Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Education


Faculty of Education

First Advisor

Dr Mary Rohl


A number of previous research studies have examined the relationship between syntactic awareness and reading, but few training studies have been reported. In the present study, a 1 a-week training study employing an experimental design, was conducted with 34 Year 1 and 38 Year 2 children to determine whether training in syntactic awareness increased levels of syntactic awareness and reading performance. Prior to the commencement of training, all children were pretested in syntactic awareness as measured by an oral correction task, and in reading. On the basis of these tests, matched pairs of subjects were assigned to experimental and control groups at each Year level. At the conclusion of the training period all subjects were posttested in alternate forms of the same tests used at pretest. The results showed that there were no significant differences between the experimental and control groups, of either grade, at posttest, in syntactic awareness and reading performance. A significant main effect for grade was recorded in the syntactic awareness task, with the Year 2 children performing at a higher /eve/than the Year 1 children. When pretest and posttest scores in syntactic awareness and reading performance were compared, all children, whether they received training or not, improved significantly in their levels of syntactic awareness and also their levels of reading performance. It is suggested that the Improvement in syntactic awareness across all groups may have reflected the influence of the particular curriculum documents used in Western Australian schools. It is further suggested that more training studies are needed to examine the effects which different language curricula may have on the development of syntactic awareness in early readers.

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