Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Communication Sciences and Disorders

Document Type



Teachers are now being held to high accountability standards in reading instruction, yet studies show that teachers lack adequate knowledge in reading and phonological awareness principles (Moats, 1994, 2009; Spencer, Schuele, Guillot, & Lee, 2008). The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of visual representations of letter/sound production (i.e., Phonic Faces, Norris, 2001) on improving teacher knowledge of phonological awareness principles, and to determine if there is a concomitant improvement in phonological awareness and reading acquisition for children in those classrooms. Seventeen kindergarten teachers from a Mississippi school were pretested on phonological awareness principles, then divided into three groups: Phonic Faces Training (PFT), with visual strategies; Traditional Training (TT), with no visual strategies; and a No Training (NT) control group. The PFT and TT groups participated in one half-day training in phonological awareness principles. All groups were posttested immediately after training, and again 3 months later at the end of the school year. Gains in phonological awareness knowledge from pretest to posttest and delayed posttest were analyzed. School records of data from the January and April administrations of subtests from the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (Good & Kaminski, 2002) were compared for relative student gains. The results of this study revealed that all three groups made gains from pretest to posttest, and there were no significant differences between groups who were trained and the NT control group. In student performance, there was a significant difference in gain in Nonsense Word Fluency favoring the PFT group over the TT group and NT. The NT group did not differ from either of the inservice groups on gains in Nonsense Word Fluency. The NT teachers’ students gained the most in Letter Naming Fluency.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Norris, Janet A.