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Version 1.2 – Updated June 2023

Phonological awareness


  • Influence: Phonological awareness
  • Domain: Curricula
  • Sub-Domain: Reading, writing and the arts
  • Potential to Accelerate Student Achievement: Potential to considerably accelerate
  • Influence Definition: Phonological awareness is a broad skill which involves assessing and improving phonemic awareness (a subset of phonological awareness isolating the sounds in a word), such as phoneme isolation, identification, categorization, blending; segmentation, and deletion. Phonological awareness is an umbrella term that encompasses the awareness and ability to manipulate spoken parts of words or sentences including word awareness, syllables, onset and rhyme.


  • Number of meta-analyses: 11
  • Number of studies: 563
  • Number of students: 52,411
  • Number of effects: 6,275
  • Weighted mean effect size: 0.74
  • Robustness index: 5


Journal Title Author First Author's Country Article Name Year Published Variable Number of Studies Number of Students Number of Effects Effect Size
Merrill-Palmer Quarterly Wagner USA Causal relations between the development of phonological processing abilities and the acquisition of reading skills: a meta-analysis 1988 Phonological processing abilities 16 0 1,766 0.38
Dissertation Miller USA The effects of training in phonemic awareness: a meta-analysis 1999 Phonemic awareness programs 18 882 18 1.53
Dissertation Thomas USA The effects of phonemic awareness instruction on reading achievement of kindergarten students: a meta-analysis 2000 Phonemic awareness 8 715 10 1.02
Reading Research Quarterly Ehri, Nunes, Willows, Schuster, Yaghoub-Zadeh, & Shanahan USA Phonemic awareness instruction helps children learn to read: Evidence from the National Reading Panel's meta-analysis 2001 Phonemic awareness on reading 52 0 72 0.53
Review of Educational Research Swanson, Trainin, Necoechea, & Hammill USA Rapid naming, phonological awareness, and reading: A meta-analysis of the correlation evidence 2003 Rapid naming, phonological awareness 35 3,568 2,257 0.93
Journal of Educational Psychology Araujo, Reis, Petersson, & Faisca Portugal Rapid Automatized Naming and Reading Performance: A Meta-Analysis 2015 Rapid automatized naming and reading 137 28,826 857 0.95
Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education Mayberry, del Guidice, & Lieberman USA Reading achievement in relation to phonological coding and awareness in deaf readers: A meta-analysis 2011 Phonological coding in deaf readers 57 0 57 0.35
Campbell Systematic Reviews Hjetland, Brinchmann, Scherer, & Melby-Lervåg USA Preschool predictors of later reading comprehension ability: a systematic review. 2014 Phonemic awareness and comprehension 63 0 263 0.62
Journal of Educational Psychology Yang, Yan, Ruan, Ku, Lo, Peng, & McBride China Relations among phonological processing skills and mathematics in children: A meta-analysis. 2021 Phonological processing on math achievement 94 0 826 0.70
Zeitschrift fur Entwicklungspsychologie und Padagogische Psychologie Fischer & Pfost Germany How Effective Are Trainings of Phonological Awareness? A Meta-Analysis of German Language Training Programs and Their Effects on he Acquisition of Reading and Spelling Skills 2015 Phonological awareness training 19 0 22 0.36
Journal of Educational Psychology Ruan, Georgiou, Song, Li, & Shu China Does writing system influence the associations between phonological awareness, morphological awareness, and reading? A meta-analysis 2018 Phonological and morphological awareness in English and Chinese 64 18,420 127 0.87
TOTAL/AVERAGE 563 52,411 6,275 0.75
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