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Recognition of vowel sounds as a function of phoneme-grapheme context

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Title: Recognition of vowel sounds as a function of phoneme-grapheme context
Author: Johnson, Patricia
Degree Master of Arts - MA
Program Language and Literacy Education
Copyright Date: 1982
Abstract: The effects on vowel recognition of long vs_. short vowel sounds presented in isolation as opposed to within the context of beginning and ending phonograms were investigated. Subjects were 90 first- and 90 second-grade pupils who were classified as high, average, or low with respect to reading ability. The Gates-MacGinitie Reading Test, 1978, Canadian edition, was used to designate reading ability. The experimental task was comprised of a Vowel-Discrimination Test designed for the study. It contained 14 subtests which corresponded to the treatment conditions in the experiment. For every item on each of the 14 tests, subjects were required to listen to the examiner pronounce either a long or a short vowel sound. The auditory presentation was varied so that the vowel sound was pronounced in isolation, in a beginning phonogram (for example, pa) or in an ending phonogram such as (ap). Following the auditory presentation of the vowel sound, each subject was required to select the vowel that had been pronounced from an array of five vowel letters that was graphically presented on a response sheet. This graphic presentation was varied to include vowel letters printed in isolation or imbedded in a beginning or ending phonogram. An example of a response item for each of these variations follows: a-e-i-o-u (Isolation; ep ap op ip up (Ending Phonogram); and pu pe pa po pi (Beginning Phonogram). The performance of each subject on the Vowel Discrimination Test was determined by calculating the proportion of items correct for each of the 14 test conditions. The following results were found for the short vowel tests. (1) The main effect of grade level was not significant. (2) Performance was superior when short vowel sounds were pronounced in isolation as opposed to in a phonogram, either beginning or ending. (3) When short vowel sounds were pronounced in beginning vs. ending phonograms, recognition performance was better under the ending phonogram condition for grade-two subjects only. (4) Given that a short vowel sound was pronounced in an ending phonogram, recognition performance was better when vowel letters were graphically presented in isolation. However, this enhanced performance was restricted to grade-two subjects. Grade-one subjects performed equally well under both conditions. (5) When a short vowel sound was pronounced In a beginning phonogram, recognition performance was better if the graphic presentation was a vowel letter printed in isolation. (6) Given that a short vowel sound was pronounced in isolation, enhanced recognition performance, when vowel letters were also printed in isolation, was restricted to grade-one subjects of average and low reading ability. Analysis of the long vowel data revealed the following findings. (1) The main effect of grade level was not significant. However, the main effect of ability level was significant. The effect for ability level was attributable almost entirely to the difference among grade-one students. (2) Subjects performed better when long vowels were pronounced in beginning vs. ending phonograms. (.3) When long vowel sounds were pronounced in isolation, recognition performance was better when the vowel letters were graphically presented in isolation as contrasted with beginning and ending phonograms. The following conclusions may be drawn from these findings. (1) Long vowel sounds are more easily recognized than short vowel sounds. Therefore, long vowel instruction should perhaps precede short vowel instruction. (2) The phonogram is not the easiest unit in which to recognize vowel sounds. Recognition performance was usually better when the vowel sounds were pronounced in isolation rather than in beginning or ending phonograms.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2429/23104
Series/Report no. UBC Retrospective Theses Digitization Project [http://www.library.ubc.ca/archives/retro_theses/]
Scholarly Level: Graduate

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