|Year : 2017 | Volume
| Issue : 3 | Page : 173-179
Effectiveness of the Edmark training program on dyslexic students' phonological awareness
Pari Karami1, Salar Faramarzi2
1 Department of Psychology, Islamic Azad University, Isfahan (Khorasgan) Branch, Isfahan, Iran
2 Department of Psychology, Faculty of Psychology and Education of Children with Special Needs, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran
|Date of Web Publication||29-Nov-2017|
Dr. Salar Faramarzi
Department of Psychology, Faculty of Psychology and Education of Children with Special Needs, University of Isfahan, Isfahan
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
AIM: The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of the Edmark Training Program on phonological awareness skill in the dyslexic students studying in the third-grade primary school.
METHODS: The research design is experimental and with pretest-posttest and control groups. Accordingly, using the stratified random sampling method, from among dyslexic students of the third-grade primary schools in Mobarakeh Township in 2014–2015, 30 students were selected regarding assigned inclusion criteria and then they randomly divided into two groups: Experimental and control. To collect data, the dyslexic test developed by Kormi Nouri and Moradi was used. The validity and reliability of the test were confirmed. The collected data were analyzed using ANCOVA and employing SPSS version 21.
RESULTS: The results of the research indicated that there is significant difference between the performance of the control and experimental groups in the posttest stage (P < 0.001).
CONCLUSION: Therefore, it can be concluded that the Edmark Reading Program is positively effective on dyslexic students' phonological awareness and this program causes the improvement in their phonological awareness skill.
Keywords: Dyslexia, Edmark, phonological awareness, primary school students
|How to cite this article:|
Karami P, Faramarzi S. Effectiveness of the Edmark training program on dyslexic students' phonological awareness. Int J Educ Psychol Res 2017;3:173-9
|How to cite this URL:|
Karami P, Faramarzi S. Effectiveness of the Edmark training program on dyslexic students' phonological awareness. Int J Educ Psychol Res [serial online] 2017 [cited 2019 Oct 15];3:173-9. Available from: http://www.ijeprjournal.org/text.asp?2017/3/3/173/219421
| Introduction|| |
Dyslexia is one of the academic disorders from which a number of students suffer. These students have difficulties in re-identifying alphabetical letters, words, reversal of letters, reminding numbers, letters, prepositions, and deleting letters and perceptions. The most frequently cited definition of dyslexia was developed by a working group of the International Dyslexia Association; this definition reads as follows: Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge. In addition, research evidence indicates that dyslexic children in different countries with different writing systems show relatively similar phonological deficits. In general, phonological skills are closely related to reading skills.
Since phonological skills have close relation with reading skills, a lot of scholars of reading and learning disorders, before 70's, found out the significance of phonological skills. Works done by cognitive psychologists reinforce this theory that if children are to achieve sufficient proficiency in reading, it is necessary that they are proficient in manipulation, sequence, and regulation of linguistic phonemes. More recent investigations have clarified that deficits in phonological awareness, i.e., understanding that speech is a combination of phonemes, have a vital effect on students with reading and learning disorders. According to these results, cognitive psychologists and researchers of reading conducted research on the role of phonological awareness in reading. The reason is that some of the main forms of phonological awareness, analysis, and composition are parts of skill in decoding Pullen. The analysis includes dividing words into its phonemes. In general, phonological awareness is a fundamental part of learning which is put in programs of students, with difficulties in the learning of reading from the ancient times. Teachers who generally neither train phonological skills nor connect phenology to letters unlikely cannot prevent from learning disorders. Some research events indicate that children who achieve powerful phonological skills can even dominate the favorable genetic grounds for learning disorders. Since the significance of training phonological skills has been clarified, a lot of scholars studying on reading have focused on the role of teachers in training phonological awareness skills, and it is necessary how teachers know appropriately training phonological awareness skills  (Foorman, 1998; Alexander and Slinger, 2004; and Elbro and Peterson, 2004). It should be noted that in addition to phonological awareness as a source of difficulties in reading, it is effective in clinical diagnosis of these problems. On the other hand, they have considered some researches done on training phonological awareness. The results of this set of researches indicate that training phonological awareness in normal children and children with speech, language, and reading disorders causes the increase in the level of phonological awareness and development in reading., In another longitudinal study, the role of phonological awareness in the academic achievement of immature children was studied. In this study, it was indicated that phonological awareness predicts reading performance in these children. Plaza and Cohen  investigated the role of phonological structure in explaining reading errors. The results of their findings indicated that individuals with reading disorder have less awareness of phonological awareness of language and words. However, in describing dyslexia, the reversal of letters has been emphasized, but recent researches emphasize on the effective role of phonological processing in occurring reading difficulties.
This issue has been confirmed that phonological awareness which includes both ability of understanding words presented which is composed of a set of voices and the ability of manipulation of these voices are closely related to appropriate decoding of concrete and abstract written words. In different research, it has been presented that phonological awareness in dyslexic students is defective. Damaged phenology is still the main reason of dyslexia in all languages.
Regarding the significance of the topic, so far, a lot of researches have been conducted on dyslexia. Among these studies, Fathollapour et al. indicated that the two Neurofeedback and Fernald multisensory methods have positive effects on academic performance of dyslexic children. In addition, Fayyazbakhsh  concluded that the method of reading enhancement and training reading, reading comprehension, and phonological awareness simultaneously can increase students' reading skills. When dyslexic students are trained to use make-ups and with careful planning, their learning efficiency increases. In a research by Ashtari and Shirazi, it was indicated that phonological awareness skills and the speed of calling in dyslexic and normal children are different and the dyslexic group in both skills are weaker than the normal group.
In addition, Mostagimzadeh and Soleimani  indicated that training phonological awareness is effective on reading abilities of retarded girls studying in the second-grade primary school and training reading to mentally retarded children result in increasing the score of phonological awareness and accuracy and speed in reading.
In another research, Rasinski et al. reported that students who had learned words using the Edmark Training Program could record and retain words in their memory longer. In addition, Kuhn and Schwanenflugel  indicated that students who have conducted the Edmark Reading Program generalize the ability of their own to previously not read words. Therefore, regarding the mentioned discussions, it can be inferred that applied programs for training skills affecting reading and learning are greatly significant and the training program based on the Edmark Method has this ability to result in improving reading performance and at last, effective learning in students. Therefore, the most important question of the present study is whether the Edmark Training Program effective on phonological awareness of students in the third-grade primary school?
| Methods|| |
The research design is experimental with the pretest-posttest method and control group. The overview of the research is represented in [Table 1].
The population of the study includes all dyslexic students of the third-grade primary school in Mobarakeh Township in 2014–2015. Using the stratified random sampling method, first, from among schools of Mobarakeh, 10 primary schools were randomly selected. Then, from among the students of these schools, regarding inclusion criteria (such as suffering seriously from learning disorders in teaching and learning) and considering the scores of the test developed by Kormi Nouri and Moradi  and the informal reading test, students' record cards in the first- and second-grade primary schools, enjoying moderate and higher intelligence using Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children–Revised-Forth Edition-(WISC-IV), enjoying physical and psychological health confirmed by physicians, counselors, and teachers, and enjoying appropriate social, economic, and cultural statuses), 30 students who were diagnosed to suffer from dyslexia were randomly selected. Then, they were randomly divided into experimental (15 participants) and control (15 participants) groups. In addition, researchers achieved the consent of parents for participation of their children in the intervention program and made them aware of all stages of the intervention. At last, the Edmark Training Program (the independent variable) was conducted on the experimental group while the control group was trained by normal method.
In the present study, to collect data, different instruments and methods were used as follows:
- The researcher-made demographic questionnaire for investigating demographic characteristics such as age, gender, students' academic grades, parents' education, parents' jobs, the number of children in families, and parents' age
- The reading and dyslexia test: This test was developed by Kormi Nouri and Moradi  and was conducted and standardized on the fifth-grade primary school 1614 (770 male and 844 female students) students in Tehran, Sanandaj, and Tabriz. After collecting data and doing statistical calculations for each grade in each city, raw scores and standardized scores were calculated. This test can be used for identifying dyslexic students and determining their reading performance levels. Due to the fact that time is effective on some subtests of this instrument, it can be used for evaluating students' reading compression. The alpha coefficient of the reading and dyslexia test was obtained as 0.81 and that of subtests of naming pictures as 0.77, word comprehension as 0.79, and text comprehension as 0.83 [Table 2]
- WISC-IV: Regarding the issue that one of the inclusion criteria was enjoying moderate and higher intelligence; therefore, the WISC-IV was used for investigating dyslexic students' intelligence. WISC-IV in 2003 was designed for children aged at 6–16 years old. In this scale, five types of intelligence quotient (IQ) extracted were verbal comprehension IQ, perceptual reasoning IQ, working memory IQ, processing speed IQ, and total scale IQ. This test was matched and standardized by Sadeghi et al. on a sample of Iranian children. The reliability of the subtests in the retest was reported from 0.65 to 0.95, and the half-split reliability coefficients were reformed from 0.71 to 0.86
- Informal reading inventory: This questionnaire is a researcher-made one. Regarding the issue that the research subjects were the third-grade primary school students and the time of conducting the research was early in the school year; therefore, researchers investigated the second-grade dictation notebooks of ten dyslexic subjects newly registered in the third grade and selected 150 words with the highest frequency in typos were selected with teachers' help. Then, these words were prepared in the form of four stories. In the 1st week of opening schools (September 23–30), a version of each story was given students and they were asked to read over them; then, five reading comprehension questions were asked. In addition, the reading speed and correct reading of words were evaluated.
|Table 3: The summary of training sessions (the duration each session is 90 min)|
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- Selecting the statistical sample regarding inclusion criteria of the research and administering pretest
- Dividing the sample size randomly into two groups: Control and experimental
- Conducting the independent variable (the Edmark Training Program) on the experimental group
The Edmark Reading Program includes two levels: Level 1 familiarizes students with 150 common words whose learning is not considered difficult for students. Then, in Level 2, they learn the program which includes 200 compound words which are more difficult than words in Level 1. In addition, after learning these words, students should match them with related pictures and stories. In the present study, by referring to teachers' guidebooks, we should read and write Persian books presented in the first- to third-grade primary school, and 150 common words were selected. Then, 200 compound words were selected and training was conducted based on the Edmark method.
The Edmark Reading Program was particularly applied for students with the learning disability of reading. This program is a substitutive program for a reading program based on acoustics. In other words, instead of training voices and phonemes, it focuses on recognizing words and comprehending texts.
Each session started with a review of issues and tasks of the previous session. Then, researchers started training sessions; at the end of each session, students received exercises in relation with that session which they did them at home. After that, in the next session, they were evaluated and investigated. For the independent variable (the Edmark Training Session), 12 group training sessions were prepared (totally 12 training sessions) and each training session took 1½ h and each week covered two sessions.
It should be noted that the instances of class exercises were given to parents to be trained and exercised in the time interval between training sessions and in holidays at home. Students were trained during 12 training sessions of recognizing 50 common visual words and 100 irregular and common visual words. Students were presented with words and they were asked to read meaningless words from the right column to the left one and from the top to the bottom. The word lists were put in from of subjects, and they were asked to not pay attention to irregular words and only try to read them as they were. The aim of visual distinction of words and training pronouncing meaningless words was the recognition of desired voices among words by students. In all sessions, a review on the previous sessions; at the end of each session, tasks were presented [Table 3].
- Administering the test developed by Kormi Nouri and Moradi (2005) on both experimental and control groups as the posttest.
Data analysis method
In this research, to analyze data, two descriptive and inferential data were used. At the level of the descriptive statistics, frequency, percentile, mean scores, and standard deviation and at the level of inferential statistics, ANCOVA and MANCOVA were used for investigating research hypotheses. The statistical results were analyzed by employing SPSS version 21 (IBM-Company, USA).
[Table 4] indicates descriptive research variables in the experimental and control groups.
|Table 4: Mean and standard deviation of pretest, posttest scores in the experimental and control groups in scales of phonological awareness of reading|
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The above tables indicate the descriptive findings of the research. As indicated in the table, the mean scores of main scales of phonological awareness performance in reading for the experimental group in the posttest stage are higher than those of the control group due to the Edmark Training Program.
To investigate research hypotheses, using ANCOVA, first, statistical presumptions were investigated and the presumptions of frequency distribution normality by the Kolmogorov–Smirnov test and Shapiro–Wilk test indicated that the frequency distribution in pretest is normal. In addition, the results of Levene's test illustrated the equality of the variances in the two groups. Furthermore, in investigating the statistical presumption of MANCOVA, Wilks's lambda distribution, Pillai's trace, Hotelling trace, and Roy's largest root were utterly significant.
The first hypothesis states that training based on the Edmark Training Program is effective on the performance of dyslexic students' phonological awareness.
As indicated in [Table 5], by considering the scores in the pretest as a covariate, the difference between the performance of the experimental and control groups in the reading comprehension test at the significance level P < 0.001 is significant. In other words, it can be said that the difference between the scores of the two groups shows this issue that the training based on the Edmark Training Program is effective on the performance of dyslexic students' phonological awareness. By considering eta squared, it can be said that 17% of these variations are due to the effect of the intervention.
|Table 5: The results of analysis of covariance of the performance of the experimental and control groups in the posttest stage|
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The second hypothesis states that the Edmark Training Program is effective on dyslexic students' phonological awareness in terms of subscales of letter signs, voice deletion, word signs, and rhymes.
As indicated in [Table 6], by considering the scores in the pretest as a covariate, the difference between the performance of the experimental and control groups in subscales of letter signs and voice deletion at the significance level P < 0.05 is significant; however, the difference between the performance of the experimental and control group in subscales of word signs and rhymes is not significant at the level P = 0.05. In other words, it can be said that the difference between the scores of the two groups shows this issue that the training based on the Edmark Training Program is effective on the performance of dyslexic students' phonological awareness in terms of subscales of letter signs and voice deletion. By considering eta squared in subscales of letter signs and voice deletion, it can be said that variations as 18% and 16% are due to the effect of the intervention.
|Table 6: The results of multivariate analysis of covariance of the performance of the experimental and control groups in the posttest stage in terms of subscales of phonological awareness of reading|
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| Discussion and Conclusion|| |
The results of the present study indicated that the research hypothesis stating that the Edmark Training Program is effective on dyslexic students' performance in the posttest stage.
As mentioned, Edmark Training Program is that which starts with training 150 familiar words and after the proficiency, it continues to train 200 additional words which sometimes are not familiar for dyslexic children. These new words are trained during the training program and include different parts of speech (verb, adjective, and adverb). As mentioned, in the Edmark Training Program, rhymes and rhyming are not trained. However, dyslexic students can recognize and apply rhymes in a time-consuming process, during this training program, such ability was not produced for dyslexic students.
In addition, the results of analyzing the research hypothesis state that the Edmark Training Program is effective on the performance of dyslexic students in terms of voice deletion in the posttest stage. Similar results were obtained by Rasinski et al. They reported that students who had learned words presented using the Edmark Training Program; they recorded and retained word in their memory longer. In addition, Fathollapour et al. indicated that the two Neurofeedback and Fernald multisensory methods have positive effects on academic performance of dyslexic children. Pakatchi et al. indicated the positive and significant effect of computer games on visual memory of dyslexic students. Ziegler and Goswami  in separate studies indicated that most of dyslexic students have difficulties in phonological processing and this problem causes that they have difficulties in the phonological training process. The Edmark Training Program provides new words based on behavioral psychology and direct training method in such a way that this training method indicates obvious effects on recognizing words. However, it should be noted that the Edmark Program does not train voice and syllabuses, but the reason for the effectiveness of the Edmark Program on voice deletion can be that dyslexic students achieve the perception of words and texts due to the Edmark Program and then, using the generalization of learned materials into other learning tasks, they improve voice performances.
In addition, the Edmark Training Program is effective on the performance of letter signs in dyslexic students in the posttest stage. These results are consistent with those of Vandever and Stubbs  so that these researchers, in comparing the effectiveness of the Edmark Training Program with Sullivan and Meryl's Reading Program concluded that when children were tested with normal words not available in the program, they obtained higher scores in the Edmark Reading Program.
Furthermore, Alizadeh et al. in a research titled as “Program and compared the efficacy of three methods of direct instruction, phonological awareness, and reading comprehension combination of primary school children with reading disabilities” concluded that the training of phonological awareness is effective, but direct and mixed methods are not effective in the improvement of reading comprehension in the primary school dyslexic students. Accordingly, they concluded that training phonological awareness is more suitable than the two other methods in achievement of reading comprehension in primary school students.
Fayyazbakhsh, consistent with these results, during a research titled as “The effect of the curriculum, especially promoting reading in the third-grade of elementary students with dyslexia read in Yasuj” concluded that the method of reading enhancement and training reading, reading comprehension, and phonological awareness simultaneously can increase students' reading skills and, when dyslexic students are trained using make-ups and with careful planning, their learning efficiency increases. As mentioned, the Edmark Training Program has put its training tasks based on training words not based on letters. Therefore, dyslexic children who are trained by Edmark Program will be more proficient over time. This proficiency causes that they achieve success in learning letters and signs. The other reason is can be that for considering this hypothesis as significant is that in the Edmark Training Program, compound words are trained. In these words, there are words whose one part is composed of several meaningless phonemes. Training again and again these cases causes that the Edmark Training Program results in improving in the performance of letter signs.
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Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
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[Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5], [Table 6]