This study evaluated the efficacy of an instructive feedback strategy for modeling letter names and sounds during presentation of positive feedback within a small-group phonological awareness intervention for preschoolers.


Two experiments were conducted using multiple-baseline designs across children and behaviors. Letter name and sound identification and performance on a phonological awareness fluency measure served as the primary outcome variables. Six children completed Experiment 1. A progressive time delay was added to instructive feedback to elicit a response from the 9 children in the second experiment.


In the first experiment, 6 children demonstrated gains on phonological awareness but not alphabet knowledge. With the addition of progressive time delay in the second experiment, all 9 children demonstrated gains on letter name and sound identification as well as phonological awareness skills.


Progressive time delay to prompt children's responses appears to bolster the effects of instructive feedback as an efficient strategy for modeling alphabet skills within a broader early literacy curriculum. Modeling alphabet skills did not detract from, and may have enhanced, phonological awareness instruction for preschoolers.


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