The Impact of Daily Writing on Kindergarten Students’ Phonemic Awareness
This doctoral study is dedicated to early childhood teachers who truly understand the importance of authentic and meaningful daily writing, and to kindergarten writers who have inspired me to share the value of emerging writing and developmental spelling with others.
I would like to acknowledge my mentor, Dr. Ashraf Esmail, and my committee members, Dr. Charles Duffy and Dr. Glendolyn Duhon-JeanLouis, for sharing their knowledge and expertise through this process. Dr. Esmail, you were a wonderful sounding board and support system to have along the way. I would like to acknowledge my family and friends for their support through this journey. Your understanding provided the encouragement I needed, even during those moments when researching, writing, and editing were overwhelming. I would also like to acknowledge the administrators and staff of the Lake- Lehman School District for their continued support and their understanding in the importance of professional development. Lastly, I would like to acknowledge my best friend and fiancé, who stood alongside me during the entire journey. Your positive thoughts and spiritual guidance reminded me daily of my desire in completing this degree.
The purpose of this quantitative study was to determine whether or not a significant relationship exists among daily writing and student growth in phonemic awareness. The study also considered the impact of writing on the phonemic awareness development of students at different literacy levels. Although studies exist on the importance of phonemic awareness development in reading acquisition, a deficit exists examining the correlation among daily writing and the phonemic awareness development of students representing different literacy levels. Forty students in an experimental group engaged in daily writing opportunities, while 37 students in the control group engaged in less frequent writing opportunities. Data included pre- and posttest results from The Phonological Awareness Test. Descriptive statistics were chosen to describe the demographic variable of group, gender, and ability level and inferential statistics included the two-sample t test. Results were statistically analyzed using SPSS 13.0 and concluded that a significant relationship does exist among daily writing opportunities and the phonemic awareness development of kindergarten students. Daily exposure to writing had a significant impact on students in the low-risk experimental group. Although a significant difference was not found in the some/at-risk groups, the experimental group had a larger average increase on the phonemic awareness measure. Results will fill the existing gap between research and practice concerning the correlation among daily writing and phonemic awareness, and the reciprocal impact this correlation has on students’ literacy development. In addition, results may influence early childhood educators to implement daily writing opportunities as a method for increasing students’ phonemic awareness development.