Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders


Date of this Version



disabilPublished in Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools 36 (October 2005), pp. 285–293; doi: 10.1044/0161-1461(2005/029) Copyright © 2005 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Used by permission.


Purpose: Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) use phonological awareness assessments in many ways. This study examines the usefulness of these assessments in kindergarten and 2nd grade.
Method: Measures of phonological awareness and letter identification were administered in kindergarten, and measures of phonological awareness, phonetic decoding (i.e., nonword reading), and word reading were administered in 2nd and 4th grades to a sample of 570 children participating in a longitudinal study of reading and language impairments.
Results: A path analysis indicated that kindergarten measures of phonological awareness and letter identification provided information to the prediction of 2nd-grade reading. In 2nd grade, measures of reading offered information to the prediction of 4th-grade reading. Additionally, a reciprocal relationship was found between phonological awareness and word reading, with kindergarten phonological awareness predicting 2nd-grade word reading and, conversely, 2nd-grade word reading predicting 4th-grade phonological awareness.
Clinical Implications: Phonological awareness assessment provides information about reading in kindergarten but loses its predictive power at 2nd grade. At that time, phonological awareness and word reading become so highly correlated that phonological awareness does not add information to the prediction of 4th-grade reading.