The Effect of Phoneme Awareness Instruction on Students in Small Group and Whole Class Settings

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Reading and Language Arts


Benita A. Blachman


Early literacy, Group size, Kindergarten, Phoneme awareness, Small group, Whole class

Subject Categories



Phoneme awareness instruction plays a crucial role in reading acquisition for young children. While this early literacy topic has been studied for over 30 years, and cited by the National Reading Panel Report (2000) as an important area for further research, no reports to date explore the influence of instructional group size on phoneme awareness learning outcomes in children. Therefore, the purpose of the present study was to determine the impact of Small Group Instruction (SGI) compared to Whole Class Instruction (WCI) on phoneme awareness outcomes from phoneme awareness with letter sound instruction provided to 66 kindergarten children from a low-income, urban district in upstate New York. ANOVA and ANCOVA results from this pretest posttest quasi-experimental study revealed significant learning across 10-weeks for both group sizes. However, no significant advantage was evident for SGI over WCI in phoneme awareness, letter knowledge, reading, or spelling. The implications of these findings are discussed in the context of providing whole class phoneme awareness instruction as an alternative to traditional small group or one-to-one phoneme awareness instruction.


Surface provides description only. Full text is available to ProQuest subscribers. Ask your Librarian for assistance.