This study investigated whether individual differences in receptive vocabulary, speech perception and production, and nonword repetition at age 2 years, 4 months to 3 years, 4 months predicted phonological awareness 2 years later. One hundred twenty-one children were tested twice. During the first testing period (Time 1), children's receptive vocabulary, speech perception and production, and nonword repetition were measured. Nonword repetition accuracy in the present study was distinct from other widely used measures of nonword repetition in that it focused on narrow transcription of diphone sequences in each nonword that differed systematically in phonotactic probability. At the second testing period (Time 2), children's phonological awareness was measured. The best predictors of phonological awareness were a measure of speech production and a measure of phonological processing derived from performance on the nonword repetition task. The results of this study suggest that nonword repetition accuracy provides an implicit measure of phonological skills that are indicative of later phonological awareness at an age when children are too young to perform explicit phonological awareness tasks reliably.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Ackowledgments. This work was supported by NIDCD R01 02932 to Jan Edwards, Mary E. Beckman, and Benjamin Munson; NIDCD T32 DC005359 to Susan Ellis Weismer; and NICHD 30 HD03352 to the Waisman Center. This material is also based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant 1449815. We are grateful to all of the children who participated in this study, their families, and community members who assisted with recruiting. We also thank Patrick Reidy, Tristan Mahr, and affiliate members of the Learning to Talk labs at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the University of Minnesota and Mary E. Beckman at the Ohio State University for their contributions to this research.
- nonword repetition
- phonological awareness
- phonological processing
- preschool-aged children