Emergent Literacy in Thai Preschoolers: A Preliminary Study

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To investigate emergent literacy skills, including phonological awareness when presented with an initial phoneme-matching task and letter knowledge when presented with a letter-naming task in Thai preschoolers, and to identify key factors associated with those skills.


Four hundred twelve typically developing children in their final kindergarten year were enrolled in this study. Their emergent reading skills were measured by initial phoneme-matching and letter-naming tasks. Determinant variables, such as parents' education and teachers' perception, were collected by self-report questionnaires.


The mean score of the initial phoneme-matching task was 4.5 (45% of a total of 10 scores). The mean score of the letter-naming task without a picture representing the target letter name was 30.2 (68.6% of a total of 44 scores), which increased to 38.8 (88.2% of a total of 44 scores) in the letter-naming task when a picture representing the target letter name was provided. Both initial phoneme-matching and letter-naming abilities were associated with the mother's education and household income. Letter-naming ability was also influenced by home reading activities and gender.


This was a preliminary study into emergent literacy skills of Thai preschoolers. The findings supported the importance of focusing on phonological awareness and phonics, especially in the socioeconomic disadvantaged group.

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