in motivation and attitude to reading. There were significant positive changes in child attitude to reading, and parent perceptions of progress. Small but significant correlations were also found between parent perceptions and treatment integrity, and between treatment integrity and achievement outcomes. It was concluded that the study provides limited support for the idea that parents of grade 1 children at-risk for reading difficulties can give instruction effectively when given detailed information about all three aspects of early reading.

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