Transfer Among Phonological Manipulation Skills

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Skills that require the manipulation of sounds that make up words are closely associated with the process of learning to read. This study involved an experimental analysis of the relations among phonological manipulation skills. Several of these skills were taught to 35 Head Start preschool children (M age = 5.2 years), and the degree to which learning 1 of these skills resulted in improved skill performance and accelerated learning of a 2nd skill was investigated. Instruction produced robust gains in skill performance and generalization of skills to novel instances. Posttest scores and data on students' efficiency of learning, however, offered no evidence of transfer across phonological manipulation skills. These results imply that the class of phonological manipulation skills does not have a simple structure and suggest that task and subject characteristics must be considered in predicting transfer among such skills.

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