The ability of children with moderate mental retardation to analyze orally presented sentences into words and words into syllables and phonemes was studied. The subjects, ages 10 to 15, were grouped by method of reading instruction. All of them could analyze spoken sentences into words and words into syllables equally well. However, subjects receiving code-emphasis reading instruction performed significantly better on the more difficult phoneme manipulation tasks than did subjects receiving whole-word instruction. Results suggest that code-emphasis reading instruction for some subjects with mental retardation should be used. Further research on linguistic analysis skills and the use of code-emphasis reading instruction in conjunction with linguistic awareness training with this population is warranted.
With permission of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD).