The synergistic effect of teaching a combined explicit movement and phonological awareness program to preschool aged students
Faculty of Education and Arts
School of Education/Centre for Research in Early Childhood
While movement is critical to young children's development, there is an ongoing debate about the time devoted to teaching movement in early childhood classrooms. Nevertheless, research has established a link between specific precursor motor skills and early literacy development. This study investigated the synergistic effect of practising specific movements through daily actions and songs alongside the explicit teaching of phonological awareness and phonics in 400 preschool children (aged between four and five). Results indicate that students who received the combined intervention of explicit phonological awareness and movement were the only group to perform significantly better than the control group on measures of phonological awareness, invented spelling and spelling. An interesting outcome was that the literacy/movement group and not the movement group made significantly larger gains for the movement measure. These findings suggest that teaching pre-primary aged children early literacy and movement in tandem is more beneficial than teaching either in isolation.