Abstract: Introduction. Reading acquisition requires the integration of several skills from different cognitive domains. Many studies have shown that the adoption of specific supporting programmes during preschool enhances early language and meta-phonological skills (Dickinson et al., 2010; Goldstein et al., 2017; Walker & Carta, 2020). For example, some studies have reported that a meta-phonological intervention based on the syllabic approach, which is aimed at reinforcing the child’s syllabic awareness skills to learn reading and writing, supports preschool and school-age children in the automatisation of reading skills (Bertelli et al., 2013; Padovani et al., 2018). Furthermore, computer-based or multimedia intervention programmes in preschool and primary school are useful not only to maximally engage children in the learning process, but also to support teachers in their didactic activities (Cojacariu & Boghian, 2014; Neumann & Neumann, 2017). Aims. The objective of the present study is to explore the efficacy of “Simo-syl”, a 12-week multimedia intervention programme for enhancing Italian preschool children’s early literacy skills. “Simo-syl” consists in a series of meta-phonological games led by an invented character, the little fish “Simo”. We expected the children participating in the Simo-syl programme to reach higher meta-phonological scores as measured through a computer-based assessment tool as compared to the children not participating in the programme (control group). Method. Sixty-three Italian pre-schoolers aged between 4;10 and 5;9 years were randomly assigned to one of two groups: the Simosyl group participating in the intervention programme (n = 46) and the control group (n = 17). Children’s lexical, morpho-syntactical, meta-phonological, phonological, and phono-articulatory skills were assessed at the beginning of the last year of preschool using a standardised paper-based multidimensional assessment. Moreover, on the same day children’s meta-phonological skills (i.e., the ability to recognise syllables and vowels) and word reading skills were tested using a computer-based assessment. The intervention lasted 12 weeks and included three activities per week. Activities focused on syllable blending and spelling (week 1), on syllable recognition (weeks 2-11), and on vowel recognition (week 12). A few children in the Simo-syl group were tested again one week after the end of the intervention programme (Post-test) using the same computer-based assessment. Results. Preliminary analysis of the children’s scores before intervention showed that the children in the Simo-syl and in the control group displayed similar scores (all ps >.05). To test the efficacy of Simo-syl in enhancing the children’s meta-phonological skills, four 2‘2 repeated measures analyses of variance (ANOVAs) were conducted using time (before and after intervention) as within-subject factor and group (Simo-syl and control group) as between-subject factor. An interaction effect between time and group for the word reading task emerged (F(1, 28) = 6.83, p = .014, mp2= .196). Post-hoc tests with the Bonferroni correction revealed that the Simo-syl group showed a significant improvement in word reading after the intervention (t(28) = -6.811, p <.001). Discussion and Conclusion. The Simo-syl intervention is shown to enhance the children’s word reading skills in 12 weeks. Further studies with a larger number of participants are needed to confirm these results.

Simo-syl”: A computer-based programme to enhance child’s emergent literacy skills

Bastianello T.
;
Persici V.;Ferrari R.;Majorano M.
2021

Abstract

Abstract: Introduction. Reading acquisition requires the integration of several skills from different cognitive domains. Many studies have shown that the adoption of specific supporting programmes during preschool enhances early language and meta-phonological skills (Dickinson et al., 2010; Goldstein et al., 2017; Walker & Carta, 2020). For example, some studies have reported that a meta-phonological intervention based on the syllabic approach, which is aimed at reinforcing the child’s syllabic awareness skills to learn reading and writing, supports preschool and school-age children in the automatisation of reading skills (Bertelli et al., 2013; Padovani et al., 2018). Furthermore, computer-based or multimedia intervention programmes in preschool and primary school are useful not only to maximally engage children in the learning process, but also to support teachers in their didactic activities (Cojacariu & Boghian, 2014; Neumann & Neumann, 2017). Aims. The objective of the present study is to explore the efficacy of “Simo-syl”, a 12-week multimedia intervention programme for enhancing Italian preschool children’s early literacy skills. “Simo-syl” consists in a series of meta-phonological games led by an invented character, the little fish “Simo”. We expected the children participating in the Simo-syl programme to reach higher meta-phonological scores as measured through a computer-based assessment tool as compared to the children not participating in the programme (control group). Method. Sixty-three Italian pre-schoolers aged between 4;10 and 5;9 years were randomly assigned to one of two groups: the Simosyl group participating in the intervention programme (n = 46) and the control group (n = 17). Children’s lexical, morpho-syntactical, meta-phonological, phonological, and phono-articulatory skills were assessed at the beginning of the last year of preschool using a standardised paper-based multidimensional assessment. Moreover, on the same day children’s meta-phonological skills (i.e., the ability to recognise syllables and vowels) and word reading skills were tested using a computer-based assessment. The intervention lasted 12 weeks and included three activities per week. Activities focused on syllable blending and spelling (week 1), on syllable recognition (weeks 2-11), and on vowel recognition (week 12). A few children in the Simo-syl group were tested again one week after the end of the intervention programme (Post-test) using the same computer-based assessment. Results. Preliminary analysis of the children’s scores before intervention showed that the children in the Simo-syl and in the control group displayed similar scores (all ps >.05). To test the efficacy of Simo-syl in enhancing the children’s meta-phonological skills, four 2‘2 repeated measures analyses of variance (ANOVAs) were conducted using time (before and after intervention) as within-subject factor and group (Simo-syl and control group) as between-subject factor. An interaction effect between time and group for the word reading task emerged (F(1, 28) = 6.83, p = .014, mp2= .196). Post-hoc tests with the Bonferroni correction revealed that the Simo-syl group showed a significant improvement in word reading after the intervention (t(28) = -6.811, p <.001). Discussion and Conclusion. The Simo-syl intervention is shown to enhance the children’s word reading skills in 12 weeks. Further studies with a larger number of participants are needed to confirm these results.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11562/1045001
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