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Previous research has suggested that learning to read irregular words depends upon knowledge of a word’s meaning and the ability to correct imperfect decoding attempts by reference to the known pronunciations of a word. In an experimental training study, 84 children ages 5–7 years were randomly assigned to an intervention or control group. Children in the intervention group participated in a 4-week programme in which they were taught to correct mispronunciations of spoken words as well as being taught the meanings of those words. Children in the control group received no additional teaching. The intervention group made significant gains in their ability to correct mispronunciations and to read and define the taught words; these gains also generalised to a comparable set of untaught control words. Children can be taught to correct errors in the pronunciation of irregular words, and this may produce generalised effects on learning to read.


Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education

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