Learning words by sight, not sound, is helping children with Down syndrome
http://www.tes.co.uk/2625185Children with Down syndrome need to start learning to read in a different way from others. Whereas the typically developing child will learn their first language from listening to and imitating speech, children with Down syndrome learn better by the visual route: seeing the word on the page and understanding its meaning. Although they can progress to learning by the phonic method, they should not start with it.
In contrast, there is this small research study. The children were given whole-words to memorise as part of the mixture which included synthetic phonics. I wonder what the results would have been if they had used a pure SP approach?
Phonological Intervention Programme for Children with Down Syndrome
It is well known that children’s early reading development depends on letter sound knowledge and phonological awareness (an ability to reflect on speech sounds in words). Our research with children with Down syndrome (DS) has shown that most children know many letter sounds and have some awareness of speech sounds. However, few children use these skills when they see new words.
Aim of the intervention study
Our overall aim was to improve the children’s reading skills by training phonological (sound) awareness, letter knowledge and speech sound production, linking this through to reading experience.
The Phonological Intervention Programme builds on two existing programmes: Jolly Phonics and Reading Intervention.
http://www.york.ac.uk/res/crl/CRL-DSInt ... ER2005.pdfThis study has shown that :
• Children with DS benefit from a structured and intensive phonological intervention programme that combines work on letter-sound knowledge, sound awareness, speech production and whole word recognition in the context of reading books.
The researchers Cossu, Rossini and Marshall found that Italian Down's syndrome children could 'read' quite competently having been taught the transparent sound-symbol correspondences of the Italian alphabet code but they lacked comprehension of what they read.