Developing sound skills for reading: Teaching phonological awareness to preschoolers with hearing loss

Megan Gilliver*, Linda Cupples, Teresa Y.C. Ching, Greg Leigh, Miriam Gunnourie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


This study evaluated the effectiveness of intervention for developing deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH) preschoolers' phonological awareness (PA) skills. Thirty children (mean age 57 months) with aided, bilateral hearing loss (and who primarily communicated using spoken English) were recruited in the year prior to commencing formal schooling. The study used an experimental design with participants assigned to one of two intervention conditions-vocabulary instruction, or explicit PA instruction. Both intervention programs were based around items drawn from a common word set and presented over six short weekly sessions by a researcher using a computer tablet. Overall, participants showed greater knowledge of word items used in interventions and improved performance on rhyme-based PA skills following intervention. However, the PA group showed significantly greater improvement than the vocabulary group for both overall PA performance and for consonant-vowel-consonant blending. DHH children's order of PA skill development was also examined, with comparison to that shown for children without hearing loss. The results provide early encouraging evidence about the potential benefit of explicit PA instruction for this population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)268-279
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016


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