Perceptual weighting and phonemic awareness in pre-reading and early-reading children.
While metalinguistic awareness and speech perception have been found to each be related to numerous other linguistic processes, e.g. reading acquisition, phonological development, phonological disorders, it is only recently that the relationship between awareness and perception has been considered. Recent studies have demonstrated correlations between changes in perceptual weighting of acoustic cues and the development of metalinguistic skills at the phonemic level. This finding raises questions as to the exact nature of the correlation between the two processes. Is the relationship strictly linear, or could one of the two processes have a causal influence on the development of the other? This paper discusses the results of a longitudinal study of beginning–reading children, and a cross–sectional study of older pre–reading children, both of which aim to address the issue of causality in the relationship between perceptual weighting and phonemic awareness.