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LINGUIST List 18.2362

Wed Aug 08 2007

Diss: Lang Acquisition/Psycholing: Kyritsi: 'Phonological Awareness...'

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        1.    Evi Kyritsi, Phonological Awareness in Greek Deaf Children

Message 1: Phonological Awareness in Greek Deaf Children
Date: 06-Aug-2007
From: Evi Kyritsi <e.kyritsirdg.ac.uk>
Subject: Phonological Awareness in Greek Deaf Children
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Institution: University of Reading
Program: School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2007

Author: Evi Kyritsi

Dissertation Title: Phonological Awareness in Greek Deaf Children

Linguistic Field(s): Language Acquisition

Subject Language(s): Greek (ell)

Dissertation Director:
Susan Edwards
Deborah M. James
Spyridoula Varlokosta

Dissertation Abstract:

The aim of this study was to investigate the development of phonological
awareness (PA) in deaf children who read in the transparent Greek
orthography. Data were collected at the beginning and at the end of the
school year. Participants were two groups of deaf children (Deaf Nursery,
Deaf Primary) and two comparison groups of hearing children (Hearing
Nursery, Hearing Primary). PA, letter-sound knowledge and word recognition
were assessed.

The results showed that, contrary to hearing children, some letter-sound
knowledge may be necessary for PA to develop in deaf children. Although the
overall performance of the deaf participants on the PA tasks was lower than
the performance of the hearing participants, the deaf and hearing groups
showed similar progress in PA over time. The smallest difference between
the deaf and hearing groups was on phoneme awareness. Based on these
results, it is hypothesized that in deaf children, as in hearing children,
orthographic transparency may facilitate the development of PA, especially
at the phonemic level. As a conclusion, a model is proposed that shows how
orthographic transparency, letter-sound knowledge and other factors might
impact on the development of PA in deaf children.

The structure of this thesis is as follows. Chapter 1 gives an introduction
to the current study and sets out a context for the two main themes:
phonological awareness and deafness. Chapter 2 focuses on research findings
from hearing children. Evidence on PA in deaf individuals is reviewed in
Chapter 3, which ends with a detailed description of the research questions
and the predictions in the present study. The methodology of the study is
described in Chapter 4. Information is provided on participant
characteristics, the materials used and the procedure employed. Chapter 5
explains how knowledge of the words that comprised the stimuli influenced
participants' performance on the PA tasks and describes the procedure that
was followed in order to control for the effect of vocabulary knowledge.
The results that were obtained following this data reduction are presented
in Chapters 6 (hearing participants) and 7 (deaf participants). In each
chapter, results on the PA battery are presented first and results relative
to PA and orthographic knowledge are presented next. Chapter 7 additionally
includes a section in which the performance of the deaf children is
compared to the performance of the hearing children. The findings from the
study are discussed in Chapter 8 and organized in two sections according to
participant groups (i.e. hearing vs. deaf). The limitations of the study
are acknowledged, and the theoretical and practical implications are also
given. Chapter 8 ends with recommendations for future research and with a
final conclusion on the study.

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