Hostname: page-component-7d684dbfc8-8ckrc Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2023-09-26T11:40:33.284Z Has data issue: false Feature Flags: { "corePageComponentGetUserInfoFromSharedSession": true, "coreDisableEcommerce": false, "coreDisableSocialShare": false, "coreDisableEcommerceForArticlePurchase": false, "coreDisableEcommerceForBookPurchase": false, "coreDisableEcommerceForElementPurchase": false, "coreUseNewShare": true, "useRatesEcommerce": true } hasContentIssue false

Quantifying phonological representation abilities in Spanish-speaking preschool children

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 October 2010

University of Texas Health Science Center
University of Houston
University of Texas Health Science Center
University of Houston
University of Texas Health Science Center
University of Texas Health Science Center
ADDRESS FOR CORRESPONDENCE Jason L. Anthony, Department of Pediatrics, Children's Learning Institute, University of Texas Health Science Center, 7000 Fannin Street, Suite 2377, Houston, TX 77030. E-mail:


Individual differences in abilities to form, access, and hone phonological representations of words are implicated in the development of oral and written language. This study addressed three important gaps in the literature concerning measurement of individual differences in phonological representation. First, we empirically examined the dimensionality of phonological representation abilities. Second, we empirically compared how well typical measures index various representation-related phonological processing abilities. Third, we supply data on Spanish phonological representation abilities of incipient Spanish–English bilingual children to address the need for information on phonological representation across languages. Specifically, nine measures of accessibility to and precision of phonological presentations were administered to 129 preschool children in the United States. Confirmatory factor analyses validated three separate but correlated a priori phonological processing abilities, that is, efficiency of accessing phonological codes, precision of phonological codes as reflected in speech production, and precision of phonological codes as reflected in speech perception. Most prototypic measures were strong indicators of their respective representation-related phonological ability. We discuss how the current data in Spanish compares to limited data in English, and the implications for the organization of phonological representations abilities.

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2010

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)



Aghara, R. G., Anthony, J. L., & Dunkelberger, M. J. (2008). English and Spanish speaking preschoolers’ articulation in sentence imitation tasks. Paper presented at the annual convention of the American Speech–Language–Hearing Association.Google Scholar
Andrews, N., & Fey, M. E. (1986). Analysis of the speech of phonologically impaired children in two sampling conditions. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in the Schools, 17, 187198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Anthony, J. L., & Francis, D. J. (2005). Development of phonological awareness. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 14, 255259.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Anthony, J. L., Williams, J. M., Aghara, R. G., Dunkelberger, M. J., & Novak, B. (2010). Assessment of individual differences in phonological representation. Reading and Writing, 23, 969994.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Anthony, J. L., Williams, J. M., McDonald, R., Corbitt-Shindler, D., Carlson, C. D., & Francis, D. J. (2006). Phonological processing and emergent literacy in Spanish speaking preschool children. Annals of Dyslexia, 56, 239270.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Anthony, J. L., Williams, J. M., McDonald, R., & Francis, D. J. (2007). Phonological processing and emergent literacy in younger and older preschool children. Annals of Dyslexia, 57, 113137.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Barton, D. (1980). Phonemic perception in young children. In Yeni-Komshian, G. H., Kavanaugh, J. F., & Ferguson, C. A. A. (Eds.), Child phonology: Vol. 2. Perception (pp. 97116). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
Bedore, L. M., & Leonard, L. B. (2001). Grammatical morphology deficits in Spanish-speaking children with specific language impairment. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 44, 905924.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Best, C. (1995). A direct realist view of cross-language speech perception. In Strange, W. (Ed.), Speech perception and linguistic experience: Theoretical and methodological issues (pp. 171204). Baltimore, MD: York Press.Google Scholar
Bird, J., & Bishop, D. V. M. (1992). Perception and awareness of phonemes in phonologically impaired children. European Journal of Disorders of Communication, 27, 289311.Google ScholarPubMed
Blasdell, R., & Jensen, P. (1970). Stress and word position as determinants of imitation in first-language learners. Journal of Speech and Hearing Research, 13, 184192.Google ScholarPubMed
Bosch, L., & Sebastián-Gallés, N. (2003). Simultaneous bilingualism and the perception of a language-specific vowel contrast in the first year of life. Language and Speech, 46, 217243.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Bosch, L., & Serra, M. (1997). Grammatical morphology deficits of Spanish-speaking children with specific language impairment. In Baker, A., Beers, M., Bol, G., de Jong, J., & Leemans, G. (Eds.), Child language disorders in a cross-linguistic perspective: Proceedings of the 4th Symposium of the European Group on Child Language Disorders (pp. 3345). Amsterdam: University of Amsterdam, Institute for General Linguistics.Google Scholar
Brownell, R. (2001). Expressive One-Word Picture Vocabulary Test: Spanish bilingual edition. Novata, CA: Academic Therapy Publications.Google Scholar
Caravolas, M., & Bruck, M. (1993). Effect of oral and written language input on children's phonological awareness. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 55, 130.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Carroll, J. M., & Snowling, M. J. (2004). Language and phonological skills in children at high risk of reading difficulties. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 45, 631640.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Cossu, G., Shankweiler, D., Liberman, I. Y., Katz, L., & Tola, G. (1988). Awareness of phonological segments and reading ability in Italian children. Applied Psycholinguistics, 9, 116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Davis, N. (2008). Evaluation of phonological sensitivity in prechool age children. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Vanderbilt University.Google Scholar
Demont, E., & Gombert, J. E. (1996). Phonological awareness as a predictor of recoding skills and syntactic awareness as a predictor of comprehension skills. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 66, 315332.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Durgunoglu, A., & Oney, B. (1999). Cross-linguistic comparison of phonological awareness and word recognition. Reading and Writing, 11, 281299.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Edwards, J., Beckman, M. E., & Munson, B. (2004). The interaction between vocabulary size and phonotactic probability effects on children's production accuracy and fluency in nonword repetition. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 47, 421436.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Eisenberg, A. R. (1986). Teasing: Verbal play in two Mexicano homes. In Schiefflin, B. B. & Ochs, E. (Eds.), Language socialization across cultures. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Elbro, C. (1990). Psycholinguistic causes of developmental dyslexia. Skolepsykologi, 27, 427447.Google Scholar
Elbro, C., Borstrom, I., & Petersen, D. K. (1998). Predicting dyslexia from kindergarten. The importance of distinctness of phonological representations of lexical items. Reading Research Quarterly, 33, 3660.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Elbro, C., & Pallesen, B. R. (2002). The quality of phonological representations and phonological awareness: A causal link? In Verhoevern, L., Elbro, C., & Reitsma, P. (Eds.), Precursors to functional literacy (pp. 1732). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Elbro, C., & Petersen, D. K. (2004). Long-term effects of phoneme awareness and letter sound training: An intervention study with children at risk for dyslexia. Journal of Educational Psychology, 96, 660670.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Flege, J. E. (1995). Second language speech learning: Theory, findings and problems. In Strange, W. (Ed.), Speech perception and linguistic experience: Theoretical and methodological issues (pp. 233277). Baltimore, MD: York Press.Google Scholar
Fowler, A. E. (1991). How early phonological development might set the stage for phoneme awareness. In Bradey, S. A. & Shankweiler, D. P. (Eds.), Phonological processes in literacy (pp. 97117). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
Fowler, A. E., & Swainson, B. (2004). Relationships of naming skills to reading, memory, and receptive vocabulary: Evidence of imprecise phonological representations of words by poor readers. Annals of Dyslexia, 54, 247280.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Foy, J. G., & Mann, V. A. (2001). Does strength of phonological representations predict phonological awareness in preschool children? Applied Psycholinguistics, 22, 301325.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Genesee, F. (1989). Early bilingual development: One language or two? Journal of Child Language, 16, 161179.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Genesee, F., Paradis, J., & Crago, M. (2004). Dual language development and disorders: A handbook of bilingualism and second language learning. Baltimore, MD: Brookes.Google Scholar
German, D. J., & Newman, R. S. (2007). Oral reading skills of children with oral language (word-finding) difficulties. Reading Psychology, 28, 397442.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gildersleeve-Neumann, C. E., Pena, E. D., Davis, B. L., & Kester, E. S. (2009). Effects on L1 during early acquisition of L2: Speech changes in Spanish at first English contact. Bilingualism: Language & Cognition, 12, 259272.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Goldfield, B. (2000). Nouns before verbs in comprehension vs. production: The view from pragmatics. Journal of Child Language, 27, 501520.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Goldstein, B. A., Fabiano, L., & Washington, P. S. (2005). Phonological skills in predominantly English-speaking, predominantly Spanish-speaking, and Spanish–English bilingual children. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in the Schools, 36, 201218.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Goldstein, B. A., & Iglesias, A. (1999, February). Phonological patterns in bilingual (Spanish–English) children. Paper presented at the 1999 Texas Research Symposium on Language Diversity, Austin, TX.Google Scholar
Goldstein, B. A., & Iglesias, A. (2001). The effect of dialect on phonological analysis: Evidence from Spanish-speaking children. American Journal Speech Language Pathology, 10, 394406.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Goldstein, B. A., & Washington, P. S. (2001). An initial investigation of phonological patterns in typically developing 4-year-old Spanish–English bilingual children. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 32, 153164.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Grosjean, F. (1982). Life with two languages. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
Hogan, T. (2006). Phonological–lexical processing and word learning in preschool children differing in phonological awareness. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Kansas.Google Scholar
Hu, L., & Bentler, P. M. (1999). Cutoff criteria for fit indexes in covariance structure analysis: Conventional criteria versus new alternatives. Structural Equation Modeling, 6, 155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Iglesias, A., & Anderson, N. (1993). Dialectal variations. In Bernthal, J. & Bankson, N. (Eds.), Articulation and phonological disorders (3rd ed., pp. 147161). New York: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
Jacobson, P. F., & Schwartz, R. (2002). Morphology in incipient bilingual Spanish-speaking preschool children with specific language impairment. Applied Psycholinguistics, 23, 2341.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Keshavarz, M., & Ingram, D. (2002). The early phonological development of a Farsi–English bilingual child. International Journal of Bilingualism, 6, 255269.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kester, E. S., Bedore, L., & Peña, E. (2001, February). Verb use in Spanish-speaking preschoolers with specific language impairment. Paper presented at the Texas Research Symposium on Language Diversity, Austin, TX.Google Scholar
Landry, S., Anthony, J. L., Swank, P., & Monsegue-Bailey, P. (2009). Effectiveness of comprehensive professional development for teachers of at-risk preschoolers. Journal of Educational Psychology, 101, 345358.Google Scholar
Landry, S., Swank, P., Anthony, J. L., & Assel, M. (in press). An experimental study evaluating a state funded Pre-kindergarten program: Bringing together subsidized childcare, public school and Head Start. Reading and Writing.Google Scholar
Lewis, M. P. (Ed.). 2009. Ethnologue: Languages of the world (16th ed.). Dallas, TX: SIL International.Google Scholar
Liberman, A. M. (1999). The reading researcher and the reading teacher need the right theory of speech. Scientific Studies of Reading, 3, 95111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lonigan, C. J., Farver, J. M., Eppe, S., Wagner, R. K., Torgesen, J. K., & Rashotte, C. (2002). Preschool Comprehensive Test of Phonological and Print Processing: Spanish version (P-CTOPPP-S). Tallahassee, FL: Author.Google Scholar
Martin, N., & Saffran, E. M. (2002). The relationship of input and output phonological processing: An evaluation of models and evidence to support them. Aphasiology, 16, 107150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
McCardle, P., Scarborough, H., & Catts, H. (2001). Predicting, explaining and preventing children's reading difficulties. Learning Disabilities Research and Practice, 16, 230239.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Metsala, J. L. (1997). Spoken word recognition in reading disabled children. Journal of Educational Psychology, 89, 159169.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Metsala, J. L., & Walley, A. C. (1998). Spoken vocabulary growth and the segmental restructuring of lexical representations: Precursors to phonemic awareness and early reading ability. In Metsala, J. L. & Ehri, L. C. (Eds.), Word recognition in beginning literacy (pp. 89120). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
Morrison, J. A., & Shriberg, L. D. (1992). Articulation testing versus conversational speech sampling. Journal of Speech and Hearing Research, 35, 259273.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Newman, R. S., & Ratner, N. B. (2007). The role of selected lexical factors on confrontation naming accuracy speed and fluency in adults who do and do not stutter. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 50, 196213.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Paradis, J. (2001). Do bilingual two-year-olds have separate phonological systems? International Journal of Bilingualism, 5, 1938.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Peña, E., Gutierrez-Clellen, V., Iglesias, A., Goldstein, B., & Bedore, L. (2010). Bilingual English–Spanish Assessment. Manuscript in preparation.Google Scholar
Peña, E., & Quinn, R. (1997). Task familiarity: Effects on the test performance of Puerto Rican and African American children. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in the Schools, 28, 323332.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Restrepo, M. A., & Gutierrez-Clellen, V. (2001). Article use in Spanish-speaking children with specific language impairment. Journal of Child Language, 28, 433452.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Roberts, T. A. (2005). Articulation accuracy and vocabulary size contributions to phonemic awareness and word reading in English language learners. Journal of Educational Psychology, 97, 601616.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rvachew, S., Ohberg, A., Grawburg, M., & Heyding, J. (2003). Phonological awareness and phonemic perception in 4-year old children with delayed expressive phonology skills. American Journal of Speech–Language Pathology, 12, 463471.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Slobin, D. I. (1983). The acculturation and development of language in Mexican American children. Final report (Grant NIE-G-81-0103). Washington, DC: US National Institute of Education.Google Scholar
Sundara, M., Polka, L., & Molnar, M. (2008). Development of coronal stop perception: Bilingual infants keep pace with their monolingual peers. Cognition, 108, 232242.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Sutherland, D., & Gillon, G. T. (2005). Assessment of phonological representations in children with speech impairment. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in the Schools, 36, 294307.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Swan, D., & Goswami, U. (1997). Phonological awareness deficits in developmental dyslexia and the phonological representations hypothesis. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 66, 1841.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Vihman, M., & Croft, W. (2007). Phonological development: Toward a “radical” templatic phonology. Linguistics, 45, 683725.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Vihman, M. M. (1980). Sound change and child language. In Traugott, E. C., Labrum, R., & Shepherd, S. (Eds.), Papers from the 4th International Conference on Historical Linguistics. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar
Volterra, V., & Taschner, T. (1978). The acquisition and development of languages by bilingual children. Journal of Child Language, 5, 311326.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wagner, R. K., Torgeson, J. K., Rashotte, C. A., Hecht, S. A., Barker, T. A., Burgess, S. R., et al. (1997). Changing relations between phonological processing abilities and word-level reading as children develop from beginning to skilled readers: A five-year longitudinal study. Developmental Psychology, 33, 468479.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wesseling, R., & Reitsma, P. (2001). Preschool phonological representations and development of reading skills. Annals of Dyslexia, 51, 203229.CrossRefGoogle Scholar