Investigating the effectiveness of a parent-led, home-based phonological awareness and vocabulary programme on 4-year-old children (2020)
Type of ContentTheses / Dissertations
Degree NameMaster of Arts
PublisherUniversity of Canterbury
AuthorsBennett, Hannah Coralieshow all
Children’s early language and literacy skills are critical for their later educational accomplishment. Phonological awareness and vocabulary knowledge are two early literacy skills which have been found to be highly predictive of children’s success in reading and writing. In early childhood, these abilities are often not explicitly taught by parents, and are instead learnt through observing and interacting with other language users. Children who have underdeveloped phonological awareness skills and vocabulary knowledge are more likely to experience problems in reading and writing once they start formal education. Early literacy intervention programmes frequently employ trained professionals, such as teachers or speech and language therapists, to support children’s development of these skills. There remains, however, a significant gap in the research around the development of early literacy skills such as phonological awareness and vocabulary within the home and family environment, and the facilitation of these skills by parents.
The goal of this research was to examine the effectiveness of an early literacy programme implemented in the home environment that focused on both phonological awareness skills and vocabulary knowledge. Fundamental to the programme was its implementation by whānau/parents during regular everyday activities. The study found parents to be effective at implementing an early literacy programme targeted at facilitating the development of children’s emergent literacy skills. The programme not only improved children’s early literacy skills, but also increased their interest in literacy activities, such as reading and writing. Parent reports also identified positive effects on children’s articulation, speech, engagement and overall confidence. Parents were positively affected by their participation in the programme as well, with reports of increased confidence in their own English proficiencies and literacy skill development.