Kindergarten cognitive intervention for reading difficulties: The PREP remediation in Greek
AuthorPapadopoulos, Timothy C.
SourceEuropean Journal of Psychology of Education
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This study reports two different experiments, as a part of a longitudinal study, that evaluated a cognitive intervention (PREP: PASS Reading Enhancement Program) to enhance early phonological processing skills, such as odd-word-out, segmenting, and blending, to kindergarten children at-rish for reading difficulties, in order to support the development of subsequent word reading skills. As part of the first experiment, thirty children aged 5.1, matched on the basis of age, gender, parental education levels, Non-verbal and Verbal IQ, were assigned to an experimental and a control group (15 in each group) and compared before and after the four-week intervention on a set of phonological and cognitive (successive and simultaneous processing) measures. The two groups of participants were screened to be significantly different at pre-test on the outcome measures. The results of the first experiment indicated that the experimental group performed equally well with the control group on all the measures of phonological and cognitive processing skills. Subsequent analysis focusing on aptitude-treatment interaction indicated that the PREP program appeared to be optimally successful in improving phonological skills in cases where the cognitive profile of the 5-year-olds matched the emphasis on successive information integration. The follow-up experiment examined the long-term effects of PREP remediation. Results showed that both the experimental and control groups performed equally well on word reading tasks and, more importantly, on the bridging PREP tasks, requiring knowledge of the alphabet and of letter-sound correspondences, despite that neither of the groups had been previously trained on the latter. Discussion concludes that intervention including inductive training on the distal cognitive processes, namely successive and simultaneous processing, appears to be effective for enhancing early word-reading skills to kindergarten children at-risk for reading difficulties, even in the absence of direct training of these skills in kindergarten.