This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Helping Preschool Children Acquire Critical Literacy Skills Through Parent Training and Intervention




Murray, Geralyn

Type of Degree



Curriculum and Teaching


Parents of young children often wonder how they can prepare their preschoolers to read. Many understand the importance of reading to their children and teaching the alphabet but they are unaware of another critical literacy skill needed for children to comprehend the reading process, phoneme awareness. In this study 34 preschool children, 3 to 5 years of age, received informal instruction from parents through conversations during story reading. Control group children discussed story vocabulary, plot, and a sequence of print concepts featured in a series of 8 short books. Experimental group children also discussed story vocabulary and plot, but instruction focused on identifying a new phoneme featured in each book. Pretests, posttests, and delayed posttests were administered to children before and after the intervention, and data were analyzed with ANCOVAs. Children in the experimental group made significantly greater gains than did children in the control group on three measures: two phoneme identity tests and the phonetic cue reading task, a measure of early decoding ability. Children in the treated control group made significantly greater gains on a print concepts test than did children in the experimental group. Results suggest that parents can be effective instructors in teaching children both print concepts and phoneme awareness.