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Psicologia: Reflexão e Crítica

Print version ISSN 0102-7972On-line version ISSN 1678-7153


CARDOSO-MARTINS, Cláudia  and  FRITH, Uta. Phonological awareness and reading ability in down syndrome. Psicol. Reflex. Crit. [online]. 1999, vol.12, n.1, pp.209-224. ISSN 0102-7972.

The present study investigated the relationship between phonological awareness and reading ability in Down syndrome (DS). Thirty-three individuals with DS participated in the study. They all had begun to read and all showed clear signs of phonological recoding skills. Thirty-three normal children, matched with the individuals with DS for reading ability, served as controls. The results contradicted Cossu, Rossini and Marshall’s (1993) claim that individuals with DS can learn to read in the absence of phonological awareness. Although the individuals with DS performed significantly worse than the normal children on the tasks that were used to assess phonological awareness, they performed quite well on a simple task of phoneme detection. In fact, analyses of the individual scores did not reveal a significant difference between the two groups on that task. In addition, analyses of the relationship between phonological awareness and reading ability yielded the same results for the two groups of subjects. For both groups, performance on a task that required the ability to explicitly manipulate phonemes correlated significantly with reading ability, even after individual differences for letter name knowledge and nonverbal intelligence were controlled.

Keywords : Down syndrome; reading ability; phonological awareness.

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