The nature of rhyme processing in preliterate children
Number of pages
SourceBritish Journal of Educational Psychology, 82, 4, (2012), pp. 672-689
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI OLO
SW OZ DCC CO
British Journal of Educational Psychology
SubjectLearning and Plasticity
Background. Rhyme awareness is one of the earliest forms of phonological awareness to develop and is assessed in many developmental studies by means of a simple rhyme task. The influence of more demanding experimental paradigms on rhyme judgment performance is often neglected. Addressing this issue may also shed light on whether rhyme processing is more global or analytical in nature. Aims. The aim of the present study was to examine whether lexical status and global similarity relations influenced rhyme judgments in kindergarten children and if so, if there is an interaction between these two factors. Sample. Participants were 41 monolingual Dutch-speaking preliterate kindergartners (average age 6.0 years) who had not yet received any formal reading education. Method. To examine the effects of lexical status and phonological similarity processing, the kindergartners were asked to make rhyme judgements on (pseudo) word targets that rhymed, phonologically overlapped or were unrelated to (pseudo) word primes. Results. Both a lexicality effect (pseudo-words were more difficult than words) and a global similarity effect (globally similar non-rhyming items were more difficult to reject than unrelated items) were observed. In addition, whereas in words the global similarity effect was only present in accuracy outcomes, in pseudo-words it was also observed in the response latencies. Furthermore, a large global similarity effect in pseudo-words correlated with a low score on short-term memory skills and grapheme knowledge. Conclusions. Increasing task demands led to a more detailed assessment of rhyme processing skills. Current assessment paradigms should therefore be extended with more demanding conditions. In light of the views on rhyme processing, we propose that a combination of global and analytical strategies is used to make a correct rhyme judgment.
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