Research Topic: Letter Names and Alphabet Learning

Educators agree that alphabetic knowledge is essential for good reading, but differ as to the methods used for teaching. Many educators encourage teaching letter names first, but others advocate teaching of letter sounds before names. Research shows that learning the names of letters can facilitate learning letter sounds. Knowing letter names may be more important in languages like English, where individual sounds may be represented by different letters or letter combinations, and specific letters may represent multiple different sounds.

Research Articles:

Foulin, Jean Noel. Why is letter-name knowledge such a good predictor of learning to read?. Reading and Writing. 18, 129–155, (2005).

Paige DD, Rupley WH, Smith GS, Olinger C, Leslie M. Acquisition of Letter Naming Knowledge, Phonological Awareness, and Spelling Knowledge of Kindergarten Children at Risk for Learning to Read. Child Development Research. Volume 2018 |Article ID 2142894 | 10 pages, (2018).

Piasta, S. B., & Wagner, R. K.. Learning letter names and sounds: effects of instruction, letter type, and phonological processing skill.. Journal of experimental child psychology. 105(4), 324–344, (2010).

Treiman, R., Pennington, B. F., Shriberg, L. D., & Boada, R. Which children benefit from letter names in learning letter sounds?. Cognition. 106(3), 1322–1338., (2008).


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