Effects of independent word practice with segmented and whole-word sound feedback in disabled readers

Victor Van Daal, Pieter Reitsma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Reading-disabled children seem to have considerable difficulties in acquiring phonological recoding skills, which are considered to be very important in becoming a proficient reader. It is hypothesized that speech feedback may support the development of phonological recoding skills. The aim of the present study is to investigate the use of speech feedback during independent word reading and its effects on the remediation of reading skill. Three different conditions for independent practice were employed. For 17 subjects high-quality digitized speech was available on call. When speech feedback was requested either whole-word sound was provided (n = 8) or segmented-word sound was presented (n = 9). A control group (n=14) did not receive speech feedback at all. In a posttest both practised and nonpractised words were presented. Both help call behaviour during practice and changes in reading rate and accuracy from pretest to posttest were analyzed. It was found that speech feedback requests were not dependent on word difficulty. More calls for whole-word sound were made than for segmented-word sound, while latency times for whole-word sound requests were shorter than for segmented-word sound requests. Both forms of speech feedback were equally effective in reading practice words which were initially read incorrectly. However, there was a tendency for the learning effect on nonpractised initially hard-to-read words to be largest when segmented-word sound had been available. It is concluded that, whenever the goal of reading instruction is to memorize particular words, whole-word sound as well as segmented-word sound can be used. However, when more productive skills are aimed at, the most promising way of giving support is to present segmented-word sound, although only a nonsignificant tendency for transfer was found in the present study.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-148
JournalJournal of Research and Reading
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1990


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