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ERIC Number: ED494400
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Dec-7
Pages: 26
Abstractor: ERIC
Sound Foundations. What Works Clearinghouse Intervention Report
What Works Clearinghouse
"Sound Foundations," a literacy curriculum designed to teach phonological awareness to preliterate children, focuses exclusively on phoneme identity (that is, different words can start and end with the same sound). It works from the principle that phonemic awareness is necessary but not sufficient to reading, which depends on the alphabetic principle (that is, the association of sounds with letters and using those sounds to form words). The curriculum is self-contained and can be used by teachers, parents, or teaching assistants. One study of "Sound Foundations" met the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) evidence standards. This study included 26 preschool children and examined intervention effects on children's phonological processing and early reading/writing. This report focuses on immediate posttest findings to determine the effectiveness of the intervention; however, follow-up findings provided by the study authors are included in the technical appendices. Four studies reviewed by the WWC investigated the effects of Sound Foundations in center-based settings. One study (Byrne & Fielding-Barnsley, 1991) was a randomized controlled trial that met WWC evidence standards. One additional study met the WWC evidence standards (Whitehurst, Epstein, Angell, Payne, Crone, & Fischel, 19945) and is included in this report; however, Whitehurst et al. (1994) examined a combination of "Sound Foundations" and Dialogic Reading, which does not allow the effects of "Sound Foundations" alone to be determined. Therefore, this study is discussed separately, and the findings are not included in the intervention ratings. The remaining two studies did not meet WWC evidence screens. (Contains 13 notes.) [This publication was produced by the What Works Clearinghouse. The following two studies are reviewed in this intervention report: (1) Byrne, B., & Fielding-Barnsley, R. (1991). Evaluation of a program to teach phonemic awareness to young children. "Journal of Educational Psychology," 83(4), 451-455; and (2) Whitehurst, G. J., Epstein, J. N., Angell, A. L., Payne, A. C., Crone, D. A., & Fischel, J. E. (1994). Outcomes of an emergent literacy intervention in Head Start. "Journal of Educational Psychology," 86 (4), 542-555.]
What Works Clearinghouse. 2277 Research Boulevard, MS 5M, Rockville, MD 20850. Tel: 866-992-9799; Fax: 301-519-6760; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Institute of Education Sciences (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A