Individual Language Awareness Testing and Early Reading

  • Marc Spoelders
  • Lut van Damme


Developmental psycholinguistic research makes it abundantly clear that in normal circumstances, given an educationally adequate support, young children make pronounced progress in the use of language. When they are to learn to read, their language production and comprehension abilities seem to have reached a point from which reading, too, would seem an attainable undertaking. Too many children, however, lose this battle. Traditionally, educationalists have paid much attention to perceptual and motor factors for explaining reading failure. However, a relatively important portion of reading failure does not seem to be based on malfunctioning in these areas. The hypothesis is advanced that reading requires also metalinguistic awareness, the reflection on language and linguistic behaviour as objects of thought, as things that could be analyzed. Although the precise nature of the relationship between metalinguistic awareness and the acquisition of reading skill has not yet been revealed recent theorizing in this domain attributes explaining value to the former (for a review, see bibliography). Based on these theoretical considerations we formulate the following hypothesis:

Children who have a higher level of metalinguistic awareness when they begin learning to read, will achieve better in reading than children who manifest a lower level of metalinguistic awareness.


Reading Instruction Phoneme Awareness Reading Achievement Comprehension Ability Wrong Sentence 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marc Spoelders
    • 1
  • Lut van Damme
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratorium voor PedagogiekRijksuniversiteit GentBelgium

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