Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

School Name

Annsley Frazier Thornton School of Education



Major Advisor

Dr. Grant Smith

Second Advisor

Dr. Elizabeth Dinkins


Reading is a developmental process that builds on complex cognitive processes and starts long before children enter school. This present study investigated the impact of supplemental phonemic awareness lessons on phonological awareness and spelling development among kindergarten and first graders. The Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (CTOPP-2) measured phonological awareness. The Kindergarten Inventory of Developmental Spelling (KIDS) measured spelling development in kindergarten students. The Developmental Spelling Analysis (DSA) measured spelling development in first grade. Participants in the treatment group received 16 weeks of weekly word study instruction and 10-15 minute daily phonemic awareness instruction. A mixed design full factorial ANOVA with one 2- level within factor (fall and spring) and one 2-level between factor (treatment - control) was used to estimate the main effects and interaction. Results showed measurable phonological awareness and spelling development growth for both kindergarten and first-grade students. The effect of the intervention was unclear. Despite random assignment, there were significant differences between groups in the pretest measures violating the assumption of heterogeneity. Correlation results indicated that each measure had a significant positive relationship for phonological awareness and spelling development. Two conditions may have impacted the lack of evidence supporting the efficacy of supplemental phonemic awareness instruction. Treatment and control groups started at various levels. The researcher lacked the experimental controls to prevent bleed-over effects.